Verizon CEO touts wireless beyond the phone

Mon Jan 7, 2013 4:40pm EST
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By Sinead Carew

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Verizon Communications can generate hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue in coming years from wireless services beyond the mobile phone, in areas ranging from healthcare and automobiles to energy management, the company's top executive said on Monday.

The No. 1 U.S. mobile carrier joins other companies expected to debate and demonstrate the benefits of connecting devices - like cars - to the Internet at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Operators like Verizon consider this an important new business.

"It's safe to say this is a market potential of billions in the 2020 timeframe," Lowell McAdam told Reuters in an interview. This should translate into a market with "hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for a company the size of us," he said.

"People will be really surprised at what we're able to do," he said. "The power of the networks is finally going to be able to provide these sort of things.

"In 2013 and 2014 you're going to begin to see that."

Taking wireless access beyond the mobile device is expected to become a major theme this year in Vegas. And McAdam said the so-called "Internet of Things" would be a big theme of his own keynote speech on Tuesday.

For example, wireless connections can allow doctors to remotely diagnose an illness and direct a pharmacist to administer medication, McAdam said. He also talked about public safety improvements, such as the ability of firefighters to navigate a burning building with an infrared camera that has wireless access to its layout.

IDC expects the entire market for cellular connections for devices beyond computers or phones to generate revenue of nearly $1 billion by 2016 in the United States alone.   Continued...

Lowell McAdam speaks at Verizon's iPhone 4 launch event in New York January 11, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid