Itron wins smart-meter contract in Victoria, Australia

Itron (Liberty Lake, USA), a manufacturer of energy-saving meters for utilities, claims to have won a contract to provide smart meters in Melbourne and other parts of Victoria State, allowing water utilities to better manage consumption.

The deal will help City West Water, South East Water, Yarra Valley Water and Barwon Water manage supply, optimize usage and conserve water resources, and follows Itron’s completion of a three-year contract to provide water meters and an advanced meter reading system to the four utilities.

Nayax and Telit book vending-machine deal in Scandinavia

Nayax (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Telit (Rome, Italy) have announced a deal to expand their cashless payment services into hundreds of vending machines operated by Scandinavia’s Selecta Nordic (Stockholm, Sweden).

The company operates vending machines in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland and has already installed the Nayaxvend-Telit product in about 200 vending machines throughout Scandinavia.

It says additional machines are slated to be equipped in the coming months.

Broadband still unaffordable in many emerging markets, says ITU

The International Telecommunications Union has said broadband services remain unaffordable in many parts of the developing world and urged governments to work on lowering their cost.

In a new report published this week, the international standards body said that in 2011 broadband access cost more than half of national average income in 30 economies and more than national average income in 19 economies.

While the price of broadband access was less than 2% of average income in 49 economies, most of those were in the developed world.

US House panel asks if FCC "rushed" LightSquared approval: report

A US House panel is investigating whether the country’s telecoms regulator rushed through its approval of LightSquared’s application to operate a wireless network in early 2011, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires.

LightSquared (Reston, USA) was subsequently stopped from providing services owing to concerns that its technology interferes with GPS signals transmitted by the airline industry, among others.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May and is fast running out of cash while its network goes unused.

Verizon to pay more than $250 million in Tivo settlement


TiVo Inc (Alviso, USA) will receive at least $250.4 million from Verizon Communications Inc (New York, USA) as part of a patent litigation settlement, the video recorder pioneer said on Monday, sending its shares up 5 percent.

TiVo has had to turn to litigation to generate revenue from licensing fees as the company has struggled to fight competition from low-cost rivals in recent years.

The settlement, which marks a big victory for TiVo, follows a similar deal it reached in January with AT&T Inc (Dallas, USA), which agreed to pay $215 million.

Indonesia's Telkomsel appeals bankruptcy ruling

Telkomsel (Jakarta, Indonesia) has lodged an appeal against its bankruptcy ruling earlier this month, according to the Jakarta Globe newspaper, in a case that highlights the shortcomings of the country’s legal framework and the risks to businesses operating within it.

The state-backed operator was declared bankrupt on September 14 after being found guilty of failing to pay a debt of 5.3 billion rupiahs ($555,000) to Prima Jaya Informatika, a former business partner.

Alcatel-Lucent pays DoJ $4.2 million in settlement

Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France) has agreed to pay the US government $4.2 million to settle an allegation that it submitted misleading testing certifications to the army.

A subsidiary of the network manufacturer, called Lucent Technologies World Services Inc (LTWSI), won a $250 million contract in March 2004 to build an emergency-services network in Iraq (the AFRN project).

The Department of Justice (DoJ) alleges that Alcatel-Lucent submitted payment claims for equipment and services provided under that contract based on inaccurate certifications.

Iran boosts cyber security with secure domestic network: report


Iran has connected all its government agencies to a secure domestic Internet service and plans to link ordinary Iranians up to the same network, an official was quoted as saying on Sunday, in a move to beef up cyber security.

The Islamic state tightened its cyber security after its disputed nuclear program was attacked in 2010 by the Stuxnet computer worm, which caused centrifuges to fail at the main Iranian uranium enrichment facility.

Consumer groups to fight AT&T FaceTime restrictions


Three public interest groups plan to file a formal complaint accusing AT&T Inc (Dallas, USA) of violating U.S. Internet rules if the wireless service provider goes ahead with a plan to limit use of Apple Inc's (Cupertino, USA) FaceTime application to certain customers.

The groups -- Free Press, Public Knowledge and the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute -- gave AT&T notice in a letter on Tuesday that they plan to file a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, unless the No. 2 U.S. mobile provider changes its policy.

Emerging Asia-Pac telecoms revenues to grow by $94 billion to 2016

Telecoms retail revenues in emerging Asia-Pacific markets are forecast to increase from $229.7 billion in 2011 to $323.7 billion by 2016, according to a new report from Analysys Mason.

Growth will be driven by the adoption of data services on smartphones and other mobile devices, with 3G and 4G connections accounting for 46% of the total by 2016.

The study looks at Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand, noting that China and India account for 68% of the region’s population, 64% of active SIMs and 75% of retail revenues.

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