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Motorola acquires Cyfas cloud technology for ESN preparations

Neil Merrett Published 08 December 2016

Company to provide communication system as a service in order to curb hardware infrastructure needs of UK emergency service providers


Motorola has announced the acquisition of mobile assets communications system (MACS) technology developed by Cyfas Systems as it looks to prepare for the planned switch to the Emergency Services Network (ESN) towards 2020.

The new offerings will be provided by Motorola via cloud-based technology that can link with ESN to remove the need for on-site IT infrastructure when overhauling how control room functions such as call handling and rapid emergency responses are managed.

In acquiring the MACS and related Integrated Communications Control System (ICCS) products from Cyfas, the company hopes to offer the communications platform as a service to emergency responders at a time of significant change for their operations.

ESN is the government’s chosen option to replace the existing Airwave service used by key responders.  The network is intended to serve as a multi-supplier interoperable communication service that will make use of the existing commercial 4G network to try and save costs as part of the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) launched in 2011.

“Great Britain’s Emergency Services Network has changed the landscape for ICCS solutions, driving the need for a unified multi-technology environment that seamlessly interoperates with both broadband and existing TETRA networks,” said the company in a statement.

“MACS provides this interoperability and is ready to be incorporated into ESN using cloud-based architecture that is scalable and can be optimised for cloud-based deployments. The platform simplifies control room migration, reduces upgrade disruption and improves scalability.”

Motorola also claims the technology will support emergency service organisations to shift away from hardware-heavy delivery models in order to meet changing capacity for services as needed, while building on its portfolio  of control room solutions it offers.

The company last year announced it was acquiring Airwave’s operations in order to support its contracted role as the systems integration and public safety functionality provider for ESN.

With the existing Airwave solution presently intended to switch to the multi-supplier ENS contract by 2019, it is anticipated by senior figures working within the emergency services that this date could slip back further over the need for testing of devices.

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was told last month that a need for setting out clear specifications for the type of devices capable of supporting and linking with ESN might require additional time.

Related articles:

Home Office awards £200m ADB agreement to support ES

PAC told ESN switchover date likely to slip further

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