Glenn Lurie is a seasoned AT&T veteran who gained prestige in the company by negotiating with Apple to bring the legendary iPhone to AT&T. Now Lurie is heading up the emerging devices division, which AT&T executives believe holds great promise for the company. Specifically, Lurie and his team are charged with embedding devices with wireless--including personal computers, ereaders, in-car entertainment gadgets, portable navigation devices, digital cameras and machine-to-machine communications solutions.
Lurie has already made great progress building the embedded ecosystem, which is necessary for success in this area. He is fond of saying that partnerships are the key to growth, and so far he has been busy lining up the partners. Last year, AT&T inked an exclusive deal with M2M firm Jasper Wireless to have Jasper provide the activation, billing and connectivity support for all the embedded wireless devices (both consumer and M2M) that AT&T connects to its network.
Since that deal was completed, AT&T has been adding new devices at a rapid-fire pace. At AT&T's developer conference earlier this month in Las Vegas, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega announced that the company's emerging devices lab in Austin, Texas, certified 367 devices last year.
One particularly high-profile win for AT&T was the Amazon Kindle international edition. Sprint provided the wireless connection for the original Amazon Kindle, but Amazon switched to AT&T with later versions of the device to enable international roaming.
Lurie must now work hard to keep ahead of the competition. All major operators have devoted divisions to this new area, and are striving to get consumer and M2M devices embedded with their network's wireless technology. With the inroads he has made so far, Lurie and his team are well-positioned for leadership in this area.