The New 4G Emergency Services Network


Emergency Services Network



The Emergency Services Network (ESN) will be the new communications network used by the emergency services in the UK, replacing the current terrestrial trunked radio (TETRA) system provided by Airwave.





What are the anticipated benefits of ESN?


The Emergency Services Network (ESN) will utilise EE’s commercial 4G network, with a dedicated core network for the emergency services. As a result, ESN is a more cost-effective option, that is expected to significantly reduce the cost per handheld or vehicle-mounted device per year, while ensuring priority access for emergency services traffic.


Greater coverage

ESN will provide wider geographical coverage, expanding to rural and other special coverage locations such as road tunnels and railway facilities (including London Underground and Glasgow Subway).[1]


Enhanced data capabilities

Not only is ESN expected to provide resilient voice communications, but it will also provide mobile broadband data services via LTE. It will therefore give emergency service workers access to high-speed data and additional applications, such as live-streaming video and location services. For example, a police officer might record and live-stream an arrest to nearby officers for support, or an ambulance crew might send critical patient data to the hospital so they can better prepare for the patient’s arrival.[2]

ESN will enable the emergency services to operate with greater efficiency and will allow more flexibility in transitioning to the latest technologies when they arrive.


How are the Emergency Services already utilising 4G?

4G connectivity is already instrumental in enabling the emergency services to communicate and operate effectively. For example, in-vehicle WiFi hotspots are providing on-the-road connectivity which allows emergency workers to transmit and access data from central locations, plus the same 4G LTE networking solution can share real-time location tracking to improve emergency fleet response times. Other applications powered by 4G connectivity include asset tracking, CCTV management and monitoring, plus the deployment of specialist technologies such as facial and number plate recognition and connected medical equipment. For more information on how 4G LTE connectivity is used by emergency services today, read our Solutions for Emergency Services page.

As the new Emergency Services Network comes into play, services can continue to leverage networks for these benefits as well as for their primary communications, creating a more seamless experience. In due course, key 4G LTE routing products are also expected to be approved for use on the ESN meaning the benefits of this improved network for emergency services can be extended to these broader applications.


For more information on the Emergency Services Network please contact your account manager via or 01291 437 567.