Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) is teaming up with General Electric to provide connectivity for GE's software-enabled industrial machines and devices. The partnership comes exactly a year after GE and AT&T (NYSE: T) struck a similar arrangement.
GE said it will use Verizon's M2M and cloud platforms to create secure wireless communications system for the so-called "Industrial Internet," a segment of the Internet of Things. The Industrial Internet includes everything from engines and turbines to lighting systems that are hooked up with wireless sensors. GE has developed a software platform called Predix, which is designed to provide remote monitoring, diagnostics and maintenance to support industrial machines.
Interestingly, GE and Verizon said they will also enter into discussions to collaborate on a single global SIM for worldwide connectivity. AT&T currently offers a global SIM solution for M2M connections. GE appears to be attempting to branch out and add more large telecom partners with global reach.
Verizon indicated it wants to work with GE to add connectivity and transform a wide range of M2M vertical markets, including rail, aviation, energy and healthcare.
Meanwhile, GE said it is expanding its relationship with Intel and Cisco on the Industrial Internet regardless of manufacturer, and indicated the partners will let carriers integrate Predix into existing network infrastructure. Intel is working with GE to make devices and sensor networks "Predix-ready." Intel's gateway productions for the IoT markets will be combined with Predix to add in features like integrated security, GE said. GE also said it will integrate Predix software on Cisco's next generation of ruggedized networking products for harsh environments such as oil and gas production.
GE said it is on track to produce over $1 billion in incremental revenue this year from more than 40 Industrial Internet offerings, with $1.3 billion in orders. The company also plans to open up the Predix platform for any company to use sometime in 2015.
In March AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel formed a new group, the Industrial Internet Consortium, to try to create standards for the sensors inside machines and sprouting up around cities as part of the IoT market. The group now has more than 80 members, including BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), Dell, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Samsung Electronics.
- see these two separate GE releases
- see this ZDNet article
- see this Light Reading article
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