Project will focus on San Francisco.
AT&T has announced that it will pilot an LTE-M network in the San Francisco market starting in November, before launching a nationwide Internet of Things (IoT) network next year.
The network is targeting smart city and manufacturing uses and in a statement the firm said that “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 network promises that the LTE-M will result in lower costs for modules that connect IoT devices to the LTE network; longer battery life of up to 10 years for certain enabled IoT devices; and better coverage for IoT devices underground and deep inside buildings.
Partners for the LTE-M network
It also announced five partners for the network, including Badger Meter which will analyze how the LTE-M network, which is dedicated to supporting the IoT, may be used to enhance communications for smart water devices; CalAmp, which will explore how the LTE-M network can help companies more efficiently manage their connected vehicles and assets.
Capstone Metering will demonstrate how LTE-M can improve Smart Cities sensor technologies. It will look to increase battery life and improve connectivity and sensor monitoring for underground smart water meters.
PepsiCo will examine and test ways that sensors can improve the in-store experience with smart vending solutions for the thousands of PepsiCo products consumers love and enjoy. While Samsung will evaluate an LTE-M-based solution to enhance performance for consumer solutions. This may include wearables or other consumer devices.
Related: IBM & AT&T get real on IoT tools
The pilot will also include solutions from a number of technology providers, such as Altair, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., Sierra Wireless, u-blox, Wistron NeWeb Corp. (WNC), and Xirgo Technologies.
“We have pulled together players from across the ecosystem to pilot solutions for a myriad of industries and applications,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Internet of Things Solutions, AT&T. “LTE-M will provide a unique combination of enhanced coverage and longer battery life with carrier-grade security. It’s part of our strategy to offer the widest range of IoT network options to our customers.”
Philipe Guillemette, CTO at Sierra Wireless, told Internet of Business that LPWA wireless networking technologies have taken center stage in Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity because of their promise to deliver low power together with very high network coverage (deep penetration) at low cost.
“The technologies that are best positioned for LPWA longevity are the ones that will be standardized and will therefore be able to offer the greatest ecosystem support and interoperability,” he said.