California, LA County Take Advantage of Reduced FirstNet Pricing Plans
Monday, November 26, 2018 | Comments

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) reduced its unlimited standard talk, text and data smartphone plan to $39.99 per month from $50, although some agencies are receiving additional discounts with many different plans and pricing in contracts.

The state of California recently completed its state contract with FirstNet with pricing at $40.99 for the unlimited standard talk, text and data smartphone plan. The contract is extensive and includes many more options than are listed on the AT&T FirstNet website.

Los Angeles County also finalized its contract, which includes FirstNet unlimited standard voice and data for smartphone for $39.99 a month. The contract states “AT&T Mobility provides a 25 percentage discount on standard rate plans, which applies to commercially available voice and data standalone rate plans.”

The county also has an option for FirstNet voice only for $23.99 a month and unlimited messaging for $8. FirstNet Enhanced Push to Talk (ePTT) is $17.99 per phone or $2 for an add-on to voice plans and $2 for LMR interoperability.

The California state contract has 79 pages of pricing for hundreds of line item service options from air card pooled plans to machine-to-machine (M2M) plans to ePTT options for various devices. Los Angeles County’s pricing attachment is seven pages with numerous pricing options and plan prices.

“Our goal with FirstNet is to deliver feature-rich services at competitive prices,” said an AT&T FirstNet spokeswoman. “Since there is no one-size-fits-all solution, we work hand-in-hand with public-safety entities looking to subscribe to FirstNet to provide the plan and services they need with the value they’re looking for. As a result, public-safety entities have actually cited an overall cost savings as a result of their move to FirstNet. Plus, unlike public-safety plans from other major providers, FirstNet subscribers are not throttled anywhere in the country; this provides significant value to public safety.”

California’s state contract and Los Angeles County’s contract also have pooled options, which are priced on the AT&T FirstNet website. The AT&T website lists smartphones and data plans in three categories: 2 and 5 GB plans, 50 and 100 GB plans, and 500 and 1,000 GB plans.

In the California state contract, the FirstNet mobile pooled plans are described as “combined to create a ‘data pool’ on a single billing account number (BAN).” At the end of the billing cycle, AT&T calculates the total under-usage and total over-usage amounts for agency paid user lines in the data pool and then compares the two totals. Any under-usage is allocated among each agency paid user in the pool with over-usage, but remaining excess monthly under-usage is forfeited, the contract says.

The state pays $34.84 per month for a 2 GB smartphone pool, and up to $3,453.23 per month for a 1,000 GB smartphone pool. Los Angeles County’s 2 GB smartphone pooled plan is $28.50. On the FirstNet website, the pooled smartphone plans range from $28.50 up to $3,702.

Data-only devices also have pooled data pricing, ranging from $21.50 for 2 GB to $3,685 for 1,000 GB on the AT&T FirstNet website. Los Angeles County’s pricing is $30.50 for 2 GB up to $3,575 for 1,000 GB.

A FirstNet data-only plan with unlimited data, mobile hot spot and tethering is $40 per month on the AT&T website. The AT&T FirstNet spokeswoman said the company launched a wearables plan for FirstNet agency paid users earlier this year. The separate plan offers unlimited voice, texting and data service, she said.

“As part of the contracting process, we work with local public-safety agencies to match their current usage with the plan that will best fit their needs,” said the AT&T FirstNet spokeswoman. “The goal of this is to deliver affordable, flexible and simple rate plans for their wireless voice, texting and data services on FirstNet.

“FirstNet pricing is structured to be competitive with the various contracts in use by public-safety entities, including state contracting vehicles. This pricing is extended to all FirstNet-eligible agencies large and small.”

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On 11/28/18, Brad Horak said:
This sentence is correct but needs clarification: "A FirstNet data-only plan with unlimited data mobile hot spot and tethering is $40 per month on the AT&T website."

I tried to activate a FirstNet-capable Nighthawk MR1100 hot spot on a FirstNet subscriber-paid plan. This configuration is not supported on subscriber-paid plans — only smartphones and tablets are supported.

Nighthawk MR1100s are only supported on agency-paid accounts.

The AT&T account rep I was working with was initially not aware of this restriction. I'm still cleaning up my personal accounts that were affected by this attempt as a result.

Editor's Note: Thank you for the additional information and clarification. We will do our best to get more information on subscription-paid plans versus agency-paid plans.

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