While taking a dig at AT&T (NYSE: T) about its work in the Internet of Things (IoT), T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) President and CEO John Legere shared some of his predictions for 2016, including what he calls "real implementations" around IoT and more practical uses for drones.
Listing out eight wireless industry-related predictions and then six broader forecasts, Legere in a blog post said that in 2016, IoT will start to be more than a few buzzwords.
"We've been hearing about IOT for a long time -- especially from AT&T who thinks they can mask their flailing consumer wireless business with lots of cars and other low-value IOT connections," he said in the post. (Indeed, AT&T has been a leader in IoT, with rival Verizon starting to ramp up its act as well.)
"In 2016, we'll start to see some real implementations practiced, probably along the lines of what Google's done with Nest -- which is, of course, available at T-Mobile. These 'just-works' appliances will be smart enough and helpful enough that consumers will catch on and start to adopt IOT devices in meaningful numbers," Legere said. "And, for T-Mobile, when we see these markets get ready for prime time, we'll be ready to disrupt them just like we've done to the carriers everywhere else!"
Interestingly, he also said T-Mobile already uses drones to help inspect remote cell towers, and it's going to be a space to watch as drones go from hobby/toy to "super, amazingly useful." The buzz about drones "has been crazy" ever since Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said Amazon would deliver packages with drones, which was around two years ago. "While drone delivery to my front door hasn't quite happened (and the FAA is sorting out the rules), I do think we are going to see some amazing new uses of drones in 2016," he said.
Drones increasingly are showing up at wireless industry trade shows and playing a role with operators. Some experts say LTE is particularly well suited for drones because unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as they're also called, range too far away to rely on Wi-Fi alone and transmit too much data to use 3G.
Legere promises the coming months are going to be big once again for the un-carrier movement. "It's really clear to me that the US wireless industry will start to look very different after this year, and though we may not see this industry completely change in 2016, I believe we will see more trends and paths for what may come in 2017 and beyond," he said.
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