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Thursday, October 06, 2016

AT&T starts pilot IoT trial using LTE Cat-M

By Nick Flaherty

US network operator AT&T is to start a pilot trial of LTE Cat-M technology for the INterenet of Things (IoT) next month n San Francisco. The trial brings together technology from Altair (Sony), EricssonQualcommSierra Wirelessu-bloxWistron NeWeb (WNC) and Xirgo Technologies.

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. This will provide lower cost modules with a battery life of up to 10 years and better coverage for IoT devices underground and deep inside buildings.
"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." The company plans to roll the service out in the US commercially next year.

Other participants in the pilot will include:
Badger Meter – analyzing how the LTE-M network, which is dedicated to supporting the IoT, may be used to enhance communications for smart water devices.
CalAmp – exploring how the LTE-M network can help companies more efficiently manage their connected vehicles and assets.
Capstone Metering – demonstrating 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 -- examining and testing ways that sensors can improve the in-store experience with smart vending solutions for the thousands of PepsiCo products consumers love and enjoy.
Samsung – evaluating an LTE-M-based solution to enhance performance for consumer solutions. This may include wearables or other consumer devices.

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