FirstNet Momentum_Graphic_02.24.2020_830pm

Nationwide LTE Coverage Surpasses 2.61 Million Square Miles to Support AT&T and FirstNet Subscribers

Frost & Sullivan Names AT&T Public Safety Company of the Year

Now covering more than 2.61 million square miles of the nation, we are aggressively expanding the LTE coverage area for the AT&T* network and FirstNet public safety communications platform. This means more first responders and the communities they serve – rural, urban and tribal – are gaining access to the critical communications capabilities they need.

“We’ve been on a mission for some time now to make AT&T’s network not only the nation’s fastest and most reliable, but the nation’s largest,” said Chris Sambar, executive vice president, technology and operations, AT&T. “Despite what Verizon claims with their grossly outdated statistics, the truth is we added significantly more coverage than any other wireless provider last year – making our total coverage difference nearly imperceptible. And we’re on target to add more coverage than them again this year. By expanding our wireless coverage footprint, we’re laying the foundation for 5G, and we’re bringing our nation’s first responders the most expansive dedicated platform with innovative capabilities to strengthen their incident response wherever their mission takes them.”

Last year alone, we added 120,000+ square miles. That’s more than twice the coverage growth than the previous year, or an area equal to the entire state of New Mexico.

FirstNet: The Fastest Network Experience

Our ongoing FirstNet network build is boosting overall network capacity and accelerating coverage expansion. It’s also providing public safety with dedicated access when they need it, unique benefits like always-on priority and preemption, and high-quality Band 14 spectrum. These advanced capabilities enabled FirstNet to perform faster than any commercial network1 in 2019 and bring its subscribers the unthrottled connectivity they need. 


“FirstNet isn’t just any network, it is public safety’s communications highway,” said Jason Porter, senior vice president, FirstNet Program at AT&T. “As more and more public safety agencies turn to FirstNet for their communication needs – from massive events to emergency situations like wildfires and hurricanes – we remain steadfast in our commitment to aggressively expand the network and the innovative solutions first responders depend on. And this is only the beginning.” 

For example, during pro football’s championship game in Miami, fans broke data records while cheering on their team. But that didn’t hinder first responders using FirstNet. With the dedicated FirstNet network core, public safety’s emergency communications didn’t have to compete with attendees’ voice and data traffic – it came first.

In fact, public safety used almost 4 times as much data per user compared to fans, with traffic reaching its peak as tailgaters began to enter the stadium area. First responders conducted over 30,000 data sessions and roughly 3,000 calls during the Big Game. That’s like streaming more than 100 hours of high-definition video without interference or interruption from fan selfies and social posts.

Leading the Way in the Public Safety Solutions Industry

With more than 11,000 public safety agencies and organizations subscribed to FirstNet, accounting for over 1.2 million connections nationwide, first responders and those critical to their response continue to turn to their network for the purpose-built tools they need for their life-saving missions.

FirstNet’s mission-centric design and unparalleled capabilities led to AT&T being named the public safety company of the year by Frost & Sullivan. According to the report, “AT&T is at the forefront for providing industry-leading public safety solutions that modernize public safety communications and transform emergency reporting and response. By leveraging proven experience and technological know-how in developing innovative public safety solutions, AT&T outpaces its competitors and maintains a distinguished reputation among customers.”

We’re bringing new cost-effective solutions to better equip agencies and provide enhanced situational awareness no matter where their mission takes them. We expanded our agency-owned deployable program to include a Compact Rapid Deployable (CRD). This smaller portable cell site is easy to deploy in the field, requiring only 1 person to setup and creates an area of LTE and Wi-Fi coverage.

“FirstNet is spurring innovation that will help save lives, and we are thrilled to see the network continue to grow to reach more communities and responders that serve them across the country,” said FirstNet Authority Acting CEO Edward Parkinson. “AT&T’s recognition as the public safety company of the year is a testament to their ongoing dedication to serving America’s first responders. We look forward to another year of FirstNet expansion with AT&T and the public safety community.”

FirstNet is the nationwide public safety communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders. Using all AT&T LTE bands, FirstNet already covers over 99% of the U.S. population today. It is built in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority). This helps to ensure that the FirstNet communications platform and service offerings meet the short- and long-term needs of the public safety community.

Go here for more FirstNet news. Or check out to learn more about the program.

1Based on AT&T analysis of Ookla® Speedtest Intelligence® data average download speeds for Q4 2019. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.