Panasonic Projects FirstNet Ready Certifications in First Half of 2019
Thursday, December 06, 2018 | Comments

Panasonic projects it will receive First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Ready certifications for a handset and several laptop models in the first half of 2019. The company also projects that it will receive FirstNet-capable certifications for several tablets and laptops by the end of this year, said Alan Yuan, business development manager for Panasonic.

A FirstNet Ready device will work on the FirstNet’s band 14 evolved packet core (EPC) once a FirstNet subscriber identity module (SIM) card is installed, according to the FirstNet website. FirstNet-capable devices can run on the FirstNet EPC by updating the software, unlocking the phone if needed and installing a FirstNet SIM, the website said.

Yuan said once the FirstNet-capable approval comes through, Panasonic’s products will be some of the first laptops and tablets available for the FirstNet network.

FirstNet’s website lists two Samsung tablets and multiple Apple iPad tablets as approved products. There are no laptops listed on the website. However, the list of approved FirstNet devices maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has three Dell laptops, which were added to the list Nov. 30.

Panasonic’s N1 handset has been approved for use on the AT&T network, and the company plans to take it through enhanced push to talk (ePTT) and FirstNet testing to receive the FirstNet Ready certification.

The company also plans to incorporate Sierra Wireless’ EM7511 band 14 module into its Toughbook 33 and 54 laptops, as well as another yet unannounced model, Yuan said. Those products will then go through AT&T network and FirstNet testing for the FirstNet Ready certification.

Approval for all of those products is projected to fall into the first half of 2019 timeframe, Yuan said.

Concurrently, Panasonic is working to get FirstNet-capable approval for several of its existing laptops and tablets including its Toughbook 31, 33, 20 and 54 laptops and Toughpad G1 and M1 tablets. Those products include Sierra’s EM 7455 module, and Sierra recently released a firmware update that allows FirstNet compatibility. The company projects FirstNet-capable certification by the end of this year, Yuan said.

Because the Sierra firmware update came out recently, customers that previously purchased the Panasonic products will need to update their firmware before they can use the product on the FirstNet network once the FirstNet-capable approval comes through.

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