AT&T center to tap into Silicon Valley talent

The Foundry Innovation Center in Palo Alto will help developers create hardware and software

AT&T set up shop in Silicon Valley on Wednesday with its Foundry Development Center in Palo Alto, a facility where software and hardware developers can get help bringing their inventions to the real world.

The site is AT&T's third Foundry Innovation Center, following ones opened earlier this year in Plano, Texas, and in Israel. But the carrier has high hopes for meeting promising startups in the hotbed of U.S. technology.

AT&T wants to free developers from the hassles of dealing with technology on the back end of AT&T's infrastructure, such as billing and location functions, so they can finish their applications and make them work on the network more quickly, said John Donovan, the carrier's CTO.

But the Foundry Innovation Center isn't just for software developers. AT&T is also working with mobile device and infrastructure vendors.

Speaking at the formal grand opening of the center, Donovan emphasized that it is not just a demonstration site or a place for customers to check out cool new products from AT&T.

"This is about where the work gets done," Donovan said.

By working closely with all kinds of developers and making available APIs (application programming interfaces) and SDKs (software development kits), AT&T hopes to get new devices and software onto its network in one-third the time it takes now, Donovan said.

Mobile operators are embracing innovation from outside in order to tap into new uses of mobile data, which are quickly proliferating. AT&T's Palo Alto opening follows a similar move by rival Verizon Wireless in San Francisco last month. Vodafone, which is a partner in Verizon but doesn't offer its own mobile service in the U.S., also opened a development center in Silicon Valley last week.

Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and Amdocs are partners with AT&T in the innovation center. There are already 106 projects in the works at the center, including 40 that AT&T itself initiated, Donovan said.

Efforts at the site go beyond traditional mobile applications to include health-care technology and U-Verse TV features that use mobile devices. Among the startups working with AT&T is Mspot, a cloud-based music provider based in Palo Alto. Mspot is developing a way to send a music stream from a mobile phone to a TV through AT&T's U-Verse set-top box. In addition to the SDK, AT&T provided technical assistance with the development kit and solicited Mspot's input about how to make it better, said Aline Yu, Mspot's vice president of marketing. The application is still in early prototype form, she said.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileat&t

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?