AT&T/GE Talk Worldwide Remote Monitoring

10/9/2013
As the market for M2M and connected devices continues to grow and evolve, a variety of companies have formed mutually beneficial partnerships to ensure they stay at the forefront of the M2M revolution.

AT&T, www.att.com, and GE (General Electric), www.ge.com, announced this week the signing of a global alliance agreement, which will allow GE machines to connect to the AT&T network and cloud. This will create a secure wireless communications system for GE’s “Industrial Internet,” i.e. its use of Big Data and industrial machines collaboratively.

Workers using this new M2M communications solution will reportedly be able to remotely monitor, track, record, and operate GE machinery from anywhere in the world, thus resulting in increased productivity.


Morgan Mullooly, an analyst at Analysys Mason, www.analysysmason.com, says this announcement means GE now has a platform to manage and service its customer-connected equipment and devices, as AT&T provides connectivity with a global SIM, and a variety of infrastructure components. She adds GE customers will also have connectivity and new services built into their GE equipment.

However, Mullooly is quick to point out AT&T will reap its share of benefits from this agreement as well.

“This is a hugely significant win for AT&T,” Mullooly says. “We expect a tremendous number of M2M connections to be activated in the next two-to-three years, as millions of industrial components roll off GE production lines fitted with embedded M2M modules and will be dispersed across the globe. Consequently, we expect the deal with strengthen AT&T’s position as the leading US M2M service provider.”

Bill Ruh, vice president and corporate officer at GE Software, says this agreement validates the common vision the two companies have for the Industrial Internet. He adds the two companies “see a future where the intersection of people, data, and brilliant machines will have an enormous impact on the productivity and efficiency of industries around the world.”

In addition, AT&T and GE reportedly plan to work together in the future, combining their respective technologies to create offerings such as electric vehicle chargers, lighting, and engines. The companies also plan to collaborate on the development of M2M solutions for GE’s software platform Predix, which can actively maintain and remotely control industrial machines.

Only time will tell what impact this new partnership between AT&T and GE will have on the M2M marketplace. However, with this announcement the two companies certainly seem to have a tremendous opportunity in their collective hands.

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