On August 23, 2015, Verizon Communications (VZ) finally made available its telematics service, Hum, to consumers. According to Verizon’s press release, Verizon Telematics “announced the commercial availability of Hum, an aftermarket vehicle technology and subscription service that enables drivers on the road to make their car smarter through a simple solution regardless of their wireless service provider.”
The release also mentioned that this is the first direct-to-consumer product that Verizon Telematics has launched.
According to Verizon, the product may be used in the majority of vehicles produced from 1996 onwards. According to the company, Verizon Hum can already be used in more than 150 million vehicles for passengers.
Hum’s pricing and usage
According to Verizon, Hum is priced at $14.99 per month for the first vehicle subscribed to by a customer. However, customers may subscribe to this service for a maximum of three more vehicles—at an additional monthly rate of $12.99.
Hum’s connectivity features include diagnostic automobile service, roadside assistance, and voice support. Also, the service is an external enhancement to existing vehicles, and to use the service, subscribers only have to plug in the onboard diagnostic reader to their vehicle’s respective port. For communication, subscribers have to place a Bluetooth speaker provided by the service on vehicle visors.
You may take a diversified exposure to Verizon by investing in the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA). Verizon made up ~1.9% of DIA as of August 31, 2015.
Alternatively, you may consider taking a more diversified exposure to Verizon by investing in the iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB). The ETF held ~0.9% in the wireless carrier on the same date. Please note that, on the same date, IWB also held a total of ~1.1% in AT&T (T), Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS).