INTERVIEW: Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be vital to unlocking the “true potential” of IoT, believes Chris Penrose, AT&T’s president of IoT solutions (pictured), as he suggested experience will help the operator gain a competitive edge in the segment.

Speaking to Mobile World Live, Penrose said it “almost becomes impossible” to use the data generated by connected devices and make it into something actionable, given its volume, without some sort of AI assistance.

Using data will ultimately “unlock predictability”, he said, and will enable an evolution for the industry from being able to “sense information to being able to predict things”.

“We will know that a factory floor or a machine might be going wrong ahead of time and can be altered, or for a car battery we will be notified that its going to fail before it does using the power of AI.”

Penrose also said the operator was confident in the potential of its consumer and enterprise IoT offering, despite increased competition from rival operators in the US.

At the start of the year, T-Mobile US launched its Magenta NB-IoT tariff for businesses, while Verizon rolled out a similar offering for its LTE-M network.

Penrose, however, was bullish about AT&T’s chances, stating the company had been developing its offering for a decade and was now a “world leader in the space”.

“We provide not just connectivity, but an array of solutions to help our businesses transform what they are doing…if we look at the entire portfolio, we feel good about our competitive position.”

Penrose also addressed the company’s NB-IoT rollout in Mexico and the role IoT will play in bolstering the company’s FirstNet emergency services network. Click here to watch.