AT&T Inc. (T - Free Report) and First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) recently introduced a new developer program focused on public safety innovation. The program will supply applications to a new FirstNet app store. These apps will be utilized by first responders who will select appropriate solutions to work on the FirstNet network that AT&T is set to build.
Notably, in March 2017, the U.S. telecom behemoth was selected by the FirstNet to build and manage the first nationwide broadband network dedicated to America's police, firefighters and emergency medical services. The network will cover all 50 states, five U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, including rural communities and tribal lands in those states and territories.
As part of the 25-year contract, FirstNet will provide AT&T with a swath of 20 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz frequency band for the entire duration. AT&T will also be given success-based payments of $6.5 billion over the next five years to design and build the network. The company is expected to spend around $40 billion over the life of the contract to build, deploy, operate and maintain the network. AT&T has projected that this contract will create more than 10,000 jobs over the next two years.
AT&T’s consortium to deploy FirstNet includes Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI - Free Report) , General Dynamics Corp. (GD - Free Report) , Sapient Consulting and Inmarsat Government. Importantly, per the deal, AT&T will be able to use this highly valuable spectrum for commercial purposes and consumer services as well.
Consequently, the company will be able to connect FirstNet users to its telecommunications network assets, valued at more than $180 billion. Therefore, FirstNet contract can be considered a necessary boost to AT&T’s profile.
Meanwhile, the market for U.S. public safety network for first responders and civil protection services is gradually becoming intensely competitive. In August 2017, telecom giant Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Free Report) announced plans of dedicating network capacity to emergency services providers.
Price Performance of AT&T
AT&T’s shares have declined 1.21% compared with the industry’s gain of 1.65% over the past 90 days. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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