Motorola Solutions is gearing up to supply mobile apps, software, and services for FirstNet. The company is part of a team led by AT&T that was selected in March to build out the dedicated network for first responders.
The company said its LEX F10 device, designed specifically for public safety, has been certified for the AT&T LTE network. Motorola will also deliver a suite of mobile apps, such as mapping and messaging, built specifically for the unique needs of public safety. The suite will work virtually between the FirstNet network and land mobile radio networks (LMR) as well as other software and services that support and enable the new FirstNet communications capabilities.
“We’re proud to further strengthen our relationship with AT&T and continue our unique role supporting the delivery of FirstNet services to public safety entities,” Motorola Solutions EVP of Products and Services Bruce Brda commented. “We’ll work hand-in-hand with AT&T and first responders to help provide a new generation of voice, data, and messaging capabilities for U.S. public safety. Our solutions can help customers transform their communications into improved safety for Americans and for first responders.”
“LMR and LTE networks will continue to coexist, and helping first responders bridge those technologies with interoperable solutions will be an important growth driver for our company,” he added.
Separately, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced it has awarded $38.5 million to 33 research and development (R&D) projects aimed at advancing broadband communications technologies for first responders. The grants are part of the Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program funded by NIST’s $300 million allocation from the 2015 auction of advanced wireless service licenses.
The 33 awardees were selected from among 162 proposals related to mission critical voice services, location-based services, public safety analytics, research and prototyping platforms, and resilient systems. Winners include a large number of universities – including Carnegie Mellon, MIT, George Washington University, NYU, Texas A&M, and the University of California – as well as several companies and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
Verizon on Tuesday announced the completion of its Yahoo acquisition for $4.48 billion. The carrier is combining these new assets with its existing AOL business to form Oath, a new subsidiary housing more than 50 media and technology brands. Former AOL head Tim Armstrong has been tapped to lead Oath.
“The close of this transaction represents a critical step in growing the global scale needed for our digital media company,” Marni Walden, Verizon’s president of Media and Telematics, commented. “The combined set of assets across Verizon and Oath, from VR to AI, 5G to IoT, from content partnerships to originals, will create exciting new ways to captivate audiences across the globe.”
Verizon said former Yahoo head Marissa Mayer chose to resign at the close of the transaction. The company wished her well.
Expert takes on Oath’s chances for success can be found here.
Google has reportedly hired former Apple chip expert Manu Gulati to help build chips for future versions of its Pixel smartphone. The news was first reported by Variety, and confirmed on Gulati’s LinkedIn profile page. Gulati was credited on 15 chip-related patents filed by Apple over the years.
Google went with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 chip in the initial version of its Pixel phone released late last year. Designing its own chip would give it an edge over competitors like HTC and LG that use the same chip and give it more control as it pushes technologies like artificial intelligence. But the move comes amid a high-profile battle between Qualcomm and Apple over smartphone patents – and it’s possible Google is looking to avoid a similar spat.
Wifi startup eero this week released an updated version of its customizable wireless mesh WiFi system. The second generation eero base station is reportedly twice as powerful as its predecessor and features tri-band technology. The new eero Beacon is half the size of the main station, and can be plugged directly into wall outlets around the home for expanded coverage. The company also announced eero Plus, a premium subscription service that provides members with advanced security for their network and all of their connected devices.
“Our goal has always been for technology to fade into the background of the home, and the products we’re announcing today get us one step closer to that reality,” eero CEO and Co-Founder Nick Weaver said. “We want people to stay connected without having to think about their WiFi or worry about digital home security.”
Qualcomm indicated it is powering the technology inside eero’s new system. The U.S.-based chip maker recently launched its mesh networking platform to accelerate adoption of smart home connectivity. More on that here.
Eero’s entry home WiFi system, which includes one base station and one beacon, will run consumers $299. A step up to a base station and two beacons tacks an extra $100 on to that price tag. Eero Plus service is going to $9.99 per month or $99 per year, and will be available “soon,” the company said.