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AT&T Pilot To Boost IoT Connections Includes Vending Machines

Posted On: 10/14/2016

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TAGS: AT&T, LTE-M vending machine pilot, LTE-M technology, Internet of Things, PepsiCo, Pepsi vending machines, Chris Penrose

DALLAS -- AT&T said it is working with technology leaders to show how its new LTE-M technology will bring the Internet of Things to a new generation of devices and markets. AT&T plans to pilot the LTE-M network in the San Francisco market starting in November and launch the technology across its commercial LTE network in 2017.

LTE-M technology will connect a wide variety of IoT devices, including vending machines, smart utility meters and asset monitors and alarm systems, along with fleets, heavy equipment and wearables.

Among LTE-M's key features, according to AT&T, are lower costs for modules that connect IoT devices to the LTE network; longer battery life (up to 10 years for certain enabled IoT devices); and better coverage for IoT devices underground and deep inside buildings.

PepsiCo is one of the pilot participants and will examine and test ways that sensors can improve the experience with "smart vending solutions" for its vast product line. Samsung, another participant, will evaluate an LTE-M solution to enhance performance for consumer solutions such as wearables or other consumer devices.

The pilot will also include solutions from a robust contingent of technology providers: Altair, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., Sierra Wireless, u-blox, Wistron NeWeb Corp. (WNC) and Xirgo Technologies.

"We have pulled together players from across the ecosystem to pilot solutions for a myriad of industries and applications," said Chris Penrose, AT&T's senior vice-president for IoT solutions.