US telecom giant AT&T has begun deploying LTE-M technology across its network in Mexico, paving the way for a speedy proliferation of IoT (internet of things) applications and devices.

The network will go live by the end of December, 2017, according to a statement by the telco.

High-speed LTE-M networks are ideal for the IoT industry, as they support large-scale IoT deployments such as smart city services, smart metering, asset tracking, supply chain management, security and alarm monitoring, and personal wearables.

Some of the advantages of LTE-M over traditional IoT connectivity options include longer battery life—up to 10 years—as well as better coverage for IoT underground and deep inside buildings. Interestingly, it comes at a lower hardware cost than standard LTE.

Earlier this year, the carrier tested LTE-M in Tijuana and Puebla; the tests proved to be successful.

“The success of these pilots validates we’re on schedule to expand our North American footprint this year,” said Carlos Sánchez, Chief Technology Officer at AT&T Mexico. “The possibilities for business customers on both sides of the border are endless.”

In the United States, AT&T has already turned on its LTE-M network. Combined with Mexico, the network will create the first North American footprint covering 400 million people.

With global IoT market expected to be worth about $14.4 trillion over the next five years, A&T says it can help companies of every size develop IoT solutions at lower costs, gain efficiencies, and improve competitive advantages.