AT&T is opening three so-called Innovation Centers to support its LTE deployment. The announcement comes just under a year after Verizon announced a similar effort to spur development of LTE technology, particularly in the M2M space.
AT&T’s centers will support the operator’s LTE trials and testing as well as provide a space for the company to work with app developers, device manufacturers and equipment vendors.
Similarly, Verizon’s LTE Innovation Center supports the development of non-traditional products for use on LTE networks. Verizon’s Center is focused specifically on consumer electronics and appliances; machine-to-machine (M2M) products in the areas of healthcare, security and utility metering; and telematics.
Both AT&T’s and Verizon’s Innovation Centers include the participation of the operators’ LTE vendors Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson.
Two of the AT&T’s centers will be located in the U.S. while the third center will be located at an unnamed international facility. Additional details on the facilities’ locations and staffing will be announced later this year.
The centers will include dedicated facilities and staffing focused on the development of mobile applications and services as well as prototyping and equipment testing. They will focus on enabling integrated mobile and wired broadband capabilities across smartphones, PCs, televisions and other mobile devices.
“Collaborative innovation is at the heart of broadband today, and it will be even more critical in the years to come as we work to ensure that customers get the most out of mobile broadband platforms like LTE and service platforms like U-verse IPTV,” said AT&T Chief Technology Officer John Donovan in a statement. “[The centers] will provide an opportunity for AT&T experts to work directly with others in the industry to develop, evaluate and perfect new apps and services as broadband networks continue to evolve in the years to come.”