What FirstNet Ready Can Mean for Your Business

What FirstNet Ready Can Mean for Your Business
Jillian Bateman — May 11, 2021

Until recently, first responders across the U.S. have relied on separate land mobile radio networks to communicate with each other during emergencies — oftentimes these networks don’t interoperate with one another, making it difficult and even impossible for public safety personnel to communicate and work together to save lives.

In 2017, AT&T won a 25-year contract from the First Responder Network Authority to build and run a dedicated communications network (FirstNet) using Band 14, a nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the federal government specifically for FirstNet. FirstNet is built on a redundant, physically separate, dedicated core designed to comply with many standard security regulations and needs, and the FirstNet network will continue to evolve.

On FirstNet, public safety subscribers can rely on the highly secure connection they need to respond to incidents. Instead of using multiple separate and incompatible systems, first responders on FirstNet can communicate with first responders who choose commercial service providers and can exchange text, voice and data communications.

All 50 states, five territories and the District of Columbia have opted into FirstNet as their preferred public safety communications network. “It’s the solution to the decades-long interoperability and communications challenges first responders have experienced,” says Mark Hillenburg, vice president of Marketing at DMP.


What FirstNet Ready™ Can Mean for Your Business

DMP’s 263LTE-FN alarm communication radio is FirstNet Ready™ and approved for use on FirstNet. FirstNet Ready™ devices are central to transforming the capabilities of our nation’s first responders. They have met the standards for supporting the critical operational needs of public safety agencies and users who need tools that are highly secure, resilient, scalable and available when needed. This gives alarm companies with the 263LTE-FN the advantage of FirstNet’s high quality Band 14 spectrum to deliver alarm panel communication.

“The FirstNet network is an important step forward in our nationwide first responder infrastructure, and DMP is pleased to support public safety nationwide,” adds Hillenburg. “Also, we are very excited to work with The Monitoring Association (TMA) and AT&T to deliver alarm panel communications using the highly secure and reliable FirstNet service.”


Who Can Apply for Eligibility?

Because FirstNet is a dedicated public-safety resource, first responders and the extended support communities are reviewed before service is approved. Companies can apply to TMA for the required verification for access to FirstNet service for alarm communications. While they do not need to be TMA members to apply, they must be UL or FM Listed.

According to the TMA, a typical processing time by the TMA can be as fast as one to two days and as long as 14 business days, depending on the volume of requests. Once TMA reviews the documents and validates the information, they will issue a specific dated certificate and identifier to be provided to the AT&T FirstNet group.


Is FirstNet Limited to Certain Types of Accounts?

FirstNet can be used by premises alarm units at government facilities, as well as businesses and homes to communicate alarm information through the network. Typical signals would be burglar alarm, fire alarm, medical alarm signals and other related signals.


What are the Key Advantages of Using the FirstNet Network?

Speed: The FirstNet mobile broadband public-safety network provides a faster network experience than any commercial wireless network. According to AT&T, the statistic is based on the company’s analysis of Ookla Speed test data for the second quarter of 2020. Ookla Speed tests are based on an automated testing system that end users conduct on their mobile devices.

Robust Coverage: According to the Federal Communications Commission, the location of the 700 MHz Band gives it excellent propagation characteristics. This allows the 700 MHz signals to penetrate buildings and walls easily and to cover larger geographic areas with less infrastructure (relative to frequencies in higher bands).


Learn More

For more information on FirstNet, see Pg. 3. For more information on becoming certified through TMA, visit TMA.US/FirstNet or contact John McDonald at 703-660-4917 or [email protected].