Fact vs. Fiction: Refuting 5 Connectivity Claims for Public Safety Partners

How many times has a communications partner told you that their solutions were better than those of its competitors? How do you know if they are telling or bending the truth? With so many available features, and so many different use cases for public safety agencies, it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction.

That’s why it’s important to understand industry jargon and choose the right technology partner to support your connectivity.

5 Common Claims and What They Really Mean to You:

  1. What you may hear: Exclusive band spectrum for frontline workers

    What you need to know: Buildings, trees and mountains act as barriers to signals within different radio frequency (RF) band spectrums. As your mission takes you to varying terrains, relying on one band does not guarantee the best connectivity. However, by leveraging multiple bands, communication becomes faster and more stable. Moreover, dedicated bands for frontline workers provides you priority on that specific band and excludes others. Ask your wireless partner if all their towers have access to dedicated bands for first responders.

  2. What you may hear: Vast national presence and coverage

    What you need to know: Having national coverage does not automatically translate to uninterrupted coverage in all areas. Most often, urban areas with dense population are well-covered by most networks, but in rural areas, connections tend to falter. It is also important to consider your connectivity partner’s local presence and ability or desire to support your needs in more remote areas. Having a strong presence where you work and support from dedicated local teams—not just through the buying process but continued business and operational support—is vital.

  3. What you may hear: Priority and preemption on roaming networks

    What you need to know: Wireless priority and preemption circumvent regular traffic during peak usage by temporally reallocating low-priority data and voice, ensuring that first-response teams stay connected. While wireless carriers are able to provide this service on their own networks, data is not prioritized when roaming on other carriers’ networks. Ask your wireless partner if their networks provide priority and preemption on all towers and networks where your operations exist.

  4. What you may hear: Public-private partnership (or backed by federal government)

    What you need to know: Consider who actually provides support for the services after purchase—a contracted agency in a retail environment or experienced wireless communication professionals dedicated to the public sector? Also consider costs of services, which should be well vetted with differences between promotional periods and how they align with committed contract terms.

  5. What you may hear: Quality of 5G networks and coverage

    What you need to know: The capabilities that 5G offers individuals and businesses are undeniable, but not all 5G is built the same. Using a layered approach of low band, mid band and millimeter wave strategies ensures best outcomes for coverage, especially in mobile applications. It’s important to ask your wireless provider if all broadcast cellular bands support priority and preemption traffic, and how other traffic is treated in an emergency. You’ll also want to understand network interoperability and if roaming agreements with other carriers will provide or ensure the capability of maintaining priority services. Finally, ask your wireless provider how densely their networks are built and whether they own their towers or lease/collocate their space. This determines how quickly they can recover in case of equipment failure that could interrupt your operations.

Why UScellular®

Public safety teams who choose UScellular enjoy a wireless, proactive partner who understands the importance of reliable communications to your mission success, especially during emergencies. We offer your community unparalleled support because it is our community too.


Speak to a UScellular public sector specialist local to your community to learn the facts about connectivity. Call 866-616-5587 or visit Public Safety.

Mission Critical: How to Overcome Four Law Enforcement Communication Concerns

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The keys to finding the right technology are straightforward: Identify your concerns, and then understand the available solutions. Knowing what communication concerns other departments are trying to solve can help you get started.