Study: Just half of German utilities plan smart-grid investments

Barely half of German utility companies plan to make any investments in smart grids before 2014, according to a new study published this week.

Steria Mummert Consulting polled 100 decision makers in German utilities on their business plans over the next few years. Although 70% said they planned to invest in the maintenance and modernization of distribution networks, and 65% in energy data management, only half of respondents had network expansion plans for smart grids over the next two years.

Taiwan to establish smart grid task force

Taiwan’s Prime Minister Sean Chen has ordered the Ministry of Economic Affairs to form a special task force aimed at establishing a nationwide smart grid, according to a report in Taiwan Today.

Report: M2M cellular connections to hit 2.5 billion by 2020

The number of worldwide cellular M2M connections is forecast to soar from its current level of 277 million to a staggering 2.5 billion by 2020, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics.

A combination of factors, including global connectivity platforms, efforts at standardization, cloud computing and regulatory initiatives will help contribute to a compound annual growth rate of more than 30% between now and 2020, says the company.

Strategy Analytics reckons that most M2M activity will come in the areas of mHealth, smart metering, telematics and automation.

M2M success fuels earnings growth at Sierra Wireless

Sierra Wireless (Richmond, Canada) has reported impressive top-line gains and profits on the back of its growing M2M business and sales of 4G products.

The vendor—which makes modems, routers and gateways and develops software and services for wireless applications—reported a 19.7% year-on-year increase in revenues, to $167.4 million, for the second quarter of 2012.

Net earnings, meanwhile, came in at $3.58 million, compared with a loss of $6.77 million for the same period last year.

European fleet management systems to number 5.7 million by 2016

The number of fleet management systems deployed in commercial vehicle fleets in Europe is forecast to rise from 2.5 million at the end of 2011 to 5.7 million by 2016, according to a new report from analyst firm Berg Insight.

The increase equates to a compound annual growth rate of 17.9%.

Although the fleet management industry has been affected by the financial crisis in Europe, Berg expects the number of systems to increase by 10–20% this year, driven by a group of international aftermarket solution providers.

Deutsche Telekom opens M2M developer community

German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom has opened an M2M developer community in a bid to spur the growth of the M2M applications market.

The operator says the community will allow developers to access tools like APIs, programming guidelines and software development kits (SDKs), making it easier for them to develop and sell M2M applications.

Novatel Wireless blames competition for sales decline, rising loss

Novatel Wireless (San Diego, USA) has reported a 13% year-on-year fall in second-quarter revenues, to $102.4 million, while the company’s net loss rose to $4.5 million from $3.9 million this time last year.

The maker of USB modems, embedded modules and smart M2M modules blamed the impact of competing products for the sales decline.

Driving higher margins with premium technology support

Two forces today are reshaping the telecoms landscape: the proliferation of connected devices and the elevated expectations of consumers for richer customer experiences. In order to remain competitive and overcome the challenges these forces have created, organizations need to adopt a technology services business model that supports the increasing demands from consumers, improves customer experience and retention and continues to drive bottom-line growth for businesses.

Low-cost iPhone provider Leap struggles with costs, customer retention

Reuters

Leap Wireless International Inc's quarterly revenue missed Wall Street estimates as more customers defected and average revenue per subscriber (ARPU) at the low-cost mobile services provider fell for the first time in seven quarters.

Shares of the company, which focuses on cost-conscious customers and competes with MetroPCS Communications Inc, fell 15 percent in trading after the bell.

The company said customer retention programs did not work out as well as expected and came at a higher-than-anticipated cost.

Saudi's Mobily awards IBM $280 million outsourcing contract

Saudi telco Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) has awarded IBM a five-year contract worth 1.05 billion riyals ($280 million) to outsource its information technology operations, it said in a bourse statement on Sunday.

The contract will be self-financed and will lead to improvements in Mobily's products as well as making the company more flexible, it said without further elaboration.

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