NIST Releases List of Devices Approved for FirstNet Network
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 | Comments

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a list of approved devices under the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Device Approval Program.

In addition to the previously announced Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones and Sonim Technologies XP5S and the XP8 rugged handhelds, the list includes seven Apple iPhone smartphones and three additional Samsung smartphones, the S8, S8+ and S8 Active.

The list also includes the Apple iPad and iPad Pro tablets and the Netgear MR1100-330 hot spot. The hot spot, Galaxy S9 and S9+, and Sonim handhelds all bear the “FirstNet Ready” logo on the firstnet.com website, although there are no specific designations for devices on the NIST list.

“Devices that have a FirstNet Ready badge are those that will work on the FirstNet EPC (evolved packet core) simply by installing a FirstNet SIM (subscriber identity module) card,” the firstnet.com website said. “Note that some FirstNet Ready devices may also require a simple software update. The remaining devices displayed are those that will work on the FirstNet EPC upon updating the software, unlocking the device (if required) and installing a FirstNet SIM.”

NIST is responsible for maintaining the device list under the legislation that established FirstNet.

The FirstNet Device Approval Program is built on AT&T’s standards-based wireless device testing and certification program. FirstNet conducted audits and verification steps in this process, said Joe Martinet, FirstNet director of devices.

“For example, we audited and verified testing of public-safety-focused features and functions of wireless devices currently published on the NIST list,” he said. “This includes band 14 functionality, FirstNet UICC (universal integrated circuit card) or SIM functionality, as well as functionality with the FirstNet core.”

A process document outlines three phases of approving a FirstNet device for sale. The first phase is regulatory testing and includes FCC certification. The second phase is industry certifications required to sell a product in the United States, including PCS Type Certification Review Board (PTCRB) certification. The final phase is mobile network operator (MNO) testing and is specific to AT&T.

Martinet said the first FirstNet SIM cards were available in February, and more devices will be added to the list later this year. The NIST list will align with the firstnet.com website.

“As more devices progress through the FirstNet Device Approval Program, we will continue to work closely with NIST to ensure timely updates to the NIST list going forward,” Martinet said. “This will ensure public safety is aware of the rich and diverse portfolio of devices available for use on the FirstNet network.”

The full list of devices is available here.

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Comments
On 4/14/18, John Eubank said:
I don't see any standard for when service is disrupted — a time when the unexpected worst-case scenario happens and the only current standard is to wait for service to be restored ... BUT there's an option, a way to convey the critical need-to-know info by simply updating and embedding the current local emergency info into the memory of the mobile device.


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