CEA forms smart grid interface standards committee

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) on Wednesday launched a new smart grid committee to advance standardization of the Modular Communications Interface (MCI) specification. The new standard will help manufacturers, utilities, service providers and consumers as it leads to more smart grid-ready products, says CEA.

Asia Pacific will dominate connected device market, fuelled by growth in China

The GSMA, in partnership with Machina Research (London, England), last week announced that the growth of connected devices is booming in Asia Pacific, with the region expected to be the largest market by 2020 with over 11 billion total connected devices, and within that, almost 5.6 billion mobile connected devices, accounting for a 47% market share and far outstripping Europe (19.1%) and North America (9.4%).

GE introduces plan to develop a local smart-grid-as-a-service

GE Energy (Fairfield, Conn., U.S.A.) recently announced they were working to provide smart-grid-as-a-service to community-owned utility systems that traditionally did not invest in smart grid systems due to steep up-front costs.

Smart water meter market expected to ship 10 million units in 2016

The advanced water metering market, estimated at about 5.5 million global shipments in 2010, and anticipated to be roughly 10 million shipments annually in 2016, continues to increase its product share, particularly in North America, says a report by IMS Research (Wellingborough, England).

Clearwire shares plunge 31% on default fears

Reuters

Shares of Clearwire Corp (Kirkland, Wash., U.S.A.) plunged as much as 31% after a Wall Street Journal report quoted its CEO as saying the company was considering skipping a $237 million interest payment due December 1.

Shares of the cash-strapped high-speed wireless firm dropped as low as $1.28 as investors worried that their fears about bankruptcy could be realized. The stock regained some ground to close at $1.47, down 20%, on the Nasdaq.

Clearwire said it "does not comment on speculation" and declined to discuss the story.

U.S. announces national security investigation into Chinese telecom companies

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representative Intelligence Committee announced it was launching an investigation into the threat posed by Chinese-owned telecommunications companies working in the U.S., including Huawei (Shenzhen, P.R.C.) and ZTE (Shenzhen, P.R.C.).

The investigation comes after a ten month preliminary review of Chinese communications companies was conducted by the committee staff.  The preliminary review suggested that there was a national security concern of “the highest priority” and that a more extensive investigation should be conducted.

Tension simmers between Verizon, Vodafone

Reuters

Tension between Vodafone (London, England) and Verizon Communications (New York) over their joint venture in the United States has eased and the success of new partnerships could determine if that relationship goes any further.

Investors pressuring Alcatel to replace CEO

Reuters

Investors are losing patience with Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France) Chief Executive Ben Verwaayen's performance and are pressing the ailing telecoms equipment maker to replace him, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the newspaper said Alcatel-Lucent officials had informally approached potential outside successors to Verwaayen, though "no official outreach" had taken place.

France Telecom sees consolidation in Portugal market

Reuters

Consolidation of the Portuguese telecoms market may happen faster than expected if the state-owned bank decides to sell its holdings as part of a countrywide push to raise cash, a France Telecom (Paris, France) executive said on Thursday.

France Telecom has said it plans to leave the Portuguese market, where consumers have been hit hard by an austerity drive, but the company said in October that no talks had taken place because it was difficult to sell in the current environment.

Vodafone eyes KPN Spanish mobile unit

Reuters

Dutch telecom firm KPN (The Hague, Netherlands) has opened the books at its Spanish operations to prospective buyers, including Vodafone (London, England), a person familiar with the situation told Reuters on Tuesday.

KPN's chief executive, Eelco Blok, said in May he would refocus KPN's international mobile division, including expanding Ortel, its mobile phone business which targets immigrants, and would cut inefficient operations outside the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

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