Gov Taps AT&T to Build Dedicated First Responder Network
AT&T will build a nationwide wireless network explicitly for the use of first responders and emergency personnel, the company said today. The U.S. Department of Commerce awarded AT&T with the FirstNet project, which was first recommended not long after the 9/11 attacks when disparate, incompatible systems impacted first responders' ability to communicate. The government will give AT&T 20 MHz of spectrum and billions of dollars to build the network. AT&T will operate the network for at least 25 years, and it expects to spend some $40 billion over that time developing, maintaining, and improving the network. FirstNet will be reserved for emergency medical personnel, firefighters, police officers, and other people who need to communicate during attacks, weather-related disasters, and other events. The intent is to improve rescue and recovery operations, better connect first responders to vital information, improve IoT solutions, support wearables, and deploy the most advanced technology possible. AT&T is working with Motorola Solutions, General Dynamics, Sapient Consulting, and Inmarsat Government. It expects to begin work on the FirstNet network later this year.
Facebook to Share Real-Time Map Data with First Responders
Facebook this week said it plans to provide humanitarian and other aid organizations with real-time access to its maps during natural disasters and other emergencies. According to Facebook, it will strip user identities from its map data while still showing where people are moving, where people might be marking themselves as safe, and other, similar trending information.
Rivada Mercury Proposes FirstNet Network for First Responders
A collection of telecommunications companies have banded together with the goal of creating a nationwide LTE voice and data network for first responders. The group formed a new company, called Rivada Mercury, to manage the deployment.
AT&T Ditching its Band 71 Licenses
AT&T is selling $1 billion worth of recently-acquired radio spectrum licenses to an obscure Virginia company, according to documents filed recently with the FCC. The spectrum in question is all (or nearly all) of the 600 MHz (band 71) licenses that AT&T acquired in an FCC auction just one year ago.
Verizon Passes VoLTE Call Over Its Cat M1 Network
Verizon Wireless today said it completed the first test call using VoLTE on its Cat M1 network. The achievement is worth noting because Verizon's Cat M1 network is reserved for machine-to-machine and IoT applications.
Motorola Solutions Acquires PTT Provider Kodiak Networks
Motorola Solutions today said it has agreed to acquire Kodiak Networks for an undisclosed sum. Motorola Solutions is the not the Lenovo-owned company behind Motorola smartphones; rather, Motorola Solutions is a separate corporation that handles first-responder and push-to-talk hardware, and wireless networking equipment.