IBM looks to ease IoT app requirements with open cloud

IBM recently announced that it was greatly expanding its BlueMix PaaS offering to help developers use cloud services, and now the company says that it has added capabilities that could benefit companies looking to deploy IoT and M2M solutions.

Since its expanded, open, beta launch several weeks ago – based on IBM’s (Armonk, NY, USA) middleware and third-party technologies – the company claims there has been quick uptake on BlueMix from both web-only and enterprise developers looking to deploy embedded devices.

GM, AT&T to launch 4G vehicles next month

GM says it will next month launch a new range of vehicles capable of connecting to the internet over the 4G network of AT&T.

Customers will be able to use services free of charge for a three-month period or up to a three-gigabyte limit, after which they can take out a data plan starting from $5 a month.

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu is to the be the first LTE-equipped vehicle and will be followed by more than 30 other Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles by the end of the year, said the carmaker.

Ericsson to support Telefonica smart city rollout in Brazil

Brazilian operator Telefonica Vivo has teamed up with network equipment supplier Ericsson on a smart city in Sao Paolo.

Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) is initially to support the rollout of smart parking and smart lighting services and take responsibility for system integration aspects of the project.

The company says design, installation and rollout are all included in the scope of the agreement – along with responsibility for managed services, including operations and maintenance, once the technology is up and running.

BlackBerry aims to be major M2M player in five years: Economic Times

BlackBerry chief executive John Chen expects the device maker to be a major force in the M2M industry in the next five years.

In an interview with India’s Economic Times newspaper, Chen said one of his main targets was to leverage BlackBerry’s (Waterloo, Canada) QNX Embedded business to focus on future growth opportunities in M2M.

Dixons, Carphone Warehouse plot $5.88 billion takeover to address IoT

UK retailers Dixons and Carphone Warehouse are poised to announce plans for a £3.5 billion ($5.88 billion) merger aimed at addressing new opportunities in the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) space.

According to numerous press reports, the two companies plan to combine their resources to take advantage of new opportunities created by convergence of the consumer electronics and connected-devices markets.

Dixons sells a range of electrical appliances in its high street stores, while Carphone Warehouse is one of the country’s best-known retailers of mobile phones and tablets.

Aeris offers support service to take pain out of M2M

M2M operator Aeris Communications has begun offering a new support service for companies looking to take advantage of M2M technologies.

It claims the average response time for its Infinity Support-branded service is just 30 minutes, which – it says – “sets a new industry benchmark”.

Aeris (Santa Clara, CA, USA) says it is providing the service around the clock and that it will support the speedy rollout of M2M services by customers and fast resolution of any problems customers encounter when deploying M2M technologies.

Google Glass goes back on sale in US but still in beta


Anyone in the United States with $1,500 can now buy Google Inc's still-in-beta Google Glass, the Internet company said on a blogpost on Tuesday.

Google (Mountain View, CA, USA) said it "decided to move to a more open beta," and said anyone in the United States could buy the Internet-connected Glass eyewear as long as stocks lasted.

Google opened sales for the gadget to the U.S. public for $1,500 last month for one day to make it available to more than just the select group of users such as apps developers.

Vodafone, SFR to partner on M2M service development

Vodafone and SFR have unveiled plans to renew their strategic global alliance for another four years, indicating they plan to collaborate on M2M service development as well 3G and 4G roaming.

Vodafone (Newbury, UK) sold its 44% stake in SFR (Paris, France) – France’s second-biggest mobile operator, behind Orange (Paris, France) – to media conglomerate Vivendi (Paris, France) in 2011, but the two operators have been cooperating on international projects since as far back as 2002.

Brazilian operators to invest $6 billion in M2M

Brazil’s telecoms operators have reportedly announced plans to invest an additional BRL13 billion ($6 billion) in developing M2M technology over the next four years following moves by Brazilian authorities to cut the taxes they must pay on M2M SIMs.

Recent moves to reduce the charges operators have to pay on active M2M SIMs appear to have spurred operators to pour additional funding into their M2M activities, according to a report from Business News Americas.

M2M adoption helps Iridium to grow profits

Satellite operator Iridium says growing interest in M2M services boosted sales and profits during the first three months of the year.

The company’s revenues rose by 10%, to $98 million, compared with the first quarter of 2013, while net income increased from $14.9 million to $16.5 million over the period.

Iridium (McLean, VA, USA) also ended the quarter with 674,000 billable subscribers, compared with 621,000 in March 2013, and said the strength of its M2M offerings was partly responsible for the increase.

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