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Home Office and Motorola agree to early end of ESN contract

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Image source: Gush

The Home Office and Motorola Solutions have agreed to terminate the company’s user services role in the development of the Emergency Services Network (ESN).

The department has published a contract termination notice – a month after the step was taken and effective a year before it was due to expire in December of this year – but indicated that the company will continue to provide “termination assistance” services for the next 12 months.

It is also understood to have taken the first steps to finding a new supplier of the ‘push to talk' applications and services for first responders that the company was to provide.

Motorola has been responsible for the development of the ‘push to talk’ element of the ESN – which is to replace the Airwave network – which effectively turns mobile phones into emergency services radios with data capabilities.

Delays in delivery

The move comes after delays in the delivery of the ESN, which was originally scheduled to be in place by early 2020. In 2019 the parties extended the relevant contract by two years to run until the end of 2024, following a decision to use the company’s Kodiak solution rather than the original choice of Wave 7000.

The Home Office has also extended its contract with Motorola for its provision of the predecessor Airwave network until the end of 2026. This has proved controversial with the Competition and Markets Authority running an investigation into the levels of profitability for the company.

In response to questions about the reasons for the early termination of the ESN contract and the implementation schedule, a spokesperson for the Home Office said: “The Home Office and Motorola agreed to terminate the contract to provide services for the Emergency Services Network on 19 December 2022. ​We have agreed that Motorola will provide some services for 12 months following this date.

“The Airwave contract is ongoing and unaffected.”

Supplier response

Motorola responded with an acknowledgement of the contract termination. A company spokesperson added: "Motorola Solutions will continue to support ESN by providing certain Lot 2 transitional services for the next 12 months and an interworking interface capability that will enable the Home Office to facilitate interoperable communications between ESN and Airwave in the next phase of the programme.

"In addition, the company will continue to deliver and maintain the essential Airwave network, which is relied upon by the UK emergency services and operates at the highest levels.

"Motorola Solutions will also continue to provide its full mission-critical technology ecosystem – including devices, control room software, in-field mobility applications and video security solutions – to support the agencies that rely on these solutions to help keep their emergency services personnel and communities safe every day.”

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