AT&T Offers FirstNet Band 14 Buildout Update
Friday, July 20, 2018 | Comments

AT&T said it has been actively deploying 700 MHz band 14 spectrum as part of its First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) build with more than 2,500 sites across the U.S. gaining band 14 access.

The carrier said that plans to add band 14 to 10,000 more sites are underway. The first FirstNet-dedicated deployable network assets are ready for use.

Under its contract with AT&T, FirstNet said AT&T must have 20 percent band 14 coverage in both rural and nonrural areas by March 2019.

“Since getting the green light to deploy band 14 in March of this year, we’ve been moving quickly in order to bring first responders the additional coverage and capacity that only their network can provide,” said Chris Sambar, senior vice president, AT&T-FirstNet. “What’s more, the FirstNet build is based off direct feedback from the states and public-safety community. So, each current or new site to get band 14 helps to meet public safety’s specific network needs.”

Band 14 is nationwide 700 MHz spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet. Once band 14 is fully deployed during the next several years, it will cover 95 percent or more of the U.S. population. The carrier said FirstNet is an all-band solution including band 14 deployment, FirstNet-dedicated deployables, AT&T Long Term Evolution (LTE) bands and other technologies, such as optional satellite coverage and will cover over 99 percent of both the U.S. population and its geography.

Band 14 deployments are underway in 50 states and Puerto Rico and is on-air for testing in more than 40 states including California, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas. FirstNet said it will validate the band 14 coverage.

More than 1,000 new sites are planned as part of the FirstNet band 14 build. FirstNet-dedicated deployable network assets, such as satellite cell on light trucks (SatCOLT), are available. These mobile cell sites can be deployed at the request of subscribing first responder agencies.

First responders used the FirstNet-dedicated deployable network assets during several large Fourth of July celebrations across the country. The city of Chino, California, celebrated Independence Day with the annual Freedom Festival, gathering a crowd of approximately 15,000 people. Using a dedicated SatCOLT with band 14, the city trialed FirstNet to keep officers connected, and the Chino Police Department reported a significant reduction in latency of its drone video feed, AT&T said.

AT&T reported it has 110,000 connections on the FirstNet network from nearly 1,500 public-safety agencies across 52 states and territories.

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