Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

AT&T signs IoT roaming agreements across Canada

Steve Rogerson
September 26, 2019

Businesses will be able to operate IoT devices and applications across Canada and the USA now that AT&T has signed separate reciprocal roaming agreements with Bell, Rogers and Telus.
Bell, Rogers and Telus operate cellular networks that cover most of the 37 million people in Canada. Each have LTE-M up and running across their national 4G LTE networks. In addition to enabling AT&T customers to roam into each of their respective regions in Canada, these reciprocal agreements also enable Bell, Rogers and Telus to expand their LTE-M footprint into the USA.
This will allow low-power IoT devices such as smart wearables, kitchen appliances, trackers, patient monitors and alarm panels to operate continent-wide in tandem with AT&T.
LTE-M enables a host of IoT applications with lower costs, compact modules, longer battery life and coverage extension. The network operates within licensed spectrum with carrier-grade security and can support firmware and software updates, mobility and voice-over LTE services. LTE-M will be compatible with 5G deployments.
“More and more of our enterprise customers are launching IoT applications across international boundaries,” said Chris Penrose, president for advanced mobility and enterprises at AT&T. “Having access to the first North American footprint for LTE-M through these roaming agreements will help them simplify deployments, scale their IoT plans, and put them on the path to 5G. This is an important milestone towards a globalised IoT.”
AT&T launched LTE-M across the USA in 2017, followed by Mexico. It also launched a nationwide NB-IoT network in the USA in the second quarter of 2019 and expects to begin deployment in Mexico by the end of 2019.
LTE-M network deployments have grown globally during the past several years to enable a new generation of IoT applications and services. AT&T, KPN, Orange and Swisscom activated LTE-M roaming across their respective IoT networks in Europe and North America earlier this year. 
AT&T’s LTE-M network and roaming agreements now cover the USA, Canada and Mexico. Combined with existing roaming agreements covering parts of Europe, AT&T enterprise customers have access to what is claimed to be the largest LTE-M ecosystem in the world.