Portugal Telecom seals $5 billion Oi deal

Marks PT's return to business in Brazil

Portugal Telecom (Lisbon, Portugal) said today it had signed the necessary contracts to seal the purchase of a 22.38 percent direct and indirect stake in Brazil's main fixed-line phone carrier Oi (Rio de Janeiro) for 8.32 billion reais ($4.98 billion). The deal, drafted last July, effectively means the return of Portugal Telecom as a major player to fast-growing Brazil after it sold its stake in Brazil's top mobile firm Vivo to Spain's Telefonica for 7.5 billion euros last year.

LG unveils smart appliance lineup

Wi-Fi enabled washers, dryers, refrigerators, ovens, and even vacuum robots

LG Electronics has unveiled its new range of smart appliances, enabled by "LG THINQ" technology, at the 2011 International CES. All products in the lineup are comprised of five key features, dubbed Smart Grid, "Smart Diagnosis," "Smart Access," "Smart Adapt," and the intriguing "Food Management."

Gemalto hands over point of sale business to partner VeriFone

VeriFone designates Gemalto its preferred M2M provider

Gemalto (Amsterdam, Netherlands) has announced the handover of its point of sale (POS) solutions business to VeriFone (San Jose, California, USA) as part of their strategic partnership. First announced in October, the partnership also entails cooperative efforts in Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) chip card solutions, and Gemalto's appointment as the preferred supplier of M2M wireless modules and related solutions for VeriFone payment systems.

Siemens to assist with smart grid development in northern Russia

Announces cooperation agreement with Tyumenenergo

Last week Siemens (Berlin, Germany) announced a strategic cooperation contract with Tyumenenergo, an energy company that operates in northern Russia. The agreement is designed to promote innovation in the operator's grid infrastructure facilities, starting with a pilot project for adaptation of smart grid technology to the Russian grid.

TomTom deploys Sierra Wireless embedded module

Drivers may access nearby points of interest, location of speed cameras, traffic

Sierra Wireless (Richmond, British Columbia, Canada) today announced that TomTom (Amsterdam, Netherlands), a location and navigation solutions provider, is using Sierra Wireless "AirPrime" Intelligent Embedded Modules to provide cellular connectivity to its integrated navigation systems for Renault and Mazda vehicles.

ITU redefines '4G'

International body loosens definition to include LTE, WiMax, and HSPA+

Commercially deployed LTE, WiMax, HSPA+, and even "evolved" forms of 3G now may all be accurately referred to as "4G." The International Telecommunication Union (Geneva, Switzerland) has altered the definition of the "4G" standard to one that aligns with the marketing activities of companies like Sprint, Clearwire, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless; though public controversy will no doubt continue.

AT&T will purchase Qualcomm spectrum licenses for nearly $2 billion

Qualcomm's 'FLO TV' service to be shut down in March

AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) and Qualcomm Incorporated (San Diego, CA, USA) announced today that AT&T has agreed to purchase spectrum licenses in the lower 700 MHz frequency band from Qualcomm for $1.925 billion. The bold move will boost AT&T’s anticipated 4G mobile broadband rollout in the U.S. over the coming years.

FCC adopts 'Net Neutrality' rules for Internet traffic

Providers may ration network access

U.S. communications regulators adopted Internet traffic rules on Tuesday that prevent providers from blocking lawful content but still let them ration access to their networks. Operators may still legally institute policy control and traffic management, but prioritizing that traffic based on content is against the FCC's order.

Airwide introduces a mobile security solution for handsets and infrastructure

'Multi-layered' software protects against spam, malware, bullying, sexting

Airwide Solutions (Burlington, MA, USA), the company best known for transmitting the first SMS text message, has announced the launch of their Network and Personal Security (NPS) solution. The solution aims to shield subscribers and operator infrastructure from potential threats and unwanted content.

GSMA hopes to put SIM cards in all electronic devices

Forms task force comprising experts from across the industry

Last Thursday, the GSM Association announced the formation of a task force of mobile operators to explore the development of an embedded SIM that can be remotely activated. The association expects to enable the design of exciting new form factors for mobile communications and speed the development of M2M services by making it easier to bring mobile broadband to non-traditional devices such as cameras, MP3 players, navigation devices and e-Readers, as well as smart meters.

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