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.

PSA Peugeot Citroen, Orange to launch fleet-management service

Carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen has said it will launch a new fleet-management service this month in partnership with French operator Orange Business Services.

The service is to cover the manufacturer’s entire vehicle line-up and is designed to help fleet owners “reduce vehicle total cost of ownership”, said the companies in a statement.

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.

KPN unveils tracking technology for air luggage

Dutch telecoms incumbent KPN is teaming up with Fast Track Company and Air France/KLM/Delta Airlines on the development of new M2M tracking services designed to ensure air passengers do not lose their luggage.

In a statement, the operator said it was collaborating with its partners on two innovations for easier tracking and tracing of luggage.

eTrack, the first of those innovations, is described as a compact device that will track the location of a suitcase or travel bag using GPS and cellular technology.

TomTom Business Solutions becomes TomTom Telematics

Navigation technology player TomTom has changed the name of its Business Solutions unit to TomTom Telematics.

The name change has been made to reflect the strong position the company enjoys in the telematics market thanks to its WEBFLEET product, a software-as-a-service platform designed to help fleet businesses improve vehicle performance, save fuel, support drivers and increase efficiency.

In a statement, TomTom (Amsterdam, Netherlands) said WEBFLEET would henceforth be positioned as its leading product brand for the fleet-management market.

Denmark's Kamstrup flags growth in sales, market share

Danish smart-metering specialist Kamstrup claims to have grown its share of the global market in 2013 while reporting an increase in sales.

The company did not reveal details of its market share but said its revenues grew by 3% last year, to €173 million ($238 million), with earnings after tax coming in at €20 million.

Kamstrup (Skanderborg, Denmark) described market conditions as “competitive and stagnant” but said its financial position remained “advantageous”.

That was despite an increase in R&D investments between 2012 and 2013.

Smart grid could save $16.6 billion for UK economy: EA Technology

UK networks and consumers could save as much as £10 billion ($16.6 billion) between now and 2050 by deploying smart-grid technology, according to new research from EA Technology.

The forecast is based on the use of EA’s (Chester, UK) Transform Model, which the company claims has already helped to lower the cost of deploying new electrical network infrastructure between 2015 and 2023 by around £200 million.

ABB to deploy smart-grid systems in Rome for ACEA

ABB is to help Italian utility Azienda Comunale Elettricita e Acque (ACEA) with the deployment of a smart grid across part of Rome’s electrical distribution network.

The automation-technology player will supply medium-voltage products to ACEA (Rome, Italy) as part of the smart-grid initiative, which forms one of eight pilot projects that have won approval and received financial support from the Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas.

Telit, NImbeLink partner to speed up M2M systems design

M2M hardware players Telit and NimbeLink say they have formed a partnership to speed up the design of specialized systems for M2M applications.

Under the Skywire brand, NimbeLink (Plymouth, MN, USA) has launched a series of embedded modems that use Telit’s (London, UK) xE910 family of modules, allowing designers to incorporate cellular connectivity into their products.

The first Skywire module comes with an embedded 2G CDMA 1xRTT product that is described by the companies as the smallest embedded cellular modem on the market.

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