[qi:gigaom_icon_iphone] Verizon and Qualcomm said today that their new joint venture, which will provide access to Verizon’s network for machines and other embedded wireless applications, will be called nPhase. The name comes from the original M2M company that Qualcomm acquired in 2006, and the service provided by the joint venture could rock the way gadgets are designed and even make it easier to implement the smart grid, fleet tracking and other industrial services that require access to a web connection. It’s also going to let Qualcomm sell a lot more chips.
The agreement, announced on July 28, will provide a one-stop source for the radios and network access that are essential to getting devices online. For every Kindle out there connecting back to the web, Qualcomm and Verizon hope there are hundreds of other devices, from smart meters provided by utilities to “connected cars.” But the JV might enable web-connected consumer-facing devices as well, changing the way we think about things like cameras. Imagine a web-connected camera or a web-connected personal navigation device.
Verizon said earlier this year that it hopes to increase wireless subscriptions by 500 percent in the coming years, and nPhase will undoubtedly play a crucial role in trying to meet that goal. Verizon is not, however, alone in its efforts to provide companies with an easy way to bring gadgets online; AT&T, for example, signed a deal in May with Jasper Wireless to provide similar service. There are also private vendors such as KORE Telematics that buy wholesale minutes from the large carriers and then provide billing and roaming for companies that need international service.
The new nPhase will be led by original founder and CEO Steve Pazol, who will serve as the company president. Pazol most recently served as the vice president and general manager of the acquired nPhase group, which was renamed Qualcomm Global Smart Services.