AT&T LTE-M network is said to be now on the air in the San Francisco market in support of test program, with nationwide expansion planned for next year
AT&T moved on previously announced plans to commercialize an LTE-M cell site, which it claims to be the first in North America, in support of its plans for the “internet of things.”
The carrier said the site is in the San Francisco market and is designed to support the pilot of its LTE-M Low-Power Wide-Area network at the AT&T Labs in nearby San Ramon, California. The carrier reiterated plans to expand the technology across its commercial network throughout next year.
AT&T had previously noted Altair, Ericsson, Qualcomm, Sierra Wireless, U-blox, Wistron NeWeb and Xirgo helped in the site deployment, with pilot participants set to include Badger Meter, CalAmp, Capstone Metering, PepsiCo and Samsung. The carrier expects the technology to provide a lower cost for modules to connect IoT devices to its LTE network; longer battery life of up to 10 years; and improved coverage for IoT devices.
AT&T earlier this month unveiled mobile-specific IoT prepaid plans targeting developers and businesses. The plans include three tiers of data and text messages: 1 gigabyte of data valid for up to 1 year and 500 text messages for $25; 3 GB of data valid for up to 1 year and 1,000 text messages for $60; and 5 GB of data valid for up to 2 years and 1,500 text messages for $100. The plans are set to be available later this month.
The carrier noted the plans followup on its IoT Starter Kit, which launched in July. The $99 kit includes a global SIM card; LTE modem; access to AT&T’s Control Center; an expandable development board designed to work with a range of plug-in sensors; an API to monitor the network connection and data transfer; cloud storage to host, manage and share data across multiple groups; access to AT&T Flow Designer, which is designed to help developers launch IoT apps; and a microcontroller carrier board with an Arduino-compatible expansion slot.
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