AT&T's Smart City Alliance has added a new partner firm called Badger Meter to its mix in order to explore smart city solutions with a primary focus on water utilities and waste management. Badger Meter is a U.S.-based firm which works with cellular advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and, according to the company, has joined the alliance as a long-term partner. That means its goals within the group will almost certainly extend beyond the two items listed above. In fact, future projects will include furthering the alliance's goals with regard to energy-efficient lighting solutions. That could mean smarter monitoring of the use of electricity for city-infrastructure-based lighting, among other things. In the meantime, the company will begin by bringing on board its currently available solutions in order to fill out gaps in AT&T's smart city framework.
More directly, Badge Meter's AMI solutions are designed to measure fluids, such as water, oil, and chemicals. Those are actually already in use by several commercial and municipal customers but should prove useful in terms of gaining a deeper understanding of a municipality's interconnected systems. To begin with, AT&T wants to initially use the solutions to enable smart city monitoring of water utilities. The company hasn't provided many details about that but it presumably includes monitoring how much water a city is using and optimizing the systems to be more efficient. Moreover, it could include making improvements to leak detection and monitoring for other common water problems. Moving beyond water, the two companies also plan to extend into solutions geared toward waste management utilities. Similar solutions to those used in water management could easily be ported over and adjusted to work there, so it's a fairly logical step going from one to the other. Moreover, those two utility types often go hand-in-hand.
With regard to the alliance itself, the project was first started by AT&T back in 2016 and currently has several projects already up and running. Although optimization of the solutions or development of new solutions may take some time, that should mean comparatively quick initial implementation of Badge Meter's existing AMI solutions. The group's current IoT projects are underway in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Miami-Dade County, Montgomery County, and at the Georgia Institute of Technology.