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Final bids for UK’s £1.2bn ESN contract due back mid-June

Home Office says best and final offers are due to be submitted in mid-June as contract to replace the emergency services Airwave TETRA radio network enters the final bidding phase

Final bids for UK’s £1.2bn ESN contract due back mid-June

Best and final offers for all three Lots of the UK’s £12bn Emergency Services Network (ESN) contract are due back in mid-June, the Home Office said today (22 May 2015). The Government had originally hoped to have preferred bidders in place, or even final contracts signed, before the recent general election in the UK.

Eight organisations are still in contention for the contracts to run ESN. Lots 1 and 2 will put in place a delivery partner for the new network and provide user services. Bidders for Lot 1 are: Atkins, KBR, Lockheed Martin and Mott MacDonald. Lot 2 bidders are HP and Motorola Solutions.

The main part of the contract, Lot 3, is for a resilient mobile services network for the police, fire and rescue and ambulance services. The bidders for this Lot are EE (in the process of being bought by BT) and O2 (owned by Telefónica).

Welcoming the progress made towards giving the UK’s emergency services a modern communications network, Minister for Policing Mike Penning said: “Our goal to provide the UK’s emergency services with the best communications network in the world is making excellent progress, and we are on course to sign contracts later this year.

“Making sure our emergency services have the best tools to help them do their job is paramount. As well as offering the emergency services much more capacity, flexibility and functionality than the old system, the new network will also save the taxpayer around £1bn over the next 15 years.”

The new services will replace the existing system from mid-2017 as the current contracts expire. ESN will use a commercial network to deliver broadband data services. The current service, Airwave, is run on a private mobile radio system.

The UK will be the first country to move its emergency services communication network onto a commercial mobile operator’s network, which are not designed to mission critical levels of resilience, availability or coverage. The winning Lot 3 bidder will have to make a huge investment if it is to equal the mission critical service levels currently provided by the Airwave network.

The Lots
Lot 1 – ESN Delivery Partner – transition support, cross-lot integration and user support: a delivery partner to provide programme management services for cross-lot ESN integration in transition; vehicle installation design and assurance; training support services; and delivery support during the implementation of ESN.

Lot 2 – ESN User Services – a technical service integrator to provide end-to-end systems integration for the ESN: to develop and operate the public safety applications; the necessary telecommunications infrastructure; mobile device management; customer support; and service management.

Lot 3 – ESN Mobile Services – a resilient mobile network: a network operator to provide an enhanced mobile communications service with highly available full coverage in the defined Lot 3 area (in GB / UK, and technical interfaces to Lot 2.

ESN will need to provide mission critical communication services to approximately 250,000 operational staff (with a broadly equivalent number of connected mobile communication devices taking into account the proportion of staff with a device, vehicles, and pools of spare devices) across the 3ES:

• 44 Police and Crime Commissioners/Services
• 50 Fire and Rescue Authorities/Services
• 13 Ambulance Trusts
• National Crime Agency
• Three non-Home Office Police Services (British Transport Police, Ministry of Defence Police, Civil Nuclear Constabulary)
• National Police Air Service

ESN will also provide a service for more than just the 3ES. Over 400 Government and local public safety and other bodies use the current system and will potentially require the ability to use ESN.

These other bodies may add up to approximately 50,000 additional connected devices, and may include the Central Government Departments, Non-Departmental Public Bodies and Agencies, Local Authorities in Great Britain and a number of charitable bodies and other organisations that interact with public safety bodies.

See also:
Final bidders chosen for UK’s new Emergency Services Network

UK Home Office drops network extension part of £1.2bn Emergency Services Network 

Bidders drop out of UK’s £1.2bn ESN contract as risks prove unacceptable


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