EE and Nokia to build "industry-first" Air-to-Ground 4G network

Network will provide high-speed broadband coverage for emergency services up to 10,000 feet above ground

EE has partnered with Nokia to build a nationwide 4G LTE Air-to-Ground network for the British emergency services.

The network aims to facilitate uninterrupted high-speed broadband coverage for emergency service personnel up to 10,000 feet above ground.

EE will provide the active network equipment for a full reference facility as well as an initial seven-site trial network, while Nokia will supply the project with design support, network equipment, and installation. It also plans to deliver commissioning services in order to ensure timely delivery of the network.

The first trial of the Air-to-Ground network is to take place over the next few months in North Wales and London. It will help EE, Nokia and the Home Office assess the hardware deployment process, software capability, operational support, as well as hardware capability in different forms of landscape.

If the trial proves successful, EE will deploy the network equipment in over 80 Home Office-acquired cell sites across the UK. The network is expected to benefit 300,000 emergency service personnel working from 500 to 10,000 feet in the air, helping them communicate with colleagues working ground operations. 

Richard Harrap, EE’s managing director of ESN, said that the telecoms company is “thrilled to partner with Nokia”.

“Our deployment of this reinforces our network leadership as the UK’s biggest and fastest mobile network, and harnesses Nokia’s deep expertise in network equipment and installation of an Air-to-Ground solution,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nokia UK & Ireland CEO Cormac Whelan described the project, and its deployment, as “a perfect example of the type of innovative solutions Nokia, together with our customers, can provide to the public sector”.

“With the help of this first-ever Air-to-Ground network using commercial LTE, emergency services personnel will be able to rely on uninterrupted communications nationwide,” he said.

The announcement comes a month after Nokia engineers set a new record for the world’s fastest 5G speeds. At 4.7GBps, they managed to beat the previous record set by Ericsson researchers in February of this year.

Featured Resources

Modern governance: The how-to guide

Equipping organisations with the right tools for business resilience

Free Download

Cloud operational excellence

Everything you need to know about optimising your cloud operations

Watch now

A buyer’s guide to board management software

Improve your board’s performance

The real world business value of Oracle autonomous data warehouse

Lead with a 417% five-year ROI

Download now

Most Popular

Dell XPS 15 (2021) review: The best just got better

Dell XPS 15 (2021) review: The best just got better

14 Jan 2022
Sony pulls out of MWC 2022
Business operations

Sony pulls out of MWC 2022

14 Jan 2022
IBM reports biggest sales growth in ten years
hybrid cloud

IBM reports biggest sales growth in ten years

25 Jan 2022