On Monday, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, AT&T announced two moves to accelerate smart city development worldwide and strengthen its position as a major player in the urban IoT marketplace.
AT&T is partnering with Current, powered by GE, by using GE's Predix-powered IoT platform for LED lighting as part of the overall digital infrastructure in a city. And, AT&T is collaborating with IDA Ireland and the Dublin City Council in Ireland as its first international location to foster IoT best practices for smart cities worldwide.
The relationship with Current continues the work that the two companies have already been doing together in San Diego and Atlanta, where street lighting is being connected to a digital infrastructure. In San Diego, there are 14,000 new LED lights equipped with 3,200 sensor nodes being installed, and the project is expected to save the city $2.4 million in annual energy costs. In Atlanta, there are 1,000 LED lights being tested in five locations throughout the city.
SEE: Smart Cities: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
"We have been working with cities across the US for the last year, plus we successfully deployed our smart cities framework in eight cities and we have agreements with many others on the way. We wanted to take the key learning from working with the US cities and the US ecosystem and work with our international partners to deploy the framework in," said Mike Zeto, general manager of Smart Cities IoT Solutions for AT&T.
The new exclusive agreement with Current extends AT&T's smart city services, and opens new revenue opportunities for the company.
"Intelligent lighting plays a huge role in a smart city," said Chris Penrose, president of IoT solutions for AT&T. "Our collaboration with Current will enable us to use a city's existing lighting infrastructure to more securely connect sensor-enabled networks. This will put them on the path to becoming a smarter, more sustainable city."
AT&T has been working in Ireland already, as well, and there is already IoT and smart city development in Dublin. "Some of our ecosystem alliance members like Cisco and Intel have a good presence in the Dublin area...and we're choosing to work with some of these folks outside the US because they have so much going on with IoT collaboration," Zeto said.
There is an ongoing IoT project in the Dublin's Docklands that is focused on different types of connectivity and security solutions around IoT, and the next phase will include applications and solutions powered by the network, Zeto said.
"We definitely think there's an opportunity there to work with GE and the opportunities associated with intelligent lighting and bring the capabilities to the Docklands project," Zeto said.
SEE: Smart cities: 6 essential technologies (TechRepublic)
Open source and innovation will be a core part of the Dublin project. This has been a key factor in many US projects, such as those in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Chicago; and Kansas City, Missouri, as well as the entire state of Illinois, as the government makes data available to the public so that new applications can be developed by entrepreneurs.
"The intelligence node and the digital infrastructure that is there is also an application developer environment that allows Dublin's tech ecosystem to access the data that's being generated from those cameras and those sensors, whether for public safety, parking, traffic, or environmental factors, and build applications on top of that platform using that data. It's a way for them to really engage their tech community and entrepreneurs, which will in turn hopefully drive innovation and economic growth for the companies there," Zeto said.
The Ireland partnership will start with monthly meetings and an official kick off in May, Zeto said.
Three takeaways for TechRepublic readers:
- AT&T announced a partnership with Current, powered by GE, by using GE's Predix-powered IoT platform for LED lighting in smart cities.
- AT&T is collaborating with IDA Ireland and the Dublin City Council in Ireland as its first international location for global smart cities.
- Open source and innovation will be a key to the Dublin project, as the government opens its data to be used by entrepreneurs.
- The world's smartest cities: What IoT and smart governments will mean for you (TechRepublic)
- Louisville and the Future of the Smart City (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature)
- IT leader's guide to the rise of smart cities (Tech Pro Research)
- How to finance a smart city project (ZDNet)
- See CNET's city pad transform into a smart apartment (CNET)
- Video: AT&T to launch a test bed to connect autonomous vehicles to smart cities (TechRepublic)
Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including People, W and Women's Wear Daily.