FirstNet names Afrashteh as its first CTO
FirstNet today announced that Ali Afrashteh—a telecom veteran with three decades of wireless network experience—is the chief technology officer (CTO) for the organization, which is responsible for building a nationwide broadband network for U.S. first responders.
As FirstNet CTO, Afrashteh will be in charge of managing technology planning and deployment of the broadband network, which will use LTE as its terrestrial technology and is expected to leverage satellite technology in remote areas.
“[Ali] understands the critical importance of implementing a network that meets the needs of our nation’s law-enforcement, firefighters, and emergency-medical-services personnel,” according to a blog posted on the FirstNet website. “As such, he will plan, develop, monitor, and coordinate the implementation of all network activities within FirstNet. Ali will also ensure that technical systems, policies, and processes are fully supportive of FirstNet’s mission to design and deploy a nationwide public safety broadband network.”
Most recently a principal consultant overseeing wireless network planning, Afrashteh served as vice president of technology development for Clearwire, where he helped develop WiMAX technology and led the design and construction of an interoperability lab. Afrashteh also has held executive positions with wireless carriers Sprint, Nextel and PCS PrimeCo.
Afrashteh began working as FirstNet CTO today, according to a FirstNet spokesman. With the hiring of Afrashteh, Deputy CTO Jeff Bratcher will return to his planned role after assuming the duties of an acting CTO during the past few months.
Afrashteh’s hiring also means that five of the seven C-level positions in FirstNet have been filled, with the exceptions being the chief operation officer (COO) and the chief of staff that will report to the general manager. FirstNet officials have said that hiring a COO will not be a priority until the organization is closer to having an operating network.
FirstNet is conducting a nationwide search for a new general manager after Bill D’Agostino announced his resignation from the top post earlier this month.