AT&T Deploys Nationwide LTE-M Network Before Schedule

AT&T has announced the completion of its proposed deployment of a nationwide LTE-M network before schedule. LTE-M is a network that has been developed for the Internet of Things devices to connect directly to a 4G network, without a gateway. The new network will enable a host of new generation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and applications.

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

AT&T also expects to deploy LTE-M across Mexico by the end of 2017 to create a North American LTE-M footprint covering 400 million people. It is 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. The LTE-M modules will be available from suppliers for as low as $7.50 each, including a SIM card. Current AT&T IoT starter kits with M14A2A modules will also be software-upgradeable to LTE-M with an upcoming firmware update.

Advantages of LTE-M over traditional IoT connectivity options include:

  • Longer battery life (expected up to 10 years).
  • Better coverage for IoT devices underground and deep inside buildings.
  • Reduced module size (as small as 1/6 the size of current modules).

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. Embraced by leading global carriers, it helps build a broad base of ecosystem partners, devices and applications for global markets.