ESN programme hit by further delays

Two sources with knowledge of the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) and its work to roll-out the Emergency Services Network (ESN) – which is intended to replace the Airwave TETRA network, have told Land Mobile that the programme is experiencing further delays

Land Mobile contacted the Home Office for clarification and it said that given the complexity of the technology involved, it now recognises that the scope and scale of testing of ESN it will need to undertake with its partners is greater than originally anticipated, and will therefore take longer. It also said that it will have greater clarity on the impact of this additional testing requirement to timescales in the Autumn.

The Home Office is working with police forces on formal acceptance criteria but it says that these will not be different to those set out by the police at the beginning of the programme.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The new Emergency Services Network (ESN) will provide the dedicated teams who work so hard protecting the public and saving lives with the most advanced communications system of its kind anywhere in the world.

“The timelines for ESN are ambitious and this is because we want to give the emergency services the benefits of the latest technology as soon as practicable. However, we must make sure ESN is absolutely right before the emergency services make use of the network, and we are clear that Airwave will remain in use until ESN is ready.”

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