Comcast Corp. CMCSA, a leading cable multi-service operator (MSO) in the U.S., recently announced a new platform – machineQ – wherein the company is focused on building business-to-business solutions on the Internet of Things (IoT) platform. The machineQ platform will see Comcast working with some specified commercial business partners to use their networks and facilitate the gathering, transmitting and analyzing of data collected from connected devices.
Toward this end, Comcast has decided to utilize Semtech Corporation’s SMTC – a leading supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors in the U.S. – LoRa Wireless Radio Frequency Technology to deploy network trials in Philadelphia and San Francisco later in 2016. These trials will mainly focus on enabling use cases such as utility metering as well as environmental monitoring of temperature, pollution, noise and asset tracking through LoRa Technology-enabled devices and network services. Comcast is also looking forward to working with other organizations and enterprises who are keenly interested in participating in such trials.
If the initial trials show positive results, Comcast has plans to deploy LoRaWAN networks and LoRa-related services in all of its markets, aiming to complete commercial deployment in the next 18 to 30 months.
Comcast has already made huge investments to build a network coverage which includes almost 20 of the nation's top 30 markets. It includes more than 149,000 route miles of fiber optic cable and over 500,000 miles of HFC (Hybrid fiber-coaxial) plant.
IoT: Concept and Advancements
IoT is the networking of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items that are embedded with electronics, softwares, sensors and network connectivity which enables these objects to collect and exchange data.
According to a recent Machina Research report on the IoT market, the total number of M2M (Machine-to-machine) connections is expected to increase from 6 billion in 2015 to 27 billion in 2025 globally, with 20% of these connections coming from the U.S. itself. The global market is expected to generate $3 trillion in revenues by 2025 with 22% ($660 billion) coming from the U.S., as estimated by several analysts. Machina Research also states that 11% of the connections are expected to utilize Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) connections such as LoRa by 2025.
Additionally, the business-to-business segment of the IoT industry is expected to rake in more profits going ahead. Many companies and wireless carriers are also launching their IoT developments.
In Sep 2016, U.S. telecom behemoth Verizon Communications Inc. VZ entered into a partnership with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. a subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc. QCOM, the largest manufacturer of wireless chipsets. This partnership will see Verizon's IoT platform, ThingSpace, being integrated into Qualcomm Technologies' MDM9206 Category M LTE modem.
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