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AT&T wins FirstNet deal to build $46.5B nationwide emergency network

AT&T Inc. entered into a multi-billion dollar, 25-year partnership with the First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, to build and manage the first nationwide broadband network dedicated to first responders.

Under the deal, FirstNet will offer 20 MHz of telecommunications spectrum and success-based payments of $6.5 billion over the next five years to support network build-out. This is in addition to about $40 billion that the U.S. carrier expects to spend over the 25-year agreement to build, deploy, operate and maintain the network. The operator also plans to connect FirstNet users to the company's telecommunications network assets.

The network build-out is expected to begin later this year and the public-private partnership is expected to create 10,000 jobs over the next two years alone.

The new network will create a nationwide seamless, IP-based, high-speed mobile communications network, help improve rescue and recovery operations, offer near real-time information on traffic conditions, enable advanced capabilities, like wearable sensors and cameras for police and firefighters, and camera-equipped drones and robots that can deliver near real-time images of events, such as fires, floods or crimes.

As part of the initiative, AT&T has assembled a team that includes Motorola Solutions, General Dynamics, Sapient Consulting and Inmarsat Government.