Money Tree

AT&T is looking to invest in companies that are developing a wide range of hot technologies, including generative AI, industrial internet of things (IIoT) and more. The investments would be made through the company’s AT&T Ventures arm.

The company is looking to invest in six areas. In addition to generative AI and IIOT, the other four areas are networking and edge computing; connected home and consumer solutions; next-gen transportation; and cybersecurity.

An example of the carrier’s current work in AI is Ask AT&T, a tool that enables employees to generate video, images and text in support of tasks, such as providing automated summaries and action items from meetings. The company announced its deployment to more than 60,000 employees last June.

At that time, the company said that early AI use cases include network optimization; upgrading of legacy software code and environments; customer support; providing quick and simple answers to HR questions and reducing employee meeting time by providing automated summaries and action items.

In a blog post, AT&T Ventures head Vikram Taneja noted that IIOT applications exist in manufacturing, logistics, healthcare and other sectors. The carrier is integrating IoT connectivity to enable customers to automate and streamline operations. Use cases include robotics, mixed reality, gaming, smart cities and digital twins.

According to Taneja, AT&T sees connected home and consumer solutions as an extension of the company’s own fiber and wireless services.

As for network and edge computing, Taneja said that AT&T is continuing to scale its standalone 5G network and is launching 5G edge zones that will bring the network closer to end users. It soon will provide developers and businesses access to network capabilities that will enable them to create advanced network experiences.

In the next-gen transportation arena, the company focuses on end-to-end connectivity across the entire transportation ecosystem. It has established relationships with major automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

On the cybersecurity front, AT&T is looking to leverage its security patents – it has more than 1,000 — in areas such as identity management and cloud automation.

Current AT&T Ventures

The blog post also provided an update on three companies in which AT&T has invested recently.

AST SpaceMobile focuses on space-based cellular connectivity. AT&T spectrum was used in tests, including what the carrier says is the first space-based voice and video calls. Earlier this month, AT&T committed to spending $20 million on developing satellite to cell phone technology.

Another company with which AT&T Ventures is working is Databricks, which has developed hundreds of AI and machine-learning models. The Databricks Data Intelligence Platform is a key component of AT&T’s target architecture, the carrier says.

AT&T Ventures also is looking to work with other ventures. As an example, Titletown Tech, which was formed by the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft, is an early-stage venture capital firm that focuses on challenges to industries in Wisconsin and the north-central U.S. It recently closed its second-round fund of $70 million, making a total amount of assets under management $95 million.

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