AT&T announced this week that the FirstNet network now has more than 1.9 million connections serving more than 15,000 public safety agencies. In addition, the company launched four new mission-driven solutions for exclusive use by FirstNet subscribers: FirstNet® MegaRange, Z-Axis, Compact Rapid Deployables, and Land-Mobile-Radio (LMR) interoperability for FirstNet Push-to-Talk (PTT).
The following is a statement from Edward Parkinson, CEO of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), on these key network developments:
The FirstNet Authority is pleased to see the adoption of the FirstNet network continue to grow at a fast pace. First responders need a network that works for them, and with the number of connections almost doubling since late 2019, it is clear that FirstNet is providing them with the capabilities they want and need.
It is also exciting to see how FirstNet is transforming the marketplace for public safety. These new mission-ready solutions are delivering innovative capabilities into the hands of first responders. Through our engagements with public safety, they identified these features as essential to advancing the FirstNet user experience, so we are thrilled to see them move from concept to reality.
The High-Power User Equipment (HPUE) solution, called FirstNet MegaRange, is a great example of how the FirstNet Authority is driving targeted solutions for public safety that take advantage of the unique characteristics that Band 14 spectrum offers. HPUE will boost connectivity for FirstNet users, especially those operating in remote areas, by leveraging the highest power class signaling available in the U.S.
The availability of Compact Rapid Deployables provides public safety with another unique coverage solution that allows them to “take the network with them” on short notice. The FirstNet Authority will continue to target the advancement of unique coverage solutions for public safety, as outlined in our Roadmap.
Enhancing situational awareness is also a key element of our Roadmap. The need to locate and share personnel location was emphasized to us throughout our engagements with public safety. The launch this week of the Z-axis feature is a significant first step in providing a solution to public safety to meet their unique location needs. Finally, first responders are now able to connect their LMR seamlessly with users on FirstNet PTT and vice versa. This means first responders will be able to work together more easily and take advantage of all communications capabilities available to them.
Moving forward, the FirstNet Authority looks forward to continuing to work with the public safety community to innovate and advance their network and grow an ecosystem of products and services that are tailored to their unique operational needs.
The FirstNet Authority is in the process of validating these numbers.