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AT&T deploys LTE-M in Mexico

Steve Rogerson
September 13, 2017



AT&T is deploying LTE-M technology across its network in Mexico. The company completed LTE-M pilots in Tijuana and Puebla over the summer.
 
It also completed an LTE-M data session between the USA and Mexico, and said it believed this was the world's first international data session on LTE-M.
 
AT&T deployed a nationwide LTE-M network within its 4G LTE network in the USA earlier this year. It has now reaffirmed plans for deployment across Mexico by the end of 2017. It says it will create the first North American footprint for technology that promises to connect more things than ever before.
 
"The success of these pilots validates we're on schedule to expand our North American footprint this year," said Carlos Sánchez, chief technology officer for AT&T in Mexico. "The possibilities for business customers on both sides of the border are endless."
 
LTE-M is a low-power wide-area technology with many advantages over traditional LTE connectivity. These include better coverage deep inside buildings and underground, battery life up to ten years, and compact module size, as small as a penny. It is suitable for personal wearables, smart meters, asset tracking, security and alarm monitoring.
 
The first pilot was held in Tijuana, the largest city on the Baja California Peninsula. Strategically located on the border with the USA, Tijuana is a key manufacturing, financial and industrial centre.
 
The second pilot was in Puebla. Located in central Mexico, Puebla is an industrial and technology hub that hosts the automobile industry.
 
AT&T worked with technology leaders and providers to evaluate performance of the LTE-M network and chipset technology in various situations. It tested LTE-M chipset technology with Qualcomm Technologies and network technology with Ericsson.
 
In Tijuana, it completed the first international LTE-M data session from its US LTE-M network to its Mexico LTE-M network. This is a big step towards creating a North American footprint. Business customers want the same consistent LTE-M experience across the USA and in Mexico the company says they now have with the AT&T 4G LTE network.
 
AT&T has announced an asset management operations centre for quick deployment of asset monitoring and management services in the cloud. This will run on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, and will use several Microsoft enterprise components, such as Azure Cosmos DB and Microsoft Power BI, to give business users a more streamlined way to track, monitor and manage their deployed IoT assets.
 
Smart bike sharing service Mobike plans to use IoT services from AT&T and Qualcomm Technologies to support its station-free smart bikes in the USA.