News Scan: HR to embrace mobility; Africa's slow start with enterprise mobility; more

>> HR departments to embrace mobility in 2014

Human resource (HR) departments will become active users of mobility this year, if they are not already, predicts Prithvi Shergill, Chief Human Resource Officer at IT and engineering services firm HCL Technologies. Other technologies that HR will be using a lot more of this year include data analytics, cloud computing, gamification, video resumes and social media. "2014 could be the year that those who show reluctance to embrace technology are left behind," says Shergill. Read more on Shergill's HR tech predictions.

[More on HR tech: HR embraces tech | Spotlight: Time to clean up crappy HR systems]

>> Enterprise mobility slow to catch on in Africa

Costs and local connectivity problems have slowed the adoption of enterprise mobility in the African market, judges IDC. The coverage and quality of 3G deployments and commercial 4G LTE services are not up to the requirements of enterprise-grade connectivity, IDC notes. In addition, mobile data costs are high in Africa, which has deterred enterprises from implementing mobility, the research firm notes. However, once connectivity and costs issues are addressed, IDC expects enterprise mobility to become "more and more commonplace" in Africa. Read more about IDC's analysis of the African market.

[More on Africa: Younger mobile workers challenge IT to keep up | Why Africa may be the next big enterprise mobility market]

>> Verizon, Vodafone shareholders OK $130B Verizon Wireless deal

Verizon and Vodafone shareholders have approved a deal for Verizon to buy Vodafone's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless for $130 billion, AP reports. As part of the transaction, Verizon agreed to issue up to 1.28 billion shares of stock to Vodafone shareholders. Verizon Wireless was formed as a joint venture between Verizon and Vodafone back in 2000. The deal is expected to close in late February after regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. Read more about the Verizon Wireless deal.

[More on Verizon Wireless: 4G LTE will account for 50% of US wireless connections by end of 2014 | Isis taps Proxama to build NFC mobile wallet for BlackBerry 10]

>> Android to become major player in embedded device market

Android is poised to be a significant player in the embedded systems market, a market currently dominated by Microsoft, according to VDC Research. Embedded systems include medical devices, connected car systems and military situational awareness systems. Android is a subset of the Linux embedded operating system, which is popular among engineers and developers, VDC explains. A full 27 percent of original equipment embedded device engineers say their organizations are developing Android embedded products. Shipments of Android embedded devices are expected to see 26 percent annual growth through 2015, VDC predicts. Read more on Android in the embedded systems market.

[More on embedded devices: Smartphone apps replacing embedded telematics units for hailing, dispatching taxis | IoT products, services to add $1.9 trillion to world economy by 2020, predicts Gartner]

>> Microwave transmission gear market to reach $4.5B by 2018

The point-to-point microwave transmission equipment market is forecast by Dell'Oro Group to reach $4.5 billion by 2018. After two years of contraction, the microwave market is set for growth as mobile operators expand their 4G LTE mobile coverage and the rollout of small cells accelerates. Packet microwave systems, which hold data transmission in native Ethernet, are expected to see a 6 percent annual growth rate, while ultra-high capacity products, which use V-band and E-band frequencies, are forecast to see a robust 30 percent annual growth rate. Read more on Dell'Oro stats.

[More on microwave market: Huawei pushes past NEC for second place among microwave gear vendors | Huawei, Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, NEC control 70 percent of microwave transmission market, says Dell'Oro]