AT&T unveils nationwide LTE-M network for Internet of Things connectivity

AT&T announced that it has completed deployment of its nationwide LTE-M network ahead of schedule, and its network will enable a new generation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and applications.

The LTE-M network is now live across the U.S. on the company’s nationwide 4G LTE network, following software upgrades. Its LTE-M deployment marks another step forward on the path to 5G and massive IoT, and the network is deployed with global, 3GPP standardized technology using licensed spectrum for carrier-grade security.

AT&T plans to deploy LTE-M across Mexico by the end of 2017 to create a North American LTE-M footprint covering 400 million people. The company is also launching a full new suite of rate plans with LTE-M, with monthly plans starting for as little as $1.50 per month per device. Further discounts will be available for yearly and multi-year plans, as well as volume commitments.  LTE-M modules will be available from supplier for

about $7.50 each, including a SIM card. In addition, AT&T’s current IoT starter kits with M14A2A modules will be software-upgradeable to LTE-M with an upcoming firmware update.

LTE-M delivers longer battery life (expected up to 10 years); better coverage for IoT devices underground and deep inside buildings; and reduced module size (as small as 1/6 the size of current modules) compared to traditional IoT connectivity options.

LTE-M supports large-scale IoT deployments such as smart city services, smart metering, asset tracking, supply chain management, security and alarm monitoring and personal wearables. It has been embraced by leading global carriers. That helps build a broad base of ecosystem partners, devices and applications for global markets.

“Our nationwide LTE-M deployment is another example of AT&T’s continued investment and leadership in IoT,” said Chris Penrose, President, IoT Solutions, AT&T. “We can now reach new places and connect new things at a price that’s more affordable than ever before. Our LTE-M starter kit will also spur developers to open the doors to IoT innovation.”

Ericsson also announced Monday that it is rolling out availability of AT&T FlexWare across its global corporate network. Locations include the U.S., Latin America, Middle East, and Europe. Virtualizing its network services with AT&T FlexWare lets Ericsson adapt its network to changing business needs in near real-time, while lowering its total cost of network ownership.

With its modular nature, AT&T FlexWare is quick to set up, allowing Ericsson to roll out AT&T FlexWare to many global sites quicker than the traditional appliances built for a single purpose.

AT&T FlexWare allows businesses to deploy network functions, like routers and firewalls, virtually. Businesses can mix and match them as needed. Since these network functions are virtual, companies do not have the same need to invest, or get locked into, proprietary hardware solutions. This gives them flexibility and helps them to lower costs. In addition to deploying AT&T FlexWare, Ericsson is expanding the reach of its global AT&T managed VPN.

“We share with Ericsson a passion and vision for transformative and innovative technology,” said John Vladimir Slamecka, region president-Global Business-EMEA, AT&T. “AT&T FlexWare streamlines global network transformation, and helps protect the network investment against future changes.  For today’s digital business world, that’s crucial; it helps makes innovation happen.”

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