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.

M2M revenues to rise from $200 million to $1.2 trillion in ten years

Global M2M revenues will soar from $200 million in 2011 to $1.2 trillion in 2022, according to new research from Machina Research.

The revenue explosion will occur as the number of M2M connections rises from 2 billion at the end of 2011 to around 18 billion by the end of 2022.

Although short-range technologies – and mainly WiFi – will account for 73% of total connections, the number of cellular connections will grow from 146 million at the end of 2011 to 2.6 billion in 2022.

Sprint partners with Airbiquity on connected vehicles

Sprint has announced plans to use a service delivery platform developed by Airbiquity for its connected vehicle services.

The telecoms operator says the Airbiquity (Seattle, USA) Choreo platform will be integrated with the Sprint (Overland Park, USA) Velocity service it sells to vehicle makers.

"Internet of things" to give $10-15 trillion boost to global economy: GE

Productivity gains resulting from the “internet of things” could add between $10 trillion and $15 trillion to global GDP over the next 20 years, according to a new study from General Electric (GE).

The manufacturing giant reckons the “industrial internet”, as it terms the phenomenon, could find direct application in sectors accounting for more than $32.3 trillion in global economic activity, but expects this figure to reach about $82 trillion – one half of global economic output – by 2025.

Cellular M2M connections to triple by 2016: report

Regulatory initiatives and the ambition of mobile operators will lead to a tripling in the number of cellular M2M connections worldwide between 2011 and 2016, according to a new report from IMS Research.

The market-research company expects the number of connections to hit 326 million by 2016, from about 107 million last year, as mobile operators respond to the slowdown in their traditional markets by focusing on new growth opportunities.

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