Verizon announced the launch of ThingSpace — its new Internet of Things (IoT) platform developed to provide improved connectivity to devices at reduced costs.
The new platform will enable devices to connect to its 4G LTE network at reduced access charges and help drive down costs associated with developing IoT-enabled devices, said Mike Lanman, senior vice president of enterprise and IoT products at Verizon, at the company’s San Francisco Innovation Center, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Unlike the demands of a mobile network, Verizon’s IoT platform has been designed to handle a large number of connections that require less data transfer.
To bring down the costs, Lanman said, the company will soon make new chipsets designed by Sequans Communications widely available. The chipsets will essentially cut down the cost of developing devices compatible with Verizon’s 4G LTE network by half. “You will see us in 2016 halve this price again for some of the new modules that we’ll be launching,” he said. “Think of it as a beginning of the wave of making the WAN (Wide Area Network) network and our 4G LTE network more accessible to IoT developers,” he said.
With an IoT ecosystem of 1,000 channel partners that churned Verizon profits to the tune of $495 million so far this year, the company’s IoT network service currently spans across a wide range of industries, from wineries to electric car manufacturing companies, WSJ reported.
While the new platform would have a positive impact on the economics of the IoT industry, it does have its downsides. “That’s a good move in the right direction, but it means that a lot of deployments would have to circle that network,” said Carrie MacGillivray, vice president of mobile services and IoT at International Data Corp. “Cellular modems have been a limiting factor because they are more expensive.” There are devices that use other communications protocols, such as Wi-Fi or low-power consumption ZigBee, which are less expensive, she said.