The Airwave service is provided using spectrum that is allocated for emergency service applications and, as such, is only made available to particular types of users - it is not a publicly available service.
A cross-government, multi-agency programme led by the Home Office, through the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP), is in the process of implementing the next generation of communication services in England, Scotland and Wales (the Emergency Services Network (ESN)).
The procurement of the ESN has started and the main contracts were awarded in December 2015 to EE (for mobile services) and Motorola Solutions (for user services). This will facilitate service delivery as the existing Airwave/TETRA service contracts expire, culminating with the currently planned expiration of the national infrastructure provision on 31 December 2019. At this early stage, the Programme Board has broadly approved the inclusion of public safety sharers in ESMCP transition planning. Details of these arrangements are being addressed, and will be communicated by the programme once there is clarity. The current sharers' process, as described in the guidance, continues to apply.