Verizon buys free Wi-Fi kiosk company LQD WiFi

Smart-kiosk company is latest addition to Verizon's Internet of things and smart cities portfolio.
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

A Palo smart kiosk from LQD.

Image: LQD

Verizon has bought free Wi-Fi kiosk company LQD WiFi in a boost to its smart cities ambitions.

LQD WiFi's futuristic Palo smart-kiosks offer free public Wi-Fi, security cameras, emergency calling, and lighting. They can also deliver information like local community updates, directions, or travel updates using the Pebble OS.

Verizon said new urban technologies such as these are becoming increasingly important as the public's expectations for smart-city infrastructure increases. It is collaborating with LQD over designs for cities, private developers, academic institutions, and entertainment venues.

LQD is working on a project with the city of New Rochelle, New York, which hopes the kiosks will encourage residents and visitors to engage more with city services.

Mayor Noam Bramson said: "We want New Rochelle to be an ideal place to live and work. We recognize that a healthy future depends increasingly on robust digital infrastructure, based on cutting-edge technology that can connect residents and businesses alike in a friendly, accessible way."

Verizon has been building out an IoT and smart cities business, most recently with the acquisition of IoT start-up Sensity in September. Its most recent results saw IoT revenue jump 24 percent from a year ago to $217m.

Mike Lanman, senior vice president of enterprise products and Internet of things at Verizon, said the deal allows Verizon to use its network "to deploy elegant and engaging community technology hubs that connect, inform, inspire and support people where they live, work and play".

The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

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