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Is AT&T Ready for the Internet of Things?

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IoT market worth $185.9 billion

A new study by online market research firm ReportsnReports.com showed that the worldwide market for Internet of Things (or IoT) is poised for explosive growth in the coming years. The study says the global IoT market will expand to $185.9 billion by 2023 from $16.3 billion in 2016. The report focuses on companies like AT&T (T), IBM (IBM), and Intel (INTC), which have sought to lead the IoT race.

IoT is a natural push for carriers like AT&T and Verizon (VZ) as the maturing US (SPY) wireless market has limited growth in their core operations, forcing them to cast their eyes beyond the phone carrier market.

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Smart cities

That being the case, AT&T’s alliance with Intel and General Electric (GE) to deploy cameras, microphones, and sensors in San Diego is telling. The companies aim to transform San Diego into a smart city. Once they do that, they could use San Diego as a sample to attract business for their smart city tools and systems. The global smart cities market will be worth ~$3.5 trillion by 2026 from $622.0 billion in 2016, according to Persistence Market Research, suggesting a huge market opportunity for IoT providers.

Network upgrades

AT&T is investing billions of dollars to boost the speed and availability of its network. It recently said it will acquire Straight Path’s 5G-suitable spectrum for $1.6 billion. These moves can be seen as part of its efforts to strengthen its network to handle the traffic explosion expected to come from IoT devices. Research firm IDC estimates that there will be 25.6 billion IoT endpoints by 2019 with the number growing to 30.0 billion by 2020.

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