Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Public Sector Tech: New tools for the new normal

AT&T upgrading FirstNet to 5G, adding encryption across network

FirstNet network will get 5G service for devices as well as Internet of things and video intelligence use cases.

How data is making the EMS to emergency room hand-off easier

AT&T is adding 5G to its public sector FirstNet network as well as tower-to-core network encryption.

The telecom giant said Thursday that it has upgraded its FirstNet network to deliver 5G service for devices as well as Internet of things and video intelligence use cases.

With 5G updates, FirstNet will be better equipped to deliver low latency and enable applications that can transmit data from an ambulance to emergency room and other bandwidth intensive files.

First responders in 38 cities and more than 20 venues will have access to AT&T mmWave service in April. AT&T added that FirstNet will continue to have always-on priority and preemption across LTE.

Over time, AT&T said it will deliver full 5G capabilities on FirstNet.

In addition, AT&T said it will be adding encryption tower-to-core based on open industry standards. FirstNet traffic will be secured from cell tower to backhaul to core and back. AT&T will roll out security upgrades on every cell tower starting with Houston and Cleveland through the first quarter of 2022.

FirstNet also established the FirstNet Health & Wellness Coalition with two dozen organizations.