Verizon to boost profit by focusing on IoT & smart city technologies

Verizon to boost profit by focusing on IoT & smart city technologies

AT&T signs deals to develop smart city capabilities across the globe
AT&T signs deals to develop smart city capabilities across the globe

American telecoms firm Verizon is looking to capitalize on the potential of Internet of Things and smart city technologies to fight off competition from competitors.

The company experienced a strong fourth quarter in terms of IoT revenues. Led by telematics, its connected tech business raked in $243 million.

Compared to $217 million the previous quarter, that’s a rise of 21 percent. Following a range of product launches and acquisitions in 2016, the company said overall IoT sales rose by over 60 percent.

Related: Report: Smart cities demand smart transport systems

Disappointing results

Although the company has seen growth in its IoT operations, there were more disappointing results for Q4 earnings. Shares were at 86 cents on a $32.3 billion revenue, decreasing from $34.3 billion the year before.

Still, the company fared better than what analysts were predicting, but only slightly. Many pundits predicted that the firm would post revenue of $32.3 billion.

Verizon’s overall revenue for 2016 took a kicking. The firm announced revenue of $126 billion, dropping by 4.3 percent compared to 2015. Again, analysts predicted a slightly lower result: $125.7 billion.

The disappointment continued for the firm. Analysts predicted that it would add 726,000 postpaid accounts in the fourth quarter, but this number actually stood at 591,000.

Key investments at Verizon

It made a number of key investments and acquisitions during 2016. The firm used $17.1 billion of capital to improve its wireless networks, and it acquired struggling tech firm Yahoo for $4.83 billion.

However, the company has said it will be delaying the deal close date till the second quarter of this year, following further security breaches at the company.

Despite disappointing results overall, the company has reaffirmed its commitment to the Internet of Things and telematics over the next few years.

Reaffirming IoT focus

As ZDNet reports, Verizon CFO Matt Ellis said: “The Internet of Things including telematics is an area of opportunity that is rapidly growing as the connected world expands.

“Ubiquitous and reliable coverage to support the vast number of devices that of these various platforms is a competitive advantage and we’re developing this ecosystem to leverage our best in class networks while providing solutions to verticals such as transportation, energy, agriculture, and smart cities.”

Mussy Kurt-Elli, CEO of managed services firm QubeGB, believes that more companies in the telecoms industry will realise the benefits offered by the Internet of Things over the next few years.

“IoT holds significant potential for telcos. Over time, as IoT becomes more pervasive, service models will move to preventative maintenance so engineers can pre-empt any equipment failures or if a fault has occurred they can gather information ahead of a service visit to speed up the engineer’s work once he arrives,” he said.

“In my experience, the industry doesn’t suffer from lack of experience, but more often a lack critical fundamentals, such as modern service tools, processes, training and front line service engineers to uphold customer service standards.

“Without investing properly in these areas, the industry as a whole will continue to struggle with high levels of complaints. IoT holds some promise for telcos in the area of service.”

Related: Couchbase & Verizon’s outlook: why the IoT needs ‘schema-freedom