AT&T has announced that it has partnered with the telecommunications equipment supplier Nokia to provide reliable connectivity to the Internet of Things (IoT) devices. According to Chris Penrose, the President of the IoT Solutions of AT&T, the carrier's enterprise customers will benefit from this partnership through the simplified adoption of IoT devices and the improved ability of the network operator to respond to the concerns of its customers. Furthermore, the carrier noted in its announcement that this partnership enables AT&T to address specific business concerns of companies using latest technologies including 5G network slicing.
The carrier announced that it will take advantage of the Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING), a service that is developed and managed by Nokia. According to the website of the telecommunications equipment supplier, WING assists network operators in managing IoT devices, securing connected appliances, and facilitating the billing of the carrier's customers. Another advantage of utilizing Nokia's WING service is that it allows AT&T's customers to access the global IoT ecosystem and infrastructure of the Finnish tech firm. It is expected that the core network assets of Nokia's WING service will become available in 20 different countries by 2020. To further simplify the process of connecting IoT devices to the network, AT&T will also utilize its own cloud-based service dubbed as the Multi-Network Connect platform. This platform enables businesses to manage their IoT devices remotely using a variety of communication technologies, including 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN), and satellite. Aside from the compatibility with a variety of communications standards, the carrier claims that another benefit of using its Multi-Network Connect platform is the ability to manage and monitor the devices using a single portal.
AT&T has been actively involved in the development of services and platforms for Internet of Things devices within the last few years. Last year, the network operator has completed the deployment of its LTE-M network. The LTE-M network is optimized for the Internet of Things devices, which should result in improved battery life and smaller modules of IoT devices. AT&T has also recently partnered with Arrow Electronics in supporting startup companies in developing new IoT devices and services. The importance in investing in technologies and services that support IoT devices arise from the fact that the sheer number of IoT devices that individuals and businesses are expected to deploy and the variety of services that carriers could offer should compensate for low revenue collected by the carrier per device.