AT&T Offers Prioritization Service for Public-Safety Users on LTE Network
Wednesday, December 23, 2015 | Comments
AT&T is introducing a new quality of service (QoS)-based technology, which the carrier said allows public-safety agencies and critical businesses to prioritize their traffic on AT&T’s Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. AT&T said AT&T Dynamic Traffic Management (ADTM) will help first responders get through a crowded network during emergency situations.

ADTM can help qualified customers’ mission-critical apps perform even during the busiest times, company officials said. The new offering, which has been tested internally and with customers, costs an additional $10 per device per month for enterprise customers for the high-traffic application prioritization. Public-safety users with a private mobile solution pay an additional $15 per unit per month for a service that gives them priority access to the AT&T LTE network, in addition to prioritizing specific applications.

Gerry Myers, AT&T director of product marketing management, said the service — based on Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) LTE standards — allows customers to manage which applications receive prioritized treatment so data is available during unpredictable times of network congestion.

“The intent is to identify critical applications or data traffic types,” he said.

Myers emphasized ADTM is not a pre-emption service that would kick commercial customers off the network to make capability available for public-safety officials, but it would give public-safety users priority that would be maintained as they hand off from one cell site to another. “ADTM users would be first in line without doing anything special at the time; it will automatically kick in,” he said.

Danessa Lambdin, AT&T vice president, mobility product management, provided examples of how the technology might be used in a blog post, although none were first responder examples. She said airlines could use the technology with baggage tracking and maintenance applications so that baggage handlers and maintenance workers on the tarmac can stay on track during times of network congestion.

The blog said banks could use the technology with automated teller machines (ATMs) to help ensure critical ATM application-related data traffic can still process during times of network congestion, enabling the banks to better manage customer transactions. In addition, a shipping company that uses push-to-talk (PTT) services can keep operations running smoothly with enhanced QoS for its PTT data traffic during times of network congestion.

Meyers said he couldn’t comment on the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) request for proposals (RFP) but, “as we look at FirstNet and the type of capability that’s desired, this is a functionality that would be part of it,” he said.


Sandra Wendelken is editor of MissionCritical Communications and RadioResource International magazines. Contact her at swendelken@RRMediaGroup.com.



 
 
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