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Telecom Daily

Welcome to Faulkner's Telecom Daily. We publish Monday through Friday, updating top stories as events warrant.

Friday, September 22...

Google Introduces New "Zero Touch Enrollment" for Enterprise Device Fleets
Google introduced a new Android feature designed specifically to ease the process of provisioning and distributing smartphones to employees as part of a mobile device fleet. Dubbed Zero Touch Enrollment, the new service allows a fleet manager to "configure the devices they purchase and have them shipped with management and settings pre-configured, so employees can get up and running out of the box." According to Google, this offering will make the process of providing new devices easier by removing the need for users to configure their own devices, while also ensuring that corporate policies on privacy and security are being complied with from the moment the device is first powered on. The process, according to Google, is also compatible with many enterprise mobility management providers (EMMs) including VMware AirWatch, BlackBerry, MobileIron, IBM, SOTI, Gsuite, and others. At launch, carriers supporting Zero Touch Enrollment include Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile in the US; BT and Deutsche Telekom in the UK; and Softbank and Telstra in the Asia-Pacific region. Device partners supporting the program include Samsung, Huawei, Sony, LG, HMD Global (owner of the Nokia brand name), BlackBerry smartphones by TCL, HTC, Motorola, Honeywell, Zebra, and Sonim. Additional OEMs and carriers are expected to be added in the future.

Comcast Acquires IoT and Home Automation Company Stringify
Comcast has acquired Stringify, a company specializing in Internet of Things (IoT) and home automation software systems. Although Comcast itself has made no mention of the deal, Stringify's Web site was updated to reveal the news. In its press release, the acquired firm explained that its assets will be integrated into the engineering group at Comcast that develops the technologies behind Xfinity Home and xFi. Stringify is perhaps best known for its applications capable of automating electronic processes based on pre-determined triggers. This technology will likely be incorporated into the aforementioned groups' products to expand the capabilities of Comcast's own home automation and IoT offerings. No financial terms for the transaction were disclosed.

Motorola's Moto X4 to Be Available on Project Fi
Motorola's Moto X4 handset is now available for use on Google's Project Fi mobile carrier service. The device was already part of the Android One program, meaning it had direct access to immediate Android updates and other benefits typically reserved for Google-branded devices. However, this is the first time any non-Google-Branded device has been enabled on any Project Fi plans. Prior to the announcement, only Nexus and Pixel smartphones could be utilized on the company's plans. The Moto X4 is Motorola's latest flagship, coming in at $400. For this, users receive a mid to high-end handset with a 16MP selfie camera, dual rear-facing cameras, and optimizations for both Google Assistant and the Duo chat app. Although this is the first time a third-party device has been allowed on the service, it may signal a broadening of selection for Project Fi, potentially bringing in new customers that were previously discourage by the limitations on the carrier's device offerings. Pre-orders at available now at the Project Fi Web site.

... Michael Gariffo, Faulkner Information Services

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