Verizon opens up its 5G Nationwide network to certified IoT devices

Meanwhile, a new low-cost IoT module certified for the Verizon network should open up IoT to new users and new use cases.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Verizon-certified IOT devices can now access Verizon's 5G Nationwide network, the company announced Tuesday. The network is accessible via compatible data plans in Verizon's ThingSpace IoT Marketplace. 

Verizon's "5G Nationwide" network leverages Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) technology on a low-band spectrum, which lets customers jump to 4G LTE or 4G in areas where 5G service isn't available. By bringing IoT devices onto the network, Verizon Business is aiming to be a "single-provider destination for IoT, with solutions spanning broadband and narrowband, 5G and LTE... for applications across industries,"  TJ Fox, SVP of Industrial IoT and Automotive for Verizon Business, said in a statement. 

The company on Tuesday also announced new analytics and IoT management tools for Verizon customers, as well as a Verizon-certified, low-cost device that should make IoT more accessible to more users and more use cases. 

Verizon said more 5G Nationwide-compatible hardware and plans will be available later this year. Next year, Verizon plans to open up its 5G Ultra Wideband network to compatible IoT devices and plans. While "5G Nationwide" leverages 5G and 4G, the "Ultra-Wideband" network uses a high-band, ultra-wide millimeter wave spectrum to deliver high-speed 5G. 

At its Investor Day presentation back in March, Verizon said it plans to build another 14,000 millimeter wave sites this year, offering what Verizon CFO Matthew Ellis called "the ultimate experience of 5G." The company is also making significant investments to expand C-Band 5G, which will bolster its network-as-a-service strategy. Verizon's larger 5G strategy involves melding 5G with edge computing and IoT, as well as creating an ecosystem with tech giants such as AWS and Microsoft Azure.

The new analytics tools will be part of the Verizon ThingSpace Intelligence suite, which includes a bundle of existing IoT services, such as Intelligence Analytics Dashboard, SIM Secure, Device Diagnostics and Location Services. Its new capabilities include Wireless Network Performance, Anomaly Detection, Network-coordinated firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) management, and the ThingSpace Analytics engine. The suite is available for customer trials now and should be commercially available next year. 

As for the new low-cost IOT module, it comes from Quectel with a Qualcomm chipset. At less than $4, Verizon said it should make it easier than ever to deploy industrial sensors. Its low power consumption makes it suitable for applications that expect to operate for 15 or 20 years without being touched, such as smart meters, HVAC units, air and water quality monitors, manufacturing controls, smart lighting nodes and municipal smart infrastructure.

The BC660K-GL module is certified with Verizon, making the carrier the first in the US to enable the module on its nationwide narrowband IoT network. Connectivity plans from Verizon will start at less than $1.

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