Wheeling and dealing is happening in the mobile sector this week. While money might only be starting to flow with consumers, there are plenty of deals happening in the world of the telcos. It was announced that Verizon Wireless, which is a venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone has formed a joint venture with Qualcomm to offer machine-to-machine wireless services to companies in various private sectors including healthcare, manufacturing and utilities.
This partnership will rely on Qualcomm’s wireless technology, along with its device certification process, while Verizon Wireless will provide the network support, including for those mobile devices that it does not sell. The opportunities for businesses are interesting, and could allow for such opportunities as making it possible for a utility company to remotely monitor usage without actually visiting the home. So instead of sending out a meter reader, the electric company could use a mobile device to monitor the power usage.
Sprint Nextel to Buy Virgin Mobile
Sprint Nextel is looking to expand its fast-growing prepaid mobile phone business, as the company announced that it will buy Virgin Mobile USA Inc. This would be through a stock deal valued at $483 million.
Currently, Virgin Mobile is among the industry leaders in the prepaid market, and has attracted younger consumers and those on a tight budget where the minutes are purchased upfront. Sprint already owns it owns the prepaid Boost mobile phone service, as well as 13.1 percent of Virgin Mobile. But now the company looks to take full control of Virgin Mobile, with plans to complete the deal by late 2009 or early 2010.
It is believed that Sprint will pair Virgin Mobile with Boost Mobile under one management umbrella, but it is unclear whether the two services will remain—at least in name. Given that Sprint Nextel has seen a loss in traditional contract customers in the last year, it is interesting that it is reinventing itself as the leader in prepaid plans, but in bad economy times that might not be a bad move.
However, as I continue to follow the government’s interest in the mobile space, it will be interesting to see whether Sprint comes under any scrutiny. With Boost and Virgin as part of Sprint, there could be a lot less competition in the prepaid market, and that might not sit well with Federal investigators.
All Weather Cellular Camera Arrives
In addition to mobile devices being able to send information for key industries, the same technology can of course be used to transmit other crucial data. This includes information for security usage. One such example is the All Weather Cellular Camera from BrickHouse Security.
Available for $599.95, this camera can record its footage on a compact flash card, but more importantly it can send back real-time images via a cellular network. It is a rugged camera, hence the name “All Weather” and can be used in harsh environments without fear of the elements.
Key features of this security device:
- Images are sent via a GSM cellular networks so no Internet connection is needed
- PIR Body Heat activated
- Nightvision camera takes fast action snapshots
- Surveillance footage online
- All-Weather: withstands the harshest elements day or night
So if you need to remotely monitor your business location, home or other property remotely, this is a good option. And another way that the GSM networks are being used.