Starbucks embraces mobile payments with start-up Square

Reuters

Starbucks Corp's deal to use Square Inc to process payments at its U.S. coffee shops is a big win for a 2-year-old startup that is beginning to threaten established payment processors and shake up retailing.

Samsung says not considering buying RIM or BlackBerry license

Reuters

South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co said on Thursday it has not considered acquiring Research In Motion or licensing the embattled BlackBerry phone maker's new mobile operating system.

A lack of support from potential partners such as Samsung could mean more trouble for RIM, which is seeking various options to turn around its embattled business. Shares of RIM had risen more than 5 percent early on Wednesday after an influential analyst said it may license the BlackBerry 10 system to Samsung.

Greek OTE warns of tough times ahead

Radical cost-cutting measures drove OTE’s second-quarter net income up by 65%, to €104.5 million ($128.6 million), compared with the same period last year, as the Greek telecoms incumbent warned of tough times ahead.

The operator is facing challenging economic conditions as Europe’s financial crisis rumbles on, and its revenue decline of 5.2%, to €1.1 billion, was less than some commentators had feared.

Euro 2012 broadcasts boost StarHub earnings

Singaporean operator StarHub has reported an impressive 11% rise in profit thanks to revenue growth across all of its operations and a boost from its broadcast of Euro 2012 football matches in the summer.

The company’s second-quarter net income rose to S$87 million ($69.8 million), from around S$78 million in the same period last year, while revenues grew by 4% to S$591 million.

StarHub reported revenue growth at each of its mobile, pay TV, broadband and fixed network divisions, but enjoyed particular success in broadcasting.

Study: Just half of German utilities plan smart-grid investments

Barely half of German utility companies plan to make any investments in smart grids before 2014, according to a new study published this week.

Steria Mummert Consulting polled 100 decision makers in German utilities on their business plans over the next few years. Although 70% said they planned to invest in the maintenance and modernization of distribution networks, and 65% in energy data management, only half of respondents had network expansion plans for smart grids over the next two years.

Taiwan to establish smart grid task force

Taiwan’s Prime Minister Sean Chen has ordered the Ministry of Economic Affairs to form a special task force aimed at establishing a nationwide smart grid, according to a report in Taiwan Today.

Report: M2M cellular connections to hit 2.5 billion by 2020

The number of worldwide cellular M2M connections is forecast to soar from its current level of 277 million to a staggering 2.5 billion by 2020, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics.

A combination of factors, including global connectivity platforms, efforts at standardization, cloud computing and regulatory initiatives will help contribute to a compound annual growth rate of more than 30% between now and 2020, says the company.

Strategy Analytics reckons that most M2M activity will come in the areas of mHealth, smart metering, telematics and automation.

M2M success fuels earnings growth at Sierra Wireless

Sierra Wireless (Richmond, Canada) has reported impressive top-line gains and profits on the back of its growing M2M business and sales of 4G products.

The vendor—which makes modems, routers and gateways and develops software and services for wireless applications—reported a 19.7% year-on-year increase in revenues, to $167.4 million, for the second quarter of 2012.

Net earnings, meanwhile, came in at $3.58 million, compared with a loss of $6.77 million for the same period last year.

European fleet management systems to number 5.7 million by 2016

The number of fleet management systems deployed in commercial vehicle fleets in Europe is forecast to rise from 2.5 million at the end of 2011 to 5.7 million by 2016, according to a new report from analyst firm Berg Insight.

The increase equates to a compound annual growth rate of 17.9%.

Although the fleet management industry has been affected by the financial crisis in Europe, Berg expects the number of systems to increase by 10–20% this year, driven by a group of international aftermarket solution providers.

Deutsche Telekom opens M2M developer community

German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom has opened an M2M developer community in a bid to spur the growth of the M2M applications market.

The operator says the community will allow developers to access tools like APIs, programming guidelines and software development kits (SDKs), making it easier for them to develop and sell M2M applications.

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