First Responders Need a Fast and Reliable Network

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  October 24, 2022

It goes without saying that first responders are the ones who need to be most reliable during any emergency situation. But in order for first responders to be reliable in today’s digital world, they need a reliable network.

In fact, more than 75 percent of first responders place reliability and resiliency as their number one factor when it comes to their public safety communications technology. It even places ahead of cost and customer service, the next two items on their list of priorities, according to the Verizon Frontline Public Safety Communications Survey 2022.

This makes sense, considering first responders today rely heavily on connected devices. The majority of first responders believe smartphones and tablets will remain essential daily communication tools in the next five years, with 92% of respondents saying they use a smartphone and 47% reporting tablet usage every day.

It should be noted, though, that there is a growing interest in a newer generation of technology, such as internet-connected vehicles, drones and AR/VR applications, such as those that enable the replication of dangerous training scenarios in an AR/VR environment. Survey respondents say they expect the use of internet-connected vehicles to grow in daily use from 41% in 2022 to 64% by 2027. Drones will see a bigger increase from 8% to 40% in the same time span.

The emergence of these newer technologies only underscore the need for reliable connectivity. For these devices and vehicles to actually work, first responders need a strong network connection. While that has been a concern, with the introduction of 5G, they are ready to take advantage of those capabilities.

5G will offer higher speed and lower latency, which will have a positive impact on the future of public safety. In fact, 77% of first responders recognize 5G as a benefit, with reliability and speed at the top of the reasons why 5G should be a priority.

Edited by Erik Linask