Eve told some 200 members of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce that Verizon’s fiber optic and wireless network are the basis for technological change that is positively disrupting industries in virtually every sector of the state.
“Our philosophy is to proactively stay ahead of demand so we can ensure that we continue to provide a reliable, consistent network experience,” Eve said. “One of the ways is by deploying small cell networks all over the nation, including here in New Jersey.”
Eve said Verizon is leading the way to deploy the next generation of wireless technology, known as 5G. Three of the five testing sites are in New Jersey.
Verizon expects to have field deployment of 5G by 2017, which would make the company the world’s first carrier to move into 5G, which is 30 to 50 times faster than the current 4G network.
The deployment of 5G technology opens up a new wave of innovation and is a game-changer for the marketplace, Eve said, including the ability to handle exponentially more internet-connected devices to accommodate the evolution of the Internet of Things. (IoT)
Today, there are more than a billion devices and machines connected to the Internet. By 2020, the number of connected things is expected to grow exponentially to 5.4 billion.
At its most basic level, IoT begins with a sensor that can gather information, such as location, proximity, temperature, motion, vibration, humidity, light levels, altitude, and so on. If it doesn’t sense something, it’s not IoT.
The data is then sent over networks. This is where Verizon plays a big part. Currently, the data can be sent via Verizon’s 4G LTE network or over landlines. This data is generally stored in a cloud – another technology where Verizon plays a critical role.
To illustrate the concept, Eve gave an example of a consumer product offered by Verizon known as Hum, a device that plugs into your car that allows you to monitor it remotely via a smart phone. Hum can sense motion and location, among many things.
“If you have a teenager, you can keep tabs on them while they are in the car,” Eve said. “You can set speed alerts and boundary alerts. I know your teens probably won’t like this bit of technology, but as a parent, it provides great piece of mind.”
Another consumer breakthrough is in healthcare, Eve said.
Fitness trackers are now a billion-dollar market, she said, and many companies are using this technology to monitor their employees’ health.
“Wearable devices can contribute to the effectiveness of these programs by making it easy for employees to monitor their progress and organizations to incentivize participation,” she said.
The elderly can use similar devices to track movement, monitor vitals and press a panic button to call for help. The same technology can be used to help monitor chronic illnesses, such as diabetes.
Another area where IoT is taking hold is in the public sector.
“Many towns and cities are starting with small projects, like car sharing and smart parking,” Eve said. She noted that another technology – LED smart street lighting – doesn’t require regular maintenance, but can automatically report when it needs to be repaired.
“The real value in IoT comes from integrating multiple connected systems, which gets us closer to a Smart City,” she said. “Imagine what the Internet of Things and our robust networks could mean for education, homeland security, and applications that we haven’t even thought of yet.”