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.

Telefonica units pressured by falling mobile calls

Reuters

Telefonica's German and Czech divisions said wireless service revenue fell as customers made fewer calls but spent more time online on smartphones and tablets.

Average mobile phone bills in Europe have fallen 15 percent since 2007, and now account for just 62.6 percent of cash flow for European companies, down from 80 percent then, according to research firm Informa.

At the same time, data volume - usually sold for a flat fee - is expected to double each year until 2015, industry group GSMA has said.

Qtel banks on Morocco ties in Maroc Telecom bid: CEO

Reuters

Qatar Telecom, seeking to complete its North Africa footprint and grow via mobile broadband, said the Gulf country's good rapport with Morocco could give it an edge over other firms bidding for partly state-owned Maroc Telecom.

Qtel (Doha, Qatar) Chief Executive Nasser Marafih told Reuters in an interview the kingdom of Morocco, which owns 30 percent of Maroc Telecom (Rabat, Morocco), would play a role in picking the winner.

Korean operators warn Europe of "curse" of 4G networks

Reuters

South Korean telecom executives have a message for European cousins who have long looked on in envy at the highly connected Asian market: Be careful what you wish for.

South Korea, the world's most wired country with 30 percent of its 50 million mobile users on superfast networks, has inspired many European operators ahead of their own rollout of networks based on LTE, or fourth-generation technology.

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.

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