AT&T this week announced the launch of its nationwide NB-IoT network, after completing the software upgrades at its 4G LTE cell sites across the country.
With NB-IoT, AT&T now has two complementary Low-Power Wide Area networks – including its LTE-M network in the U.S. and Mexico. Both networks are designed for the IoT within licensed spectrum and provide carrier-grade security.
According to AT&T, having both networks offers its business customers more options to implement IoT solutions with security, interoperability, and lower costs.
The devices that ride on these networks can be configured to go dormant when not in use. That opens a host of uses that don’t need constant cellular connections. Think of things like utility meters, leak detectors, street lights and smart appliances, said AT&T.
NB-IoT is optimized for stationary use cases with basic data requirements like simple sensors, on-off buttons, smart agriculture, smoke detectors, door locks and industrial monitors. 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.