South Korea's LG to join Pecan Street smart-grid research

South Korean technology vendor LG Electronics is to participate in a smart-grid demonstration as part of the Pecan Street project taking place in Austin, Texas.

The company announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pecan Street to contribute expertise in the areas of smart homes, energy management and consumer electronics until 2015, as part of Pecan Street’s Industry Advisory Council.

Its main focus is to be on the development of effective home energy management systems.

Zigbee Alliance launches Green Power feature

The Zigbee Alliance has launched a new feature designed to improve the energy efficiency of devices connected using Zigbee technology.

The so-called ‘Green Power’ feature allows switches and dimmers, among other devices, to be run via energy harvesting sources rather than battery or AC mains power, creating what the Zigbee Alliance (San Ramon, USA) calls a “no-maintenance, environmentally friendly solution”.

Atmel boosts M2M presence with Ozmo takeover

Touch-technology specialist Atmel Corporation has announced a takeover of WiFi developer Ozmo in a move aimed partly at boosting its presence in the M2M sector.

The specific terms of the acquisition were not revealed, but Atmel (San Jose, USA) expects to finalize the transaction by the end of the year and says it will be accretive to its earnings in 2014.

Telit signs smart-meter deal with Digicom

Telit has announced it will supply modules to Digicom, a network-technology specialist, in a deal designed to strengthen the M2M player’s presence in the burgeoning smart-metering industry.

The modules are to be integrated with Digicom’s (Cardano al Campo, Italy) TLOG system – a meter-reading device for the gas, LPG and water industries.

TLOG measures consumption pulses from meters and sends the data via SMS or GSM/GPRS, TCP/IP technology.

Telit claims almost 100 m2mAIR customers, dismisses MNO competition

Telit’s launch of m2mAIR in July was seen as an ambitious and potentially risky move into value-added services by a company whose previous business had been largely restricted to the sale of M2M modules. But Telit says the number of m2mAIR customers is already approaching 100 and growing fast, with about 300 companies piloting the service.

Speaking to M2M Zone, Dan Amir, the head of m2mAIR, was upbeat about the performance of the division over its first few months in the market.

Smart-grid optimism falls in December: Zpryme survey

Smart-grid sentiment decreased slightly in December, according to the latest monthly survey of smart-grid executives by Zpryme Research & Consulting, with just 66% of executives holding a positive view about the industry compared with 71% in November.

The decrease was largely down to growing gloom among vendors who participated in the survey, with 70% saying they had a positive view compared with 78% in November.

Utilities, meanwhile, were more optimistic than a month earlier – 67% of those questioned held a positive view compared with 60% in November.

Itron consortium wins $150 million smart-meter deal in South Africa

A consortium involving the Edison Power Group, South Africa’s largest electrical contracting company, and smart-meter specialist Itron has won a $150 million contract to roll out smart-metering technology in Johannesburg.

In what Itron (Liberty Lake, USA) describes as Africa’s first large-scale smart-metering project, the companies will provide support to City Power (Johannesburg, South Africa), a utility company in Johannesburg, by improving service delivery and efficiency through network automation.

Utilities to spend $20.6 billion on smart-grid analytics to 2020

Utility companies deploying smart-grid analytics can expect to realize a return of $121.8 billion on investments of $20.6 billion made between 2012 and 2020, according to new research from Greentech Media.

According to the market-research company, with the introduction of ‘big data’ and analytics, smart-grid technology has the potential to completely re-invent the utility business – instead of just adding “a myriad of new applications”.

Ericsson to provide in-car technology to Volvo

Telecoms equipment maker Ericsson is to provide its connected-car technology for use in new vehicles being made by Volvo.

The vendor’s “Connected Vehicle Cloud” will allow drivers and passengers to access cloud applications for information, navigation and entertainment using a screen in the car.

Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) says that Volvo (Torslanda, Sweden) will be able to open up parts of the platform to other players in the automotive industry, including internet radio providers, road authorities, cities’ governments and toll-road operators.

Belgacom picks KORE Systems for M2M services platform

Belgian telecoms incumbent Belgacom has chosen an M2M software platform from KORE Systems as the basis for its M2M services.

The KORE Systems (Toronto, Canada) platform is to be integrated with Belgacom’s mobile network and business systems and customized to meet the operator’s specific needs.

Belgacom (Brussels, Belgium) says the platform will improve its M2M service offering, giving customers greater management over devices, from network usage and billing to repairs.

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