skip to main content
Close Icon We use cookies to improve your website experience.  To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy.  By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies.
Global Search Configuration

Ovum view


The Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) were the prime focus at AT&T's Shape conference, held in San Francisco in July 2016, where developers and entrepreneurs from all over the tech ecosystem met to discuss how technology will evolve and converge. AT&T is already active in investing in and developing IoT solutions for both consumers and enterprise partners. The company is set to take advantage of the increased demand for bandwidth as innovative technologies take off.

AT&T shows it is more than its network

There are two aspects to AT&T's drive to incorporate new technologies into its offering. First, investment in IoT development platforms, as well as service delivery networks and machine learning, allows the company to demonstrate that it is more than just a network. This is an important point when trying to attract entrepreneurs to work with its Foundry innovation labs, among other things.

Second, innovative technologies are necessarily more data-intensive, something underlined earlier in July 2016 when T-Mobile US announced it was offering zero-rated access to AR game Pokémon Go to certain customers as part of its "Get Thanked" initiative. One of the speakers at Shape, Google's Justin Quimby, outlined likely use cases for AR using phones enabled with Google's 3D-sensing Tango chips, which will launch toward the end of 2016 in the form of LG's Phab 2 Pro.

These uses will make a case for AT&T's adoption of 5G, enabling a smoother and faster experience and guaranteeing interest in data packages at higher price points. The same can be said for other consumer uses such as self-driving cars (or regular connected cars, as part of AT&T's Drive product), or enterprise uses such as machine learning. It also would cement AT&T's position as an innovative telco company that licenses technology to other firms, as it has done with its Digital Life and Drive platforms in Europe.


Further reading

Innovation Strategy: AT&T’s Foundry Program, TE0009-001419 (May 2015)

"Google to push AR ambitions with its own smartphone," TE0004-001093 (July 2016)

"Computer vision: Intel does the Tango with Google on 3D imaging," TE0004-001039 (August 2015)


Francesco Radicati, Senior Analyst, Consumer Technology

Recommended Articles

  • Service Provider Markets, Consumer & Entertainment Services,...

    MWC 2018 Highlights

    By Ronan De Renesse 27 Feb 2018

    Over 20 of our senior Ovum analysts and consultants attended this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February. In between meetings, briefings and presentations, our analyst team were blogging and tweeting about key developments, trends and rumors. Have a look through our daily MWC 2018 Highlights to find out what happened.

    Topics 5G AI IoT Cloud Payments SDN/NFV Smart home

  • Internet of Things

    IoT Viewpoints 2018

    IoT Viewpoints explore the IoT opportunity in 2018 and beyond. Download our latest e-book to get our newest collection of thought leadership articles on the emerging IoT trends, technologies and opportunities.

    Topics IoT

  • Consumer & Entertainment Services

    US pay TV: Is it facing an existential threat?

    By Adam Thomas 28 Mar 2018

    With US pay TV having endured the worst year in its history, thoughts have inevitably turned to the future. The likelihood remains that the immediate future will remain highly uncomfortable for everyone except the scaled multinational digital platforms.


Have any questions? Speak to a Specialist

Europe, Middle East & Africa team - +44 (0) 207 017 7700

Asia-Pacific team - +61 (0)3 960 16700

US team - +1 646 957 8878

Email us at

You can also contact your named/allocated Client Services Executive using their direct dial.
PR enquiries - Call us at +44 788 597 5160 or email us at

Contact marketing -

Already an Ovum client? Login to the Knowledge Center now