Less than a couple of months since industry leader Verizon Wirelessrevealed that it had deployed its LTE-M network across America, rival AT&T has also announced recently that it has completed the roll out of its own countrywide LTE-M network for the Internet of Things (IoT) earlier than expected.
Despite launching its LTE-M network for IoT ahead of schedule, AT&T is already looking to get started on the next steps. For one, the second biggest wireless carrier in America is targeting to roll out its LTE-M network across Mexico before the end of this year in order to set up an LTE-M backbone that should serve 400 million mobile users.
LTE-M is being highlighted by various service providers as a cost effective wireless technology that should translate to affordable prices for end users. In AT&T’s case, it has already officially unveiled a new suite of rate plans with LTE-M, with monthly options priced as low as $1.50 a month for each device. The major US wireless carrier further disclosed that more discounts will be made available for yearly and multi-year plans, plus volume commitments. Of course, one can not help comparing AT&T’s offering with that of Verizon Wireless. When the Big Red formally introduced its LTE-M network back in March early this year, it had mentioned data plans that cost as little as $2 a month for each device, plus customized options included for bulk activations and volume purchases.
According to AT&T, its LTE-M modules will be made available from its partner supplier for as low as $7.50 each. A module will also come with a SIM card, which the mobile operator claims make sup half the cost of the LTE Cat module that it had started offering with its supplier last year. It is also worth noting that AT&T’s existing IoT starter kits with M14A2A modules can be upgraded in terms of software to LTE-M by way of a firmware update deployment soon.
As explained by Chris Penrose, the president of IoT Solutions at AT&T, via an official statement, the company is now in a good position to foster innovation with regards to the concept of the Internet of Things. With the LTE-M roll out, its customers can now access new places and connect new gadgets while enjoying a pricing that is more cost effective than ever. Furthermore, the LTe-M starter kit should encourage more app developers to explore more real life applications for IoT.
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