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Comcast hatches enterprise IoT venture, machineQ

Comcast is making a play for enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) deployments in a venture called machineQ, which will use Semtech’s technology focused on sensors and connectivity.

MachineQ is Comcast’s latest effort to target businesses. Comcast Business is one of the cable and media giant’s fastest growing units. Comcast is well established in the small to mid-sized business market and is moving upstream to larger companies.

According to Comcast, machineQ will initially work with commercial customers to create proof of concepts that gather and analyze data from multiple end points. Comcast will use Semtech’s LoRa wireless radio frequency technology on network trials in Philadelphia, Pa., and San Francisco, Calif.

Think of Semtech’s LoRa effort and alliance as a wide area network for IoT.

Here’s a look at the technology architecture.


Trials by machineQ will revolve around utility metering, environmental monitoring, and asset tracking. Comcast’s site notes that LoRa technology is a low-cost and efficient way to connect sensors and can be used indoor and outdoor. Initial areas for machineQ will be smart communities and infrastructure, buildings, and transportation.

With machineQ, Comcast is targeting a market that wireless players have been courting. Many of the corporate sensors in the field will be connected via wireless networks.

Should the trials work well, Comcast said it will commercially deploy Semtech’s technology with deployments in the next 18 to 30 months.

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