T-Mobile USA eyes growth from iPhone, marketing changes

Reuters

T-Mobile USA said on Tuesday that it will start selling Apple Inc's iPhone on April 12, making it the last of the big national U.S. operators to sell the popular smartphone.

The No. 4 U.S. mobile provider, which is seeking to merge with smaller rival MetroPCS Communications (Richardson, TX, USA), is hoping the device can help stem customer losses. The launch follows a marketing overhaul that eliminates device subsidies and two-year service contracts favored by its bigger rivals.

ZTE swings to net loss on weak operator spending

A slowdown in network equipment and device markets has taken its toll on China’s ZTE, which has reported a net loss of RMB2.84 billion ($457 million) for 2012, compared with a net profit of RMB2.06 billion the year before.

China’s second-biggest network equipment maker, behind Huawei (Shenzhen, China), ZTE (Shenzhen, China) also reported a 2.36% decline in revenues, to RMB84.22 billion.

In a statement accompanying the figures, ZTE pointed to the slowdown in equipment investments by the global telecoms industry in 2012.

Ericsson to take $231 million charge on job reductions

Swedish equipment vendor Ericsson says it has completed its planned reduction of operations in Sweden, slashing 1,399 positions and laying off 919 employees.

The costs of the exercise are expected to run to approximately SEK1.5 billion ($231 million), which will have an impact on the company’s next set of quarterly results.

Ericsson says the redundancies affected all sites in Sweden apart from Falun, Hudiksvall, Kalmar and Katrineholm.

But Ericsson’s premises in Stockholm bore the brunt of the cutbacks, losing 569 employees.

Earnings up at 3 Group Europe, but VHA disappoints

Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa has reported impressive results across its European telecoms subsidiaries despite ongoing difficulties in Australia.

For the 2012 financial year, the group reported revenue growth in all of its European markets bar Denmark, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization increased everywhere except Sweden.

Overall revenues at Hutchison Whampoa’s 3 Group Europe division rose 3% to HK$58.7 billion ($7.6 billion), with earnings up 15% to HK$9.2 billion.

Europe seeks to spur building of fast broadband networks

Reuters

The European Commission has set out rules aimed at reducing the cost of building high-speed broadband networks, in a move that shows how Brussels is seeking more power over the telecoms sector.

The initiative is important because European leaders are worried that debt-laden telecom operators' slow pace of investment is saddling the region with weak infrastructure that over time could hobble its already recession-wracked economies.

Ericsson sues Indian handset maker for patent infringement

Reuters

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson said on Tuesday it had sued Indian handset maker Micromax and its distributor for infringement of wireless patent rights.

Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) was confirming an earlier report in the Economic Times of India that it had sued after Micromax (Gurgaon, India) refused to sign license agreements for several wireless technologies.

"It is once again about FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms)," Ericsson spokeswoman Karin Hallstan said. She declined to comment further.

Deutsche Telekom and arviem partner on M2M cargo monitoring

Germany’s Deutsche Telekom has signed what it calls a “nearly double-digit million euro contract” with cargo monitoring service provider arviem for the provision of M2M services.

The operator describes the deal as an “important building block” for expanding its presence in the M2M market.

The two companies are to work together on providing real-time monitoring services for freight consignments, with Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) contributing hardware and SIM cards while arviem (Baar, Switzerland) provides the software needed to evaluate data.

Telit boosts LatAm prospects with CAS Tecnologia deal

Module maker Telit has continued its international push by signing a deal with Brazil’s CAS Tecnologia that will boost its presence in Latin America’s burgeoning M2M market.

The partnership will see Telit’s technology and services combined with CAS Tecnologia’s telemetry platforms and solutions.

CAS Tecnologia (Sao Paolo, Brazil) says collaboration with Telit (London, UK) will allow it to “modernize”.

du signals M2M intent through Gemalto alliance

Middle East operator du has signaled its strong interest in M2M through a new partnership with hardware vendor Gemalto.

The operator says it will use Gemalto’s machine identification modules (MIMs) in all of its major M2M initiatives across a variety of end markets, including the oil and gas, retail, healthcare, power management and transportation sectors.

Integrated services fuel customer growth at Numerex

M2M specialist Numerex has announced that its customer base has surpassed the 2 million mark, with surging growth providing evidence of the current momentum in the M2M industry.

The company, which provides M2M services and technology for enterprise and government customers worldwide, says that it took several years to reach the 1 million mark but only two years to double its customer base from that level.

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