By 2020 it is estimated that there will be 50 billion Internet-connected things, and those connections will be worth $1.3 trillion by 2019.
And that’s got Verizon Communications and AT&T linked in an epic battle for control over the wireless waves that connect those devices.
Verizon said it wants to connect things to the Internet that are currently too expensive to connect. The carrier gave the example of smart manhole covers that could tap into unlimited data transfers to inform cities when they’re opened or closed.
Verizon is already testing out Smart City solutions to monitor energy usage, pollution, and even remote electricity monitoring, so power companies can switch a home’s power on and off without sending someone out to the house.
North America is expected to hold the largest market share and dominate the IoT in Smart Cities market from 2015 to 2020.
Offering Smart City customers cheap and flat-rate pricing could spur new interest in bringing devices online, and help Verizon outpace AT&T’s Smart City efforts.
AT&T is making a big play in the connected city market as well, and has launched a slew of new initiatives over the past six months.
The wireless carrier already has 10 cities lined up to partner with for some of its new Smart City projects, and recently announced five new cities that will be part of its framework.
The carrier is teaming up with Cisco, Ericsson, GE, Intel, Qualcomm, and others to test out Smart City solutions, including sensors for water usage and leaks, Smart City parking, energy usage, and lighting.
AT&T says it has 25 million connected devices as of Q3 2015 across North America. But despite AT&T’s impressive connection numbers, the company doesn’t break out IoT revenue like Verizon does.