Light Reading

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        ADD A COMMENT
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
Well funded South Korean MVNO that went under in 2008 has quietly relaunched to try again with its low-cost wireless service on Sprint's network in the US.
But the bar it has set is really, really low, according to a recent Dell study.
The steady drumbeat of progress continues on as new groups are formed, R&D centers opened, timelines presented and strategies refined for making 5G a reality by 2020.
P3's study of VoLTE in the DC area shows it delivers high-quality, crisp calling, but a lot of stars still have to align to be able to use it.
And Light Reading wants to help! We're proud to partner with Intel to identify and profile female and minority-led communications startups competing for the funding.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Wagner’s Ring
Business Value Trumps Moving Bits for Virtual Networks

7|7|15   |   01:22   |   (0) comments


At the recent Open Networking Summit, carriers described how they're focused on increasing revenue rather than just improving technology. This requires cultural changes, which can be more difficult than technology changes.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live from the Big Telecom Event 2015

7|7|15   |   2:28   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Carl Goldschmidt provides new product updates, including the RXT modular test platform and TX300s. With the latest technology in pluggable physical interfaces, the RXT platform combines multiple technologies with testing range from 10 Mbit/s to 100 Gbit/s. The TX300s is an "All-in-one" advanced multi-service test platform from 64 Kbit/s to 100 Gbit/s that ...
LRTV Custom TV
Light Reading Interviews MRV: 2015 Big Telecom Event

7|7|15   |   3:45   |   (0) comments


Scott St. John, SVP of Global Sales & Service, discusses MRV's customer-centric culture, the new OptiPacket OP-X1 100G access platform, and recent customer wins with Light Reading at BTE 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Procera: Enhancing the Subscriber Experience

7|7|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


Hear from Procera on the latest in Subscriber Experience solutions. Learn how Procera's RAN Perspective technology helps network operators monitor and manage network traffic, in real-time, solving congestion and other network issues.
Between the CEOs
HP's Prodip Sen: The NFV Journey

7|7|15   |   21:39   |   (0) comments


Prodip Sen, CTO of the Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) business unit at HP, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the four stages of the NFV journey.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2015 Winners' Video

7|7|15   |   08:34   |   (2) comments


Hear what the Leading Lights 2015 winners had to say after they picked up their awards in Chicago.
LRTV Documentaries
PSA: The Perils of a Hyper-Connected Society

7|6|15   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


A public service announcement calling attention to the perils of a hyper-connected society.
LRTV Interviews
Guavus Takes Analytics on the Road

7|6|15   |   4:09   |   (3) comments


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina tells Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders how the analytics tools developed for telcos are applicable to the transportation industry.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Mellanox's New 25/50/100Gb/s Ethernet Products

7|6|15   |   2:44   |   (0) comments


Mellanox offers a complete 10/25/40/50/56/100Gbit/s solution that delivers industry-leading performance, scalability, reliability and efficiency for optimal application performance and data center ROI.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Arista's CloudVision

7|6|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading’s founder and CEO, about Arista’s CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat Demo

7|2|15   |   10:53   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Nicolas Lemieux demonstrates how Red Hat is driving innovation through open source communities.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat's Approach to OpenStack Adoption

7|2|15   |   5:17   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Radhesh Balakrishnan outlines his company's open source strategy for both enterprises and telcos.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Equinix walks through the past four digital economy eras from computing to network to connected to today's interconneted world.
Hot Topics
What's a Gigabit Good For?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/1/2015
IBM Sows Seed for New Telco Unit, Plans NFV/SDN Push
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/6/2015
FCC Chairman Talks Up SDN/NFV
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 7/2/2015
A&E Launches Lifetime OTT Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/3/2015
What the Helio? MVNO Is Back After First Flop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 7/6/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Prodip Sen, CTO of the Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) business unit at HP, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the four stages of the NFV journey.
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cats with Phones