Powering the UK’s emergency services with EE

EE, part of the BT Group, is one of the largest and most advanced digital communications company in Britain, delivering mobile and fixed communications services nationwide. In December 2015, The Home Office awarded EE, the contract to provide an IP enhanced Emergency Service Network (ESN) based on EE’s LTE network. Under the terms of the contract, EE provides an enhanced 4G network for the UK’s blue light services.

The Challenge

The ESN network allows fire, police, and ambulance workers to benefit from a range of advanced communication. Replacing the existing Airwave network,EE will upgrade over 1000 base stations both primary and resilient sites across the 12 UK regions starting in the North West of England and finishing with the South East. By 2020, the ESN network will support over 300,000 users and over 35,000 vehicles will be fitted with new in-car systems. The network will allow emergency services to access an increasing range of voice, data and video services (based on the 3GPP Mission Critical LTE standard) which will include priority calls, enhanced security, mobile push-to-talk, VoLTE and video over LTE.

EE required a “carrier grade” Cellular Backhaul solution, capable of meeting stringent security and operational controls required by the UK Government. The network needed to provide full coverage, even in rural areas, support rapid deployment, be highly resilient and reliable.

The Solution

EE partnered with Avanti Communications to provide Satellite Cellular Backhaul to over 1000 fixed and portable base stations across the UK. Avanti’s high quality, secure and resilient Ka-band satellite connectivity offered the ultra-reliable network EE required. Avanti’s High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) technology beat the competition with its flexibility, rapid deployment and competitive pricing per Mbps.

EE will access bandwidth from Avanti’s HYLAS 2 and HYLAS 4 Ka-band satellites, which cover 100% of the UK and will connect all EE LTE sites across the country.

Avanti chose Gilat hubs and modems to deliver high speed and ultra-resilient connectivity seamlessly to all Huawei and Nokia eNodeB LTE base stations

The Results

  • The new satellite service will help EE reach more remote and rural areas of the country, whilst simultaneously boosting the resilience of the network
  • EE plans to reach 95% UK geographic 4G coverage by 2020 and will use Avanti’s HYLAS 2 and HYLAS 4 satellites to connect cellular sites across the UK, with the flexibility to double the Ka-band capacity



We are delivering a highly resilient, truly nationwide 4G network and Avanti will play a key part in providing resilience and extending this network into rural area.”

Mansoor Hanif, Director of Radio Access Networks – EE

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