Shanduka Group takes stake in MTN Nigeria for $335 million

South Africa’s Shanduka Group has paid $335 million for a stake in MTN Nigeria, the West African country’s largest mobile-phone business.

Describing itself as a black-owned and managed investment holding company, Shanduka (Sandton, South Africa) has acquired the stake from three private investors but not disclosed how much of MTN Nigeria it now owns.

The operator is majority owned by South Africa’s MTN Group (Johannesburg, South Africa), which holds a 78.83% stake in the company.

BlackBerry maker RIM loses patent dispute with Nokia


Canada's Research In Motion (RIM) has lost a contract dispute over the use of Nokia patents in a case which could halt sales of its BlackBerry phones if it does not reach a deal to pay royalties to the Finnish company.

Nokia (Helsinki, Finland) said on Wednesday a Swedish arbitrator had ruled that "RIM was in breach of contract and is not entitled to manufacture or sell WLAN products without first agreeing royalties with Nokia."

Telecom Italia not bidding for GVT: report

In what could be a blow to the European ambitions of Egypt’s Naguib Sawiris, Telecom Italia says it will not bid for GVT, Vivendi’s Brazilian phone business, according to Italy’s Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper.

Billionaire Sawiris this week confirmed that he would attempt to buy a stake in the Italian incumbent through a cash injection of €3 billion ($3.9 billion), but Telecom Italia (Rome, Italy) had previously hinted at a lack of interest unless it decided to proceed with a bid for GVT (Curitiba, Brazil).

Second wind for Egyptian telco tycoon Sawiris


Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris is used to ruffling feathers and making headlines.

He was up to both on Tuesday, provoking shareholders at Telecom Italia (Rome, Italy) with proposals to make himself a significant shareholder at half the price they might want, while the political party he co-founded prepared for protests against Egypt's president.

"Internet of things" to give $10-15 trillion boost to global economy: GE

Productivity gains resulting from the “internet of things” could add between $10 trillion and $15 trillion to global GDP over the next 20 years, according to a new study from General Electric (GE).

The manufacturing giant reckons the “industrial internet”, as it terms the phenomenon, could find direct application in sectors accounting for more than $32.3 trillion in global economic activity, but expects this figure to reach about $82 trillion – one half of global economic output – by 2025.

Cellular M2M connections to triple by 2016: report

Regulatory initiatives and the ambition of mobile operators will lead to a tripling in the number of cellular M2M connections worldwide between 2011 and 2016, according to a new report from IMS Research.

The market-research company expects the number of connections to hit 326 million by 2016, from about 107 million last year, as mobile operators respond to the slowdown in their traditional markets by focusing on new growth opportunities.

Australia's NSW opposed to government-led smart-meter rollout

Authorities in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) should not force utility companies to roll out smart meters, according to a task force commissioned by the NSW government.

The recommendation could rule out any likelihood that NSW will copy the state of Victoria, which has made the deployment of smart meters mandatory.

The NSW Smart Grid Task Force was critical of the Victoria scheme and said that a similar government-driven rollout would lead to higher costs for the state and its consumers.

Jasper Wireless tops ranking of CDP vendors

Jasper Wireless retains its number-one spot in ABI Research’s latest ranking of Connected Device Platform (CDP) vendors, but Ericsson is starting to make its presence felt in the fast-growing sector.

The company, which was singled out as a “clear leader” in ABI’s July assessment, continues to beat off rivals, with its global footprint, dominant market share and vertical-specific expertise fundamental to its securing top position this time round.

Smart meter deployments to spur doubling of CIS revenues

The deployment of smart meters will spur a doubling of global revenues over the next five years in the electricity utility billing and customer information systems (CIS) software and services market, according to new data from Pike Research.

Revenues are forecast to rise from $2.3 billion in 2011 to about $4 billion in 2017, says the market-research company.

The growth will happen as utility companies begin to change the way they view and manage customer relationships in order to realize the full benefits of their smart-grid investments.

Vodacom launches M2M in Nigeria

Pan-African mobile-phone operator Vodacom has reportedly launched an M2M service in Nigeria aimed at boosting the country’s retail and financial sectors.

The offering appears to be a mobile-payments service, using GSM network connectivity to link retailers’ terminals to central servers and banking systems.

According to press reports, Vodacom (Bloemfontein, South Africa), majority owned by Vodafone (Newbury, UK), is using a secondary GSM network as a backup in case of an outage, but says users will be oblivious to any changeover.

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