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Verizon joins newly formed public safety open standards group

The PSTA, the recently formed public safety open standards group, adds Verizon to its list of members.

Verizon announced on Monday that it supports the newly formed Public Safety Technology Alliance (PSTA), a non-profit group that formed to promote open standards for public safety services.

The PSTA is a coalition of telecommunications industry, public safety, and technology leaders that says it wants to make sure first responder’s and public safety telecommunications systems are interoperable among broad and narrow bands.  The group says it will watch all standards bodies, such as 3GPP, and encourage open, interoperable standards. Former First Responders Network Authority President TJ Kennedy is the CEO of PSTA, which counts AT&T, JVCKenwood, Microsoft, Secured Communications, device maker Sonim Technologies, and TRX Systems among its initial members.

“When it comes to saving lives, open and interoperable technologies are critical to ensuring that first responders can continue to communicate across networks to address their mission critical requirements,” said Mike Maiorana, senior vice president, public sector, Verizon Enterprise Solutions in a press statement. “We look forward to lending our voice and broad expertise in public safety to help the PSTA advance its mission and ensure our first responder community has access to the best, open and interoperable technology available.”

The PSTA announced its existence on June 6  (June 5th if you count the tiny blurb on its website.)

“Through coordinated testing events and focused committee-led efforts, the PSTA will seek to pull together the various standards from organizations like 3GPP, FirstNet, NPSTC, APCO, ETSI, ICAM, and others to help create a public safety focused framework and open APIs that can be used to create technology (hardware and software) and ensure that communications and data management tools created for public safety users are standards compliant and interoperable,” according to PSTA’s About Us page.

Verizon has a seat on PSTA’s Executive Advisory Council as a member. According to the press release, this means Verizon provides advice, insights, and recommendations to the PSTA Board. Nick Nilan, director for public sector product development at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, will represent Verizon on the council (check out RCR Wireless News’ recent webinar and special report featuring Nilan). The governing council has nine seats and  the Executive Advisory Council has 21 members. Standing technical, marketing and certification and membership committees will be formed also, PSTA said.

“PSTA also enlists independent third party management, which allows for dedicated, expert driven oversight, while at the same time brings the desired level of transparency,” says the FAQ on PSTA’s website.

Membership costs between $7,500 to $50,000 a year depending on the company revenues. First responders join for free; academics pay $1,000.


Susan Rambo
Susan Rambo
Susan Rambo covers 5G for RCR Wireless News. Prior to RCR Wireless, she was executive editor on EE Times,,, Planet Analog and EBNOnline. She served also EE Times’ editor in chief and the managing editor for Embedded Systems Programing magazine, a popular how-to design magazine for embedded systems programmers. Her BA in fine art from UCLA is augmented with a copyediting certificate and design coursework from UC Berkeley and UCSC Extensions, respectively. After straddling the line between art and science for years, science may be winning. She is an amateur astronomer who lugs her telescope to outreach events at local schools. She loves to hear about the life cycle of stars and semiconductors alike. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow her on Twitter @susanm_rambo.

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