The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has imposed a price cap on Motorola, the provider of the Airwave Network for emergency services. This decision was made after a market investigation found that Motorola could charge prices well above competitive levels. The price cap will apply until the end of 2029, with a review in 2026. The Airwave Network was originally commissioned by the Home Office in 2000 to be replaced by the Emergency Services Network (ESN) when the contract ended. However, due to delays in ESN’s delivery, emergency services still rely on the Airwave Network. The charge control will limit the price of Airwave Network services to a competitive level, lowering prices by almost £200m a year. The CMA recommends that the Home Office develop a plan to ensure competitive pricing when the charge control ends.

This comes only a month after the National Audit office  published a new report outlining risks and issues to the Emergency Services Network (ESN) Programme.

The report concludes that the Home Office has spent some £2 billion on ESN since 2015, but is far from having a working network to replace Airwave. The report states that a 2018 reset of the programme did not work. Resulting in payment for systems and software it will not use, indicating poor value for money. The report also acknowledges some of the tough decisions and actions taken by the Home Office to put the programme on a stable footing, but warns that there are still significant risks and uncertainties ahead.


Read the press release from the Competition and Markets Authority


Read the report by the National Audit Office

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