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AT&T is cashing in on IoT and Verizon has put a huge bet on OTT. That’s a “Vegas style” summary of the executive keynote speeches of AT&T and Verizon at the CTIA Super Mobility show in Las Vegas on September 9–11, 2015.

IoT is big business for AT&T and Verizon has big plans for Go90

Executive keynote speeches are not comprehensive, and carriers the size of AT&T and Verizon inevitably invest in all the potential growth areas for telcos. But it’s also true that carriers try to play up their strengths at trade shows, particularly in executive keynotes. Given that, it’s interesting that AT&T used its keynote to play up IoT as the next big thing in wireless and Verizon focused on its big bet on a new OTT video service it plans to launch this month.

Glenn Lurie, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility, rattled off a string of IoT announcements in his keynote, including deals to bring connectivity to everything from cars and luggage to bikes and wheelchairs. But perhaps the most interesting point Lurie made was that connected devices now represent close to 20% of AT&T’s wireless subscriptions. AT&T reported 23.4 million connected device subscriptions in 2Q15, out of its total wireless subscriptions of 123.9 million.

Even more impressive is that connected devices accounted for 1.5 million of AT&T’s 2.1 million wireless net additions in 2Q15 (almost 70%, in other words). Clearly IoT is big business for AT&T.

Verizon’s executive vice president and president of product innovation and new businesses, Marni Walden, had a very different focus in her keynote. She announced Verizon’s plans to launch Go90, a new OTT mobile video service designed to generate a major new stream of advertising revenues for the company. Verizon has bet big on the service which uses advertising and other technology from a string of acquisitions, including Verizon’s recent $4.4bn purchase of AOL.

Verizon describes Go90 as OTT because it will be delivered via mobile networks rather than traditional TV networks. But Go90 is likely to also use LTE Broadcast to deliver coverage of live events on Verizon’s mobile network. Verizon branding will not be tied to the service and it will be available to all mobile users in the US, not just Verizon Wireless customers.

So AT&T is onto a winner with IoT and Verizon is “chips in” on OTT. They’ve placed their bets – have you?


Further reading

“Verizon introduces LTE Broadcast in run-up to large-scale launch,” TE0001-000982 (September 2015)

Verizon Consumer Update, June 2015, TE0001-000969 (July 2015)

AT&T Update, June 2015, TE0001-000966 (June 2015)


Mike Roberts, Practice Leader, Americas

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