Home office awards Airwave £39m Olympic contract

The Home Office is to spend £39m to expand coverage of Airwave, the radio communication system used by the police and other emergency services, in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics in London.

The Home Office is to spend £39m to expand coverage of Airwave, the radio communication system used by the police and other emergency services, in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics in London.

The contract will increase the system's capacity to handle thousands more users from within police, fire and ambulance services, the Home Office said.

Airwave said in January it would build a new, independent £10m communications infrastructure for Olympic officials, using Tetra digital radio technology. This network would provide coverage for the London venues as well as satellite venues such as Weymouth and Hampden Park.

Security minister Lord West said the Home Office's investment in the Airwave system underlined its commitment to a safe and secure games. "Investing now means the Airwave network system can be thoroughly tested before 2012 and will ensure it remains resilient during the Games," he said.

The Chief Constable at the National Policing Improvement Agency, Peter Neyroud, said joint communication between police, fire and ambulance services, together with Airwave in the London Underground, would provide robust support to help ensure a swift and co-ordinated response to any incident.

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