Verizon, Qualcomm forming M2M joint venture

Verizon Wireless and Qualcomm have formed a joint venture to deliver machine-to-machine wireless services in a range of market segments, including health care, manufacturing, utilities, distribution and consumer products. The JV, which currently does not have a name, will be equally owned by Verizon and Qualcomm and will be based in San Diego with offices in New Jersey. Financial details were not disclosed.

The companies said the JV will be a one-stop shop that will automate wireless devices and  provide provisioning, specialized applications and wireless network connectivity for firms that want M2M services. The new effort will be led by Steve Pazol, formerly vice president of global smart services at Qualcomm.

In an interview with FierceWireless, Pazol said that Verizon will provide the sales force and distribution channel that Qualcomm lacks. In addition, Pazol said the new JV will continue to support Qualcomm's existing M2M customers that run services over the networks of other carriers such as AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA. In addition, Pazol said that the JV will provide services internationally through Qualcomm's existing relationships with other carriers and overseas firms.

Verizon has been pushing M2M technology as one of the paths to boost wireless penetration in the future. "There will be no limit on the number of connections as part of the mobile grid," Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg said at the CTIA Wireless trade show in Las Vegas earlier this year. "Everything has the potential to be connected to the Web. Call it the 100 percent ceiling."

Verizon's deal with Qualcomm comes on the heels of AT&T's exclusive deal with M2M firm Jasper Wireless, which calls for Jasper to provide the activation, billing and connectivity support for all the embedded wireless devices (both consumer and M2M) that AT&T connects to its network.

For more:
- see this release

Related Articles:
AT&T moves closer to embedded wireless vision 
Verizon's Seidenberg: 500 percent penetration achievable
Smart grids: The next wireless goldmine?
Is embedded wireless the new M2M?
On the Hot Seat with Verizon's Anthony Lewis
AT&T and Jasper Wireless Launch Integrated Platform to Wirelessly Connect Emerging Devices

Sue Marek contributed to this report.