2021-10-11

NEC Joins Forces with Handsfree Group

Source: NEC | Hansfree GRoup

Software and services leader NEC Software Solutions has teamed up with critical communications specialist Handsfree Group to develop a pioneering new platform for use in emergency services vehicles.

The Public Safety arm of NEC Software Solutions develops dedicated software for the emergency services to address a range of critical scenarios and public safety challenges.

The R5 Fixed Vehicle Device from Handsfree Group is the latest generation in mission-critical communications technology. The device comprises of a control unit, user interface and associated accessories such as telephone handset, speakers and antenna.

The Handsfree R5 solution offers clear and secure Mission Critical PTT (Push-to-Talk), voice and high-speed data to improve the communication, collaboration and response of blue light teams, enabling them to better protect and serve communities and the public.

The collaboration between NEC Software Solutions and Handsfree is an important step in preparing the emergency services for the transition to the new state-of-the art Emergency Services Network (ESN) communications platform.

Handsfree has designed and developed a Home Office-approved system involving a single in-vehicle touchscreen UI (user interface) to bring everything from satellite navigation and maps to sirens and warning signs into one touchpoint.

The UI ensures all information is integrated into one place, reducing dashboard clutter and the need for multiple screens to access a range of critical information.

NEC is now working with Handsfree to integrate its sector-leading control room software solutions, including Dispatch and Maps, into the R5 system.

This means emergency services workers using the new system will automatically receive actions, locations and other information from control rooms on one single screen within their vehicle, while the control room is able to confirm the status of the vehicle, including location and lights activation.

NEC develops and supplies a range of cloud-based software solutions that enable emergency services organisations to respond to incidents ever more effectively and efficiently. These pioneering technologies support blue light teams in their vital work serving and protecting the public and, ultimately, saving lives.

NEC’s Dispatch product enables control room operators to record and prioritise calls, identify the incident status and location of resources, and dispatch emergency services teams appropriately.
Dispatch also enables two-way information-sharing between frontline responders and control room operators, as well as identifying any duplicate incidents.

NEC’s cutting-edge Maps software supports emergency services to deploy the right resources, to the right locations, at the right time.

Maps provides enhanced visibility for both control room dispatchers and frontline teams, helping to optimise response to incidents by enabling blue light teams to reach locations rapidly with pinpoint accuracy.

Steve Ainsworth, NEC Software Solutions’ Director of Public Safety, said: “The communications infrastructure for the emergency services is changing and we’re delighted to work with Handsfree to meet the demands of the evolving market. Working together, we will provide emergency services organisations with a combination of technologies that will enable frontline teams and control room staff to react to incidents faster and more effectively. We’re continuing to lead the sector in integrated control room solutions and we believe the platform created by this collaboration will be a game-changer for blue light services.”


Matthew Johnson, Managing Director of Handsfree Group, stated: “It is truly a pleasure for Handsfree to be working together with NEC Software Solutions on an invention that will revolutionise the way that mission critical users communicate. Our joint vision to empower frontline emergency service staff and control room teams, and to offer reliable technology in times of need, is what makes this an ideal partnership. NEC’s undeniable strength in software and Handsfree’s expertise in hardware technology, as well as our combined years of experience working with emergency service clients, gives us a perfect foundation for creating an integrated and user-friendly solution that will significantly improve public safety.”


NEC and Handsfree are attending the BAPCO Annual Conference and Exhibition at Coventry Building Society Arena on 12th and 13th October. The event will bring together public safety technology users, experts and suppliers from across Europe. The NEC team will be on hand to discuss the latest technology in partnership with Handsfree Group.