Comcast announced Wednesday machineQ, a new business trial venture focused on building business-to-business solutions and a platform for the Internet of Things (IoT). As a part of machineQ, Comcast will work with select commercial partners in proof of concepts to use its network to enable partners to gather, transmit, and analyze data from connected devices distributed throughout their organizations.
Comcast will use Semtech Corp.’ globally-proven LoRa Wireless Radio Frequency Technology to deploy network trials in Philadelphia and San Francisco later this year. These trials will focus on enabling use cases such as utility metering, environmental monitoring, and asset tracking through LoRa technology-enabled devices and network services.
If the initial trials are successful, Comcast intends to commercially deploy LoRaWAN networks and LoRa-related services across its markets, with the goal of completing commercial deployments within the next 18 to 30 months.
According to a 2016 study of the growth of the IoT market by Machina Research, the total number of global M2M connections will grow from 6 billion in 2015 to 27 billion in 2025, with 20 percent of these connections originating in the United States. The global market is estimated to generate $3 trillion in revenue by 2025 with 22 percent ($660 billion) originating in the United States. Machina’s study also indicates that 11 percent of the connections by 2025 will use Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) connections such as LoRa.
“We believe the business-to-business segment of the Internet of Things market is going to expand rapidly over the next decade as businesses look to IoT-based technology to manage their businesses in a more effective and sophisticated manner,” said Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer, Comcast Cable. “Technologies such as LoRa are setting the stage for the era of connected devices, and we think our network potentially has a role to play in connecting the millions of internet-enabled devices deployed within enterprises.”
Comcast has invested tens of billions of dollars to build a network that spans 20 of the nation’s top 30 markets. It includes more than 149,000 route miles of fiber optic cable and more than 500,000 miles of HFC plant that is in close proximity to hundreds of thousands of businesses and city locations.
“The decision by Comcast to complement its existing infrastructure with LoRa Technology will enable connected devices, servers and software components to communicate seamlessly and securely on its new LoRaWAN-based IoT platform,” said Mohan Maheswaran, Semtech’s president and chief executive officer. “Semtech is committed to working with Comcast to make LPWAN networks broadly available in the United States. We believe this will foster innovation by enterprises for new IoT solutions that allows us all to benefit from the advantages of our emerging connected world.”