Sprint teams with M2M DataSmart; AT&T opens new M2M lab

Sprint Nextel announced it signed a multi-year deal with wireless data service provider M2M DataSmart to add more M2M devices to its network.

Under the agreement, M2M DataSmart will provide test accounts and assist with certification and engineering applications. Further, the two companies will provide developer kits and developer test accounts for end-to-end provisioning and activation.

Craig Creason, Sprint's manager of business development for wholesale wireless data solutions, told FierceWireless that the deal had been developing for a for some time and that DataSmart had brought the concept of a partnership to Sprint. He said the partnership would help get more M2M devices onto Sprint's network by giving device and solutions providers a set of tools that they may not have. 

"What this new partnership does is really help out smaller operators that perhaps don't have all of the resources--from personnel as well as financials--to take on all of the elements of bringing a solution to market," he said.

Sprint already provides wireless service for Amazon's Kindle ereader and earlier this year it inked a deal with Ford Motor Co. to put in-dashboard computers that connect to Sprint's network in Ford vehicles. Creason said the deal would help accelerate that trend.

"We're creating scale to the business," he said. "A partnership like this with M2M DataSmart will help us generate a lot more activity from devices we're not aware of."

In related news, AT&T said it would open a new lab designed specifically to test and certify embedded wireless and machine-to-machine devices for the company's network. The operator, which teamed with Jasper Wireless in May to create a one-stop shop of sorts for M2M solutions,  said the AT&T lab will test the network compatibility, data performance and audio quality of devices, including netbooks, ereaders, portable navigation devices, utility products and health care-related tracking devices, among others. AT&T said the lab also will manage field tests, and give consumer electronics vendors and M2M device makers a clear certification path for the company's network.

For more:
- see this Sprint release
- read FierceWireless
- take a look at this AT&T release

Related articles:
Seybold's take: M2M services need compelling applications too
Is embedded wireless the new M2M?

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