Wireless Industry News

The First Responders Network Authority and AT&T, the contractor for FirstNet’s national network, expect to deliver individual state plans for public safety coverage this month.

The targeted date for the plans is June 19, and all of them are expected to be released at the same time through an online portal. However, FirstNet is no longer calling those plans “drafts” — and if a state is satisfied with the proposed network plan it gets later this month, it can opt in right away.

FirstNet is “no longer using the term ‘draft plan.’ We’re just delivering the most complete, actionable state plans possible,” said Rich Reed, chief customer officer for FirstNet, during a call with the media on Thursday. “We heard from many states that they have the desire to move more quickly than we had originally envisioned, and we wanted to build in that flexibility.” Read More

Verizon Wireless activated its Category M1 LTE network, making it the first U.S. carrier to launch a nationwide LTE network dedicated to the internet of things. The carrier said it will offer IoT data plans for as little as $2 per month per device, with customized options available for bulk activations and volume purchases.

Category M1 LTE is very different from the higher categories of LTE that smartphones use. Uplink and downlink speeds are both capped at one megabit per second, and bandwidth is capped at 1.4 megahertz per device. This is said to enable low-cost connectivity chipsets for devices that do not need constant communication with the network. Category M1 modems are roughly 75% less complex than Category 1 modems, which are currently used to connect IoT devices to LTE networks