European Communications

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RTE selects Tiscali International Network to deliver audio and video streaming online

Tiscali International Network (TINet), said to be the world's only carrier dedicated exclusively to wholesale IP-MPLS, has announced that the Irish broadcaster RTÉ (Radio Telefis Éireann) has chosen its IP Transit service to deliver audio and visual streaming for RTÉ's online service.

RTÉ's selection of TINet is evidence of a growing trend amongst broadcasters and content owners to expand their presence online by delivering more programmes over the Internet. TINet will be the IP transit supplier to the public service broadcaster, whose cross-media service includes two national TV channels, four radio stations and a comprehensive website with news, entertainment and sports programmes.

TINet, who has the second largest IP network in Europe, provides reliable connectivity with proactive management of SLAs and protection from DOS attacks to minimise downtime. RTÈ will use TINet's service to deliver web and multimedia content from its website, such as news updates, media alerts and live streaming feeds.

Marcus O'Doherty, Technology Development Manager of RTÉ said, "Our audiences have come to expect high quality programming on TV and radio, and visit our website expecting the same level of excellence. TINet demonstrated that it was able to supply RTÉ a reliable high capacity network, backed up with great technical support. We have very high standards for our viewers' user experience and are delighted to be working with the TINet team who understand our business needs."

Paolo Susnik, Chief Executive Officer at TINet added: "TINet's dedicated focus on wholesale IP and MPLS has meant that we are in a position to provide a faster and more customer focused solution than our competitors. Our partnership with RTÉ guarantees management of their network and performance stability for high volume traffic - essential for a broadcaster like RTÉ where fast, safe surfing is essential to add value to its audiences."

Thomson's VoIP platform selected by Italian telco, Tex 97

Thomson has announced that Tex97, an Italian voice and data provider, has purchased its Cirpack VoIP platforms in order to offer primary line and business telephony services to its rapidly growing number of users.

Tex 97, a regional triple play operator with its own DSL network, moved onto the retail telecoms market in early 2005.  With a client base growth of 100% each year, they wanted to invest in their own softswitch in order to increase capacity and reduce operating costs. Tex 97 have purchased Thomson's Cirpack class 4 and class 5 softswitches for advanced telephony services with connection to the PSTN.

"We were previously using Thomson's Cirpack  platform via a wholesale provider and we chose to acquire our own because we were very impressed by the features and flexibility of the platform" said Stefano Rogna, CEO of Tex97. "The platform has always delivered very high quality services and has been very reliable and easy to operate. We now have complete control over our network and our PSTN interconnection." 

 "Our Cirpack VoIP platform is gaining a lot of traction in Italy, not only because it is very mature in managing primary line VoIP, but also because it can replicate the features of legacy TDM switches to maintain existing services in one single platform," said Frédéric Caussarieu, General Manager of Thomson's Network Intelligence Solutions.

Italy is a very dynamic VoIP market and according to analysts Dataxis, broadband subscription grew from 7.2 million to 8.9 million subscribers in the year to Q1 1007. However, regional operators are also delivering legacy ISDN services and various value-added applications using legacy technologies.

Alcatel-Lucent reinforces WiMAX Open CPE Program

Alcatel-Lucent has announced the enhancement of its Open Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) Program, established to ensure that WiMAX operators have access to a wide variety of terminal devices, with the expansion of its relationships with two key players in the WiMAX CPE market, Intel and Kyocera Wireless.

Alcatel-Lucent has expanded its interoperability testing (IOT) efforts with Intel to ensure the compatibility of Alcatel-Lucent's WiMAX infrastructure with CPE and consumer electronics devices integrating Intel's latest fixed/mobile WiMAX silicon, the Intel® WiMAX Connection 2250 as well as its WiMAX MIMO-capable chipset for mobile devices. Under the successful research and development collaboration and co-marketing agreement Alcatel-Lucent and Intel signed in 2004, the two companies have made strong progress in their joint efforts to promote the WiMAX ecosystem, successfully completing IOT for fixed applications and now engaging in testing of chipsets and infrastructure supporting nomadic and fully mobile services. Devices based upon Intel's WiMAX chipsets are expected to be made available for fixed and nomadic services before the end of 2007, and for mobile services in 2008.

Alcatel-Lucent also has signed a joint development agreement with Kyocera Wireless to collaborate on the development of end-to-end wireless broadband solutions incorporating Alcatel-Lucent's industry-leading IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard WiMAX infrastructure and a variety of wireless devices from Kyocera including multimode mobile phones, non-traditional wireless devices, wireless PC cards and USB devices for PCs. [Please see joint announcement from Alcatel-Lucent and Kyocera Wireless, September 25].

"The growing strength of our Open CPE Program shows how quickly the WiMAX ecosystem is maturing," said Karim El Naggar, head of Alcatel-Lucent's WiMAX business. "Together with our existing partners, these new initiatives with Intel and Kyocera will further enhance, in strict compliance with the WiMAX standard, our ability to provide WiMAX operators with the variety and quality of wireless devices they need to offer customers a whole new kind of mobile broadband experience."

"Alcatel-Lucent's Open CPE Program has been an asset in our efforts to foster a vibrant ecosystem featuring a wide array of wireless terminals," said Raviv Melamed, general manager of Intel's mobile wireless group. "While initial platform efforts focused on conventional wireless access methods such as PCMCIA cards and MiniCard modules for laptops, we are now seeing the emergence of a broad range of devices such as mobile gaming consoles, cameras and other consumer electronics devices that can all reap the benefits of broadband mobile connectivity."

"As a developer of end-user solutions that will harness the power of WiMAX, it is our goal to look beyond traditional devices to create a new category of products for mobile broadband," said Dave Carey, vice president, strategic planning at Kyocera Wireless Corp. "Alcatel-Lucent has shown a commitment to help make this a reality by continually growing its Open CPE program to include other companies that share this common vision, we look forward to the ongoing efforts between our companies to extend our collaboration within Alcatel-Lucent's WiMAX ecosystem."

Geocell selects Orga Systems' Media Control Point

Orga Systems, the specialist in convergent real-time billing, has announced that Georgian mobile operator Geocell has selected Orga Systems’ Media Control Point (MCP) real-time data charging solution. 
 
The convergent charging platform MCP enables mobile operators to provide high value data services for pre-paid and postpaid users within a short time to market. This on the one hand helps to increase revenue. The real-time charging capabilities on the other hand help to eliminate revenue leakage for all SMS, data and content services.
 
Pre-integrated with the OPSC Real-time Billing System, MCP enables operators to manage all charging-relevant transactions of IP-billing in real-time and guarantees flexible pricing models and advanced IP session management.
 
Orga Systems’ MCP is a carrier-class solution based on the DIAMETER charging protocol that delivers a real-time charging and mediation platform for both messaging (SMS/MMS) and “always on” IP (GPRS/EDGE/HSDPA) data sessions.

Seeker Wireless and HP enable virtual fixed-line services in Eastern Europe

Seeker Wireless, the zone detection technology provider, and HP, have today announced that their joint Fixed Mobile Substitution (FMS) solution has been deployed to deliver virtual fixed-line services via mobile phones in Eastern Europe. 

The solution is said to have been deployed by one of the largest mobile operators in Eastern Europe and is providing consumers and businesses with "fixed-like" telephony services in the home or office via mobile phones.

The solution eliminates the need for cables and outlets in the wall, enabling subscribers to benefit from fast and easy access to telephone services, which also include a range of value added services such as SMS.

SeekerZone from Seeker Wireless has been created for the growing FMS market and is designed to encourage subscribers to use mobile phones instead of traditional fixed-line phones, by introducing special price plans for users based on their location. SeekerZone detection technology is based on the SIM card and enables mobile operators to roll out "fixed-like" services to all areas covered by their mobile networks.

Unlike first generation HomeZone solutions, based on older Cell-ID technologies, SeekerZone can deliver 99.5% in-zone reliability with a zone size that varies from 100 metres to 500 metres in most environments, significantly reducing potential revenue leakage.   
HP was the System Integrator for the solution based on SeekerZone. HP managed the overall project delivery and ensured the timely launch of the service. As part of the delivery, HP also provided the Intelligent Network platform, enabling real-time, accurate billing, as well as managing the smooth integration of SeekerZone(tm) into the operator network.

Colin I'Anson at HP says: "Fixed Mobile Substitution is an important part of mobile operator strategy as it enables operators to expand their business and drive revenue. We partnered with Seeker Wireless because of their innovative approach to zone detection and their ability to make FMS truly profitable for operators."

Dr Chris Drane, Chief Executive Officer at Seeker Wireless says: "FMS services are particularly significant in emerging markets where traditional fixed-line infrastructure is less prevalent. In these markets, FMS solutions like SeekerZone enable mobile operators to leapfrog traditional fixed-line services to capture additional usage and revenue. The innovative technology behind SeekerZone ensures that mobile operators maximise revenues from FMS services by delivering high in-zone reliability and tight zones around the home or office."

IPWireless opens mobile TV technology development centre in Denmark

IPWireless, a subsidiary of NextWave Wireless, has today announced that it has opened a new development centre in Aalborg, Denmark, to meet the growing European operator demand for TDtv -- a mobile TV technology pioneered by IPWireless that uses existing 3G spectrum to deliver high-definition, multi-channel mobile TV, digital radio, and other multimedia services at the lowest possible cost.  The Aalborg facility will focus on developing TDtv terminal designs, MBSFN protocol stacks design, unicast/multicast integration as well as advanced development projects based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless technology.

The Aalborg TDtv development centre will support the commercial deployment of TDtv technology across Western Europe. The team has extensive background in telecom software development and 3GPP software for W-CDMA implementations.  IPWireless expects the center to employ over 40 engineers by the end of the year.

The centre will be led by Henrik Dalsgaard, a telecommunications technology expert with over 20 years experience in the wireless communications industry.  Mr. Dalsgaard previously directed a major research and development facility at Nokia, and was one of the founders of the wireless start-up WirTek.

"TDtv technology provides operators the ability to profitably deliver advanced, multi-channel, high-definition mobile TV services to their customers.  It's a proven technology that is now ready for full commercial deployment," said Dr. Bill Jones, chief executive officer and co-founder of IPWireless.  "The exceptional engineering team at Aalborg will play a crucial role in accelerating the rollout of TDtv in Europe." 

"We are very excited to see an innovative company like IPWireless make an investment in Aalborg," said Mr. Jesper Jespersen, managing director of NOVI, Aalborg Science Park.

"We are privileged to have a wealth of highly experienced engineering talent in the Aalborg area," added Jon Thorgaard, deputy head of Invest in Denmark, a department of the Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "40 companies and more than 3,000 wireless communications professionals live and work here."

Mobile Marketing Association publishes EMEA mobile advertising guidelines

The Mobile Marketing Association, which represents more than 450 companies across the mobile marketing ecosystem, has today announced the release of its Mobile Advertising Guidelines tailored specifically for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. The guidelines are designed to foster the uptake of mobile advertising by global brands as well as enhance and protect the customer's experience.

The guidelines make it easier for marketers to develop mobile advertising campaigns while ensuring the campaigns are delivered consistently on the majority of mobile devices ensuring a positive and consistent consumer experience.

"As marketers embrace the power of mobile advertising to create and deliver engaging campaigns, so must the ecosystem demonstrate the strength, quality and potential of mobile." said Laura Marriott, President, Mobile Marketing Association.   "The MMA EMEA Mobile Advertising Guidelines launch is a landmark event in our mission to establish a consistent approach for mobile marketing. The guidelines will play a critical role in ensuring all players in the ecosystem see mobile advertising as a natural option for brand communication as a means to deliver targeted, meaningful and rewarding connections with consumers."

The guidelines provide important information including how to purchase and use Mobile Web advertising, how to use Mobile Web Banner advertising, recommended aspect ratios and banner dimensions, maximum file sizes, file formats and other technical specifications.

The GSM Association, which represents more than 700 mobile operators worldwide, and the dotMobi Advisory Group (MAG), both support the new guidelines.  "These guidelines have broad support among mobile operators, enabling advertisers to quickly create compelling campaigns for the mobile medium that will be effective across many different networks and geographies." said Bill Gajda, Chief Commercial Officer of the GSMA. "Our collaboration with the MMA will help bring economies of scale to this nascent and exciting new market, enabling it to reach its full potential to the benefit of all players in the ecosystem."

"The Mobile Internet is fast emerging as a mainstream information, entertainment and transaction source for people on the move. It is vital that the industry has a frame of reference for effectively implementing such initiatives," said Richard Saggers, MMA EMEA Chairman and Head of Mobile Advertising, Vodafone Group "The EMEA Mobile Advertising Guidelines reinforce the MMA's commitment to providing industry specific guidelines on both a regional and global level. The guidelines are key to driving the development of the mobile advertising industry forward in the EMEA region."

"The MMA's leadership in launching these guidelines will help to create a global guideline for mobile advertising, enable brands to quickly deploy their initiatives and enhance the consumer experience," said Michael Bayle, GM, Global Monetisation, Connected Life, Yahoo!. "As an active contributor to their development, Yahoo! supports the guidelines and is immediately adopting them as the global standard in the 19 markets where we support mobile advertising."

"It is our overall goal to ensure that as the mobile advertising market develops worldwide, consumers not only experience a positive mobile advertising experience but are also treated equitably by all in the value chain." concludes Laura Marriott, president of the Mobile Marketing Association.

The EMEA guideline development is led by the MMA's EMEA Mobile Advertising Committee, chaired by David Barker, Enpocket and Markus Münkler, Vodafone Group Services GmbH.  The committee is comprised of mobile operators, content providers, agencies, brands and technology enablers from the following member companies:  Action Engine, AdMob Inc,.AKQA Mobile, Alcatel-Lucent, Amobee Media Systems, Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) e.V., Buongiorno, Dynetic Mobile Solutions, Inc., Enpocket, Inc., Ericsson AB, Greystripe Incorporated, Incentivated Limited, M:Metrics, Microsoft (MSN and Windows Live), Mobile, Dreams Factory, SL, Mobile Enterprise Ltd, Mobile One2One, MOBILERA, Mobixell Networks (Europe) Ltd, MoviDream, mTLD Top Level Domain, LLC (.mobi), Net Think Iberia, Nokia Corporation, Openwave, Orange UK, Out There Media Holding GmbH, Qualcomm, Rhythm NewMedia, ScreenTonic, Sports.comm Ltd, Telenor Nordic Mobile, Tempos 21, The Coca-Cola Company, The Weather Channel, Interactive, T-Mobile UK, Turkcell Iletisimi Hizmetleri A.S,.Universal McCann, Vodafone Group Services Ltd., Yahoo!

The MMA EMEA Mobile Advertising Guidelines can be downloaded from http://www.mmaglobal.com/emeamobileadvertising.pdf

RealPage licenses Espial's Evo IPTV Service Platform

Espial , a leading provider of IPTV middleware and applications, today announced that RealPage, a leading provider of on-demand software and services to the multifamily industry, has licensed Espial's Evo IPTV Service Platform. RealPage provides products and services to more than 20,000 apartment communities across the United States, representing over four million dwelling units. Its on-demand product lines include property management systems, sales and marketing systems, revenue management systems, and billing and payment services that help real estate professionals automate and enhance key business processes.

Espial's flagship Evo IPTV Service Platform, which includes the carrier-grade Evo Server, Evo Client middleware, the open Evo Future-Proof Framework, and various applications including Evo EPG and Evo VOD, was designed as a more open, modular, scalable and faster alternative to other more monolithic solutions on the market.

"We were very impressed with the Evo IPTV Service Platform and selected Espial after evaluating several other middleware choices," said Steve Winn, RealPage CEO. "While we are not ready to announce any specific plans in the IPTV arena, we expect Espial to be a strategic partner moving forward."

Selection criteria for RealPage included ease of use for creating new applications and customizing Evo user interface SkinTones, the ability to manage multiple domains and channel line-ups separately from one service node, and overall system performance, scalability, and reliability.

"Being selected by the leader in the real estate software industry is strong validation of our full client-server Evo IPTV Service Platform," said Jaison Dolvane, CEO of Espial Group. "And we will be working hard during the integration and development phase to make the RealPage project a success."

With its advanced data-driven architecture and non-proprietary applications platform, Evo Client combines service creation flexibility with a fast and compelling subscriber experience to attract and keep subscribers. Espial's Evo Server is a carrier-grade IPTV service node developed from the ground up to optimize scalability, performance, ecosystem integration flexibility, and total cost of ownership.

 

Deutsche Telekom awards IP network maintenance contract to Nokia Siemens Networks

Under a long-term contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will deliver maintenance services for Juniper Networks E-, M- and T-series routers in the IP backbone and broadband access network of Deutsche Telekom in Germany

With a service package optimally targeted to the demands of Deutsche Telekom, Nokia Siemens Networks ensures that network incidents are avoided or quickly resolved. The network is monitored around the clock by dedicated service specialists at the Nokia Siemens Network Care Center. Among the services included are ticket handling, incident processing and troubleshooting, software maintenance and service and the exchange and repair of defective network components. Maintenance of Deutsche Telekom's test-lab equipment is also included in the service contract.

Nokia Siemens Networks' maintenance services offer T-Com important advantages. In addition to a significant reduction in operating costs (OPEX), operational advantages are realized through processes and arrangements designed specifically for T-Com. The current and planned network expansions are considerably bolstered through service level agreements and create new ways to further improve network quality. Nokia Siemens Networks is a Juniper Networks Global Support Partner, the highest accreditation level possible for offering maintenance services on Juniper equipment.

"We are pleased with the confidence Deutsche Telekom has in us - after supplying the system technology - to now also entrust us with the maintenance of the Juniper network components," said Christoph Caselitz, Chief Market Operations Officer at Nokia Siemens Networks Services. "Our references and our portfolio speak for themselves, laying the groundwork for securing a world-leading customer such as Deutsche Telekom."

"Based on the long-standing relationship and good quality of services, it was a logical step for us to now outsource maintenance to Nokia Siemens Networks as well, said Ulrich Schwaer, head of the technical centre network management from T-Com. "This is a business-critical area for Deutsche Telekom so it was essential for us to go with a trusted partner who would deliver the quality of service we need."