Machine to machine (M2M) solutions are fueling the growth of smart devices, connected technology and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. AT&T (News - Alert) has a strong foothold in the M2M space, providing connectivity, APIs, applications, data intelligence and a development platform to enable businesses and developers to embrace M2M.
M2M applies to a wide range of applications, industries and use cases. On a consumer level, the IoT means connecting homes, appliances, cars, wearable technology and more for day-to-day uses. AT&T provides its Digital Life service, an integrated home management system that offers remote home management for users. But beyond that, AT&T empowers developers and businesses to use M2M for more industrial use cases, like asset and cargo tracking.
AT&T is one of the largest M2M providers in the world, with 16 million devices under management. Its biggest market is in the United States, but now, the company is focusing on the Asia region for its next stage of growth with a new global asset tracking product that is targeted toward Asian companies.
The tracking product is said to be more advanced than the collaborative product with OnAsset, which allowed airlines and their customers track their cargo globally. It will be complaint with air cargo, targeting companies that need global tracking capabilities.
"To the extent that a lot of the Asian countries are manufactures and exporters of products, this is very much targeted towards those countries in the sense that as they are exporting high-value cargo to Europe, North America and South America, they need global tracking capabilities through air cargo," explained Mobeen Khan, executive director of product marketing, Advanced Mobility Solutions, AT&T Business Solutions.
AT&T will also continue to improve tools for developers to build applications around AT&T’s M2M platform. The 2014 AT&T Developer Summit hackathon was one example of that -- prizes included best use of AT&T M2M app platform and APIs. It also engages with the developer community with its partnerships – working with Wipro, a provider of information technology, consulting and outsourcing solutions, AT&T offers M2M development services and systems integration across all major industries. It also recently partnered with IBM to use analytics, cloud and security technologies to support the Internet of Things and smart cities.
Khan said the size of devices, the complexity of devices and the standardization are helping drive down cost of M2M devices, which is helping to drive the adoption of these M2M devices. He said the company is also looking to expand into Canada, Mexico and Europe, helping to expand the power of AT&T’s globally connectivity, which includes coverage in more than 200 countries. M2M is the future of how businesses operate, communicate and innovate, and AT&T is working to provide the tools to help make that happen.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker