Mobile companies heart the smart grid — it can offer stable revenue in a world in which cell phone customers can be pretty fickle. Yesterday two of the largest wireless players in the U.S., Qualcomm and Verizon Wireless, announced that they have teamed up on a new joint venture to deliver “machine-to-machine services,” which use wireless networks, sensors and software to monitor and manage systems, and which will include services for the smart grid (see our smart grid FAQ) and utilities.
Smart grid services are only part of the companies’ machine-to-machine plan, but the duo says their smart grid products could enable utilities to “wirelessly connect to their grid assets, such as circuit breakers, transformers and other sub-station equipment,” and create “interactive utility networks that are more intelligent, resilient, reliable and self-balancing.”
Tapping into the smart grid, which could be one of the largest creators of wealth in the next decade, is part of Verizon Wireless’ goal of more fully monetizing its high-speed wireless broadband networks. For Qualcomm, the move into smart grid technology will be about selling communication systems that can link the machine-to-machine services together. Both companies sell wireless services based on the wireless standard CDMA, so the partnership will help create an ecosystem around CDMA’s role in machine-to-machine services.