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October 21, 2014
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EU-Japan join forces for high-speed telecoms research – Out

The project will aim to deliver bandwidth greater than 1 gigabyte (GB) for every spectator in the Tokyo Olympic Stadium for the 2020 Olympics, the Commission said.

According to the Commission, joint investments in the research will amount to a total of €12 million and involve more than 40 partner institutions and firms from countries including France, Germany and the UK.

“Alongside the potential business opportunities for participating companies in both regions, previous successes of this type of EU-Japan collaboration include the joint support of the now global 3G standard for mobile phones,” the Commission said.

Commission vice-president Neelie Kroes, who has responsibility for the EU’s ‘Digital Agenda’ said: “It’s not enough to have a beautiful smart phone. It needs to work everywhere you want it to work. Investments in fast broadband research will repay taxpayers many times over.”

Kroes said Europe was leading efforts to make next-generation 5G wireless systems technology “a reality”.

The EU-Japan research will cover four specific programmes. The first, ‘Rapid’, “will use innovative radio network architectures to advance 5G technology”. The Commission said it will support smart phone internet downloads of more than 1 GB bandwidth to each user in an Olympic stadium and other crowded public areas by 2017. “This means users will be able to download a 1-hour high-definition (HD) movie in just 30 seconds.”

The second research programme, ‘iKaaS’, will develop “a smart and secure platform for smart cities based on big data resources collected from the internet of things (IoT) sensing environments such as mobile terminals, smart devices and smart homes”, the Commission said.

In the third research programme, ‘Safari’, the partners plan to “develop programmable optical hardware for novel multi-flow transport functions scalable to at least 400 GB per second channel”. The Commission said this means that one channel could carry 20,000 real-time HD blue-ray video streams simultaneously.

The fourth research programme, ‘Festival’, “will provide joint EU-Japan IoT experimentation platforms, where experimenters can validate their smart ICT service developments”, the Commission said.

The Commission said fast mobile internet is needed to match the “dramatic increases” in usage, coupled with the growth in smartphone and tablet usage. The Commission, which estimates the number of mobile broadband users will reach four billion by 2017, said: “At the same time people use these devices more and more for real-time video-streaming, which old networks can’t cope with.”

“We are facing daily drops in our internet connections in many public areas of our cities, in public transport, stadiums, shopping centres, conference centres, and concert halls,” the Commission said. “Increasing the throughput of communications per user in such situations is difficult because of many restrictions relating to the conventional communication systems for densely located users.”

The Commission said it invested €50m in research projects in February 2013 to work on the architecture and functionality needs for 5G. In December 2013, the Commission launched a public-private partnership (PPP) on 5G.

October 21, 2014
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3 Cloud and Communication Stocks to Buy With Big Dividends and Upside

One thing that seems to be creeping into the narrative on Wall Street: there is now a possibility that rate increases expected as early as next summer may be postponed until 2016 if the economy does not dramatically pick up. The Oppenheimer team that covers cloud and communication stocks think that the top picks in the coverage universe not only offer superb growth potential, but one yields much more than current low Treasury and investment grade corporate debt.

The Oppenheimer analysts expect solid overall third-quarter results, helped by continued strong demand for wireless and wireline broadband. Their channel checks also suggest strong demand for cloud services. The Oppenheimer stocks to buy are rated Outperform, and the analysts raised their earnings estimates.

ATT Inc. (NYSE: T) has to be one of the most ignored dividend plays on Wall Street. While growth has been admittedly slower over the past few years, the company continues to expand its user base, and strong product introductions from smartphone vendors have not only driven traffic but increased device financing plans. That is an area that the Oppenheimer team believes could lead to some earnings weakness.

ATT shareholders are paid an incredible 5.4% dividend. The Oppenheimer price target for the stock is $42, and the Thomson/First Call target is much lower at $36. Shares closed Friday at $$34.08.

ALSO READ: Merrill Lynch’s Beaten Down Biotech Stocks With Huge Upside Potential

Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) is one of the top consumer cable and entertainment names on Wall Street. Now the largest cable company in the United States, Comcast continues its push to be a top entertainment name. The Oppenheimer analysts, along with many on Wall Street, think 2014 and 2015 will be banner years for the entertainment giant, with continued strong pricing power, advertising spending growth and new digital platforms. Comcast shareholders recently approved the gigantic purchase of Time Warner Cable, and regulatory approval is expected to follow.

Comcast investors are paid a 1.8% dividend. The Oppenheimer price target is $62. The consensus target is $63.63. Comcast closed Friday at $50.68 a share.

T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) is a stock in which offers and rumors continue to fly around Wall Street. With the Sprint deal off the table, and the bid for 56% of the company from Iliad also gone, the stock was hit, and hit hard. The question is will somebody else make a play for the company? While most on Wall Street didn’t expect the Iliad bid to be accepted at the low $33 price target, they do feel that after the stock got hammered, huge value may be there for patient investors. The iPhone 6 launch has been a solid boost for T-Mobile’s momentum, as many consumers were holding off on switching wireless providers, waiting for the next bigger and better model to be released.

The Oppenheimer price target is $37, and the consensus on Wall Street is posted at $35.78. Shares closed trading on Friday at $26.11.

ALSO READ: 5 Top Stocks to Buy With Big Catalysts This Week

All three of these top stocks to buy offer investors incredible value at current price levels. They are also suitable for growth-oriented portfolios that have a degree of risk tolerance.

October 21, 2014
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US mobile internet use is rapidly expanding

Americans are rapidly embracing mobile internet devices such as smartphones and tablet computers for a range of activities beyond just voice communications, such as checking email and using social networks, according to a new report from the US Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). 

NTIA’s report, which is based on a US Census Bureau survey in October 2012 of more than 53,000 households, found that Americans were increasingly using their mobile devices to engage in applications that they might have previously done on a desktop or laptop computer or not at all. Between July 2011 and October 2012, the report found big increases in mobile phone users 25 and older who used their devices to download mobile applications (22% to 32%), browse the web (33% to 42%), check their email (33% to 42%), and use social media networks (22% to 30%). 

Mobile phones appear to be helping to narrow the digital divide, the gap between the technology haves and have nots, among traditionally disadvantaged groups. Mobile phone use among those with family incomes below USD 25,000 and among disabled Americans each increased by 4 percentage points, growing from 73 percent to 77 percent and from 68 percent to 72 percent, respectively. Similarly, mobile phone use among seniors 65 and older grew by 4 percentage points between 2011 and 2012, from 68 percent to 72 percent. 

Disparities in mobile phone adoption that remained between whites and minorities appeared to nearly vanish between 2011 and 2012. The report found that 88 percent of whites reported using mobile phones in 2012, compared with 87 percent of both African Americas and Hispanics. 

Mobile phone use among rural Americans also grew by 5 percentage points to 85 percent between 2011 and 2012. Mobile phone use among urban Americans increased more slowly during this same period, from 86 percent to 88 percent matching the 2 percentage-point increase to 88 percent in mobile phone use among all Americans 25 and older. 

Despite this growth, affluent mobile phone users and those with college degrees were more likely to engage in a range of activities on their devices than those with no high school diploma. For example, 57 percent of mobile phone-using college graduates checked email on mobile devices, compared with 19 percent of users without a high school diploma. And 63 percent of users with family incomes of USD 100,000 or more said they used their devices for email, compared with 27 percent of uses with family incomes below USD 25,000, a 36 percentage-point gap. 

Over the last five years, the total number of Americans 16 and older that accessed the internet on any device grew 18 percent from 151 million in 2007 to 187 million in 2012 after adjusting for population growth.  

As previously reported by NTIA, broadband adoption at home increased to 72 percent of households in 2012 from 69 percent in 2011. 

Despite the progress in home broadband adoption, some Americans still rely on public libraries to access the internet. The report found that 20 percent of those in unemployed households said someone in their household used the internet at the library, compared with 11 percent of households overall. 

The report found that 28 percent of households still do not use broadband at home. Those households not online at home cited a lack of interest or need (48%) as the main reason why, followed by 29 percent who said they could not afford home internet service. 

October 21, 2014
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New phone contracts and deals Website Launches with Key Information for …

 
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New website with up-to-date information on phone contracts and deals has been launched by MonthlyContractDeals.co.uk. The company is encouraging visitors to visit the site to leave feedback for future improvements and updates.

Mobile phone consumers interested in phone contracts and deals will find relevant and useful information on the new recently launched MonthlyContractDeals.co.ukwebsite. Thisnew websitelaunch takes into account several most requested features including the ability for consumers in the UK to acquire the best contracts and deals for their specific needs, specifications for each product with close-up images to help make decision easier, and users reviews as well as other insights that can help to educate consumers on how to save money and get the best deal for their needs.

MonthlyContractDeals.co.uk has invested considerable time and effort to ensure an enjoyable user experience while providing timely and relevant information on phone contracts and deals. Additional updates and new features can be expected in the future. Interested parties can view the website athttp://monthlycontractdeals.co.uk.

Web Developer Desmond Wu described the new website in this way:

“There has been a lot of positive feedback surrounding http://monthlycontractdeals.co.uk and the information that it provides. MonthlyContractDeals.co.uk is committed to making continual improvements and adjustments so that all Mobile phone consumers have access to the latest information on phone contracts and deals. It is the goal of MonthlyContractDeals.co.uk to become the leading resource for reliable information on issues impacting Mobile phone consumers.”

MonthlyContractDeals.co.uk welcomes new and old website visitors alike to take a look at the new features available, and to submit feedback for the next round of updates.

For more information about us, please visit http://monthlycontractdeals.co.uk

Contact Info:
Name: Desmond Wu
Organization: MonthlyContractDeals.co.uk

Release ID: 65903

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October 21, 2014
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Smartphone repair company B2X steps up expansion with Indian deal


* Buys majority stake in India’s TSS

* Begins new 15 mln euro funding round

* Manages repairs for leading global phone makers

* Plans retail and service one-stop stores

By Eric Auchard

FRANKFURT, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Smartphone users won’t
recognise the name B2X, but if your battery dies or your screen
breaks, the odds are that the company will be working behind the
scenes when you seek a repair.

For customer services software provider B2X Care Solutions,
which already manages repairs for many of the world’s biggest
phone makers, announced on Tuesday that it is buying a majority
stake in an Indian phone repair specialist while receiving new
funding to boost its global expansion.

Analysts say that B2X is transforming the weeks-long process
for fixing broken phones into one that takes a matter of days.

It does this by orchestrating a global network that connects
phone makers to call centers, contract manufacturers, parts
suppliers, delivery services, insurers, retailers and customers.

“B2X is doing a nice job of stitching together what are all
the very disparate processes that go into the aftermarket for
mobile phone repair,” said Michael Dominy, research director of
supply chain services for market research firm Gartner.

Munich-based B2X said it is taking majority control of The
Service Solutions (TSS), an authorised provider of phone repairs
for Apple iPhones in India and customer care services
provider for a variety of phone makers globally.

Terms of the TSS deal were not disclosed.

Privately held B2X said it is also holding a 15 million euro
($19 million) funding round, led by Berlin-based venture capital
firm Earlybird, which backs European companies with global
ambitions and has invested in more than 100 businesses.

RAPID GROWTH

Valuation terms were not disclosed, but a source familiar
with the company’s business said that B2X is doubling in size
each year and that revenues are comfortably into the
“triple-digit millions of dollars”. In other words, sales of
significantly more than $100 million.

Thomas Berlemann, chief executive of B2X Care Solutions, said
his company’s software and services are used to manage repairs
and spare parts for phones both in and out of warranty, with an
estimated combined market opportunity of $25 billion.

The German company said it plans to rebrand all TSS service
stores under its own B2X brand. It also plans to use the
existing TSS store concept to create retail and service outlets
for multiple phone brands in a single shop.

The Indian business is planning rapid expansion of its
network of repair shops across India and the Middle East next
year, B2X said.

Besides Apple, TSS customers include Samsung Electronics
, the world’s largest phone maker, and Micromax
(IPO-MINF.NS), D-Link and HCL Infosystems.

B2X said that taking control of TSS also allows it to
incorporate the Indian company’s Internet-based cloud software
for customer relationship management into its own software
platform used for global supply chain management.

B2X itself manages customer services operations for phone
repairs in more than 110 countries.

Existing customers include Motorola Mobility, which Lenovo
, the world’s No. 4 phone supplier, has agreed to
acquire from Google. Other clients include TCL Alcatel
, among the world’s top 10 smartphone makers, and
Coolpad, China’s third-largest smartphone company.
(1 euro = 1.2717 US dollar)

(Editing by David Goodman)