Verizon Wireless has recently acquired LQD WiFi, a private company based in New York City that mostly specializes in producing kiosks called Palo that function similarly to LinkNYC’s, serving as hotspots as well as acting as informational hubs for the public. For those not familiar LQD itself, it was founded and currently led by Randy Ramusack, the former chief technical officer of Microsoft Switzerland and also former director of Technology Policy for International Organizations from 2005 until 2012. Not much is made public about the Big Red’s acquisition of LQD WiFi, but according to a report published by TechCrunch, LQD has raised around $1.73 million in funding from undisclosed investor parties.
As explained by Mike Lanman, the senior vice president of Enterprise Products and Internet of Things at Verizon Wireless, the mobile operator was attracted by the potential of LQD’s Palo tech, especially in terms of connecting mobile users with their local neighborhood and community, while at the same time offering Wi-Fi services and information on transportation, directions, and even public safety. Furthermore, Lanman pointed out that when paired with the Big Red’s considerable resources in wireless infrastructure, the Palo kiosks can really be put to good use.
Ramusack, for one, was excited with the idea of partnering with the biggest wireless carrier in the United States, mainly because it would put LQD’s Palo tech in a better position to be more useful to the community. The kiosk technology developed by LQD was always meant to be consumed by the public, and when combined with Verizon Wireless’ vast resources, the finished product should be able to deliver more, and more importantly, reach more people.
As for the Big Red, acquiring LQD should aid it in developing better connectivity solutions for cities, private developers, schools, sports arenas, and entertainment venues. Moreover, the acquisition grants Verizon Wireless the opportunity to promote efforts in civic innovation, continuing to offer solutions that take full advantage of the open data platforms of US cities in order to connect Americans better.
This latest buy by the carrier also helps it create a better foundation for its Internet of Things business. The past few months have seen Verizon Wireless complete some strategic moves, such as acquiring LED light manufacturer Sensity Systems back in September earlier this year. Also back in August, Verizon also revealed its plans to buy Fleetmatics, which provides GPS vehicle management services. And then five months ago, Verizon also bought Telogis, whose specialty is developing location intelligence platforms.
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