Healthcare access in rural U.S. lagging, telemedicine crucial

Reuters

Telemedicine may be able to significantly help healthcare access in the rural parts of the United States, according to a report by health care company UnitedHealth Group (Minnetonka, Minn., U.S.A.).

According to the report, there are only 65 primary care physicians per 100,000 rural Americans -- 40 less than the 105 per 100,000 urban and suburban Americans.

Southwest Airlines now using OnAsset asset tracking devices

OnAsset Intelligence (Irving, Texas, U.S.A.), a provider of machine-to-machine (M2M) wireless asset tracking, recently announced that Southwest Airlines Co. (Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.) is now accepting cargo shipments containing its tracking devices.

OnAsset’s SENTRY 400 FlightSafe device can provide location, environmental sensing and monitoring of temperature-sensitive and high value cargo, according to the company.

Report: T-Mobile mobile payment service could leave consumers vulnerable

Earlier this month, T-Mobile announced that it will soon launch a new service that will enable customers to purchase digital content using their smartphone, PC, or tablet and bill it to their phone accounts. According to Consumer Union (New York), a testing and information organization, T-Mobile's announcement is the latest development in emerging mobile payment services that raises concerns about whether consumers will be protected from fraud or merchant mistakes.

Verizon unions strike after contract talks fail

Reuters

Almost half the workers in Verizon Communications' (New York) wireline telecommunications business went on strike on Sunday as negotiations for a new labor contract failed.

The strike, involving 45,000 workers, is the first walk-out that Verizon, one of the two big U.S. telephone network operators, has faced since 2000, when about 80,000 workers went on strike for about three weeks.

Alcatel-Lucent reports weak Q2 results, sector slowdown worries increase

Reuters

Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent SA (Paris, France) reported weaker-than-forecasted results, magnifying concerns about a sector-wide slowdown and sending shares down more than 9%.

The companies weak second quarter results come after a strong start to the year as it rode a wave of operator spending in the United States. It also comes amid increasing investor worries about a possible second-half slowdown in the telecom equipment sector, especially in the United States.

Equipment makers Ericsson, Juniper and Cisco also reported weak Q2 results.

GM, OnStar pilot new vehicle tracking system

Last week, OnStar, a subsidiary of General Motors (Detroit, Mich., U.S.A.) that provides in-vehicle communication, announced it has launched a pilot program for Family Link, a new optional service that allows subscribers to stay connected when driving an OnStar-equipped vehicle. Pilot services include vehicle location and vehicle location alert.

Telecom Italia posts $2.8 billion loss, sticks to targets

Reuters

Telecom Italia (Rome, Italy), the country’s largest telecom operator, kept its forecasts intact in the face of a rapidly-deteriorating economic climate at home, which took the sting out of a $2.8 billion first-half loss due to a goodwill writedown.

The company blamed deteriorating markets and interest rate trends for its $4.5 billion goodwill writedown on its domestic operations. Still, the company said the writedown would have no impact on its dividend or plans to cut debt and stuck to its forecasts for the year, promising trends at home were improving.

Inmarsat, SkyWave launch new M2M asset tracker

Inmarsat (London, England), a provider of satellite communications services, and SkyWave Mobile Communications (Ontario, Canada), a provider of communication services for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications, on Thursday announced the launch of a new low data rate service for managing and communicating with remote assets around the world.

Clearwire sees profit sooner, but needs $900 million more in funding

Reuters

Wireless telecommunications network operator Clearwire Corp (Kirkland, Wash., U.S.A.) said it would post an operating profit a few quarters sooner than expected, but also said it needs as much as $900 million in new funding.

In after-hours trading, shares of Clearwire almost completely wiped out a 10% gain from the regular Nasdaq session after the company said it needs up to $300 million more to tide it over until it reports positive cash flow sometime next year, and that it needs another $600 million for a network upgrade.

Network operators could face 7-fold increase in data delivery costs

In a new study by research firm Juniper Research (Hampshire, England), it was reported that mobile network operators (MNOs) must explore means of addressing data delivery costs and inefficiencies in base station operations if their networks are to remain economically viable. According to the report, even with the increased deployment and utilization of LTE networks, global MNO data delivery costs could surpass $370 billion annually by 2016, a seven fold increase on their 2010 level of $53 billion.

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