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Convergys Corporation, a global leader in  customer care , human resources , and billing services , has announced its selection to the InformationWeek 500 Top 10, a prestigious list that recognizes companies for their innovative use of technology.  At the awards ceremony held last night in Tucson, InformationWeek recognized Convergys for its innovative use of technology-based solutions that improve customer loyalty and profitability and that improve employee retention.

For 20 years, InformationWeek has identified and honored the nation's most innovative users of information technology with its annual listing.  The list is unique among corporate rankings because it spotlights the power of innovation in information technology, rather than simply identifying the biggest IT spenders.  Convergys has rapidly moved ahead in the listing over the past two years, going from a ranking in the top 500 in 2005, placing 81 in 2006, and now being in the Top 10.

"We develop and deploy innovative technology-based solutions to transform customer and employee relationships through proactive care, raising the effectiveness of self-care, enhancing agent efficiency, and optimizing the value of all customers," said Bob Lento, Convergys President, Information Management, who was present in Tucson to accept the award.  "Convergys has invested hundreds of millions in research and development and now holds an impressive 137 patents or patents-pending for advanced technology in all phases of customer care, human resources, and billing."

"Being recognized in Information Week's Top 10 demonstrates that Convergys continues to provide its clients innovative and differentiated customer care solutions.  Innovation -particularly in taking the contact center into the realm of the business intelligence center - is one of many reasons why Convergys is a leading customer relationship management company," said Stephen Loynd, IDC Program Manager, Contact Center Services.

"We'd like to extend our sincere congratulations to all InformationWeek 500 honorees. These companies represent today's leading technology innovators, many of whom have joined us this week," said InformationWeek vice president and publisher, John Siefert. "This group has prompted fascinating discussion on some of the most forward looking business technology initiatives to date."

Two solutions were noted that highlight Convergys' ability to leverage technology.  The first solution helps clients optimize customer experience with a solution that enables automated, real-time, and proactive policy management across all customer contact channels.  This software and services solution augments a company's existing systems, data, and processes.  It also drives informed and actionable decision-making that maximizes the lifetime value of each customer while increasing agent efficiency, quality of service, and customer satisfaction and loyalty.   

Another example is Convergys' early warning system used throughout its 79 global contact centers to address employee retention and encourage employee engagement and productivity.  This proactive retention intervention process and tool combines qualitative data from one-on-one conversations between agents and team leaders with quantitative data, to gauge an employee's likelihood to exit the company.  Based on an employee's likelihood to leave, Convergys is able to take appropriate steps to intervene and retain the employee before it is too late.

AT&T has announced today that Iron Mountain, the global specialist in information protection and storage services, has selected AT&T to provide an Internet Protocol (IP)-based Virtual Private Network (VPN) that connects 157 of its business locations throughout Europe.

Iron Mountain has seen exponential growth in both the traditional and digital information storage markets. In addition to handling a rise in traffic volume, the company's key selection criteria included the need to address the different requirements of individual facilities across Europe and the flexibility to seamlessly incorporate new locations into the network in the future. Collaborating with Iron Mountain, AT&T developed a secure, managed and flexible solution to meet Iron Mountain's business and technical objectives in Europe.

"AT&T demonstrated that it could meet our immediate business requirements as well as provide a long-term, cost-effective solution for future expansion of the company," said Grant Young, vice president, IT of Iron Mountain Europe. "The VPN service also allows us to develop and introduce Unified Communications programs to further strengthen our business processes."

One of Europe's leading carriers has awarded ECT a contract for an INtellECT Next Generation Intelligent Network (NG-IN) to provide highly profitable value-added services in legacy and next-generation networks throughout Europe. In the first phase, the value-added services are being introduced in Southern European countries where the carrier currently has particularly high traffic volumes.

This is yet another large contract for ECT´s INtellECT NG-IN after several other implementations in Germany and the Middle East in 2007.  "This significant contract again underscores the commercial success of our technology which allows our customers to use one central NG-IN to run highly profitable value-added services in legacy and next-generation networks throughout Europe," comments Dr. Marshall E. Kavesh, CEO and founder of ECT, on the recent win.

Comptel, the vendor of dynamic Operations Support System (OSS) software, has announced today that convergent operator Tunisiana, a joint venture of Orascom Telecom Holding and Wataniya in Tunisia, has selected Comptel Provisioning and Activation Solution. This follows the recent announcement of Comptel being selected as preferred supplier by Orascom Telecom. The solution will be used to improve the service fulfillment processes for mobile services including planned 3G services.

Since launching services in 2002, Tunisiana has grown at a phenomenal rate. But with success comes challenges, and one of those were to provision and activate services fast and efficiently for Tunisiana's growing customer base.

Mr Hatem Mestiri, CIO at Tunisiana said  "We chose Comptel because time-to-market was a very important criteria for us. Comptel has an outstanding track record, across the world for delivering reliable provisioning and activation solutions that genuinely improve operators' fulfilment processes"

Comptel Provisioning and Activation Solution automates the provisioning and activation processes. With a single interface, it covers the entire workflow - from service order to start of billing.

Mr. Kari Pasonen, Comptel's Senior Vice President, Provisioning and Activation Business at Comptel, concludes: "Comptel is really pleased to add Tunisiana to its growing list of customers in North Africa. The region has one of the most youthful and demanding subscriber base for new services.  Service providers in the region recognise that Comptel can help them deliver innovative and reliable services to their customers."

Pirelli Broadband Solutions, the broadband access and photonics company within the Pirelli Group, has today announced that, together with Intracom Telecom, a leading supplier of integrated solutions and professional services to telecom operators in the EMEA region, will deploy its City8 CWDM Multiservice Platform solution in Hellas Online's transport network in Athens, Salonika, and rural areas throughout Greece.

"With Pirelli we found not only a high-performance metro access platform but also a solutions partner," said Charalampos Papanastasiou, Wireline Systems Manager of Intracom Telecom.  "The Pirelli system is very flexible and allows our customers to add further CWDM capacity and DWDM wavelengths when they need it."

Pirelli's CWDM Metro Access System is a carrier-class platform providing high-bandwidth, managed services over a single fiber pair.  Customers of City8 can easily upgrade (in-field) to Pirelli's City+ CWDM & DWDM Multiservice Platform, which supports six CWDM wavelengths, each operating at 2.5Gbit/s, and 16 DWDM wavelengths, each operating at 2.5 or 10Gbit/s, for a total capacity of 175Gbit/s. 

"With the announcements of triple-play services and the arrival of faster broadband access technologies such as VDSL2 and FTTx, we are seeing a growing interest for our CWDM/DWDM Multiservice platform," said Pierluigi Franco, senior vice president, Marketing of Photonics Products for Pirelli Broadband Solutions. "Partnering with solutions providers like Intracom Telecom further validates our value proposition."

Pirelli's Metro-Access Multiservice portfolio supports SONET/SDH, FC, 10GE, ESCON, and FICON interfaces. Field programmable electronic core and pluggable SFP/XFP optical transceivers allow telecom operators and MSOs to address all possible network scenarios. Sub-lambda multiplexing enables the transmission of multiple services over a single wavelength while maintaining transparent client services. 

Convergys Corporation, a global leader in  customer care , human resources , and billing services , has announced an agreement to provide consulting services to Telecom Egypt, the largest fixed line provider in the Middle East and Africa serving over 11 million subscribers,

As part of the new agreement, Convergys is providing its industry expertise to implement a Business Process Re-engineering project to enhance Telecom Egypt's billing operations.  Convergys will re-engineer all billing processes to align them with Telecom Egypt's new billing platform.

The contract announced today builds upon the 5-year licensing contract Telecom Egypt signed with Convergys in 2006 to manage the replacement of the existing billing system with Convergys' Infinys rating and billing solution.

"The new Infinys solution has provided us triple play billing capabilities and the capacity to support millions of new subscribers as we introduce increasingly sophisticated services," said Khaled Marmoush, Telecom Egypt Chief Information Officer.  "We realized the importance of reengineering our business processes to fully utilize the advantages of the new billing solution and to improve our customer service.  Convergys' global consulting expertise was invaluable to our transformation initiative."

"Telecom Egypt has wisely invested in Convergys' next-generation, convergent rating and billing solution providing the highest level of scalability, dependability, and flexibility to support the differentiation of its services," said Jean-Herve Jenn, Convergys President, International.  "Re-engineering its billing processes will further improve Telecom Egypt's ability to support a high volume of transactions, new bundled service offerings, and retain customers."

With this new agreement, Telecom Egypt's objective is to ensure that its business is transformed to the defined "future state" in line with the Infinys implementation.  With the completion on the final operational phase of the Business Process Re-engineering project, Telecom Egypt will fully realize the benefits of the Infinys solution.

Telecom Egypt moved its billing to Infinys to lower IT costs through the consolidation and elimination of redundant systems, utilizing a distributed open source platform, and limiting the need to pay for expensive and time-consuming custom system and application development.  The Infinys solution also facilitates revenue growth and profitability for Telecom Egypt through its capabilities to support the rapid launch of new convergent service bundles, the roll out of next-generation IP based services, and the application of new business models.  

The DSL Forum has announced new broadband and IPTV statistics at the Broadband World Forum Europe in Berlin.  The statistics, prepared for the DSL Forum by industry analyst Point Topic, show that the number of people using IPTV services increased by 179 per cent in the 12 months to 30 June 2007.  On the broadband access side, DSL continues to dominate with almost 66 per cent of subscribers using this technology. 

Over eight million people are now connected to IPTV services.  Europe added over three million subscribers in the 12 months to 30 June 2007, making it the strongest market both in terms of growth (231 per cent in 12 months) and total subscriber numbers (almost five million by 30 June 2007). 

"Top markets like France (2,550,000 customers) and Hong Kong (938,000 customers) show that IPTV can be deployed rapidly to large numbers of subscribers, if the market conditions are right," said Point Topic Senior Analyst John Bosnell.  "On the demand side, competitive and clear bundle pricing and content deals will help to attract customers to IPTV services, while on the supply side, making IPTV easier to install and develop will help to deliver IPTV services to a wider subscriber base."

Bosnell continues, "Developing and agreeing standards will help to simplify the delivery process and drive higher take-up in other markets too."

IPTV is an important focus for the DSL Forum: the Forum's BroadbandSuite focuses on areas critical to the successful deployment of IPTV services and current work addresses transport improvements around VDSL2, policy control framework and network performance improvements, as well as home networking optimisation, including IPTV remote management and Set Top Box (STB) initiation advancements.

DSL remains the most popular access technology, with over 200 million of the world's 313 million broadband subscribers connecting via DSL.  The global market share of broadband technologies remains largely unchanged from December 2006, with almost 22 per cent of subscribers using cable, and just over 10 per cent using FTTx.

Western Europe continues to have the most broadband users, with 72 million of the 86 million broadband subscribers using DSL.  The Eastern Europe DSL market, while small (less than 14 million), is the region with the strongest growth (over 60 per cent in the 12 months to 30 June
2007).   The USA has the most broadband subscribers (over 63 million),
but China tops the DSL subscriber list with over 44 million of its 59 million broadband users connected via DSL.  15 countries now have over three million DSL subscribers, and 29 have over one million subscribers, with Portugal passing the one million mark in the second quarter of 2007.

"Today's figures highlight that services such as IPTV, which have held the promise of increased revenues and reduced subscriber churn for a number of years, are finally becoming a reality for millions of people,"
said Robin Mersh, chief operating officer at the DSL Forum. 

"The figures also illustrate that DSL remains a vital tool in the successful delivery of bandwidth-hungry bundled services.  The DSL Forum continues to play a critical role in aiding the mass global deployment of IPTV through our development of specifications that not only facilitate increased speed and bandwidth offered by DSL technologies, but also ensure a standardised approach to network management and the interoperability of customer premise equipment, regardless of access technology."

With more than 100 million mobile customers throughout Europe, the France Telecom Group operates in some of the world's most competitive markets. To increase revenue, reduce churn and maintain its competitive edge, France Telecom has selected Telcordia Technologies as its preferred vendor for service quality analysis. Orange UK is the first France Telecom property to deploy Telcordia Service Director which analyses disparate network and operational data to present a consolidated view of service degradations and their impact on customers. This capability will help Orange UK improve customer satisfaction by continually monitoring user experiences and taking pre-emptive action to correct problems before they become noticeable to customers.
 
Service Director is part of the Telcordia Service Management Suite. Orange UK's deployment of Service Director builds on its existing, highly successful relationship with Telcordia
 
"Operators worldwide turn to Telcordia when they need innovative, robust and flexible solutions that address today's biggest challenges," said Michael Anderson, President, Global Solutions, Telcordia. "One of those challenges is service management. Telcordia Service Director gives savvy operators the ability to harness the power of service management to increase revenue, reduce churn and strengthen their competitive edge. With Service Director's end-to-end view of and control over services, those operators can continue to put customers first by ensuring consistently high quality of service for popular applications such as mobile TV and e-mail, as well as fixed-mobile services."

ASC, a leading global provider of innovative solutions to record, analyze and evaluate communications, has today announced Wave Telecom's certification as a partner in ASC's Partner Network Program. Wave has joined the ASC partner network to provide communications recording and quality monitoring solutions to their customers in the Bailiwick of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. 

As a wholly owned subsidiary of the Jersey Telecom Group based in St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Wave provides fixed and mobile telecommunications services for its residential and business customers. The new partnership with ASC was achieved after completion of technical and sales training courses at the ASC branch in Camberley, England. The ASC partner network program includes many special benefits such as extensive pre-sales support to integrate ASC solutions into customers' existing IT infrastructures.

Mike Murley, General Manager of ASC telecom UK Ltd., said, "Our Partner Network Program is designed to merge our participants' market knowledge with our technology to create powerful solutions and generate true value for our joint customers. Wave Telecom's partner status was only achieved after intensive coordination among our engineers, and it indicates our shared commitment to excellence."

Kevan Marquand, Technical Development Manager of Wave Telecom, added, "We wanted to become an ASC partner since we recognized the continuing value of the ASC brand. With more than 40 years of experience and an intensive commitment to research and development, ASC is poised to continue its leadership in communications recording and quality monitoring for the foreseeable future."

Engineers from Wave Telecom were certified for ASC's communications recording solutions, MARATHON EVOLUTION, MARATHON EVOlite and EVOip, and have already sold ASC recorders to local customers such as EFG Read, Yorkshire Building Society and Legis. Wave will receive sales and support services from ASC's direct subsidiary in the United Kingdom, ASC telecom UK Limited.

ASC partners receive a variety of incentives and benefits, depending on the partnership level, including competitive Partner Transfer Prices, sales and marketing support including access to ASC's online Partner Portal, demo software and equipment at reduced prices, comprehensive training programs and ASC Project Management and Service Support. 

Ericsson has announced the launch of infrastructure and device platforms for WCDMA/HSPA in the 2.6GHz frequency band. The move is said to be triggered by strong market interest and supports the growth of mobile broadband worldwide.

Ericsson says the launch of HSPA products for the 2.6GHz frequency band provides an immediate and secure choice for operators planning to offer mobile broadband services in this band.

The initiative also follows increased interest from mobile device manufacturers in launching HSPA devices for the 2.6GHz band. In turn, Ericsson is adding 2.6GHz support to its successful family of WCDMA/HSPA device platforms and mobile broadband modules for use in notebook computers.

New licenses for the 2.6GHz frequency band are now becoming available globally and Ericsson's HSPA solution for the 2.6GHz frequency band supports opportunities for operators to create new markets.

The deployment of HSPA on the 2.6GHz frequency band also stimulates current HSPA operators to further grow their existing mobile broadband business into new frequency bands, as it allows them to leverage existing infrastructure, providing greater cost efficiency, and supports a wider range of end-user devices.

Ulf Ewaldsson, Vice President and Head of Product Area Radio at Ericsson, says: "The launch of HSPA products for the 2.6GHz frequency band supports Ericsson's ambition to bring mobile broadband everywhere, at any time, from any device to as many people as possible.

"HSPA is a proven technology and the leading industry standard. It is already deployed in several frequency bands - including 850, 1700, 1800, 1900 and 2100MHz - and deployment in the 900MHz frequency band will start soon. Support in the 2.6GHz frequency band brings the economies of scale of HSPA also to operators with 2.6GHz licenses and their end users."

Today, HSPA is available in more than 130 live networks worldwide with more than 50 additional deployments ongoing.

The commercial launch of networks and end-user devices with HSPA support in the 2.6GHz frequency band is set to the latter part of 2008.

Ericsson and Svenska UMTS Nät AB (jointly owned by TeliaSonera and Tele2) have signed a contract for a nationwide rollout of mobile broadband in Sweden. TeliaSonera and Tele2 will offer their customers enhanced mobile broadband services with speed up to 7.2 Mbps. The network is already prepared for 14.4 Mbps.

The rollout has already started, and before the end of 2007 all the major cities in Sweden will be covered.

Ericsson's High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) solution offers data speed in the downlink up to 14.4Mbps but today's commercial HSPA subscriber devices only allow a maximum downlink speed of 7.2Mbps. The advanced technology boosts network capacity and cuts response times for interactive services, increasing the performance of mobile broadband.

Fredrik Lerigon, CEO Svenska UMTS Nät AB says: "Reliability and a proven track record were the key criteria when choosing Ericsson for this key project. We are now able to offer competitive services based on the latest technology."

Mikael Bäckström, President Ericsson Nordic and Baltics, says: "We are proud to be selected by Svenska UMTS Nät AB to expand its HSPA radio network, and in this way contribute to bringing even faster mobile broadband to Swedish consumers. This contract takes Ericsson's leadership in broadband to the next level."
Ericsson is responsible for deployment and integration and will also deliver educational and customer support services.

Operax, the leading vendor of Network Service Quality control solutions, has today announced a successful field trial of Operax Bandwidth Manager 5500 with Telecom Italia, Italy's largest communications provider. The trial was undertaken to assess Bandwidth Manager 5500 as a means of assuring Quality of Service (QoS) for IP applications on Telecom Italia's Next-Generation Network (NGN).

The field test, conducted in Rome and Turin, supported Telecom Italia's Alice VoIP service offering. The field trial of Operax Bandwidth Manager 5500 served to assess the viability of an external Resource and Admission Control component. The field trial was carried out on a cutting edge ATCA platform and provides further evidence of the Operax application's robust and scaleable capabilities. Operax Bandwidth Manager performed well on all levels, and included functional testing as well as high availability and performance analysis.

Stefano Nocentini, Head of Tilab - Innovation, Engineering, Testing - at Telecom Italia, said:  "The trial with Operax Bandwidth Manager was successful and demonstrated the suitability of the technology for managing multiple sessions of single services".

Jeremy Deaner, General Manager EMEA & APAC at Operax, commented: "This successful field trial with Telecom Italia is a major achievement for Operax, and reinforces that our proposition for IP services is deployable for Telecom Italia. We believe the carrier-grade capability of Operax products is well-proven by this and similar projects with other Tier-1 Service Providers".

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