NEWS IN BRIEF
Daily Digest 21 September
by Emmet Ryan
ATSR to create 30 Offaly jobs | Dell to buy Perot Systems
Emergency vehicles technology firm Automatic Technology Systems and Research (ATSR) is investing EUR1 million in an expansion which will see the company create up to 30 new high value jobs over the next two years. The Tullamore, Co. Offaly, firm is being supported by Enterprise Ireland and the new investment will bring the total workforce to over 50. ATSR, which produces controlling systems for emergency vehicles, will expand its research and development operations through the new investment. The business will also increase its overseas presence.
The Tanaiste, Mary Coughlan, has officially opened the new CoLab business incubation centre in Letterkenny. Of the 12 companies in CoLab, which employ 28 people, 11 have developed high-tech software and web technology services. “CoLab is a superb asset to the local economy in Donegal and the North West region. I am delighted to see that the companies based in CoLab are already developing innovative products and services including computer games, flight navigation, currency trading, medical devices, digital publishing, web applications and direct marketing solutions," said Minister Coughlan. One of the firms housed in CoLab, Aernav, is developing an electronic flight bag for pilot. This is a lightweight hand held device that will replace the cumbersome suitcase of flight manuals, maps and navigational material that pilots currently have to carry from flight to flight. The company plans to launch its product to the US and European markets in 2010.
BT Ireland has released a statement disapproving of Eircom's appeal to the High Court over ComReg's decision to cut the cost of line share arrangements with other operators. In August ComReg ordered Eircom to cut the cost of such arrangements from EUR8.41 to EUR0.77 per line. "BT Ireland is disappointed by Eircom's legal challenge to ComReg's direction of a substantial price reduction for local loop unbundling,” said Chris Clark, chief executive of BT Ireland. “We firmly believe that local loop unbundling has a significant part to play in the creation of competitive high-speed broadband in the Irish market. The price reduction proposed by ComReg was merely to bring Ireland in line with the rest of Europe."
PC maker Dell is to buy computer services firm Perot Systems in a deal worth UCD3.9 billion. Perot Systems, founded by Texan billionaire and former US Presidential candidate Ross Perot, provides IT services for companies and reported revenue of USD2.8 billion last year. Dell hopes to complete the deal by January. Once the acquisition is complete, Perot Systems will become Dell's services unit and be led by Peter Altabef, the current Perot Systems chief executive officer.
The Telecommunications and Internet Federation (TIF) has called on the telecoms industry to find an effective means to deliver the next generation infrastructure and services despite the problems caused by the recession. "During this recession, closer collaboration between industry, policy makers and regulators will be required so as to develop and apply new thinking to commercial and regulatory models for our industry," said Gerry Fahy, chairman of TIF and Strategy Director of Vodafone. He made the comments at TIF's annual conference, which was held in Dublin on Monday.
European antitrust regulators are stepping up their defence of the EUR1.06 billion fine imposed against Intel by the European Commission in May. On Monday regulators published e-mails and other company documents to back up the record fine. The fine was imposed after the Commission found Intel was abusing its dominance in the computer chip market to exclude its only serious rival, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). Monday's decision to publish extracts from the e-mails followed claims made by Intel that the Commission had made significant errors in its investigation. One such extract, reportedly from a HP executive, reveals communication which appears to request that members of the company keep quiet about an apparently restrictive agreement with Intel. The extract from the mail reads: "PLEASE DO NOT...¦ communicate to the regions, your team members or AMD that we are constrained to 5 percent AMD by pursuing the Intel agreement."
Sony Ericsson has launched motion-activated headphones. The MH907 headphones, which the manufacturer claims are the first of their kind, are designed to activate and end phone functions simply by the user slotting the headphones into their ears. The new device uses Sony Ericsson’s established SensMe motion control technology, which the firm has already integrated into several of its handsets. There is no launch date for the new headphones as yet but the mobile phone maker has revealed the headphones will be available in two colour schemes -- titan chrome or a mixture of yellow and white.