The European Parliament voted to end mobile phone roaming fees by 2016 and barred telecoms operators from prioritizing some Internet traffic over others, moves that will cheer Europe's consumers and frustrate industry seeking new forms of revenue.
In a session in Brussels, lawmakers backed telecom reform legislation that will phase out roaming fees across the 28-country European Union by December 2015, bolster consumer protections on mobile and broadband contracts and seek to make the sale of mobile licenses more uniform across Europe.
Vodafone Group Plc said on Thursday it would add 150 shops and create 1,400 jobs across the United Kingdom during the next 12 months in a 100 million pound ($166.33 million) investment.
The British group said the expansion is part of the company's plans to invest 1 billion pounds ($1.66 billion) in the United Kingdom in 2014 where it serves 19 million customers.
Vodafone (Newbury, UK) last year in June said that it would increase its UK expenditure by more than 50 percent to nearly 1 billion pounds.
Network gear maker Juniper Networks Inc, which is under pressure from investor Elliott Management Corp to slim down, said it plans to reduce its global workforce by 6 percent and focus on its high-growth businesses.
Juniper (Sunnyvale, CA, USA) said most of the cuts would impact middle management positions and that it expected to incur cash charges of about $35 million in the first quarter, related to severance and other expenses.
The company had 9,483 full-time employees as of December 31.
Several prominent tech entrepreneurs have come together to form a new M2M company that aims to steal the initiative from network operators entering the M2M market.
Calling itself Senaptic (Cambridge), the UK-based organization has developed its own wireless technology, known as ultra narrow band, which uses spectrum in the ISM band and is incorporated in Apella, a suite of M2M packages that Senaptic is offering to specific vertical markets, including utility companies and municipal authorities deploying so-called smart-city infrastructure.
Nest Labs Inc, the maker of smart thermostats that Google Inc acquired for $3.2 billion, called a halt to all sales of its smoke alarms on Thursday after it discovered a possible defect that could cause users to turn it off unintentionally.
Nest co-founder and Chief Executive Tony Faddell said that, under a unique set of circumstances the alarm's "Nest Wave" feature, which allows a user to switch off the device with a wave of the hand, could be inadvertently activated.
Illinois energy utility Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) says its smart grid program has beaten the targets set for job creation in 2013, supporting a total of 2,871 full-time positions.
The positions included nearly 1,000 full-time jobs at the utility and its contractors as well as more than 1,800 roles it says were created “indirectly”.
Managed services and consulting giant Accenture is to manage the rollout of some two million smart meters being carried out in Pennsylvania by utility group FirstEnergy.
The deployment is taking place across four of FirstEnergy’s (Akron, OH, USA) utility businesses – Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power and West Penn Power – and represents one of the largest rollouts of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) in North America.
Utilities are expected to spend nearly $140 billion between 2014 and 2022 on the deployment of IT systems needed to support new smart-grid infrastructure, according to a new study from Navigant Research.
The market-research company says IT will play a critical role as the traditional grid network evolves into a far more complex system.
M2M specialist Essence says it has closed seven new deals in Europe, the Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Israel over the past three months for its smart living and smart care offerings.
According to the company, three of those deals came with major players that have already been able to grow spending per device thanks to the use of Essence (Herzliya, Israel) technology.
Spain’s Telefonica has won a major connected-cars deal to provide services for electric vehicles being sold by Tesla in Europe.
The partnership will see the operator provide connectivity services for the Tesla Model S in the UK, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.
To support the service, Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) is also drawing on its partnerships with other operators and M2M platform provider Jasper Wireless (Mountain View, CA, USA) through the M2M World Alliance, an association formed to spur the development of M2M services worldwide.