APCO: Devices ready for FirstNet take centerstage
From so-called “drop kits” and handsets to modems and internet of things (IoT) modules, the news out of the annual Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International (APCO) show in Las Vegas this week highlights growing ecosystem support for the increasingly complex communications needs of first responders and public safety agencies. Another aspect of the public safety communications dynamic is FirstNet—a nationwide LTE network dedicated to first responders that’s being built by AT&T in conjunction with the First Responders Network Authority.
During APCO, AT&T and FirstNet made collaborative announcements, including:
- A proof-of-concept “emergency drop kit” that create a 300-foot connectivity bubble;
- The FirstNet Response Operations Program, which “aligns the roll out of FirstNet’s dedicated deployables with the National Incident Management System, letting state Emergency Operations Centers…guide what assets go where based on their situation awareness of life safety, incident stabilization and property conservation;”
- And cloud-based dispatching tool offered as part of AT&T”s public safety suite.
Motorola Solutions and Cradlepoint hit on use cases like enabling real-time data sharing across LTE networks, and delivering secure branch, mobile and 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 organizations, 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.
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.