YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar, long one of the world's least connected nations in terms of telecommunications, is now racing to catch up, providing a boost to the foreign mobile companies allowed into the country last year.
The number of mobile phone SIM cards in the south-east Asian country of 51 million people has shot up to more than 18 million from around one million just three years ago, according to data compiled by Reuters.
That has surprised some of the foreign entrants, who expected more modest growth in one of the world's poorest nations.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's wireless network providers are to lift restrictions on which network their subscribers can use, the government said, demanding that all smartphones and tablets to be sold with their SIM cards unlocked upon customers' request starting next year.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday that all smartphones and tablets are to be sold with their SIM cards unlocked if customers ask for it and at no cost to users, from May 2015.
Brazil’s telecoms operators have reportedly announced plans to invest an additional BRL13 billion ($6 billion) in developing M2M technology over the next four years following moves by Brazilian authorities to cut the taxes they must pay on M2M SIMs.
Recent moves to reduce the charges operators have to pay on active M2M SIMs appear to have spurred operators to pour additional funding into their M2M activities, according to a report from Business News Americas.
M2M Zone exhibitors gathered at this week’s CeBIT tradeshow in Hannover, Germany unveiled details of some exciting new products and services, while others provided updates on their strategies for addressing the ever-expanding M2M opportunity. Below we provide summaries of the main announcements.
M2M platform provider Jasper Wireless has launched a global SIM for M2M and IoT devices, allowing enterprises to manage and update mobile operator profiles and policies remotely.
The company said the SIM – announced at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow – would be integrated with its platform services and meet demand for more efficient and cost-effective M2M device activation.
US operator T-Mobile has unveiled a new service that eliminates roaming costs for M2M communications between the US and Canada, promising to extend the offer to additional markets this year.
Branded eSIM, the service means that M2M customers can enjoy local data rates when travelling from one country to the other.
T-Mobile (Bellevue, WA, USA) says the potential cost savings are enormous, giving the example of a trucking company whose vehicles make regular trips between the US and Canada.
Digital security specialist Oberthur Technologies says its M-Connect solution is to support M2M connectivity services being offered by in1SIM.
Under a deal between the two players, market trials are planned for this year with energy distribution companies based in Northern Europe.
Oberthur (Levallois-Perret, France) says a combination of its technology with that of in1SIM will answer a need for a “global and reliable” solution for connecting smart objects to mobile networks.
Digital security player Gemalto and telematics specialist Hirschmann Solutions have unveiled details of a new partnership on the remote subscription management of advanced M2M applications.
The companies say their solution combines Hirschmann’s (Neckartenzlingen, Germany) global asset tracking solution with modules from Gemalto (Amsterdam, Netherlands) that support high-speed connectivity on a range of networks.
The GSM Association (GSMA) has published a new embedded SIM specification that has secured the backing of some of the world’s biggest operators and could provide a major boost to the M2M industry.
US operator AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) has gone as far as saying the initiative represents an important step in terms of ushering in a new era for M2M technology.
The specification enables remote ‘over the air’ provisioning and management of embedded SIMs in M2M devices and has been designed to ensure that different technical solutions are interoperable.
“As continued deployments of machine to machine (M2M) applications across diverse geographical and vertical markets worldwide give rise to an increasingly fragmented ecosystem, industry players must put security, remote programmability and interoperability at the heart of their plans for development, or risk inhibiting the sector’s prospects for growth,” says Bruno Basquin, Chair of the M2M and eUICC Working Group at SIMalliance.