Verizon Submits Opt-Out Proposals, Plans to Compete in Public-Safety LTE
Monday, August 14, 2017 | Comments

Verizon plans to submit proposals to statewide requests for proposals (RFPs) for alternative radio access networks (RANs) to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) state plans and continue to “be a very viable choice for public safety,” said a Verizon executive.

“We are vetting state-by-state opportunities — and when it makes sense for Verizon and the customer — we are submitting proposals for opt out,” said Michael Maiorana, senior vice president, Verizon enterprise solutions. “… We are talking to states that have opted in, and those that have opted in are all our customers in one way or another, so we’re talking to them to make sure they know they have a choice.”

Verizon serves about two-thirds of the public-safety segment, said Maiorana.

AT&T, the FirstNet industry partner, said priority services will be immediately available to users in the states that opt in to FirstNet with pre-emption coming by the end of the year.

Maiorana said Verizon already offers Wireless Priority Services in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and WPS for LTE has launched with full operating capabilities expected before the end of the year. Pre-emption is still under discussion, he said.

Sonim Technologies has a device that operates on 700 MHz band 14 that has been certified on the Verizon network. “We’ve got to further our density and add capacity to our network,” he said. “Our commitment is to give our customers services when they need it.”

Pricing is another critical factor when competing for public-safety LTE business, Maiorana said. “We’ve been very price competitive all along, but I will say we’ve never been the least expensive because of all the things we do,” Maiorana said. “We are committed to be price competitive.”

“We will have to continually up our game and deliver better, faster, more reliable services to this segment than we have in the past,” he said. “We’re going to invest in the segment, and we’re going to be a very viable choice for public safety.”

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Comments
On 8/17/17, Mark Neale said:
I recently attended a FirstNet meeting where this opt-out option was brought up. In my area, Verizon has better coverage. Urban areas in my state have excellent AT&T coverage.

The question regarding state opt in and opt out was discussed along with county and individual participation in the FirstNet system. With marginal AT&T coverage in our county, can we use the Verizon solution regardless of our state's decision to opt in or out? Several questions were raised on that topic. Will the FirstNet core be accessable to all FirstNet users regardless of the carrier? The answer should be yes but the method to get there is a bit complicated. My state has large rural areas including the county that I work for. For each individual department or even an individual in that department it's going to come down to coverage in the area that they live and work.

AT&T has committed to a huge investment to put together a core system, maintain it and expand their coverage. How willing are they going to be to let opt-out states, counties and individuals access it?

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