In a recent announcement, AT&T confirmed that they are planning to introduce their LTE-M network in San Francisco market. AT&T hopes that this move will help them to boost the connectivity among Internet of Things devices. Reports indicate that the company will conduct an LTE-M pilot in November at San Francisco. However, this service will be effective only by next year.
AT&T mentioned that their IoT devices are targeting tools, which are commonly associated with manufacturing and small cities. “LTE-M technology will connect a wide variety of IoT solutions such as smart utility meters, asset monitoring, vending machines, alarm systems, fleet, heavy equipment, mHealth, and wearables,” the company said.
AT&T claimed that the LTE-M would make the connection of IoT devices to the networks much cheaper, will significantly improve the coverage of the network both at underground and inside, and will increase the battery life of the devices. AT&T mentioned that the battery life of the devices would get “up to 10 years for certain enabled IoT devices.”
If you are unfamiliar with LTE-M, it is actually the short for LTE-MTC (machine-type communications), which is optimized to handle the data transfer between connected devices or machines. Moreover, it can also be easily enabled by carriers.
In the announcement, AT&T also shed some light on the five other partner organizations, who will be working with the latest technology from AT&T during their pilot. Reports indicate that two of the partner organizations, Capstone Metering and Badger Meter might also use the latest technology to improve the connected water meters.
In addition to that, Capstone Metering is also looking forward to use the technology to improve the smart city sensors. The remaining companies, CalAmp, PepsiCo, and Samsung, will work on connected vehicle management, smart vending machines, and wearable devices, respectively.
In a press release, Chris Penrose, senior vice president of Internet of Things Solutions at AT&T, said that they “have pulled together players from across the ecosystem to pilot solutions for a myriad of industries and applications. LTE-M will provide a unique combination of enhanced coverage and longer battery life with carrier-grade security.”
The other companies who will also take part in the pilot are Xirgo Technologies, Wistron NeWeb Corp., u-blox, Sierra Wireless, Qualcomm Technologies, and Altair. AT&T had earlier released their IoT Starter kit back in the month of July.