AT&T and Current Team Up to Bring IoT to Cities

AT&T and Current, powered by GE have announced an exclusive agreement to team up to connect U.S. and Mexican cities to the Internet of Things (IoT). The partnership intends to improve the way cities communicate, operate, and meet the needs of citizens. Also, the latest deal between the two companies builds on AT&T’s membership in GE’s Digital Alliance program. In GE’s Digital Alliance program, AT&T serves as a collaborator that offers connectivity-as-a-service for GE’s Predix platform.

AT&T launched its Smart Cities organization in 2015. Since the launch, AT&T has used its IoT expertise and technology to create impactful solutions for cities. For the past year, AT&T has helped cities develop and practice a holistic smart cities strategy with its smart cities framework as a foundation. The goal of the approach has been to address current and future municipal needs.

Extension of AT&T’s Smart City Services

AT&T says that the agreement with Current considerably extends its smart city services, and opens new revenue opportunities for the company. With help from GE’s Predix-powered IoT platform, AT&T says it can now use a city’s outdoor LED lighting to form a digital infrastructure. This digital infrastructure can go well beyond just lighting and light monitoring. The infrastructure can address issues such as traffic flow and parking optimization as well as air quality measurement and weather emergency alerts. Additional sensing capabilities could even provide gunshot detection.

Luxeon High Power

“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.”

Previous Collaboration

The two companies collaborated before. Current, GE’s digital industrial startup, recently reported on a deal to upgrade San Diego’s outdoor light fixtures to sensor-enabled LED luminaires. (Ref: article).
GE claimed that the upgrade made San Diego the world’s largest smart city IoT platform. AT&T says it will act as the data carrier for the San Diego installation and will provide secure connectivity. San Diego expects to save about $2.4 million in annual energy costs.

“We are thrilled to expand Current’s relationship with AT&T to help cities redefine the civic engagement model—our digital network is based on an open platform, which allows entrepreneurs, incubators, and students to get involved in the future development smart city applications,” said John Gordon, Chief Digital Officer of Current, powered by GE. “AT&T has a long history of working commercially with municipalities, and our technology will be a perfect fit toward helping more cities unleash the limitless potential of the Industrial Internet.”