The Wall Street Journal: Verizon building first-responder network to compete with AT&T

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    RyanKnutson

    Verizon Communications Inc. said it is building dedicated lanes at the core of its U.S. wireless network for firefighters and other first responders, a bid to compete with AT&T Inc.’s plans for its own public-safety network.

    In March, AT&T T, -0.88%  won a $6.5 billion federal contract to build FirstNet, which is intended to provide nationwide wireless data coverage and priority access for first responders during emergencies.

    Verizon VZ, -0.62%  , the nation’s largest carrier by subscribers, says it controls about two-thirds of the market for police, fire and other first responders, and in its announcement signaled that it plans to hold on to them.

    “We’re serious about remaining extremely relevant in this space,” Michael Maiorana, a Verizon senior vice president who oversees the effort, said Tuesday. The company declined to say how much it would spend to make the upgrades.

    An expanded version of this report can be found at WSJ.com

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    Write to Ryan Knutson at ryan.knutson@wsj.com

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