AT&T Expands 5G Support for FirstNet
Wednesday, August 31, 2022 | Comments

AT&T announced that it expanded its 5G support for the FirstNet network and detailed its work to improve in-building coverage and 9-1-1 resiliency in Tennessee.

AT&T said that mid-band 5G is now available to FirstNet users in more than 40 cities including Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Minneapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, Seattle and St. Louis. The carrier said that it is currently offering “three flavors” of 5G — low, mid and high band — and said that first responders in 100 markets around the country have access to at least one of the varieties of 5G.

The carrier also said that it is working to help address connectivity challenges by providing Cell Booster Pros. The signal booster is an enterprise-grade mini cell site that provides reliable connectivity for public safety on FirstNet, as well as employees and visitors on the AT&T commercial network. The device transmits Band 14 spectrum, as well as AT&T commercial LTE. Users can mesh three of the mini cell sites within a building to increase coverage up to 45,000 square feet to support nearly 200 users.

The devices are available at no additional cost to FirstNet users. The program is part of a network re-investment package the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) approved in May.

Finally, AT&T detailed efforts to improve 9-1-1 resiliency across the state of Tennessee. The carrier integrated its AT&T emergency services IP network (ESInet) with the FirstNet network to extend network connectivity to remote public-safety answering points (PSAPs) that are either hard to reach or experiencing an outage.

AT&T said the interoperability with FirstNet enables redundancy, resiliency and agility with AT&T ESInet so that PSAPs can focus on keeping their communities safe. If the AT&T ESInet detects a disruption to the primary connection of a 9-1-1 call center, it will automatically route 9-1-1 calls over the FirstNet network to a remote PSAP. The integration strengthens PSAPs to maintain operations and creates a path for future next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) technologies, including videos and images. These technologies allow PSAPs to coordinate with first responders more efficiently, improve situational awareness and reduce response times.

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