The take-up of machine-to-machine services is lagging behind analyst expectations, as M2M service revenues still only account for 0.5 per cent of mobile operators’ total service revenues, according to the latest data from Informa Telecoms & Media.
UK operators could soon be facilitating payments for physical goods bought by subscribers via carrier billing services. Direct operator billing firm, Mach, has now signed Vodafone, Everything Everywhere, O2 and 3UK up to its Direct Operator Billing platform for digital goods, and said that the use of such a solution to purchase physical goods is on the horizon.
Operators are under-utilising valuable customer information stored on their servers, when instead they could use it to create alternative revenue streams to their traditional voice, SMS and data business.
Håkan Dahlström, TeliaSonera’s president of mobility services, has been ousted from his role. The Nordic operator’s President and CEO Lars Nyberg said in quite a pointed statement that Dahlström’s departure was necessary for the firm to evolve its mobile business.
German incumbent Deutsche Telekom has signed a €400m deal with the government of Catalonia to supply IT and telecommunications systems, through the operator group’s subsidiary T-Systems. The aim of the deal is to reducing the number of ICT service providers the government uses from 200 at present to less than 20.
As it continues its aggressive push in the smartphone space, Microsoft has announced two Windows Phone 8 handsets designed by Taiwanese vendor HTC. The HTC Windows Phone 8X is the premium handset of the two, with a 4.3in HD screen and a Qualcomm S4 1.5GHz dual-core processor. It has 1GB RAM, 16GB storage space and comes with an 8-megapixel camera.
The US arm of Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile USA, has appointed a new CEO. John Legere, a 32-year veteran of the US and global telecommunications and technology industries, succeeds Jim Alling, who has served as interim CEO since June, and will now return to his position as the firm’s COO.
Machine-to-machine communication services are set to play a huge role in the role of transport according the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The institute anticipates that by the year 2040, driverless cars — operated using M2M technology — will account for up to 75 per cent of cars on the road worldwide.
US carrier AT&T is coming under fire for its decision to block Apple’s FaceTime application over mobile networks for users on unlimited data plans. In previous incarnations of the video chat application, it only functioned via wifi connections. However, for the iOS6 platform – due to be released this week on the iPhone 5 handset – FaceTime has been modified so that it can be used over cellular networks. Nonetheless, AT&T has said that it would only provide this feature for customers who subscribe to its Mobile Share tariff, which imposes data limits on users.
At an event in London, Google’s recently-acquired handset business Motorola Mobility unveiled the first product of its partnership with processor manufacturer Intel, the Razr i. The firms are teaming up in a bid to displace the iPhone brand as the best-selling smartphone model on the market with aluminium-cased device with a 4.3in super AMOLED screen running the Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich OS and powered by an Intel Atom 2GH processor.
Russian operator VimpelCom will transfer 1,300 staff to Chinese infrastructure vendor Huawei, as part of a five-year managed services deal.
UK regulator Ofcom has said that there is nothing stopping EE’s rivals, such as Vodafone and O2, from putting in an application to alter their 900MHz spectrum licence for LTE usage. A ruling in early 2011 meant that all operators are now free to use their 2G spectrum for 3G services, so extension of that same ruling to encompass 4G would be a small amend.
With any iPhone launch the industry’s commentators are out in force, and Wednesday’s unveiling was no different. Here’s what some of them had to say about the iPhone 5:
Putting all anticipation, agitation and speculation to rest, Apple has finally unveiled the iPhone 5. As expected, the handset is larger than previous models, with a 4in Retina display. It has 16:9 aspect ratio to better accommodate gaming and video playback. It is also thinner; measuring just 7.6mm in thickness. The device runs on an Apple-designed A6 processor, which the firm claims is “up to twice as fast compared with the A5 chip”, although the device does not have an NFC chip to enable contactless payments.
Chinese infrastructure vendor Huawei has pledged to invest £1.3bn ($2bn) in the UK, and create 700 more jobs in the country by 2017. The firm, which already employs over 800 people in the UK, said that it will invest £650m in a number of “global centres of technical and financial excellence”, as well as a further £650m in procurement on products and services.