Verizon Launches Public Safety Core As Well, Calls AT&T’s “Vaporware”

In an announcement shortly following AT&T’s regarding their FirstNet obligations, Verizon said its public safety private core is generally available as of yesterday. This dedicated private core, features expanded products and services designed to enhance Verizon’s 4G LTE network for public safety.  

“Verizon’s public safety private core is open for business. AT&T’s announcement underscores that they’re deep into planning, but today are just offering a vaporware core,” said Verizon’s spokesperson Kevin King. In addition, the carrier “offers public safety customers preemption and mobile broadband priority service at no additional charge.”  

Verizon provides several features to public safety customers including traffic segmentation, priority and preemption, improved security, and enhanced service management and control. It is connected to Verizon’s Radio Access Network (RAN) which utilizes spectrum in various bands including the 700 MHz, 800 MHz Cellular, 1.9 GHz PCS, and 1.7/2.1 GHz AWS bands. The public safety core separates data traffic of public safety mobile users from commercial users across Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Verizon said public safety users will have their data immediately recognized as public safety with priority access at the tower and through the network.  

“We have 2.5 million square miles of 4G LTE coverage in the U.S.,” said Mike Maiorana, senior vice president, public sector, Verizon. “That’s more than 400,000 square miles more than AT&T – an area about the size of California and Texas combined. And we continue to work to make our network even better. We have invested more than $111B in network infrastructure since 2000 and invest billions each year to expand and improve our network. That’s why 98 percent of our sites stayed operational during Hurricane Harvey,” he said.  “This isn’t a new marketplace for us – this is what we do.”

A FirstNet spokesperson, responded to Inside Towers with the following: “Public safety’s FirstNet core is a dedicated build of hardware, plus a Network Operations Center, dedicated team at the Security Operations Center, dedicated customer care – which public safety has never had before, certified devices and apps, and dedicated disaster recovery assets. For many years, this is what public safety has been asking for and it goes far beyond for first responders in comparison to any commercial network.”

“A separate physical core is what public safety asked for so they can be confident in the network’s security, and why we included it our [FirstNet’s] RFP. It takes time and effort to build and test a new physical core and we are pleased to have it delivered ahead of schedule.”

“The First Responder Network Authority is answerable to public safety for carrying out their vision for FirstNet,” the spokesperson said. “We take our role in overseeing the implementation of their nationwide public safety broadband network very seriously. Public safety will depend on FirstNet with their lives. So, we won’t be rushing critical infrastructure out the door at the expense of public safety. While we are moving to expedite our testing/validation of public safety’s core, we will not sacrifice delivering a robust, first class, secure broadband experience to our public safety users. In the meantime, AT&T is moving FirstNet users over in a controlled environment to ensure a smooth transition to the dedicated core,” they told Inside Towers.

March 30, 2018      

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