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FirstNet Brings a One-of-a-Kind 5G Experience to More First Responders Across the Country

MegaRange™ Capabilities Connect Firefighters Battling Wildfires

FirstNet® is the only nationwide network built with and for America’s first responders

What’s the news? FirstNet® – the only nationwide network built with and for America’s first responders – is keeping public safety connected, unlike any other network. Here are 3 strategic ways: 


Expanding the FirstNet 5G footprint

As public safety’s communications partner, AT&T* has expanded 5G connectivity for first responders on FirstNet to further support public safety’s mission needs. Now, first responders, in an additional 10 cities across the United States – Austin (Texas), Charlotte (N. Carolina), Cleveland (Ohio), Dallas (Texas), El Paso (Texas), Houston (Texas), Knoxville (Tenn.), Phoenix (Ariz.), Raleigh (N. Carolina) and San Antonio (Texas) –have access to 5G. 


Deploying MegaRange™ for Disaster Response

Since FirstNet launched FirstNet MegaRange earlier this year – which significantly improves connectivity, especially at the edge of network coverage – public safety has started experiencing its exclusive benefits as they respond to everyday emergencies and disasters. From remote patient care to the frontlines of wildfire response, MegaRange is keeping first responders connected at the edge of coverage when lives are on the line. 


 Launching nationwide interoperability with AT&T ESInet

To increase the flexibility and resiliency of AT&T NextGen 9-1-1 services, AT&T ESInet is now integrated with the FirstNet network. By serving as an automatic wireless backup to connect to public safety answering points (PSAP), FirstNet enables the delivery of IP-based 9-1-1 call traffic through the AT&T Virtual Private Network (VPN). 

As a rapidly evolving incident, the volatility of this fire was incredible. As a result of the extreme fire behavior, it was my responsibility to keep fire officials apprised of the conditions on the ground and anticipated impacts to our District. FirstNet MegaRange allowed me to send and receive calls, texts, emails and utilize all the apps on my phone and tablet with confidence when others were struggling to get signal.”

Deputy Chief Tim CraigOperations Division, Sisters-Camp Sherman Rural Fire Protection District (Oregon)

How is 5G connectivity on FirstNet different from commercial networks? 

FirstNet’s approach to 5G for public safety is unlike anything else. While 5G connectivity will ultimately bring a combination of benefits like ultra-low latency and ultra-high speeds to support all kinds of users, it’s essential we approach 5G in a different way for first responders. That’s why, with FirstNet, we’re taking the right steps for public safety in a way that meets their unique mission needs. First responders maintain voice communications with priority and preemption on LTE, while the FirstNet network determines the best route for data traffic, whether that’s 5G or LTE spectrum. 

How does MegaRange support first responders’ emergency response? 

The high-power user equipment (HPUE) is only available on the FirstNet network thanks to Band 14 spectrum: a nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the federal government specifically for FirstNet. It provides public safety with significant coverage benefits in both urban and rural areas. The greatest coverage improvement is in areas where data connectivity is traditionally unreliable, such as remote regions, rural areas, and maritime environments. 

Record-breaking wildfires and other natural disasters this year have disrupted businesses and forced families to leave their homes. But as communities evacuate, our first responders run toward the danger. That’s why public safety has FirstNet. We’re providing reliable connectivity to first responders, and doing it the right way for their unique mission needs. From improving coverage with MegaRange to launching 5G on FirstNet in more areas across the country, we’re committed to being by public safety’s side no matter the emergency.”

Jason PorterPresident, Public Sector and FirstNet, AT&T

Public safety told us they needed a dedicated communications platform for their lifesaving mission and FirstNet continues to deliver. Launching unique technology to support responders in rural areas, enabling redundant communications for emergency communications centers and evolving public safety’s network with growing access to 5G are key accomplishments for FirstNet. We look forward to continuing to work with public safety and AT&T to drive innovative solutions for America’s first responders.”

Edward ParkinsonCEO, FirstNet Authority


NEWCOM is a provider of public safety mobility hardware and advanced communication solutions and has been fully authorized through AT&T’s FirstNet Dealer Program. As part of the direct relationship, NEWCOM can sell and deliver FirstNet services to eligible current and future public safety, and first responder customers.

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