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AT&T completes LTE-M network ahead of schedule

Steve Rogerson
May 25, 2017
AT&T has completed deployment of its US nationwide LTE-M network ahead of schedule. The network will enable a new generation of IoT devices and applications.
The LTE-M network is now live across the USA on its nationwide 4G LTE network, following software upgrades.
“Our LTE-M deployment marks another step forward on our path to 5G and massive IoT,” said a company statement. “And the network is deployed with global, 3GPP standardised technology using licensed spectrum for carrier-grade security.”
AT&T plans to deploy LTE-M across Mexico by the end of 2017 to create a North American LTE-M footprint covering 400 million people.
The company is also launching a full suite of rate plans with LTE-M, with monthly plans starting from $1.50 per month per device. Further discounts will be available for yearly and multi-year plans, as well as volume commitments.
LTE-M modules will be available from its supplier for $7.50 each, including a SIM card. That's half the cost of the LTE Cat-1 module AT&T launched with the supplier in 2016.
Current IoT starter kits with M14A2A modules will be software-upgradeable to LTE-M with an upcoming firmware update.
"Our nationwide LTE-M deployment is another example of AT&T's continued investment and leadership in IoT," said Chris Penrose, president for IoT at AT&T. "We can now reach new places and connect new things at a price that's more affordable than ever before. Our LTE-M starter kit will also spur developers to open the doors to IoT innovation."
Advantages of LTE-M over traditional IoT connectivity options are said to include longer battery life up to ten years, better coverage for IoT devices underground and deep inside buildings, and reduced module size, as small as a sixth the size of current modules.
LTE-M supports large-scale IoT deployments such as smart city services, smart metering, asset tracking, supply chain management, security and alarm monitoring, and personal wearables. It has been embraced by leading global carriers. That helps build a broad base of ecosystem partners, devices and applications for global markets.