News Scan: Microsoft teams with Qualcomm on IoT standards; European regulator clears Telefonica's $11.7B E-Plus buy; more

>> Microsoft joins Qualcomm-led IoT standards group

Microsoft is joining a Qualcomm-led effort to develop communications standards for the Internet of Things (IoT), particularly smart household devices, Reuters reports. The AllSeen Alliance has 50 members, including Panasonic, LG Electronics and Sharp. Chip makers that compete with Qualcomm are expected to launch a rival standards group as early as next week, the report notes. Read more.

[More on IoT: Spotlight: The Internet of Things has a problem with 'Things' | Forget IoT: Get ready for the monitoring of things]

>> European regulator clears Telefonica's $11.7B E-Plus buy

The European Commission has cleared Spanish carrier Telefonica's €8.6 billion ($11.7 billion) acquisition of Germany's third largest mobile operator E-Plus, The New York Times reports. Telefonica already operates as the fourth largest mobile operator in Germany. To win regulatory approval, Telefonica had to agree to divers some assets and sell up to 30 percent of the merged company's network capacity. Read more.

[More on Telefonica: Monitise, Telefónica ink mobile money pact | Analysys Mason: Sprint, Telefónica aim to increase their presence in the worldwide advertising value chain]

>> Many firms outsource mobile marketing efforts

Many firms are outsourcing their mobile marketing efforts due to a lack of in-house expertise, according to a survey by Ascend2 cited by eMarketer. In fact, more than two-thirds of 271 marketing professionals polled by Ascend2 said they were outsourcing at least part of their mobile marketing. Close to 40 percent of marketing professionals surveyed said that dearth of in-house expertise was the leading challenge to mobile marketing success, followed by budget limitations at 36 percent, and a lack of an effective strategy at 32 percent. Read more.

[More on mobile marketing: Facebook to launch redesigned mobile app ads in August | Google sees dramatic drop in mobile search ad revenue share]

>> Mobile broadband traffic to increase at 36% CAGR, says ABI

Subscriber traffic for mobile broadband services is forecast by ABI Research to increase at a 36 percent compound annual growth rate for the near future. To tap into this growth, telecom carriers should focus on turning network services into resources accessed via application programming interfaces. "Carriers worldwide recognize, that by collaborating with partners, using APIs can be used to generate new sources of revenue, to drive innovation, increase competitiveness, and retain and attain new customers," says ABI analyst Sabir Rafiq. Read more.

[More on mobile broadband: Mobile broadband is driving mobile service revenue, says Infonetics | Mobile broadband spectrum auction rules issued]

>> China's fastest growth Android phone maker posts 271% sales increase

China's fastest growing Android phone maker Xiaomi reported an aggressive 271 percent sales increase year-over-year for the first half of 2014, TechCrunch reports. The firm sold 26 million handsets in the first half and wants to sell a total of 60 million for the entire year. Xiaomi said its phone sales revenue totaled $5.3 billion for the first half, up 149 percent year-over-year. Read more.

[More on China: China Mobile could be looking to buy US carrier | Alibaba's joint venture seeks to upend China's mobile search market]