Smart-grid cyber-security sales to exceed $600 million in 2020

Sales of cyber security products for smart grid industrial control systems (ICS) are set to exceed $600 million in 2020, up from $369 million this year, as “the cost of complacency becomes more apparent”.

Such is the headline finding of a new study by Pike Research, which predicts an increase in cyber-security deployments over the next two years as utilities grow better informed about cyber risks to grids and substations.

Alcatel Lucent aims to smarten up the grid

Alcatel Lucent is claiming that utility companies can smarten up their grids by using its network technology in infrastructure that lies closer to residential and business premises.

The vendor notes that many utility companies have been upgrading their systems to include IP/MPLS technology, which promises superior speeds, bandwidth, reliability and service capabilities than older systems.

Until now, though, IP/MPLS has been confined to the transmission and sub-transmission layers of the power grid, which handle the distribution of energy from power stations to substations.

Telekom Austria seeks to "Unlock M2M" in CEE

Telekom Austria is reaching out to enterprise customers in central and Eastern Europe (CEE) with a new initiative aimed at spurring the adoption of M2M services.

Called ‘Unlock M2M’, the program is intended to facilitate the take-up of M2M technology by making it more accessible and affordable.

UK dials up "virtual doctors" in big telehealth push


Shirley Silvers thinks the "virtual doctor" who monitors her chronic lung condition via mobile phone is wonderful.

"It is like having my doctor sitting on my sofa," said the 64-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent in central England, explaining how her temperature, oxygen levels and sputum color - a barometer for infection - are now checked daily from home.

She sends her readings by text message and gets a reply within minutes, removing the need for regular trips to the doctor.

British health minister Jeremy Hunt is equally enthusiastic.

Deutsche Telekom and Itron team up on European smart grids

German telecoms incumbent Deutsche Telekom has teamed up with Itron, a US-based energy specialist, to provide smart-grid services in Europe as both companies continue their push into the fast-growing sector.

By incorporating Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) SIM cards in its GPRS-compatible meters, and using the German operator’s networks, Itron (Liberty Lake, USA) says it will be able to provide a complete service offering to utility companies in additional markets.

The two companies have already agreed on the deployment of an initial quantity of SIM cards.

Automotive touch-screen sales to rise six-fold by 2019

Sales of automotive touch screens are forecast to rise from 5.8 million units in 2011 to 35.7 million units in 2019, according to a new report from IMS Research.

Most of the growth is likely to occur in the Asia Pacific, where IMS Research predicts that 17.9 million automotive touch screens will be sold in 2019.

Take-up is being fuelled by the introduction of more advanced systems, like MyFord Touch, that have similar functionality to smartphones and add significantly to driver satisfaction, says the market-research company.

UK utilities to overhaul customer service for smart-tech rollout

More than two thirds of UK energy companies will overhaul their customer-services divisions next year in preparation for a mass-market adoption of smart technology, according to a survey by Aspect.

The market-research company also said that some 52% of utilities will make additional investments in speech analytics, while half will increase spending on auxiliary paid-for services specifically relating to energy efficiency and renewable sources, such as audits, consultancy and solar panel installation.

B3IT and Tele2 launch intelligent-parking service

B3IT has partnered with Swedish mobile operator Tele2 on the launch of an intelligent-parking service designed to help drivers find, reserve and pay for parking spaces in advance.

The Swedish IT consulting company says teaming up with Tele2 (Stockholm, Sweden) to provide its dynamiIQ parking technology will minimize the problems related to parking in busy urban areas.

Ideal Life and Orange expand m-health in Europe, LatAm

Canadian m-health specialist Ideal Life is collaborating with Orange Business Services on the rollout of its remote monitoring services in Europe and Latin America.

By providing remote care to homes, the services are intended to prevent non-critical readmissions of patients to hospitals.

Ideal Life (Toronto, Canada) is to begin offering new medical hubs, equipped with Orange (Paris, France) SIM cards, that are stored in the home and collect data from a variety of health-related devices, including blood pressure monitors and glucose, oxygen saturation and heart rate meters.

Sprint unveils in-car communications system for automakers


Sprint Nextel Corp unveiled on Thursday an in-vehicle communications and entertainment system it hopes automakers will adopt as they seek to attract younger, more connected consumers.

Sprint Velocity allows drivers to connect mobile phones to their vehicles through Bluetooth, providing access to a range of applications, including voice-activated texting and email, navigation, news and sports updates and music.

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