UK’s EE to offer rural wholesale access to emergency network

10 June 2016 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

EE, BT’s mobile network in the UK, is to allow rivals to access the emergency services network in rural areas of the country.

The move follows complaints that EE has received £500 million in state aid to build the 4G network to serve police, fire and ambulance services. EE will provide access to more than 250 mobile sites for rivals to use, according to reports of briefings to rival executives.

“Where there is interest from third parties to place their technology on to the small number of sites we’re constructing that are receiving programme funding, then we’ll allow access, on the appropriate terms,” said EE, according to reports.

Wholesale access via this scheme will be limited to 2% of the land area of the UK at prices set commercially, though the regulator will be able to intervene.

EE won the government contract to build a 4G network for emergency services across the UK, replacing Motorola Solutions’ Airwave network, which was based on terrestrial trunked radio (Tetra) technology.