AT&T wins connected-cars deal with Volvo

US telecoms giant AT&T continues to set the pace in the connected-cars industry, having just announced a deal with Volvo to provide wireless connectivity services in vehicles sold in the US and Canadian markets.

The multi-year agreement will see AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) equip Volvo’s (Gothenburg, Sweden) US 2015 model year with its Sensus Connect embedded infotainment service, while Volvo customers in the US and Canada will also have access to Volvo On Call – which allows car functions to be accessed remotely and also notifies emergency services in the event of a crash.

VimpelCom sells Djezzy stake to Algerian govt to settle dispute

VimpelCom has agreed the $2.64 billion sale of a 51% stake in its Algerian phone business to the country’s government, bringing to an end a protracted dispute between the two parties.

The deal to sell a majority stake in Djezzy (Algiers, Algeria) to the Algerian government will also allow VimpelCom (Moscow, Russia) to slash debt while retaining a substantial stake in the emerging-markets player.

Vodafone in partnership talks with Netflix: report

UK-headquartered Vodafone is reported to be in discussions with movie-streaming player Netflix about a tie-up that would allow the operator’s customers to watch films and TV shows on smartphones as part of their monthly tariff.

According to Bloomberg, the arrangement would allow customers to stream content without paying a separate fee to Netflix (Scotts Valley, CA, USA) for a set period of time.

Mobile payment startup Square plans sale as losses widen: WSJ

Reuters

Square Inc has been in talks with several rivals for a possible sale as the mobile payments startup looks to stem widening losses and dwindling cash, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company spoke to Google Inc (Mountain View, CA, USA) earlier this year about a possible sale, the Journal reported, adding that it wasn't clear whether the talks are continuing.

US regulator reasserts goal to restrict AT&T, Verizon in auction

Reuters

The top U.S. telecommunications regulator on Thursday reasserted his commitment to helping smaller national wireless carriers get access to valuable lower-frequency airwaves in the upcoming spectrum auction.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, in a letter to Representative John Barrow, reaffirmed his plans to restrict how much spectrum the biggest U.S. carriers, Verizon Communications Inc (New York City, NY, USA) and AT&T Inc (Dallas, TX, USA), could buy in the auction scheduled for mid-2015.

China's ZTE first-quarter profit triples; meets estimate

Reuters

ZTE Corp, China's second-biggest telecommunications equipment maker, said first-quarter profit matched its estimate after benefiting from the country's introduction of fourth-generation mobile networks.

Net profit rose 204 percent to 622.2 million yuan ($100.01 million) in January-March compared with an estimated range of 425 million yuan to 637 million yuan, the Shenzhen-based company said on Thursday.

Operating revenue rose 5.5 percent from a year earlier to 19.05 billion yuan.

Pakistan's long awaited 3G, 4G auction draws dismal response

Reuters

A dismal response in this week's auction for next-generation cellphone spectrum licenses means cash-strapped Pakistan will struggle to fund its budget this year, finance and IT ministry officials and telecom industry executives told Reuters.

Pakistan is set to hold long-awaited auctions for 3G and 4G network licenses on April 23, a step the government projects will raise $2 billion to boost foreign reserves.

But officials said there has been scant interest in Monday's bidding process and estimate Pakistan will raise no more than $850 million.

Zebra to acquire Motorola enterprise business for $3.45 billion

Asset-tracking specialist Zebra Technologies has agreed a $3.45 billion takeover of Motorola’s enterprise business in a deal aimed at strengthening its portfolio of services for tracking internet-enabled devices.

Zebra (Lincolnshire, IL, USA) said it would fund the acquisition through $200 million of available cash on hand and $3.25 billion it will raise through a new credit facility and the issuance of debt securities.

Jasper raises $50 million in financing round

Jasper Wireless has raised $50 million in a new round of financing led by Singapore’s Temasek.

The M2M platform provider says it will use the funding to expand its service, claiming that it now serves around 1,000 enterprise customers and has partnerships with 19 operators around the world.

“After nearly a decade partnering with enterprises and operators, we know one thing with absolute certainty: the Internet of Things is not about things, it is about service,” said Jahangir Mohammed, the founder and chief executive of Jasper (Mountain View, CA, USA).

Kore and Robustel unveil M2M Starter Kit

Kore Wireless and Robustel Technologies have formed a partnership aimed at developing a new range of industrial M2M solutions.

Robustel (Guangzhou, China), which provides cellular and Wi-Fi gateways for M2M services, says the partnership with Kore (Alpharetta, GA, USA) – an MVNO – will allow it to include optional device connectivity for a range of products.

The companies plan to unveil an M2M Starter Kit combining their products later this month.

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