Leap Wireless International Inc will be the first U.S. provider of prepaid mobile services to sell the Apple Inc iPhone, potentially putting pressure on its much bigger rivals to provide cheaper phone or service prices.
The regional operator, which caters to cost-conscious customers who pay phone bills in advance, is joining its much bigger national rivals Verizon Wireless (New York), AT&T Inc (Dallas, Texas, USA) and Sprint Nextel Corp (Overland Park, Kan., USA) in selling the popular device.
Last week at the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Bangkok, Alcatel-Lucent said by the end of the decade Asia will need to invest $1.1 trillion in its telecom infrastructure to compete in the digital economy.
According to the telecom equipment provider, over the past five years, Asia has added 1.5 billion additional mobile subscribers; yet still more than 25% of Asians live without basic mobile services. Over the next five years governments and business will need to add another 1.3 billion mobile subscribers to bridge the gap, says Alcatel-Lucent (Paris).
Telecom operators have recently made a major push in offering personalized services to their customers, primarily in an effort to retain customers and reduce churn. Customer churn is caused by many factors including bill shock and a lack of customer service satisfaction, two points that Idomoo, a personalized video company, has been trying to address in the telecom industry.
Last week, Cisco issued results from its annual initiative to forecast and analyze Internet Protocol (IP) networking growth, and found that by 2016, annual global IP traffic is forecast to be 1.3 zettabytes - (a zettabyte is equal to a sextillion bytes, or a trillion gigabytes). The projected increase of global IP traffic between 2015 and 2016 alone is more than 330 exabytes, which is almost equal to the total amount of global IP traffic generated in 2011 (369 exabytes).
On Friday, AT&T Inc Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said that a sale of rural phone lines may be too difficult to pull off because of regulatory hurdles. Stephenson had said in January that the company would review the future of its roughly 20 million rural telephone lines, including the possibility for a sale. But selling the phone lines could be difficult because of their diverse geographic locations, the executive said on Friday in a webcast of a Sanford C.
On Friday, Verizon Communications Inc. announced that it is acquiring Hughes Telematics, Inc (HTI) for $612 million, or $12.00 per share in cash.
New market data from Berg Insight shows a sustained strong momentum for wireless M2M communication in the beginning of 2012. According to figures disclosed by global mobile operators, the number of machines using cellular communication continues to grow at a high rate in key world regions. As the installed base grows, year-on-year growth rates are stabilizing at around 15-30%.
On Wednesday, Ford and State Farm insurance announced a collaboration to offer auto insurance using Ford SYNC In-Car technology.
According to Ford, this technology could save drivers up to 40% per year through the State Farm Drive Safe & Save insurance discount program depending on their annual mileage. The discount is based on the vehicle odometer reading that is reported when the driver uses Vehicle Health Report, a standard feature of SYNC.
On Wednesday, Deutsche Telekom launched its M2M Marketplace, which is a platform for manufacturers and dealers to offer their hardware, software, apps and full-package services relating to M2M communication.
According to ABI Research, the cellular M2M market will rise from about 110 million cumulative connections globally in 2011 to roughly 453 million cumulative connections by 2017. Nevertheless, a key challenge for the industry remains the complexity of developing, deploying, and managing M2M applications over the cellular network.