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FirstNet info

12dbsinad

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
1,502
Lmao, priority during a major emergency? Oh yeah, AT&T's hardened system certainly is up to the task of staying online :LOL:. Anyone who would rely on a for profit cell carrier for any emergency has loose screws. Convenient if it works, yes, but that's about it.
 

mmckenna

I really ♥ Ø
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Jul 27, 2005
Messages
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Pt. Nemo
However, we were told (and the Federal legislation mandated) that the Band 14 segment of 700 MHz was reserved exclusively for public safety; FN has been adding Band 14 capacity locally, so that being reserved for public safety may have something to do with it.
Not quite.

Band 14 was one of the resources that was given to FirstNet. It's -not- just for FirstNet. The carrier that won the FN contract awarded by the NPSBN/FirstNet authority was given access to band 14. They can use it for average Joe consumer, but when needed, the public safety users can take it over.

And not all cell sites have Band 14. Most will, eventually, but FirstNet can utilize any portion of the carriers network.



I have significant concerns regarding FN, overall. First off, I don't necessarily "like" the thought of solely relying on it for public-safety communications and thankfully it seems most conversations have steered away from those suggestions.
Yeah, there certainly are some people that think it's a replacement for LMR, but it's not. No agency should be relying on -just- FirstNet for their communications. Even the FirstNet Authority will tell agencies that.

The weak spot with any cell carrier is always the back haul. We have a number of cell sites at work, all 3 major networks, and while they've done a lot to increase bandwidth, they haven't done much to add redundancy on the back haul.

Many bring up power as a risk, and that always will be, but the California PUC recently put in a law that requires most (not all) cell sites (all carriers, not just FN) to have a minimum of 72 hours of on site power backup.

When looking at cellular services for emergencies, the big risk around here is the backhaul, always has been.

There are some technologies that will attempt to address some of that for public safety, but it's still in development stages and is beyond the casual conversation going on here.
 

wwhitby

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Jan 10, 2003
Messages
1,185
Location
Autauga County, Alabama
However, we were told (and the Federal legislation mandated) that the Band 14 segment of 700 MHz was reserved exclusively for public safety; FN has been adding Band 14 capacity locally, so that being reserved for public safety may have something to do with it.
FWIW, FirstNet is open to more than just Public Safety. Utilities, railroads, doctors, nurses, water works, airlines, ambulance companies, and many more can get FirstNet service, with Extended Priority. See this link as an example. When I checked into it, I found a list of eligible professions and companies and it actually surprised me, since I thought it would be public safety type organizations only. The way I understand it, Public Safety users have the highest priority, followed by the utilities, airlines, et al, with a slightly lower priority. However, when I looked at their fee schedule, I found that you can pay extra to be moved up to the highest priority group.

I do agree that Band 14 should have been open to all cellular carriers. IMHO, the Government made a mistake awarding AT&T an exclusive contract.

Around here, I've heard First Net being referred to as "Worst Net".
 

norcalscan

Interoperating Spurious Emissions
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 7, 2003
Messages
442
Location
The real northern california
Mac or PC, Pepsi or Coke, iOS or Android, Aeroflex or Tektronix, Visa or Mastercard, Ford or Chevy, Big Mac or Whopper, ATT or Verizon, Klein or Knipex, TDFM9000 or RT-7000, Meyer or JBL, Cisco or Aruba?

All I care is my black SIM effortlessly got my family on Rise of The Resistance at Disneyland while 5000+ others around all desperately tried to get their pass at the very second NTP servers clicked over to 0800:00. Also while in the middle of the Dixie Fire in Quincy First Net, on fixed infrastructure, had 40 down and 70 up all day while the Verizon tower had all 6000 of their channels impacted other than a roughly 2am-4am window every day. That's what happens when fire camp with 5000 firefighters is right below the only tower in town. The Verizon tech was impressed, and also carrying vaseline.

I do tend to see Verizon COWs showing up faster, more density than ATT COW's though at California incidents. And I'm strictly Verizon at work for all devices. When only one tool works in a certain area or condition, it doesn't matter what religion" you drink. As long as it's Pepsi.
 

mmckenna

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I do tend to see Verizon COWs showing up faster, more density than ATT COW's though at California incidents. And I'm strictly Verizon at work for all devices. When only one tool works in a certain area or condition, it doesn't matter what religion" you drink. As long as it's Pepsi.
I agree 100%.

What works best will depend on many variables. If it was as simple as buying one brand over the other, we'd quickly see other carriers go out of business.

I have my team split up between carriers. Half on Verizon, half on AT&T. While it's not a 100% guarantee that someone will be reachable when needed, it does spread the chances of reaching a live human across more than one carrier.

So far the one big event that impacted cell carriers locally took out -all- of the carriers across the board for about 20 hours. Didn't matter which carrier you had, nothing in, nothing out.


No one is being forced into signing up with any one carrier.

However, Coca Cola should be outlawed.
 

OnYourSix

NY --> NC
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
39
Location
Raleigh, NC
Thanks for the replies. I am a long time Verizon and Prior to that a Airtouch customer. It was the only service for coverage in the area of my worksite, I will wait and see about AT&T. My employer has it now and I am not sure how it will work out. Someone at another forum made reference to being connected to "the FirstNet core". what are they talking about?
I am in the Raleigh, NC area. Had Verizon for years and never a problem. We moved 150 air card for laptops from Verizon to First Net, so I got a free First Net phone for 6 months as well. Two years ago there was a bad storm in the outer banks. I was there on vacation. The first net phone had no service, the Verizon phone was fine. A First Net administrator told me there was only one Tower covering all of the outer banks and "the generator must have run out of gas" before the Verizon one did..... I gave back the First Net phone and never looked back...... you get what you pay for, Verizon still rules in North Carolina.
 

MTS2000des

5B2_BEE00 Czar
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
3,818
Location
Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
Three years ago we were requested to send COM-L/COM-Ts to a rural part of the state to respond to an F3 tornado touchdown in a small town. There was a single 300 foot SST that had all four carriers on it. Guess what got dropped by the storm? No cell service on anyone in the town. First Net was notified by our division chief who was able to get an email out by finding a functioning Comcast connection at an elementary school used as a staging area. To their credit, they had a COW on site at the IC within a few hours. Verizon showed up the next day with one. SPRINT-MOBILE? on vacation.

So while this lit up the IC, it didn't do anything for the folks in the field who were working damage assessment and recovery who were outside the COW or SAT COLT's coverage. When infrastructure is destroyed it can take weeks to months to rebuild and it can't be expected that some cellular company is going to drop dozens of COWS/SAT COLTS in to rebuild a functional network. In an area like rural Georgia, a disaster like a tornado or flood can span hundreds of square miles.

Guess what the COM-L did: issue VHF cache radios, setup a portable repeater on a water tank and establish a comm plan.
 

mmckenna

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Guess what the COM-L did: issue VHF cache radios, setup a portable repeater on a water tank and establish a comm plan.
Yeah, I don't rely on cell phones. They are a consumer grade convenience for the masses. They are handy when they work. But I've been around enough cellular infrastructure to know better than to rely on it for my only source of communications. We preach this at work during training, but they don't listen.
 

bchappuie

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
159
Location
Olathe, Kansas
You must remember. First Net was implemented as a data network, not voice. In order to have voice priority you must subscribe to GETS or WPS, which is $1.25/minute to talk. And the data priority is only for First Net approved applications.
 

KK6ZTE

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Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
806
Location
California
Yeah, I don't rely on cell phones. They are a consumer grade convenience for the masses. They are handy when they work. But I've been around enough cellular infrastructure to know better than to rely on it for my only source of communications. We preach this at work during training, but they don't listen.
There's a few comm sites here that T-Mobile has brought up portable generators to the site, removed the wheels and couplers, and locked them down in order to meet the generator requirement. The only problem is they're not wired in, just "on site".
 

mmckenna

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Pt. Nemo
You must remember. First Net was implemented as a data network, not voice. In order to have voice priority you must subscribe to GETS or WPS, which is $1.25/minute to talk. And the data priority is only for First Net approved applications.

FirstNet was built as the National Public Safety Broadband Network. If you go digging, the original and official government name for it was NPSBN. It's a broadband network.
The voice traffic is packetized, and the network doesn't care if the packets are voice or data, they still get prioritized over non-FirstNet users.

WPS isn't necessary on FirstNet since the network itself prioritizes traffic over lower or non-priority users. You can certainly dial *272 and your call will go through, but it's not going to make a difference on FirstNet.

GETS only helps you when your call transitions off the FirstNet network and on into the wireline carriers.

In the 15 years I've had WPS, I've never been billed for that time. The carriers are permitted to do it, just like they can bill you $5/month for the service, but they don't. Come to think of it, I've never seen a bill related to GETS either, and I'm the guy who gets the monthly reports from GETS…..
 

MississippiPI

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Messages
645
Location
All over the Great State of Mississippi
If this is the wrong place for this question. Kind of a general call. Who is using FirstNet? We got it at work along with a new cell site running Band 14
Looking for forums, etc to get info, tips, etc. I'm reading about major issues on the AT&T Firstnet site. Is it really that bad? The podcasts paint a rose story of a network always up with good data

I realize this is not radio Per se, however some of the guys here are Public Safety people so I figured I'd reach out.....
Not much use for it down here in Mississippi..

Be safe
 

KC3ECJ

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2015
Messages
243
What I don't get is the Motorola APX NEXT XN for example with it's .pdf a pamphlet shows it's only 4G LTE. When AT&T is apparently planning to take it's Band 5 850mhz network from 3G and LTE to being 5G.

Which at least in this corner of the country, New York and Pennsylvania, is the band with the most rural coverage.

That radio/phone seems like it will not have good coverage soon.
 

mmckenna

I really ♥ Ø
Joined
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Messages
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Pt. Nemo
What I don't get is the Motorola APX NEXT XN for example with it's .pdf a pamphlet shows it's only 4G LTE. When AT&T is apparently planning to take it's Band 5 850mhz network from 3G and LTE to being 5G.

Which at least in this corner of the country, New York and Pennsylvania, is the band with the most rural coverage.

That radio/phone seems like it will not have good coverage soon.
700MHz Band 14 should work a bit better in the rural areas. Remember, they are still building out the system.

And knowing Motorola, they'll offer a 5G upgrade as an extra cost option down the road to keep the money flowing in.
 
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