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Comstar, the combined telecommunications operator in Russia and the CIS, has today announced that it has signed an agreement with Intel to jointly develop the first mobile WiMAX network in Russia.

According to the terms of the agreement, Comstar and Intel will initially focus on launching a WiMAX network in the Moscow region as it is the best suited area in Russia for adopting the new wireless communications technologies. The network is expected to be launched by the end of 2008, using the IEEE 802.16e standard (2.5-2.7 Ghz range). The network will cover the whole city. Intel will provide the client technical devices with embedded WiMAX solutions.

Sergey Pridantsev, President and Chief Executive Officer of Comstar UTS, commented: "We are very enthusiastic about our collaboration with Intel. By combining our efforts we plan to substantially increase the availability of mobile wireless communications for our subscribers and provide the efficient Internet access for all clients at any place. The cooperation with Intel will strengthen our leading position in the broadband market."

Intel is currently developing embedded mobile WiMAX solutions for notebook PCs and ultra mobile and mobile Internet devices. In the middle of 2008, the company is expected to launch its first embedded mobile WiMAX/Wi-Fi module, codenamed "Echo Peak" with its next-generation Intel® Centrino® processor technology for notebooks and ultra-mobile devices. A solution optimized for mobile Internet devices with low power consumption, codenamed "Baxter Peak," is also expected to be available next year.

Sriram Viswanathan, Vice President of Intel Capital and General Manager of Intel WiMAX Program Office, added: "The effort between Comstar and Intel to bring mobile WiMAX to the people of Russia underscores the cost, performance and capability of this technology to give people a truly mobile Internet experience. The commitment to build mobile WiMAX networks continues to grow globally and we expect to see initial deployments in a number of markets starting in 2008 and growing throughout 2009 and beyond."

Dmitry Konash, Regional Manager of Intel in the CIS, commented: "The strategic collaboration with one of Russia's telecom leaders, Comstar UTS, ensures that WiMAX will be successfully developed in Russia. According to our agreement, our companies will work together to implement the joint marketing programmes to develop mobile WiMAX-based solutions not only in Moscow, but also in other cities and regions of Russia."

Nokia has today announced that the City of Maastricht, Netherlands has selected Nokia Intellisync Mobile Suite as their standard platform for mobile applications. The solution enables the administrative officers of the City of Maastricht to integrate 900 Nokia Eseries devices into the Cisco corporate IP telephony system and synchronize contact and calendar details. Furthermore, the city will offer wireless email to some of the employees. To ensure an easy roll out and management of all services, the City of Maastricht is using Nokia Intellisync Device Management. The deployment of the service has started and is estimated to be completed in the beginning of next year.

"Mobile working is increasingly important wherever business is conducted. The efficiencies and the cost-savings it delivers are important criteria for a city such as ours," said Marc Lustermans, project manager, City of Maastricht. "We have selected Nokia Intellisync Mobile Suite as our standard mobility platform given the modular structure of the mobileware which means that it can grow and be customized according to our evolving mobility needs today and tomorrow."

In order to ensure an easy and cost-effective deployment of the different mobile services, to simplify administration and configuration of the mobile phones in use, device management is an integrated part of the total solution.

"It was important that the City of Maastricht integrated its mobile infrastructure plans into the overall IT strategy for the organization," says Scott Cooper, senior vice president, Mobility Solutions Unit, Enterprise Solutions, Nokia. "We recommend that all businesses take a similar, more strategic approach towards mobility. Done right, an organization can gain advantage by improving speed and quality of service, while encouraging collaboration and communication between employees, customers and partners."

"We were looking for innovative yet secure mobility solutions, as a high level of security and data protection is imperative for us as a municipal organization," said Lustermans. "One decision criterion for the Nokia solution resulted from the fact that we can fully integrate the wireless email solution behind the firewall and hence keep full control of the solution within our own IT department."

Comverse, the supplier of software and systems enabling network-based multimedia enhanced communication and billing services, has announced live commercial implementation of the Fun Broker off- deck ringback tone platform at T-Mobile Germany with Jamba, a provider of digital entertainment services through a joint venture between News Corporation and VeriSign. Now available globally, Fun Broker allows content providers to sell ringback tones directly from their portals. Integrating ringback tones into the dynamic off-deck content retail market helps subscribers to personalise ringback tones easily from multiple media sources, which can increase penetration of the service.

Fun Dial, Comverse's ringback tone service, allows users to personalise network tones (ringing, busy signals) with music and content to entertain callers waiting for the phone call to be answered. The entry of leading content players like Jamba into the ringback tone service arena increases user awareness, convenience and choice, which can generate substantial new traffic and revenue in ringback tone content.

Lee Fenton, COO at Jamba said, "Operators have too much to do already to successfully take on the entire burden of constant promotion of ringback tones.By turning to Jamba and services leader Comverse, T-Mobile gains energetic and motivated market-savvy content and service delivery partners, and benefits from our highly popular portal for digital entertainment. It is no surprise that ringback tone sales and usage figures quickly shot up. We believe that their long-term gains will be equally impressive."

"Comverse creates great customer experiences and Fun Dial has become the best-in- class ringback tone experience. Now with Fun Broker, we can bring content from the best worldwide sources like Jamba. Jamba plus Comverse is a world's best customer experience," said Andre Dahan, President and CEO of Comverse.

TTI Team Telecom International, a global supplier of Operations Support Systems (OSS) to communications service providers, has announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Telesens LLC, a software house headquartered in the Ukraine with a strong presence in the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) market.

Telesens, with an annual turnover of over $2 million and approximately 100 employees, has been developing, implementing and promoting software solutions and related professional services for the telecommunications market since 1998. Amongst Telesens' customers are Kievstar, Kazakhstan Telecom, UKR Telecom and MTS Ukraine.

The acquisition of Telesens is part of TTI Telecom's strategy to expand its sales platform within strategic territories, as well as to lower software development costs through offshore development and be better equipped to develop new products for growing markets.   

"This acquisition is an excellent growth opportunity for TTI Telecom," said Meir Lipshes, CEO and Chairman of the Board.  "Bringing Telesens onboard achieves two important goals for TTI Telecom, enlarging and enhancing our footprint in the CIS market and enabling us to provide more cost-effective and efficient software solutions to our customers worldwide through off-shore development.  I believe that within the first year of the acquisition, we will see a positive contribution to our financial results."

Under the terms of the agreement, the aggregate purchase price is $ 2.7 million, subject to downward adjustments related to amongst other, actual 2007 annual turnover and certain performance parameters, and will be paid in cash over a three-year period.  The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in mid-January 2008. 

ND SatCom, an SES ASTRA company, has recently implemented a third batch SkyWAN satellite terminals for a telemedicine project initiated by the Kazakh Ministry of Health. The project was kicked off in 2005 for two of the 14 Kazakh regions and then extended by a further two regions in 2006. With the newly implemented terminals, the telemedical project now comprises the seven regions of Karaghandy, Atyrau, Akmola, Kyzylorda, West-, East- and South-Kazakhstan, which amounts to half of the country's area. The objective of the e-Health project is to establish regional medical centers and equip them with telemedicine networks for offering remote access to experts in urban areas for medical consultancy and collaboration. The VSAT networks consist of three hub stations at central sites in Almaty and Astana and a number of remote terminals.

Due to Kazakhstan's lack of terrestrial infrastructure in remote areas, satellite connectivity is the only solution for fast and reliable communication. The telemedicine networks connect urban medical centers, hospitals and medical universities throughout the country with doctors based in rural, remote and inaccessible sites. Transmitted data are either real-time, e.g. telephone, live operations and video-conferencing, or store-and-forward data such as patient files and X-Ray photographs.

Dietmar Riedel, Director Sales Europe & CIS of ND SatCom, states that feedback has been very positive: "The installation of these networks led to a significant reduction in the times taken to diagnose certain illnesses and diseases. Thus overall medical care response time has been shortened in addition to the time and effort required to transport patients to medical centers. Furthermore, diagnoses have proved much better in the districts served by telemedicine networks."

Airwide Solutions, the leading provider of next-generation mobile messaging and mobile internet infrastructure, applications and solutions, is today celebrating fifteen years of the SMS (short message service). In December 1992, Airwide was responsible for delivering the first ever SMS. The message, delivered on the Vodafone network, said 'Merry Christmas' and the man who sent it is still working as an engineer for Airwide today.

Neil Papworth, then working for the company as a test engineer and today Principle Software Engineer comments: "I was a young engineer working on new communications technologies. We thought SMS was a clever way for a company's staff to send simple messages to one another. I'd never have predicted that it would spread into the consumer world and become what it is today. At the time it didn't seem like a big deal."

Kevin Wood, CEO of Airwide Solutions, says "We are celebrating not only the success of mobile messaging with SMS being fifteen years old, but also the way in which mobile messaging has evolved, how we use it today and where it is headed in the future. Text messaging has come a long way in fifteen years and we are still seeing SMS volumes continue to increase, particularly in countries with developing mobile networks, such as the Middle East, Eastern Europe, North Africa and parts of Asia. The biggest debate in the industry was whether or not SMS will be superseded and, if so, by what.  We have seen SMS continue to grow and not only do we expect this will continue well into the future, but SMS will be one of the underpinning technologies that drives many new uses beyond person-to-person texting."

To celebrate fifteen years of SMS, Airwide last night hosted an industry party in London, which included a panel discussion on the evolution of SMS and the future of mobile messaging. Panel participants included Kevin Wood, CEO of Airwide Solutions; Paul Gill, Product Manager, Wholesale and Premium Messaging, Vodafone UK; John Delaney, Principal Analyst at Ovum; Mike Short, Chairman of the Mobile Data Association and Jonathan Bass, Chair of the UK MMA.

The panel focused on what growth potential remained in mobile messaging and how consumers will adapt to new messaging formats. The panel agreed that text culture is here to stay and, with applications such as mobile advertising, mobile internet, payments and location-based services, text messaging will continue its growth even in a mature market. There was unanimous agreement that global mobile subscribers will drive the continued growth in SMS and, as new messaging technologies are developed, it is the consumer who will decide which format will be successful in fifteen years time.

John Delaney, Principal Analyst at Ovum, said of the discussion: "The industry is still struggling to find new services that are anywhere near as popular and profitable as the 15-year old SMS. SMS is simple, ubiquitous, easy to use and cost-effective. These are the guiding principles that all new services must follow, if they are to succeed on the same scale as SMS."

Shenick has announced the general availability of its servicEye, IPTV monitoring system. With servicEye, Shenick adds to its converged IP network test portfolio and IPTV service providers can now proactively address quality issues, reduce customer churn and confidently scale IPTV services delivery.

servicEye is built on IPTV quality assessment technology that provides a completely integrated end to end performance monitoring solution. servicEye, which is already in use by network service providers worldwide, provides IPTV monitoring and service assurance from the video head end right through to the end viewer.

IPTV service providers can now secure and grow fixed line revenue by delivering a high quality TV viewing experience. They can now boost competitive advantage by proactively reducing and rapidly isolating quality issues saving on repair costs and increasing productivity rates through efficient resource allocation. In addition, they can manage content provider quality issues and establish reliable mechanisms to guarantee content service level agreements.                                                              
                                                            
servicEye provides the following key features:
           A passive and active probe in one, integrated unit. 
           24 x 7 real time, non intrusive, passive analysis of each and every IPTV channel. 
           Full reference active video analysis utilizing the PEVQ MOS algorithm. 
           All CODEC's supported for standard (SD) and high definition (HD) TV. 
           Active probe functions to inject and analyze emulated network and multiplay video, voice and data application flow scenarios, such as IPTV channel change rate testing and/or service level VLAN/PPPoE/DHCP testing. 
           Head End quality monitoring for both IP and pre encoded ASI/SDI inputs. 
           Quality analysis of both encrypted and non encrypted CBR and VBR streams. 
           Multi-minute video capture upon pre-configured quality (such as MOS) threshold violation. 
           Select and view any IPTV channel in real time. 
           A scalable and centrally managed solution with pre-configured support for popular OSS fault, correlation and alarm management interfaces. 
           Secure management interface without a requirement for a dedicated data communications network.

In a separate announcement, Shenick has announced that its diversifEye10G has been selected by World Wide Packets, a leading provider of Carrier Ethernet solutions, to guarantee high quality user experience for converged multiplay IP applications such as IPTV, VoD, VoIP, wireless and data applications over Ethernet services.

World Wide Packets' solutions allow service providers, cable operators, emerging carriers and municipalities to reach new levels of speed and agility when deploying Ethernet services such as IPTV or VoIP. Multiplay IP services are particularly susceptible to quality issues so, there is a demand to ensure quality of experience for each and every customer across all services, from traditional Ethernet offerings to next-generation video and voice application quality. World Wide Packets requires a highly granular, realistic perspective on service and performance, right down to the corporate and consumer subscriber level and individual user application flows.

With diversifEye, Shenick provides World Wide Packets with the degree of granularity required to test overall performance limitations and quality of service (QoS), coupled with the ability to drill down to each IPTV, VoD, VoIP, wireless and Internet user application flow such as Web and P2P applications for a true quality of experience (QoE) assessment. Shenick is the first company in the market to test on a per user, per application, per service layer and network basis in a single box test system helping to provide every customer with the highest quality service.

Mike Nielsen, Executive Vice President of Product Management & Engineering for World Wide Packets said, "World Wide Packets is dedicated to delivering its customers the very best quality of services and user experience. Utilizing the per flow test capabilities and high performance of diversifEye10G, we are able to ensure we deliver this high level of service."

Robert Winters, Shenick CMO said, "World Wide Packets joins our rapidly growing global customer base of network equipment manufacturers and service provider customers who now have the capability to guarantee the quality of end user experience on a per network service and application flow basis."

Shenick's diversifEye10G is a completely integrated high performance 10Gbps test system that provides both network operators and communications equipment manufacturers with the ability to create and test the most realistic converged IP application usage scenarios covering quality of service, individual subscriber experience, functional verification, high load and key performance limitations.

Iskratel has today announced that it has entered into a distribution partnership with the American company Acme Packet, the leading provider of session border controllers (SBCs) and integrates the industry-leading Acme Packet Net-Net SBCs into Iskratel's next-generation service provider and enterprise SI3000 solutions for IP interactive communications. Solution based on the product portfolio of Iskratel and Acme Packet provide trusted, first class interactive voice, video and multimedia communications over Internet protocol (IP) networks.

This new partnership gives Iskratel access to top-quality telecommunications equipment and allows it to provide interoperable and feature-rich NGN solutions to its customers and partners The decision to join with the Acme Packet grew from the need for innovative solutions from partner companies to complement Iskratel's SI3000 present product lines. Iskratel is now in a position to meet the growing demands of enterprise customers and service providers providing residential or business communication solutions.

Iskratel has already begun the intensive marketing of Acme Packet products within the framework of its own solutions. The first business deals have already been closed in the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Macedonia and Slovenia including with operators Telekom Slovenije, Mobitel and On.Net.

"In the telecommunications industry, the pooling of companies by entering into partnerships is becoming more and more important. It assures the continuity of successful business operations and provides a satisfactory answer to the growing demands of our customers. In future, the SBC will most certainly be one of the most important components of Iskratel's SI3000 integral solutions in NGNs. Acme Packet's excellent product ensures security and control in VoIP networks as well as top-quality services for our customers," says Franc Dolenc, Director of Products and Solutions at Iskratel.

Acme Packet Net-Net SBCs combine purpose-built hardware with high-quality session border control features that together deliver carrier-class scalability, performance and reliability. Supporting multiple protocols and multiple applications, the Net-Net SBCs provide critical control functions at both access and interconnect borders to satisfy new requirements in the five major areas of security, service reach maximization, SLA assurance, revenue and cost optimization and regulatory compliance. Acme Packet's Net-SAFE security features, including DoS/DDoS protection, dynamic access control, call rate limiting and topology hiding, help ensure that IP networks are secure and available to provide IP interactive communication services.

"With a mutual understanding of the market and a commitment to support our customers, Acme Packet and Iskratel are delivering solutions so service providers and enterprises can build high quality and secure next generation networks," stated Mark Vella, Acme Packet's vice president of business development. "Iskratel is a leading supplier and integrator of softswitches and next generation voice networks and we look to build upon the successful partnership that has already resulted in key customer deployments."

Ukrainian operator life:) is said to be the world's first mobile operator to launch post-paid and prepaid billing on a single, truly convergent billing system with Orga Systems OPSC Gold.

"Astelit is one of the leading operators in Eastern Europe.  We have outstanding growth rates and an ambitions strategic approach.  Therefore we require a strong partner that understands and supports our business.  Orga Systems is this partner." says Oguz Memiguven, CTO, Astelit life:) "With their OPSC Gold convergent product suite, Orga Systems has enabled us to successfully launch new, next generation services with a very aggressive time to market.  At the same time their system has enabled us to reduce operator costs significantly.  This important milestone is just one on the path to a successful future in our highly competitive markets."

By harnessing the power of real-time billing, OPSC Gold allows life:) to rapidly roll-out new revenue-generating services to its entire subscriber base, whether post-paid, prepaid or hybrid forms, and permits fast time-to-market marketing campaigns.

OPSC Gold is a carrier-class convergent real-time billing system that enables true convergence by providing a single point of rating, charging and billing regardless of the payment method or service.

The new system will support the next stage of exciting growth for life:) which is recognized as one of Europe's most cutting-edge mobile operators attracting 7.6 million subscribers in just two and a half years.

In addition, OPSC Gold lowers total cost of ownership by consolidating systems and processes into a single platform. Its extensive billing and credit management functionality will help protect against revenue leakage.

E-Plus, Germany's third-largest mobile communications provider, has chosen the Optimux-34 multiservice PDH fiber multiplexer from RAD Data Communications to guarantee no-gaps indoor network coverage in public buildings. The E Plus Group is said to be the only mobile communication provider that supports mobile phone use in Hamburg's subway stations.

Because walls and reinforced concrete get in the way, mobile communications only works properly indoors if a special infrastructure is set up within the buildings in which coverage is required. 'Microcells' are installed at busy facilities such as trade show halls, airport terminals and sports stadiums. Each discrete section of a building ­ a floor of a shopping mall, for example ­ requires one or more dedicated mobile communication antennas.

To hook these indoor antennas up to the network, the E Plus Group rents existing optical cables from the building operator. The problem is that mobile communications equipment usually has digital E1 interfaces instead of optical interfaces. This is where RAD's multiservice Optimux-34 PDH optical multiplexer converts E1 circuits into optical signals and fans an E3 out onto E1 lines. Installed equipment can now pick up the E3 coax cable from the radio relay system on the roof and carry mobile traffic into the building over fiber optic infrastructure. Inside the building, a chain of Optimux multiplexers forms a cascaded optical access network and lets the E1 coax interfaces "talk" to the mobile antennas.

"It is our privilege to provide E Plus with a future-proof solution in the shape of the Optimux-34, which supports traditional technologies while delivering the flexibility and manageability that today's customers expect," says Badre Bounouar, Pre-sales Consultant at Pan Dacom Direkt, a RAD distribution partner.

A 10/1000 BaseT Ethernet user port is also available. The main link can use either coaxial E3 or a variety of optical interfaces. The latter are based on small, modular optical transceivers known as small form-factor pluggable (SFP) modules, which are very easy to replace if the need arises. Equipment can thus be adapted flexibly to on-site conditions such as the optical route, wavelength and attenuation factor. A plug-and-play design guarantees extremely simple installation.

"We chose the Optimux-34 from RAD because it is compact and comparatively inexpensive," explains Dr. Hans-Jurgen Schrewe, Director of Planning and Engineering at the E-Plus Group. "We were particularly impressed by the tremendous flexibility provided by the SFP modules."

"The E Plus project demonstrates that our Optimux product line provides very flexible solutions for connecting optical cables to a PDH infrastructure," states Amit Katz, Product Line Manager at RAD Data Communications. "PDH technology is utilized in mobile communications applications around the globe, and indoor network coverage is a critical issue," he concludes. "This particular installation may indeed set a trend."

Nokia has announced a collaboration with Telecom Italia to accelerate the adoption of new Internet services on mobile. Ovi, the gateway to Nokia's Internet services, will be enabled on Nokia handsets offered by TIM. The agreement will make it easy for people to find and enjoy best-in-class Internet services, from TIM, Nokia or from other Internet service providers.

As part of the collaboration, Nokia will customize the new Nokia handsets to provide easy access to TIM services. Similarly, TIM customers can access all Nokia services through the customized Multimedia Menu embedded into their Nokia device. The collaboration also includes areas such as technology and billing co-operation.

The Nokia N95 8GB and the Nokia N81 will be the first devices offered that will have customized menus to provide easy access to both services. Nokia and TIM have also agreed on a sustainable business model for both parties in a mutually beneficial approach.

"We want to provide TIM mobile customers with the best mobile experience and by working with Nokia, we ensure that our customers have access to the best in internet services. Nokia and other Internet services will be able to take advantage of TIM's high quality mobile broadband network," said Riccardo Jelmini, Telecom Italia Executive Vice President VAS - Domestic Mobile Services. 

"We're extremely excited about this collaboration as I believe it can pave the way for a new way of working throughout our industry," said Jyrki Salminen, Senior Vice President, Nokia Multimedia. "Ease of use has always been at heart of Nokia devices and this collaboration is an important step in creating the same for Internet services. Nokia devices and services are based on open standards making it easy for us to work with forward thinking operators such as TIM to provide consumers with a choice about which internet services they want to access from their mobile device."

Comptel, the vendor of dynamic Operations Support System (OSS) software, has announced that it will deliver a complete solution for managing subscriber services and charging to Finnish service provider Setera Communications. This solution will be based around standard components from Comptel's service fulfillment, mediation and charging portfolio, but deployed in a new innovative way. 

Founded in 2006, Setera focuses providing IP- centric business voice, data and value-added service solutions. Setera's target customers are small and medium sized multi-location enterprises, as well service providers looking to add voice solutions into their existing product portfolio. As a new and rapidly growing service provider, Setera wanted a solution that would allow them to manage subscriptions and charge for the services they offer their customers and channel partners without investing in the traditional separate billing and order management systems.

Mr Tuomo Kiesvaara, CEO at Setera says: "We chose Comptel because of their proven portfolio of operator back-end systems. Their understanding of the change taking place in operator business models, combined with their capability to adapt their standard components into the IP-centric business model of Setera, is perfectly aligned with our vision of the winning future operating model.

"With Comptel as our partner in one of the critical and most complex areas of operator business, we are well positioned to continue our growth and expand our service portfolio during the coming years" continues Kiesvaara.

Mr. Harri Palviainen, Comptel's Executive Vice President for Sales, concludes:."Comptel thrives on innovation, as we believe it reduces the time to market and increases the value for money for our customers.  This project with Setera is an excellent illustration of how Comptel Dynamic OSS can be deployed in new ways to meet the requirements of an innovative service provider."

    

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