Airwave Solutions

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Airwave Solutions Ltd
Industry Telecommunications
Predecessor O2 Airwave
Founded 2000 (2000)[1]
Headquarters Charter Court, 50 Windsor Road, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 2EJ, United Kingdom
Number of locations
Glasgow, Hemel Hempstead, London, Rugby, Slough, Warrington
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people

(Chief Executive)

(Chief Operating Officer)

(Chief Technical Officer)

(Chief Financial Officer)
Owner Motorola Solutions
Number of employees

Airwave Solutions Ltd is a British mobile communication company that operates the Airwave network, a mobile communications network used by Great Britain's emergency services. The Airwave network is based on the specialist Terrestrial Trunked Radio specification. Airwave were acquired by Motorola Solutions in February 2016.


Airwave was established in 2000 by Telefónica UK Limited or O2.[1] In April 2007, Airwave was acquired by two Macquarie Group investment funds, Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund II (MEIF II) and Macquarie CPPIB Communications Pty Limited, for $3.8 billion (£1.9 billion).[1][2] On 3 December 2015 the company was acquired by Motorola Solutions for £817 million (~ US$1000K).[3] Some of the payment was deferred to the following year and Macquarie were supporting the transaction.[4]

On 19 February 2016 Motorola Solutions announced that it has completed its acquisition of Airwave,[5]

Airwave Network[edit]

Performance during 2011 England riots[edit]

During the 2011 England riots, several police officers experienced "significant difficulties" with the Airwave equipment and were forced to use their own personal mobile phones to co-ordinate strategy during the riots.[6] The Police Federation review speaks of "significant local technical difficulties" and a "significant communications failure," which was quoted in the Guardian newspaper.[6]

However, the NPIA responded in a statement that the network did manage to cover all 16,000 officers and that "[s]ome officers had to wait a few seconds for their calls to get through, but fundamentally, the network proved to be most resilient."[6][7]

Performance during the 2012 Summer Olympics[edit]

On 27 January 2009, the organizing committee for the 2012 Summer Olympics confirmed that Airwave would provide private radio service for all venues during the Games using its Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) but with a new and independent communications infrastructure separate from the public safety infrastructure.[8] The PMR network, named Apollo, provided voice communications for over 18,000 staff and volunteers from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) during the 2012 Games.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Parker, Andrew (17 April 2007). "Macquarie buys UK's Airwave". Financial Times. Retrieved 15 June 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  2. ^ "Corporate Information". Airwave Solutions. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Motorola splashes £817m buying out police comms biz Airwave". The Register. 4 December 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  4. ^ "Motorola Solutions to Expand Managed & Support Services Business with Airwave Acquisition". (Press release). Airwave Solutions. 4 December 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "Motorola Solutions Completes Acquisition of Airwave". Motorola Solutions. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c Townsend, Mark (3 December 2011). "Revealed: how police lost control of summer riots". The Observer. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Statement regarding the Police Federation report 'Policing the Riots'" (Press release). Airwave Solutions. 4 December 2011. 
  8. ^ Richards, Anthony; Fussey, Pete; Andrew, Silke (2010). Terrorism and the Olympics: Major Event Security and Lessons for the Future. Routledge. pp. 189–190. ISBN 1136854975. 
  9. ^ Apollo

External links[edit]