In this series on the defining the Digital Telco, I will be looking at a series of case studies covering the various identified key areas that define the Digital Telco. Each case study will focus in on a topic and will highlight a leading Digital Telcos efforts in that space. Enjoy!
A&T very serious about the IoT (Internet of Things). As of March 31 2015, AT&T had over nearly 22 million IoT connected devices. AT&T’s Q2 announcement revealed its net additions are largely driven by the rapidly developing connected cars market, and explained that nearly half of its 2.1 million net additions for its wireless business are connected cars subscribers.
With IoT often touted as ‘one of the biggest technological advances of our age’, A&T is putting in place a solid strategy. IoT in many ways is still the ‘Technological Wild West’, a space where there is no standardization, little consistency and next to no agreement on interoperability. AT&T are doing all the right things to put solid foundations in place to overcome these issues.
The Platform – Industrial IoT /M2M
AT&T M2X Data Service is an IoT development platform. The M2X Data Service is a managed service for developers that enables the collection, analysis and sharing of connected device data Allows customers to connect their devices to AT&T’s cloud-based data storage service. It lets companies collect, analyze and share data – from trucks and turbines to vending machines and freight containers.
AT&T are investing in building up a solid developer community around their M2X IoT platform. The environment gives developers the ability to test, tune, and iterate before distribution. It also provides them with tools to scale from a single Device to millions once they are ready to launch. Post launch, the platform enables them to collect analytics, create notifications based on data triggers, and more. With API documentation, client libraries, sample code and tutorials, AT&T has made an intense effort not just to launch a platform, but create a nurture a serious grass roots develop community that will go a long way towards sustaining innovation.
AT&T and their development partners have already demonstrated some interesting and more important viable use cases for the industrial IoT platform. These include:
- Birdi’s Smart air monitor that not only tracks smoke but provides critical metrics such as air quality, carbon monoxide levels, and pollen count in your home. [more here]
- Rescue Route – An intelligent color-changing lighting RescueRoute leads first responders to the scene of an emergency inside of a building while simultaneously illuminating evacuation routes. This useful solution was developed at AT&T Developer Summit Hackathon [more here]
- GreenGuest – A mobile application that enables hotel guests to monitor their energy, water & towel usage. While I’m not sure every hotel guest wants AT&T and their partner jumping in the shower with them, I can see the environmental benefits here.
While AT&T are undisputedly making strides on the industrial side, they are also keenly focused on the customer opportunities for IoT. AT&T’s Connected Living portfolio is designed to ‘enable connected experiences across devices – now or in the future’. The current offering is focused on:
- Connected Cars – Your car can alert you when repairs are needed, help you navigate busy streets or provide rear-seat entertainment.
- Connected Cities – In the future, traffic lights will alert you to trouble spots, lampposts will detect flood zones and air quality, and city water pipes will detect and protect against wasteful leaks.
- Connected Homes – A connected home is a safer and more efficient home. Adjust the thermostat and turn off excess lights to save energy and money. Monitor when family members come and go, open the medicine cabinet or open and close the garage door.
- Connected Health & Fitness – Know and share vitals with the doctor from virtually anywhere. AT&T leads the industry in its selection of fitness, smart locator and smartwatch wearables with more than 30 wearables to choose from.
There is no question that AT&T has taken a serious lead in defining the capabilities and the horizons of the Digital Telco. Most people agree that a clear strategy and vision for IoT is a critical component for Digital Telco success. The leading Digital Telcos understand that as traditional sources of revenue dry up, they must look for opportunities to create new value and innovate their way to new sources of revenue. While AT&T is definitely a recognized Digital Telco leader in IoT and other facets, they are not alone. In the next entry in this Digital Telco series, I will be focusing on Digital Health and looking at Telstra’s efforts in this space.
Let me know what you think.