After more than three years of AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) exclusivity, Verizon Wireless' (Basking Ridge, NJ, USA) iPhone finally goes on sale today in the U.S. After years of pent-up demand from its customers, Verizon has seen very strong pre-launch demand for Apple's handset. Analysts predict, on average, that Verizon could sell more than 12 million units this year.
KT Corp, South Korea's No.2 mobile carrier, said on Thursday that it plans to become the top shareholder of credit card processing firm BC Card, betting on mobile payment services to generate new revenue.
KT (Seoul) said in a statement that its board had approved its planned purchase of a combined 33.85 percent stake in BC Card from Woori Bank and Shinhan Card.
As cell phone penetration in the US hits 95% (100% if you rule out kids under 5 years of age), the battleground for the largest telecom carriers has shifted to machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. And it looks like AT&T (Dallas, TX USA) has just gotten its nose ahead in this race, adding almost 2 million devices in Q4 2010. (Note: this includes consumer and computing devices like eReaders, tablets and laptops.)
Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD and Toshiba Corporation (Tokyo) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding, under which they will discuss further cooperation in the field of energy and energy efficiency. The potential future relationship between the parties includes closer cooperation in energy generation, including thermal power, hydro power, nuclear power and solar photovoltaic power, and increasing the efficiency of power transmission and distribution through the development of smart grids.
Sierra Wireless (Richmond, British Columbia, Canada) today introduced two new broadband products in its AirPrime SL Series of wireless embedded modules: the AirPrime SL809x for HSPA+ networks, and the AirPrime SL501x for EV-DO Rev A networks. The new modules bring additional choices of network technologies to the SL Series, which currently includes the SL808x HSDPA module as well as the SL6087 EDGE module, winner of the GSM Association's "Best 2G module" award.
LG Electronics has unveiled its new range of smart appliances, enabled by "LG THINQ" technology, at the 2011 International CES. All products in the lineup are comprised of five key features, dubbed Smart Grid, "Smart Diagnosis," "Smart Access," "Smart Adapt," and the intriguing "Food Management."
The global market for machine-to-machine (M2M) device connections will grow from 62 million devices in 2010 to 2.1 billion devices in 2020, according to a new report from Analysys Mason (London, UK). With a year-on-year growth rate of between 36% and 52%, M2M seeks to be one of the fastest-growing connectivity sectors in the next decade.
The "Machine-to-machine devices connections: worldwide forecast 2010-2020" covers 8 regions, 7 industry segments, and 20 product/solution categories.
Nokia Siemens Networks (Espoo, Finland) announced yesterday plans to set up a Smart Lab in Korea focused on developing smart device-optimized applications, services and networks. The lab is expected to open in the first quarter of 2011.
Last Thursday, the GSM Association announced the formation of a task force of mobile operators to explore the development of an embedded SIM that can be remotely activated. The association expects to enable the design of exciting new form factors for mobile communications and speed the development of M2M services by making it easier to bring mobile broadband to non-traditional devices such as cameras, MP3 players, navigation devices and e-Readers, as well as smart meters.
So here we are in a brand new decade; in many ways, escaping from the “Noughties” won’t be all bad for the communications industry. After all, we weathered the telecom freeze in the early 2000s, which decimated the ranks of telecom equipment makers, forced consolidation among some carriers and increased regulatory actions in many parts of the world.