APD Communications Managing Director Mike Isherwood, back left, with members of the ESN Development Team – Technical Manager and ESN Lead Sean Hancock, back right, and, from left, Keeley Barrick, Darren Jackson and Declan Whiting, with the National Approval Testing Service (NATS) certificate.
April 13, 2018: Software developed by technology leader APD Communications is the first to be officially certified to support a new state-of-the-art LTE-based communications network for the UK’s emergency services.
APD’s software, Cortex, has been accredited by the Network Approval Testing Service (NATS). The NATS endorsement – a critical element of the requirements to operate on the new Emergency Services Network (ESN) – provides emergency services organisations with assurance and confidence in APD as a software supplier in pole position to support the blue light sector as it undergoes this communications revolution.
The Home Office is driving the transition to ESN, which will be an essential part of Britain’s critical national infrastructure. ESN will provide police, fire and rescue and ambulance services, as well as other public safety organisations, with secure and resilient voice communication and data services matching those available through best-in-class commercial networks.
Mobile network operator EE is responsible for building the LTE (long term evolution) network and providing network coverage whilst Motorola Solutions is delivering the user services and critical public safety applications on top of the network.
As a supplier of critical, life-saving software used by one in two UK police forces and other emergency services organisations across the UK, APD is at the forefront of the ESN transition process.
Cortex is APD’s software-only Integrated Communication Control System (ICCS) and is used to answer emergency calls and communicate with front line responders in more than 70 control rooms around the world. The software brings radio, telephony, CCTV and access control together on one screen enabling organisations to connect, collaborate and communicate rapidly and effectively.
APD Managing Director Mike Isherwood said: “We’re delighted to gain this accreditation for our ICCS software, which is the result of many months of work by our development teams and collaboration with the Home Office, emergency services organisations and our technology partners.
“We’re totally committed to ensuring existing and future customers are prepared for ESN, to ensure they experience a seamless transition and are able to maximise the benefits from this revolution in life-saving communications.
“Cortex helps our customers connect, collaborate and communicate when it matters most. It’s radio, telephony, CCTV and access control all on one screen.”
As part of its role delivering user services, Motorola Solutions has established NATS as the testing service for suppliers seeking certification that their technology is ESN compliant and can be part of the new communications framework.
Mick Rhodes, ESN Programme Director at Motorola Solutions, said: “NATS is a vital part of the preparations and enabling procedures for ESN. It is a rigorous and demanding process and sets the bar very high for ESN compliance.”
Sean Hancock, APD’s Technical Manager and ESN Lead, said: “Achieving this accreditation validates the highly-structured process we applied to this challenge. We built a dedicated team and infrastructure for the project, as well as an in-house test environment.
“The core functionality of Cortex is ready for ESN and provides further assurance to existing and future customers that it will deliver a business-as-usual transition to the new network.
“We’re ahead of the game and can now focus on further features to deliver additional, value-added operational benefits, such as incorporating video streams into control rooms.”
APD is committed to supporting the emergency services community through the transition to ESN and has established a position of thought leadership, sharing freely its acknowledged expertise in this field.
APD’s website features an ESN section with information, updates and resources, including white papers and blogs, at www.apdcomms.com/ready-for-esn APD also has a private online portal for customers to help to shape the ongoing development of Cortex, including dedicated groups focused on ESN.
APD’s Agile collaborative and iterative approach to software development is a key feature of the company’s extensive programme of ESN workshops and webinars. These interactive sessions ensure emergency service organisations are kept fully up to speed and involved in APD’s work to develop industry-leading solutions to the ESN challenge.