AT&T, Emerson to develop "smart" mobile workstations for hospitals

AT&T and Emerson have teamed up to develop “smart” mobile workstations that will allow healthcare providers to access treatment information and update patient medical records more easily.

The telecoms giant is working with InterMetro, a subsidiary of manufacturing giant Emerson (St Louis, MO, USA) that specializes in storage and transport products for the food service, commercial and healthcare industries.

The two companies plan to combine AT&T’s (Dallas, TX, USA) M2M services with wirelessly connected mobile workstations developed by InterMetro.

Toshiba says plans M&A to expand healthcare business

Reuters

Toshiba Corp plans to spend billions of dollars on mergers and acquisitions to boost annual sales in its healthcare division to 1 trillion yen ($9.78 billion) by March 2018, President Hisao Tanaka said on Thursday.

The Japanese conglomerate sees healthcare as key to its growth. It aims to raise the sector's revenues by 50 percent to 600 billion yen in the business year to March 2016 and wants its operating profit margin to reach over 10 percent within the same period.

Sales of connected health devices growing strongly in Europe: GfK

Sales of mobile connected health devices – such as blood pressure monitors and personal weighing scales – are taking off in Europe, according to new data from GfK.

The market-research company said sales of mobile-connected blood pressure monitors in Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands were 42% higher last year than in 2012.

Meanwhile, sales of connected personal weighing scales were up by 88%.

Mobile messenger WhatsApp to add voice calls

Reuters

WhatsApp, the world's biggest mobile messaging service, is to add a voice call service for its 450 million customers, laying down a new challenge to telecom network operators just days after it was bought by Facebook for $19 billion.

Chief Executive Jan Koum said his aim was for WhatsApp users to be able to make calls by the second quarter, just as they can now text messages, in a bid to expand the service's appeal to help it hit a billion users.

Mobile privacy sells in post-Snowden world

Reuters

Following the Snowden snooping revelations, there is growing interest in a range of mobile phone products with one central selling point: privacy.

The latest contender is the Blackphone, an Android software-based mobile which encrypts texts, voice calls and video chats and will be launched at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday.

It aims to tap into the market for so-called mobile security management (MSM) products, which was estimated at $560 million in 2013 and is expected to nearly double in size to $1 billion a year by 2015, according to ABI Research.

EU lawmakers want to scrap roaming fees by 2015 - EU paper

Reuters

EU lawmakers want to scrap mobile phone roaming charges by 2015 and to prevent telecoms network operators from charging companies such as Google and Amazon to provide faster Web services, EU documents show.

The proposals from the European Parliament's industry committee go far beyond European Telecoms Commissioner Neelie Kroes's plans to overhaul the EU telecoms industry, which include ending roaming fees by 2016.

The plans come as Europe's telecoms providers struggle to lift their revenues, down for the fifth consecutive year.

Brazil, Europe plan undersea cable to skirt US spying

Reuters

Brazil and the European Union agreed on Monday to lay an undersea communications cable from Lisbon to Fortaleza to reduce Brazil's reliance on the United States after Washington spied on Brasilia.

At a summit in Brussels, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said the $185 million cable project was central to "guarantee the neutrality" of the Internet, signaling her desire to shield Brazil's Internet traffic from U.S. surveillance.

Alcatel to stay out of telecom price war, inks Intel deal

Reuters

Alcatel-Lucent said it would stay out of a brewing price war in the telecom equipment market and set itself apart with better service and new products, including those from a partnership announced on Sunday with Intel Corp.

Chief Executive Michel Combes said Alcatel-Lucent wanted to gain market share but not at any cost, as it entered the second year of a three-year turnaround aimed at restoring regular profits and cutting 1 billion euros of costs.

Telecom firms mine for gold in big data despite privacy concerns

Reuters

Last year's revelations over the U.S. tapping of phone and internet data gave telecoms firms pause for thought over whether they should sell their "big data" for gain, but the commercial potential could prove irresistible.

Although figures are scarce, analysts think selling data on mobile users' locations, movements, and web browsing habits may grow into a multi billion-dollar market for the business.

China outspending US on smart-grid technology: BNEF

China is now outspending the US on the installation of smart-grid technology, investing as much as $4.3 billion in 2013, according to new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

Much of China’s spending last year went on the rollout of some 62 million smart meters, bringing the total number it has deployed to just less than 250 million.

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