Amid all the flurry around the recent repeal of the FCC’s broadband privacy rules, Verizon’s VP of Internet of Things Global Product Development and Strategic Planning Michael Toto said this week data privacy and security are top of mind as the carrier expands its IoT initiatives.
“Data privacy is so important to Verizon,” Toto said during an IoT track session at TESSCO’s One conference. “We’re smack right in the middle of it because of the amount of data coming through location-based services, etc. I would just comment that it’s a very important piece to Verizon and looked upon very carefully in terms of who really owns the data.”
Toto said privacy considerations go hand in hand with Verizon’s IoT security efforts. He indicated the latter are executed via a three-pronged approach that spans managed certificate services, mobile private networks, and a secure cloud interconnect. These provide end to end security for devices running on Verizon’s network in lieu of industry-wide security standards, Toto said.
The eye to privacy and security comes as Verizon ramps up its IoT initiatives to capture its chunk of market revenue that is expected to grow to hit 1.3 trillion by 2018, according to IDC forecasts.
Toto said manufacturing, utilities, and transportation are leading growth in IoT, but the retail, healthcare, and consumer sectors are catching up fast. In particular, Toto noted utilities are seeing 58 percent growth, home monitoring is seeing 50 percent growth, transportation is seeing 49 percent growth, and smart cities are experiencing 43 percent growth. Agriculture and healthcare brought up the end of the list with 33 percent and 26 percent growth, respectively.
Verizon, of course, has made several recent acquisitions to strengthen its position in the telematics space, and isn’t sitting still when it comes to introducing new solutions across all verticals. Toto highlighted Verizon’s IoT Share solution, which he explained as “Uber for everything” – that is, Share allows users to remotely rent things like cars, bikes, canoes, tools, and other equipment, either putting their own assets on the market or snagging available resources nearby. That solution is currently in the market, he said.
Additionally, Verizon is offering a Grid Wide utility solution with reporting, analytics, and auditing; a smart cities portfolio that includes smart lighting, parking, and video; healthcare solutions to both track and trace the use of hospital equipment and enable enhanced care management through patient monitoring; and AgTech solutions to help farmers monitor their crops and better manage activities like watering. The latter, Toto said, is already offering farmers 20-30 percent savings on water use alone, not to mention savings in other areas like energy use.
On the acquisitions front, Toto said Verizon will continue to invest in its core focus areas like media, telematics, wireless, and fiber to strengthen its position to become more of a leader in each area. He added that watchers will continue to see how content and services integrate to provide more end-to-end services. The company is also investing in data analytics to handle the massive influx of information from connected devices, he said.