M2M communications come into their own, says Verizon chief

Enterprise uses of M2M include fleet management, factory automation, inventory tracking

LAS VEGAS-- Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, which enable devices to share data wirelessly, have "come to fruition on a big scale," said Lowell McAdam, Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) CEO, during a Tuesday evening keynote at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show.

Enterprise communication uses of M2M technology include fleet management, factory automation, remote facility monitoring and maintenance, inventory tracking and billing services.

McAdam cited a number of examples of the M2M communications revolution, which has been made possible by the widespread deployment of 4G LTE networks.

In retail, shoppers will be able to use their smartphones to get in-store product reviews, comparative prices or videos about the product.

In the area of mobile payment technology,Verizon founded the ISIS partnership with AT&T (NYSE: T) and T-Mobile in 2010. ISIS is working on developing secure mobile payments using near field communication technology.

Wireless communications is also expanding to cars and trucks through telematics products. To tap into this market, Verizon last year acquired Hughes Telematics for $612 million. Hughes provides consumer M2M, fleet management and connected car services.

McAdam predicted that the connected car will be able to receive streaming video and that it will be integrated into social networks, calendars, mobile wallets and home security systems.

In health care, 4G LTE networks will allow health care professionals to send bandwidth-hogging MRIs, X-rays and CAT scans over the Internet. Verizon has also developed its mHealth platform, which provides clinicians with a tool for managing chronic disease. The platform has been submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for approval, McAdam noted.

Verizon plans to complete its 4G LTE network rollout by mid-year. The network currently covers 273 million people, or 89 percent of the U.S. population, according to McAdam.

For more:
- watch the video of McAdam's speech

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