BAPCO 2016: Migrating to LTE

The global public safety community is following the migration of the UK’s emergency services from TETRA to LTE with considerable interest. Sam Fenwick reports from BAPCO 2016, which provided an update on the programme

The BAPCO Show 2016, which took place at the Telford International Centre on 22 to 23 March, focused on the migration of the UK’s emergency services from the Airwave TETRA network to the Emergency Services Network, which is currently in the design and planning phase. Representatives from the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) and its main commercial partners (KBR, Motorola Solutions and EE) discussed both the progress so far and outlined what is still to come.

“As of today we are on track for ESN [Emergency Services Network] transition,” says Richard Hewlett, deputy programme director at the Home Office. “It’s the best start I could hope for.” Hewlett adds that he has been impressed by the level of co-operation between the partners. “There’s an understanding between ESMCP and the delivery partners that ‘if one of us fails, we all fail’.”

Hewlett says that the project’s first major milestone was in January and the next will be in May. Some of the Show’s attendees expressed concerns over availability of the technical information required for user organisations to plan their transitions to the ESN, and whether this would be forthcoming in May.

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