In Hannover, the Internet der Dinge

Big happenings in Hannover, Germany, where satellite communications ace Globecomm Systems has announced a plan to back up AT&T’s cell network with a new satellite service.

The partnership, which will enable Internet of Things-enabled devices to automatically switch to the Globecomm satellites when cell connectivity is unavailable, was announced at Hannover Mesa, an international automation, clean energy and supply/production innovation showcase underway this week in Germany.

The idea is to eliminate the need for businesses to maintain separate cell and satellite services for their devices, networks and applications, and instead maintain a single platform that facilitates both.

Mike Troiano, vice president of AT&T IoT Solutions, called it “a one-stop shop for IoT connectivity,” while Jon Kirchner, senior vice president at Hauppauge-based Globecomm, said the partnership will give customers “more real-time visibility” regarding their widespread global assets.

“We’re working with AT&T to offer seamless connectivity over a single platform,” Kirchner said in a statement. “We’re helping businesses collect and analyze critical information wherever their assets are to generate operational improvements and hard ROI.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But it’s a sure feather in Globecomm’s cap and continues AT&T’s momentum in the burgeoning IoT market. Business Insider estimates that by 2020, there will be 24 billion IoT devices connected to the Internet, more than twice the number of Internet-enabled devices – including traditional, non-IoT devices like smartphones and tablets – counted in 2015.

Research firm Gartner, meanwhile, estimates that 6.4 billion connected “things” will be in use in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015.

The AT&T partnership is also the biggest Globecomm deal announced on the watch of Chief Financial Officer Jason Juranek, who became interim chief executive when CEO Keith Hall stepped down in March after two years on the job. Hall succeeded Globecomm founder and original CEO David Hershberg, who retired two months after his firm’s $340 million acquisition by Manhattan-based private-equity firm Wasserstein & Co. in December 2013.

Globecomm now offers data management and other integrated solutions – including wired, wireless, IoT and satellite services – to industrial, commercial, media and government clients in more than 80 countries.

Over 400 U.S. businesses, including 10 from Long Island, are attending Hannover Mesa, which has attracted participants from around the world and visits from President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The United States is the “partner country” for this year’s showcase, meaning U.S. firms are being highlighted front and center.

In addition to the Globecomm deal, AT&T took advantage of the Hannover Mesa stage to announce a new partnership with Otis Elevator Company, including providing IoT connectivity to elevators, escalators and moving walkways and providing mobile devices to more than 30,000 Otis employees.