The U.S. Air Force has tapped AT&T to provide its FirstNet broadband communications platform to enhance communications for public safety personnel and first responders at 15 bases across the country, with the possibility for future expansion.
FirstNet, a platform built through a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority and AT&T, will support secure interoperable voice, data and video communications with priority and preemption for on- and off-base first responders, AT&T said Tuesday.
Additionally, the network will feature a dedicated lane of connectivity for the Air Force’s military and public safety community for faster, more reliable access to mission-critical information and improved collaboration capabilities in response to safety threats.
“We aim to be the network provider of choice as the Air Force moves more deliberately toward consuming advanced communications capabilities,” said Lance Spencer, client executive vice president of defense at AT&T Public Sector and FirstNet.
“It’s an honor to deliver FirstNet to support base personnel and first responders to help ensure the safety of each base and its surrounding community,” Spencer continued.
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) and AT&T have struck an agreement that will deliver FirstNet services for 21 years, which covers the remainder of the public-private partnership between AT&T and the U.S. government.
Under the agreement, the U.S. Air Force will have access to a dedicated fleet of over 100 land-based and airborne portable cell sites for ensured connectivity in critical response efforts during significant events.
FirstNet operates across the LTE – Band 14 spectrum and the platform’s core has been upgraded to enable 5G connectivity, providing the Air Force with increased network capacity, high throughput speeds and 5G-powered edge computing capabilities.