CES 2016: AT&T preps network for Internet of Things with new LTE modules

AT&T ​reiterated in a new report it expects 50 billion "things" to be linked up and sharing data across smartphones to traffic lights and beyond within the next four years.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

LAS VEGAS---With the Internet of Things again expected to dominate the conversation at the annual Consumer Electronics Show this week, AT&T is preparing its network for the future with a new set of LTE modules.

AT&T reiterated in a new report published on Monday that it expects 50 billion "things," or connected apps and hardware, to be linked up and sharing data from smartphones to traffic lights and beyond by 2020.

Chris Penrose, senior vice president for Internet of Things Solutions within the AT&T Mobility department, hinted that the sheer number alone of connected products could cause confusion with businesses and consumers alike.

"There's a lot of noise out there about the IoT. Our goal is to replace confusion with clarity," Penrose wrote in prepared remarks.

Thus, the nation's second largest mobile provider is aiming to support both ends of the spectrum, so to speak, with two devices serving distinct kinds of workloads.

On the lower side of the scale is the M14A2A (LTE Only Category 1), which is primarily being touted for cutting back on battery drainage occurring on idle mobile devices.

Taking up additional slack are the M14Q2 (Category 1) and M18Q2 (Category 3) options, which will add on the benefit of a 3G fallback option as well as LTE connectivity.

The new LTE modules are scheduled to roll out during the second quarter with pricing starting at $14.99.

AT&T is expected to announce more developments for mobile, cloud and enterprise services on Tuesday as the telecommunications giant hosts its annual developer summit amid CES.

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