IBM and AT&T Deepen Their 5G/Edge Computing Partnership

IBM and AT&T are deepening their 5G and edge computing partnership, with the goal of accelerating the business world’s digital transformation....
IBM and AT&T Deepen Their 5G/Edge Computing Partnership
Written by Matt Milano
  • IBM and AT&T are deepening their 5G and edge computing partnership, with the goal of accelerating the business world’s digital transformation.

    The two companies are working at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center, where they are “deploying AT&T’s 5G and multi-access edge computing (MEC)—a private cellular, low latency solution that can process data on a business site’s premise, instead of routing traffic over public networks.”

    The two companies have a years-long history of working together, a partnership that helped them both respond to the coronavirus pandemic by helping customers with their work from home needs. Now the two companies are building on that track record, working on new ways to enable remote work, especially in those industries where it has not yet been possible.

    “Combining 5G with edge computing, for example, could open the door to breakthroughs in robotics and the ability to perform intricate machine work from remote locations,” write Mo Katibeh, AT&T Chief Product and Platform Officer and Steve Canepa, IBM General Manager of the Global Communications Sector. “One of the tasks we are exploring at Yorktown Heights envisions enabling a researcher to remotely adjust locations of IoT network devices in a laboratory. Another envisions allowing a systems administrator to remotely rewire machines in a data center to provide a more agile environment.”

    At the same time, the two companies are working to help employees be able to safely return to work.

    “We are addressing workplace safety in a system driven by IBM AI and made feasible at scale by AT&T LTE and 5G mobile network technologies,” continue Katibeh and Canepa. “That includes AT&T MEC. This solution from AT&T enables the development and deployment of new capabilities that rely on ultra-low latency, higher security and privacy, improved bandwidth conservation and greater control of data.

    “The low latency of 5G allows for remote operations in industrial settings, helping to keep workers from harmful situations. And if any dangerous situations do arise, edge computing is designed to let businesses capture and analyze data quickly without extra storage or processing on a central cloud.

    “That same processing ability can help employees look after their health with devices to monitor their temperature, oxygen levels and blood pressure with instantaneous feedback. Hospitals can even take advantage of similar advances to make their current infrastructures more reliable, while implementing advances like wireless surgery, robotics, virtual reality simulations.”

    IBM and AT&T’s partnership is poised to leverage emerging technologies to help companies now and in the future.

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