EE selected to deliver critical new 4G voice and data network for Britain’s Emergency Services

  • 300,000 Emergency Services end users, including Police, Fire and Rescue, and Ambulance, to benefit from nationwide 4G voice and data services for the first time
  • Phased transition of end users to new Emergency Services Network to begin in mid-2017
  • EE to invest in building more than 500 new 4G sites and deploying highly resilient new core system to deliver ground-breaking critical communications network
  • EE customers to benefit from expanded coverage and enhanced network reliability


EE today announced it has been selected by the Home Office to provide Britain’s Emergency Services with a resilient national mobile network, giving 300,000 critical emergency workers access to 4G voice and data for the first time.  

The Government’s £1 billion Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) will ensure that Britain is a world leader in Emergency Services communications, and a 4G pioneer. EE already has the UK’s biggest and most mature 4G network, and will expand coverage and enhance resilience to meet the Emergency Services’ critical communications requirements.

The EE 4G network will significantly improve the efficiency of the Emergency Services by giving them access to the type of data and applications that have benefitted private businesses in recent years. Some of the applications that the new network will enable for Britain’s Emergency Services are:

  • An ambulance crew sending vital patient data on to the hospital to allow staff to make the best preparations for a patient’s arrival
  • A policeman recording an arrest on a body worn camera, and live-streaming to nearby officers for assessment and support
  • A fire and rescue crew assessing a burning building based on digital blue prints on tablets and live helicopter camera footage


EE CEO Olaf Swantee says:

“We are immensely proud to be selected to deliver this vital new network for Britain’s Emergency Services. We’ve worked closely with the Police and Ambulance crews to show the power of 4G in helping save time and save lives. We will now work tirelessly to deliver a highly resilient, truly nationwide 4G network to serve all of Britain’s Blue Light and First Responder teams across the UK.”

EE’s new 4G Emergency Services Network will replace the existing TETRA system from mid-2017 as current contracts expire.

EE has already committed to spend £1.5 billion on its network up to 2017, and will increase that investment in order to deliver the Emergency Services Network. Work to enhance and expand the EE network has already commenced in order to be ready in time for the first transitions, and existing consumer, business and public sector customers will benefit from this. The dedicated EE Emergency Services team will work closely with the current provider, Airwave, the Lot 2 service provider, Motorola, and Lot 1 delivery partner KBR, as well as all 300,000 end users to manage a smooth transition to the new 4G network. 

In order to deliver the mission critical Emergency Services Network (ESN), EE will:

  • Build a new, highly resilient dedicated core network for the Emergency Services
  • Build more than 500 new sites, expanding coverage in rural areas
  • Switch on low frequency 800MHz spectrum on more than 3,800 sites to enhance rural and indoor coverage
  • Implement the capability to afford network access priority to Emergency Services when required
  • Implement VoLTE (calls over 4G), and new LTE voice capabilities including ‘push to talk’
  • Deploy a fleet of Rapid Response Vehicles to ensure maximum service availability
  • Implement satellite backhaul for Britain’s most hard-to-reach areas

ESMCP is a Home Office-led, cross-departmental programme set up to provide cheaper, better and smarter communications services for the emergency services.


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About EE

EE is the largest and most advanced digital communications company in Britain, delivering mobile and fixed communications services to consumers, businesses, government and the wholesale market. EE has approximately 14,000 employees and 550 retail stores, and serves more than 31 million customers across its mobile, fixed and wholesale businesses.

EE runs the UK's biggest and fastest mobile network, pioneering the UK's first superfast 4G mobile service in October 2012 and is the first European operator to surpass the 10million 4G customer landmark. EE's 4G coverage today reaches 94% of the UK population, with unique double speed 4G reaching 75%. EE’s 2G coverage reaches 99% of the population while 3G reaches 98%. EE's superfast fibre broadband service covers around 80% of the UK population, and ADSL broadband service covers 98.7% of the population.

In the last few years, EE has received extensive independent recognition, including being ranked the UK's best overall network by RootMetrics®; Best Network at the 2014 and 2015 Mobile News Awards; Best Network for Business and Best Consumer Network at the 2014 & 2015 Mobile Industry Awards; Best Network at the 2014 & 2015 Mobile Choice Consumer Awards, and Best Network at the What Mobile Awards 2014; Fastest Network at the 2014 uSwitch Mobile Awards; Best Mobile Network at the 2014 Recombu Awards, and Winners of Best Connected Gadget at the Mobile Choice Consumer Awards 2015.