The Home Office has chosen Samsung as the supplier of smartphones that will be used on a new emergency services network (ESN) across the UK. ESN is being deployed to replace the existing emergency services network, known as Airwave.
The LTE smartphones have been specifically developed for the challenges faced by the police and the other emergency services. This means that it will have a rugged design, including water resistance, and have a range of features designed specifically for critical voice services.
The old system, Airwave, is limited in scope because it has been designed mainly for voice. ESN will bring a new dimension to emergency communication, thanks to its mobile broadband capabilities.
The use of LTE, will provide features such as live-streaming video, crime applications and location services. It will also be cheaper, claimed the Home Office. As Airwave is phased out in stages over the next few years, the taxpayer burden will be reduced.
The deal was welcomed by Samsung. Suk-Jea Hahn, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics' Global Mobile B2B team said: “Next-generation public safety communications is an important area of focus for Samsung, and we are now looking forward to working in partnership with ESN and UK emergency services organisations to bring our technology to the entire public safety community on the front line, supporting the great work they do every day.”