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Verizon Looks At “Smart City” Development In IoT Push

April 5, 2016 - Written By Daniel Fuller

In the midst of the Internet of Things movement experiencing tremendous growth and innovation, the space is also experiencing a bit of a shakeup. As startups emerge and tech giants roll out their own IoT products, Google-owned Nest is apparently on death watch, signaling the end of an era. According to Verizon, the new age we’re entering into is one where IoT has not only moved beyond novelty status, it has become mainstream. In order to embrace the new movement, particularly by bolstering their “Smart Cities” project, Verizon has hired Mrinalini Ingram, a former executive with tech and communications giant Cisco.

In their 2016 State of the Market report for IoT, Verizon declared that the technology had a defining year in 2015 and now can safely be declared mainstream. To back this claim, Verizon’s Vice President of IoT Connected Solutions, Mark Bartolomeo, pointed to recent deals in the space by big players such as Cisco, GE and IBM. Their report also laid out some rough projections for the future of IoT, showing a drastic leap from 2014’s connected IoT device count of 9.7 billion all the way to a whopping 30 billion by 2020. Bartolomeo also took a shot at some of the carrier’s smaller rivals, asking, “If you’re just a wireless service provider, can you participate in IoT?” Bartolomeo also made the point that IoT was less about devices and more about use cases, lending itself to innovation. This claim was bolstered by an earnings figure from Verizon’s IoT department of $690 million for 2015. The number indicated year-on-year growth of about 18 percent for Verizon’s IoT exploits.

As for Ingram, Verizon’s plan is to hand over management of their Smart Cities projects and have Ingram report directly to Verizon’s Senior Vice President of IoT, Mike Lanman. This is only one piece of the IoT puzzle for Verizon, of course; they also have hands in IoT solutions for healthcare, transport, energy and agriculture, each of which gets their own separate team and management within the company, all reporting to Vice President Mark Bartolomeo and Senior Vice President Mike Lanman. With a cohesive strategy beginning to take shape, Verizon looks set to assert dominance early on in the growing field of IoT.