Frequentis, APD achieve UK ESN milestones

Thursday, 25 March, 2021

Frequentis, APD achieve UK ESN milestones

In the latest testing phase for the UK’s Emergency Services Network (ESN) project with the Home Office, Frequentis has successfully demonstrated an additional voice and data feature set.

The Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) is delivering the new Emergency Services Network (ESN) critical communication system, which will replace the current TETRA-based Airwave system with a new LTE-Mission Critical Services (LTE-MCx) 3GPP-based radiocommunication system in Great Britain.

Frequentis is working with the Home Office on the development of a gateway, which will connect Frequentis multimedia communications platform 3020 LifeX to the new ESN. The gateway will provide an Airwave-comparable feature set, and, once ready, will be installed and tested within the Ambulance Radio Program (ARP), a reference customer of Frequentis’ and which is working closely with the Home Office.

The two recent successful test demonstrations against ESN have allowed Frequentis to show the Home Office the intermediate progress of the project. Participation took place remotely, allowing the momentum of the project to continue despite the challenges of COVID-19.

“Testing this time included group call, private call (in/out), ambient listening, status message, emergency calls, text messages and broadcast, all of which were successful thanks to the hard work and dedication of the teams,” said Andy Madge, Managing Director, Frequentis UK.

“In addition, we will be delivering functionality to support interworking between existing Airwave and ESN to provide a smooth transition for our customers as they move to the ESN network, allowing both networks to be used in parallel.”

LifeX has been designed to enable emergency services operators to maximise the benefits of multimedia communications, and when next generation 999 (NG999) becomes a standard it will also enable members of the public to share images and videos of incidents that can be analysed in real time.

In related news, control room solutions provider APD Communications has achieved a new milestone by becoming accredited for a further set of features.

The approval from the Network Approval Testing Service (NATS) signifies that APD is on the way to full ESN accreditation for Cortex, its integrated communication control system (ICCS), which is used to answer emergency calls and communicate with frontline responders in more than 70 control rooms.

“We’re delighted with the outcome of this latest phase of rigorous testing, which was conducted under the observation of an expert from the Home Office,” said APD Managing Director Mike Isherwood.

“We’re fully committed to supporting the Home Office, the emergency services and other public safety organisations to achieve a smooth, business-as-usual transition to ESN.”

Image: APD Cortex North Yorkshire Police control room, courtesy APD Communications.

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