On Friday, the Vehicle Infrastructure Integration Consortium (VIIC), a consortium of global automakers, announced they will join key government officials and other automakers from around the world to help accelerate the development of connected vehicles by harmonizing standards.
KORE Telematics (Alpharetta Ga., U.S.A.), a wireless services provider specializing in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, last week announced the Quickstart Program for accelerating the development, testing and deployment of M2M applications.
Through partnerships with ClearConnex (Raleigh, N.C., U.S.A.), an embedded wireless engineering firm, and Richardson RFPD (LaFox, Ill., U.S.A.), a value-added global component distributor, KORE is now able to deliver critical components required by M2M application developers to develop and test a complete M2M solution.
NRG Energy (Princeton N.J., U.S.A.), one of the largest power operators in the U.S., formed a new company last month with the University of Delaware to test out how vehicle-to-grid (V2G) can keep a grid stable as the share of intermittent renewable energy sources rises. V2G allows electric cars to pump electricity back into the grid when power demand spikes.
Telit Wireless Solutions, the North American technology arm of Telit Communications PLC (Trieste, Italy), announced that its cellular M2M module will provide wireless connectivity for breath alcohol ignition interlock provider LifeSafer’s (Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.) wireless breath alcohol device, which allows law enforcement authorities to monitor DUI offenders in real time.
Czech power group CEZ (Prague, Czech Republic) plans to have 23,500 smart energy meters installed in western Bulgaria by the end of 2012 to help modernize its power grid and boost its efficiency, the company said on Wednesday.
CEZ -- central and Eastern Europe's largest utility -- has already installed more than 18,000 smart meters costing some $46.5 million since 2009, it said in a statement. The number should hit 20,000 by the end of 2011.
IBM (Armonk, N.Y., U.S.A.) last week announced it has joined a collaborative consortium to help develop an energy grid that uses at least 50% of renewable energy sources, such as wind power, solar energy and biogas. Led by a European Union-funded consortium, the EcoGrid EU project will demonstrate a smart energy grid that will allow smart devices to use renewable electricity based on near real-time pricing and availability, according to the consortium.
The third quarter could mark the end of a hot streak for Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) as a combination of a global slowdown, tough competition and an increase in low margin business cloud the outlook for the world's top mobile equipment firm.
The last three quarters have seen booming sales at Ericsson's key networks unit, driven largely by investment in mobile broadband in the United States and second generation equipment in China.
Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) and France Telecom-Orange (Paris, France) announced that following approval by the relevant anti-trust authorities, BUYIN will start business operations on Monday as a Brussels-based procurement joint venture between the two companies.
The company, which also has operational units in France and Germany, is headed by Volker Pyrtek, previously Chief Procurement Officer at Deutsche Telekom.
The U.S. wireless industry is rolling out more consumer-friendly billing practices, fending off a plan by communications regulators to impose new rules against unexpected charges.
Guidelines unveiled on Monday by the wireless trade association, CTIA, will see companies send alerts to customers when they near or reach monthly limits on voice, text and data services, and before they incur international roaming charges.
The guidelines are similar to rules the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was contemplating, and the regulator is backing off its plan for now.
On Wednesday, Telefonica's O2 (Slough, England) announced plans to introduce free calls to mobiles and landlines over the internet. This decision highlights a key challenge for mobile operators - overcoming the commoditization of voice calls - a process which is being facilitated by falling mobile termination rates. Offering their own applications will be one way for operators to differentiate their products and retain a share of this growing market.