This is a significant milestone for the project which will provide emergency services with a new cutting-edge communication system.
Engineers performed the test on 8 February between an EE mobile mast site in Bristol and a location in Basingstoke. This is the first time Motorola Solutions’ software has linked together with the live EE mobile phone network and demonstrated prioritisation of emergency services communications on a public network.
Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd said:
This is a complex project which will provide the emergency services with the most advanced communications system of its kind anywhere in the world – which is why successful tests like these are an excellent achievement.
Members of the public are already seeing some of the incidental benefits of the project like its improvement of the 4G mobile network – 90 per cent of the UK is now covered.
Other progress in the delivery of ESN includes:
the introduction of handheld devices – 130 have now been produced for testing
the first new rapid response vehicle has been tested and more are currently in production
Transport for London has now laid ‘leaky feeder’ cables in almost 100km of tunnels out of a total of 420km in the London Underground
there have already been over 100 genuine 999 calls received through masts in place due to ESN where there was previously no coverage, demonstrating the ability of ESN to help save lives even before the roll out is complete