AT&T, GE team up to power smart energy innovation

The two corporations will be jointly working on proof of concepts at the AT&T's Internet of Things Foundry located in Plano, Texas.

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AT&T and General Electric have forged a new alliance in the hopes of speeding up the development of smart energy connections.

Building off of a previous partnership announced in 2013 as General Electric was launching its Industrial Internet cloud, AT&T and GE are fine tuning the focus here on smart grids with connected solutions that could be deployed across towns and cities.

Among some of the initial innovations already in the pipeline include intelligent lighting that could be installed on streetlamps as well as a smart meter based off of GE's existing smart meters, but now embedded with AT&T cellular technology. The latter solution is already being piloted with two unnamed North American renewable energy companies.

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The smart grid solutions will use GE's Grid IQ SaaS platform for delivering system intelligence while filterting through GE Wireless solutions for asset connectivity. Data will be secured and filtered via AT&T's network.

The two corporations will be jointly working on proof of concepts at the AT&T's Internet of Things Foundry in Plano, Texas with the goal of selling some of the first completed products before the end of this year.

Furthermore, AT&T is doubling down on smart grid technology in particular through the development of a Cellular Communications Module (CCM) Reference Design with an integrated Prepay Energy management application.

Last month at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, AT&T's mobile and business unit CEO Ralph de la Vega unveiled a number of strategies aimed to tackle the Internet-of-Things wave.

Among them were the expansion of AT&T's VPN cloud link service Netbond and the AT&T Work Platform, a method for separating billing for employee and company use on employee-owned devices.

AT&T's most recent IoT forecast calls expects the connected device base to grow from 4.9 billion in 2015 to more than 25 billion by 2020.

In the Q4 earnings report published last week, AT&T boasted it is "leading" the Internet of Things wave with 19.8 million connected devices on its network thus far.

Image via AT&T