Spanish telecom firms are yielding to the reality of recession by selling new superfast mobile services at no extra charge, offering a cautionary tale for European peers which hope premium 4G prices will help them return to growth.
Many consumers in Spain, where unemployment stands at 26 percent, are unwilling or unable to spend up to 800 euros ($1,100) on a 4G-enabled smartphone and then sign up to a more expensive monthly plan - despite the promise of download speeds that are five times faster than existing 3G services.
French low-cost telecom operator Iliad will soon open a second front in a mobile price war when it starts helping customers buy expensive smartphones in the coming months, piling more pressure on its larger rivals.
Honduras has awarded Mexican telecoms giant America Movil and emerging markets telecoms group Millicom licenses to offer 4G high-speed mobile services, telecoms commission Conatel said on Tuesday.
America Movil (Mexico City, Mexico) operates under the brand Claro in Honduras, while Millicom (Luxembourg) operates under the name Tigo. The licenses cost $12.05 million each.
The companies must start operating 4G networks within 18 months, Conatel said.
(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
Connected-car services from Sprint are set to become available to Canadian consumers thanks to a new tie-up between the US operator and Canada’s Rogers Communications.
The partnership will allow Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA) to offer its Sprint Velocity-branded range of in-car infotainment and telematics services over the Rogers (Toronto, Canada) network.
The tie-up essentially means that carmakers can introduce Sprint Velocity in the Canadian market, taking advantage of the connectivity service provided by Rogers.
Japan’s NEC and Hong Kong’s Maestro Wireless have formed a strategic partnership aimed at exploiting global M2M business opportunities.
Under the agreement, NEC (Tokyo, Japan) will integrate its CONNEXIVE service platform with hardware developed by Maestro (Hong Kong) to provide an improved M2M offering to mobile operator and enterprise customers.
The 4G lead established by the UK’s EE has helped the operator secure a three-year deal to support telematics services for the RAC, one of the country’s biggest motoring organizations.
Under the terms of the contract announced this week, EE (Hatfield, UK) is to provide embedded SIMs for the RAC’s (Walsall, UK) in-car telematics technology, allowing fleet managers to monitor vehicles remotely.
Bell Canada has become the latest operator to launch a portal allowing business customers to manage M2M services.
The operator’s new M2M Management Centre has been developed in collaboration with network vendor Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden), which is playing an ever-more prominent role in the M2M space, having recently concluded a platform deal with France’s Orange Business Services (Paris).
The number of fleet management systems deployed in commercial vehicle fleets in the Americas is set to grow from 4.9 million at the end of 2012 to 10.1 million by 2017, according to new research from Berg Insight.
The market-research company predicts that North American deployments will grow from 3.3 million at the end of 2012 to 6.8 million by 2017, with installations in Latin America rising from 1.6 million to 3.3 million over the same period.
UK-based Weightless says consulting and technology services group Accenture has joined its board of directors.
Accenture’s (Dublin, Republic of Ireland) membership should boost efforts by Weightless (Cambridge, UK) to popularize its M2M communications standard based on the use of white-space spectrum – gaps in frequency bands freed up by the transition from analog to digital broadcasting systems.
Telecom Italia chief executive Franco Bernabe is planning on tendering his resignation at a board meeting scheduled for later this week, reports Bloomberg.
The boss of Italy’s biggest phone company has reportedly lost the support of Telco, the Telefonica-controlled consortium that holds a 22.4% stake in Telecom Italia (Milan, Italy), after clashing with shareholders over the operator’s strategy.