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AT&T in M2M deals with Qualcomm, Ericsson and Cisco

US carrier bids for role in the Internet of Things, extending developer and home management platforms


Published: 8 January, 2013

READ MORE: US | AT&T | Qualcomm | Cisco Systems | M2M | Wi-Fi

AT&T has been one of the world's most active cellcos in driving developer and device platforms for the internet of things (IoT), and at this week's Consumer Electronics Show, it has announced two new partnerships in this area, with Qualcomm and Cisco.

Qualcomm Technologies unveiled a development platform for IoT based on its QSC6270-Turbo chipset and supporting Java ME Embedded 3.2. It harnesses the firm's Gobi modem technology to link to AT&T's networks. In May, Qualcomm announced an IoT roadmap with Gobi at its heart. Supporting CDMA, HSPA and LTE connectivity, it has been mainly associated with laptops and smartphones, but it will also target high end M2M uses such as automotive infotainment and digital signage.

The offering also incorporates Snapdragon processors and several on-board sensors, including an accelerometer, light sensor and temperature sensor. Connectivity options are tri-band UMTS/HSDPA and quad-band GSM, as well as standalone GPS and, via a Qualcomm Atheros module, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi a/b/g/n.

AT&T and its partner will start to make the platform available to developers in the second quarter, promising it will reduce time to market and simplify the creation of connected applications, especially for machine-to-machine verticals like industrial control and healthcare.

In North America, the platform will be supported by AT&T, allowing developers to test their solutions on live networks, but Qualcomm will look for similar alliances with operators in other countries.

"Qualcomm Technologies sees the Internet of Everything as having significant potential. In addition to large IoE verticals like automotive and energy that have established industry players, application developers are key to creating future IoE verticals and applications that haven't even been thought of yet," says Kanwalinder Singh, SVP of business development at Qualcomm Technologies.

Meanwhile, Cisco is teaming with AT&T to create a wireless home security control panel for monitoring many devices round the home such as door locks and smoke alarms. This is part of AT&T's Digital Life portfolio of devices and services for consumers looking to be connected beyond the handset. It combines Cisco wireless technology with AT&T software and aims to ease the management of home security, energy consumption and other applications. Cisco also provides back office provisioning and applications for controlling the host of embedded gadgets.

While the service is tied to AT&T's network on the wireless side, it does not matter which broadband provider a customer has.

The platform supports five wireless connectivity standards - one-way and two-way communications radios, Z-Wave, Wi-Fi and 3G plus the OSGi (Open Services Gateway Initiative) software framework, which supports modular assembly of software built with Java, and was set up in 1999 by Ericsson, IBM, Sun (now Oracle), Nokia, Intel, BMW and Philips.

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