GE has won a $200 million contract from ComEd to help modernize Chicago’s electricity grid.
Under the deal, GE (Fairfield, CT, USA) is to deploy some four million smart grids in the Chicago area between now and 2021.
ComEd (Chicago, IL, USA), the largest electricity utility in the state of Illinois, says the meters will allow customers to better manage energy usage and help it to more quickly detect power outages and restore service.
French telecoms incumbent Orange has unveiled a five-point program for addressing the smart-cities opportunity and announced a new partnership with US-based Streetline that will aid its push into the smart-parking market.
The operator claims the smart cities program supports growth ambitions outlined in its Conquests 2015 plan and says it is working alongside local authorities in France to help transform cities through the use of digital technology.
Japan’s SoftBank has said it expects to complete its takeover of Sprint on July 10 just days after US regulatory authorities cleared the deal as well as Sprint’s related acquisition of Clearwire shares it does not already own.
SoftBank (Tokyo, Japan) is set to pay $21.6 billion for a 78% stake in Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA), the third-biggest operator in the US, as it looks to capitalize on soaring demand for mobile broadband services.
US operator Sprint is working with MVNO M2M DataSmart on an initiative to attract more small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to the M2M marketplace.
The two companies, which struck a wholesale agreement in September last year, say they are promoting more “open access” of data and network services so that entrepreneurial start-ups – as well as traditional OEM companies – can more easily commercialize their M2M concepts.
With a debate raging over the most appropriate cellular technology for M2M services, Aeris Communications has added GSM connectivity services to its offer and revealed that carmaker FIAT has become its first GSM customer.
The company, which describes itself as the only cellular operator catering exclusively to the M2M market, has long provided connectivity services over the rival CDMA standard but evidently felt a need to fortify its position, with various technologies facing an uncertain future.
M2M managed services provider Wyless has become the latest M2M player to court application developers with its launch of a development kit in partnership with ClearConnex, an M2M device engineering company, and components distributor Symmetry.
The companies claim their Telit-based M2M Quickstart Developer Kit will accelerate the development, testing and deployment of M2M applications by providing “everything an M2M device developer requires to accelerate their time to market”.
Hardware maker CradlePoint has released a new router designed specifically to support M2M services running over LTE networks.
The CradlePoint (Boise, ID, USA) COR IBR600 4G is advertised as being flexible and robust and, therefore, suited to critical enterprise applications requiring always-on, around-the-clock connectivity.
CradlePoint says it is designed to support high-bandwidth applications used across a number of industries, including the energy, retail, finance, security and transport sectors.
T-Mobile US has paid $308 million to US Cellular for a swathe of spectrum that will allow it to provide 4G services in the Mississippi Valley region.
The deal with US Cellular (Chicago, IL, USA) gives T-Mobile (Bellevue, WA, USA) – the fourth-biggest operator in the US – some 10MHz of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum covering about 32 million people across 29 markets, including St Louis, Nashville, Kansas City, Memphis, Lexington, Little Rock-North Little Rock, Birmingham, New Orleans and Louisville.
Shareholders in US operator Sprint have “overwhelmingly” approved SoftBank’s $21.6 billion deal to acquire a 78% stake in the company.
The yes vote smooths the way for a takeover of the third-biggest operator in the US by its counterpart in Japan.
SoftBank (Tokyo, Japan) had faced competition over a Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA) takeover from Dish Network (Meridian, CO, USA), but the satellite TV company last week announced that it was abandoning attempts to acquire Sprint, making a decision easier for Sprint shareholders.
US operator Verizon Communications has made a $700 million bid for Canada’s Wind Mobile and begun acquisition talks with Mobility, another Canadian operator, according to a report from the country’s Globe and Mail newspaper.
Citing sources familiar with the situation, the Globe and Mail says Verizon (New York City, NY, USA) is also considering whether to participate in a forthcoming auction of spectrum in Canada.