T-Mobile turns first responders’ smartphones into body cams
T-Mobile has announced a new partnership with Visual Labs to turn smartphones used by first responders into an all-in-one body cam and communications solution. More states are now requiring body-worn cameras which can be a significant cost for agencies, especially in small towns or rural areas. Through T-Mobile’s Connecting Heroes programme, a first responder’s smartphone can also become a cost-effective body camera, digital camera, audio recorder, and personnel locator, helping public safety agencies improve evidence-gathering and transparency.
While body cameras for first responders are expensive, T-Mobile says its solution “can bring massive savings to these agencies for as little as US$45 per month per device”.
Mike Katz, EVP of T-Mobile Business Group, said: “We launched Connecting Heroes to do more for the first responders we all count on — it started with free 5G on our incredible network, and now we’re adding bodycam solutions to their smartphone at incredible cost savings through our partnership with Visual Labs. At T-Mobile, we feel it’s our duty to support the men and women who risk it all for us, and we won’t stop innovating to save them money and provide new solutions they need to keep themselves and our communities safe.”
How does T-Mobile and Visual lab’s smartphone body cam work?
First responders can transmit critical video at a moment’s notice from almost anywhere using T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network. Plus, the Visual Labs solution includes secure cloud storage for videos, photos, audio recordings, and evidentiary documents, all accessible via a web-based evidence management platform.
The Visual Labs software application can be added to most Android smartphones, and the first three months are free if a customer chooses a 3-year Visual Labs contract. Customers who engage with T-Mobile by the end of the year will get a special rate of $45/month per device plus a one-time US$50 set up fee per device. And through the Connecting Heroes programme, agencies can get Samsung 5G phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, Galaxy A52 5G, and Galaxy A32 5G all for free with two-year agreements on premium rate plans. Agencies that bring their own compatible Android device can also add the Visual Labs software to the Connecting Heroes plans.
What is the Connecting Heroes programme?
Connecting Heroes is part of T-Mobile’s 10-year commitment to providing free service and 5G access to first responder agencies — all public and non-profit state and local fire, police, and EMS departments, and emergency call centers including 911 and public safety answering points (PSAPs) — potentially saving them up to US$7bn?