Verizon Keeps Building Its IoT Arsenal, Buys Smart City Tech Developer

Verizon is at it again, announcing its latest acquisition in the Internet of Things (IoT) space on Monday. The telecom giant has scooped up LQD WiFi, a privately-held company that develops outdoor interactive displays and kiosks for smart city use cases.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Verizon has been steadily putting different parts of its IoT strategy together this year, primarily based on specialized acquisitions in well-defined vertical markets. The provider purchased smart LED lighting provider Sensity Systems for an undisclosed amount in September. Verizon also this month closed its acquisition of Dublin-based fleet and mobile management company Fleetmatics Group for $2.4 billion, a deal first announced in August.

[Related: Verizon To Acquire IoT Startup Sensity Systems To Add More Smart City Control To ThingSpace]

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LQD WiFi, a New York City-based company, founded in 2014, specializes in connected kiosks called Palo Unified Technology Hubs. These interactive "hubs" can provide information to citizens, such as public safety announcements, public transit information, upcoming events and directions. The Palo kiosks also provide free public Wi-Fi, area lighting, and 911 calling.

LQD's assets will be integrated with technology from Sensity Systems as part of Verizon's "Smart Community" infrastructure efforts, according to the Basking Ridge, N.J.-based service provider. Through its recent acquisitions, Verizon has been developing smart city solutions, including intelligent parking, lighting, security and traffic management. Verizon's Smart Cities and Communities business unit, a branch of its IoT organization, is using its web-based ThingSpace platform to develop these solutions.

"LQD's Palo technology hubs capture Verizon's vision of delivering citizen engagement experiences by connecting people with their communities while providing critical security, transportation and wayfinding solutions as well as Wi-Fi capabilities," said Mike Lanman, senior vice president, of enterprise products and IoT for Verizon in a statement.

According to a statement from Verizon, both companies are already working on IoT solutions for municipalities, private developers, academic institutions and entertainment venues.

Verizon, similar to telco competitors like AT&T, is pursuing IoT in an effort to offer more strategic, digital services while offsetting the declining demand for legacy voice and connectivity services.

Verizon said that the Palo kiosks will be piloted in New Rochelle, N.Y.

"LQD is thrilled to join Verizon to redefine the urban space. As a world leader in wireless technology and smart communities, Verizon's expertise, global scale, and leading media platforms will enable us to deliver on our mission to provide an unbounded flow of information to all people," said LQD founder and CEO Randy Ramusack.

Verizon did not disclose when it expects the LQD transaction to be completed.