CeBIT: Satellite asset tracking goes dual mode and solar powered

CeBIT revealed fine points in satellite communications for asset-tracking development as two service providers introduced new dual-mode equipment. Dual-mode communication modules offer GSM connectivity to pure satellite communications, which is expensive and can have latency issues, and are quickly becoming standard in the logistics sector, especially when perishable cargo is involved.

Czech regulator suspends 4G auction

The Czech telecoms regulator has taken the unusual step of suspending a 4G spectrum auction because bid prices had risen too high.

In a statement on its website, the CTU said that bid prices had reached about CZK20 billion ($1 billion), nearly three times the minimum amount of CZK7.4 billion established at the outset of the auction.

The regulator’s fear seems to be that operators will pass those costs on to 4G consumers, inhibiting the take-up of high-speed mobile internet services in the Czech market.

Regulators end probe of big five EU telecoms firms over standards

Reuters

EU antitrust regulators said on Thursday they were closing a preliminary investigation into Europe's biggest telecoms firms over development of new technology standards for mobile services.

The European Commission, which acts as competition watchdog for the 27-country European Union, said it was satisfied that the operators had handed standardization work over to the GSMA mobile industry grouping and other sector-wide associations.

MWC wrap-up: Vendors roll out backhaul solutions for small-cell complexity, more

Driven by increased consumer expectations for mobile broadband, solving operator problems by adding small cells to more traditional network topographies in outdoor environments was a recurring theme at this year’s Mobile World Congress. A roundup of some of the backhaul news from the shows follows.

CeBIT: European operators urge M2M standardization, collaboration

European operators have called for greater progress on the development of “horizontal” M2M standards independent of the vertical industries they are addressing.

Speaking at this week’s M2M Zone Conference at the CeBIT tradeshow in Hannover, Jurgen Hase, the head of M2M for Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany), warned operators that if they built up “silos”, as they have done in the past, they would fail.

“We need standards for different layers – not just connectivity,” he told attendees. “Otherwise this will not be scalable enough.”

Verizon, Vodafone mull Verizon Wireless options: report

Reuters

Verizon Communications Inc has weighed several options involving its relationship with Vodafone Group Plc and its joint ownership of Verizon Wireless ranging from ending its wireless venture with the European company to a full merger with Vodafone, Bloomberg reported.

The U.S. and UK mobile-phone operators discussed a full combination as recently as December, according to Bloomberg, which cited people familiar with the situation.

CeBIT: Huawei wins HANA certification from SAP

Huawei’s strategic partnership with SAP has received a boost from the launch of a new rack server that comes with HANA certification.

SAP (Walldorf, Germany) describes HANA as an in-memory computing platform that lets enterprise customers “dramatically accelerate analytics, business processes and predictive analysis”.

Speaking at a press conference during this week’s CeBIT show in Hannover, where the product was unveiled, SAP senior vice president Alex Atzberger said that Huawei (Shenzhen, China) was “the first Chinese hardware partner to be HANA-certified”.

Telecom Italia Media sells La7 channel for 1 million euros

Reuters

Telecom Italia Media said on Monday it would pump money into its cash-burning La7 channel before offloading it to media firm Cairo Communication for a token price.

The Italian broadcaster, controlled by telecoms group Telecom Italia (Rome, Italy), has agreed to sell its flagship network for 1 million euros in a deal that underscores the difficulties of Italy's media industry.

"I have taken on a hot potato," the head of Cairo Communication (Milan, Italy), Urbano Cairo, said in a radio interview after a Telecom Italia Media board meeting on Monday to approve the deal.

CeBIT: Germany must reform to lead "fourth industrial revolution", says Steinbruck

Germany has the potential to be at the forefront of the digital revolution currently under way, but only if it is prepared to make dramatic improvements in its business environment and increase spending on education.

That was the message delivered by Peer Steinbruck, the SPD party’s designated candidate for the role of Germany’s Chancellor in the 2013 general elections, during this morning’s keynote speech at the CeBIT tradeshow in Hannover.

Deutsche Telekom to connect BMW cars for rental company Sixt

Germany’s Deutsche Telekom and automaker BMW are to provide a connected-car service based on LTE and WiFi technology to Sixt, the country’s biggest car-rental company.

From summer this year, say the companies, a large proportion of BMW (Munich, Germany) cars belonging to Sixt’s (Pullach, Germany) fleet in Germany will be equipped with so-called “BMW ConnectedDrive hotspots”.

Services will be free to use for the first 12 months and Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) already has plans to make the offer available to further customer groups in the future.

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