AT&T is jockeying for a position as an Internet of Things market leader. In a press release the company asserts that, since the start of this year, it has signed IoT deals with over 136 companies in a range of industries.
The company also says that as of the end of March, it had almost 22 million devices connected to AT&T networks around the world, and connected over 945,000 smart devices during Q1. AT&T Mobility President Glenn Lurie asserted, “There’s no question that AT&T is leading this connected revolution.”
Of course, part of the reason that a major telecommunications company like AT&T can make such a claim is that the IoT is so amorphous. In an increasingly connected world, it can be difficult to determine what’s part of the IoT and what isn’t. That having been said, AT&T really is exploring a number of exciting areas connected to the IoT, from smart grid systems to connected supply chain technology to smart home systems. And it claims to be the first telecom to found a dedicated IoT division, back in the fall of 2008.
AT&T’s branding efforts in this area are both timely and telling. Hype over the IoT is reaching a boiling point, and a number of other major interests are starting to jump into the ring, with IBM investing heavily in R&D and Samsung having recently announced a comprehensive IoT infrastructure platform. As the competition continues to heat up, we can expect a lot more of this kind of positioning from other players in the IoT game.