HPUE: Keeping First Responders Connected on the Edge

HPUE: Keeping First Responders Connected on the Edge

Written By Alejandra Jasso
26th Mar 2024

Bridging First Responders to Reliable Networks with HPUE

Oftentimes, wireless networks become overwhelmed, especially during emergencies or disasters, making communication extremely difficult. FirstNet was created to provide a reliable and secure communication platform exclusively for first responders to allow effective response operations.

Band 14 is a vital part of FirstNet. It was set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet to ensure that public demand does not jam the network. HPUE, High Powered User Equipment, significantly increases Band 14 transmission for a more robust connection in rural and urban areas.

We Fix Poor Cell Signal! See Complete Signal Booster Kits for Your Situation:
Attention business & property owners, installers and integrators

Take advantage of our system design and installation services. Learn more or call us for a free consultation: 1-800-969-8189.

Request a Free Consultation

The Problem with Cellular Connectivity, Including FirstNet

Even a dedicated band for first responders is not immune to signal challenges.

Cellular signals travel over the air from cell towers to cellular devices, and vice versa. Distance from towers as well as obstructions (e.g. building material, trees, mountains, etc.) weaken incoming and outgoing signals.

Most of the time, if not always, outgoing signals (uplink) from devices suffer the most. They have a much lower transmission power than incoming (downlink) signals. This hinders mission-critical updates and successful rescue efforts in rural areas where cell towers are distant and scarce as well as in urban settings where tall buildings block reception.

FirstNet launched MegaRange to improve first responder connectivity challenges with HPUE solutions.

What is HPUE for First Responders?

High-power user equipment, or HPUE for short, is a special class of equipment designed to enhance transmission power by 6 times and improve connectivity.

FirstNet Band 14 is the only band in the United States enabled by the 3GPP standards for the use of HPUE at the highest power level. It allows first responders to operate further away from wireless towers and from other users.

First responders will experience better ranger, coverage, signal penetration, and uplink speeds.

How HPUE Benefits First Responders

High-power user equipment enables first responders to stay connected in places where other devices may experience slow or spotty service.

The 3GPP defines typical handheld devices such as cell phones as Power Class 3. These devices have a standard transmit power of 23 dBm. HPUE is classified as Power Class 1. They are allowed 32 dBm power output.

With greater power output, first responders can maintain a stronger connection when at the edge of the network when using HPUE devices. This is revolutionary for firefighters, police officers, and ambulances. When responding to calls in fringe locations where connectivity is typically unreliable, having increased range enhances data speeds for critical information sharing and communication reliability with dispatch.

For urban and suburban responders, the increase in power allows for better penetration, enhancing coverage in hard-to-reach places like basements, elevators, underground parking garages, and building shadows. It tremendously helps first responders effectively communicate inside and out.

HPUE devices can also improve connectivity across other bands, but they will only deliver Class 3 power on Band 14.

FirstNet MegaRange HPUE Solutions

Nextivity MegaRange HPUE devices are the only ones authorized to operate at high power on Band 14.

The high-power unit is a mobile router. It requires a SIM card to work. It supports FirstNet SIM cards as well as AT&T Business SIM cards for enterprise use.

Everything needed for installation is included in the box. Once set up, it draws in cellular signals across AT&T bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 14, 17, 29, 30, and 66 and broadcasts WiFi signals. Any device, regardless of carrier, can wirelessly connect to the router for greater connectivity. You can even wire devices to the router via its Ethernet ports.

High power will work automatically anywhere Band 14 is available. The lights on the router will indicate when high power is in use. Outgoing data will be transmitted even stronger back to the tower, keeping first responders online at the most critical times in the most critical areas.

There are three FirstNet MegaRange HPUE solutions:

Nextivity SHIELD FirstNet MegaFi Mobile

MegaFi Mobile keeps vehicles on land or water connected whether in the city or on the cell edge. It can be used on cars, ambulances, trucks, buses, railways, boats, and ships.

  • FirstNet Trusted™
  • Dual Band High Power Router
  • 32 dBm on Band 14 and 23 dBm on All Other Bands
  • 1 WAN and 4 LAN Ethernet Ports
  • GPS and Location Base Services
  • Includes Roof Mount 6-in-1 Vehicle Antenna

Nextivity SHIELD FirstNet MegaFi Fixed

MegaFi Fixed enhances in-building connectivity. It's designed for 9-1-1 call centers, remote sites, command centers, and IoT applications. A fixed installation is required.

  • FirstNet Trusted™
  • Dual Band High Power Router
  • 32 dBm on Band 14 and 23 dBm on All Other Bands
  • 1 WAN and 4 LAN Ethernet Ports
  • GPS and Location Base Services
  • Includes 5 Paddle Antennas and 1 GPS Puck Antenna

Nextivity SHIELD FirstNet MegaGo

MegaGo is a portable HPUE unit, designed to go anywhere first responders go, giving them the portability needed for the most reliable on-scene communication. Equipment is housed in a carrying case for easy deployment anywhere.

  • FirstNet Trusted™
  • Dual Band High Power Router in Rugged Weatherproof Case
  • 32 dBm on Band 14 and 23 dBm on All Other Bands
  • 1 WAN and 4 LAN Ethernet Ports
  • GPS and Location Base Services
  • 12-Hour Rechargeable Battery
  • Antennas Mounted on Cover

SignalBoosters offers the tools needed to amplify communication where it matters most. To enhance connectivity during critical operations, fill out the form below or call us at 1-888-427-1136 for a Nextivity MegaRange HPUE.

Request a Free Consultation

We’re also experts in Public Safety DAS and ERRC systems. Any questions you have, we’re happy to help!

Interested in Learning More? Check Out Our Cellular Info Hub / WiFi Info Hub

Interested in Learning More? Check out learning hubs.

Table of Contents

    Side Column Banner