AT&T reps cite notable FirstNet subscriber boost, update buildout plans within California
Nationwide FirstNet adoption has jumped significantly to more than 369,000 subscribers from more than 6,000 public-safety agencies, an AT&T official said last week during a presentation to the California First Responder Network (CalFRN) board.
Abigail Baker, AT&T’s region manager for FirstNet consultation in California, Hawaii and Nevada, cited the figures during the Dec. 12 CalFRN board meeting, noting that 26,980 of the subscribers and 246 of the public-safety agencies are from California.
“That says quite a bit about the FirstNet network,” Baker said during the meeting.
Indeed, the 369,000 subscribers represents a 47% increase over the 250,000 FirstNet subscribers that AT&T officials cited in late October, and the 6,005 agencies on the FirstNet system is a 66% jump when compared with the 3,600 agencies cited in the October numbers.
AT&T officials also updated progress on the FirstNet buildout in California, with Baker stating that 696 cell sites in the state had been updated to support operations on 700 MHz Band 14 spectrum—the airwaves licensed to FirstNet—as of the end of the third quarter. The pace of this effort is increasing dramatically, and AT&T expects to complete about 2,500 Band 14 upgrades on existing sites—half of the 5,000 upgrades promised to California in its state plan—by the end of March, according to an AT&T official.