The carrier said its Cat-M1 pilot will launch later this year in San Francisco, with several “key enterprise customers” participating in the trial at AT&T Labs. AT&T said its pilot partners represent a variety of IoT use cases, including alarm monitoring, smart meters, vending inventory and propane tank monitoring.
AT&T said Cat-M1 devices can operate on its existing network and “flexibly coexist with mobile broadband services in the same spectrum.” AT&T said it expects Cat-M1 to provide benefits for customers including access to low-cost module technology, extended battery life of 10 years or more and enhanced LTE coverage for underground and in-building areas.
“Cat-M1 is an advantage for the millions of IoT devices and services coming on the market,” AT&T SVP of Internet of Things Solutions Chris Penrose said. “We expect this pilot will prove that. This next-generation technology will help businesses gather near real-time information on assets around the world. It will bring a connected world closer to reality.
Following the trial, Penrose said AT&T is planning to make Cat-M1 available commercially sometime next year.
To populate its network with even more IoT solutions, AT&T also unveiled a new IoT Starter Kit produced with Cisco and Avnet to help developers get started. Penrose called the kit a “one-stop shop” to help bring developers’ IoT ideas to life.
AT&T said the kit comes with connectivity, LTE hardware, application services and cloud storage tools, including an AT&T Global SIM that works in 200+ countries and territories; an LTE modem that runs on the AT&T LTE network; access to AT&T Control Center, an IoT connectivity management platform; an expandable development board that works with a range of plug-in sensors; an API to monitor the network connection and data transfer; REST APIs, including documentation and the ability to quickly test APIs without any coding; cloud storage to host, manage and share data across multiple groups; access to AT&T Flow Designer; and a microcontroller carrier board with an Arduin compatible expansion slot.
The new IoT Starter Kit will be available from AT&T or Avnet for only $99 plus applicable taxes and fees beginning August 2016, the carrier said.