While FirstNet is a game-changer for public safety, it will NOT replace land mobile radio (LMR) in providing mission critical voice in the near future. FirstNet service will initially carry data and video via AT&T’s LTE broadband network, enhancing mission support capabilities for public safety. The service will include commercial-grade cellular voice service, but public safety should plan to continue using LMR for mission critical voice communications. As illustrated in the diagram below, in the near term, FirstNet will provide mission support voice and data, and LMR will provide mission critical voice.

 

Courtesy of FirstNet

Over the long term, the end state objective for public safety communications envisions a convergence of mission critical voice and data.

[i]

 

 

[i] OEC (2014, May). Public Safety Communications Evolution, p. 3. Retrieved from:

https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/psce_brochure_052014_508_0.pdf