Companies are already working with San Diego and Atlanta to transform existing street lighting into a connected digital infrastructure
AT&T and Current, powered by GE, have signed an exclusive agreement to connect cities across the United States and Mexico to the Internet of Things (IoT) and help speed the digital era of urban development. The announcement was made at Mobile World Congress (MWC17), taking place in Barcelona this week.
Through the deal struck with GE’s digital industrial startup business, AT&T said it will significantly extend its smart city services, plus opens new revenue opportunities for the company. AT&T launched its smart cities organisation in 2015 and has been helping cities develop and implement holistic smart cities strategies for the past year.
With the addition of GE’s Predix-powered IoT platform, AT&T can use outdoor LED lighting in a city to create a digital infrastructure that helps address issues like traffic flow and parking optimisation, gunshot detection on city streets, air quality monitoring and weather emergency alerts.
“Intelligent lighting plays a huge role in a smart city,” said Chris Penrose, president, Internet of Things Solutions, 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.”
The new agreement also extends Current’s relationship with AT&T. It recently announced a deal with the City of San Diego to upgrade thousands of the city’s outdoor light fixtures to sensor-enabled LED technology, making it the world’s largest smart city IoT platform.
AT&T will act as the data carrier and provide highly secure connectivity for the San Diego deployment, which is expected to save the city approximately $2.4m in annual energy costs. In addition, the deal builds on AT&T’s membership in GE’s Digital Alliance program, where it serves as a connectivity-as-a-service collaborator for GE’s Predix platform.
“Innovation is at the core of who we are and what we do,” said Mike Zeto, general manager, AT&T Smart Cities. “AT&T and GE are the companies that modernised the telephone and light bulb. Together, we will usher in a new digital frontier, giving cities and citizens alike the benefits of a connected city.”
Current, which combines energy technology like LED and solar with sensors and software, aims to help customers like cities, commercial buildings and industrial facilities slash energy costs and create intelligent environments.
Its platform enables a wide variety of developers to create new applications that could improve safety, productivity, energy efficiency and other issues that impact municipal, commercial and industrial customers.
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