Smart devices fuelling interest in home automation: ABI

Smart-home devices such as Nest’s smart thermostats are bringing simple-to-install, smart-home DIY to a far wider audience, which in turn will help to fuel the increase in shipments of smart-home products between now and 2019, according to a new study from ABI Research.

The market-research company expects shipments of smart-home devices to increase at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 30% between 2013 and 2019.

AT&T-DirecTV merger may hinge on NFL agreement

Reuters

If DirecTV is unable to strike a deal with the National Football League to renew the satellite TV operator's contract to offer the popular NFL Sunday Ticket football package, AT&T Inc can pull out of the merger, according to a regulatory filing.

In a filing related to the merger, the companies said, "the parties also have agreed that in the unlikely event that the Company's agreement for the 'NFL Sunday Ticket' service is not renewed on substantially the terms discussed between the parties, AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) may elect not to consummate the merger."

Vodacom to acquire Neotel from Tata for $676 million

South Africa’s Vodacom has announced plans to acquire Neotel from India’s Tata Communications for a cash fee of ZAR7 billion ($676 million).

The takeover will put the operator, owned by Vodafone (Newbury, UK), in control of South Africa’s second-biggest fixed-line network, allowing it to better compete in the market for unified communications products that combine fixed and mobile capabilities.

It says it plans to offer an expanded and enhanced range of converged services – such as hosted PBX – to enterprise customers.

America Movil launches $1.9 billion bid for Telekom Austria

Latin American telecoms giant America Movil has launched a €1.4 billion ($1.9 billion) offer for the 73% stake in Telekom Austria it does not already own.

The offer values Telekom Austria at €7.15 a share and is set to remain open for a period of eight weeks, said America Movil (Mexico City, Mexico) in a statement.

For the deal to go ahead, the offer must be accepted by shareholders currently in control of at least 50% of the outstanding shares.

Google acquires mobile service company Divide

Reuters

Google Inc said it has acquired Divide, a company whose software allows corporations to manage the personal smartphones that consumers increasingly use on the job.

In a post on Divide's (New York City, NY, USA) website on Monday, the company said it was joining Google's (Mountain View, CA, USA) Android team. The post did not provide financial terms of the deal and a Google spokesman declined to comment on the terms.

US accuses China of cyber spying on American companies

Reuters

A U.S. grand jury has indicted five Chinese military officers on charges of hacking into American companies for information on nuclear plant design, solar manufacturing and other secrets in the toughest action taken by Washington to address cyber spying.

China denied the charges, saying they were "made up" and would damage trust between the two nations. The Chinese foreign ministry said it would suspend the activities of a Sino-U.S. Internet working group.

Yahoo Japan drops $3.2 billion plan to buy eAccess from SoftBank

Reuters

Yahoo Japan Corp has dropped its plan to buy mobile network operator eAccess Ltd from SoftBank Corp in a 324 billion yen ($3.2 billion) deal that was part of a reorganization of SoftBank group assets.

Yahoo Japan, the country's biggest Internet portal and 42.6 percent owned by SoftBank, will proceed with a planned low-cost mobile Internet service using the eAccess (Tokyo, Japan) mobile network, SoftBank (Tokyo, Japan) and Yahoo Japan (Tokyo, Japan) said on Monday.

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.

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