IoT sings the blues as AT&T adds Ray Ozzie to its Notecard

IoT sings the blues as AT&T adds Ray Ozzie to its Notecard

15 October 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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AT&T is working with former Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie’s Blues Wireless start-up to expand the potential and security of the internet of things.

The telco says it is “bringing to market a solution that can accelerate and streamline massive deployments of internet of things (IoT) devices and applications globally for enterprise and government customers through cellular connectivity”.

AT&T is using Notecard, developed by Blues Wireless, set up in 2019 by Ozzie (pictured), Microsoft’s former CTO and chief software architect. Before that Ozzie had a senior role in developing VisiCalc, and then created what became Lotus Notes.

Blues Wireless is still small. In July it raised US$22.1 million in a Series B funding round, from sources including Sequoia Capital and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Notecard, says AT&T, “allows just about any asset to be connected to the cloud with carrier-grade security. The solution takes away significant complexity and cost through pre-paid connectivity and allows solution integrators and product builders to accelerate time to market and scale.”

Mobeen Khan, COO of Blues Wireless, said: “We are working with [AT&T] to bring this game-changing solution to AT&T enterprise and government customers and accelerate adoption of IoT network services with thousands of customers across the globe.”

AT&T’s VP of mobility, IoT and 5G, William Stovall, said: “Businesses increasingly recognise the potential for IoT technology to materially improve their operations, create entirely new revenue streams, reduce their environmental footprint and realize the efficiencies of scale. Notecard, as an all-in-one solution, will help unlock the potential of IoT and accelerate customer adoption.”

AT&T cited research by IDC that estimates that, by 2025, the overall number of connected IoT devices worldwide will reach almost 40 billion, an increase from 31.1 billion in 2020.

The telco said that Notecard is a system-on-module that enables connections using just two lines of code. The solution enables developers of a broad range of commercial and industrial products to embed highly secure prepaid global connectivity through LTE-M and NB-IoT low-power wide-area networks (LP WAN) designed for IoT applications.

AT&T said Notecard enables cellular connections for applications requiring longer battery life, improved coverage and lower costs, and pointed to users in “the automotive, healthcare, industrial, manufacturing, supply chain, transportation, or just about any industry”.

Khan said: “AT&T is a recognised leader in the IoT solutions space with significant and growing deployments with customers in many verticals. They have been a great collaborator with our innovative business model of cost-effective embedded cellular solutions for mass developer adoption.”

Stovall added: “Notecard, as an all-in-one solution, will help unlock the potential of IoT and accelerate customer adoption.”