Light Reading
Partnership bringing together AT&T's network and M2M connections with IBM's analytics software and security mean big-data insights on small-data connections.

AT&T, IBM Adopt an Analytical Approach to M2M

Sarah Thomas
2/18/2014
50%
50%

Even as operators work out their own internal big data strategies, they are making use of the data they have to help third parties -- and turn a profit. A good example of this comes from AT&T and IBM today.

The tech giants are combining AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s network connectivity in much of the world via its global SIM with IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)'s software, security, and analytics to add insights to machine-to-machine (M2M)-powered devices with the goal of giving cities, utilities, and other businesses new ways to collect and use their data. (See AT&T, IBM Form M2M Alliance.)

The team, which have been working together on cloud services for awhile now, says they will initially focus city governments and midsize utilities, which both ingest hoards of data around mass transit vehicles, utility meters, and video cameras. The hope is using AT&T's network and IBM's software, they'll be able to better evaluate traffic patterns and improve urban planning or, in the case of utilities, better manage their equipment to reduce costs. (See 2013 Leading Lights Finalists: Most Innovative Carrier Cloud Service.)

Rick Qualman, IBM's VP of strategy and business development for the telecom industry, said in a release that collaborating with AT&T will offer cities "insights from crowdsourcing, mobile applications, sensors and analytics on the cloud, enabling all organizations to better listen, respond and predict."

It's easy to see why operators are excited (and building huge demo houses) to show off the potential for M2M, or the Internet of Things. It represents incremental revenue with little impact to the network. But, the opportunity becomes a lot more exciting when predictive big-data analytics are in the mix. (See GSMA Predicts 250 Million M2M Connections in 2014 and Big-Data Is Key to Consumerization of M2M.)

AT&T is an early leader in the M2M movement, and IBM certainly has the software chops to make the partnership payoff for their city partners, which will make this an notable venture to watch once trials start this year. Both companies will also be showing off at Mobile World Congress next week, so we'll report back on what this ambitious combination of big-data analytics and M2M looks like in action. (See AT&T Clinches M2M Market Lead With GE Deal.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 10:58:15 AM
Re: Security and Privacy
Haha, good one! I would be okay with a little contact from my fridge if it helped change my eating habits, but no one wants to worry about malicious content and spam from their fridge...I don't even want actual SPAM in my fridge.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/19/2014 | 10:53:36 AM
Re: Security and Privacy
@Sarah exactly! Now there have been a number of discussions about how to combat this problem. And I just have to share this comic I found on Google+. 
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 10:50:04 AM
Re: Security and Privacy
Ah yes, the spamming fridge. Here is that story: http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/01/16/263111193/refrigerator-hacked-reveals-internet-of-things-security-gaps
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 10:48:15 AM
Re: Security and Privacy
AT&T gave a nod to the privacy safeguards of the collaboration in the first line of its press release, because -- as you say -- the security and privacy issues are so important where connectivity and the cloud is involved. It'll be telling to see how they handle the first breach or DOS attack on a commercial deployment like this.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 10:43:02 AM
Re: analytics collaboration
True, kq4ym. I wonder to what degree some of these municipalities and businesses are already connected. If they have M2M connectivity already in their devices, then a platform to better analyze and monetize it would be appealing. But, if they're starting from scratch, opex savings will definitely have to be demonstrated to justify the up-front and, in a lot of cases, recurring expense.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/19/2014 | 8:19:37 AM
Re: Security and Privacy
@Phil_Britt you're absolutely right about that. A few weeks ago, the news hit that even a smart fridge can pose a security threat, as many of the appliances connected in the internet of things have little or even no protection against hackers.
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/19/2014 | 7:45:46 AM
Security and Privacy
The more M2M data is out there, the more potential for it being breeched. While much of it will be meaningless or useless for hackers, having everything connected poses many potential issues, as you point out. I like to keep some of my info off the grid for some (albeit little any more) semblence of privacy.

Retailers have learned the good and bad of collecting and storing too much data the hard way. While maintaining some information is necessary for a retailer's sales, often they collect too much personal identifiable information.
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/19/2014 | 7:37:59 AM
Re: analytics collaboration
AT&T with IBM can certainly create a great dog and pony show to present to those mid-size cities and utilities to attempt selling the services. But, whether those mostly municipal leaders will find a place in tight budgets is probably what's going to move the pitch for analytics forward or not. The analytical approach is going to have to demonstrate some pretty good saving in operational costs, or the percieved ability to predict future scenarios. 
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/18/2014 | 5:29:49 PM
Use cases
The release really emphasized security and customer data privacy, which makes sense given the heightened scrutiny around exposing your data. The idea in a smart city is to collect data from traffic lights to better manage traffic jams or parking meters to optimize parking lot layouts. It'll be interesting to see what commercial opportunities spring from it. You know there has to be some marketing-related activities in there too.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/18/2014 | 3:03:56 PM
analytics collaboration
It sounds like a very ambitious projects. It'll be something to see the results of such a collaboration.
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
Project Ara – smartphones built around modules – will be launching soon, creating questions about how operators will price such devices as leasing programs have become the norm.
The past year validated our 2014 small cell movers and shakers list in a lot of ways, but it also saw several executives leave the small cell market, by choice or otherwise.
BlackBerry and T-Mobile are considering kissing and making up, but only if their CEOs can get along.
Sprint's promotion to halve the service pricing plans of those switching from AT&T or Verizon isn't as good as it seems when you factor in the new device requirements.
OTT chat app Kik has raised $38.3M in funding and acquired a GIF maker, showing operators there are other ways to monetize chat than ads and fees.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Graham Finnie from Heavy Reading about some of the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control.
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
LRTV Interviews
Bob Wilson, Arsenal Legend: The Light Reading Interview

1|16|15   |   35:36   |   (3) comments


Arsenal goalkeeping legend Bob Wilson was Light Reading's guest interviewee at the 2020 Vision Executive Summit in December. See what the former soccer star and sports broadcaster had to say when he took to the stage in Iceland.
LRTV Custom TV
What MEF Third Network Initiative Means for SDN & NFV

1|14|15   |   6:13   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss discusses the importance of the MEF Third Network initiative and why it's good news for SDN/NFV industry initiatives.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Frank Miller: Distributed Solutions are the Best Build for the Future - Part II

1|9|15   |   2:46   |   (0) comments


At SCTE, Frank Miller, Global CTO of MSO at Huawei, speaks about Cable 2.0 and its innovative future.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cuomo Unveils Broadband Aid Program
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 1/19/2015
FiOS Picks Up Pace Again
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 1/22/2015
BlackBerry Wants Net Neutrality Protection -- That's Just Sad
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/22/2015
Indiana Carrier Takes Fiber to the Farm
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/22/2015
Verizon Ready for Google MVNO Challenge
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/22/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive