APD wins Home Office contract to pave way for next generation Emergency Services Network
APD has secured a large contract to develop critical software to enable blue light organisations and other public services to integrate with the next generation Emergency Services Network (ESN). It means APD will play a crucial part in revolutionising how the UK’s emergency services and other public agencies communicate, allowing them to use best-in-class commercial networks to serve the public and keep people safe and secure. The Home Office is leading a cross-government programme to deliver ESN, which will be an essential part of the UK’s critical national infrastructure. ESN will provide police, fire and rescue and ambulance services as well as other public safety organisations with secure and resilient voice communication and data services. It will replace the limited and ageing Airwave system and enable frontline and control room personnel to communicate over a new 4G mobile network. APD is the first supplier to be contracted to work with the Home Office to deliver integration to the state-of-the-art LTE (long term evolution) ESN network. The contract is to create an integration solution to connect emergency services to ESN, with the old and new systems working in tandem. It will pave the way to individual services and agencies undergoing a managed migration to the new advanced communications network.
The award underlines APD’s reputation as a leader in the ESN transition process. APD is already the only software provider to be officially certified to support ESN – the company’s Cortex software was previously accredited by the Network Approval Testing Service (NATS). The Home Office contract runs to January 2021 and requires APD to produce control room technology, which will be trialled by lead force Thames Valley Police. A subsequent nationwide rollout is expected to take place in 2021 and 2022.