Verizon steps up rivalry with AT&T, FirstNet

PM ET Nevada Joins First Net Team 15th state to sign on to state plan

PM ET Nevada Joins First Net Team 15th state to sign on to state plan

Verizon said its public-safety lanes will operate separately from those for commercial customers and that it would prioritize public-safety traffic over commercial traffic during times of network congestion.

Invest in new mission-critical 4G LTE voice communications to complement existing services such as Push-to-Talk Plus.

"We're making the investments necessary to give public safety access to the best possible network coverage, reliability, and capability, when and where they need it", Verizon's Public Sector SVP Michael Maiorana commented. This follows its rival AT&T winning the FirstNet contract to build a national LTE network for first responders and civil protection services. It said it would "make available multi-band devices to provide access to Band 14 spectrum and enable full interoperability with any Band 14 radio access networks deployed by FirstNet".

It seems an interesting shift for a company that declined to bid during FirstNet's RFP process. Verizon, instead, will rely on its existing spectrum holdings to support its alternative offering and will not use AT&T's spectrum, the Verizon spokesman confirmed.

FirstNet, an organization spokesperson said in the statement to FCW, will deliver "true priority" and "ruthless preemption" - booting commercial users off the network when it is needed in a crisis - for public safety.

Verizon's spokesman insisted the plan announced Wednesday isn't a change of strategy, but marks a continuation of the carrier's longstanding support for emergency responders.

"Governor Sandoval's decision to join FirstNet demonstrates his strong commitment to public safety", said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth in a statement. AT&T was awarded the $6.5 billion federal contract in March and has already signed up a number of states.

Verizon said its offer doesn't require states to opt out of FirstNet, and the company doesn't expect to receive federal funds. Previously, 13 other states-Virginia, Wyoming, Arkansas, Kentucky, Iowa, New Jersey, West Virginia, New Mexico, Michigan, Maine, Montana, Arizona and Kansas-have announced their "opt-in" decisions, as did the U.S. Virgin Islands territory.

To this end, Verizon Communications Inc.

Though the new offering would be available to all states, John O'Malley of Verizon Corporate Media Relations said the company has also received requests from states "regarding opting out of FirstNet".

Kansas and Arizona are the most recent states to opt into the program, according to the spokesperson.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.