T-Mobile USA said Tuesday it has launched wireless priority service (WPS) in 15 markets east of the Mississippi River as part of its contract with the federal government. WPS provides priority cell telephone service to national security and emergency service personnel during emergencies.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile won the national contract to provide WPS through Reston, Va.-based DynCorp, the wireless carrier’s system integrator. T-Mobile has been providing WPS to New York City and Washington, D.C., since May of last year.
New markets announced Tuesday include Atlanta; Birmingham and Mobile, Ala.; Boston; Jacksonville and Miami, Fla.; Louisville, Ky.; Memphis and Nashville, Tenn.; New Orleans; Norfolk and Richmond, Va., and Philadelphia. T-Mobile said it would be launching in more markets later this year.
The Bush administration made WPS service a priority for the government following the Sept. 11, 2002, terrorists attacks on New York City and Washington. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, government officials and emergency workers couldn’t use their cell phones to coordinate relief efforts because the wireless networks were either destroyed or swamped with traffic.