Since January AT&T has signed Internet of Things (IoT) agreements with more than 136 companies across industries including agriculture, automotive, aviation, energy, healthcare, transportation, security and supply chain logistics, helping companies save money and improve efficiency.
The AT&T network had nearly 22 million IoT connected devices worldwide as of March 31, the company says. More than 945,000 smart devices connected during the first quarter of this year. That’s 70 percent more than the same quarter a year ago.
Of those devices, 684,000 were connected cars. AT&T says it leads the industry, working with eight of the top automakers.
Earlier this month AT&T, IBM and Mueller Water Products developed new technology to help cities manage water and prevent leaks using IoT technology.
The market for Internet of Things are expected to nearly triple to $1.7 trillion by 2020, says global market intelligence firm International Data Corp. Devices, connectivity, and IT services will make up the majority of the market, IDC reports.
AT&T says businesses are increasingly turning to machine-to-machine (M2M) or Industrial IoT technology because it can help them cut costs, boost revenue, save time, reduce energy use and increase visibility.
The company says five key areas that must be addressed as connected device adoption increases:
- Customer Experience: One of the most important pieces to the success of IoT is creating simple and easy interfaces.
- Standards: Widespread technology needs standards. Open platforms and consistent set of standards that support multiple device types.
- Security: Every connection/device is a potential point of attack. A layered approach to enterprise security is essential to deal with today’s threats and business environments.
- Battery Life: Evolving battery life in devices/sensors that support high bandwidth services without draining battery.
- Cost: Lowering cost to bring connectivity everywhere.