Spain fines Telefonica, Vodafone, Orange over texts


Spain's antitrust body said it fined telecoms companies Telefonica, Vodafone and France Telecom's Orange a record 120 million euros ($159 million) for charging too much for text messages.

The regulator said on Thursday Spain's three biggest mobile operators had exploited their dominant position between 2000 and 2009 and passed on overpriced services termination rates to consumers with high charges for text messages.

Ericsson to take $1.2 billion charge on ST-Ericsson stake


Ericsson is taking a $1.2 billion charge in a bid to write off its exposure to ST-Ericsson, adding to doubts over the future of the loss-making joint venture after partner STMicroelectronics said it was pulling out.

Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden), the world's biggest equipment maker for mobile telecom networks, said on Thursday it would take the 8 billion Swedish crown hit in its fiscal fourth quarter in a move set to plunge it into a net loss for the three month period.

Global telehealth revenues to grow 55% in 2013

After growing at a relatively modest rate over the last couple of years, worldwide device and service revenues from telehealth are expected to rise 55% in 2013, boosted by the rising adoption of telehealth in post-acute care strategies, according to new research from InMedica, a part of IMS Research.

Due to poor economic conditions in Europe, and uncertainty about healthcare reforms in the US, telehealth device revenues grew by only 5% between 2010 and 2011 – with the number of telehealth patients enrolled worldwide rising 22.2% to 241,200 – and by 18% between 2011 and 2012.

Cyber-security smart-grid rules to be 'freer' in EU than US: ENISA

EU cyber security agency ENISA has urged authorities and stakeholders to co-ordinate their effort to improve smart-grid security, but recommended greater “freedom” than regulators have allowed in the US.

In a new report investigating the cyber-security challenges for smart grids in Europe, ENISA has proposed a number of security measures that could be “tailored and combined for the needs of different actors, given the varied market”.

As ENISA points out, that is in marked contrast to the “strict regulatory path” laid out in the US.

South Korea's LG to join Pecan Street smart-grid research

South Korean technology vendor LG Electronics is to participate in a smart-grid demonstration as part of the Pecan Street project taking place in Austin, Texas.

The company announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pecan Street to contribute expertise in the areas of smart homes, energy management and consumer electronics until 2015, as part of Pecan Street’s Industry Advisory Council.

Its main focus is to be on the development of effective home energy management systems.

Zigbee Alliance launches Green Power feature

The Zigbee Alliance has launched a new feature designed to improve the energy efficiency of devices connected using Zigbee technology.

The so-called ‘Green Power’ feature allows switches and dimmers, among other devices, to be run via energy harvesting sources rather than battery or AC mains power, creating what the Zigbee Alliance (San Ramon, USA) calls a “no-maintenance, environmentally friendly solution”.

Atmel boosts M2M presence with Ozmo takeover

Touch-technology specialist Atmel Corporation has announced a takeover of WiFi developer Ozmo in a move aimed partly at boosting its presence in the M2M sector.

The specific terms of the acquisition were not revealed, but Atmel (San Jose, USA) expects to finalize the transaction by the end of the year and says it will be accretive to its earnings in 2014.

Telit signs smart-meter deal with Digicom

Telit has announced it will supply modules to Digicom, a network-technology specialist, in a deal designed to strengthen the M2M player’s presence in the burgeoning smart-metering industry.

The modules are to be integrated with Digicom’s (Cardano al Campo, Italy) TLOG system – a meter-reading device for the gas, LPG and water industries.

TLOG measures consumption pulses from meters and sends the data via SMS or GSM/GPRS, TCP/IP technology.

Clearwire, Sprint set up $120 million breakup fee


Sprint Corp promised to pay Clearwire Corp a $120 million breakup fee if its $2.2 billion purchase of roughly half of the smaller wireless service provider does not go ahead.

At the same time, Clearwire (Bellevue, USA) said on Tuesday it agreed to a "no-shop" provision, meaning it cannot seek other offers but could consider unsolicited offers.

Clearwire and Sprint (Overland Park, USA), its majority owner, announced details of their merger agreement in a regulatory filing the day after Sprint agreed buy out the rest of Clearwire for $2.97 per share.

Telenor pays a third of Indian licensing fee in protest: report

Norwegian telecoms incumbent Telenor is paying a third of the fee for its Indian spectrum licenses in protest, according to a report in India’s Economic Times newspaper.

Unlike other bidders that won back licenses revoked by India’s Supreme Court earlier this year, Telenor (Fornebu, Norway) has not been allowed to deduct original market-entry fees from its payments.

Those entry fees were paid in 2008 when the companies won spectrum in a process later judged to have been fraught with corruption by Indian authorities.

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