FirstNews Briefs for October 20, 2010

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 8:54am

• The FCC will discuss possible policy solutions to the looking spectrum crunch at a Thursday, Oct. 21 summit on the issue. Panelists will include T-Mobile USA's  Neville Ray and wireless industry veteran Tom Wheeler. The spectrum summit will be open to the public; however, registration will be limited to the seating available. A live webcast will be available at

• Verizon Wireless has expanded the availability of its FiOS TV Mobile Remote app to Apple's iPhone and iPod and says it "will soon be available for download on tablet devices." The app first launched last February on the Motorola Droid and is currently available on every device running Android 2.1 that supports Wi-Fi. Mobile Remote allows FiOS TV high-definition subscribers to use their mobile phones as a television remote control.

• TomTom says HTC is using its navigation and location solutions on its smartphones. HTC Locations, HTC's new mapping experience, comes preloaded with TomTom's location-rich maps, resulting in a zero-wait navigation experience. Maps and location content come preloaded on HTC Locations while turn-by-turn navigation can be purchased and downloaded through HTC Locations or HTC Sync. HTC Locations is initially available on the new HTC Desire HD and HTC Desire Z smartphones in Europe and Asia and will be extended to other smartphones and markets in the future.

• GreenTouch says 18 new organizations from across the telecommunications and energy sectors have joined the consortium. The new members include equipment vendors, service providers, research institutions and universities and will help GreenTouch maintain the momentum it's generated since it launched in January 201. GreenTouch aims to create technologies that will achieve 1,000-fold improvement in the energy efficiency of today's telecommunications networks.

CTIA has commended the Utilities Telecom Council for its recent study of energy and water utilities' communications needs. The council's report concludes that utility companies rely on wireless technology for communications across the grid, and that wireless carriers will play an important role in smart grid deployment since they have the infrastructure and technical requirements needed for successful consumer adoption.

• Obopay and Benevity Social Ventures are partnering on a new text-to-donate offering for mobile donations and receipting for any registered charity in the United States. The companies' technology combines Obopay's instant mobile payment technology with expansive donation management, tax receipting and corporate matching functionality provided through Benevity. Consumers can try the service now by texting selected keywords to 48510.

• In-Stat reports that 137 Web-enabled consumer electronics will ship by 2014. The research firm expects the majority of consumer electronics will eventually have Internet connectivity, including televisions, DVD players and gaming consoles.

• The WiMAX Forum has issued its congratulations to 40 companies who received more than $504 million in grants and loans for use in the deployment of WiMAX networks from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's rural utilities service fund. The awards are spread across 22 states.


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