Emergency personnel in the US appeared set for a 5G boost as the government agency overseeing construction of dedicated public safety network FirstNet commissioned AT&T to begin next-generation upgrades.
An AT&T representative told Mobile World Live the “majority” of a $218 million investment in network improvements and crisis response equipment approved by the FirstNet Authority board today (17 June) will go toward upgrading the network’s core to 5G, marking the start of a “multi-phase, multi-year journey” to deliver advanced capabilities.
The representative added the update will allow FirstNet users with capable devices to access AT&T’s 5G spectrum, building on 4G service already on offer.
In a statement, FirstNet Authority board chairman Edward Horowitz said the funding approval enables “the next major step in our mission” and sets the project “on a path to 5G”.
AT&T won the FirstNet construction contract in March 2017 and launched a dedicated 4G core for the network a year later, separating public safety users from commercial traffic and enabling additional functionality.
The FirstNet Authority noted the shift to 5G will allow the set-up to offer faster speeds, lower latency and more IoT connectivity, ultimately enabling use cases spanning AR, connected vehicles, drones, remote robots and new varieties of sensors.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back