Verizon (VZ) - Get Report has reported that its Internet of Things-related revenues have already topped $500 million for the year, and the company is making plans to take an even bigger bite out of the web-connected device market.
While the smartphone market is getting more saturated, IoT is an area with apparently enormous potential to provide revenue growth. IN that vein, Verizon has said that in the first quarter of 2016, it will launch a new, cheaper service to connect devices to the Internet -- items like smoke detectors, thermostats and even factory pumps.
The company has also introduced a new chip that reduces the cost of connecting gadgets to existing networks, a development expected to halve the price of getting low-data usage devices online.
The latest projections suggest that the Internet of Things market will be worth around $1.7 trillion by 2020. Verizon has been forging partnerships to help grow their digital reach, teaming up with Intel (INTC) - Get Report to provide water-management sensors in commercial vineyards, for example.
Rival AT&T (T) - Get Report has also been intensifying its focus on Internet-connected devices. The company recently launched a cloud-based data analytics platform for businesses and has also been working on a global SIM card for connected cars.
Verizon's growing push into the IoT space comes after the wireless carrier announced it will be cutting jobs and reorganizing its wireless operations. A spokesperson told press that the company will be reducing its 20 regional offices down to six to cut costs. The trend among American consumers to ditch traditional landlines in favor of the Internet and mobile devices has dented one of Verizon's main revenue streams. Now, Verizon is scrambling to attract a younger audience through offerings such as its newly launched go90 mobile video service, targeted at teenagers and young adults.