Panasonic obtains ESN accreditation for its Toughbook 33 Windows notebook
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

Panasonic’s Toughbook 33 rugged notebook has become the first Microsoft Windows device to be authorised for use on the Emergency Services Network (ESN).

The 2-in-1 detachable device can therefore be used by all emergency service personnel on the new network. Panasonic worked closely with its modem manufacturer and the ESN test team to ensure that existing TOUGHBOOK 33 devices, which are already in use by the emergency services, can be easily upgraded at no additional cost.

ESN, which will deliver a mission-critical mobile broadband service over EE’s network and Home Office owned sites in remote locations, is intended to replace the UK’s Airwave TETRA network. Airwave is owned by Motorola Solutions which is also providing the software for key features on the ESN network, such as mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT). Around 300,000 frontline emergency service users will depend on ESN, using handheld devices or operating equipment in 50,000 vehicles, 115 aircraft and 200 control rooms.

ESN programme deputy director Stephen Whatson said, “I am very pleased to see this portable device approved for use on the Emergency Services Network (ESN). This marks another milestone in the transition of the Emergency Services from Airwave to ESN. The fact that existing devices can be upgraded at no extra cost to the users is a major plus and demonstrates the ability to use commercial off the shelf devices on ESN.”

“Panasonic Toughbook devices are already popular with emergency services across the country as a reliable mobile computing tool for critical communications,” said Will Holmes, emergency services corporate sales manager for Panasonic Toughbook. “The ability to use the Toughbook 33 device on the new network opens up a whole new raft of mobile data applications for emergency services.”

As well as deployed in the front cabs of emergency vehicles as Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs), the Panasonic Toughbook 33 devices are also commonly used as demountable devices to accompany personnel when they leave the vehicles. The rugged devices with the ESN network can support teams in a range of new data driven applications when away from the vehicles. These include assisting fire crews with detailed schematics of vehicles to help rescue trapped people or quickly access safety data on chemicals or potentially harmful materials stored at a call-out site.

The Panasonic Toughbook 33 notebook has a 12.0” screen designed for use in extreme weather conditions, hot swappable twin batteries and a detachable keyboard.

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