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FirstNet Reaches Over 1 Million Connections in US

Infrastructure News - Published on Thu, 05 Dec 2019

Image Source: FirstNet One
The FirstNet public safety communications platform built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority is growing in a big way. More than 10,000 public safety agencies and organizations across the country have subscribed. And over 1 million FirstNet connections are in service, bringing first responders and those that support them the reliability, capability and accountability they trust to carry out their mission. That includes a giant addition to the FirstNet disaster response arsenal: FirstNet One, an approximately 55-foot aerostat. More commonly known as a blimp, the FirstNet One aerostat is the 76th deployable network asset to join the nationwide FirstNet fleet.

FirstNet One brings a first-of-its-kind public safety communications solution to help keep responders connected during large-scale, catastrophic events
Can fly up to 1,000 feet, potentially providing over 2 times the coverage area as compared to other deployable solutions, like Satellite Cells on Wheels and Flying Cells on Wings
Fully operational in wind speeds up to 50 mph and capable of withstanding wind speeds up to 70 mph
Able to stay aloft for about 2 weeks before needing additional helium top-off, giving first responders wide-scale portable connectivity over an extended period of time
Tethered to a trailer to provide either satellite or wire line backhaul
Reduces the need for multiple ground-based portable cell sites, freeing those dedicated assets to be used by other agencies nationwide

The aerostat was recently tested in Tuskegee in Alabama. Flight testing established its initial coverage area, airworthiness, payload lift potential, avionics and flight controls, and performance of the power and data transmission lines connecting to the FirstNet network core. Operational methods, procedures and safety standards required to deploy, launch, operate and recover the asset in a public safety incident response scenario were also tested.

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Posted By : TelecomGuru on Thu, 05 Dec 2019
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