Verizon, Qualcomm Team Up To Deliver Full IoT Package To Businesses, Developers

Verizon's Internet of Things platform, ThingSpace, will be integrated into chipmaker Qualcomm Technologies' low-power modem in an effort to serve up an all-inclusive IoT offering, the companies said Tuesday.

The partnership between the two companies will help Verizon go up against competing carriers getting into the IoT space. The offering combines an IoT developer platform with wireless connectivity on Cat M1 hardware that will help reduce IoT costs, which can help businesses scale more quickly. The solution also eliminates the need for multiple providers, a big barrier to IoT adoption, according to Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Verizon.

Via the new collaboration, Verizon's software-based ThingSpace developer platform will be embedded within Qualcomm's MDM9206 Category M LTE modem. The solution will also use Verizon's 4G LTE network for building, deploying and managing customized IoT applications across a wide range of use cases, including asset tracking, security and industrial control, Verizon said.

[Related: Verizon CFO Shammo Announces Retirement, Will Be Succeeded By Wireless, Wireline Unit CFO Matthew Ellis]

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Connected devices use a very small amount of data, and device manufacturers looking for connectivity will seek the provider that can offer the best deal, or a flat rate, said Adam Edwards, CEO of Sandy, Utah-based master agent Telarus, a Verizon partner.

Carriers will need to differentiate themselves by going beyond touting their network strength and coverage, Edwards said.

While the major carriers, such as AT&T and Verizon, are heavily investing in the IoT space, startups and smaller providers such as CradlePoint are also giving the incumbents a run for their money. That's because these providers are offering connectivity for smart devices at an attractive price point, he said.

"I think it’s a smart move," he said. "If Verizon is creating a platform that can do IoT from soup to nuts, it's going to be a lot stickier than just managing the wireless side."

The combination of Qualcomm's Cat M1 LTE modem and Verizon's ThingSpace platform will let developers and businesses quickly create and manage IoT applications for connected devices running on 4G LTE. This will also let companies handle firmware management and device diagnostics in real time, two common issues with IoT deployments, according to Verizon.

The combined platform will simplify IoT and allow partners to focus on the business needs of their end customers, Telarus' Edwards said.

"I think a lot of the value of the partner will be the relationship, rather than the technical know-how for IoT," he said.

The ThingSpace IoT platform will be available for OEM integration on Cat M1-based solutions in early 2017, the carrier said.