With its win of the $7 billion FirstNet contract, AT&T was been dominating public safety communications news and mind share as states continue to opt in to the carriers plan, which developed in partnership with the First Responder Network Authority. AT&T said it will invest $40 billion, along with the federal funding, to support public safety communications in 20 megahertz of 700 MHz spectrum giving first responders priority access and otherwise using the new spectrum to support its business. So where does that leave competitor Verizon?
Speaking this week at the public safety-focused APCO Annual Conference and Exhibition in Denver, Colo., SVP of Verizon Enterprise Solutions Mike Maiorana, speaking of members of the public safety communications market, said, We want to make that they know that were here to stay. Were going to continue to evolve to deliver them network, support and product that they need to do their jobsWere here, were going to continue to commit to give you the service that youve depended on for years, dont forget about us, according to an interview with IWCEs Urgent Communications.
According to the Urgent Communications report, Verizons John OMalley added that the carrier will be very competitive with whatever AT&T puts out there in its final offering. We intend to continue to play in this business.
In July, Verizon asked the FCC for clarity on whether states that opt-out of AT&Ts plan can build and operate their own network cores that would interoperate with FirstNet. On a technical level, allowing the operation of multiple FirstNet cores that must interoperate with each other poses some major challenges, according to independent telecom analyst and longtime FirstNet expert Andy Seybold. He pointed out that the expected framework for FirstNet has changed over time, evolving from discussions about a network of networks where each state would have its own network and its own EPC, and all the EPCs would be tied together to the national network with a single core ultimately laid out in the Firstnet Request for Proposal won by AT&T.
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