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Verizon purchases Wi-Fi business to accelerate Smart City infrastructure plans

American telecommunications giant Verizon has purchased the majority of assets from LQD WiFi LLC as part of its plans to fast track and accelerate its strategy to implement Smart City infrastructure across its platforms. LQD WiFi LLC is a private company based in New York and while the sum of the investment hasn’t been disclosed, it has been widely reported in some quarters to be a significant amount.

Mike Lanman, senior vice president of Enterprise Products and IoT at Verizon, explained that LQD’s cutting edge technology fitted with Verizon’s vision of delivering Smart City infrastructure that not only connects communities, but also provides critical security and supports for people where they live, work and play.

Mr Lanman said, "LQD's Palo technology hubs capture Verizon's vision of delivering citizen engagement experiences by connecting people with their communities while providing critical security, transportation and wayfinding solutions as well as Wi-Fi capabilities. This transaction uniquely positions us to utilize our unmatched infrastructure, platforms and network at scale to deploy elegant and engaging community technology hubs that connect, inform, inspire and support people where they live, work and play."

LQD founder and CEO Randy Ramusack said he was delighted to be collaborating with Verizon and pointed to its incredible reputation as a world leader in wireless technology as an indicator that both parties working together will be a huge success. He added that Verizon has the expertise to help deliver its mission which is to provide an unbounded flow of information to all walks of life.

Mr Ramusack said, "We designed Palo, from day one, to be part of the community, offering Wi-Fi, public safety features and a unique, interactive community engagement platform. Palo's human-scale touch-screen lets users explore and connect with the local community creating multiple ways to engage, through an innovative, purposeful and curated experience."

"LQD is thrilled to join Verizon to redefine the urban space. As a world leader in wireless technology and smart communities, Verizon's expertise, global scale, and leading media platforms will enable us to deliver on our mission to provide an unbounded flow of information to all people. By bringing Palo to the streets, we're connecting cities to their citizens, citizens to their neighbourhoods, and enhancing communities across the country."

Next-generation urban technology is becoming increasingly important as citizen's expectations for smart city infrastructure increases. With LQD's technology, Verizon aims to address key community needs such as fostering economic development, bridging the digital divide, facilitating transportation and traffic management and enhancing personal security and urban planning.

One location desperate to embrace this digital age is New Rochelle -with some of the areas political elite publicly declaring their support for the joint-venture between LQD and Verizon. According to New Rochelle Mayor, Noam Bramson, it is imperative that the area embraces digital transformation and believes it will be beneficial not only for connecting communities but also economically.

Mayor Bramson said, "We want New Rochelle to be an ideal place to live and work. We recognize that a healthy future depends increasingly on robust digital infrastructure, based on cutting-edge technology that can connect residents and businesses alike in a friendly, accessible way. Our partnership with LQD will accomplish all of these goals. These attractive kiosks will invite residents and visitors to engage with our city, for everything from parks, cultural events and local businesses, to job opportunities and emergency messaging, and they will connect with the world around them through high-speed public Wi-Fi."

Verizon has developed an array of connected solutions including intelligent parking, lighting, traffic management and security that improve liveability, resiliency and public safety for local communities. LQD's assets will be integrated with the market- leading smart community infrastructure from Sensity Systems, which Verizon acquired last month.