Developed from the ground up specifically with and for public safety, FirstNet says its Push-to-Talk (PTT) feature is the first such nationwide mission-critical standards-based solution to launch in the U.S. The Cranford Police Department in New Jersey was one of the first state agencies to test PTT.
“Reliable communication is critical. It must work. It must be there when we need it,” said Captain Guy Patterson of the Cranford Police Department. “And it must be crystal clear because we don’t have time to repeat ourselves or introduce room for errors in fast-changing situations or when lives are on the line. On more than one occasion, FirstNet PTT allowed us to effectively communicate when our traditional systems failed.”
Currently available in a controlled-introduction, FirstNet PTT is designed to enable public safety professionals to use their smartphones, feature phones, and specialized ultra-rugged devices like they would use a two-way radio, with highly reliable, high-performance calling. FirstNet PTT will also deliver new features that allow first responders to better react to changing events.
The first device to launch is the Samsung Galaxy XCover FieldPro. This field-ready device is purpose-built, equipped with push-to-talk capability, and highly secure. Its features make it suited for use by first responders across all public safety disciplines, according to FirstNet.
Devices are subject to hundreds of tests that cover many key capabilities, from security and durability to network impacts, to help make sure they meet the needs of first responders. Only devices that pass these tests are certified and approved as FirstNet Ready. Following 3GPP standards, power class 1 high power user equipment (HPUE) solutions can transmit stronger signals. This increased signal can only be transmitted using Band 14 spectrum.
For first responders serving rural, remote and tribal communities, HPUE could significantly increase their coverage area. For urban and suburban first responders, this could help address the common challenge of indoor or below ground coverage. The stronger signal provides increased availability to meet mission needs for users who are connecting from hard-to-reach places like basements, elevators, stairwells, and parking garages, and helping first responders reliably communicate inside and out.