Tag: competition

BT makes a play for mobile phone market

btlogoTelco giant BT is to enter the mainstream smartphone market again this year and will offer 4G services at an aggressive £5 SIM only rate.

But the move is likely to prompt investigation by UK regulators as the number of providers has now sunk to just three companies.

BT is attempting to buy EE but also has spectrum it can use itself. It isn’t yet ready to offer handsets itself, just SIM cards.

BT formerly owned O2, but sold it to Spanish telco Telefonica in 2005.

The company is likely to offer its sports service to people who sign up to its tariff, and that may be attractive to some people.

Paolo Pescatore, a director at CSS isnight, described BT Mobile’s launch as “more aggressive than many anticipated. He said: “BT has made the right decision to offer a range of of simple and transparent packages as part of its return to the consumer mobile market. The £5 SIM only deal for existing BT broadband households is probably the best value 4G SIM only deal in the market.”

He said BT is able to bring something different to the party by offering BT Sport and BT Wi-Fi.

ARM offers entrepreneurs prizes

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 11.53.01British chip company ARM said it is offering £10,000 in prizes in a contest to create smart devices based on its Cortex-M4 microprocessor.

The competition runs from March to June this year with the goal to create devices in the home automation, measurement, the internet of things or system control.

Registration for the contest starts today and finishes on March 31, 2015. Competitors will receive software development tools, a debug unit, hardware containing the M4 chip and peripheral components.

Competitors can choose from platforms provided by Freescale, Infineon, NXP or ST Microelectronics.

Final prototype designs need to be submitted by the 30th of June 2015, with winners announced in October 2015. There will be five prizes ranging from $500 to $5,000.

Reinhard Kell, director of micro controller tools at ARM said: “New technology invention was previously the domain of those with advanced processor knowledge and access to funding. That has changed now.”

Competitors get a complementary licence for the ARM Keil Microcontroller Development Kit, professional edition.

You can register for the competition by clicking here.


EC and FH talk 450mm production

georgiefameNot having a 450mm production infrastructure in Europe will “threaten the competitiveness of the current European SC manufacturing base” a study has found.

The report commissioned by the European Commission and prepared in partnership with Future Horizons focused on the impact of 450mm manufacturing. It found that European suppliers contribute nearly 25 percent of the equipment used in chip manufacturing today and the transition to 450mm wafer processing may have a significant impact on their competitiveness.

European research consortiums are developing 450mm funding and development plans.  In July at SEMICON West, imec announced, the Flemish government’s plans to invest in the building of imec’s 450mm clean room facilities. However the report said how much of this further investment was targeted for 450mm remained unclear.

It warned that with G450C developed based in New York and funded partly by the government, there was a currently limited role of European consortia in 450 R&D, and with high volume manufacturing targeted by US and Asia-based manufacturers, a move to 450 could negatively impact EU-based suppliers.

It said in a bid to maximise impact and benefits for the industry, a shared programme coordinating the leading European R&D institutes activities could be envisaged to secure the equipment and material industry in Europe.

The pair also put forward a master plan, which they said would show both a strong industrial commitment and a coordinated position to leverage the required funding, avoid duplication and concentrate the funding where needed.

The master plan would also be charged with coordination with the Global 450 Consortium (G450C) and be open international participation.

“Failure to support a strong European role in next generation chip manufacturing would lead to a continuous decline in SC production activities in Europe and a progressive shift of the equipment  and  material industry outside Europe”, it warned.

The report also highlighted that a creation of a 450 pilot line in Europe would benefit the industry. It claimed that it could start in the short term with a five-year programme to urgently set up the 450E pilot line in Europe to support the transition of the European equipment and material suppliers to 450mm and coordinate with the US-led G450C initiative in Albany.

“Every effort must be expended by the European Commission and national PAs to ensure that …advanced manufacturing centres in Europe remain favourable places for chip companies to operate in. High tech industries can only close competitive gaps during technological shifts. The 450mm shift is one of them and most likely the last one for the semiconductor industry,” the report claimed.

Face to face interviews in Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the USA with senior industry executives across the full industry eco-system, from advance research institutes, equipment and materials firms, IP providers, IDM, fabless and foundry semiconductor manufacturers, end users and public authorities, were conducted to draw conclusions from the report.

Cloud Distribution moves to change Value Added Distributor status quo

cloud1Cloud Distribution has hired start up guru Adam Davison in a bid to give its Value Added Distributor competitors a run for their money.

The company claims that other firms offer little or no support to as yet “undiscovered” vendors that have the potential to disrupt the UK market’s status quo.

It claims its new weapon will help it  search out next generation networking and security vendors, which will complement its portfolio of disruptive technology products.

Davison has been appointed to seek out companies wishing to bring innovative networking and security technology solutions to the UK. The company boasts it’s best placed to offer these firms the best foothold as understands the market and “delivers real value-add.”

Davidson’s team has, according to the company, already begun to develop tools for the channel, which will help launch these products to the market. These include tailored vendor support launch packs, bespoke sales training, pre-sales and technical training, a virtual marketing team and an end user pipeline generation platform.

Apparently these have all been created to help VARs get up to speed with the new products and grow a network of qualified opportunities.

Adam Davison says he has first-hand experience of what it’s like as a start-up trying to break through.  He added there was a real need for a “next-generation distributor” who was willing to put “evangelistic effort into less well-known, but high value proposition vendors.”

Adam’s appointment follows a series of new hires as Cloud Distribution expands and develops its team which has included James Ball, Technical Manager and Tracey Hannan, Sales Manager for the new Northern office.