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Key takeaways from ETSI’s most recent mission-critical services testing

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is continuing its ongoing series of Plugtest events to test the interoperability of mission-critical communications services, including mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT), mission-critical data (MCData) and mission-critical video (MCVideo). The most recent Plugtest, ETSI's sixth, was conducted in a hybrid...

Four notable developments in indoor location during 2021

This year was supposed to mark a major milestone in the ability to locate wireless devices indoors when callers dial 911, so that first responders can reach them faster. It didn't quite pan out that way; development and implementation of the technologies that enable...

Where do 911 fees go? Key statistics from the FCC’s annual 911 fee report (Part 2)

Each year for the past 12 years, the Federal Communications Commission has gathered information from states and territories about their 911 fee collection, distribution and general operations and put it together in a report to Congress. Usually published in early December of each year,...

How many 911 calls are wireless? Key stats from the FCC’s 2020 911 fee report (Part 1)

States reported that 72% of 911 calls received in 2019 came from wireless phones—but the FCC thinks it's probably more Each year for the past 12 years, the Federal Communications Commission has gathered information from states and territories about their 911 fee collection, distribution and...

AT&T-FirstNet passes 2.8 million connections; FirstNet board gets new members

AT&T says that its "aggressive" expansion of Band 14 coverage is more than 95% complete The number of public safety and first responder connections on the AT&T-FirstNet network has passed 2.8 million, AT&T reported, with more than 18,500 agencies and organizations across the country making...

FirstNet to serve 15 Air Force bases

AT&T-FirstNet has struck a new contract to provide service to 15 U.S. Air Force bases for a term of 21 years, which is the remainder of AT&T's public-private partnership contract with the First Responders Network Authority. The Air Force is adopting FirstNet at those 15...

Texas county ‘counts on Verizon,’ selects carrier for emergency services contract

Verizon connectivity will help Harris County ESD No. 11 respond to the more than 55,000 emergency calls it receives over the course of a year Verizon Frontline will provide the Harris County, Texas Emergency Services District (ESD) No. 11 with connectivity and smartphones per a...

FirstNet board approves $253 million budget

The First Responders Network Authority board has set its budget for the coming fiscal year, which includes $94 million in network reinvestments. The board approved a $253 million budget for fiscal year 2022, allocating $79.3 million for the authority's operating budget, $79.3 million in...

AT&T extends 5G access to FirstNet customers in 10 more cities

AT&T is making sub-6 GHz 5G network access available to FirstNet customers in 10 more U.S. cites, expanding the use of High-Power User Equipment and touting the ability of the network to be used as a backup connectivity option for public safety answering points...

Parallel Wireless, Neptune Communications bring Open RAN LTE to the Caribbean

Parallel Wireless and Neptune Communications will use Open RAN to provide mission-critical voice, data service to government agencies in Barbados Parallel Wireless and Neptune Communications are laying claim to delivering the first Open RAN (O-RAN) compliant 4G LTE solution in the Caribbean. Neptune’s 4G LTE...

Verizon unveils THOR, ‘the Swiss Army knife’ of frontline services

THOR is suitable for hard-to-reach or hard-to-navigate environments and situations As part of its collaboration with the Department of Defense through NavalX and the SoCal Tech Bridge, Verizon Frontline unveiled a Tactical Humanitarian Operations Response (THOR) vehicle at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar. The...

FirstNet expands its deployables, cell sites

FirstNet-AT&T has expanded its fleet of portable land- and air-based cell sites for temporary coverage, with more than 100 deployables now available to FirstNet subscribers at no additional charge. The new deployables include three Communications Vehicles (CVs) stationed across the country, four micro satellite...

EU’s Project BroadWay conducts interoperable public safety network prototype demos

The European Union's BroadWay project, which paves a technological path for interoperable, cross-border public safety broadband, has taken another step toward reality, with the project recently demonstrating the results of its prototyping phase for buyers in EU member countries. According to a Project BroadWay...

Ericsson, Leonardo to develop public safety and industrial 5G solutions

The 5G solutions developed by Ericsson and Leonardo will support more advanced use cases and mission-critical services Ericsson is sharing R&D capabilities and cyber security, 5G and service evolution competences with global technology company Leonardo to improve operations and security in public safety and industrial...

Public Safety Communications Solution Delivers Higher Standards

When it comes to Emergency Radio Communication Enhancement Systems (ERCES), the reliability and radio coverage of the system can directly impact property and lives saved. If cellular coverage is spotty or otherwise poor inside a building due to construction materials or environmental obstacles, not only...

Samsung launches 3GPP-compliant nationwide public safety network in Korea

The public safety network will have Samsung’s Mission-Critical Push-to-Talk capabilities Samsung Electronics is working with Korean mobile operators on the deployment of the world’s first 3GPP-compliant nationwide public safety LTE (PS-LTE) network. The PS-LTE network will operate in 700 MHz spectrum to provide connectivity...

Nextivity Webinar: Public Safety Communications Systems – Best Practices for Selecting and Installing In-building Solutions

Selecting and installing public safety communications systems can be challenging. For example, it can be tough to decipher the stringent code requirements that vary from one locale to another. To complicate the issue, some systems create noise and interfere with the macro network, while...

Key takeaways from FirstNet’s annual report

The FirstNet Authority has made "significant progress" toward fulfilling its mandate to oversee and manage the build-out and operations of a nationwide cellular network for first responders, according to the authority's latest annual report to Congress. The FirstNet Authority is an independent entity that...

FirstNet expands to 2.71 million square miles, 2 million devices

AT&T says it added nearly 100,000 square miles to FirstNet's coverage footprint in 2020 FirstNet-AT&T says that the network is supporting more than 2 million connections across the country, with more than 15,000 agencies and organizations as its customers. AT&T said that it has surpassed...

AT&T-FirstNet launches Band 14 HPUE, z-axis location

AT&T-FirstNet is now offering first responders vertical location capabilities in more than 100 markets, ahead of an April 2021 FCC deadline for having the technology in place to support 911 callers on mobile devices. The z-axis location information is one of several new technology...

FCC: Don’t use radios to commit crimes

Here's a timely reminder from your friendly neighborhood FCC: Don't use ham or CB radios to communicate while you're planning or committing a crime. Crimes like, say, violent insurrection. The Federal Communications Commission's Enforcement Bureau issued the unusual warning on Sunday, 11 days after a...

FirstNet lands $92 million FBI contract; Verizon launches MC-PTT

As both Verizon and FirstNet-AT&T compete for public safety customers, FirstNet-AT&T has landed a $92 million communications contract with the Federal Bureau of Investigations that expands the bureau's use of FirstNet to cover day-to-day communications as well as emergency operations. AT&T says is the...

2020 has been ‘an exceptional test year’ for FirstNet

The global pandemic, severe wildfire and one of the most active hurricane seasons on record have meant that 2020 "has proved to be an exceptional test year" for the FirstNet network, according to the most recent iteration of Ericsson's Mobility Report (pdf). The report...

Driving in-building public safety communications to scale

  Solving complexity, performance and economics challenges helps cover more buildings more quickly In an emergency situation, first responders need to have access to robust, reliable in-building communications systems--you won’t find any disagreement among public safety leaders and authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) as well as...

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