M2M market to be worth $290 billion by 2017: report

The global M2M industry is expected to generate some $290 billion in revenues in 2017, up from just $44 billion this year, according to new research from MarketsandMarkets.

The research company predicts that revenues will grow at a compound annual rate of 30.1% over the next five years as companies take advantage of new M2M opportunities.

EU to clear mobile operators' e-wallet plan: source

Reuters

European Union regulators will approve plans by British mobile operators Vodafone (Newbury, UK), O2 (London, UK) and Everything Everywhere (London, UK) to set up a joint venture to allow users to make payments and purchases with their phones, a person following the deal said on Tuesday.

Vodafone, Telefonica's 02 and Everything Everywhere, owned by France Telecom (Paris, France) and Deutsche Telekom (Berlin, Germany), aim to compete with similar mobile payment services from Google (Mountain View, USA), Apple (Cupertino, USA) and Facebook (Menlo Park, USA).

Satnav battle heats up as drivers look for new gadgets

Reuters

Garmin Ltd (Olathe, USA) and TomTom NV (Amsterdam, Netherlands) are gearing up for battle as the world's two biggest navigation companies plan to lure customers back with new products offering extra features.

Satnav sales have been in decline since 2008 as rivals like Google (Mountain View, USA) and Nokia (Helsinki, Finland) gave away free navigation on smartphones.

Once the darlings of the stock market, TomTom and Garmin have seen the value of their shares drop by more than 90 percent since the end of 2007, when satnav's were the hottest Christmas gifts.

Ericsson in pole position to buy Nokia Siemens unit: report

Reuters

Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden), the world's top mobile network infrastructure supplier, is in pole position to buy the business support systems (BSS) unit of rival Nokia Siemens Networks (Helsinki, Finland), Dow Jones Newswires reported on Monday.

In addition to Ericsson, U.S. telecoms equipment maker Amdocs (Chesterfield, USA) is also interested in the BSS unit, which provides billing and charging systems for telecoms operators, Dow Jones quoted a source familiar with the matter saying.

Brazil's GVT cuts full-year sales forecast

Brazilian telecoms operator GVT (Curitiba, Brazil) has reported impressive gains in revenues while trimming its forecast for overall sales growth this year.

The company saw net income rise by 31.4% to 2.05 billion Brazilian reais ($1.01 billion), compared with the first half of 2011, buoyed by the take-up of fast broadband connections and greater usage of voice services.

Were it not for a new tax rate, the company says its revenues would have grown by 42% year on year.

Vodafone signs roaming deal with Zain

Vodafone (Newbury, UK) and Zain (Kuwait City, Kuwait) have signed an agreement that will allow each operator to use the other’s networks and services in the Middle East.

Vodafone already has similar arrangements in place under its ‘Partner Market’ program. The deal with Zain means this program now runs in 50 countries where Vodafone is active.

The UK operator says it will work with Zain companies in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan and Iraq to provide customers with new communications services.

Free claims 5.4% share of French mobile-phone market

Just days after rivals blamed it for denting their profits, French telecoms upstart Free (Paris, France) claimed to have secured a 5.4% share of the country’s mobile-phone market, with 3.6 million customers, since launching its services in January this year.

The company has been accused of starting a price war by rivals including Vivendi-owned SFR (Paris, France) and Bouygues (Paris, France), both of which announced disappointing results last week.

Android phone makers back platform but consider other options

Reuters

Some phonemakers are quietly exploring alternatives to the Android operating system implicated in the Samsung-Apple ruling, industry watchers say, despite their public pronouncements they are sticking with the technology.

Last week, a U.S. court ruled Samsung's (Seoul, South Korea) Android devices were violating Apple (Cupertino, USA) patents - a major blow to the leading mobile software platform because it could lead to sales bans and high licensing fees.

ZTE launches Intel-based smartphone

Reuters

Chinese group ZTE (Shenzhen, China), the world's fourth-largest mobile phone maker, unveiled its first smartphone model using Intel (Santa Clara, USA) processors, marking an important break into a top-tier handset maker by the U.S.-based group.

ZTE said on Thursday its Grand X IN model, which will go on sale in Europe next month, will mark the start of a wider portfolio of Intel-based products.

"This is the first among a number of handsets in the next 12 to 18 months," Chris Edwards, European business development and marketing chief at ZTE, said in an interview.

Walmart tests iPhone "Scan & Go" feature

Reuters

Walmart Stores Inc (Bentonville, USA) is testing a "Scan & Go" system that would allow shoppers to scan items using their iPhones and then quickly pay at a self-checkout counter.

If the test by the world's largest retailer is successful, it has the potential to change the way people shop and pay, making the process more personal and potentially faster.

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