Verizon launches carrier platforms for IoT, big data and more

Verizon launched an offering aimed at helping carriers around the world more easily expand into next-generation services beyond traditional wireless offerings.

“Exponent,” as the initiative is dubbed, is a portfolio of software and online platforms built to serve as platforms for offerings for the IoT, big data and media. Verizon is hoping to leverage its experience as the nation’s largest network operator to provide other service providers with the expertise and tools “to accelerate growth, optimize performance, and monetize assets,” Verizon said in its announcement.

“As carriers around the world seek to compete with new, emerging technology players and OTT service providers, Exponent provides a cost-effective way for them to leverage Verizon’s investment and experience to diversify and help grow their revenue streams while relying on our tradition of innovation, reliability and excellence,” Verizon Chief Product Officer Guru Pai said in a statement.

Exponent comprises platforms targeting five key areas:

  • Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Platform, which is aimed at helping carriers monetize troves of data through the application of advanced machine learning techniques, deep analytics and artificial intelligence
  • IoT Platform, which eliminates limitations carriers face in managing increasingly complex connected-device businesses
  • Media Services Platform, which uses cross-platform video and advanced media services across networks to reduce complexity and enable carriers to deploy various types of content including formats such as 360 video and virtual reality
  • Internet Services Delivery Platform, which is aimed at helping operators launch revenue-generating web services and provide dynamic network optimization capabilities
  • Cloud Computing and Storage, which uses a container-based architecture to enable operators to rapidly deploy new services with a focus on scale and security

The move marks Verizon’s latest effort to expand to other businesses and geographic markets as its traditional wireless business struggles in an extremely competitive U.S. landscape. Verizon added 591,000 postpaid net customers during the fourth quarter but wireless service revenue shrank 4.9% year-over-year, and the carrier warned last month that wireless revenue likely won’t return to growth until 2018 at the earliest.

Exponent also provides a way for Verizon to expand on its existing relationships with carriers overseas.

 “To date, Verizon’s investments in non-core assets, with an eye to making them core, have been sector-leading,” Gartner Research Vice President Eric Goodness told FierceWireless via email. “Media services, digital marketing and IoT-centric vertical applications are footnotes in this announcement. As Verizon works to create a network of partner networks around the world, they have also created a willing channel to consider leveraging other value-added assets—for example, why would a small CSP (communications service provider) in Asia that is a customer of Verizon Exponent IoT Platform not consider Verizon’s smart city, precision agriculture and fleet management portfolio for resale?”