Verizon has launched a new IoT platform, called ThingSpace, as part of its strategy to increase its presence and visibility in the Internet of Things segment. Verizon will use the new platform to help developers create applications and bring their products to market quickly. To that end, it is making around 100 APIs available, and it aims to expand this number to over 1,000 through the first half of 2016.
Verizon is targeting a number of industries straight out of the gate, notably healthcare, agriculture, and the sharing economy (in the form of car-sharing for college students with Innova). ThingSpace and its associated activities are the culmination of two years of work by Verizon to create a platform to help developers and other partners create, commercialize, and monitor new products and analytics.
Verizon’s main rival in this space, AT&T, already offers its own platform, called the M2M Application Platform, providing code libraries, prepackaged functions, and other tools. ThingSpace offers similar functionality for partners looking to reduce the cost of launching IoT solutions, and the platform should give Verizon more of a leg up into consumer-facing M2M solutions, as opposed to purely industrial or enterprise uses.
Verizon says its new strategy aims to reduce the complexity of launching into the IoT marketplace, but it also notes that its wide area network is a key attraction for potential developers. Because module costs and access charges have been barriers to IoT entry so far, the company said it would address both, in the form of a new chipset from Sequans and a new IoT core, slated for release in 2016, to help reduce the costs of launching IoT solutions. It also pointed to a number of use cases that would become more viable thanks to the lower costs, including connecting water meters, pet collars, and other devices.
In addition, with availability in 92 countries at launch, and global availability expected by the end of 2016, Verizon is staking out its territory as a key partner in M2M, providing competition to AT&T. One of the greatest assets that US operators can offer potential partners is their expertise in setting up large-scale deployments – the launch of ThingSpace is an important step in raising Verizon’s profile in this area, after years of laying the groundwork.
Driving Scale in the Internet of Things, TE0001-000881 (October 2014)
Francesco Radicati, Senior Analyst, Digital Services
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