16 August 2017
| James Pearce
Verizon Communications has unveiled plans to develop a first responder network that will compete with rival AT&T’s FirstNet.
The carrier claims to control
around two-thirds of the police, fire, and other first
responders market, according to US reports. It will run
separate lanes of traffic to commercial line in order to
prioritise public-safety services.
"We're serious about remaining extremely relevant in this
space," Michael Maiorana, a Verizon senior vice president who
oversees the effort, said in an interview with Urgent
"We believe our customers deserve a choice and that
competition drives innovation
and—ultimately—best price. Bottom line, we
want to keep our customers, and we want them to have the
best-in-class services that technology can provide."
Verizon is set to complete its public-safety network, which
will be powered by an LTE core, in 2018, according to reports,
competing directly with FirstNet.
The concept for a first responder network developed
following the 9/11 Commission Report. AT&T was awarded the
$6.5 billion federal contract in March and has already signed
up a number of states.
Virginia became first state to opt-in to the FirstNet
emergency response system, followed by Arkansas, Kentucky Iowa,
New Jersey, New Mexico, West Virginia and Wyoming in July
Most recently, the US Virgin Islands becomes the first
territory to join FirstNet network in August 2017.