FirstNet names CTO

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Telecom veteran Ali Afrashteh has been named the new chief technology officer for FirstNet, the organization announced Monday.

Afrashteh most recently served as a principal consultant overseeing wireless network planning. He previously served as vice president of technology development for Clearwire, where he helped develop WiMAX technology and led the design and construction of an interoperability lab.

During his more than 30-year career, Afrashteh also has held executive positions with wireless carriers Sprint, Nextel and PCS PrimeCo.

“[Ali] understands the critical importance of implementing a network that meets the needs of our nation’s law-enforcement, firefighters and emergency-medical-services personnel,” according to a blog posted on the FirstNet website. “As such, he will plan, develop, monitor and coordinate the implementation of all network activities within FirstNet. Ali will also ensure that technical systems, policies, and processes are fully supportive of FirstNet’s mission to design and deploy a nationwide public safety broadband network.”

Afrashteh will manage planning and deployment of FirstNet’s technology programs as well as consult on strategic wireless technology and network operational planning.

According to the organizational structure revealed in March meeting documents, there are seven officers who report to the FirstNet general manager. Afrashteh becomes the fifth on the staff. In addition to remaining vacancies in the chief operating officer and chief of staff positions, FirstNet lacks a general manager to oversee the organization after the recent resignation of Bill D’Agostino.

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