Verizon has announced it will launch what it claims is the first nationwide commercial 4G LTE Category M1 network in the US.
The new network will span 2.4 million square miles, built on a virtualized cloud environment, to target customers seeking wireless access solutions for IoT. Verizon claims he Cat M1 is a new class of LTE chipset that is designed for sensors, requiring less power, while supporting an array of use cases in the burgeoning IoT segment.
“As the natural shift from CDMA-based IoT solutions to the more robust and cloud-based LTE technology occurs, it’s important we stay ahead of that technology evolution for our customers so we can continue to provide them service on the best and most advanced wireless network,” said Mike Haberman, Network VP at Verizon. “Our commercial deployment of the nationwide LTE Cat M1 network does just that.”
Alongside the announcement, the team will launch new pricing plans to reflect the longer useful life of devices. New data plans will start at $2 per month per device, but will also include customized options available for bulk activations and volume purchases.
It is also cashing in on the platforms side of the business with the launch of ThingSpace IoT platform, capitalizing on Verizon’s global scale, which can only be matched by a handful of competitors. The team claims 14,000 developers are already using the platform today, while connectivity is supported in more than 175 countries.
While there are certain industry commentators who have played down the holy-grail which is IoT for the telco industry, it would appear Verizon is ignoring the nay-sayers. It’s continuing to bet big, though whether this is reflecting in the profitability of the telco heavy weight remains to be seen.
With Amazon and Google launching smart home initiatives, have the telcos missed out on their chance to cash in on this market?
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