YOU ARE AT:5GAT&T Mobility CEO Glenn Lurie calls 5G an IoT enabler

AT&T Mobility CEO Glenn Lurie calls 5G an IoT enabler

Lurie talked 5G and IoT with Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg during Mobile World Congress 2016

AT&T Mobility CEO Glenn Lurie told Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg the really exciting thing, to him, about “5G” technology “is what it does for [the Internet of Things].”

Lurie made the comment at the recent Mobile World Congress show, where he told Vestberg during an Ericsson-hosted event that AT&T set up a dedicated IoT team in 2008, and has had great success with its connected car solution, which added 1 million vehicle connections over the past year, pushing its total base to 7 million vehicle connections.

“We view this as really a great opportunity,” Lurie said. “Everything in our lives is going to be connected. The future of our business is connecting everything.”

Last month Ericsson joined AT&T’s Smart Cities Alliance, which is dedicated to delivering IoT solutions for infrastructure, citizen engagement, transportation and public safety.

“The key to smart cities is if you’re going to put a sensor on every light to try to work traffic, the model goes upside down if you have to go out and change batteries,” Lurie explained. “It’s all about efficiencies.”

Vestberg asked Lurie about AT&T’s Digital Life smart home security and automation platform, which was launched in limited U.S. markets in 2012. Check out this clip to take a close look at Digital Life with Betsy Francis, AT&T Mobility AVP of sales and marketing for the Digital Life.

“We were looking at where are things that make sense for us,” Lurie said. “When you look at the United States, specifically, there’s been very little innovation around the connected home. We went out and made an acquisition and launched what we call Digital Life. What’s exciting about it is every device in the home is wireless.”

The next step, he said, is expansion. “We want to go license this outside of the United States,” Lurie said. 

Ericsson and AT&T are in discussions about a model in which Ericsson would lend their sales channels and technical expertise to help companies that want to offer the Digital Life platform outside of the United States. In the United Kingdom, Telefónica licenses Digital Life and has conducted trials of the technology.

Speaking about the challenges associated with bringing an IoT product to market, Lurie explained: “IoT is very verticalized. You go into the automotive space, it’s a whole new set of competition.” With Digital Life, “we were able to change every aspect of what it is for the home. Think about the installation of something that’s all wireless. You really start to mobilize peoples’ lives, which is the goal.”


Sean Kinney, Editor in Chief
Sean Kinney, Editor in Chief
Sean focuses on multiple subject areas including 5G, Open RAN, hybrid cloud, edge computing, and Industry 4.0. He also hosts Arden Media's podcast Will 5G Change the World? Prior to his work at RCR, Sean studied journalism and literature at the University of Mississippi then spent six years based in Key West, Florida, working as a reporter for the Miami Herald Media Company. He currently lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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