Dutch telecoms incumbent KPN has launched a new M2M service allowing companies to track the location of containers being transported throughout the European region.
Branded “Locate”, the service equips containers will “small, robust and shock-absorbent boxes” that constantly provide updates on their geographical location using a mixture of GPS, GSM and RFID technologies.
By using Cell-ID technology, the operator can also accurately determine locations where there is no GPS signal – such as indoors and on docks.
Deutsche Telekom has teamed up with US telemetry specialist Un-Blinking Technologies on the launch of what they call a “vendor-independent” solution for vehicles in the US market.
The solution is based on the iCar M2M technology developed by Un-Blinking Technologies (Eagle, ID, USA), allowing car dealerships to offer value-added services that are not tethered to the proprietary technology of individual vehicle makers.
French telecoms incumbent Orange has announced it is working with carmaker Renault on a research project investigating the automotive uses of 4G connectivity.
The partnership has already seen Orange (Paris, France) deploy 4G services at Renault’s (Boulogne-Billancourt, France) research and testing facilities, with both companies aiming to test new applications supported by the high-speed technology, ranging from virtual office and cloud gaming to video conferencing.
France’s Bouygues Telecom has responded to pricing pressure from rival Iliad by saying that its 4G services will be available to existing customers at no extra cost.
The announcement comes just days after Iliad (Paris, France) upped the competitive stakes by publishing details of new low-cost 4G services, revealing that customers would be able to make use of the super-fast technology for as little €19.99 ($27.15) a month.
Existing Bouygues (Paris, France) subscribers will be able to use 4G services without signing up to a new minimum term contract, says the operator.
Huawei held on to its number-one spot in the global market for radio access networks in the third quarter of 2013, with Alcatel-Lucent overtaking Nokia Siemens Networks to claim third place in the rankings, according to ABI Research.
Huawei (Shenzhen, China) now controls about 28.1% of the market, up by 3.8 percentage points since the third quarter of 2012, with second-place Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) boasting a 21.8% share.
France’s Iliad has made clear that it plans to continue being a thorn in the side of the country’s incumbent operators by unveiling a range of low-cost tariffs for its new 4G service.
The operator says a 4G service will now be available to consumers for as little as €19.99 ($27.15) a month, or €15.99 for customers who already subscribe to its internet services.
The tariff includes 20GB of monthly data usage and Iliad claims its price is just a fifth of fees being charged by rivals for a comparable service.
Three of the UK’s mobile network operators have signed up to a government-brokered agreement to work towards scrapping the ‘roaming’ charges that customers pay when using their phones abroad.
Authorities say they will work with Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulatory, and the industry to develop a “UK government position for on-going negotiations in the EU that will help us achieve the goal of eliminating roaming charges within the EU by 2016”.
Switzerland’s M2M player u-blox has launched a new module that uses “precision timing” technology to provide synchronization for industrial data and communications systems, including small, femto and macro-cell mobile networks.
The module is capable of tracking all of the GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou satellites in service and includes technology that allows it to operate in structures “with limited sky-view”.
Vodafone Qatar has become the latest operator to form a strategic partnership with M2M device maker NetComm Wireless.
The deal comes just weeks after NetComm (Sydney, Australia) announced partnerships with Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY) in the US and Etisalat (Abu Dhabi) in the United Arab Emirates, and is aimed at helping Vodafone Qatar (Doha, Qatar) develop a portfolio of smart-city applications, including security systems, intelligent transport systems, smart metering and smart medical devices.
M2M module maker Telit has said it will collaborate with France’s Sigfox on the development of a cellular network dedicated solely to ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) services.
Based in France, Sigfox (Toulouse, France) has patented a technology called Ultra Narrow Band (UNB) and is in the process of rolling out a global cellular network that uses this standard to support M2M services.
Sigfox relies on unlicensed spectrum and needs few antennas to provide coverage, allowing it to dramatically reduce power consumption and maintenance costs.