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Verizon Places Another Bet on Internet of Things With Latest Acqusition

Back in March, the story of Boaty McBoatface emerged on a costly British research vessel that, for some bizarre reason, was left to be christened by the decent folks who lurk on the Internet. Needless to say that it very nearly ended in tears at once somebody proposed the name Boaty McBoatface; it immediately became the most voted option by far. Probably foreseeing something like this (or maybe even worse), the organizers left the final decision to an official panel, so all the commotion eventually turned out to be in vain.

If asking the people to name a $290 million boat seems like a risky decision, how about what the United States Air Force did just days later? Confronted with an inspirational block, it invited people to send in names for its still in development B-21 stealth bomber – a project that’s believed to cost in the region of $42 billion (and when we say “in the region,” we mean “definitely no less than”).

The USAF was a little more careful, and it only opened up the voting to people enrolled in the air force and their family members, so coming up with an insulting name could have gotten you court-martialed. In the end, the USAF received over 4,600 entries from which to choose, and its name was just announced this morning: sadly, it doesn’t follow the “Blablay McBlaBlaFace” scheme.

After the B-2 Spirit, the US pilots will get to fly the B-21 Raider. The $550 million planes (the estimated cost for each unit) will not be ready until the mid-2020s, when the USAF is expected to order over 100 of them. This is all very nice, but what we’d really like to know is what other names have been considered or, better yet, we’d like to see the whole list of submissions. We don’t want to be buzz killers, but we’re absolutely convinced there were better options than “Raider.”

Gizmodo seems to share our suspicion and has asked the USAF to release the full list of names invoking the Freedom of Information Act, but its request was denied since this is the government. However, the Air Force confirmed it would release the shortlist of considered names sometime in the future. Well, that should be interesting too.

Internet of Things

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We have used the latest version of the client, version 0.65, for that. We will update the guide when features change. If you notice that before us, let us know in the comments to update the article. “Verizon wants to be well-positioned so that if [IoT] becomes more meaningful, it can be the next leg of growth,” Heger said, noting that the growth rate for Verizon’s IoT division has been fairly strong.

He further said the telco will likely continue pursuing smaller acquisitions to get exposure to various end markets. Verizon has done quite a bit of work in telematics already and is boosting its presence in the smart city segment of IoT with the Sensity purchase. The company could also make a move in the industrial end-market of IoT, according to Heger. SMALL INVESTMENT, BIG POTENTIAL. TheStreet’s Stocks Under $10 has identified a handful of stocks with serious upside potential. See them FREE for 14-days.

Sensity had previously secured $74 million in venture capital funding from a group of investors, including General Electric’s (GE) GE Ventures and Cisco Systems (CSCO) Cisco Investments. Out of the wireless carriers, Verizon certainly has been the most aggressive in terms of IoT M&A. AT&T (T) has been more active with partnerships in the connected car segment, pursuing partnerships with automakers including Audi, Porsche Automobil Holding, Volvo, and General Motors (GM), among others, to offer LTE networks and related services inside of vehicles. T-Mobile US (TMUS) and Sprint (S) haven’t made much movement on IoT just yet as the two focus on grabbing away subscribers from Verizon and AT&T. In addition to defending their market share, Verizon and AT&T are also trying to identify new sources of growth, Heger said.

Elizabeth R. Cournoyer

Web enthusiast. Internet fanatic. Music geek. Gamer. Reader. Hipster-friendly coffee practitioner. Spent 2001-2007 merchandising human hair in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Spent 2001-2007 short selling tinker toys in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Spent 2001-2007 importing acne in Phoenix, AZ. Spent several months importing methane in Mexico. Spent the better part of the 90's creating marketing channels for wooden horses in Bethesda, MD. Lead a team implementing toy monkeys in Deltona, FL.

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