AT&T Wants to Turn Maxwell Into a Smart Base

AT&T is taking on the logical military conclusion of the smart device philosophy—applying it holistically to bases. Teaming up with Maxwell AFB, Ala.—as well as with Air University and other Air Force personnel—the company plans to demonstrate its ability to create smart perimeters, gate monitoring, notifications, and fleet management, according to a company release. “Military bases function as small cities,” said Col. Don Lewis, Maxwell’s 42nd Mission Support Group commander, in the release. “And we face a lot of the same challenges municipalities face.” The telecommunications company’s work is reflected in a still larger governmental collaborative project. AT&T will work alongside FirstNet, the First Responder Network Authority, an effort from the Department of Commerce to create a national broadband network dedicated to first responders. The partnership, announced March 30, will aim to do just that. “Today is a landmark day for public safety across the nation and shows the incredible progress we can make through public-private partnerships,” said Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a release. “FirstNet is a critical infrastructure project that will give our first responders the communications tools they need to keep America safe and secure.” Through the agreement, AT&T will ultimately build a $46.5 billion wireless broadband network, for which FirstNet will provide 20 Mhz of “high-value, telecommunications spectrum” and, if all goes well, up to $6.5 billion in supplemental funding.