AT&T has launched a business-focused narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network across the US and Mexico. The move marks the latest addition to AT&T’s low-power wide-area (LPWA) network aimed at meeting North America’s ever-expanding interconnectivity needs.
The rollout, which is set to begin deployment by the end of 2019, has been linked to the increasing demands being placed on current IoT networks. Both the NB-IoT and the existing LTE-M networks all under the LPWA designation. LPWA technology is capable of wider coverage and longer battery life, making it ideal to support substantial IoT deployments. It also operates on a licensed spectrum, makes it more secure, less susceptible to interference and offering broader coverage than unlicensed spectrums.
With this move, AT&T has claimed it is ready for a highly connected future. Currently, there are 24 mobile operators who have launched 48 mobile IoT networks on both LPWA networks, according to the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA). By 2025, GSMA predicts there will be close to 1.8 billion licensed LPWA connections.
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"We've seen global momentum for LPWA since launching our North American LTE-M network last year," commented AT&T president of IoT solutions, Chris Penrose. "Adding NB-IoT to our portfolio will expand our LPWA capabilities, help drive investment in our evolution to 5G and support our customers as they deploy IoT solutions across the US and Mexico."
Although the launch is geared for future needs, both LPWA networks will operate with the 4G LTE network, and deployment of the new software will coincide with the end of year launch of 5G networks in Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia.