Hull-based control room technology leader APD Communications has won a major Home Office contract to pioneer the transition to a game-changing communications network for the UK’s emergency services.
APD has secured the 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 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.
APD managing director Mike Isherwood said: “We are delighted the Home Office has placed this significant contract with us, which reaffirms our position as the control room market leader and as a global control room leader in LTE solutions.
“It’s a significant badge of honour and will allow us to ensure all our customers are at the forefront of technology and operational efficiency, enabling them employ the most modern methods for interacting with, serving and protecting the public.
“The Home Office has placed its trust in us, on behalf of all the organisations it represents, to produce the control room technology required to connect with ESN. Subsequently it will be down to each individual service to make the transition, supported by our software solution.”
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.
Mr Isherwood added: “This is an absolutely critical step towards an exciting future. The primary objective is to continue to protect the public during this migration, ensuring a business as usual transition.
“After successful migration, the focus will shift to improving and enhancing services to the public through the use of this next generation technology to deploy a new wave of applications, such as enhanced location services and live video steaming, that will help public services to be more efficient, more effective and share information more easily.”
Based in Hull’s Old Town, APD has developed cutting-edge digital technology in the city for more than 35 years.
APD is a leading supplier of cutting-edge software to the emergency services, public safety and control room markets. The company’s mission critical communications and control solutions are used by more than two thirds of UK police forces, as well as other emergency services organisations, together serving around 40 million people in the UK.
APD also provides critical software for major transportation hubs, including Gatwick and Dubai international airports and the London Underground.