ESN and Airwave: Lessons learned?

Philip Mason talks to the former head of PITO’s communications security team, Brian Murgatroyd, about the parallels between the roll-out of Airwave and ESN

I first developed an interest in public safety communications in late 2016, having found myself suddenly thrust into the role of deputy editor for Land Mobile.

I had been around for about a month when I was called upon to cover my first BAPCO Newcastle event, a core theme of which was – about a year after the main contracts had been signed – the Emergency Services Network.

As those who were also in attendance may recall, there was a certain feeling of concern in regard to ESN at the time, not least relating to anticipated network coverage. Indeed, I remember a conversation with another attendee – a police officer – during which anxiety was expressed due to perceived potential questions around the technology.

Thankfully, those concerns have now been assuaged, thanks in large part to the scale of the work carried out by EE, as well as coverage testing initiatives such as ESN Assure. Further encouragement, meanwhile, has also been provided via recent pilot projects, such as those involving Durham & Darlington FRS and the Immigration Service.

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