AT&T has been making moves in the Internet of Things space for some time now, but the carrier went all in on everything connected at CES this week.
In a series of announcement at the show, AT&T revealed a new partnership with Emerson for methane emissions monitoring, announced the addition of Portland, Ore., as a new spotlight city in its Smart Cities program, and launched a new IoT Professional Services offering that will lend the carrier’s expertise to help businesses design, test, deploy, and manage IoT solutions. Alongside the latter, AT&T also introduced a new light version of its IoT Starter Kit, a dedicated starter kit for the Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT service, and a more streamlined IoT device certification process.
"This is a time when virtually anything can be connected to the Internet,” AT&T’s Internet of Things President Chris Penrose observed. “Entirely new experiences and processes never thought possible are now achievable through the IoT. And they can transform entire industries."
The carrier’s new light starter kit (powered by AWS) will include an LTE Cat-1 modem, a U.S. and Mexico SIM with 300 MB of data that is good for six months, two antennas, two USB cables and a USB Plug, an NXP K64F development board, and a microSD card for storing security credentials and configuration. The lightweight kit will also include native support within AT&T Flow Designer for PubNub’s Data Stream Network (DSN) and API, which provides low latency and secure 2-way messaging for every device, at massive scale. The new kit is available immediately for $59, nearly half the cost of the original $99 Starter Kit.
For developers working on Raspberry Pi or similar devices, AT&T also released a new LTE IoT Add-on Kit, which includes all the cellular components of the original AT&T IoT Starter Kit, but eliminates the host controller board.
Once the devices are completed, AT&T’s new certification process will allow IoT device integrators to perform their own in-house on-network testing by following an online process. Integrators will also have the option to have the testing performed by a lab participating in AT&T’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator Program. Either version of the new process is expected to take a matter of days or hours rather than the week or two required by the old process, AT&T said.
The IoT push comes as AT&T looks to grow its web of connected devices to capitalize on both the monetary value of the IoT and the good innovative solutions can do in the world. As of September, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Operations CEO Glenn Lurie told Wireless Week the carrier had around 29 million connected devices – including 9.4 million connected cars – on its network.
“These are very, very simple, but very important solutions,” Lurie said at the time. “Our job at the company is to raise shareholder value, but at the same time we have the ability to focus on things that will make people’s lives better. There’s a ton of opportunity here for us to do a lot of good.”