Mexico telecoms regulator reins in Slim and his empire

Mexico's telecommunications watchdog unveiled a slew of regulations on Friday to claw back the massive telephone business of billionaire Carlos Slim, but said it would not order a break-up of his companies for now.

Mexico is trying to open up its phone and TV industries to more competition following last year's passage of a major telecoms reform that targets the vast market shares enjoyed by Slim and the country's no. 1 broadcaster, Televisa (Mexico City, Mexico).

AT&T cuts wireless data charges for individual customers

Reuters

AT&T Inc said on Saturday it is cutting wireless data charges for individual customers who have no annual service contract, as the No. 2 U.S. mobile operator attempts to better compete with rival T-Mobile US Inc.

Customers having one smartphone with no annual service contract will now pay $65 per month instead of $80 for a plan that includes 2GB LTE wireless data, unlimited talk and text messaging, unlimited international messaging and 50 GB cloud storage.

Customers with two smartphones will now pay $90.

Mobile messenger WhatsApp to add voice calls

Reuters

WhatsApp, the world's biggest mobile messaging service, is to add a voice call service for its 450 million customers, laying down a new challenge to telecom network operators just days after it was bought by Facebook for $19 billion.

Chief Executive Jan Koum said his aim was for WhatsApp users to be able to make calls by the second quarter, just as they can now text messages, in a bid to expand the service's appeal to help it hit a billion users.

Mobile privacy sells in post-Snowden world

Reuters

Following the Snowden snooping revelations, there is growing interest in a range of mobile phone products with one central selling point: privacy.

The latest contender is the Blackphone, an Android software-based mobile which encrypts texts, voice calls and video chats and will be launched at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday.

It aims to tap into the market for so-called mobile security management (MSM) products, which was estimated at $560 million in 2013 and is expected to nearly double in size to $1 billion a year by 2015, according to ABI Research.

EU lawmakers want to scrap roaming fees by 2015 - EU paper

Reuters

EU lawmakers want to scrap mobile phone roaming charges by 2015 and to prevent telecoms network operators from charging companies such as Google and Amazon to provide faster Web services, EU documents show.

The proposals from the European Parliament's industry committee go far beyond European Telecoms Commissioner Neelie Kroes's plans to overhaul the EU telecoms industry, which include ending roaming fees by 2016.

The plans come as Europe's telecoms providers struggle to lift their revenues, down for the fifth consecutive year.

Telecom firms mine for gold in big data despite privacy concerns

Reuters

Last year's revelations over the U.S. tapping of phone and internet data gave telecoms firms pause for thought over whether they should sell their "big data" for gain, but the commercial potential could prove irresistible.

Although figures are scarce, analysts think selling data on mobile users' locations, movements, and web browsing habits may grow into a multi billion-dollar market for the business.

TIA Network of the Future Conference 2014

Date
Start Date: 
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
End Date: 
Thursday, June 5, 2014

Texas:

The TIA Network of the Future Conference, being held June 3-5 in Dallas, TX, is a must-attend three day conference for anyone whose business is dependent on the network. The Conference, which highlights the intersection of markets, technology, and policy perspectives, will focus on transformation of the ICT industry as globalization, technological innovations and regulatory environments present both challenges and opportunities.

Tele2 Netherlands to provide remote-monitoring service to Feenstra

Dutch telecoms operator Tele2 Netherlands says it has signed an agreement with energy services provider Feenstra that includes the provision of remote-monitoring services for security and alarm systems.

Among other things, Feenstra (Lelystad, Netherlands) installs gas-powered boilers in customer homes and the Tele2 service will ensure these systems can be read remotely by Feenstra employees.

Telefonica extends M2M partner program to Europe

Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica is extending its M2M partnership program into Europe as it looks to stamp its authority on the burgeoning Internet of Things market.

The program has already been launched in the US and Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) said it would be introduced to other markets following the European rollout.

Telefonica aims to attract new M2M partners from among device manufacturers, systems integrators and distributors, believing it can extend the reach of its offering through a partnership approach.

Aeris launches M2M service platform for mobile operators

Aeris Communications maintained its M2M momentum with the launch of a new global service platform (GSP) aimed at helping mobile network operators to address the M2M opportunity.

The company is offering its GSP as a standalone service or part of a package and says it will allow operators to deploy M2M services without incurring the expense of developing purpose-built systems.

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