FirstNet, the U.S. public safety first-responder network, is upgrading to LTE across the board. This is a huge deal – not only in terms of the dollar investment required, but also in ensuring the health and safety of people throughout the country. (You can get some more insights on this upgrade in this article “Dramatic changes in LTE landscape bust myths, provide FirstNet with new options”.
The fact is, going all-LTE will have a profound impact on the country as a whole. Over time, the first responders network has become a messy hodgepodge. Depending on locations and resources, first responder sites have resorted to some not-so-elegant “fixes” to guarantee solid signal coverage. It goes without saying that uninterrupted signal coverage is the lifeline for first-responder networks – literally and figuratively.
Not surprisingly, first-responder networks have had to be prolific users of cellular booster technology simply because signal strength for emergency medical services is literally a matter of life and death. Boosters in fact have often been the only go-to resource for getting 24/7 reception whether they were authorized for use or not, much to the chagrin of service providers.
So what will the LTE conversion mean for boosters? The old patchwork of unregulated boosters will make way for carrier-approved, LTE-enabled devices like the CEL-FI PRO and DUO (the only LTE boosters available on the market right now) that will solve many of the coverage problems encountered in the past. First responders will be happy to have a consistent solution to an ongoing need. They will also be happy to know that boosters like ours also conform to industry standards. And of course, the general public will be better served.
LTE-ready smart signal booster capability will in time extend to automotive applications. While it may not make sense to have cables and antennas on an ambulance, it won’t be long before fully integrated booster technology will make its way into drivers’ cabs. We’ll definitely keep you posted on that one.
Do you think going all-LTE for first responders is a smart move?
By Werner Sievers, CEO