December 14, 2015

EE is to provide a 4G network to the emergency services


EE has just won a major new contract, as it’s announced that it’s been selected by the Home Office to provide Britain’s emergency services with a resilient 4G voice and data network.

This will see it provide 300,000 emergency services end users from the police, fire and rescue and ambulance services, with 4G voice and data connectivity for the first time.

4G will prove hugely beneficial to the emergency services, allowing them to work faster and more efficiently and in doing so save more lives.

Examples of how 4G could be used include a policeman recording an arrest on a body worn camera, and live-streaming to nearby officers for assessment and support.

Or an ambulance crew could send vital patient data on to the hospital to allow staff to make the best preparations for a patient’s arrival. Another example given by EE is a fire and rescue crew assessing a burning building based on digital blueprints on tablets and live helicopter camera footage.

EE CEO Olaf Swantee said: “We are immensely proud to be selected to deliver this vital new network for Britain’s Emergency Services. We’ve worked closely with the Police and Ambulance crews to show the power of 4G in helping save time and save lives. We will now work tirelessly to deliver a highly resilient, truly nationwide 4G network to serve all of Britain’s Blue Light and First Responder teams across the UK.”

EE isn’t new to working with the emergency services, however preparing this network is a big job. EE will have to build a new, highly resilient core network just for the emergency services, as well as building more than 500 new sites and deploying a fleet of Rapid Response Vehicles, to ensure the network is always live.

That work will take a while, and so a phased-transition to the new network won’t begin until mid-2017.

When it is complete though much of this extra investment will help normal EE customers too, as it will lead to expanded coverage and enhanced network availability.