M1 turns to Ericsson for mobile backhaul upgrade

Mobile operator M1 (Singapore) has signed up network manufacturer Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) to upgrade its mobile backhaul network.

The operator says the work is necessary because of the increasing demand for bandwidth, caused largely by the rise of internet browsing and video streaming on mobile devices, as well as the launch of LTE services.

Huawei launches M2M business in Europe

Huawei (Shenzhen, China) has announced the start of a major M2M push in Europe as it aims to become the dominant player in the nascent industry.

China’s largest networks vendor has spent the last few months signing distribution agreements for its embedded modules in Europe’s biggest markets.

It now counts m2m Germany, Simple Solutions (UK), Sagitron (Spain and Portugal), Matrix (Spain), BE Telecom (Belgium and Israel), Netcom (Poland) and Techship (Sweden) among its partners, and says further deals are in the pipeline this year.

EU to clear mobile operators' e-wallet plan: source

Reuters

European Union regulators will approve plans by British mobile operators Vodafone (Newbury, UK), O2 (London, UK) and Everything Everywhere (London, UK) to set up a joint venture to allow users to make payments and purchases with their phones, a person following the deal said on Tuesday.

Vodafone, Telefonica's 02 and Everything Everywhere, owned by France Telecom (Paris, France) and Deutsche Telekom (Berlin, Germany), aim to compete with similar mobile payment services from Google (Mountain View, USA), Apple (Cupertino, USA) and Facebook (Menlo Park, USA).

Satnav battle heats up as drivers look for new gadgets

Reuters

Garmin Ltd (Olathe, USA) and TomTom NV (Amsterdam, Netherlands) are gearing up for battle as the world's two biggest navigation companies plan to lure customers back with new products offering extra features.

Satnav sales have been in decline since 2008 as rivals like Google (Mountain View, USA) and Nokia (Helsinki, Finland) gave away free navigation on smartphones.

Once the darlings of the stock market, TomTom and Garmin have seen the value of their shares drop by more than 90 percent since the end of 2007, when satnav's were the hottest Christmas gifts.

M2M member groups join forces, form one-stop shop

Europe’s premier vendor organization for machine-to-machine communications (M2M) and the world’s largest M2M event organizer have announced that their joint marketing agreement will expand into full-blown partnership. The M2M Alliance has been working with the M2M Zone in joint promotional activities since 2010, but now their cooperation will include the exchange of content, membership services, and strategic consultation for the first time, in addition to joint exhibition and conference activities.

Walmart tests iPhone "Scan & Go" feature

Reuters

Walmart Stores Inc (Bentonville, USA) is testing a "Scan & Go" system that would allow shoppers to scan items using their iPhones and then quickly pay at a self-checkout counter.

If the test by the world's largest retailer is successful, it has the potential to change the way people shop and pay, making the process more personal and potentially faster.

IBM and Vodafone team up on 'smarter home' initiative

IT giant IBM (New York, USA) and telecoms operator Vodafone (Newbury, UK) have announced plans to combine their expertise in cloud computing and mobile communications as part of a ‘smarter home’ initiative.

The companies hope to spur the development of ‘smart home’ appliances that can be managed remotely.

Square to sell card readers at AT&T stores

Reuters

Mobile payments company Square Inc's credit card readers will be sold at AT&T Inc's stores making them more accessible, as the two-year old start-up takes on established payment processors.

Square (San Francisco, USA), started by Twitter Inc (San Francisco, USA) co-founder Jack Dorsey, signed the No. 2. U.S. carrier on Tuesday, adding to growing list of retailers, including Radioshack Corp (Fort Worth, USA), Best Buy Inc (Richfield, USA) and Apple Inc (Cupertino, USA), that sell its card readers.

Everything Everywhere signs new m-payments deal with MasterCard

The UK’s mobile payments market suffered further fragmentation earlier this week with the news that Everything Everywhere (London, UK) had signed a new five-year deal with MasterCard (Purchase, USA).

Details of the collaboration are few, but the companies say one of their first products will be a prepaid service for mobile devices allowing customers to make payments using Near Field Communications (NFC) technology.

PayPal deepens retail drive in Discover payments deal

Reuters

EBay Inc's PayPal (San Jose, USA) online payments service has gained access to millions of stores across the United States through an agreement with Discover Financial Services (Riverwoods, USA), extending its reach beyond the Web and into the physical world.

Under the deal unveiled on Wednesday, PayPal will issue payment cards to its more than 50 million active users in the United States next year, which they can use to buy from merchants that already use Discover Network, which links more than 7 million U.S. retail locations.

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