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AT&T launches LTE-M network in Mexico

AT&T launched LTE-M technology in the U.S. market in May 2017

AT&T has completed the necessary network software upgrades to support the deployment of its LTE-M network in Mexico.

This new launch follows commercial LTE-M trials in the Mexican cities of Tijuana and Puebla in the third quarter of 2017. In August last year, the telco had completed the first LTE-M roaming international data session between the U.S. and Mexico.

“LTE-M technology in Mexico is now network-ready to create a contiguous LTE-M network across the U.S. and Mexico. We believe that Mexico has a great potential to adopt IoT solutions and take full advantage of the possibilities it offers. This is another step toward innovating and establishing connections throughout the country,” said Carlos Sánchez, AT&T chief technology officer at AT&T in Mexico.

AT&T Mexico said this upgrade expands the addressable market for new devices such as the AT&T LTE-M Button. It also eases implementation of smartcCities with solutions such as smart energy meters, merchandise monitoring, security alarms, asset management and supply chain management, among others.

Last year, when the telco announced its plans for Mexico, AT&T said it wanted to combine its U.S and Mexico networks, with the aim of covering 400 million people with the technology.

The telco had launched LTE-M in the U.S market in May 2017. Rival telco Verizon is also offering this technology in the U.S while Sprint had previously announced plans to deploy this technology during 2018.

AT&T said the network in Mexico will support IoT services such as smart cities, asset management, security systems and other capabilities.

A number of European telcos have also announced plans to deploy LTE-M technology. Last month, Vodafone Netherlands said it will be rolling out its LTE-M network nationwide in the second quarter. The telco has already activated antennas in Amsterdam and Maastricht.

Also, Dutch telco KPN has recently activated a test network for LTE-M at several locations in The Hague and Rotterdam. The telco said it will launch this technology nationwide during the second quarter of 2018.

French company Orange Business Services has been also accelerating its LTE-M strategy to support the development of IoT solutions for the enterprise market in Europe. In February 2017, the French telecom group said it would be prioritize deployment of LTE-M across its footprint in Europe.

In Spain, Orange has started several tests of LTE-M technology with strategic customers and device manufacturers. The trials cover different sectors and applications, including smart utilities, smart cities and facility management. The telco said it will launch LTE-M technology in France during 2018.

LTE-M – also known as category M1 (Cat-M1) – is one of three low power wide area technologies licensed by 3GPP. The other technologies are NB-IoT and EC GSM IoT. LTE-M supports large-scale IoT deployments such as smart city services, smart metering, asset tracking, supply chain management, security and alarm monitoring and personal wearables.

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