AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) launched a new developer programme focused on public safety innovation.

The programme will supply applications to a new FirstNet app store, which will provide first responders with solutions approved to work on the FirstNet network AT&T is set to build.

Developers will have access to common, open, standards and a specialised portal where they can build, test, and deploy new applications. Areas of focus include situational awareness, in-building mapping, field reporting and records management, forensic intelligence, wearable devices and telemetry systems, AT&T said in a statement.

Chris Sambar, AT&T’s SVP for the FirstNet project, said the programme will foster much needed collaboration between app developers and first responders.

“It will help ensure the apps developed truly meet first responders’ field needs. It’s a really important thing that was missing from the market. Until now,” Sambar stated.

Submission process
Once apps are submitted they will be reviewed by AT&T and FirstNet to evaluate performance and service-level agreements as well as identify potential vulnerabilities. The apps will receive either a “certified” or “reviewed” rating, and will then be published in the FirstNet app store for download. Existing public safety applications can also apply for inclusion in the store.

The developer portal is already live, but FirstNet and AT&T plan to host events and challenges down the line to boost participation. The programme forms part of AT&T’s commitment to develop dedicated app and device ecosystems for first responders as it builds out the FirstNet network.

Earlier this week, Alabama became the 26th state or territory to opt-in to the FirstNet build plans AT&T submitted to each US state. The operator indicated first responders already have priority access to its existing LTE network and construction of the dedicated network has already begun in the first opt-in states.