Comcast has launched machineQ, a “business trial venture” focused on developing an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for enterprise customers.
Comcast, which will employ Semtech’s LoRA Wireless Radio Frequency Technology for the machineQ venture, said it will work with select commercial partners on proof of concepts that enable them to tap into the operator’s network to gather, transmit, and analyze data from connected devices distributed throughout their organizations. Comcast said its network now spans more than 149,000 route miles of fiber optic cable and more than 500,000 miles of HFC plant.
Comcast said initial network trials will take place later this year in Philadelphia and San Francisco, with a focus on use cases such as utility metering, environmental monitoring (temperature, pollution, noise), and asset tracking via LoRa Technology-enabled devices and network services.
If the initial trials are successful, Comcast plans 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.
Comcast sees IoT as a huge business opportunity, citing a study from Machina Research that sees the total number of global machine-to-machine connections growing from 6 billion in 2015 to 27 billion in 2025, and a global market that will generate $3 trillion in revenue by 2025 (22%, or $660 billion, originating in the U.S.).
"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," Sam Schwartz, Comcast Cable’s chief business development officer, said in a statement. "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.”
“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.”