ESMCP: ESN review didn’t pull any punches

Becca Jones, Emergency Services Network customer engagement director at ESMCP, has given an update on the programme following its recent comprehensive review, indicating that potentially bringing the project to an end was indeed part of the discussion.

Speaking at the BAPCO satellite series event currently taking place in Newcastle, she described the review as "really not pulling any punches," and saying that there "was a point earlier this year when I genuinely thought the programme might be closed."

Regarding device to device communication, she said that a proof of concept demonstration of 4G LTE ProSe had taken place in October. "If ProSe is not acceptable or available in the timescales which we require it," said Jones, "there will be an alternative solution. Possibly based on TETRA direct mode [operation (DMO)]."

Jones also discussed possible solutions for emergency services aircraft, including an apparent current debate around the possibility of relying on ground-based 4G rather than installing an "expensive air to ground network."

She said that roll-out will be based firmly around standardised technology, something which was not possible at the beginning.

Preferred solutions, Jones said, will be commercial and "off the shelf" rather than bespoke, with the previous emphasis on the latter having made the project more complicated than it needed to be. This decision was made, in part, following Motorola Solutions' purchase of Kodiak.

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