FirstNet Expands 5G and In-Building Connectivity for First Responders


What’s the news? FirstNet, Built with AT&T(link is external) covers more first responders than any network in the country. And as America’s public safety wireless communications provider, AT&T(link is external) is furthering their critical communications by expanding 5G on FirstNet, boosting dedicated inbuilding connectivity and enhancing 9-1-1 resiliency across Tennessee with FirstNet as a wireless backup.

Expanding 5G on FirstNet, the only network built with and for the nation’s first responders: Now, public safety in more than 40 cities – including Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Minneapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, Seattle and St. Louis – can access AT&T mid-band 5G+ spectrum to get the early benefits of its ultra-fast connectivity in a way that meets their unique mission needs. That means first responders in about 100 markets across the country have access to at least 1 of the 3 flavors of 5G (using low-, mid- and high-band spectrum) we’re delivering on FirstNet. Learn more about 5G on FirstNet here(link is external).

Boosting dedicated in-building connectivity where public safety needs it most: Following the network investment from the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), qualified first responder agencies on FirstNet can now get Cell Booster Pros for use in areas where they’ve previously experienced connectivity challenges – all at no cost(link is external) to them. It’s just one more way our unprecedented public-private partnership is strengthening public safety’s command and control of their network. The Cell Booster Pro is an enterprise-grade mini cell site that provides reliable connectivity for public safety on FirstNet, as well as employees and visitors on the AT&T commercial network.

The Cell Booster Pro(link is external) transmits public safety’s high-quality Band 14 spectrum as well as AT&T commercial LTE. With the ability to mesh 3 of these mini cell sites within a building, agencies can increase coverage by up to 45,000 square feet, supporting nearly 200 users. Thousands of devices are available to first responder agencies across the country – all at no additional cost to them.

Enhancing 9-1-1 resiliency across Tennessee: We are also uniquely positioned to equip 9-1-1 call centers, or public safety answering points (PSAPs), and first responders with an integrated infrastructure that allows them to be more flexible, resilient and agile. That’s why we integrated AT&T ESInet with the FirstNet network to extend network connectivity to remote PSAPs that are either hard to reach or experiencing an outage. And the State of Tennessee is leading the country in deploying this innovative solution at every PSAP across the state. This further protects the nearly 7 million people who call the Volunteer State home.

Interoperability with FirstNet enables redundancy, resiliency and agility with AT&T ESInet so that PSAPs can focus on keeping their communities safe. If AT&T ESInet detects a disruption to the primary connection of a 9-1-1 call center, it will automatically route 9-1-1 calls over the FirstNet network to a remote PSAP. This integration strengthens PSAPs to maintain operations and creates a path for future Next Generation 9-1-1 technologies, including videos and images. These technologies allow PSAPs to coordinate with first responders more efficiently, improve situational awareness and reduce response times.

Why is this important? AT&T is the only carrier that can provide end-to-end emergency communication solutions(link is external), from 9-1-1 to dispatch to response. And as public safety’s partner, it’s about where first responders need connectivity. Emergencies are unpredictable and during these critical moments, the public safety community needs reliable, interoperable(link is external) communications. Today, more than 21,800 agencies and organizations – accounting for 3.7 million connections1 – use FirstNet to stay mission-ready. We’ve seen significant growth in FirstNet because the public safety community recognizes commercial networks aren’t designed to properly handle the specific and niche demands of first responders. And commercial networks are not subject to the rigorous level of oversight and accountability by the federal government. That’s why public safety has FirstNet.

Where can I find more information? To learn more about America’s public safety network, check out is external). And click here(link is external) for more FirstNet news.

What people are sayingJason Porter President, Public Sector and FirstNet, AT&T “Our commitment to first responders is unparalleled. By delivering 5G on FirstNet in this unique way, public safety is getting a head start on the future of connectivity, without compromising on the reliability they require for their critical communications. And with first responder agencies now able to put their network in buildings where they need it most, we’re equipping first responders with a network that’s second-to-none today and for decades to come.”

Lisa Casias
Acting CEO, FirstNet Authority
“The FirstNet Authority’s investments in the network are guided by the needs of public safety. This unique process is a testament to FirstNet truly being built for and by public safety. We are pleased to work alongside public safety to bring them the tools needed to keep our communities safe.”

Curtis Sutton
Executive Director, Tennessee Emergency Communications Board
“We understand that we play a vital role in providing a link to members of our community and first responders. We took key lessons learned following the emergency events in December 2020 and worked with AT&T and other agencies to design a solution to increase our reliability and resiliency. In addition to creating redundancies through traditional connections with AT&T ESInet, we are implementing a wireless connection with FirstNet, which gives us an even more robust dependability than we could have imagined.”

Learn more about how FirstNet is transforming public safety communications — contact your local FirstNet Authority Public Safety Advisor and sign up for our discipline newsletters. Follow us on Twitter(link is external)Facebook(link is external)Instagram(link is external), and LinkedIn(link is external) for the latest FirstNet Authority updates.

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