AT&T Foundry launches vertical industry-focused space in Plano, Texas

AT&T drone
One potential 5G use case involves deploying drones to change the damage assessment process for insurance companies. (AT&T)

Folks in the manufacturing, retail, health, finance and public sector industries are getting a little help from AT&T in the form of dedicated innovation space at AT&T’s Foundry in Plano, Texas.

AT&T describes the Foundry as a network of innovation centers that help customers take advantage of emerging technologies like 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and IoT to bring new technologies to market more quickly and streamline business network operations.

The new foundry space comes on the heels of AT&T Business aligning its sales and marketing efforts to these same verticals.

Using dedicated foundry space to court specific industries is not new to the wireless industry, but here are a few example use cases where AT&T is bringing 5G into the mix:

  • Using 5G-enabled network slicing to separate high- and low-speed service needs during peak capacity on a manufacturing floor.
  • Transforming the retail buying experience for consumers through augmented reality.
  • Deploying drones to rethink the damage assessment process for insurance companies.
  • Applying AI or machine learning techniques to enhance situational awareness for first responders.

AT&T has said it will introduce standards-based mobile 5G in parts of 12 cities before the end of the year, and it will be activating 5G capabilities in the AT&T Foundry in Plano in the coming months. It’s also outfitting Foundry centers in Atlanta and Palo Alto, California, with 5G.

“The AT&T Foundry’s approach to innovating transformative, valuable technology solutions is very intentional and specific to each of our customers,” said Vishy Gopalakrishnan, vice president of AT&T Ecosystem & Innovation, in a statement. “We’re uniquely situated to demonstrate AT&T’s extensive suite of network and security capabilities and to harness our deep technical expertise to create integrated solutions using existing and future technologies. Through the launch of this vertical-focused space, we can more quickly and effectively work in-step with our customers to address their industry-related challenges.”

Verizon recently announced it is opening new 5G labs in Washington, D.C., Waltham, Massachusetts, Los Angeles and Palo Alto to co-create new use applications and hardware. Each lab will be outfitted with live 5G networks designed to give local startups, universities and technology companies the chance to develop and test 5G.

Verizon said the new locations will replicate the success of the company’s first 5G lab at the Alley location in New York, which opened in December 2017. Verizon has lauded that 5G incubator site as a great way to develop use cases.