Silver Springs, SigFox and others could challenge Verizon, AT&T and cellular players in IoT battlefield

The Wall Street Journal this week took a hard look at the "war" over the Internet of Things, examining how companies such as Silver Springs Networks with Starfish, alongside players such as SigFox and LoRa, are developing technologies to facilitate connectivity between devices and networks. The aim is to create mini-networks of parking meters, vending machines and a wide variety of other gadgets to increase their efficiency and productivity.

The emergence of the IoT calls for the kinds of connectivity that traditional wireless technologies often can't provide. Sensor-based devices often need low-power capabilities that don't consume much power and can go dormant for weeks at a time if necessary. And IoT gadgets sometimes require longer-range capabilities that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi can't provide.

"Cellular carriers have been working on lower-powered variants for IoT applications, and the new entrants are spurring them to move faster," the Journal notes. Indeed, players such as AT&T and Verizon are hoping to build major IoT businesses.

As the U.S. smartphone market nears the saturation point, network operators must find innovative new ways to monetize the IoT, which is still in its infancy. The coming era of ubiquitous connectivity teems with opportunity, and there's a growing army of startups aiming to capitalize on it. Article