Telefonica O2, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone plan mobile payments company

The three largest German telecom operators, Telefónica O2, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone, plan to enter a joint venture to register their payment service mpass as its own company and have signed a letter of understanding, according to the companies. The new company is due to begin operating as early as this year.

AT&T reveals LTE launch and data pricing

On Tuesday, AT&T revealed both the launch date and data pricing for its first two LTE devices. The USBConnect Momentum 4G and the Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G will be launched on August 21, 2011. According to AT&T, the monthly data rate for 5 gigabytes of data is $50 with a $10 charge for any addition data consumed.

The two LTE devices will operate on the 4G LTE network. According to AT&T, if a customer moves outside the LTE network the device will default to the HSPA+ network, which provides 4G speeds that are up to four times faster than mobile broadband speeds.

Telecom equipment vendors report Q2 results

Large telecom equipment providers have started to report financial results from the second quarter of 2011. Overall, all companies posted an increase in revenue from the year-ago quarter, although some companies revenue declined from the first quarter of 2011. A major contributing factor to many vendors success was a strong smartphone market. Other companies, such as Ericsson, didn’t perform as well as expected due to strong currency rates and restructuring charges.

Alcatel-Lucent

India telecom operators asked to explain customer complaints

On Wednesday, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued show-cause notices to five mobile operators, questioning complaints by customers concerning overcharging and portability regulations.

Telecom customers from Reliance Communications Ltd., Vodafone Essar, Bharti Airtel Ltd, Loop Telecom and Idea Cellular Ltd. have complained of overcharging and unfair rejection of porting requests.

According to TRAI, directions were issued in May of this year stating the specific grounds of which a telecom operator can reject a porting request under contraction obligation.

Google, Motorola bet to reshape Asian phone makers

Reuters

Asian handset makers using Google Inc's (Mountain View, Calif., U.S.A.) Android operating system might turn to rival platforms such as Microsoft Corp's (Redmond, Wash., U.S.A.) Windows after Google upended the mobile landscape with its $12.5 billion bid for Motorola Mobility Holdings (Libertyville, Ill., U.S.A.).

Cloud firm Box.net seeks $35 million in new funding

Reuters

Cloud-storage and file-sharing company Box.net (Palo Alto, Calif., U.S.A.) is raising $35 million in new funding, according to a recent filing. The company -- which focuses on providing Internet-based document storage for business users -- has already raised $18.7 million through a group of seven unidentified backers.

The company completed a $48 million funding round in February on top of $15 million round last year and several earlier, smaller rounds. The new financing brings Box.net's total funding to $112.6 million.

California adopts security standards for smart meters

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) (San Francisco, Calif., U.S.A.), a state regulator of utility companies, recently approved rules to protect the privacy and security of customer usage data generated by smart meters as part of its efforts to build a smart grid for California.

Alcatel-Lucent, China's SGIT partner on smart grid tech

Telecom equipment vendor Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France) and China's State Grid Information and Telecommunication Co. (SGIT), a unit of utility company State Grid Corporation of China (Beijing, China) (SGCC), announced a partnership on Friday to provide technology that accesses data used to track energy usage from devices such as smart meters, analyze that data and deliver that information to the utility company.

ECI acquires Wireless Logic for $50 million

Machine to Machine (M2M) service provider Wireless Logic (Buckinghamshire, England) has been sold to ECI Partners (London, England), a mid-market private equity firm, by owner Peter Jones CBE for $50 million.

Wireless Logic has 3,600 customers and nearly 600,000 Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMS) under management in the United Kingdom and continental Europe, according to the company.

UK street lighting initiative to use smart lighting controls

The largest street lighting project in the United Kingdom, costing $323.8 million dollars, will replace and maintain 250,000 streetlights with the smart lighting controls to maintain energy efficiency and provide a more efficient use of energy.

The South Coast Street Lighting private finance initiative, which will take 25 years to complete, stretches across Hampshire, West Sussex and Southampton, and will utilize a smart lighting control, which is connected across the internet via a mobile network.

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