We caught up with Kelley A. Duarte, AT&T’s Associate Vice President, IoT and Strategic Service for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, to find out what brought AT&T to Smart IoT London 2018 and to discover some of the latest applications and trends in IoT for the year ahead.

What are the key trends in IoT right now?

A large part of our focus at the moment is developing asset tracking solutions.  In other words, accurately tracking and tracing anything in the business supply chain that moves around the globe. We’re working with some of the largest global business companies across shipping, vehicle manufacturers, health solution providers and plant and construction businesses in certain parts of the globe.

With more than 197.1 petabytes of data crossing our network every business day, we analyze approximately 660 billion flows of network data

Another trend example is data analytics.  Our latest initiative with CarForce provides a global solution that helps car dealerships, fleet managers and repair shops better manager car maintenance. Using our IoT technology and platform, CarForce offers a software solution using in-car diagnostics and a near real-time dashboard to predict the health of their customers’ vehicles. It uses Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to maintain your car.

Security should be top of mind for any business using IoT. Today’s global businesses are facing a variety of threats. To stay protected, businesses should consider a multilayered approach that blends elements of threat prevention, detection and response. We recommend every business should: invest in understanding your organization’s risk posture; build your defences around known threats; create a security culture within your organization; keep current with security patches, logs, and software updates; and implement new technologies with security in mind.

Of course, the core of any IoT solution lies in the network. With more than 197.1 petabytes of data crossing our network every business day, we analyze approximately 660 billion flows of network data.

Our move to a software-defined network (SDN) allows us to help maximize responsiveness, efficiency, and provide additional layers of security.  We’re on an ambitious network virtualization path with plans to virtualize 75% of our network by 2020.

What IoT solutions are successful?

There are so many sectors that can and will benefit from IoT as it evolves

IoT has been successful, and we’re helping our customers make it work for their business success.  But undoubtedly 5G is the future.

Businesses are deploying millions of connected devices around the world. So it’s essential that these devices connect efficiently across a fabric of networks spanning the globe.  They’re coming to us for help to manage these diverse portfolios, that can span everything from asset trackers and connected vehicles to smart cities and industrial equipment. In short, they need to streamline their IoT operations, around the world.

We recently unveiled a portal, or single pane of glass, called AT&T Multi-Network Connect. It helps businesses manage their connected devices over multiple access technologies.  For example, across global networks including 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, Low-Power Wide Area (LPWA) and satellite. Businesses can configure the platform to work across various operator networks.

What other new developments have you announced in the IoT space?

We recently expanded our professional services capabilities to help the business adopt and accelerate IoT solutions. We can now offer consulting, application solutions, device lifecycle solutions, and managed services and support, together with Global Device Certification.

What sectors are most set to benefit from IoT?

There are so many sectors that can and will benefit from IoT as it evolves. We recently announced a deal with SoftBox to enable its temperature controlled packaging to the pharmaceutical industry.

we’ve opened AT&T Foundry innovation centres in 6 cities, including one recently launched in Mexico City

Softbox Systems, headquartered in the UK, provides specialist temperature control packaging to the pharmaceutical industry.  Softbox has been working with the AT&T Foundry in Plano, Texas on a proof of concept (PoC) for a connected “smart” flask. This connected flask collects location and temperature data as well as usage details, helping to monitor and protect high value, temperature sensitive medication. The flask can also help patients follow prescribed usage, even when away from home or travelling abroad. Our Global Sim card connects the ‘smart flask’ in nearly 200 countries and territories globally.

We are also working in the agriculture sector with farmers to introduce smart watering to their fields. IoT enables us to check on moisture levels, the weather, shade, soil and plant types to provide the optimum level of moisture control. This has the potential to improve crop yields in the future as our population grows and weather changes affect farming patterns.

We work with businesses around the world to provide our IoT and network expertise. We also collaborate with many companies through our AT&T Foundry innovation centres.  These spaces help move ideas to market faster.  They serve as the front door for business visionaries who want to work with AT&T.  They bring them into a collaborative environment with the expertise of AT&T innovators, industry technology providers, developers and startups.  Since 2011, we’ve opened AT&T Foundry innovation centres in 6 cities, including one recently launched in Mexico City.

Whatever the challenge, we work with customers to identify technology that fits their needs. New applications arrive every day – from tracking luggage as it travels the globe, to fleet monitoring, to healthcare applications. The sky is the limit.

AT&TAT&T exhibited at Smart IoT London, the UK’s leading event for the Internet of Things. The event, held on 21-22 March, welcomed record-breaking numbers of decision makers from across the entire ecosystem.