AT&T, IBM partner on Internet of Things for smart cities, utilities

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AT&T (NYSE:T) said it will work with cloud and computing giant IBM to develop machine-to-machine solutions for the Internet of Things, specifically for things like smart cities and utilities.

The companies said they will combine their analytic platforms, cloud and security technologies with a focus on privacy. AT&T will manage sensors' communications and tracking happening over the cellular network and IBM will use its analytics platforms. They are targeting customers and uses cases that produce vast troves of data from devices as diverse as mass transit vehicles, utility meters and video cameras. The goal is to use their resources to identify patterns and trends to improve urban planning and let utilities better manage their equipment to reduce costs.

AT&T and IBM said another key goal is to help cities with mundane but important tasks. Those kinds of solutions include the ability to use data from incidents and service disruptions to better manage resources, analyze traffic and parking data to make traffic flow smoother for first responders in an emergency, and monitor social media from citizens to respond better to bad weather.

IBM's corporate identity has been closely intertwined with these kinds of solutions for some time now, especially through its "Smarter Planet" initiative and marketing. For AT&T, the deal represents another partner it is working with in the ever-expanding and somewhat amorphous realm of the Internet of Things.

In October, for example, AT&T and General Electric struck a deal that will allow GE's machines connect to AT&T's wireless and cloud networks for GE's "Industrial Internet," its term for the Internet of Things. The deal with AT&T is part of a larger effort by GE to connect more of its machines to the Internet and make them more efficient.

Under the partnership with AT&T, GE said workers will be able to remotely track, monitor, record and operate GE machinery virtually anywhere in the world. The carrier and GE will also work with AT&T's innovation centers to build M2M solutions for GE's software platform, called Predix, which can proactively maintain and remotely control industrial machines.

For more:
- see this release
- see this PCWorld article

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