Atlanta drives mobile innovation

There’s a momentum in Atlanta fueling ideas and innovation. Atlanta has a robust ecosystem driving mobile innovation and real-world application.

Mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets and other Internet devices, have transformed how we interact. Smartphones are projected by 2016 to be in the hands of 1.3 billion people worldwide. By 2020, there could be 50 billion connected devices.

Atlanta’s culture encourages growth. In the past year, Atlanta has claimed headlines with major mobile technology announcements and created an estimated 24,000 jobs in mobile app development alone. The result: an estimated economic impact of more than $1 billion. Add to that Atlanta’s low cost of doing business among the top 10 largest metro areas in the U.S., and you have the right environment for businesses interested in mobility.

Atlanta’s culture of innovation, along with its 66 universities and colleges, was a big reason AT&T opened its fourth Foundry in Atlanta. The Atlanta Foundry is dedicated to identifying, developing and accelerating the development of projects in new wireless services, like connected home, car and other consumer electronics.

Five months after opening the Foundry, we cut the ribbon on our connected-car innovation center, the AT&T Drive Studio. This garage is going to be one of the premier places for connected-car innovation in the world. The 5,000-square foot facility is equipped with the latest technology, two vehicle bays, and a speech lab to test and develop technologies to enhance the driving experience. Connected-car experts from all over the world will come to collaborate and build the future of the automobile.

We also have introduced two new services in the past year. AT&T Digital Life, based in Midtown, is our new all-wireless and all-digital home security and automation service. Last year, we launched Aio Wireless, our new no-annual-contract wireless brand in Alpharetta.

Additionally, startups are creating the latest products and gadgets at Atlanta Tech Village and university incubators. Atlanta is headquarters for leading mobile marketers like Delta Air Lines, UPS, Coca-Cola Co. and Home Depot, as well as mobile content providers and distributors including The Weather Channel and CNN.

Moreover, a nucleus of the world’s leading information security companies, like IBM Internet Security Systems and Cybertrust, call Atlanta home. Rounding out our range of technology strengths is the presence of major payment processing companies like First Data, Equifax and Fiserv – all working on mobile solutions.

Through the work of the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Wireless Mobility Task Force and Steering Committee, business leaders, universities and other stakeholders are focused on making our mobility goal a reality. Partnerships the chamber launched in the last year have helped develop a mobile infrastructure that results in new jobs across our mobile ecosystem.

Atlanta is a city where mobility meets the real world, and where enterprising leaders are at the forefront of mobile advances.

Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility, co-chairs the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Mobility Task Force.