EE wins controversial £1.2bn police radio contract

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EE wins controversial £1.2bn police radio contract

Postby Alfie » Sat Oct 31, 2015 11:06 pm

EE wins landmark contract in controversial £1.2bn police radio replacement

Home Office to award deal as competition regulator announces decision on £12.5bn BT takeover

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Critics have accused the Home Office of rushing to replace Airwave Photo: Alamy

The Home Office will award EE a controversial contract worth hundreds of millions of pounds to replace the bespoke radio network used by Britain’s police, paramedics and firefighters with standard mobile phone service, sources have revealed.

Known as Airwave, the current system serves around 300,000 police, paramedics and fire crew and is due to be switched off in 2020.

Officials are pressing ahead despite a troubled bidding process. O2, EE’s main rival for the contract, pulled out of the running earlier this year citing uncertainty surrounding its infrastructure following its sale to Hutchison, the owner of Three, for £10.25bn.

Bidders for other elements of the project also dropped out, claiming it presented insurmountable technical and timetable hurdles.


full story at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/news ... ement.html

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Re: EE wins controversial £1.2bn police radio contract

Postby Alfie » Sat Oct 31, 2015 11:09 pm

another crazy decision :shocker:

Airwave was a bad move in the first place and now they make another. the system is no where near ready and probably cant cope when it is. Airwave may have been a bad move at the time but they would be best keeping hold of it for now imho as its a safe secure system. the police should manage their own systems like they used to without businesses creaming them. their own encrypted dmr system or similar would be much better. much cheaper and in their own hands dependent on no business.

i guess once again money talks and bull crap walks. someone is making a killing on this i reckon.
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Re: EE wins controversial £1.2bn police radio contract

Postby G4RMT » Sat Oct 31, 2015 11:23 pm

The Police system has never worked properly. It was flawed and out of date by the time it was installed. Tagging onto an existing fully functional network makes sense. Only yesterday the Police were starting to use Skype instead of visiting victims of crime. They have no budget to police, let alone pour money into Airwave. The cost of a countrywide team of engineers who can keep airwave running is huge. EE will be cheaper. I really don't see this as a big deal. Airwave is dreadful. The police use their own mobiles to send texts, receive pictures and use gps because airwave doesn't do it properly. This is unacceptable. Maybe Airwave was a mistake, but the EE deal is a solution. Ideally, they should be able to fund their own system nationwide, but they cant.
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Re: EE wins controversial £1.2bn police radio contract

Postby Alfie » Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:05 am

And when 4G goes down ?

Oops no coverage or back up plan like tetra. even the old analogue systems had back ups with vhf and uhf options.

not to mention that 4g has anywhere near full uk coverage yet nor are they likely to have it soon especially in most of wales and scotland. check EE 4g coverage with ofcom here http://www.ofcom.org.uk/mobile-coverage

And terminals ? lol. can they do it in time ? i dont think so but they are a bit up against it as airwave are out so they will rush it through. something tells me tetra will be extended in most if not all forces for some time or retained as a back up past the deadline.

i agree tetra was a waste of money. they should have updated their analogue systems which they managed and owned to new digital encrypted platforms such as dmr which can handle data and voice and timeslots etc. all this money to pay EE could have been spent on more police staff. a police communications team if you like. hell they could have even had a business side and let out some of their systems so it almost pays for itself. i dont think its safe to put the blue light services critical coms into the hands of a mobile phone business. i mean look at the shambles this deal has been so far with operators dropping out. 6 months down the line someone else could buy them out.
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Re: EE wins controversial £1.2bn police radio contract

Postby G4RMT » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:32 am

With hindsight, yes, analogue to digital would have been best, but dmr back then would have been just as undeveloped. The mast infrastructure for airwave was little changed from analogue days, but using (at least in my area) less, not more transmitter sites! There are topology 'holes' in the cellular coverage, but the airwave 'holes' are worse. I think the contract tendering process would cover all the issues like this.

The home office era installed 50m tower that used to be at the end of my garden, that I installed aerials on went a few years ago and is now housing, so no chance of putting it back. There are a couple of EE sites that could cover the same area. The one on police hq was lower and never gave good coverage for airwave. I understand cellular coverage is not everywhere, but the cost of an entire new network would be crazy money, which is not available. Cellular sites make a lot of sense, in my humble opinion.
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Re: EE wins controversial £1.2bn police radio contract

Postby Minus1 » Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:49 am

Anyone know what they are going to do with ground-air comms? Can LTE handle those?
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Re: EE wins controversial £1.2bn police radio contract

Postby m0lsx » Sun Nov 01, 2015 1:43 pm

I assume the new EE system fails to meet the recommendation set out in the review of what happened at both 7th July when the Airwave system could not cope & at the Kings Cross fire in 1987, where communication between ground & platform was non existent.
Both incidents had communications issues, both had reports which made very clear that these need addressing.
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Re: EE wins controversial £1.2bn police radio contract

Postby Neil57uk » Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:59 pm

One sentence in the Chancellors mini budget speech yesterday was that he will "provide funding for a new state of the art emergency services radio system". Assume this is it.
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Re: EE wins controversial £1.2bn police radio contract

Postby Davie Boy » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:46 pm

Neil57uk wrote:One sentence in the Chancellors mini budget speech yesterday was that he will "provide funding for a new state of the art emergency services radio system". Assume this is it.

The problem is osbourne does not give one sh1t was is best for the police or the people in general... or what will be best financially in the long run... while he and his tory cronies are in office all they want to do is cut services... and cream the money for rich folk like him and cameron.... these toffs scoff at the poor and needy. So... lets cut public services... cut welfare... get rid of lollypop ladies... cut youth services... sell off the NHS... sell of the prison service... make further education only possible for the rich etc. etc.... and then on the other side it is pro fracking... pro tax cuts for the rich... pro fox hunting etc. etc. etc.

The truth is I know most here hate Tetra as it cuts off us listeners... I hate it... but it would have been the best option as a lot went into it... one of the options was to keep the existing contract... the other was to set up a tetra network of their own... but because this 4g route is the cheapest it won hands down!

I do agree with other comments on here that a DMR system owned by the police and home office would be the best long term solution... It is my opinion that with the options they had they should have chose their own tetra network... 4g I believe is the worst... it is new ground and we do not want our blue light services relying on a system they are in effect 'BETA TESTING'.
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Re: EE wins controversial £1.2bn police radio contract

Postby G4RMT » Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:02 pm

We had a digital system with Airwave, and the real problems were twofold - unique in implementation, so a customised front end on a wide area comms system. I don't get the problem with EE, or to be honest, even if O2 and the others tendered - which I bet they did. Considering the user base and performance, any of the mobile carriers do a damn good job coverage wise. Piggybacking on their network the entire countries comm traffic is not, percentage a big increase in usage, and having access to the existing tower network of Airwave will only assist coverage - any positive signal strength areas by virtue of the existing network will be added on top.

I see no issues whatsoever, and OFCOM do, in the main, do a pretty good job of the planning elements. With the emergency services, technical requirements, say to increase power output would be simpler to implement with tried and tested technology.

What exactly are the established negatives with this deal? EE will no doubt take their weak areas and use the investment to improve these for the Police, and probably the phone customers will benefit too!

Scanning, as a hobby has changed radically - it's been simple and fairly cheap to do for years now, but the move to digital has meant that many hobbyists have been left behind. Look at the basic scanner questions on here - then look at the digital topics - chalk and cheese. Hundreds of parameter tweaks, added DPP, software upgrades, additional plugins - it's Indonesian to many. Within a short time, any private radio user will be much harder to listen to. Public, or wide audience/long equipment lifespan bands like marine and aviation might be last, but at some point, these will go too.

Users tend to want and expect privacy.

If the Government don't care if analogue and digital can mix, you can bet your life they can hear it all - restoring the 60s/70s private vs public comms scene, where only dedicated people could listen in, often only with deep pockets. Scanning will morph into a new specialist area and leave behind the people who want to do it for £50, all in.
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