Bell partners with AT&T to expand LTE-M coverage in the United States

Bell is partnering with U.S. telecom carrier AT&T to expand its “reciprocal roaming partnership.”

The Montreal-based telecommunications giant said that Canadian business customers will have access to AT&T’s LTE-M network across the U.S.

This is the first carrier in Canada to launch a 5G ready LTE-M network in Canada to help leverage businesses researching, testing and using the Internet of Things technology.

LTE-M, or Long Term Evolution category M1 is specifically designed to connect IoT devices to the internet.

It provides the ability to have low power devices operate for years without the requirement to recharge batteries. For example, in the agriculture sector, LTE-M capable sensors can transmit temperature, humidity, air pressure and other data to farmers directly over-the-air, without needing to connect to a separate device to serve as a go-between. LTE-M capable sensors are also able to transmit data over longer distances.

“The reciprocal agreement enables AT&T customers to roam on Bell’s national LTE-M network in Canada,” Bell said.

“Our expanded partnership with AT&T further enhances Bell’s LTE-M leadership by providing our customers with network coverage throughout Canada and the U.S.,” Bell Mobility’s vice-president of products and services Nauby Jacob said.

The carrier announced in 2017 that it was going to launch an LTE-M network in 2018 to support the growing use of IoT devices.

Toronto-based carrier Rogers also indicated that it was going to launch its LTE-M network for IoT devices in October 2018.

More recently, Vancouver-based carrier Telus opened up its IoT Shop for Canadian businesses.