HomeInternet of Things (IoT)First responders get kitted out by AT&T, Cradlepoint and others

First responders get kitted out by AT&T, Cradlepoint and others

AT&T spending more than $40 billion on FirstNet build

During the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International (APCO) show in Las Vegas, several companies have announced that they have received FirstNet Ready status and approval. Motorola Solutions and Cradlepoint made announcements today, hitting on use cases like enabling real-time data sharing across LTE networks, and delivering secure branch, mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity. FirstNet is the nationwide communications platform dedicated to America’s public safety. It helps first responders connect to the critical information they need every day and in every emergency. Being built with AT&T, in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority, FirstNet is bringing public safety a long overdue and much-needed technology upgrade. It helps to improve first responders’ efficiency, safety and response times by enabling better field and inter-agency coordination using new connected devices and applications.

Cradlepoint’s latest MC400 Modem Module will address a broad set of first responder connectivity challenges, including distributed sites, vehicles, mobile command centres and an array of in-vehicle and in-the-field IoT devices such as sensors, cameras, drones, and robots. Currently, over 2,000 public safety organisations, including first responders within 10 of the largest U.S. cities, rely on Cradlepoint 4G LTE network solutions to provide mission-critical connectivity and security for fixed site, vehicle, and IoT networks.

“FirstNet is a game-changer for LA County’s first responders and how we use connected technology to protect and serve our communities more effectively while improving the efficiency and safety of our men and women in uniform,” says Battalion Chief Kyle Zuniga, with LA-RICS. “To take full advantage of FirstNet’s priority, preemption and Band 14 capabilities across our operational area – from vehicles with cameras, sensors and computing devices to drones, robots, and surveillance systems, and even stations – we need a variety of FirstNet Ready router solutions for mobile, IoT and fixed site deployments.”

Motorola Solutions also continues to support the rollout of FirstNet with its FirstNet Ready™ LEX L11 handheld device. It allows first responders access to secure apps for increased situational awareness. This launch has also opened up a new suite of mobile applications for first responders using the FirstNet network, such as mapping and messaging, built specifically to address the public.

“FirstNet is transforming how our first responders operate on a day-to-day basis and coordinate incident management. Motorola Solutions is dedicated to providing the cutting-edge solutions first responders require to take advantage of FirstNet’s capabilities through technology like the LEX L11,” says Mary Doherty, vice president of sales and services, Motorola Solutions.

“The LEX L11 marries traditional push-to-talk communications reliability between first responders with software applications that allow them to share multimedia information with one another.” AT&T’s FirstNet team, working with Sonim, has also announced the creation of Emergency Drop Kits – portable kits that will envelop first responders in a 300-foot “connected bubble.” This will let them maintain constant communication to better coordinate their response.

The Emergency Drop Kits are being designed for use during emergencies in rural and remote areas, as well as areas where communications may be temporarily unavailable, such as wildfires or hurricanes. Incident commanders will be able to drop in the kits for rapid connectivity to FirstNet, as well as be able to take the kits with them in the field. Ideal for short-term situations or as an interim solution until a FirstNet dedicated deployable arrives, a typical Emergency Drop Kit includes a Cradlepoint LTE router equipped with a FirstNet Ready™ MC400 modem and integrated Wi-Fi, and Four FirstNet Ready Sonim XP8 devices.

“This is a great example of how FirstNet is driving focused innovation for first responders,” said Chris Sambar, senior vice president, AT&T-FirstNet. “To create the Emergency Drop Kits, we’re pulling in expertise from public safety and across the industry. The kits will make it even easier for first responders to stay connected to the full capabilities of their network – no matter where their mission takes them.” He continues: “The more advanced tools public safety has access to on their network, the more we can help them achieve their mission.”
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