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.

Arkessa becomes Three UK's first M2M platform customer

M2M specialist Arkessa claims to be the first company to launch services based on the new wholesale M2M platform being offered by UK mobile-phone operator Three.

The company says it will take advantage of Three’s “ultrafast” network to offer embedded data SIM cards for devices that require high-speed connections for video and other advanced services, including CCTV cameras and remote health-monitoring systems.

Avnet Memec becomes pan-European distributor for Wyless

Semiconductor distributor Avnet Memec is claiming “mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE)” status after signing a deal to become a pan-European distributor for M2M managed-services provider Wyless.

Avnet Memec (Poing, Germany) says that its M2M customers will now benefit from having access to the Wyless (Lawrence, USA) managed network and Wyless’ Porthos-branded management platform, reducing costs and time to market.

Deutsche Telekom finally launches joyn

Deutsche Telekom has finally launched a joyn service in Germany just weeks after blaming technical difficulties for delays to its introduction of the technology.

The German incumbent becomes the latest operator to add joyn, the brand name for the Rich Communication Suite-enhanced (RCS-e) standard backed by the GSM Association (GSMA), to its portfolio of services.

Widely seen as an attempt by operators to fight over-the-top players on their own terms, joyn has been heavily criticised as too little and too late.

Russia set to remove CEO from Rostelecom board: agency

Reuters

Alexander Provotorov, the CEO of Russian telecom firm Rostelecom, looks set to lose his place on the company's board after the government backed a list of candidates that did not include him, according to Russia's Prime news agency.

The government, which has a 53 percent stake in Rostelecom (Moscow, Russia) via state holding company Svyazinvest (Moscow, Russia), has been critical of management's plans to expand in the competitive mobile market, as well as a weak share price, prompting media speculation that Provotorov could be replaced.

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