California school district uses GPS tracking to combat truancy

Controversial technique attracts national attention

Frustrated school officials have turned to GPS tracking in an attempt to curb truancy, as reported in a local California, USA newspaper. The six week pilot program is aimed at habitually truant seventh- and eighth-grade students with four or more unexcused absences.

Sprint partners with IDEAL LIFE Inc. for wireless telehealth

Companies will develop devices for use on Sprint's network

Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA) is partnering with IDEAL LIFE Inc. (Toronto, Canada) to expand IDEAL LIFE's product portfolio to include embedded wireless devices. The companies will develop, certify and co-market a version of the IDEAL LIFE hub to transmit health data over the Sprint network.

Ericsson Money Services launches

Company hopes to dominate mobile payments and banking by 2020

Equipment maker Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) has announced the launch of its mobile money services, seeking to take and intermediary role in near-field communications purchases. The announcement marks the end of the service's two year development, and follows a proof-of-concept launch in Europe and Asia.

Chinese telecom equipment manufacturers eye the U.S.

$7 billion market at stake

Chinese telecom equipment makers have their sights set on the United States, a massive market that has so far been largely off limits to them because of fears over the security of key national infrastructure.

Huawei (Shenzhen, China), the world's number three seller of network gear, and ZTE (Shenzhen), number five, both told Reuters in interviews at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that they wanted to crack the United States.

The Wholesale Applications Community comes alive at Mobile World Congress

Seen as counter to Android Market and App Store

The Wholesale Applications Community (WAC), a common pool of apps designed to run on multiple operating systems, handsets, and networks, now boasts a membership of 68 carriers including IBM, Vodafone, AT&T, Ericsson, Huawei, Oracle, and SAP. The unified group is an open alternative to Google and Apple app stores, and support is exploding this week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

SPIRIT DSP extends relationship with Huawei

Will offer voice and video over IP, compete with Skype and Google

SPIRIT DSP (Moscow), a voice and video over IP provider, has announced that Huawei Technologies (Shenzhen, China), the world's second-largest telecommunications equipment provider, has extended its license with SPIRIT DSP for HD voice and video to carriers.

Under terms of the agreement, Huawei, a SPIRIT customer since 2007, will use SPIRIT's TeamSpirit Voice&Video Engine PC in its IP Multimedia Subsystem, Unified Communications, and Fixed Mobile Convergence solutions to carriers from the Huawei core network, delivering a PC video softphone to Huawei's carrier customers.

Numerex and Cinterion to collaborate, expand M2M activities in North America

Distribution agreement could result in bundled products

Numerex Corp (Atlanta, GA, USA), a provider of machine-to-machine products and services, today announced that it will collaborate with Cinterion (Munich, Germany), a specialist in cellular machine-to-machine communication modules to distribute and integrate Cinterion modules.

Both companies are influential in their respective fields. Numerex is the first M2M service provider in North America to be ISO 27001 certified for information security. Cinterion was acquired by Gemalto (Amsterdam, Netherlands) in June 2010.

Sierra introduces platform improvements at MWC

AirPrime now supports third-party library, debugger, and remote management

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain this week, Sierra Wireless (Richmond, British Columbia, Canada) is exhibiting several new features of its platform for embedded machine-to-machine application development, including a new third-party library, an integrated debugger, and a new user interface for remote device management.

Sierra "AirPrime" modules are designed to support a complete embedded application framework for M2M application development. Remote management is also supported thanks to AirPrime Management Services, a set of device management capabilities.

Vodafone and Intel partner for new M2M development kit

Designed around Atom-based architecture

Vodafone (London) and Intel (Santa Clara, CA, USA) will co-develop a new kit that will allow companies to embed M2M functionality into products. The kit will be built around Intel's "Atom" class processor, and supported by service from Vodafone's network.

Target applications include smart meters, connected vehicles, or even entire smart buildings, according to a joint statement.

The news arrives only a day after Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom announced a cross-border cooperative M2M initiative.

Verizon's iPhone now in stores, ending AT&T exclusivity

Antenna problems may persist

After more than three years of AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) exclusivity, Verizon Wireless' (Basking Ridge, NJ, USA) iPhone finally goes on sale today in the U.S. After years of pent-up demand from its customers, Verizon has seen very strong pre-launch demand for Apple's handset. Analysts predict, on average, that Verizon could sell more than 12 million units this year.

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