IBM, Verizon collaborate on 5G and AI edge solutions

July 16, 2020
The new partnership will focus on enabling the industrial sector to improve operations, optimize production quality and enhance worker safety via 5G-enabled IoT technologies

Verizon Business and IBM will be entering into a collaboration to work together on 5G and edge computing innovation to help enable the future of Industry 4.0. The companies plan to combine the high speed and low latency of Verizon’s 5G and Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC) capabilities, IoT devices and sensors at the edge and IBM’s expertise in AI, hybrid multicloud, edge computing, asset management and connected operations.

The first solutions planned from this collaboration are to be mobile asset tracking and management solutions to help enterprises improve operations, optimize production quality and help clients enhance worker safety.

The two companies plan to leverage Verizon’s wireless networks, including Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband (UWB) network, and MEC capabilities, alongside Verizon’s ThingSpace IoT Platform and Critical Asset Sensor solution (CAS). These will be jointly offered with IBM’s Maximo Monitor with IBM Watson and advanced analytics. The solutions could help detect, locate, diagnose and respond to system anomalies, monitor asset health and help predict failures in near real-time.

IBM and Verizon are also working on potential combined solutions for 5G and MEC-enabled use cases such as near real-time cognitive automation for the industrial environment. According to Verizon, 5G’s low latency, high download speeds and capacity could mean that new applications such as remote control robotics, near real-time cognitive video analysis and plant automation may now be possible.

"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,” said Bob Lord, senior vice president, cognitive applications, blockchain and ecosystems at IBM. "Through this collaboration, we plan to build upon our longstanding relationship with Verizon to help industrial enterprises capitalize on joint solutions that are designed to be multicloud ready, secured and scalable, from the data center all the way out to the enterprise edge."

“This collaboration is all about enabling the future of industry in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. "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, minimize waste, lower costs, and offer their own clients a better response time and customer experience.”

Verizon and IBM also plan to collaborate on potential joint solutions to address worker safety, predictive maintenance, product quality and production automation.