Mobile messenger WhatsApp to add voice calls

Reuters

WhatsApp, the world's biggest mobile messaging service, is to add a voice call service for its 450 million customers, laying down a new challenge to telecom network operators just days after it was bought by Facebook for $19 billion.

Chief Executive Jan Koum said his aim was for WhatsApp users to be able to make calls by the second quarter, just as they can now text messages, in a bid to expand the service's appeal to help it hit a billion users.

Brazil, Europe plan undersea cable to skirt US spying

Reuters

Brazil and the European Union agreed on Monday to lay an undersea communications cable from Lisbon to Fortaleza to reduce Brazil's reliance on the United States after Washington spied on Brasilia.

At a summit in Brussels, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said the $185 million cable project was central to "guarantee the neutrality" of the Internet, signaling her desire to shield Brazil's Internet traffic from U.S. surveillance.

Alcatel to stay out of telecom price war, inks Intel deal

Reuters

Alcatel-Lucent said it would stay out of a brewing price war in the telecom equipment market and set itself apart with better service and new products, including those from a partnership announced on Sunday with Intel Corp.

Chief Executive Michel Combes said Alcatel-Lucent wanted to gain market share but not at any cost, as it entered the second year of a three-year turnaround aimed at restoring regular profits and cutting 1 billion euros of costs.

China outspending US on smart-grid technology: BNEF

China is now outspending the US on the installation of smart-grid technology, investing as much as $4.3 billion in 2013, according to new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

Much of China’s spending last year went on the rollout of some 62 million smart meters, bringing the total number it has deployed to just less than 250 million.

Lebanon trials smart-metering technology from Itron

Lebanese authorities are trying out smart-metering technology from Itron as part of efforts to improve the country’s energy distribution network.

State electricity utility Electricite du Liban and distribution service provider KVA anticipate deploying more than 1.2 million smart meters across Lebanon – in what would be the largest smart-metering deployment in the Middle East so far – should a pilot prove successful.

OpenADR, WI-SUN Alliances partner to support interoperability

The OpenADR Alliance and the WI-SUN Alliance have announced a partnership designed to speed up the rollout of energy-efficient program offerings.

The two standards bodies say they will work together on enabling interoperability between smart utility networks and utility demand response systems based on the OpenADR specification.

Silicon Labs launches SoC for smart energy, home automation

Semiconductor maker Silicon Labs has launched a new system-on-a-chip (SoC) family to meet the needs of more advanced smart energy and home automation products.

The company’s ARM-based EM358X SoC family provides additional flash and RAM memory options, while also offering USB connectivity and a local-storage bootloader aimed at helping developers to reduce bill of material costs and system complexity.

Silicon Labs (Austin, TX, USA) also said the SoC family was ideal as a mesh networking platform for “feature-rich, next-generation ZigBee applications.

HCC Embedded launches new smart-meter file system

Middleware supplier HCC Embedded has launched a new smart-meter file system (SMFS) designed to reduce power consumption and lower costs.

The company says its technology cuts down on expenses because it allows the on-board capacitor to be as small as possible, and that its file-system features can result in savings of many “cents” for each meter.

That could lead to significant savings in high volume manufacture, says HCC Embedded.

TIA Network of the Future Conference 2014

Date
Start Date: 
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
End Date: 
Thursday, June 5, 2014

Texas:

The TIA Network of the Future Conference, being held June 3-5 in Dallas, TX, is a must-attend three day conference for anyone whose business is dependent on the network. The Conference, which highlights the intersection of markets, technology, and policy perspectives, will focus on transformation of the ICT industry as globalization, technological innovations and regulatory environments present both challenges and opportunities.

AT&T and IBM join forces on M2M

AT&T and IBM have come together with the aim of developing new products and services for the fast-growing M2M market.

The operator and IT services player are to combine their capabilities in the areas of analytics, cloud computing and security to “gain more insights” on the data that is being generated by machines across a variety of industries.

This push into the area of big data is to focus initially on creating new solutions for city governments and midsize utilities, say the companies.

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