In a Friday announcement, AT&T said it has certified more than 850 specialty consumer and machine-to-machine (M2M) devices ranging from eReaders and netbooks to digital photo frames and home security monitoring devices.
And, to deal with the rapidly emerging business of new connected devices, AT&T has created the Advanced Enterprise Mobility Solutions Group, which collaborates with businesses, governments and other organizations to improve the connections environment.
Glenn Lurie, president of emerging devices, resale and partnerships at AT&T, said customers are able to use their wireless devices for voice in more than 215 countries and data services in more than 185 countries via roaming agreements.
The connected devices phenomenon is producing some interesting new applications. For example, AT&T said it is working with Vitality Inc. in a program in which Vitality's GlowCaps intelligent pills can alert patents to take their pills by light, sound, text message or phone call alerts if a cap is not opened on time. Another application provides a wireless connection for shipping pallets managed by American Security Logistics. Responders placed in pallets tracked by GPS are connected to service bureaus across AT&T's nationwide network for tracking.
AT&T has also been creative in developing new ways to conserve spectrum, which is widely predicted to run out in the future. For instance, the firm recently added a new layer of 850 MHz spectrum in New York City to help alleviate the spectrum congestion problems exacerbated by too many iPhone subscribers using their handsets at the same time. AT&T has also instituted metered data plans and femtocells as part of its program to conserve spectrum.