Everything Everywhere signs new m-payments deal with MasterCard

The UK’s mobile payments market suffered further fragmentation earlier this week with the news that Everything Everywhere (London, UK) had signed a new five-year deal with MasterCard (Purchase, USA).

Details of the collaboration are few, but the companies say one of their first products will be a prepaid service for mobile devices allowing customers to make payments using Near Field Communications (NFC) technology.

China's ZTE not worried about Apple, patent litigation


China's ZTE Corp (Shenzhen, China), the world's fourth-biggest mobile phone vendor, is unfazed by the possibility of being sued by Apple Inc (Cupertino, USA) over patent violations, and is looking to boost its own patents and find unique designs and features for its range of handsets.

In the wake of Apple's patent victory over South Korea's Samsung Electronics (Seoul, South Korea) in the United States last week, ZTE and other phone makers that use Google's Android operating system were cited as being at risk if Apple opted to extend the lawsuit beyond Samsung.

Nokia Siemens opens plant with Flextronics in Brazil


Nokia Siemens Networks (Helsinki, Finland) is opening an assembly line in Brazil with contract manufacturer Flextronics International Ltd (San Jose, USA) to build next generation mobile phone networks, a senior executive said in an interview on Monday.

The plant should begin shipping fourth-generation (4G) wireless equipment at the start of October, as local carriers build out networks for the 2014 World Cup, said Ken Wirth, head of the Americas region for Nokia Siemens.

ASML says Samsung invests in its latest chip technology


ASML (Veldhoven, the Netherlands), the world's top chip equipment maker, said Samsung Electronics (Seoul, South Korea) would invest 779 million euros ($975 million) in its research into costly next-generation chipmaking technology and in buying a 3 percent equity stake.

ASML, based in the Netherlands, has already signed up Intel Corp (Santa Clara, USA) and TSMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan) in recent weeks with similar deals to fund and fast-track its research.

Japan's smart meter market opens doors to foreigners

Smart meter specialists worldwide are eyeing a potentially lucrative opportunity in Japan following the recent adoption of international standards by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), according to a report from Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

TEPCO had previously planned to introduce smart meters based on its own specifications, but critics said this would favor group companies and drive up prices.

Smart meter installation hits Texan resistance

The installation of smart meters is running into fierce resistance in the state of Texas, where homeowners are going to extreme lengths to prevent it from happening, according to a report from Associated Press.

Consumer report says Ford touch-screen system "stinks"


An influential consumer magazine on Wednesday lambasted Ford Motor Co's touch-screen entertainment and navigation system, saying it is distracting, clumsy and overly complex.

"MyFord Touch still frustrates us like few other control systems in any other brand's automobiles," Consumer Reports said in a blog post. "And worse, it is influencing competitors."

PayPal deepens retail drive in Discover payments deal


EBay Inc's PayPal (San Jose, USA) online payments service has gained access to millions of stores across the United States through an agreement with Discover Financial Services (Riverwoods, USA), extending its reach beyond the Web and into the physical world.

Under the deal unveiled on Wednesday, PayPal will issue payment cards to its more than 50 million active users in the United States next year, which they can use to buy from merchants that already use Discover Network, which links more than 7 million U.S. retail locations.

Porto Seguro launches M2M vehicle service in Brazil

Insurance company Porto Seguro (Sao Paolo, Brazil) has launched its first M2M offer in Brazil, providing a service that allows it to track and monitor the driving of its automotive customers.

The company began testing the service in February and started installing SIM cards in vehicles in June.

It is currently providing the M2M service to about 2,000 vehicles owned by insurance customers and aims to serve around 450,000 vehicles by 2014.

Landis+Gyr to help build smart grid on Guam

Smart meter specialist Landis+Gyr (Zug, Switzerland) has been chosen to help build a smart grid on the island of Guam.

The Guam Power Authority (GPA), which provides electric power across the US territory, plans to deploy more than 52,000 advanced meters over the next two years.

It plans to use Landis+Gyr’s Gridstream RF network as a backbone for possible communication with other grid devices and home area network applications in the future.

The meters themselves are to incorporate integrated service switch and ZigBee capabilities.

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