Exactly one year after AT&T announced it had signed up giant General Electric as a machine-to-machine (M2M) communications customer, Verizon is announcing it is in the mix too.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) said on Thursday that its LTE network and cloud will power the "industrial Internet" that General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) is building with the vast array of connected devices it offers, including electric vehicles, lighting systems and engines. The pair say adding connectivity will enable new value-added services for GE Predix, the software platform that supports the industrial Internet, such as remote monitoring, diagnostics and remote maintenance. They are also working on building a single SIM for global LTE connectivity.
Verizon will be joining AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) in powering GE's industrial Internet, but the opportunity is certainly big enough for both of them. The huge, multinational conglomerate wants to play a role in rail, aviation, energy and healthcare, among other verticals, helping enterprises improve their productivity through the analytics garnered from these sensors. It sees this industrial Internet producing $82 trillion of output, accounting for half of the global economy by 2025. (See AT&T Clinches M2M Market Lead With GE Deal and AT&T Adds GE to M2M Roster.)
AT&T and Verizon have been duking it out in the M2M market for a while now. Earlier this year Verizon lost General Motors 's business to AT&T. Kicking AT&T out of GE would've been a nice feather in its cap, but at least joining it means Verizon won't miss out on this massive global opportunity. (See Verizon Spends $612M for a Future in Cars.)
In discussing Verizon's strengths at GE, Mark Bartolomeo, head of IoT Connected Solutions at Verizon, played up the carrier's secure cloud capability and the strength of its partner ecosystem. He sees energy and transportation, as well as healthcare, as the areas where both companies -- GE and Verizon -- are being the most aggressive.
"From our own perspective, we believe a strong partner ecosystem is critical to the industrial Internet," he says. "GE has tremendous capabilities and Verizon does too; other service providers do too. The key is how do we coordinate our activities to solve these big problems, like in healthcare, to deliver better patient outcomes."
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading