AT&T Executive Outlines Initiatives for FirstNet, IoT
Tuesday, January 09, 2018 | Comments

An AT&T executive said the carrier plans to bridge public safety with the internet of things (IoT), saying First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) users can tap IoT to connect with “the world around them like never before.”

Mike Zeto, general manager of AT&T smart cities, in a blog provided several current and future examples of how IoT and FirstNet will intersect to help support public safety.

The carrier launched Connected Vehicles – Fleet Complete, a fleet tracking and management solution, for FirstNet customers. The solution gives dispatch centers and first responders visibility into the status of vehicles in the field with location, destination, speed and engine diagnostics. The service is integrated with Enhanced Push-to-Talk (PTT), AT&T’s PTT offering, giving first responders a built-in communications platform.

Zeto said the carrier is also working on ways to give cities and municipalities a high-tech upgrade through connected infrastructure. AT&T can retrofit existing lighting infrastructure to help cities monitor traffic and road conditions and provide situational awareness, for example. This could help firefighters determine the fastest route to a house fire.

In a separate press release, AT&T said it is testing a new structure monitoring solution that will help improve the safety of U.S. roadways and railways. With AT&T Smart Cities Structure Monitoring, selected infrastructure will receive AT&T Long Term Evolution (LTE)-enabled sensors to remotely monitor structural factors. The sensors, which measure things such as cracks and tilts, also feature alert triggers and email alerts to capture significant events.

The potential to deploy a connected drone and collect information from the scene of an emergency could help EMS personnel make key decisions about the type of response needed. Firefighters could use a connected drone as they battled the blaze of a quickly moving wildfire. As conditions rapidly change, firefighters on the front line could still have access to the information they need in near real time from a camera-equipped drone.

In addition, Zeto said wearable cameras and sensors can feed data to incident commanders and first responders. Monitoring firefighters’ health data can send early warning alerts to help keep them safe.

“As these capabilities are brought onto the FirstNet network, first responders can be confident they’ll have highly secure, reliable access to near real-time data and video feeds,” the blog said. “This information can support response, increase situational awareness and enhance collaboration. Plus, all public-safety traffic on the FirstNet platform will be routed through a dedicated public-safety core that offers end-to-end encryption for first responders’ sensitive communications needs.”

AT&T plans to launch the AT&T control center for FirstNet later this quarter.

Zeto’s blog is here.

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