CEZ installs smart meters in Bulgaria

Reuters

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 joins European Consortium to build smart grid using renewable energy

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.

Ericsson growth seen slowing, outlook cloudy

Reuters

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, France Telecom joint venture begins operations

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.

U.S. wireless initiative stalls new FCC billing rules

Reuters

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.

O2 to offer free internet calls to mobile and landlines

Reuters

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.

Wireless subscriber connections surpass U.S and its territories population

For the first time in history, wireless subscriber connections have surpassed the population in the United States and its territories (Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands), which means the wireless penetration rate in the U.S. is 103.9%, according to a survey connected by CTIA- the Wireless Association.

New technology allows landline calls to be accessed through mobile phones

On Wednesday, TelecomEngine got a chance to visit with Verizon Wireless (Basking Ridge, N.J., U.S.A.) at the CTIA Enterprise and Applications show in San Diego, California to get a demo of their newest piece of technology. 


Verizon showcased the Mobile UC Client, a tool that allows a person’s business landline number to be assessable from their mobile phone.  According to Bill Versen, director of Advanced Mobile Communications at Verizon, this is meant to leverage existing infrastructure to extend the Private Branch Exchange (PBX) to the mobile phone.

M2M companies optimistic about future at CTIA

Reporting live from the floor of the CTIA Enterprise and Applications show in San Diego, California, the M2M Zone has seen new products and announcements from many key players in the industry.  It’s fair to say that overall, the M2M industry is optimistic about the future of the market, as well as the new opportunities for growth opening up in the M2M space.  “We are in the second inning of a 20 inning ballgame,” says Stratton Nicolaides, CEO of Numerex.

RACO Wireless announces M2M partnerships at CTIA

RACO Wireless (Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.), a provider of machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity, announced four partnerships at the CTIA Enterprise and Applications show in San Diego, California. 


The first partnership announced by RACO Wireless was with Aeris Communications Inc. (San Jose, Calif., U.S.A.), a cellular carrier for M2M applications.  Aeris offers CDMA coverage throughout North America, as well as GSM coverage through T-Mobile.

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