On Wednesday, Telefonica's O2 (Slough, England) announced plans to introduce free calls to mobiles and landlines over the internet. This decision highlights a key challenge for mobile operators - overcoming the commoditization of voice calls - a process which is being facilitated by falling mobile termination rates. Offering their own applications will be one way for operators to differentiate their products and retain a share of this growing market.
Last week, the GSMA, an association that supports the deployment of the GSM mobile telephone system, announced the results of a study of more than 4,000 mobile phone users in Singapore, Spain and the UK, which sheds light on privacy issues, particularly relating to the use of the mobile Internet and mobile applications.
Telecom operators hit out at a new European Union proposal that aims to spur investment in faster fiber optics networks by reducing profits generated on copper-based networks, saying it was wrongheaded and would actually stunt progress.
Executives from nearly a dozen companies, including France Telecom (Paris, France), Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) and Telecom Italia (Rome, Italy), came out against the proposal only minutes after EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes laid it out in a speech at an industry conference in Brussels on Monday.
New Delhi, India:
“Profiting in mobile VAS through ground-breaking strategies, compelling content and innovative business models”
Google (Mountain View, Calif., U.S.A.) has thrown its weight behind Tech City, East London's fast-growing hub for Internet companies, by signing a lease for a seven-floor building that will serve as a launch-pad for new start-ups and developers.
The center, due to open in 2012, will house advisers from Google and other organizations that support technology entrepreneurs, the company said on Wednesday.
It will be located close to Old Street roundabout; dubbed "Silicon Roundabout" in an area of London that has already attracted hundreds of new Internet start-ups.
This month, the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union that is responsible for proposing legislation and implements decisions, took its first measures to ensure that by 2015 cars can dial emergency services for passengers when a serious accident occurs by using machine-to-machine (M2M) technology.
According to a recent report from Pike Research (Boulder, Colo., U.S.A.), a cleantech market intelligence firm, cumulative investment in smart grid technologies within Europe will total $80.3 billion by 2020. In addition, the firm anticipates that by 2020, 238.4 million smart meters will have been deployed across the region.
France sold off a first batch of fourth-generation mobile frequencies for 1.28 billion, granting licenses to all four major telecom operators in an auction that will structure the market for years to come.
Telecoms regulator ARCEP said France Telecom (Paris, France) and soon-to-be new mobile player Iliad (Paris, France) put in the highest bids to win the two larger blocks of 20 megahertz.
Vivendi's SFR (Paris, France) and Bouygues Telecom (Paris, France) were given smaller blocks of 15 MHz, ARCEP said in a statement on Thursday.
Chris King, Chief Regulatory Officer at eMeter (San Mateo, Calif., U.S.A.), a global smart grid software platform provider, is urging policymakers to adopt a universal smart grid vision for consumers in response to slow deployment of consumer-oriented smart meter functionality.
Telecommunications provider Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) and Masternaut (Paris, France), a provider of vehicle tracking management, have reached an agreement to jointly market telematics-enabled fleet management services. Both Telefonica and Masternaut will share product roadmaps to create products, according to Telefonica.