First voice-over-LTE call placed in US public safety band

Telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent Thursday announced that the first voice call in the 700MHz band of LTE has been completed. This is the section of wireless spectrum that is being utilized in the United States' national public safety network.

Part of the FCC's National Broadband Plan (Chapter 16, to be exact) outlines the creation of a nationwide interoperable public safety wireless broadband communications network, used specifically for first responders and issues of national importance. The high speed network will utilize a 10MHz block of spectrum in the 700MHz band, and approval for construction has been obtained in a growing number of markets.

"This achievement represents an important step toward revolutionizing public safety networks as it establishes the readiness of LTE as a technology to enable broadband data applications," said Morgan Wright, Vice President, Global Public Safety Segment at Alcatel-Lucent.

The call also demonstrates the company's readiness to supply its hardware and solutions to local governments building their 700MHz networks. Alcatel-Lucent has been selected to provide the hardware for five commercial LTE deployments already, including Verizon Wireless and AT&T, but competitor Nokia-Siemens secured the deal for LightSquared's ambitious $7 Billion hybrid Satellite/LTE network that will be built with the express purpose of wholesaling to carriers.

Disclosure: Tim Conneally is an Alcatel-Lucent shareholder.

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