Wireless Watch

Wireless Watch

ThingSpace is intended to allow developer to create applications, for customers to manage their devices, for partners to market their services, and for Verizon to leverage to launch integrated vertical solutions in what it calls an open environment not that a vendor-owned platform sounds particularly open to our ears.

Speaking to FierceWireless, Verizons SVP Enterprise and IoT Products Mike Lanman said we really believe the market is underserved today. When you look at corporations, those that have deployed IoT solutions, theyre getting double digit improvement in their profitability because theyre cutting cost out and theyre managing their environments at a much faster pace, but they are still underserved by the solutions on the market.

In addition to ThingSpace, Verizon is launching a new dedicated IoT network core, optimized for LTE Cat-1 devices, and new connectivity options for next-gen IoT use cases working with partners to embed LTE chipsets in a wide range of machines, in the hopes of widening the reach of LTE. Gateways and hubs are likely initial targets of this expansion, as they represent the opportunity to bridge existing industrial and IoT short-range protocols to the internet via LTE backhaul. A Power Save Mode, due in 2016, will likely boost LTEs adoption among developers of edge devices. Verizon singled out WiFi, Bluetooth and ZigBee.

Continued innovation in smart cities, connected cars and wearables demonstrates that IoT is the future for how we will live and work, said Mike Lanman, SVP Enterprise Products at Verizon. Despite the exciting potential, IoT is still too complex, too fragmented, too expensive to connect and too hard to scale. Success in that future relies on a leader that can cut through the complexity and change the IoT model. Thats where Verizon comes in. With our experience in networks, devices, platforms and applications, we are taking a holistic approach to simplifying adoption to expand the IoT market from millions to billions of connections.

This is a similar approach to IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft Azure, which along with dozens of other offerings, aim to entice developers into the platform in order to drive future revenue. The big difference that Verizon hopes to leverage is its network although IBM has made a pretty aggressive move in the same direction this week, with its integration of Jaspers global network.

Other elements of the announcement include a promise to drive innovation in agriculture, healthcare, consumer electronics and the sharing economy, as well as commercializing Verizons big data analytics engine. The last component is three new end-to-end smart city solutions Intelligent Video, Intelligent Lighting, and Intelligent Traffic Management.

Verizon has launched its ThingSpace developer portal, declaring that it wants to make the process of building and connecting IoT projects easier for all. Key to it all is the MNOs cellular network, and in the short term, the transition to LTE Cat-1 and eventually Cat-M will be key as will the emergence of a LPWAN standard from the 3GPP.

Unsurprisingly, Intelligent Lighting covers LED outdoor lighting, but also includes digital signage, embedded sensors (in the LED luminaires), and data and energy analytics. Intelligent Video handles CCTV, but also analytics and resulting notification systems as well as the compression and storage requirements that coincide with handling large volumes of video. Lastly, the Traffic Management offers to provide smart parking, as well as adaptive signal control, route management, and performance metrics.

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Verizon announced last week that 2015 has earned it $495m in IoT revenue to date, with 1,000 channel partners. Its still likely to total less than 1% of its full year 2014 revenue ($127bn) by the end of the year, but both Verizon and AT&T are turning their attention to the IoT as a way of boosting revenues to accommodate for a more competitive consumer mobile phone market. Connected cars are in both their crosshairs, and AT&T added a million connected car subscriptions in Q3. Verizon launched its aftermarket Hum OBD-II telematics adapter recently too.

Under development for two years, ThingSpace already has a number of users, according to Verizon. The company promises to roll out hundreds of APIs through the coming year, and is already providing access to its most popular, through the portal. The portal currently encompasses 92 countries, but Verizon aims to grow that number significantly.

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