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Verizon Acquires Drone Ops Company Skyward

By Ken Briodagh February 16, 2017

According to a recent announcement, Verizon has purchased Skyward, a private company based in Portland, Oregon, which will bring drone operations management to the Verizon IoT portfolio with the goal of simplifying drone operations and management. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Skyward manages operations for customers to improve safety and lower operating costs. Through this acquisition, Verizon seeks to give businesses small and large a single source for integrating, managing and wirelessly connecting drone operations.

“Last quarter we announced our strategy to drive innovation and widespread adoption for in-flight wireless connectivity through our Airborne LTE Operations (ALO) initiative, a new service to simplify certification and connectivity of wireless drones,” said Mike Lanman, SVP, Enterprise Products and IoT, Verizon. “This acquisition is a natural progression of our core focus on operating in innovative, high-growth markets, leveraging our network, scale, fleet management, device management, data analytics and security enablement capabilities and services to simplify the drone industry and help support the adoption of IoT.”

With Skyward's technology, Verizon will streamline the management of drone operations through one platform designed to handle end-to-end activities such as mission planning, complex workflow, FAA compliance support, supplying information about restricted airspace and pilot credentialing, drone registration and provisioning rate plans for drones on Verizon's network. All of this is designed to help developers and businesses create and manage a wide-range of services backed by Verizon's mobile private network, secure cloud interconnect and data analytics capabilities.

“Drones are becoming an essential tool for improving business processes at large companies, but scalability has been a challenge,” said Jonathan Evans, founder and CEO, Skyward. “Skyward's drone operations management platform combined with Verizon's network, reliability, scale and expertise in delivering enterprise solutions will allow organizations to efficiently and safely scale drones across multiple divisions and hundreds of use cases.”

Through investments and strategic business and industry partnerships, Verizon seeks to drive innovation via its Verizon Labs technology organization and Verizon Ventures, the company's venture capital division. In 2016, revenue from Verizon's Internet of Things business approached $1 billion.




Edited by Alicia Young

Editorial Director

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