AT&T has confirmed it is on track to deploy LTE-M technology across its network in Mexico by the end of this year.
The telco giant’s announcement builds on its launch of a US-wide LTE-M network earlier this year and marks a step forwards in its plans to create the first North America-wide LTE-M network.
LTE-M pilots were completed in Tijuana and Puebla over the summer, the company said. Tijuana was the first pilot; the city is strategically located on the border with the US and is a key manufacturing, financial and industrial center. Puebla was chosen for the second pilot, as it has long been a major centre of automotive manufacturing. Audi produces its Q5 SUV there, for example.
“The success of these pilots validates we’re on schedule to expand our North American footprint this year,” said Carlos Sanchez, chief technology officer for AT&T in Mexico. “The possibilities for business customers on both sides of the border are endless.”
AT&T said it had already completed what it believes to be the world’s first international data session on LTE-M, where IoT data was transferred between its US and Mexico networks.
This took place in Tijuana and the company claims it proves that it can deliver the same consistent LTE-M experience to business customers both sides of the US/Mexican border.
In fact, consistency when it comes to quality of service is one of the biggest promises made by mobile operators for both LTE-M and NB-IoT, two forms of low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) connectivity that use cellular (mobile) networks for IoT connectivity. That’s in contrast to other LPWAN standards, such as Sigfox and LoRa, which run on unlicensed spectrum.
AT&T launched its US-wide LTE-M network ahead of schedule in May this year, but was still beaten to the punch by fierce rival Verizon, which rolled out its own LTE-M network two months earlier.