HomeNewsAirwave secure communications open to organisations involved in emergency response and civil...

    Airwave secure communications open to organisations involved in emergency response and civil resilience


    Ofcom has invited interested organisations to apply for access to the Airwave ‘sharers’ list’. 

    Airwave is the national secure digital radio network dedicated for the exclusive use of the UK’s emergency services and those organisations with a recognised public safety responsibility. Airwave is part of HMG Critical National Infrastructure and is designed to stay working even during major incidents. 

    Airwave will offer comprehensive guaranteed levels of coverage across 98% of England, Wales and Scotland. This means that users can stay in instant communication even in remote areas and under the challenging conditions that any responder to an emergency will face and where radio coverage has often failed in the past.

    Access to Airwave is via the Airwave sharers’ list, which is administered by Ofcom and defines those emergency services and organisations with a public safety responsibility. Access to the Airwave Sharer List is subject to a successful application to Ofcom, demonstrating your organisation’s public safety remit and emergency communication requirements. 

    Already 100 public safety organisations are able to access the service.

    O2 Airwave Managing Director, Pete Richardson said: 

    “We welcome Ofcom’s invitation to organisations to apply for access to Airwave.  O2 Airwave has a wealth of experience providing critical voice and data communications when and where responders need to it most. Over and above the core emergency services there is a growing recognition that an effective response to a civil emergency requires co-ordination and co-operation across a range of organisations. Indeed this need for interworking is reflected in the Civil Contingencies Bill currently before Parliament, which will bring together organisations across the emergency services and utilities to ensure robust resilience plans are in place. Airwave is ideally placed to support an effective operation within and between responders.

    “With a range of bespoke communications services to meet specific and demanding operational needs, as well as fully interoperable communications services via a single network Airwave offers the opportunity for real and effective interworking within and between responders.”


    HM Prison Service is the latest user to adopt the Airwave service, joining an expanding user base that includes the Highways Agency, MoD Police and various local authority emergency planners as well as the emergency services.

    Inclusion on the sharers list does not mean that an organisation has an automatic right to use the Airwave network, or that it is required to do so.The effect of inclusion only means that O2 Airwave may make the network service available. It is then up to the parties to develop the specific service required to meet the communication needs of each organisation and to agree contract terms.