10 Tools to Prioritize Data and Voice Access for Your Emergency Responders

With so much cellular data traffic out there, staying connected is a major concern for law enforcement, first responders and critical support teams. Whether it’s a large event or a crisis, your response teams require reliable voice and data to do their jobs in any and every emergency.

Data and Voice: Priority and Preemption for First Responders

To avoid potential communication slowdowns and capacity issues, Data Priority for Public Safety (DPPS) pushes your voice and data to the front of the line and preempts non-critical data so your team or tactical unit can rely on the highest quality of service no matter what. This is especially important during instances such as large sporting events or natural disasters when networks experience increased traffic.

Choosing the Right Network Provider

Choosing a technology partner that puts towers not only in urban areas, but also in the rural or remote areas where you may be called to respond, can help first responder teams stay connected. The network you choose can also power connectivity in mobile command centers that serve as communication hubs to aid interoperability.

When choosing a cellular network provider, be sure they can offer you these important tools needed to prioritize data and voice access for your emergency response teams:

  1. Data Priority for Public Safety: DPPS ensures that first responders and critical support teams stay connected during times of high traffic and emergency situations. Choose a partner that pulls first responder data out of the crowd and pushes it to the front of the line by providing priority network access and preemption over non-critical data.
  2. Wireless Priority Service (WPS): WPS provides approved organizations and emergency agencies with the ability to place wireless calls when there is heavy network traffic so local responders can get the highest priority on a carrier’s network. Ensure that national security and emergency preparedness calls are queued and given priority to establish continuity of operations and government.
  3. Priority access to carrier network towers: When choosing a provider, be sure they are selling you service on their own network. If your provider is roaming on another carrier’s towers, they will not have access to priority service and your emergency data may be handled the same as other roaming users.
  4. Push-to-Talk: Establish secure voice and location connections in one click from smartphones. When searching for a provider, look for real-time communications, with private channels, secure authentication and encrypted communications, plus file sharing and video streaming.
  5. Private core network: Isolate sensitive data and protect it from cyber theft with a dedicated network core for public safety. Engage with a provider that uses a private network or core with a static IP address and allows priority data to be sent securely so devices can’t be accessed outside the network, providing secure data transmission to help protect against malicious attacks.
  6. In-vehicle solutions / rugged devices: For connectivity that goes where you do, mobile office solutions turn squad cars and emergency response vehicles into communication hubs that connect critical devices with vehicle area networks (VANs). Consider using mobile, secure devices such as laptops, tablets, phones and cameras built to withstand extreme conditions in the field.
  7. Truly unlimited: Make sure your voice, text, data and roaming usage is never scaled back when you need it most, and that you are never charged for additional consumption.
  8. 5GWith tremendous capacity, 5G enables thousands more Internet of Things (IoT) connections, giving you proactive control of vital information that you can react to in real time. Find a provider that offers a strong 5G network in your area.
  9. Local network and solutions team: Choose a provider with a robust presence in your community and the support of local business experts.
  10. 24/7 national disaster recovery program: Find a provider that always knows the status of its network down to the cell site level and offers you: 
  • Early warning and monitoring
  • Pre-staging command and control prior to threats
  • A 24-hour first responder hotline
  • A dedicated operations team for network surveillance
  • Network outage and capacity load monitoring
  • Early storm warning monitoring / communication plan
  • Real-time network performance monitoring
  • Post-event recovery procedures
  • Systems to ensure cell sites stay operational during outages

The right technology partner can keep your first responders and community safe and connected with a customized set of solutions that offer reliability, durability, data network security and ease of use.

UScellular™ provides reliable priority access — often with more towers per square mile in rural and remote areas than other providers. Our network delivers consistent service using all of UScellular’s bands on its 30-year, time-tested network, and our team of local experts supports and guides you from pilot to production. For more information on public safety solutions powered by the UScellular network and pricing plans, contact UScellular at 866-616-5587 or visit Public Safety.