Is My Device FirstNet Ready? What You Need to Know

Over the last year, our sales and engineering teams have worked closely with public safety customers to better understand the tools they need to stay safe and efficient when responding to emergencies. We know that no two days – or two emergency situations – are the same for first responders, and police officers, EMS, and firefighters face very different challenges when responding to the same call.

For our customers, one of the most crucial elements of protecting the public and saving lives is access to reliable connectivity and purpose-built devices that never fail or falter despite unexpected and extreme working conditions. That’s why Panasonic and FirstNet are the perfect pairing, and together empower emergency response teams by providing mission critical communications between first responders in the field, and those located at hospitals, police stations, command centers and more.

Today, our team is working with customers to transition their devices to a FirstNet rate plan, allowing first responders to take advantage of priority and preemption services, along with the ability to send and receive voice, data, video, images, and text messages without concerns about network congestion. But before an organization can fully access the features and benefits of FirstNet, there are certain device upgrades, specifications and requirements that must be completed before the process can begin.

Is My Hardware FirstNet Compatible?

When you partner with Panasonic to transition to FirstNet, our field service engineers will visit your location to analyze your existing fleet of Toughbook devices. As part of this process, Panasonic’s engineering team can determine which of your devices are ready to be transitioned, and which devices need to be upgraded or replaced before a FirstNet SIM card can be installed. If you are already using a Toughbook model that is FirstNet capable:

  1. The device’s existing SIM card needs to be swapped out for a FirstNet SIM card
  2. The module firmware must be updated before a successful connection can be established

Do I Need Software for FirstNet?

To begin the transition, contact your Panasonic account manager or field service engineer, who can explain the options for updating your device’s firmware and share more details about obtaining and installing an AT&T SIM or a FirstNet SIM card. Our dedicated engineering team will work closely with you to activate devices and can manage the process from start to finish, in partnership with AT&T, to ensure that devices are transitioned successfully.

Which Panasonic Devices Can I Use With FirstNet?

Currently, existing and retired Panasonic Toughbook devices integrated with Sierra Wireless’ MC/EM7355 and EM7455 LTE modules are able to operate on FirstNet when used with a FirstNet rate plan and a corresponding SIM card. This includes:

  • Toughbook models CF-19, CF-20, CF-31, CF-33, CF-53, CF-54, CF-C2
  • Tablet models FZ-M1, FZ-B2, FZ-G1, FZ-A2, FZ-Q2
  • Panasonic handheld models FZ-X1, FZ-E1, FZ-N1

To learn why Panasonic should be your trusted partner for the journey to FirstNet, visit us online.

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