DALLAS, March 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ –What’s the news? As public safety’s partner with FirstNet®, AT&T is launching new public safety-centric innovations to modernize first responders’ interoperable communications during both emergencies and normal operations:
- In-Building Situational Awareness
- Public safety organizations and businesses can now enhance their in-building wireless communications with the Cell Booster Pro – an enterprise-grade mini cell tower that provides reliable connectivity for public safety on FirstNet, as well as employees and visitors on the AT&T commercial network.
- We’ve enhanced Z-Axis for FirstNet to give public safety an “altimeter view” or vertical visualization that shows the relative positions of first responders and incidents, as well as the ability to mark important areas within the building.
- Disaster Response
- Public safety’s FirstNet fleet now has 150 dedicated deployable assets – including 50+ Compact Rapid Deployables (CRDs) – available to support first responders in all 56 U.S. states and territories.
- The new FirstNet Emergency Response Kit equips public safety agencies with a cache of 20+ FirstNet Ready® devices in a protective case to simultaneously recharge and immediately disperse to responders in the field following a major incident.
- Next Generation 9-1-1 Services
- AT&T ESInet™ is now integrated with the commercial AT&T wireless network to provide faster and more accurate location of wireless 9-1-1 callers through device-based hybrid precise location technology.
- ADT is the first home security provider to integrate with FirstNet and now, PSAPs using AT&T ESInet can receive verified text alerts when an alarm is triggered. It’s just 1 more way we’re supporting public safety from the initial call until their mission is complete.
- Mission-Critical Push-to-Talk
- With the launch of FirstNet Rapid Response, public safety now has 2 choices for their mission-critical push-to-talk (PTT) solution, as well as enhanced land mobile radio (LMR) interoperability capabilities to help modernize their communications.
- FirstNet Push-to-Talk now supports mission-critical video streaming and PTT calling over Wi-Fi.
Why is this important? Information is everything in an emergency. Before FirstNet, it was often hard for public safety officials to communicate and work together to save lives due to congestion on commercial wireless networks and interoperability challenges with public safety radio systems. Now, through an unprecedented public-private partnership in 2017 with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) – an independent agency within the federal government, public safety has FirstNet, Built with AT&T. And it is not a commercial network. FirstNet is the only nationwide, high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America’s first responders.
Additionally, AT&T is the only public safety carrier that can provide end-to-end emergency communication solutions to support 9-1-1 telecommunicators, dispatchers, first responders in the field and other emergency personnel from the moment they’re informed of an incident until their mission is complete.
AT&T leads the NextGen 9-1-1 industry with over 1,400 PSAPs having adopted AT&T ESInet. This equates to a 29% market share, serving 64 million people across the country. And more than 19,500 agencies and organizations – accounting for more than 3 million connections nationwide1 – are using the FirstNet network, which now covers more first responders than any wireless network in the country.
We continue to grow within the public safety market because of our distinct advantages from competing commercial offers. And these mission-ready solutions demonstrate our continued commitment to drive purposeful innovation to best support public safety – no matter the emergency.
How do in-building solutions improve situational awareness? With 80% of wireless calls taking place indoors, the need for in-building dedicated public safety connectivity is essential to public safety operations and overall safety. And when public safety responds to an emergency within a building, if cell signal penetration is hindered (think stairwells, basements and other hard-to reach places), the ability to achieve their mission is potentially compromised. That’s why we’re launching the Cell Booster Pro at an extremely low cost to help public safety organizations and businesses affordably enhance their in-building wireless communications. The Cell Booster Pro acts as a mini cell tower that transmits public safety’s high-quality Band 14 spectrum as well as AT&T commercial LTE, and provides first responders on FirstNet with always-on priority and preemption. And with the ability to mesh 3 devices within a building, agencies and businesses can increase coverage by up to 45,000 square feet, supporting nearly 200 users. Agencies and businesses can purchase the Cell Booster Pro starting April 1.
Providing mission-critical organizations with timely and quality location information is vital to making decisions more quickly and accurately. And Z-Axis for FirstNet – designed to assist with identifying the vertical location of a first responder when inside a building – is helping with exactly that. We’ve enhanced FirstNet Locate Pro and Locate Standard to provide an “altimeter view” or vertical visualization. Using geospatial technology, users can remotely see the location of team members in the field based on their z-axis (or height). As first responders scale the building the altimeter view will dynamically adjust based on their movements. Plus, users can “mark” significant locations within the building to help reduce response times and eliminate unnecessary voice traffic.
How is FirstNet Improving Public Safety’ Disaster Response? After the U.S. experienced more than 60 extreme weather and climate events in 2021 – coupled with increasing instabilities in the commercial power infrastructure landscape – AT&T is going above and beyond its contractual commitment with the FirstNet Authority to grow the dedicated FirstNet fleet. Now, public safety has access to 150 dedicated assets, including 50+ Compact Rapid Deployables. CRDs are an extremely nimble portable asset that can be deployed and dispersed across impacted regions. Strategically stationed across the country, these assets are at-the-ready to support first responders battling wildfires, hurricanes and other major disasters. These assets are also available for agencies to own and deploy themselves, giving public safety more control over their network. These assets are also dedicated to public safety and are in addition to the 300+ assets within the AT&T Network Disaster Recovery fleet that aid commercial network restoration in areas affected by disasters.
We’re also launching the new FirstNet Emergency Response Kit. These kits are ideal for use following a major disaster. Devices can be stored and tucked away until an emergency strikes that requires surge device distribution, or agencies can use the devices for daily operations and recharge the equipment at the end of each shift. Kits are available for purchase starting next month and can hold up to 21 FirstNet Ready® smartphones, 2 Mi-Fi devices, wall chargers and additional space for cords.
How do AT&T ESInet integrations with the AT&T wireless network and ADT help improve emergency response? When we worked with the FCC to establish the first 9-1-1 systems over 50 years ago, landline communications reigned supreme. But communications technology has come a long way, and now 68% of adults don’t even have a landline in their homes according to the CDC. Today, 80% of 9-1-1 calls come from a mobile device2 – and PSAPs need to be equipped with technology that is compatible with what the majority of 9-1-1 callers use today. That’s why AT&T ESInet is the first NextGen 9-1-1 solution to integrate with both the commercial AT&T wireless network and FirstNet.
This integrated solution takes advantage of device-based hybrid technology so PSAPs can identify a more precise wireless caller location, route calls quicker and reduce emergency response times. In fact, the FCC estimates that over 10,000 lives could be saved each year if public safety were able to reach callers just 1 minute faster. Device-based hybrid technology uses a combination of satellite GPS, Wi-Fi and a wireless network to track a caller’s location more accurately, even when a wireless call is coming from inside a building.
Additionally, as the only public safety carrier to deliver end-to-end emergency communication solutions, we’re helping public safety to cut down response times for residents and businesses with ADT security systems leveraging the Emergency Data Broker from Intrado Life & Safety. ADT is the first home security provider to integrate with FirstNet, protecting public safety’s critical communications from commercial congestion. And now, PSAPs using AT&T ESInet can receive verified text alerts when an alarm is triggered. By seamlessly integrating home alarm information into AT&T ESInet, 9-1-1 telecommunicators can quickly assess information and provide critical information to fire, law enforcement, ambulances and other first responders on-scene. It’s just 1 more way we’re supporting public safety from the initial call until their mission is complete.
North Carolina is the first state to successfully implement and benefit from these integrated solutions. The City of Lumberton has successfully integrated its PSAP with the AT&T wireless network and The City of Raleigh is already receiving important incident information from ADT. These initiatives come as FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stated it’s time for a nationwide digital upgrade of 9-1-1 and proposed a plan to dedicate proceeds from upcoming spectrum auctions toward a nationwide investment in NextGen 9-1-1 services. And by integrating AT&T ESInet with the AT&T network, we’ve set the foundation for PSAPs to support the future exchange of multimedia. That means 9-1-1 callers can send photos and videos to improve public safety’s situational awareness during critical times.
How does mission-critical push-to-talk further interoperability for public safety? For over a decade, we have supported public safety and businesses with mobile broadband PTT solutions. But in critical moments, first responders need a standards-based mission-critical solution designed specifically to meet their needs to reliably communicate – regardless of factors such as location, jurisdiction, discipline or device. That’s why FirstNet is leading the public safety industry with a suite of mission-critical PTT solutions, which now includes FirstNet Rapid Response. This new voice, video and data solution gives public safety greater situational awareness and more informed emergency response. It further enables public safety agencies to use Motorola Solutions’ cloud-based Critical Connect for essential interoperability with LMR. Plus, it’s ideal for agencies familiar with AT&T Enhanced Push-to-Talk but looking for the added strength and performance of a mission-critical standards-based solution.
FirstNet Rapid Response joins FirstNet Push-to-Talk – the first-ever nationwide mission-critical, standards-based PTT solution to launch in the U.S. – which now also supports PTT calling over Wi-Fi, mission-critical video streaming to further first responders’ situational awareness and enhanced mutual aid features for easy cooperation with other agencies. That means all mission-critical PTT users on FirstNet can now stream what they are seeing on the ground with command and other first responders in the field, share images or send documents, enhancing their situational awareness and helping keep them mission ready.