Arup has been appointed to the £1 billion Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme from the Home Office, whose aim is to bring emergency services communications into the digital age. Arup will support KBR in the delivery of the Emergency Service Network, through project management and technical assurance as well as training more than 300,000 emergency staff in the network’s workings.
The Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) is a project set up by the Home Office to consider the future of emergency communications in the UK. In a time of rapidly advancing digital technologies, the department is seeking to identify future requirements for the emergency services as well as research available and developing option for mobile services communications in the future. Different technologies and capabilities are being considered for the new Emergency Service Network (ESN), including 4G/5G for the growing data needs of services, with the ESN expected to rely on commercial networks. The project is worth an estimated £1 billion.
Arup’s role in the ESMCP is to support KBR – a global technology, engineering, procurement and construction company – tasked with updating the data services used by emergency services onto the 4G standard as part of the new ESN. The system will be required to provide front-line emergency staff with wide ranging communications and data capabilities, as well as resilient security measures. In its support role, Arup will provide technical assurance, project management support and specialised training for around 300,000 emergency services staff – Police, Fire and Ambulance Services and Trusts – around the UK. Work on the ESN is set to start immediately, with the delivery scheduled to span four and a half years.
“Introducing a new communications system to a network of 300,000 staff and 45,000 vehicles is no small feat. But our in-depth knowledge of the latest technology coupled with experience of designing and delivering integrated communications infrastructure, means we are well placed to implement a programme of this scale. Then once the technology has been installed, our operational readiness team will bring the systems and people together to enable a smooth transition from the old to the new,” comments Paul Hyde, Associate Director of Arup, on the project.