Itron wins smart-meter contract in Victoria, Australia

Itron (Liberty Lake, USA), a manufacturer of energy-saving meters for utilities, claims to have won a contract to provide smart meters in Melbourne and other parts of Victoria State, allowing water utilities to better manage consumption.

The deal will help City West Water, South East Water, Yarra Valley Water and Barwon Water manage supply, optimize usage and conserve water resources, and follows Itron’s completion of a three-year contract to provide water meters and an advanced meter reading system to the four utilities.

Nayax and Telit book vending-machine deal in Scandinavia

Nayax (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Telit (Rome, Italy) have announced a deal to expand their cashless payment services into hundreds of vending machines operated by Scandinavia’s Selecta Nordic (Stockholm, Sweden).

The company operates vending machines in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland and has already installed the Nayaxvend-Telit product in about 200 vending machines throughout Scandinavia.

It says additional machines are slated to be equipped in the coming months.

Apple snubs emerging mobile payment standard

Reuters

EBay Inc (San Jose, USA) Chief Executive John Donahoe often quotes a merchant saying NFC stands for "Not For Commerce" - and dismisses the prospects of Near Field Communication technology used to turn cellphones into mobile wallets.

He got some support this week from Apple Inc (Cupertino, USA), which did not embed NFC chips into the iPhone 5.

Vodafone helps Dutch councils slash costs, emissions

An M2M-enabled waste-management scheme involving Vodafone (Newbury, UK) is helping local councils in the Netherlands to slash their carbon emissions by up to a fifth and save thousands of euros in collection costs.

Working with Mic-O-Data (Hassinkweg, the Netherlands), a Dutch waste-management company that claims a 30% share of the market, Vodafone has fitted 6,000 ‘connected’ bins with SIM cards that transmit regular updates, notifying refuse collectors when bins are filling up or if they have not been properly closed.

Rogers to spur M2M development with Vancouver initiative

Rogers Wireless (Toronto, Canada) has announced the opening of a new innovation center in Vancouver aimed at promoting the development of M2M technologies and applications.

Located in the Wavefront national center of excellence for wireless commercialization, the Rogers Wireless Innovation Center will allow business customers and developers to try out the latest M2M technology and enterprise mobility applications.

Tata Motors launches new telematics service

Tata Motors (Mumbai, India) has launched a new fleet telematics service it claims will help commercial vehicle fleet owners boost their productivity and profitability.

Branded Tata FleetMan, the service will initially be introduced on new tractor-trailers but is set to become available on Tata’s entire medium-sized and heavy commercial vehicle range in the coming months.

Tata says the service will be extended to existing vehicles through aftermarket fitments.

US telco mobile payments venture Isis to delay launch again

Reuters

Isis, a venture of three big U.S. mobile providers, is delaying the launch of its mobile payments service for the second time this year, an executive for the company said on Thursday.

Isis is an effort by Verizon Wireless (New York, USA), AT&T Inc (Dallas, USA) and T-Mobile USA (Bellevue, USA) to provide mobile wallet services that would allow consumers to get rid of plastic cards and instead make payments by simply waving their phone at a check-out terminal.

While Japan has had mobile payment services for years, U.S. development of such services has been much slower.

Ford first to market with in-vehicle Telenav app

Ford (Dearborn, USA) has become the first car maker to make Telenav’s (Sunnyvale, USA) Scout application available in its vehicles.

The navigation app has previously been available to users of iPhones and devices powered by Google’s Android operating system, but it can now be installed in Ford vehicles through the manufacturer’s SYNC AppLink technology.

Los Alamos tests $53 million smart grid

Officials in Los Alamos County have switched on a $53 million smart grid developed by scientists working in New Mexico and Japan, reports the Associated Press.

The project has involved collaboration between Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and Los Alamos County and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The smart grid comprises a solar photovoltaic array, a battery storage system and a smart house and energy management system for the benefit of Los Alamos residents.

Telit maintains bullish outlook as profit slips

Module maker Telit (London, UK) has witnessed a dip in first-half profit despite reporting impressive gains in revenues as it capitalizes on the growing demand for M2M products and services.

A rise in expenses linked to takeover activity, the launch of a new business venture and the opening of new sales offices in the Czech Republic and Australia pushed net profit down to $2.3 million from $2.6 million in the first half of 2011.

Revenues at the company rose by 21.6% over the same period, to $98.6 million, with Telit in the vanguard of new M2M offerings.

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