UK and Taiwan form smart-grid partnership

A UK delegation representing companies including British Gas, BT and Vodafone this week said a new smart-grid partnership with Taiwan could help to generate more than £13 billion ($20.8 billion) in economic benefits and £5 billion in smart-grid exports for the UK economy.

The UK Smart Grid mission has been visiting Taiwan this week to establish industry and academic links with the country.

GM beats Ford and Toyota in new ranking of telematics vendors

General Motors has topped a new ranking of OEM safety and security telematics vendors, beating Ford into second place and Toyota into third.

The company’s OnStar solution was ranked number one in a Competitive Assessment carried out by ABI Research.

ABI scored General Motors (Detroit, USA) highly for the range of OnStar features as well as its market share, quality and reliability.

Revenues from renewables integration to rise by 242% to 2018

The market for smart grid technologies that help to integrate renewable energy sources is to generate just under $13 billion in 2018, up from only $3.8 billion in 2012, according to a new study from Pike Research.

Utilities and grid operators are investing millions of dollars in lowering the costs of integrating renewables generation, but these efforts have so far had mixed fortunes.

Numerex earnings rise 32% on demand for subscription-based services

M2M vendor Numerex has reported impressive gains in third-quarter earnings and revenues due to rising demand for its subscription-based security, asset tracking and monitoring services.

The company claimed a 32% year-on-year increase in net profit, before the inclusion of income-tax benefits, to $987,000, while overall revenues grew 17% to about $17.7 million.

Inmarsat and SkyWave report 12,000 sales of M2M terminals

Inmarsat and SkyWave claim to have sold 12,000 of their IsatData Pro terminals – aimed at satisfying M2M needs in the transportation, oil and gas, utilities and mining sectors – so far this year.

The companies have designed the terminals to work on Inmarsat’s global L-band satellite network and say it is ideal for a wide range of enhanced M2M applications, including SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) communications for systems that monitor gas pipelines and oil wells, as well as telemetry and fleet-management services.

Sagemcom smartens up with Froschl takeover

French technology group Sagemcom has acquired Germany smart-metering company Froschl for an undisclosed sum.

Sagemcom (Rueil-Malmaison, France), which sells terminals in the digital TV, energy and document-management sectors, claims the takeover will help it realize an ambition of becoming a major international player in the smart-meter market.

Froschl specializes in developing data-management software that will round out Sagemcom’s portfolio, according to the French company, and help it to win new business.

Vodafone and Gemalto to collaborate on global NFC rollout

Vodafone has signed a multi-year global contract with Gemalto, under which the Dutch M2M company will help the telecoms operator to launch so-called ‘wave and pay’ contactless transactions via mobile phones.

Best known for its digital security products, Gemalto (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) will provide Vodafone (Newbury, UK) with its Trusted Service Management (TSM) platform, which manages mobile-payment security encryption between financial institutions and mobile operators, as well as its UpTeq NFC card product.

Paypal cutting jobs as part of major reorganization

Reuters

PayPal is cutting about 325 jobs as part of a major reorganization by its new president, David Marcus, designed to regain an innovative edge and head off rising competition.

PayPal, the online payment pioneer owned by eBay Inc (San Jose, USA), said on Monday the full-time jobs would be eliminated as it combines nine product-development groups into one. The company is also cutting about 120 contractors.

EBay will take a $15 million pretax restructuring charge in the fourth quarter related to the job reductions.

Cellular M2M module shipments to hit 104 million in 2013

Shipments of cellular M2M modules are forecast to rise from 76 million in 2012 to 104 million next year, according to new research from Strategy Analytics.

The market-research company says the usage of M2M in areas like smart metering and passenger vehicle crash protection is being driven by new legislation, including the European Energy Efficiency Directive and eCall.

Ultimately, it reckons regulatory changes will boost the number of modules in operation from millions to billions by 2020.

Water demand likely to exceed supply by 2030: Oracle

Nearly 40% of executives from water utilities think it is “highly likely” that demand will exceed supply by 2030, underscoring the need for better management through innovations like network sensors and smart meters, according to a new study from software giant Oracle and the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Some 45% of the 244 executives surveyed for the report reckoned that wasteful consumer behavior is the main barrier to meeting future demand, with about a third of respondents rating worries over climate change and low tariffs as other significant barriers.

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