While carriers like Verizon and AT&T steal the lion's share of the spotlight with their commercial LTE deployments in the 700MHz spectrum, there's another block of RF in the same range that's being used for a decidedly more critical role: public safety. Motorola has been working in and around San Francisco for a couple years now to upgrade the region's first responder wireless data network into the modern era, and that effort has reached a major milestone last week with the news that the local organization responsible for the network — the so-called BayRICS Authority — has approved the build-out. Though the network is LTE-based and will give police, firefighters, EMTs and other emergency personnel access to high-speed data throughout the region, Motorola says it'll be ensuring interoperability with existing public safety networks in the area as it expands to cover over 7,000 square miles of the Bay Area. It should start seeing real-world use next year.