Mobile Data Network

The Mobile Data Network is a dedicated emergency services data network that provides mission critical data communications for Ambulance Victoria across metropolitan Melbourne and Geelong.

Project name

Mobile Data Network (MDN) contract extension


$85.3 million (net present value of the MDN Extension, as at December 2019)


Service delivery commenced 

Department or agency

Department of Justice and Community Safety

Emergency Management Victoria (EMV)

Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA)

Private sector partner

Motorola Solutions Australia Pty Ltd 


The initial MDN contract was executed on 25 June 2003 with Motorola Solutions Australia Pty Ltd (Motorola) as a Partnerships Victoria project.

Motorola was selected to design, build, finance and maintain a narrowband mobile data network (MDN), including the provision, installation and support of all MDN data terminals in vehicles for the initial MDN emergency service agencies, being Ambulance Victoria and Victoria Police.

The initial MDN network provided a dedicated emergency services network that interfaces with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) computer aided dispatch (CAD) to manage emergency services data communications in metropolitan Melbourne and Geelong.

The initial implementation of MDN provided users with:

  • dedicated and purpose-built narrowband data network with site redundancy, dedicated capacity and securely encrypted data communications;
  • improved emergency service response through improved timeliness and certainty of emergency event information and location;
  • navigational capability to emergency events; and
  • improved overall safety of both emergency service staff and the community.

The initial MDN contract term was originally for five years from the date that the State accepted the MDN build completion (which occurred in 2005), plus two, two-year options.   

Since then, the State and Motorola have entered sole source negotiations, resulting in the extensions to the MDN contract in 2010 (until 2014), and in 2014 (until 2019). As a result of these extensions a number of service enhancements have been introduced to the MDN network and services to improve Emergency Service operational capabilities through use of emerging technologies. For example, the MDN service evolved to use public mobile broadband networks as the primary means of data communications, with the initial dedicated MDN network providing redundancy.

MDN contract extension

The most recent MDN contact extension project was established by Emergency Management Victoria as part of the Emergency Management Operational Communications program. The primary objectives included ensuring continuity of the MDN service for Ambulance Victoria and assisting Victoria Police to transition off MDN by December 2019.

The State and Motorola entered a sole source negotiation, resulting in MDN contract being extended for a further six years (until 2025), with options to extend up to two years in total. The most recent MDN extension provides for improved commercial arrangements, provision of new functionality, new services and related performance measures, ongoing network infrastructure lifecycle refresh, and a complete refresh of the data terminal fleet for Ambulance Victoria.

Under the new arrangements, Motorola is required to:

  • supply and maintain over 600 vehicle based and computer tablet MDN data terminals used by Ambulance Victoria; and
  • provide MDN network support.

In addition, new technologies introduced as part of the extension will enable legacy dedicated MDN network to be decommissioned through introduction of dual public mobile broadband network arrangements. This will improve data message transmission throughput speeds, latency and capacity, like for like network redundancy, and introduction of a vehicle-based Wi-Fi hotspot to support mobile broadband data to meet Ambulance Victoria’s evolving health service strategies.

Contact information    

Jim Strilakos
Contract Manager
Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority
Phone: 03 8656 1204

Related information

Tenders VIC - Mobile Data Network Project Service Agreement (Contact Extension – December 2019)

Emergency Services Telecommunication's Authority

Reviewed 14/12/2020
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