Verizon Executive Says Public-Safety LTE Interoperability Will Work
Thursday, September 28, 2017 | Comments

A Verizon executive said interoperability between its planned public-safety Long Term Evolution (LTE) offering and AT&T’s dedicated public-safety core will not be a problem.

“Network interoperability is not a new or particularly difficult concept,” said Michael Maiorana, senior vice president, public sector for Verizon. “Competing networks talk to each other and share vital data effectively and securely every day. Verizon already works with other carriers, including AT&T, to provide interoperable services across networks, with both carriers managing the security of the traffic back and forth.”

Verizon said it plans a dedicated public-safety network core operating in parallel to its commercial core, similar to AT&T’s planned First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) core.

“Under our proposed solution, our core and AT&T’s core would not connect,” Maiorana said in a LinkedIn article. "Instead, both companies would provide transport services that deliver traffic to FirstNet’s data centers via IP backhaul. In addition to everyday voice and data services, first responders would also have access to FirstNet applications on both networks, as well as a second network to fall back on. Having two networks will provide unrivalled nationwide coverage, redundancy and reliability.”

Questions to AT&T and FirstNet executives about whether they will provide transport services to other public-safety LTE cores and allow access to FirstNet applications were not returned by press time. AT&T Senior Vice President Chris Sambar said interoperable cores “opens up a can of worms and becomes dangerous” during a National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) meeting Sept. 6.

Verizon’s Maiorana said secure interoperability is technically feasible. “Providing multiple transport options at the application level — voice, video and PTT (push to talk) services, data applications, etc. — also does not inherently introduce security issues,” the article said. “Internet companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon provide seamless customer experiences regardless of broadband access type or provider. We will do the same.”

The article, titled “Interoperability will work for public safety,” is here.

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