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, further evidence that wireless carriers are going to continue to invest in the space. The announcement comes a day after Sprint Nextel announced a multi-year deal with M2M provider DataSmart to help get more M2M devices running on its network.
AT&T's lab, located in Austin, Texas, 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.
In recent months, AT&T has accelerated its push into the M2M and embedded wireless space. The carrier will power the connections for Sony's new Daily Edition ereader and Plastic Logic's forthcoming ereader device. And In May, AT&T signed an exclusive deal with M2M firm Jasper Wireless for Jasper to provide the activation, billing and connectivity support for all the embedded wireless devices on the carrier's network.
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