Verizon announced its latest 5G incubator lab, this time with a focus on use-cases for public safety.
The 5G First Responder Lab, located in Washington, D.C., will provide a workspace for 15 first responder technology developers to test and develop public safety applications using 5G network technology.
Three separate cohorts, each consisting of five developers, can innovate in the lab and create go-to-market strategies over a three-month period.
“As Verizon deploys 5G, it is critical that we look beyond the launch for consumers and consider how users in public safety can leverage this revolutionary technology,” said Nick Nilan, director of public sector product strategy for Verizon, in a statement. “5G will enable technology for first responders that hasn’t been imagined yet, and this 5G First Responder Lab will help lead the creation of life-saving innovations.”
Responder Corp partnered with Verizon to launch the latest lab and applications to participate in the first cohort of developers are open now through Dec. 31.
The public safety-focused lab is part of Verizon’s expanding 5G Labs program, which started last December with the service provider’s New York City 5G Open Innovation Lab at Alley. Read more about that facility here. The company has also opened 5G incubator facilities in Cambridge and Waltham, Mass.
The Washington, D.C., lab, as well as one in Los Angeles (which will be focused on immersive experiences like VR and holograms) are expected to be operational by year’s end.
As Verizon’s 5G First Responder Lab was announced, 8,000 fire crews continued to battle devastating wildfires in Northern and Southern California. Statewide, the fires were responsible for 31 deaths as of Monday morning, and had scorched 400 square miles, according to the Associated Press.
In Northern California, Verizon said it’s continuing to make progress on restoring service in areas most affected by the Camp Fire. Temporary solutions, including microwave backhaul, have been deployed to bring service to parts of Chico, Oroville, and Paradise communities, with network work now focused around Paradise and Magalia, Verizon said in a Sunday evening update.
Verizon said backhaul transport continues to be the main issue affecting network performance in areas of Southern California hit by the Woolsey and Hill Fires.
“We’ve placed mobile communications trailers (MCTs) at Fire Station 71 and Fire Station 99 in Malibu to provide coverage and add capacity in the area. We’re bringing a portable generator to our cell site on Rattlesnake Mountain, which supports microcells in Western Malibu. A cell on light truck (COLT) will be placed in Oak Park to make up for lost coverage there, and we’re working to restore service in South San Jose Hills with a microwave solution,” Verizon said Sunday.
In addition to setting up community communications stations at evacuation shelters, Verizon is also providing free talk, text and data charges to customers in the affected areas. The offer extends to customers in Southern California through Nov. 13 and through Nov. 15 for those in Northern California.