Delivering new suite of MegaRange solutions to strengthen connectivity at the network edge
September 21, 2023
First all-in-one High Powered User Equipment (HPUE) solutions support in-building, vehicle and field operations.
With FirstNet, the nation’s only network built with and for America’s first responders, we’re committed to driving purposeful innovation to help first responders and the extended public safety community stay mission ready.
And as the only carrier capable of delivering the highest power class signaling (Power Class 1) available in the U.S., AT&T is introducing the first all-in-one FirstNet MegaRange suite of solutions to better support public safety’s critical communications at the edge of the network.
“Ongoing innovation is essential to helping first responders stay mission ready. And solutions like the new FirstNet MegaRange do just that by bolstering their always-on priority and preemption communications capabilities in especially challenging environments,” said Jim Bugel, President, FirstNet Program at AT&T.
Available in 3 exclusive versions to best fit public safety’s needs, these new solutions come fully packaged with the Nextivity SHIELD MegaFi router, which is now FirstNet Trusted™, power adapters (AC, DC or battery) and cellular antennas – and up to half the price of the previous MegaRange solutions:
- MegaFi Fixed can be permanently installed to strengthen in-building connectivity in places like 9-1-1 call centers, offices or underground locations, such as subways and garages.
- MegaFi Mobile provides vehicles with stronger connectivity at the edge of the network. From cars, buses and ambulances to railways, boats and ships, users can have faster uplink speeds while on the go with just a rooftop antenna.
- MegaGo supports in-the-field or remote connectivity to improve emergency/ disaster response, telemedicine or to simply stay connected in areas with challenging terrain. And users can be confident they’ll have the strongest connection available when and where they need it, thanks to a 12-hour battery life.
“We worked closely with the FirstNet team at AT&T to develop the suite of new MegaRange solutions to meet the standards and performance levels necessary to be reliable and trusted to support our country’s most critical communications,” said Michiel Lotter, CEO, Nextivity. “MegaFi is an exciting addition to the Nextivity portfolio in that it allows us to provide strong connectivity for both the first responder community and those critical to their missions. The integration of FirstNet MegaRange technology with Nextivity experience and know-how means more reliable signals for more people in more places, when they need it the most.”
Why is this important?
In an emergency, it’s essential that first responders and those who support them have strong, reliable connectivity for their critical communications. And that’s regardless of location. From hard-to-reach places, such as underground areas and maritime environments, to extremely rural, uninhabited locations, FirstNet MegaRange provides better signal in more places – 6 times more powerful than standard devices (think FirstNet Ready® devices or smartphones used by the general public to talk, text or stream videos).
“We have a diverse geographic area, including a river valley that impedes communication where you tend to drop off the radar for cellular communication,” said Lieutenant Humza Shamsuddin, Technology Director, Bristol Kendall Fire Protection District in Illinois. “Many of these coverage gaps were addressed when the agency switched to FirstNet. In fringe network areas, FirstNet MegaRange allows us to stay connected with a higher level of reliability. The areas that we knew were dead zones for a previous carrier – magically, we didn't really have them with FirstNet.”
Agencies can also combine these new solutions with their own deployable network assets like the Compact Rapid Deployable (CRD) or miniCRD™ to strengthen their emergency response communications. This can significantly improve their connectivity where coverage may be unreliable or unavailable due to wildfires, hurricanes or other disasters – often doubling the distance of service from these assets. That means first responders battling a wildfire can have FirstNet connectivity up to a full mile away from their miniCRD – a gamechanger for staying connected with command while in the field.
As the nation’s public safety network, FirstNet is purpose-built to support first responders’ mission needs. It provides first responders with high-quality Band 14 spectrum – the only band in the U.S. that can enable this high-power signaling – truly dedicated coverage and capacity when they need it, unique benefits like always-on priority and preemption, and high-quality Band 14 spectrum. These advanced capabilities help first responders save lives and protect their communities. Learn more about FirstNet MegaRange here.
What does FirstNet Trusted mean?
We look at FirstNet as the most important wireless network in the country because it’s serving our first responders. And as connectivity expands, we’re delivering an extra level of scrutiny for IoT devices. When public safety sees the FirstNet Trusted badge, they can be confident the device meets strict cybersecurity and network connectivity requirements that go well beyond standard commercial network requirements. FirstNet Trusted devices include solutions like:
- Sensors that provide situational awareness of gunshots, hazardous material detection, vitals of a first responder or fleet tracking.
- Routers and Modems that keep police cruisers, fire trucks and ambulances connected to local, state and federal databases.
- Cameras worn by a first responder to provide near real-time streaming of an incident as it unfolds back to command or thermal imaging.
In short, the FirstNet Trusted badge – combined with our defense-in-depth FirstNet security strategy, which goes well beyond standard commercial network security measures – provides protection without sacrificing usability or adversely impacting public safety’s missions.