Also in today's EMEA roundup: Telefónica shrinks its energy bill; Slim will keep KPN stake, reckons Blok; Welsh jobs lost in AlcaLu's Shift Plan.
Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has launched its NFC (Near Field Communications)-based mobile wallet service in Europe, with Vodafone SmartPass, a service developed in partnership with Visa, the first mobile payment app available for the wallet. The operator has launched the service today in Spain, with Germany to follow in mid-December. The Netherlands, Italy, and the UK will announce their launches early in the Spring of 2014. Vodafone Wallet is initially available on NFC-enabled smartphones from Samsung (the S3, S3 LTE, S3 mini, S4, S4 mini), Sony (the Xperia Z) and HTC (HTC One). The wallet is "the first European mobile payment service built on the GlobalPlatform open standard," which should ensure suitable levels of security and interoperability. (See Vodafone Launches Mobile Wallet Service.)
Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) says that in the 2007-2012 period it reduced its annual networks energy bill by almost €58 million (US$78 million), equivalent to 22% of the power consumed by its network operations, as a result of more than 114 energy efficiency projects. The operator set itself a goal of reducing its networks power consumption by 30% in the 2007-2015 timeframe, so it is well on its way to achieving its target. Telcos the world over are seeking ways to make all of their operations more environmentally friendly and more cost-effective, while equipment vendors are striving to develop products that deliver greater functionality while using less power. (See Telcos Need Data Center Education, Fujitsu Cuts Basestation Power Consumption, and Colt Boasts Energy Efficiency Savings.)
Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)'s job-cutting program is bad news for the Welsh city of Newport. The South Wales Argus reports that 300 jobs are going to be lost there when the Franco-US vendor closes its Newport site in 2015 as part of its Shift Plan. AlcaLu says it will try to offer as many Newport workers as possible the chance to continue working for it from home. (See Alcatel-Lucent to Cut 10,000 Jobs.)
open standards? I'm not familar with the GlobalPlatform open standard. What other mobile wallets are adhering to it, and interoperability with what -- just other companies to add their cards to it? The service is going to be limited to the network and handsets its on no matter what, but I suppose it could appeal to Vodafone customers if it's already built in and free...