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Cingular Wireless to improve emergency communications
August 11, 2004
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Atlanta, Ga. -- Cingular Wireless has been awarded a contract by the National Communications System (NCS) to provide Wireless Priority Service (WPS) to the country's authorized emergency response personnel. Cingular has launched WPS in select markets and expects WPS to be deployed across much of its network by the end of 2004. Total network deployment will be complete by the summer of 2005.

WPS provides authorized Federal, State, and local government leaders and critical private sector leaders and decision makers with priority wireless service during times of emergency. In concert with the Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS), WPS dramatically improves cellular call completion rates. In times of congestion, authorized users are moved to the front of the queue, greatly increasing their chances of call completion.

At the same time, WPS is designed to have a negligible impact on everyday cellular users, providing priority service to vital decision makers without restricting the public's ability to gain access to those same networks. WPS does not enable users to preempt existing calls or to monopolize cellular services.

"WPS is an extremely important tool to provide to key national security and emergency preparedness personnel during disaster and emergency situations," says Brian Fontes, Vice President of Federal Government Affairs. "Cingular recognizes how vitally important WPS is to those who must direct well-coordinated emergency responses. Cingular's commitment is to improve homeland security by facilitating a faster, more widespread deployment of WPS."

Computer Sciences Corporation, the NCS's integration contractor for the Government Emergency Telecommunications Service and the Wireless Priority Service, was responsible for the acquisition of Cingular as a participating WPS provider.

The National Communications System, part of the Department of Homeland Security's Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate, consists of 23 Federal member departments and agencies and is responsible for ensuring the availability of a viable national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) communications infrastructure.

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