IoT in Action | Episode 10 | AT&T talks IoT data plans, dev kits
AT&T announced in October it would be launching mobile-specific IoT rate plans and a scheduled trial of LTE-M in San Francisco next month.
The new prepaid plans include three tiers of data and text messages: 1 gigabyte of data valid for up to 1 year and 500 text messages for $25; 3 GB of data valid for up to 1 year and 1,000 text messages for $60; and 5 GB of data valid for up to 2 years and 1,500 text messages for $100.
We spoke with Mike Troiano, vice president of IoT at AT&T, about why these data plans were put in place, AT&T’s developer kits and LTE-M trials.
“One of the things several developers who contacted us said was, ‘I tinker at two in the morning on some of these things, and what happens when I run out of data and i need to top it off,'” Troiano said. “It got into a broader conversation: we have developer all around the United States that are looking to use these assets and they don’t want to engage directly with a sales rep – they can do this online, any hour of the day.”
The new IoT data plans are predominantely directed toward people who are just getting started with IoT. AT&T says all one needs is access to a credit card to receive the amount of data required for any project. The pricing strategy was determined using two variables: the number of devices that need connecting, and the application. If less than one hundred devices need to be connected to AT&T’s network, the least expensive data plan will most likely do the job. But if you have more devices, or if those devices are streaming video, more data will be required.
“Making data plans available for developers and innovators lowers the barrier to entry,” explained Chris Penrose, SVP for IoT solutions at AT&T. “It lets smaller players, used to working at the speed of innovation, get their products off the ground and in the hands of customers quickly. After these initial plans are deployed, we help them scale their solution beyond a thousand SIMs and provide connectivity as they grow their business.”
AT&T also said it would follow up on its developer starter kit and detailed plans for its LTE-M trails.