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Governments have begun to procure access to data networks for the emergency services, but should they invest in new dedicated networks with broadband data access, or negotiate priority access with commercial network providers?


  • Commercial networks are now viable for emergency service use, but government cannot side step the trade-offs between cost and reliability.
  • The emergency services want to reduce paperwork, access detailed intel remotely, and take advantage of IoT. For this, they must have reliable mobile broadband services.
  • The trade-off that governments face is heavily influenced by local factors. Some governments have fewer options available to them than others.

Features and Benefits

  • Identifies the global trends in mobile broadband for use by the emergency services.
  • Analyzes the factors that influence the decision to choose dedicated or commercial networks.

Key questions answered

  • What is the traditional approach to procuring mobile communications for the emergency services?
  • How is this changing and why is it changing?
  • What does the introduction of reliable mobile broadband mean for the emergency services?
  • What choices, challenges, and trade-offs do governments face when seeking to provide reliable mobile broadband to the emergency services?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for governments
  • Recommendations for vendors

Governments are rethinking emergency communications

  • The emergency services want access to data
  • Dedicated networks are no longer the only viable option

Mobile data transforms the emergency services

  • Mobile broadband makes emergency workers more productive
  • Emergency services can now replace many devices with one

Procurement is a trade-off between price and risk

  • Commercial networks are an option, but not the only option
  • Local constraints influence procurement decisions
  • No priority agreement can overcome capacity constraints


  • Further reading
  • Author

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