FirstNet deploys mobile cell sites supporting Navajo Nation COVID-19 response
First responders on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic in the hard-hit and vast territory of the Navajo Nation are receiving a boost in wireless connectivity with FirstNet’s deployment of two Satellite Cell on Light Trucks (SatCOLTs) to the region.
FirstNet, built with AT&T, is a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority. The network is designed to help first responders across the country connect to the critical information they need – when they need it – so they can keep themselves and the communities they serve safe.
As FEMA expands its COVID-19 response operation in coordination with tribal first responders for the Navajo Nation, FirstNet worked with the Navajo Nation to deploy two SatCOLTs. The vehicles work as mobile cell sites linking to FirstNet via satellite without relying on commercial power. The mobile sites provide first responders with similar connectivity as a cell tower.
With the Navajo Nation’s assistance, FirstNet positioned one SatCOLT in Window Rock, Ariz., at the Navajo Nation Administration Building. The other is stationed in New Mexico at the Navajo Nation Department of Transportation Tse Bonito Office.
“Navajo Nation has been working with FirstNet to make sure the needs of tribal first responders and health command workers serving Navajo Nation are met,” said Chris Becenti, Executive Director, Navajo Nation Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Office. “We look forward to the future deployment of FirstNet on the Navajo Nation,” referencing the buildout of public safety’s Band 14 spectrum on Navajo Nation. “We appreciate that FirstNet answered our call when we requested the deployable asset to provide critical connectivity for federal and tribal officials responding to the COVID-19 crisis.”
“AT&T believes we have a civic duty to do our part during these challenging times,” said Toni M. Broberg, president of AT&T Arizona and New Mexico. “The partnership between the Navajo Nation, FEMA, and FirstNet is a great collaboration during this very difficult time for those in the community, and AT&T and FirstNet are committed to helping the tribal communities on the Navajo Nation.”
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