Verizon Acquires Skyward Drone Operations Technology

February 22, 2017

Commercial drones are fast becoming powerful tools for the construction industry and the accompanying procedures and regulations required to legally fly them can be complex.

Verizon's recent acquisition of the Skyward Company will help businesses simplify their commercial drone use by incorporating Skywards drone operations software and technology into Verizon's network and platforms.

The collaboration between the two technology companies combines Verizon's broad and reliable wireless connectivity with Skyward's deep operations functions. Users will be able to manage each job from pre-flight planning to end-of-job invoicing.

Mike Lanman, senior vice president - Enterprise Products and IoT at Verizon, said: "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. 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."

Skyward founder and CEO Jonathan Evans said: "Drones are becoming an essential tool for improving business processes at large companies, but scalability has been a challenge. 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."

Verizon Ventures brought Skyward in as a portfolio company and was the first wireless service provider to become a member of the Small UAV Coalition (SUAVC). The acquisition of Skyward speaks to Verizon's strategy to operate in innovative, high growth markets leveraging core assets to help accelerate IoT adoption. In 2016, revenue from Verizon's internet of things business approached $1 billion.

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