WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A $1.6 billion ground control system being developed by Raytheon Co for Global Positioning System (GPS)satellites passed a Pentagon review, but will be monitored to ensure it stays on track, a senior Air Force official said on Friday.
Major General Roger Teague, director of space programs for the Air Force acquisition chief, told reporters a "deep dive" review Thursday by chief arms buyer Frank Kendall went well, but program officials and the contractor got "tough marching orders" to stick to schedule and cost targets.
Location-based services (LBS) in Europe and North America will generate revenues of around €5 billion ($6.9 billion) in 2018, up from about €2 billion in 2013, according to new research from Berg Insight, but mobile operators will focus on growth in the enterprise and B2B sectors, having been sidelined by over-the-top (OTT) players in the consumer market.
According to Berg, revenues in Europe will rise from €735 million in 2013 to about €2.3 billion in 2018, while those in North America will grow from $1.8 billion to around $3.8 billion over the same period.
Dutch telecoms incumbent KPN is teaming up with Fast Track Company and Air France/KLM/Delta Airlines on the development of new M2M tracking services designed to ensure air passengers do not lose their luggage.
In a statement, the operator said it was collaborating with its partners on two innovations for easier tracking and tracing of luggage.
eTrack, the first of those innovations, is described as a compact device that will track the location of a suitcase or travel bag using GPS and cellular technology.
Satellite M2M specialist Orbcomm has launched a new set of modems aimed at systems integrators and resellers targeting the transportation and distribution, heavy equipment, oil and gas and government markets.
Orbcomm (Rochelle Park, NJ, USA) said the modems are “100%” backwards-compatible with its current OG1 satellite network and are the first devices that will support OG2 services when the new constellation becomes available in spring 2014.
The company is offering two versions of the new modem – the OG2-M and the OG2-GPS.
M2M module maker Telit is supporting the rollout of a new bicycle taillight featuring an embedded tracking device in Brazil.
Pioneered by local company Nastek Tecnologia (Campo Grande, Brazil), the Yon Bike Lamp – as it is branded – incorporates a GSM/GPS tracker in a bike taillight, allowing users to track a bike’s whereabouts and monitor riding statistics using smartphones.
The device features Telit’s (London, UK) GL865-QUAD module and is able to communicate over GSM and GPRS networks.
Module maker Telit has teamed up with Parsec Technologies to create what they call “the world’s lowest-profile companion solution for GPS receiver and antenna”.
The organizations say the components can be made to fit a 6x16x8mm space – making the product suitable for a wide variety of uses.
Both companies say they are making available complete application notes to simplify the engineering effort for system integrators.
Dutch navigation company TomTom has revealed that its fleet-management business grew by 38% in 2013 to serve a total of 330,000 connected vehicles.
Fleet-management services are now used by some 27,000 customers in more than 60 countries worldwide, according to the technology player.
“This year-on-year growth reflects our ongoing success in bringing to market products that offer significant value to companies operating vehicle fleets,” said Thomas Schmidt, the managing director of TomTom Business Solutions, which is responsible for the range of fleet-management services.
Australian M2M device maker M2M Connectivity has taken the wraps off a new satellite data modem aimed at the asset-tracking market.
Its Quake Q-Pro modem is designed to support tracking and data services on cellular and satellite technology, and operates on the Inmarsat-4 satellite constellation.
M2M Connectivity (Melbourne, Australia) says the Quake Q-Pro modem will support two-way data messaging over Inmarsat’s (London, UK) IsatData Pro network and using terrestrial cellular technology.
LightSquared is proposing a new bankruptcy exit plan with financing from Fortress Investment Group and other backers, as the U.S. wireless communications company seeks to avoid a sale to highest bidder Dish Network Corp.
Satellite company Orbcomm has teamed up with sensors specialist Savi Technology to develop new location-based monitoring services for government and commercial markets.
The two companies have already submitted a proposal to the US Army to develop RFID tags and satellite solutions for military logistics support.