It’s here.

Verizon on Thursday said it planned to launch the first nationwide commercial LTE Cat-M1 Internet of Things network on March 31 - today - in a move that will give it the edge over rival AT&T, which has been working on the same.

Mike Lanman, Verizon’s SVP of Business Products and IoT said the launch is “a game changer” for the industry. The Cat-M1 network, he said, will enable new categories of devices with improved power efficiency and battery life.

Verizon indicated Cat-M1 devices will have access to its network via its machine-to-machine data plans, which start at $2 per month for 200 KB of data and run through $80 per month for 10 GB of data.

The network rollout comes as Verizon works to round out its IoT ecosystem.

The carrier late in 2015 launched an open IoT developer platform called ThingSpace, and last February opened the platform up to third-party providers. Verizon said Thursday ThingSpace is a huge part of its IoT ecosystem, allowing developers and customers to create new IoT solutions and providing end-to-end management of their IoT environments from device to application. Around 14,000 developers currently use the platform, Verizon said.

Verizon noted that when Cat-M1 chipsets come preloaded with its ThingSpace client, it allows for a more “turnkey” deployment experience across the board.

Right now, Verizon said its Cat-M1 partners include Sequans, Telit, U-Blox, Sierra Wireless, Gemalto, Qualcomm Technologies, and Altair. The carrier also offers certified chipsets, modules and devices for Cat-M1 from Sequans, Telit, Qualcomm Technologies, Encore Networks, Link Labs, and NimbeLink. 

Verizon’s launch beats out similar efforts from AT&T. The latter released its own IoT Cat-M1 developer kit and Cat-M1 Pilot in July, and last month announced an accelerated timeline for its LTE-M deployments in the United States and Mexico.

Back in September, Verizon indicated it was aiming for an end of 2016 Cat-M1 launch. But when the carrier hit a major milestone in October with the first live, over-the-air data call using a commercial Sequans Cat-M1 chip, Verizon suddenly changed its deployment target to the first quarter 2017.

According to statements made by Verizon Labs Executive Director of Technology Chris Schmidt in October, the new Cat-M1 technology rides over Verizon’s 4G LTE network, and was implemented across cell sites nationwide via a software upgrade.