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Home Office awards ESN smartphone deal to Samsung



South Korean manufacturer to provide LTE devices to operate with Emergency Services Network

The Home Office has awarded Samsung a contract worth up to £221 million to provide LTE smartphones to work on the new Emergency Services Network (ESN).

It has published a contract notice confirming the deal, which came into force in late November and is set to run until June 2021.

This provides a significant feature of the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP), which involves the replacement of the Airwave network with the ESN in a transition set to run until 2020.

The phones will be available to emergency services organisations under a framework agreement, and will run on LTE (Long Term Evolution) rather than standard 4G networks as it can provide higher data rates with reduced latency.

Samsung said the relevant smartphones have been developed to provide a suitable solution for the emergency services, with a rugged design and water-resistant construction. They will incorporate software to support police, fire and ambulance services.

Next generation

Suk-Jea Hahn, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics’ Global Mobile B2B Team, commented at the time of the contract award: “Next generation public safety communications is an important area of focus for Samsung, and we are now looking forward to working in partnership with ESN and UK emergency services organisations to bring our technology to the entire public safety community on the front line, supporting the great work they do every day.”

An earlier contract award provided another element of the ESN with Vodafone winning the £15.2 million deal to provide the infrastructure to link police, fire and ambulance control rooms.

Picture from Scott Davidson (modified), CC 2.0 via flickr

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