What is the Emergency Services Network (ESN) Programme?
The Emergency Services Network Programme is the communication infrastructure initiative replacing the current Airwave system, which has been used by Britain’s emergency services since its introduction in 2002.
The ESN programme will utilise the EE Mobile Network to provide 4G network coverage and data services for over 300,000 emergency services personnel, who all depend on reliable, accurate and effective communication to be able to deliver a dependable service.
Effective communication is the platform for coordinating a response to emergency situations. Every second is vital and the ability to transfer information between multiple parties successfully is critical. The ESN ensures that emergency personnel have a reliable communication infrastructure to depend upon when transmitting and receiving verbal information.
To ensure that the ESN can provide extensive and reliable network coverage to the emergency services, it requires the implementation of purpose-built communication structures that can accommodate the required mobile network technologies.
This is where Swann Engineering Group comes in…
What Role Does Swann Play in this Project?
Swann Engineering Group is proud to have been awarded this prestigious contract by EE, to supply and install telecommunication structures for the ESN project in specified greenfield locations.
Our telecommunication towers provide the physical infrastructure for radio communication technology to be mounted upon – in many instances, these structures provide a platform up to 35m above ground level so that radio signals can be transmitted from each structure with minimal deflection and interference.
This results in a network of structures that provide Britain’s emergency services with a reliable and robust communication channel they can depend on.
What has Swann Delivered for this Project?
To date, we have designed, manufactured and installed over 400 structures for the ESN programme, which has seen the deployment of both Swann Lattice Tower and Monopole solutions, including our ‘3OH’, ‘7O3’, ‘5SH’ Lattice Towers, and our ‘C3’ and ‘A’ column structures.
These structures have ranged from 8m to 35m in height – equating to over 6 miles of structures if they were laid end to end – and has required over 1200 tonnes of steel to be fabricated at our manufacturing headquarters in Braintree, Essex.
After conducting our manufacture and fabrication processes, all our structures were galvanised and if specified, painted to their designated colour.
Before any ground has been broken in preparation for our telecommunication tower install, it is essential that we know exactly which of our structural solutions is most suitable for a particular location.
To identify which tower from our extensive structural portfolio should be implemented, our in-house team of engineers have conducted Global Design Checks (GDC) at each proposed site location.
Our industry-renowned GDC service carefully analyses the site’s location, topography, and characteristics in line with the project specification, to determine which tower solution should be implemented at a particular site.
Following a conclusive GDC review, each site has then received a ‘Geotech Stage 1’ check. Conducted by our in-house team of engineers, this process extensively evaluates the site’s soil conditions and provides us with essential data that contributes to the foundation design required at a build location.
Should this first stage determine that a site has sub-optimal soil conditions, we then conduct a ‘Geotech Stage 2’ check. This requires the deployment of a specialist to the build site, to conduct bore-holing and analysis of the substrate, which has then been followed by our team conceptualising and fabricating a bespoke foundation design that suits the site’s terrain and soil conditions.
With those stages completed successfully and before the pouring of each site’s foundation, we conduct a Stage 3 inspection. This inspection comprises a Swann engineer visiting the site to inspect and ensure that the structural steelwork meets the site’s identified specifications. Once all checks have been passed to our satisfaction, the pouring of foundation concrete can commence.
Our expert team of engineers have installed over 400 of our structures, with the entire process diligently supervised and coordinated by our experienced Project Managers. Due to the scale of the build programme required to facilitate the ESN project, our team has coordinated thousands of hours of careful planning and execution to ensure successful structural deployments.
Due to the location of many of the build locations, we have had to operate in remote and rural locations across the UK, from southern Cornwall right up to the Shetland Islands.
It has been an extensive logistical challenge that has required specialist plant to assist on particularly challenging build sites. For builds in the most remote locations, we have had to utilise a combination of helicopter lifts and hand-build techniques when plant has not been able to reach the project site.
A successful job has been done by all involved, and Swann Engineering Group is proud to be playing a significant role in the rollout of this pioneering infrastructure project.
This article has been published with the kind permission of (EE)
To find out more information about the Emergency Services Network, click here.
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