UK’s £1B emergency services network under fire – report

14 NOV 2016

UK operator EE is set to defend a proposed network for the country’s emergency services, after claims that the £1.2 billion project is at risk of expensive delays and dangerous technology failures.

The operator will line up alongside its technology partner Motorola Solutions and officials from the home office to face questioning from MPs on the progress of the network this week, reported the Daily Telegraph.

EE won a government tender to build a new network for communications to be used by the country’s police, fire and ambulance services, in December, and replace an existing two-way radio system, run by Airwave, which Motorola bought last year for £817.5 million.

However, with the project reportedly running five months behind, the UK’s public accounts committee believes the Emergency Services Network (ESN) is “inherently high risk”, while concerns are growing about potential conflicts of interests for Motorola.

Airwave’s system will be shut down once the new network is completed, but it could cost as much as £475 million to keep it running if ESN is delayed by a year.

In the report, the Home Office and Motorola deny claims of “perverse incentives”, while the technology company and EE claim they have hit their early targets.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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