November 3, 2016 — AT&T turned on an LTE-M-enabled commercial site in the San Francisco market last week to support its low-power wide-area network pilot, “starting a process that will transform the Internet of Things (IoT) for years to come.” AT&T plans to make the technology commercially available in 2017.
The pilot will include solutions from Altair, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies, Sierra Wireless, Telit, u-blox, Wistron NeWeb, and Xirgo Technologies. The technology is expected to be available to customers outside of the pilot starting in 2017.
“We’ve joined with Altair, Ericsson and technology leaders from across the ecosystem to launch the first LTE-M enabled commercial site in North America,” said Chris Penrose, president, internet of things solutions, AT&T. “Innovations like LTE-M will bring IoT to more end points than ever before. It’s part of our strategy to offer the widest range of IoT network options to our customers.”
LTE-M will combine enhanced coverage and longer battery life (up to 10 years) with carrier-grade security for a variety of IoT solutions, including smart utility meters, asset monitoring, vending machines, alarm systems, fleet, heavy equipment, mHealth and wearables, according to the company.
LTE-M will lower the costs for modules to connect IoT devices to the LTE network and provide coverage for IoT devices underground and deep inside buildings.
Other participants in the pilot will include: Badger Meter smart water devices, CalAmp connected vehicles and assets, Capstone Metering underground smart water meters, PepsiCo smart vending and Samsung wearables or other consumer devices.