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Verizon developing FirstNet competitor

Verizon says the network gives officials "the opportunity to weigh all their options as they make their important communications network decisions"


By FireRescue1 Staff

DENVER — Verizon is in the early planning stages of building a dedicated public safety communications network as a competitor to FirstNet. 
 
The company said in a press release the network will provide access to Verizon’s 2.4 million square mile 4G LTE network.

"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," Michael Maiorana, senior vice president of the public sector, said. "Our public safety network will provide a comprehensive and cost-effective solution for public safety, and we'll continue working to offer first responders the network reliability and access to innovative services they need to keep our communities safe."

The company’s network doesn’t require states to opt-out of FirstNet, does not require access to any federal funding provided to FirstNet and will not require states to contribute to its infrastructure, according to the release. Maiorana wrote on LinkedIn that by developing this network, they can ensure public safety officials “have the opportunity to weigh all their options as they make their important communications network decisions.”

“The security we build into our commercial networks, combined with the inherent security advantages of our private core dedicated to public safety, will help protect first responders’ communications,” he wrote. “The resulting multi-carrier environment would give first responders the ability to choose between the two largest national networks to achieve the best network reliability, greatest innovation, and best pricing for their communications services.”

According to the release, Verizon will “make available multi-band devices that will provide access to Band 14 spectrum and enable full interoperability with any Band 14 radio access networks deployed by FirstNet.” 

Kevin King, director of corporate communications, told FCW that priority access is available for public safety. Preemption services are set to become available by the end of 2017 and the network is set to be fully completed in 2018.

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