M2M hardware specialist u-blox has launched a new module that works on GSM and GPRS networks and is designed for use in devices operating in potentially explosive environments, such as gas smart meters.
The so-called SARA G350 ATEX provides support for a range of M2M applications requiring dual or quad-band GSM/GPRS, voice and data and in-band modem support for eCall and ERA GLOSNASS vehicle emergency call applications.
US operator Sprint is working with MVNO M2M DataSmart on an initiative to attract more small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to the M2M marketplace.
The two companies, which struck a wholesale agreement in September last year, say they are promoting more “open access” of data and network services so that entrepreneurial start-ups – as well as traditional OEM companies – can more easily commercialize their M2M concepts.
With a debate raging over the most appropriate cellular technology for M2M services, Aeris Communications has added GSM connectivity services to its offer and revealed that carmaker FIAT has become its first GSM customer.
The company, which describes itself as the only cellular operator catering exclusively to the M2M market, has long provided connectivity services over the rival CDMA standard but evidently felt a need to fortify its position, with various technologies facing an uncertain future.
Some US connectivity providers are questioning whether T-Mobile US will be supporting a 2G service for its M2M customers by the end of the decade.
One of these is Alex Brisbourne, the president of M2M specialist Kore Telematics, who blames the spread of “disinformation” for a belief that certain 2G networks will still be around in years to come.
The first two days of this week’s CTIA Wireless Show in Las Vegas have been marked by a flurry of M2M announcements, with partnerships between MVNOs and network operators emerging as a major theme. M2M Zone provides a round-up of the most important news items.
Indian operator Sistema Shyam has managed to reduce its net loss to INR7.79 billion ($143 million) for the fourth quarter of 2012, from INR11.98 billion during the same period in 2011, despite the considerable uncertainty over the company’s future towards the end of last year.
The operator said the net loss would have narrowed further were it not for unfavorable movements in exchange rates.
Singaporean telecoms incumbent SingTel has sold its 30% stake in Pakistan’s Warid Telecom to the Abu Dhabi Group, which already owned the other 70% of the loss-making operator.
SingTel will receive a cash payment of $150 million for its shares as well as 7.5% of the proceeds from any future sale of Warid (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates).
It says the sale follows a strategic review of the investment, its competitive position and opportunity.
Indian ministers have urged a 50% cut in reserve pricing for CDMA airwaves due to be auctioned in March, reports Reuters.
A panel of ministers told India’s cabinet, which has the ultimate say on spectrum pricing, that fees should be lowered by 30–50%.
A frequency auction in November raised less than a quarter of the INR400 billion the government was targeting, with CDMA airwaves going unsold.
Due to begin on March 11, the next auction is set to include GSM airwaves worth up to INR200 billion, plus a number of CDMA concessions.
Growth in Brazil’s mobile-phone market tailed off last month with the addition of just 436,000 new customers, compared with 959,860 in September, according to figures from regulatory authority Anatel.
The data will be taken as a sign of increasing market maturity – penetration hit 131.7% in October, according to Anatel’s data – with Brazil’s economy weakened by the global slump.
Between them, Brazilian mobile-phone operators now serve a total of 259.29 million connections, with prepaid customers accounting for about 81% of those.
Tata Teleservices and Videocon Group have withdrawn their bids for spectrum due to be auctioned by India’s government in a process beginning on November 12, reports the country’s Economic Times newspaper.
Because the two organizations had been the only ones to bid for the airwaves used on CDMA-based phones, the government is apparently stuck with a slice of spectrum that attracts no interest.
Tata Teleservices (Mumbai, India), India’s sixth-biggest mobile-phone operator, was originally looking to replace operating permits it is set to lose in three zones.