Toshiba and Bulgarian Energy Holding sign Memorandum of Understanding

Will cooperate on development of smart grids, power plants, electric cars

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 debuts two new embedded modules

Already successful product series now features HSPA+ and EV-DO variants

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.

Canadian firm to launch 78-satellite 'constellation' for global backhaul

Low orbit configuration may reduce latency by over 87%

Microsat Systems Canada Inc. (MSCI), a Canadian satellite manufacturer, has announced an ambitious plan called "COMMStellation," a polar communications "constellation" comprised of 78 microsatellites that will orbit the Earth at 1,000 km, providing backhaul capacity while connecting remote regions to the Internet.

MasterCard hires former Orange VP of Mobile Payments

NFC veteran implies MasterCard will ramp up its efforts

Mastercard (Harrison, NY, USA) has poached Mung-Ki Woo, the former head of mobile and contactless payments at Orange (Arcueil, France), one of Europe’s largest operators. Woo will head up MasterCard’s mobile payment and m-commerce business, a recently formed unit.

The move strongly suggests MasterCards plans to increase its mobile payments efforts, a currently wide open market with many potential competitors looming. Not the least of which being Visa, who hired Bill Gajda, former chief commercial officer of the GSM Association, for a similar position.

Barcode scanning is up 1600%

According to Scanbuy's 'Mobile Barcode Trend Report'

Scanbuy, Inc. (New York, NY, USA) released its latest "ScanLife Mobile Barcode Trend Report" last week and the research contains some impressive figures, including a sixteen-fold jump in overall barcode traffic this year.

Scanbuy, of course, has a vested interest in barcode scanning trends, as a global provider of mobile barcode solutions. However their research is consistent with the accelerated adoption of smartphone technology for common activities like shopping, product information, and web usage.

LG unveils smart appliance lineup

Wi-Fi enabled washers, dryers, refrigerators, ovens, and even vacuum robots

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."

M2M device connections will jump to 2.1 billion by 2020

New research from Analysys Mason

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.

How satellite and 4G will coexist

Satellite technology fueling cellular backhaul services

Satellite, when combined with 4G wireless, offers two very powerful advantages for stakeholders. First, it provides a large amount of spectrum. That spectrum enables delivery of next-generation wireless services in a world that is increasingly underserved by terrestrial spectrum and is moving in the direction of broadband wireless. Also, satellite’s large coverage footprint offers unparalleled reach to the next frontier of un-served and underserved suburban, rural and remote areas.

Nokia Siemens Networks to develop M2M Smart Lab in Seoul

Will focus on R&D and collaboration

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.

AT&T forms Healthcare IT Division

Will focus on telehealth, cloud, wireless monitoring

The American Medical Association is reporting that AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) announced it has formed a division geared toward health information technology, a market it estimates to be worth nearly $34 billion.

The new division, AT&T ForHealth, will focus on the development and delivery of health IT solutions, including telehealth, cloud computing and wireless monitoring devices.