Verizon Enters The Smart City Market

Verizon Enters The Smart City Market

NEW YORK—Verizon, which already is a global telecommunications company, has announced the purchase of Sensity Systems, a company that provides smart LED lights for cities, including street lights, airport lighting, and parking lot lights.  Sensity is a leading manufacturer in the effort to capitalize on the smart lighting technology that can benefit cities in energy savings.

The merger of Verizon and Sensity Systems means an expansion of the Internet of Things, where cities will be able to “embed networking technology within their systems, meaning they can introduce a range of snesors for detecting moisture, ambient light, seismic activity, radiation, wind, temerpature, air quality, and even parking availability.” Sensity reports it already has 42 smart city set-ups around the world.

Verizon has been a big proponent of Internet of Things connections.  It launched ThingSpace last year, which is a web-based platform for IoT.  It also published an annual “State of the Market” report on IoT.

Seeking to add a leading comprehensive suite of smart city solutions enabled by its ThingSpace internet of things (IoT) platform to help communities increase economic development, drive citizen engagement and enable sustainability, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) today announced it has signed an agreement to purchase Sensity Systems Inc., a private company based in Sunnyvale, California.

Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. The acquisition is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in fourth-quarter 2016.

Mike Lanman, senior vice president – Enterprise Products and IoT at Verizon, said: “Sensity is a leading provider of IoT solutions for smart communities with a strong ecosystem of partners, and this transaction will accelerate the deployment of large-scale implementations that will drive the digital transformation of cities, universities and venues. Verizon is uniquely positioned through its infrastructure investments at the network, platform and application levels to provide holistic solutions that empower communities to address their most pervasive challenges.”

Sensity Chairman and CEO Hugh Martin said: “Rapid urbanization is putting a huge strain on city services globally, coupled with inefficiencies caused by an aging infrastructure that currently supports critical functions, such as fire and emergency services, public transportation, lighting, sewer and sanitation systems. Sensity realized early on that IoT could be the key to breaking out of this dilemma. We have become the leader in the space by creating a visionary smart city IoT platform and forming a powerful ecosystem of technology partners. With Verizon, we look forward to delivering IoT connected systems on a massive scale to change how cities and communities operate around the world.”

In connection with the transaction, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as legal advisor to Verizon. Pagemill Partners acted as financial advisor to Sensity, and Fenwick & West LLP acted as legal advisor.

Verizon has developed an array of connected-intelligent solutions including parking, lighting, traffic management and security that improve livability, resiliency and public safety for local communities. The company’s Smart Communities organization, which is a part of its IoT business, is also simplifying the creation of IoT applications through ThingSpace.

Sensity Systems capitalizes on conversions to LED lighting – a process that will affect 4 billion lights worldwide over the next few years – to create a high-speed, sensor-based, multiservice IoT platform. Sensity now has 42 smart city installations across the globe supplied through its ecosystem partners that have enabled facility and municipal lighting owners to link energy efficiency and cost savings to the improvement of business goals such as public safety, parking control, asset management and analytics. The World Economic Forum, which identifies the world’s most innovative companies, has recognized Sensity as a Technology Pioneer.


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