ABI: Handset telematics will spike by 2016

Issues such as safety and interoperability still remain

The number of global users of telematics smartphone applications will explode from 3.2 million in 2011 to 129 million in 2016, with North America as the dominant region, according to the latest ABI Research (New York) forecasts.

MasterCard hires former Orange VP of Mobile Payments

NFC veteran implies MasterCard will ramp up its efforts

Mastercard (Harrison, NY, USA) has poached Mung-Ki Woo, the former head of mobile and contactless payments at Orange (Arcueil, France), one of Europe’s largest operators. Woo will head up MasterCard’s mobile payment and m-commerce business, a recently formed unit.

The move strongly suggests MasterCards plans to increase its mobile payments efforts, a currently wide open market with many potential competitors looming. Not the least of which being Visa, who hired Bill Gajda, former chief commercial officer of the GSM Association, for a similar position.

Integrated Telecom and Korea Middle East Engineering sign $1.1 billion expansion

Part of regional $400 billion plan

Saudi Arabia's Integrated Telecom Co. (Dammam, Saudi Arabia) has signed a 4 billion riyals ($1.1 billion) deal with Korea Middle East Engineering Co (Komee) to expand the country's optical cable network, ITC said on Wednesday.

Gemalto hands over point of sale business to partner VeriFone

VeriFone designates Gemalto its preferred M2M provider

Gemalto (Amsterdam, Netherlands) has announced the handover of its point of sale (POS) solutions business to VeriFone (San Jose, California, USA) as part of their strategic partnership. First announced in October, the partnership also entails cooperative efforts in Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) chip card solutions, and Gemalto's appointment as the preferred supplier of M2M wireless modules and related solutions for VeriFone payment systems.

IBM predicts rising 'mobile threats'

Electric grids, water systems, embedded devices may be vulnerable

Kristin Lovejoy, VP of Strategy for IBM Security Solutions, predicts 2011 will see the first cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure such as electric grids or water systems.

In an interview with SearchSecurity.com, Lovejoy says "when it comes to the embedded devices, there's two things we're worried about. We're worried about people using those devices to cause some sort of harm or to cause societal conflict. Alternatively, we're seeing the use of those devices to enable support for some form of financial gain."

The Potential of User Analytics

Navigating the path between customer experience, customer information, and profitability

As competition and the economic crunch pit themselves against communications service providers (CSPs), it’s getting harder and harder for them to maintain profitability, so the search is on for ways of exploiting underused assets. Take customers for example – CSPs have them by the billions, yet they often know almost nothing about them other than an address or a phone number in the eyes of many providers.

Siemens to assist with smart grid development in northern Russia

Announces cooperation agreement with Tyumenenergo

Last week Siemens (Berlin, Germany) announced a strategic cooperation contract with Tyumenenergo, an energy company that operates in northern Russia. The agreement is designed to promote innovation in the operator's grid infrastructure facilities, starting with a pilot project for adaptation of smart grid technology to the Russian grid.

ITU redefines '4G'

International body loosens definition to include LTE, WiMax, and HSPA+

Commercially deployed LTE, WiMax, HSPA+, and even "evolved" forms of 3G now may all be accurately referred to as "4G." The International Telecommunication Union (Geneva, Switzerland) has altered the definition of the "4G" standard to one that aligns with the marketing activities of companies like Sprint, Clearwire, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless; though public controversy will no doubt continue.

AT&T will purchase Qualcomm spectrum licenses for nearly $2 billion

Qualcomm's 'FLO TV' service to be shut down in March

AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) and Qualcomm Incorporated (San Diego, CA, USA) announced today that AT&T has agreed to purchase spectrum licenses in the lower 700 MHz frequency band from Qualcomm for $1.925 billion. The bold move will boost AT&T’s anticipated 4G mobile broadband rollout in the U.S. over the coming years.

Policy and Charging

The network's 'Dynamic Duo'

The surging popularity of smartphones over the past few years has caused some serious issues for the broadband networks which consumers depend on every day. Network issues revolve around a growing capacity crunch, mainly due to the availability of streaming media and rich content being accessed by next-generation devices. A report released by ABI Research in September 2010 estimates there will be more than 1.5 billion active mobile broadband consumers by 2015. In other words, network performance will continue to decline unless solutions are put in place to mitigate the congestion.

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