Although the FirstNet Network supplies dedicated LTE broadband capacity to public safety, the network’s true potential is with the innovative applications that it will make possible.
To foster an environment for innovation and to ensure secure, quality and interoperable applications are made available to public safety, FirstNet has introduced an applications ecosystem that includes three major elements:
- App Catalog. A dedicated FirstNet app catalog of vetted applications and software solutions that enhance the public safety mission. The app catalog houses FirstNet’s enterprise app portfolio; a collection of vetted apps developed for public safety. The catalog also includes communications tools, device security solutions, private connection solutions and cloud solutions. The mobile apps are downloaded from public app stores. However, the FirstNet catalog listing the vetted apps can only be viewed by FirstNet subscribers. Find out more at: https://www.firstnet.com/apps/app-catalog.
- App Developer Program. The program is a development platform focused on public safety needs for interoperable and secure communications for public safety. Apps developed are verified for compliance with industry best practices and standards. Eligible apps are rated as either FirstNet “Certified” or “Listed.” Find out more at: https://developer.firstnet.att.com/firstnet.
- Local Control Portal. The portal used by agency administrators for local control and management of users, equipment, and priority. The Portal offers agencies access to network status, user and group management, services and billing management, applications management, and push-to-talk management.
The Future of Applications
The true power of public safety applications are realized when they are interoperable, the same as the network supporting them. To that end, FirstNet is actively promoting research and development of standards-based applications in areas critical to public safety, such as:
Courtesy of FirstNet
These applications are used by public safety daily, but often suffer from proprietary, “stove-piped” data, limiting them from being shared across agencies and in mutual aid situations. Standards-based applications will create an information-rich environment, helping public safety fulfill its life-saving mission efficiently and effectively. Exciting areas for future application development include:
- Location apps that include elevation sensing (Z-axis)
- Virtual assistants and augmented reality
- Data analytics of social media and real time video
- International standards-based mission critical push-to-talk, data, and video