All eyes on IoT: Comcast, Cox going big

June 4, 2018
Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Cox Communications  are making serious moves into the Internet of Things (IoT) as both have launched large-scale projects, which indicates a move into a new business services ...

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Cox Communications are making serious moves into the Internet of Things (IoT) as both have launched large-scale projects, which indicates a move into a new business services market for cable operators.

Just recently, Cox announced that it will use Leverage's IoT platform as part of its Cox2M Connected Asset Services business line. Leverege will provide system integration services across Cox's target verticals, including transportation, fleet management, smart cities, energy, agriculture, real estate and retail.

"We are very excited to partner with an industry leader like Cox and together deliver turnkey solutions at disruptive price points for business and public-sector customers," said Eric Conn, CEO and co-founder of Leverege.

Cox2M is a relatively new venture. It was launched in March, after an incubation period of two years in the company's New Growth organization. With Cox2M, customers will get a turnkey solution that allows them to monitor and track commercial assets. The end result will be that they can connect nearly anything, anywhere. This means inventory, equipment, infrastructure, cars and even power lines. The solution will monitor the location, condition and status of the assets and provide real-time notification of any issues.

The platform bundles connectivity, hardware and software in one package. Cox2M provides sensors to collect the data, and the open solution integrates into an organization's existing systems and processes. Machine learning capabilities provide real-time customer insights.

As an example of how this all works, Cox Automotive is an early adopter of Cox2M Connected Asset Services. They are using a custom Cox2M application that delivers real-time tracking of vehicles across auction lots. The solution was piloted last year and will now be implemented across the United States and Canada to connect more than 500,000 vehicles.

Comcast's enterprise IoT service, machineQ, has been around for a little while longer. It was launched in 2016 as a trial and was expanded in July 2017.

In recent news, machineQ activated its LoRaWAN IoT network in the San Francisco Bay Area. Coverage areas include in Cupertino, Fremont, Hayward, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Oakland, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale.

Startups and developers in the region building enterprise-grade IoT solutions can now connect to the cloud using the machineQ IoT network. The LoRaWAN wireless protocol, which is currently being used by 80+ carriers in 43 countries around the globe, is designed to cut costs due to lower power requirements, provide long-range coverage, and penetrate hard-to-reach places like deep indoor and underground locations.

MachineQ's customers include a range of industries including asset tracking, geo-location, water metering, facilities management and pest control. MachineQ is also providing LoRaWAN-based wireless connectivity in the agriculture, energy, retail and smart cities industries.

"It was a no-brainer to deliver a dense IoT network in the Bay Area, epicenter of IoT, because it reduces costs for developers and startups in the region and opens up new business cases for the solutions they are building," said Alex Khorram, general manager for machineQ.

Beyond the Bay Area, machineQ is deploying its LoRaWAN-based network in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Miami, Minneapolis, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Washington DC.

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