back to article UK's national Airwave terminal procurement framework awarded to Motorola and Sepura

Motorola Solutions and Sepura are to build a centrally managed procurement framework for the UK's radio network, Airwave. The framework will be managed by the Police ICT Company – which was set up to help manage cops' tech and into which all forces pay an operating fee – but can be used by other public sector entities. It …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm, Motorola aren't doing too badly out of this. The fact that every year that Airwave is extended earns more money than ESN will over the entire contract might make some people think that there could possibly be a conflict of interest?

    The next issue - EE's contract to provide runs out at the same time as Airwave ends. What is the realistic chance of that contract being available to competitors at that point - from a practical point of view? Zero?

    1. wyatt

      EE have built their infrastructure (or are building) to support the UKESN, other providers won't have this in place so won't be able to for-fill the bid requirements, guess there's a monopoly there was well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Exactly, hence the reason I said there was zero chance of the contract being available to other bidders.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
      Coat

      \m/

      But a bit odd for them to partner with a Brazilian groove metal band?

    3. phuzz Silver badge
      Meh

      Motorola also have part of the contract for the new ESN (they're providing hardware) so they're not doing badly at all.

      Although I'm sure that they've not considered causing a delay just to keep eeking the Airwave contract out longer.

  2. J J Carter Silver badge
    Pirate

    It has to be said

    Any centrally negotiated contracts will flounder for the same reasons at the Police ICT Company as for its ill-fated predecessors of NPIA and PITO.

    The 43 county forces will simply wait to the supplier's quarter end/year end and then negotiate a price which uses the central contract as the starting point for price. Commission driven salespeeps will always be happy to do a deal based on guaranteed units with approved funding.

    NB the HO wheeze which sold off Airwave was dodgy af. Don't ask me how I know!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It has to be said

      NB the HO wheeze which sold off Airwave was dodgy af. Don't ask me how I know!

      They work for the home office... I always assumed it was a job requirement?

    2. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: It has to be said

      NB the HO wheeze which sold off Airwave was dodgy...

      Unless my memory has completely let me down the HO never owned Airwave to start with, so I'd be interested to know the basis of your assertion. It was built by O2 using Motorola equipment for the fixed sites with (at the time) portable / mobile terminals being available from Motorola. Sepura, Nokia & Cleartone. The fixed network has had a succession of owners but - as stated above - I don't think the Home Office was ever one of them.

      1. A8K3411

        Re: It has to be said

        Actually the original contract to provide the Bluelight TETRA (PSRCP) service was awarded to BT in 2000 a few years before BT divested itself of its mobile business and the Bluelight service was rebranded as Airwave by O2.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When do we ditch this 4G boondoggle and just stick with Airwave?? Sunk cost fallacy innit.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's wrong with Airwave anyway?

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Coat

      > What's wrong with Airwave anyway?

      It's a "dated technology", meaning it has to be replaced by something newer (think MS Office versions), preferentially less user-friendly and more complicated/fragile, requiring nice juicy support contracts.

      And you have seen nothing yet - Wait for the government to start implementing the replacement for the now very dated technology of the wheel...

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Wait for the government to start implementing the replacement for the now very dated technology of the wheel...

        The contract for that will go to the company which offers the cheapest bid, based on a low-cost manufacturing process which eschews costly circular wheels and streamlines the process with simply-fashioned square wheels.

        When found to be wholly unsuitable for purpose, they will make a mint out of contract changes, as they evolve the design through various ovals, finally delivering fully round wheels a few weeks before their contract expires and the whole silly charade starts over again.

    2. alwallgbr
      Unhappy

      Greedy Government

      It uses frequencies that the UK Govt would like to sell to the highest bidder :(

      The lack of data bandwidth could be overcome by using 4G solely for data, as is the case currently.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Greedy Government

        It uses frequencies that the UK Govt would like to sell to the highest bidder :(

        I don;t think they're actually going to be up for sale - already earmarked to go to MoD

        1. Commswonk Silver badge

          Re: Greedy Government

          ...already earmarked to go to MoD

          IIRC the above should have read "already earmarked to go back to MoD"

  5. katrinab Silver badge
    Stop

    Aren’t we supposed to have a mostly completed 5G rollout in the UK by 2022?

  6. Hubert Thrunge Jr.

    government allergy to ownership

    When Airwave was bought by Motorola just the other year for £816m (ish) it makes you wonder what planet the Home Office are on.

    They should have bought it instead, this saving around £300m which is more than the ESMCP project would save them over the same period.

    They just seem to be allergic to owning anything in-house these days.

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: government allergy to ownership

      They should have bought it instead, this saving around £300m

      Part of me wants to agree with you, but I think you have overlooked the fact that it wouldn't just be a case of CapEx; the Home Office would have had to take over all the Airwave personnel and pay for ongoing support of the network until such time as the ESN actually comes to fruition... if of course that actually happens.

      I suspect that Motorola taking it over may be the least worst option, albeit a costly one.

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