AT&T to build US and Mexico internet of things network

AT&T is building a US-wide network for the internet of things (IoT) and plans to extend it to Mexico at the end of 2017.

The company has already conducted a pilot in San Francisco, using LTE-M, the variant of 4G technology designed for IoT, and it will use this system for both the US and the Mexican national roll-outs.

“We see LTE-M as a game-changer,” Chris Penrose, AT&T’s president of IoT, told Capacity at Mobile World Congress. “We will get much deeper in-building coverage with LTE-M – so we can connect things that never were connected before.”

AT&T will build the network, in both the US and Mexico, simply with a software upgrade of its existing LTE networks. 

“LTE-M will be nationwide in the US by mid-year,” said Penrose. “Once we’ve had it working for six months in the US we’ll start on Mexico.” 

The company will use other international partners in the rest of the world, including Bell Canada and Telus in Canada, said Penrose. “We will make other announcements with global partners.” 

AT&T “has been driving IoT for almost 10 years”, he said. “We connect 30 million devices now and we’re added a million new devices each quarter.” 

AT&T moved into Mexico two years ago by buying two independent networks, Nextel and Iusacell, and upgraded them to LTE