The cellular M2M embedded module market experienced a more difficult than expected year in 2010, according to a report by research firm ABI Research (New York). Although total unit volumes continued to rise, reaching nearly 34 million units shipped in 2010, total industry revenue fell from roughly $996 million in 2009 to about $841 million in 2010, reversing the upward momentum in revenue seen in 2009 as the market rebounded from its 2008 lows.
GE Energy (Atlanta, Ga., U.S.A.), a division of General Electric, announced that it will be supplying smart meter infrastructure for 25,000 meters that are to be installed in Ecuador by electric company Electrica de Guayaquil (Guayaquil, Ecuador). This is the second phase of a complete overhaul of the country’s meters, which will eventually replace nearly 200,000 meters, according to GE energy.
Chris King, Chief Regulatory Officer at eMeter (San Mateo, Calif., U.S.A.), a global smart grid software platform provider, is urging policymakers to adopt a universal smart grid vision for consumers in response to slow deployment of consumer-oriented smart meter functionality.
Telecommunications provider Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) and Masternaut (Paris, France), a provider of vehicle tracking management, have reached an agreement to jointly market telematics-enabled fleet management services. Both Telefonica and Masternaut will share product roadmaps to create products, according to Telefonica.
Quake Global, Inc. (San Diego, Calif., U.S.A.), a manufacturer of M2M communicators for satellite and terrestrial networks, announced that Komatsu Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan), the world’s second largest construction equipment manufacturer, is using Quake’s modems in its M2M heavy machinery communication.
The amount of the deal was not disclosed.
u‑blox (Thalwil, Switzerland), a positioning and wireless chip and module company, announced on Monday the acquisition of Fusion Wireless (San Diego, Calif., U.S.A.), a provider of CDMA wireless modules for consumer and M2M applications in North America.
The acquisition price includes $0.9 million fully paid in cash, as well as $2.1 million in existing debt, plus earn-out.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the European Union's (EU) Smart Grid Coordination Group (SG-CG) jointly announced their intention to work together on smart grid standards development, emphasizing common goals and areas of focus.
The Telekom Austria Group (Vienna Austria), a telecom provider, on Tuesday announced that it has set up a new subsidiary in the M2M business field. The new company, the Telekom Austria Group M2M GmbH, acts as the competence and service center of the Telekom Austria Group, focusing solely on the development and marketing of M2M services, according to the company.
Last week, Sprint (Overland Park, Kan., U.S.A.) announced that the Proliphix IMT-550 Internet Managed Thermostat is now available with Sprint wireless network connectivity. This connected thermostat allows small- to medium-sized retail business owners to reduce energy expenses and remotely monitor their storefronts, according to the company.
In a recent study conducted by research consultancy Market Strategies International (Livonia, Mich., U.S.A.), consumers rated energy smart metering and health monitoring as the two most appealing M2M solutions in the marketplace,