The government has earmarked £1bn to equip emergency services across the UK with 4G mobile services in a bid to improve operations by being able to do more on the go.
The announcement was made in the Autumn Statement delivered by chancellor George Osborne on Wednesday.
The government explained that providing better mobile connectivity will have huge benefits for fire, police and ambulance crews by ensuring that they can get more done when on the streets, helping to save money and time.
“The Spending Review invests nearly £1bn in the next generation of 4G communications network for the emergency services which will enable officers to access key police databases, take mobile fingerprints and electronic witness statements and stream live body worn video, all while on the move,” said the Review.
“This critical national infrastructure will free up officers’ time, save the taxpayer around £1m a day when fully operational and connect all emergency services on the same broadband network for the first time.”
V3 contacted the Home Office for more information on these plans, such as the timeline for the deployment of the services, but had received no more information at the time of publication.
The move is a notable recognition of the benefits that 4G can offer the emergency services, an area that V3 has reported on in the past. Cumbria Constabulary recently equipped 1,500 officers with 4G smartphones.
The Metropolitan Police has also embraced 4G and tablets to keep officers on the street for longer and improve the information they gather at incidents by ensuring it is captured and processed correctly.
EE recently announced several products to capitalise on this growing demand for 4G in the public sector, including in-vehicle deployments being tested by Staffordshire Police.
The use of mobile tools is transforming many organisations in the public and private sectors. V3 heard recently from Network Rail about how iPhones and iPads have improved the productivity of trackside staff.
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