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As the day of launch for the much-delayed UK Emergency Services Network (ESN) gets nearer, critical digital infrastructure technology design, build, support and management firm Telent has announced it has completed a network refresh to support station-end systems for a major fire and rescue service in England.
The ESN will comprise a UK-wide 4G mobile network designed to serve the needs of the UK’s ambulance, fire and police services and assorted associated bodies, replacing the reliable and well-liked Airwave terrestrial trunked radio network (Tetra). It will offer a secure private mobile radio communications platform for all organisations involved in public safety and be used by the country’s first responders.
Telent currently supports station-end and mobilisation systems for more than 20 fire and rescue services across the UK and every county fire service in Republic of Ireland. This includes recent communications and mobilisation upgrades for the North Wales Fire and Rescue service and providing support for the radio paging network used to mobilise lifeboat crews for the RNLI.
The end-to-end service is currently live across over 20 stations, and can be rapidly deployed and procured through several Crown Commercial Service (CCS) frameworks.
The deployment project is intended to provide improved resiliency and security, and deliver an alternative backup bearer to Paknet, PSTN and 2G/3G to ensure stations stay connected if the main network goes down.
The new station-end service will serve as an upgrade and replacement of existing legacy systems. The Paknet service will be withdrawn this year, and PSTN is due to be retired in 2025. Mobile operators have announced the phased withdrawal of 3G and 2G networks from 2023.
Telent’s network upgrade is designed to provide a vital link directly from control rooms through to firefighters and appliances in the station, and can be connected by multiple bearer networks, including 4G, to provide further resiliency. The service is also compatible with the ESN Connect service in preparation for the nationwide ESN transition.
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As part of the full-service offering, Telent provides design, testing and deployment services. This started with initial development and testing in its specialised lab, pilot testing and pre-staging to minimise time on-site and maximise quality of service for the main project deployment.
The pre-staging of equipment in Telent’s secure facilities included testing and configuring equipment to reduce any early-life failures or any onsite engineering visits.
“Telent’s new solution offers an end-to-end integrated upgrade route for fire and rescue services across the UK,” said Telent’s operations and services director, Barry Zielinski.
“Our 4G-enabled ESN-approved technology is the perfect solution to replace existing systems that are imminent for retirement, and our fully managed service ensures a seamless transition for organisations in preparation for ESN.
“Telent is the partner of choice for emergency services organisations looking to work alongside a company with the knowledge, expertise and vision to innovate services in the years ahead,” he said.