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New services expand coverage in rural areas, give first responders vertical-axis location data and provide interoperability between land mobile radios and push-to-talk devices.
FirstNet, the nationwide, high-speed broadband communications platform purpose-built for first responders and the extended public safety community, announced new features to improve communications coverage:
- MegaRange is a high-power user equipment solution that uses specially designed FirstNet Ready modems to improve uplink data speeds at the edge of the network and provide a more reliable coverage area. This is especially important for rural, remote and maritime first responders. In cities, the stronger signal can improve communications in parking garages, basements, elevators and stairwells.
- Z-Axis for FirstNet enables a new level of indoor spatial awareness, giving responders vertical location information so they can know how high up in a building all team members are. Available in more than 40 markets across the country, Z-Axis has been added to Intrepid Networks’ web and mobile situational awareness platform, Intrepid Response.
- Compact rapid deployables can now be purchased by public safety agencies to supplement their network assets. Agency-owned “cells on wheels” can be quickly deployed by a single person and link to FirstNet via satellite without relying on commercial power. These deployables are ideal for emergency operations in remote areas, as well as places where communications may be temporarily unavailable.
- LMR interoperability for FirstNet push-to-talk allows responders with land mobile radios to communicate with users on FirstNet PTT and vice versa. This interoperability improves agency communications by allowing support staff using smartphones and those who travel outside the LMR footprint to remain connected. Eleven FirstNet Ready devices are approved for FirstNet PTT.
“These innovative mission-driven solutions are equipping first responders with better situational awareness – whether conducting a search and rescue mission in a remote area or on the upper floors of a burning building – all while helping to ensure a seamless, interoperable connection,” said Jason Porter, senior vice president, FirstNet Program at AT&T, the company building and managing the network.
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