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IBM and Verizon Business team up on 5G, edge computing tech

Combining Verizon Business' network and IBM's AI capabilities

IBM and Verizon Business are working together on projects that utilise 5G and edge computing technologies to industrial enterprises under a new collaboration effort.

Expanding on a longstanding relationship, the two companies aim to combine Verizon’s 5G network, multi-access edge compute (MEC) capabilities and edge internet of things (IoT) devices and sensors with Big Blue’s artificial intelligence (AI), hybrid multicloud, edge computing, asset management and connected operations efforts.

The first two projects to be borne out of the collaboration are slated to be mobile asset tracking and management solutions, with the aim of helping users detect, locate, diagnose and respond to system issues, observe asset health and predict failures in near real-time.

From Verizon’s side, the technologies planned to support these projects include its wireless networks – including its 5G Ultra Wideband (UWB) network – as well as its MEC capabilities, its ThingSpace IoT platform and its Critical Asset Sensor (CAS) product.

Meanwhile, IBM will bring its Maximo Montior product, IBM Watson and advanced analytics to the table.

In addition to these projects, the two companies are also working on near real-time cognitive automation for the industrial sector. This has the potential to lead to remote control robotics, near real-time cognitive video analysis and plant automation, according to a joint statement from the companies.

There are also plans to work on solutions for worker safety, predictive maintenance, product quality and product automation.

Bob Lord, senior vice president of cognitive applications, blockchain and ecosystems at IBM, highlighted the importance of focusing on the industrial market.

“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,” he said.

“Through this collaboration, we plan to build upon our longstanding relationship with Verizon to help industrial enterprises capitalise on joint solutions that are designed to be multicloud ready, secured and scalable, from the data centre all the way out to the enterprise edge.” 

Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon business, added the collaboration is “all about enabling the future of industry in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

“Combining the high speed and low latency of Verizon’s 5G UWB Network and MEC capabilities with IBM’s expertise in enterprise-grade AI and production automation can provide industrial innovation on a massive scale and can help companies increase automation, minimise waste, lower costs, and offer their own clients a better response time and customer experience,” she said.