Successful integration testing of BEEHD with ESN MCX control rooms powered by Motorola MCX servers is a critical milestone in Capita delivering broadband services to help first responders work faster and smarter.

As the UK’s leading supplier of mission-critical solutions to the emergency services Capita has been at the forefront of development and innovation in control room communications for over 25 years. As part of the transition to the Emergency Services Network (ESN) Capita has proved, yet again, to be taking a lead in the development of new interfaces and, as part of that programme, has teamed up with Softil to use its world-leading BEEHD technology to provide an enhanced solution for their clients.

“The strategic goal of the emergency services mobile communications program (ESMCP) is to deliver a vastly improved voice and data service to the emergency services,says Jason Appleby, Communications Product Manager at Capita. “Capita’s state-of-the-art DSX Integrated Communications Control System (ICCS), now enhanced with Softil’s BEEHD MCX enabling technology, will help the UK’s emergency services to work faster and smarter. For the first time, Police, Fire, Ambulance and other core services will have the ability to exchange high-quality voice, video and data over a public safety broadband service.”

“We are excited to partner with Capita to enhance its control room solutions to support the UK Home Office’s ESN programme,” adds Sagi Subocki, Softil’s VP Products and Marketing. “Leveraging Softil BEEHD MCX technology, Capita’s ICCS now supports all the stringent requirements of the ESN mission-critical service.”

The UK’s Home Office is leading a pan-departmental, cross-government program to deliver the new ESN broadband critical communications system. It will replace the current Airwave TETRA network used by the UK’s emergency services. Based on 3GPP mission-critical communications standards, the broadband-based ESN will take first responder group communications beyond mere voice, and deliver future capabilities such as secure real-time video, chat, file exchange and location-based services.

ESN users will include Police, Fire and Rescue and Ambulance services as well as several core service providers such as HM Coastguard. There are 300,000 frontline emergency service users who will come to depend on ESN using an array of handheld devices or operating equipment in 50,000 vehicles, 115 aircraft and 200 control rooms.

Capita chose Softil’s technology as an enabler to enhance the current DSX capabilities to deliver a 3GPP compliant interface. The solution has recently achieved Network Approval Testing (NATS) and is fully interoperable with the current ESN MCX network delivering full Press-to-talk (PTT), data messaging and location management capabilities. This will also provide a platform for the delivery of future enhancements such as video and file transfer.

“For over 25 years we have used the latest technology to deliver innovative ways to provide complex communications to our users, and we see this as our next evolution of the product” says Graham Bird, DS3000 Design Authority. “We pride ourselves on delivering unique capabilities and have previously received the Queens Award for Innovation, recognition of our continued commitment to delivering high quality, fit-for-purpose solutions for our clients”.

Softil’s BEEHD MCPTX is a 3GPP MCX Release 16 standard-compliant cross-platform framework designed for developers and manufacturers of handheld devices, MCX/LMR gateways, dispatch consoles, recording solutions and train terminals. BEEHD technology is also destined for system integrators, MCX application developers and service providers looking to accelerate development of IP-based mission-critical voice and video over LTE and 5G (MCPTT, MCVideo, MCData) solutions for first responders, utilities, mining, transportation and more.

LTE and 5G offer broadband mobile connectivity that keeps evolving, allowing more freedom and flexibility to deliver data which TETRA or P25 based networks cannot. Mobile operators, mobile device manufacturers and application developers can now offer enhanced communication tools for first responders helping them in the battle to save lives.