Verizon buys remaining 50% of nPhase

On Thursday, Verizon Wireless announced that it had purchased the remaining 50% of nPhase, a joint venture it formed with Qualcomm in 2009. nPhase is a company focused on machine-to-machine (M2M), telemetry and wireless services.   The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Qualcomm (San Diego, Calif., USA), a network equipment provider, acquired nPhase (San Diego, Calif., USA) in 2006 to expand its M2M offerings before entering into a joint venture with Verizon Wireless (New York) three years later.  According to Steve Pazol, president and founder of nPhase, one reason nPhase became a joint venture was because M2M was relatively new to carriers at that time.

M2M two years ago was still quite disruptive to carriers; different pricing, different business models, different people you sell to, different technology,” says Pazol.  “So that was one of the reasons it was run outside, and then we were able to successfully scale it and mainstream it.”

According to Pazol, all nPhase employees will become Verizon employees except for him.  Pazol will stay on and oversee the transition until February.

“I did my job, which was to disrupt a little bit and scale the business and get it into Verzion,” says Pazol. “I’m much more of a startup guy.”

Pazol says he has no immediate plans for the future, but plans to take some time off.  “Right now I’m open.  I may even stay at Qualcomm if something great comes up there,” he says.

As for the M2M industry in the future, Pazol predicts that this is just the beginning of M2M consolidation, especially for carriers and large technology companies.

“You’re seeing this with Vodafone, Verizon, AT&T and everyone else, these carrier are so engaged in this market,” says Pazol.  “I think you’re going to see continued investments and carriers are going to go up the stack.  I do think we are at the beginning of this.”

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