Etisalat joins Jasper Wireless-powered M2M alliance

Etisalat has joined the Jasper Wireless-powered M2M alliance that includes a number of leading international operators.

The operator’s membership was announced during this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and means the alliance now comprises eight players, including an operator from the Middle East for the first time.

Etisalat (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) was already a customer of Jasper Wireless (Mountain View, USA), whose Control Center platform is a core component of the M2M alliance.

Ericsson to provide cloud-based M2M services with SAP

Swedish operator Ericsson has signed an agreement with German software company SAP for the joint marketing and sale of cloud-based M2M services to enterprises around the world.

The partnership will combine Ericsson’s M2M platform expertise with enterprise services from SAP (Walldorf, Germany) and is designed to overcome some of the barriers to the adoption of M2M technology.

Deutsche Telekom and IBM unveil smarter-cities initiative

German telecoms incumbent Deutsche Telekom and IT giant IBM are to combine their M2M expertise with the aim of creating more sophisticated smart-city services.

The two companies say they want to help cities make “smarter use of heir services through intelligent data capture and analysis”.

Their technology could be used to support a number of city services, they say, including intelligent traffic management, route optimization, bus or train arrival prediction and parking space management.

Telenor Connexion and CargoGuard partner on M2M

Telenor Connexion, the M2M arm of Norwegian telecoms incumbent Telenor, has said German tracking specialist CargoGuard will become a supplier for its “end-to-end security solution for international supply chains”.

Under the arrangement, Telenor Connexion (Stockholm, Sweden) will also become CargoGuard’s worldwide connectivity partner.

The companies say they have worked closely together on developing a secure, reliable and flexible M2M service that can be expanded as CargoGuard (Munich, Germany) moves into new markets and regions.

Music service Spotify hooks up with Ford in first vehicle foray

Reuters

Streaming music service Spotify has partnered with Ford Motor Co to allow its subscribers to listen to music in more than one million Ford vehicles in North America.

Owners of Ford (Dearborn, USA) models with SYNC AppLink can access Spotify's catalog of more than 20 million songs through voice activation using its smartphone app.

The deal, announced by both companies on Monday, is Spotify's first collaboration with an automaker.

PayPal takes mobile payment service to Europe

Reuters

PayPal launched a European version of its PayPal Here mobile payments service for small merchants on Thursday as the online payments division of eBay Inc steps up competition with rivals, including Square Inc.

PayPal (San Jose, USA) unveiled a new device, about the size of a smartphone, that allows small merchants to accept credit and debit cards under a more-stringent and complex system in Europe known as Chip and PIN.

The gadget connects to a new PayPal app that merchants can run on Apple Inc (Cupertino, USA) iPhones and Android-based smartphones.

Wirecard, Vodafone form mobile payment partnership

Reuters

German payment systems provider Wirecard said on Monday it had been chosen by Vodafone to introduce the British mobile operator's mobile payment system.

The Vodafone (Newbury, UK) payment service will be rolled out internationally from this year, Wirecard (Aschheim, Germany) said in a statement.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz)

Vodafone says can invest in Europe without Verizon sale

Reuters

British mobile operator Vodafone said it did not need to sell part of its stake in its highly profitable Verizon Wireless joint venture in the United States to bolster its business in Europe.

Chief executive Vittorio Colao told reporters on Monday Vodafone (Newbury, UK) had a healthy balance sheet and could invest when it needed to, adding it could step up its range of services without having to make acquisitions.

Ericsson wins major LTE deal with Telefonica UK

Network equipment maker Ericsson has struck an important deal with Telefonica O2 for the rollout of the operator’s 4G network in the large UK market.

Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) is to provide the whole of Telefonica O2’s (Slough, UK) core network, using Evolved Packet Core (EPC) technology, and 50% of the nationwide network using technology that supports 2G, 3G and 4G standards.

Divide between European and US telcos widens

Reuters

When the bosses of global mobile operators meet in Barcelona this week, there will be an elephant in the room: the widening gap between fast-growing and richly-valued U.S. telecoms companies and their ailing European counterparts.

A overcrowded market, tough regulations and recession are hampering European telcos' ability to invest in faster networks, increasing the risk that the region's flagging economy falls further behind the United States and parts of Asia.

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