ComEd beats job-creation targets for smart-grid rollout

Illinois energy utility Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) says its smart grid program has beaten the targets set for job creation in 2013, supporting a total of 2,871 full-time positions.

The positions included nearly 1,000 full-time jobs at the utility and its contractors as well as more than 1,800 roles it says were created “indirectly”.

Accenture to manage smart-meter rollout for FirstEnergy

Managed services and consulting giant Accenture is to manage the rollout of some two million smart meters being carried out in Pennsylvania by utility group FirstEnergy.

The deployment is taking place across four of FirstEnergy’s (Akron, OH, USA) utility businesses – Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power and West Penn Power – and represents one of the largest rollouts of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) in North America.

Smart-grid IT spending to reach $140 billion between 2014 and 2022: Navigant

Utilities are expected to spend nearly $140 billion between 2014 and 2022 on the deployment of IT systems needed to support new smart-grid infrastructure, according to a new study from Navigant Research.

The market-research company says IT will play a critical role as the traditional grid network evolves into a far more complex system.

Essence closes seven M2M deals in three months

M2M specialist Essence says it has closed seven new deals in Europe, the Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Israel over the past three months for its smart living and smart care offerings.

According to the company, three of those deals came with major players that have already been able to grow spending per device thanks to the use of Essence (Herzliya, Israel) technology.

Telefonica becomes Tesla's major European connectivity partner

Spain’s Telefonica has won a major connected-cars deal to provide services for electric vehicles being sold by Tesla in Europe.

The partnership will see the operator provide connectivity services for the Tesla Model S in the UK, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

To support the service, Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) is also drawing on its partnerships with other operators and M2M platform provider Jasper Wireless (Mountain View, CA, USA) through the M2M World Alliance, an association formed to spur the development of M2M services worldwide.

LBS revenues in Europe, North America to hit $6.9 billion in 2018: Berg

Location-based services (LBS) in Europe and North America will generate revenues of around €5 billion ($6.9 billion) in 2018, up from about €2 billion in 2013, according to new research from Berg Insight, but mobile operators will focus on growth in the enterprise and B2B sectors, having been sidelined by over-the-top (OTT) players in the consumer market.

According to Berg, revenues in Europe will rise from €735 million in 2013 to about €2.3 billion in 2018, while those in North America will grow from $1.8 billion to around $3.8 billion over the same period.

Banco Santander deploys Gemalto smart-card technology

NFC player Gemalto says Spain’s Banco Santander is now issuing its Optelio Contactless microSD solution in Spain, Brazil, Chile and Mexico as part of a University Smart Card program.

The application has already gone live at several universities, says Gemalto (Amsterdam, Netherlands), and means that students, teachers and other personnel can use mobile phones for tasks such as gaining entry to buildings and to make payments in canteens.

Intel completes takeover of Basis Science

US semiconductor giant Intel says it has completed the takeover of wearable device maker Basis Science.

Basis (San Francisco, CA, USA) specializes in developing wearables for health and wellness applications, including its Basis band health tracker, and the acquisition will provide Intel (Santa Clara, CA, USA) with immediate exposure to this fast-growing sector.

AirStrip expands into remote monitoring with Sense4Baby buy

Mobile health player AirStrip has acquired Sense4Baby and said it will immediately seek FDA clearance to expand the company’s remote-monitoring service into the home.

Sense4Baby (La Jolla, CA, USA) has developed a wireless fetal monitoring system that can perform non-stress testing for high-risk pregnancies and has already received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Commission to commercialize its medical device in clinical settings.

Valencell, 3Pillar to collaborate on mobile health

Mobile health specialist Valencell has teamed up with software player 3Pillar Global to develop what they say will be a new consumer-facing application that helps customers make sense of biometric information generated by Valencell’s PerformTek sensor technology.