Control room technology market leader APD Communications has again become the first supplier to achieve official testing success for key elements of the new UK emergency services communications network.
APD has achieved the major milestone as part of its work delivering a critical Home Office contract pioneering the transition to the game-changing Emergency Services Network (ESN).
The company is the first UK supplier to complete ESN Proof of Concept feature testing from the UK-hosted ESN reference environment. The accolade covers the following features:
- Authentication – a secure sign-in process for control room operators and other emergency services personnel to connect to ESN.
- Group Calls – functionality enabling multiple frontline personnel to broadcast and communicate with each other and control rooms over the network.
- Emergencies – a vital function used for critical situations involving frontline officers.
The landmark in the transition to ESN comes six months after APD began delivering the Home Office project and within weeks of APD’s dedicated ESN team starting work developing the features.
Mobile services supplier Motorola Solutions is providing a testing service for ESN suppliers on behalf of the Home Office and a five-person APD team recently spent three days at Motorola’s hi-tech communications testing centre in Rugby, Warwickshire.
During that time, APD’s software underwent a comprehensive and rigorous programme of testing while connected to the ESN network, with all three features passing successfully. The testing success has since been assured by the Home Office, underlining that the APD software integrates successfully with ESN.
ESN is a new, state-of-the-art LTE (Long Term Evolution) communications network for the UK’s emergency services and other public safety organisations, allowing them to use best-in-class commercial networks to serve society and keep people safe and secure.
It will provide blue light services and other public safety bodies with secure and resilient voice communication and data services, delivered over a new 4G mobile network.
It’s not the first time that APD has been at the cutting edge in development for ESN, having also been recognised as the first supplier to be Network Approval Testing Service (NATS) accredited on the previous Wave 7k platform in 2018.
APD Managing Director Mike Isherwood said: “We’re delighted that our software has passed such a demanding programme of testing.
“We’re very pleased to be the first supplier to successfully achieve this testing milestone and we’re committed to being the leading control room supplier in the ESN transition.
“This success underlines our position as market leaders in control room and LTE technologies and is a great tribute to the dedication and expertise of our ESN development and delivery teams.
“They are all motivated by a passion to ensure police, fire, ambulance and other vital services have the best-in-class technology that enables them to deliver on their mission to support and safeguard the public and society as a whole.”
APD ESN Delivery Manager Jon Wray said: “This is a fantastic achievement for APD and our ESN team and a proud moment for all involved.
“We’re fully focused on the next steps in this process and to delivering on our commitment to support the Home Office and emergency services and public safety organisations to achieve a smooth and successful transition to ESN.”
APD is at the cutting edge of software development for LTE internationally, having successfully deployed a LTE control room solution which is operational across the Netherlands.
The business is also committed to sharing its expertise with the control room community and is running a year-long series of online workshops to guide leaders in the sector through the ESN transition, which will transform how their teams operate and communicate.
Pictured: The APD team who took part in the ESN testing, from left, Declan Whiting, Technical Manager; Keeley Barrick, Test Lead; Robert Johnson, Senior Software Engineer; Lewys Jones, Software Quality Assurance Engineer; and Darren Jackson, Senior Engineer.
For more information on APD’s ESN capability and expertise or to register to join the online workshops go to www.apdcomms.com/esn