FirstNet Brings Additional Coverage and Capacity to Minnesota to Support Public Safety Communications
April 18, 2018
FirstNet Band 14 Deployment Underway to Further Enhance Emergency Response Across the State
ST. CLOUD, Minn., April X, 2018 - Additional coverage and capacity is coming to Minnesota's first responders with the deployment of FirstNet's public safety spectrum, Band 14. This will help first responders across the state stay connected to the information they need when responding to emergencies, supporting large events or handling day-to-day operations.
FirstNet is the country's first nationwide public safety communications platform dedicated to first responders. It's available when and where they need it. Built with AT&T*, in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority, it gives first responders a much-needed technology upgrade.
Recognizing its value, FirstNet was approved by Governor Mark Dayton in October 2017 to bring Minnesota's first responders a reliable, highly secure and "always-on" connection.
"FirstNet is dramatically enhancing police work across Minnesota by giving law enforcement access to the most advanced communications capabilities available today," said First Responder Network Authority Board Member Richard Stanek, who has served as the Sheriff of Hennepin County since 2007. "It will also modernize communications used by fire, EMS and other public safety personnel. This will help all first responders maintain the safety of our neighborhoods and communities, so it's exciting to see FirstNet's progress continue with the deployment of Band 14."
AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority recently announced the launch of the buildout of FirstNet in every state and U.S. territory using Band 14.
Band 14 is high-quality wireless spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet. It provides good coverage in urban and rural areas, penetrates buildings and walls easily and covers larger geographic areas with less infrastructure. Band 14 also enables high-power user equipment with the ability to radiate at levels 6x what's typically allowed on an LTE system. This means we can extend the range of Minnesota's FirstNet network much farther than it reaches today.
"FirstNet is bringing Minnesota's public safety community the tools they need to help them respond to any emergency, anywhere," said Paul Weirtz, president of AT&T Minnesota. "And the deployment of public safety's spectrum is a big next step in FirstNet's ongoing build, helping to connect our first responders across agencies, jurisdictions and even state lines, so they can stay safe and save lives."
When FirstNet subscribers are not using Band 14 to support their public safety needs, it can be used to improve service for all AT&T wireless customers across Minnesota. This means they'll have access to even more coverage and capacity - when not in use by first responders - as Band 14 is built out across the state.
In addition to the FirstNet build, AT&T invested nearly $350 million in its Minnesota wireless and wired networks from 2014-2016. These investments boosted reliability, coverage, speed and overall performance for public safety as well as for Minnesotans and their businesses.
AT&T continued its investment in Minnesota in 2017. Expanding its network in the area has given AT&T the most wireless coverage in Minnesota. And AT&T plans to keep upgrading its network throughout 2018.
Since FirstNet is an all-band solution - which means it's built on AT&T's LTE bands in addition to Band 14 - we're well positioned to bring Minnesota's public safety community the best network possible with the coverage and capacity they need for their life-saving missions.
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**Coverage not available everywhere. Based on overall coverage in U.S. licensed/roaming areas. Reliability based on voice and data performance from independent 3rd party data.
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