Verizon adding staff to its Urban Technology ‘Palo’ team

LQD kiosks offer Wi-Fi, public safety and other interactive features to engage citizens in their communities. Image: LQD

Verizon’s newly acquired Urban Technology team—which stems from the acquisition of LQD WiFi last year—is looking to fill two newly open technical positions based in Manhattan.

The team, which is responsible for the productization of “Palo,” Verizon's unified technology hubs for communities, is hiring a software engineering manager and a hardware engineering manager, with other roles to be added soon, according to a LinkedIn post by Randy Ramusack, executive director of Urban Technology at Verizon.

Ramusack is founder of New York City-based LQD, whose kiosks offer Wi-Fi, public safety and other interactive features to engage citizens in their communities.

With LQD's technology, Verizon said it aims to address key community needs such as fostering economic development, bridging the digital divide, facilitating transportation and traffic management and enhancing personal security and urban planning. Municipalities, private developers, academic institutions and entertainment venues are among the target customers.

Last year, the city of New Rochelle, New York, expressed interest in using the LQD kiosks as a way to invite residents and visitors to engage with the city for everything from parks to cultural events and local businesses, emergency messaging and creating job opportunities.

The concept looks similar to what New York is doing with the LinkNYC hubs, which are part of a unique strategy of replacing over 7,500 pay phones with Links, or hubs that provide free Wi-Fi, device charging and phone calls. Those hubs are operated by CityBridge, which includes Civiq Smartscapes, Qualcomm and Intersection, an Alphabet company.  

RELATED: Verizon acquires LQD WiFi, provider of Palo technology hubs

Verizon has also said it was integrating its LQD assets with the smart community infrastructure it acquired in Sensity Systems. It’s also fostering Internet of Things (IoT) applications through its ThingSpace platform, steadily increasing its mark in the IoT space.

In telematics in particular, the acquisitions of Telogis and Fleetmatics toward the end of last year build on its vast Hughes Telematics business that it acquired in 2012.

Verizon EVP and CFO Matt Ellis, speaking at a Morgan Stanley investor conference last month, said he believes Verizon has the largest telematics entity in the U.S. at this point.

In terms of smart city applications, “we continue to work with municipalities to find ways to really—municipalities are interested in making sure that cities continue to be liveable and they are attractive to people as we go forward here,” he said.

“So this helps them provide solutions around lighting, traffic management, safety and a whole host of things," Ellis added. "Very excited about the opportunities there as we work forward and think there's significant upside over the course of the next few years there and will continue to develop solutions in that space.”