IBM and Deutsche Telekom, the carrier behind the T-Mobile brand, are to work together on creating smart city systems, the companies have announced.
The smart city concept, which is closely related to the “internet of things”, is reliant on pervasive connectivity, drawing on what has traditionally been known as machine-to-machine (M2M) technology to hook up everything from traffic lights to public transport vehicles to the local broadband network. This usually involves the use of cellular networks.
The idea there is to be able to analyze sensor-based data from all these sources so as to better coordinate them and make cities more efficient, both to live in and in terms of energy use. For example, sensors in parking bays might help drivers find a space more easily, cutting down on the emissions that might come from driving around unnecessarily.
IBM has been working on this type of technology for a while, as have other companies such as Microsoft, Cisco Systems and Intel. Today’s deal allows IBM to plug its data-wrangling capabilities into Deutsche Telekom’s established global M2M ecosystem – DT will also handle details such as SIM card access management.
“M2M is a technology with enormous growth potential as it adds real value to our daily lives, both in business and privately,” Thomas Kiessling, Deutsche Telekom’s chief product officer said in a statement. “Our joint Smarter Cities initiative gives us the opportunity to work with cities across the globe and offer them valuable end-to-end solutions that help support public welfare as well as their economic growth in the future.”