UPDATED 19:49 EST / JULY 16 2020


IBM and Verizon team up on 5G IoT tech for industry

IBM Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. said today they’re forming a new partnership that’s focused on creating 5G enabled “internet of things” technologies for the industrial sector.

The companies said they will collaborate on technologies that can improve operations, enhance worker safety and optimize production quality, among other things. They’ll work together to deploy 5G wireless and edge computing infrastructure for IoT and future “industry 4.0” deployments, they said.

The partnership will combine Verizon’s low latency, 5G-based, multi-access edge computing architecture with its “ThingSpace” IoT platform. Meanwhile, IBM will throw in its Watson AI tools, plus data analytics services and its Maximo asset monitor software, which is used to keep an eye on factory equipment and notify customers when maintenance is needed.

The net result of this collaboration will be a more comprehensive 5G IoT platform that can monitor asset health, detect, diagnose and fix any problems that might occur, and deliver real-time analytics on possible failures, the companies said.

In addition, IBM and Verizon will combine 5G with edge computing to create a “cognitive automation” artificial intelligence framework. This platform will be able to understand natural language and enable autonomous decision making in scenarios that demand it.

As an example, the companies said that a system would be able to automatically generate an information technology staff support ticket if database capacity is overtaxed. A script could then be used to carry out database checks.

Further, the companies said their collaboration will enable new applications in industrial automation, such as real-time cognitive video analysis, robotics and other types of factory automation.

“The industrial sector is undergoing unprecedented transformation as companies begin to return to full-scale operations, aided by new technology to help reduce costs and increase productivity,” Bob Lord, IBM’s senior vice president for cognitive applications, blockchain and ecosystems, said in a statement. “We plan to help industrial enterprises capitalize on joint solutions that are designed to be multicloud-ready, secured and scalable, from the datacenter all the way out to the enterprise edge.”

Constellation Research Inc. analyst Holger Mueller told SiliconANGLE that the real test will be how well the new, joint offering from IBM and Verizon does beyond their own partnership. “It promises to make the overall management of 5G environments much easier,” Mueller said.

Image: geralt/Pixabay

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