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MWC: AT&T Makes Smart City Waves at Mobile World Congress

By Ken Briodagh February 27, 2017

Mobile World Congress has taken over Barcelona, Spain for its annual glut of technology news, and AT&T isn’t missing a beat.

In the first big announcement of the show, AT&T and Current, powered by GE, have entered into an exclusive agreement to connect cities across the United States and Mexico to the Internet of Things (IoT). Together, the companies said they plan to unlock a realm of possibilities to improve the way cities operate, communicate and meet the needs of citizens.

Since launching its Smart Cities organization in 2015, AT&T has been using its resources and IoT expertise to deploy solutions and, with its smart cities framework as the foundation, the company has been helping cities develop and implement a holistic smart cities strategy to address current and future needs. The agreement with Current will extend AT&T’s smart city services, and open new revenue opportunities for the company. By introducing GE’s Predix-powered IoT platform, AT&T can use outdoor LED lighting in a city to create a digital infrastructure that helps address issues like traffic flow and parking optimization, gunshot detection on city streets, air quality monitoring and weather emergency alerts.

“Intelligent lighting plays a huge role in a smart city,” said Chris Penrose, president, Internet of Things Solutions, AT&T. “Our collaboration with Current will enable us to use a city’s existing lighting infrastructure to more securely connect sensor-enabled networks. This will put them on the path to becoming a smarter, more sustainable city.”

In Ireland, the company has announced a new initiative to work with Dublin City and IDA Ireland to work together on next-generation smart cities solutions. The initiative reportedly will foster an open dialogue of IoT best practices with Ireland and Dublin, which is shaping up to make itself a leading global IoT location.

“IoT solutions are already generating a measurable value for businesses. And around the world, more cities are realizing the impact IoT solutions can have on making their communities more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable,” said Mike Zeto, general manager, AT&T Smart Cities. “As an IoT and smart cities leader, we’re excited to lend our passion, expertise and insights to help Dublin create a more connected city that will have lasting benefits for current and future generations.”

As part of this agreement, AT&T will also explore opportunities to work with local organizations on IoT-related development projects, including Dublin’s Docklands IoT project.

“Being smarter will be a defining characteristic of tomorrow’s leading cities. Dublin has the key ingredients and is exploiting them to be at the forefront of smart city developments leveraging our unique cluster of global technology companies, thriving start-ups and research centers,” said Owen Keegan, Chief Executive, Dublin City Council. “Dublin City Council is delighted to collaborate with AT&T, one of the world's leading technology companies, to explore future smart city innovations.”

In other global news, AT&T, KPN in the Netherlands, KDDI and NTT DOCOMO in Japan, Orange across 29 countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Telefonica across Europe, Telstra in Australia, TELUS in Canada and Verizon in the U.S. joined forces to confirm support for the global deployment of LTE-M at the Mobile World Congress.

These operators have stated the goal of working to ensure that LTE-M supports roaming and standards-based local service delivery so that both enterprise and customer-oriented IoT objects, such as trackers or wearables, can be designed for worldwide markets. The supporting operators are engaging in several activities including pilots, IoT Open Labs and launches of starter kits to support and accelerate the ecosystem of modules and objects.

And finally, for today, in China, AT&T and China Mobile have agreed to work together to further enable the Internet of Things (IoT), according to an announcement. The deal is designed to help AT&T global business customers connect and deploy their assets and offerings in the Chinese market.

“China is one of the fastest growing markets. It holds incredible opportunity for our global business customers,” said Chris Penrose, President, Internet of Things Solutions, AT&T. “Working with China Mobile means we can further develop that opportunity. This makes it an even more exciting time to be in the IoT.”

The two companies reportedly are developing a new tech platform that will seamlessly move a business customer’s AT&T IoT subscription over to China Mobile’s local service, in order to simplify the supply chain for customers expanding in China.

“We look forward to helping AT&T business customers bring their connected solutions to our market,” said Li Feng, Chairman & CEO, China Mobile International. “We believe this will help unlock new options and experiences for our customers while achieving one of our core goals – increasing the number of connected devices on our network.”




Edited by Alicia Young

Editorial Director

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