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July 26, 2018 Jeremy Boren

TechHub: Chevron, BP, Shell Buy Into Cloud Computing; AT&T’s 5G Cities

Chevron, BP, Shell Will Rely Heavily on Cloud Computing

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday highlighted the rush by some oil and gas producers to sign cloud computing and AI deals worth billions of dollars with giant corporations such as Microsoft and Google.

Energy producers want to analyze the terabytes of data they collect from drilling, seismic testing and production activities to help lower their operating costs and improve management of vast land holdings.

“Major oil companies like Chevron, BP and Shell will use the cloud to do everything from finding more oil to predicting needed maintenance on equipment before it breaks down.”

WSJ reported there are concerns from some energy executives that once Google, Microsoft and even Amazon have access to cloud-based data from energy companies, they could use it to enhance their own, competing interests in the energy industry.

“I can imagine us competing with, but also partnering with digital companies,” said Maarten Wetselaar, the head of the gas and new energies business at Royal Dutch Shell Plc. “There’s a very different competitor set that could emerge in this business.”

We Now Know 6 of the 12 Cities Where AT&T Will Offer 5G

AT&T late last week confirmed it will bring its next-generation wireless network — aka 5G — to Charlotte, Oklahoma City and Raleigh, N.C., by the end of the year.

AT&T previously announced plans to offer 5G in Atlanta, Dallas and Waco, Texas. Six additional cities, which would make for a total of 12, have yet to be named.

“We worked with the cities that embraced the technology,” AT&T Chief Technology Officer Andre Fuetsch told Reuters.

AT&T plans to offer a device that will allow phones to use the 5G service since 5G-capable phones aren’t expected to be on the market until 2019, Reuters reported.

5G wireless technology will be able to support average download speeds of 1Gbps or greater — fast enough to support a quickly expanding IoT universe that depends on a speedy, reliable connection.

A test of the technology in Waco produced a download speed of 1.2Gbps at a retail location more than 150 meters away from a cell tower, according to an AT&T blog post in April.

Google G Suite Gets Security Upgrade

Google plans to make it easier for G Suite customers to spot potential cybersecurity threats that often gain access to corporate networks through email-based phishing schemes, GeekWire reported Tuesday.

The security upgrade “allows admins and analysts to do advanced queries to determine if they were impacted by a security breach,” said David Thacker, vice president of product management for Google Cloud.

Administrators will be able “to see which users have shared data with external threats and act accordingly,” according to Geekwire.

The new feature will be part of the G Suite Early Adopter Program and it’s arriving with some other enhancements from Google including the ability to select the geographic region in which user data is stored and a grammar-checking tool that will help Google Docs users proofread their work.

GrayMatter’s Transform 2018 Conference Is Nearly Here

Thanks for reading TechHub. Here’s just one more reminder that GrayMatter’s annual conference — Transform 2018 — is coming up July 31 to Aug. 2 at Put-in-Bay, Ohio. If you’ve been putting it off, now is the time to register.

Check out all the details, study the agenda, read about our excellent lineup of keynote speakers and then head over to the registration page to sign up. Thanks!

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Jeremy Boren

Jeremy is GrayMatter's Brand Manager and the author of TechHub and the emPOWERUP Podcast. He writes about digital solutions, trends and culture in the world of operational technology. Jeremy's background is in daily journalism. He has a passion for storytelling and enjoys highlighting the technologies and professionals taking on complex challenges in manufacturing, energy, cybersecurity and infrastructure.