AT&T and Cisco have launched a 5G service to support Internet of Things (IoT) applications across the United States.

The service will use the carrier’s sub-6 GHz 5G network to support the millions of connected devices managed by the two companies. These devices are in the manufacturing, utilities, transportation, public sector, retail and healthcare industries as well as FirstNet, the public/private safety network operated by AT&T. These devices previously have been served by AT&T’s 4G LTE IoT cellular networks.

“Working with Cisco, we continue to help businesses deploy IoT devices and applications faster and more securely and get more value out of devices they use,” William Stovall, AT&T’s Vice President, Mobility, IoT and 5G, said in a press release. “This is an important first step toward the IoT massive connectivity that will eventually create opportunities for enterprises to realize the full potential of IoT.”

AT&T provided three sample use cases for the 5G service:

  • Entertainment systems will get better entertainment and navigation services.
  • Personal emergency response devices will empower users and speed response times in case of emergency.
  • Manufacturers will use camera technology to monitor and identify defects in near real time, allowing intervention while the product still is on the assembly line.

The challenges of managing a vast universe of IoT devices are great. That’s especially so as use cases evolve and the devices are called on to perform time-sensitive and mission-critical tasks.

This new collaboration expands on an existing AT&T and Cisco IoT relationship. Last October, the companies introduced AT&T Control Center powered by Cisco. AT&T said that the goal of the project is to mitigate security risks, identify anomalies in data usage and optimize traffic classification to enhance billing clarity.

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