Ryder offers mobile maintenance, telematics at new Texas facility

Logistics and supply-chain management player Ryder System says it has opened a new truck maintenance and rental facility in Schertz, Texas that will provide mobile maintenance and telematics services to its customers.

According to the company, the facility will offer a rental fleet equipped with GPS telematics technology, making Ryder the “only company in the market with a facility offering both vehicle rental and mobile maintenance”.

Rand McNally to make Drivewyze available on fleet-management devices

Rand McNally says it has enhanced its fleet-management service through a deal with Drivewyze that will help commercial truck drivers to bypass weigh stations.

The Drivewyze (Edmonton, Canada) PreClear service allows drivers to clear weigh station requirements before reaching the location, and Rand McNally (Skokie, IL, USA) is to make that service available on its suite of mobile fleet-management devices.

The technology works by communicating safety-related data in real-time as a truck approaches a weigh station.

Altice has no plans to raise SFR bid: Bloomberg

Altice has reportedly said it has no plans to increase its offer for Vivendi’s SFR after bidding rival Bouygues raised its own offer last week, according to Bloomberg.

Altice (Paris, France) has the flexibility to revise its bid between now and April 4 – when exclusive talks with Vivendi (Paris, France) are set to end – but believes it has the support of Vivendi, which is likely to face fewer antitrust and other regulatory hurdles in a sale to Altice than one involving Bouygues (Paris, France).

New Zealand's 2degrees to launch 4G services in July

New Zealand operator 2degrees says it has kicked off a three-month trial of 4G technology with plans to introduce commercial services by July.

The operator – the smallest of New Zealand’s three mobile players – is running an LTE trial at ten sites in central Auckland, using 1800MHz spectrum.

The aim is to launch commercial services in central Auckland by July before expanding into the wider Auckland area and the cities of Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch by the end of the year.

GE, Quirky launch connected air-conditioning unit

GE has taken the wraps off a new connected air-conditioning unit developed in partnership with engineering company Quirky and aimed at lowering energy costs for US consumers.

Branded Aros, the unit represents Quirky’s (New York City, NY, USA) first major connected appliance but the fifth product that has been launched in collaboration with GE (Fairfield, CT, USA), which announced a tie-up with Quirky back in April 2013.

In a statement, GE said that Aros is immediately available through Amazon.com and will be sold through major US retailers from May.

Telefonica SmartSantander project to become smart-cities blueprint

Telefonica claims its pioneering SmartSantander project has exceeded initial expectations and could become a blueprint for the development of smart cities in future.

Launched three years ago with a budget of €8.67 million ($11.93 million), the project in Santander has made use of an array of M2M and Internet of Things technologies, delivering benefits in areas including energy and traffic management and healthcare.

Cellular nodes for smart grids set to boom: Navigant Research

Annual revenue generated from the sale of public cellular communications nodes for smart grid applications will rise from $75.4 million in 2013 to $348.3 million in 2018, according to the latest study from Navigant Research.

While utilities have numerous communications options for connecting nodes on the power grid – including fiber, copper leased line networks and power line communications – there has been an upsurge of interest in the use of cellular networks in recent years.

New Zealand government establishes Smart Grid Forum

New Zealand’s government has set up a new Smart Grid Forum charged with advancing the deployment of smart electricity networks in the country.

In a statement, energy and resources minister Simon Bridges said that New Zealand needed to develop smarter electricity systems in future to cope with demand for emerging technologies as well as changing consumer preferences.

“The new Smart Grid Forum will provide a platform for information-sharing about these new challenges and opportunities, as well as providing advice on the deployment of a smart grid in New Zealand,” he said.

UPA says replaced 150,000 meters for OUC in system-wide upgrade

Utility Partners of America (UPA) says it has already replaced about 150,000 digital electric meters as part of a system-wide smart-meter upgrade for the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC).

Noting that work on the OUC (Orlando, FL, USA) project is proceeding according to plan, the smart-meter player said the rollout would allow OUC to offer a “smarter energy choice” to customers benefiting from the new technology.

Apex CoVantage wins tender in VIWAPA smart-grid deployment

Apex CoVantage says it has been chosen to supply installation and project-management services to the US Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority (VIWAPA) as part of the utility’s smart-metering deployment.

The smart-grid specialist claims to have been selected during a “competitive bidding process, from a group of highly capable companies”.

Apex (Herndon, VA, USA) has developed a full enterprise resource planning platform for mobile workforce management – branded ProField – and this platform will be used to manage various deployment activities on the VIWAPA project.

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