Microsoft announced this week it’s planning to invest a whopping $5 billion over the next four years in developing its Internet of Things tech. In other words, Microsoft is evolving into a wireless carrier.
“With our IoT platform spanning cloud, OS and devices, we are uniquely positioned to simplify the IoT journey so any customer—regardless of size, technical expertise, budget, industry or other factors—can create trusted, connected solutions that improve business and customer experiences, as well as the daily lives of people all over the world,” the company’s announcement said. “The investment we’re announcing today will ensure we continue to meet all our customers’ needs both now and in the future.”
— Michael Fisher (@Fisher85M) April 6, 2018
As wireless carriers look toward leveraging 3G and LTE networks to connect the world’s machines to boost the bottom line, this could mean there’s going to be a big new competitor on the block. In some cases, as Mike Dano at Fierce Wireless points out, Microsoft will function as a carrier partner, pointing out Microsoft’s recent deal with Telefónica in Spain for its customers to connect through the Azure IoT suite. But in other cases, Microsoft could emerge as a direct competitor, selling services direct to customers.
Look out AT&T and Verizon.
Featured image: Pixabay