AT&T said yesterday that it has completed upgrades to its 4G LTE network to support NarrowBand Internet of Things (NB-IoT) connectivity. AT&T NB-IoT service is now available nationwide, the carrier said.

AT&T already is serving IoT with a LTE-M network, noted AT&T Senior Vice President for IoT Chris Penrose in a blog post. Thus, he wrote, the company now offers two low-power wide-area networks (LP-WANs) that support IoT options using licensed spectrum. The offerings provide carrier-grade security, he said.

He also noted that both IoT services allow devices to not be connected when they are not actively transmitting, which increases flexibility and reduces costs.

Advertisement

NB-IoT is aimed at stationary use cases that have basic data requirements such as simple sensors, on/off buttons, smart agriculture, smoke detectors, door locks and industrial monitors, according to Penrose.

In contrast, he said, “LTE-M, with its greater bandwidth, can support firmware and software updates, mobility and voice-over services. We’ve deployed pet trackers, asset management, medical wearables, utility meters and more over LTE-M.”

The post says that both networks connect coming “out of the box” and don’t have the complexity of setting up Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Both reach into buildings and underground. Penrose’s goal is to certify $5 modules that connect devices to NB-IoT. Another goal is multi-mode modules that support both NB-IoT and LTE-M. Pricing plans are now as low as $5 per year per device, he said.

Last June, AT&T said that it would launch the NB-IoT network early in 2019 in the United States.

AT&T is not the only carrier in the NB-IoT game, of course. Last July, T-Mobile launched its NB-IoT network nationwide. The company said at the time that it was the first such network in the United States.

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Don’t Miss Any of Our Content

What’s happening with broadband and why is it important? Find out by subscribing to Telecompetitor’s newsletter today.

You have Successfully Subscribed!