Posted by: Cliff Edwards on July 28, 2009
As all types of machines get “smarter” with wireless connections that allow for two-way communication, chipmaker Qualcomm thinks it has the right stuff to go after the burgeoning market.
The San Diego-based company announced it will work in a 50-50 joint venture with carrier Verizon Wireless to offer “machine-to-machine” wireless services in areas such as healthcare, manufacturing, consumer electronics and utilities.
It’s an interesting play that could give Qualcomm a one-up over competitors such as Intel and ST Microelectronics, who are racing to grow their own embedded chips and communications businesses. To my recollection, no other chip company has formalized such a binding commitment from a mobile operator whose communications pipeline has such extensive reach and deep relationships with business customers.
Even so, the market looks to be increasingly hotly contested as both businesses and consumers look to remotely manage everything from the temperature of a thermostat to office lighting. As broadband connections improve with upgrades to 3G networks and the rollout of fourth-generation data-optimized networks over the next few years, remote monitoring is creating new avenues for improving productivity and lowering costs.