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SITA, a specialist provider of IT communications solutions to the air transport industry, has today announced a partnership with The Netherlands-based company Rohill, a dedicated developer of professional mobile communication systems for mission-critical applications. Together, the companies will provide tailored solutions to the air transport industry's $220 million professional mobile radio market.

In a move that strengthens SITA's unique Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) offering to the air transport industry (ATI), SITA through this partnership will offer airports, airlines and ground handlers a solution that is designed specifically to their needs and based on an open, scalable and flexible platform.

Rene Azoulai, SITA Senior Vice President Communication Services, said: "Our decision to partner with Rohill was based on a number of factors including their excellent airport experience in both Europe and Asia Pacific, their agility and flexibility and most notably for their open platform which makes use of open source technology.

"The fact that Rohill's equipment is an open platform and that they make use of softswitch technology, means that integration with our existing applications and voice communications is simplified, and that in the future modifications and upgrades will be easily made."

The joint offering called, SITA Professional Mobile Radio, works seamlessly with SITA's IP telephony service SITA Voice Exchange but also integrates with the existing voice solution of the customer. Going forward it will integrate with wireless technologies including WiFi and WiMAX.

Roland van der Boom, Rohill Managing Director, said: "Through this partnership we are delivering a seamless communications platform for the ATI that will enable industry-specific applications to be delivered quickly and efficiently. Our partnership with SITA will combine their industry experience with our equipment expertise to deliver effective and cost-efficient solutions to our customers."

One of the airport-specific applications which the partnership will deliver is automated vehicle location system (AVLS); which optimizes the security, safety and use of equipment at the airport by using the Global Positioning System (GPS) to track movements and to issue alerts when equipment is in the wrong location.

Other airport applications include a guard control system and Flight-Oriented dialling, which is a group dialling system based on flight numbers that ensures efficient data exchange between all parties working on specific flights.

Rohill's network equipment which will be used by SITA is a vital component of the PMR service; rarely seen by end users its importance is often overlooked but by using this flexible equipment with its open platform based on Linux, SITA will be able to provide the most relevant and targeted services to airports, airlines and ground handlers.

Nokia Siemens Networks is to manage the mobile backhaul of T-Mobile Austria's network to ensure high bandwidth and quality of service. 

The complete managed services solution - which includes planning, installation and management - will provide increased transport network throughput, bringing 'substantial operational benefits' and enabling T-Mobile Austria to focus on delivering advanced mobile broadband to its subscribers.

"With this agreement we are transferring an operational part of our network into the hands of Nokia Siemens Networks. This allows us to further focus on providing our customers with new and higher quality services thanks to increased bandwidth, which Nokia Siemens Networks will supply," says Jim Burke, Chief Technical Officer at T-Mobile Austria. "We believe that this step will help us, to increase customer satisfaction even further and get an edge on our competition."

Under the contract, which runs through 2013, Nokia Siemens Networks will assume full responsibility for the optimization and operation of the mobile backhaul network. The control and responsibility for the network and the supervision of its quality remains with T-Mobile Austria.

"This major managed services project proves Nokia Siemens Networks Managed Services footprint in mature markets and its services capabilities as well as thought leadership in providing its partners with innovative solutions and business models," said Ralph Griewing, who is in charge of Nokia Siemens Networks' business with T-Mobile across the world. "The success of such projects depends largely on excellent joint cooperation and our long-time partnership with T-Mobile can serve here as a proof."

The managed services deal requires Nokia Siemens Networks to provide high-quality backhaul from T-Mobile's more than 6,000 radio network sites across Austria, serving 3.3 million customers.

Cellebrite, a provider of carrier-grade mobile phone POS synchronization systems, has today announced that the third largest German mobile operator, the E-Plus Group has introduced Cellebrite's UME-36Pro into 105 stores across Germany to enable customers to easily transfer personal data when buying a new mobile handset. 

Customers purchasing a new mobile phone or moving to the E-Plus network will now be able to transfer personal data like their phonebook contacts from an old device to a newly purchased phone at the point-of-sale (POS). The UME 36 Pro is said to eliminate the tedious and time consuming task of transferring data and protects customer privacy by securely transferring content without exposure to store personnel.

UME-36Pro can also offer backup of mobile content to a USB disk drive, PC, web site or to a server hosted by the operator. Cellebrite claims to be the first and only company that offers a complete backup and transfer solution for the POS and for subscribers by integrating OTA systems to the UME-36Pro.

"We are very satisfied that the E-Plus Group has chosen the UME 36 Pro to enhance their customer relationships" comments Mr. Bernhard Pawlak, CEO of Cellebrite Germany "In the highly competitive and saturated German mobile market, the E-Plus Group counts on direct interaction with their customer at the POS and differentiates through additional services, like mobile phone data transfer. This increases customer loyalty and satisfaction."

Icomera, a provider of cellular broadband gateways, and The Green Bus, a specialist in school transport thinking in the UK, have announced the deployment of free Internet access for students and real-time vehicle tracking on 23 routes served by the Birmingham-based school transport operator.

The vehicles utilize Icomera's Moovbox M Series mobile broadband gateway that provides Wi-Fi connectivity on the move with download speeds in excess of two megabits per second. The Green Bus vehicles also leverage the Moovbox for GPS-based location, allowing parents to track a bus's progress in real-time from any web browser. The Green Bus was established in 2005 by a former teacher and now operates environment-friendly bus services for schools throughout the West Midlands. The company's double-decker buses carry over 1,400 children to and from school each day - replacing an estimated two thousand car journeys in the process - with routes designed to travel as close as possible to students' homes and removing the need for passengers to change buses en route.

"We want to make the experience of travelling with us a positive one for the new generation of tech-savvy school children," said Ian Mack, Managing Director at The Green Bus. "With an increasing number of mobile phones and handhelds supporting Wi-Fi, our investment in Icomera's Moovbox enables students to check email, surf the web, and play peer-to-peer games on devices like the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS - all free of charge. More importantly, the built-in GPS functionality of the Moovbox means we can see where our buses are at any time; this feature is being made available on our web site where parents and school staff can securely log in and follow the progress of any particular bus is during its journey via a familiar Google Maps display."

The Wi-Fi service, which is free to all bus pass holders, has been popular with students since its launch late last year with over 50% of users spending more than 20 minutes online, and 25% using the service more than five times. Research has shown that students prefer to travel in the social atmosphere of bus rather than by car, while for parents The Green Bus is more convenient, cost-effective and reduces peak-time congestion outside schools.

"Across our Moovbox deployments worldwide Wi-Fi usage by students is the next biggest demographic after business travelers," said Dave Palmer, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales at Icomera. "The Green Bus's commitment to providing Wi-Fi access to its school-age passengers while leveraging the GPS capability for schedule adherence and parent reassurance sets a new standard for other school bus service providers to follow."

The Moovbox mobile gateway is a ruggedized Wi-Fi access point and cellular router, offering multiple wide area network (WAN) radios for automatic failover between carriers, and featuring built-in GPS for real-time positioning. Moovbox products are also said to offer secure Ethernet for IP-CCTV, DVR and telematics equipment with remote in-bound access for device control, and supports plug-and-play upgradability to future technologies such as WiMAX and LTE. The multi-user MoovManage service provides real-time device tracking, schedule adherence monitoring, remote device configuration, and Wi-Fi portal and usage statistics.

Ericsson has been selected by Luxembourg operator, P&TLuxembourg, to replace its existing nationwide WCDMA/HSPA access network. This will enable P&T's mobile LUXGSM subscribers to benefit from the latest high-speed mobile broadband services, and is the first contract Ericsson has been awarded by the incumbent operator, P&TLuxembourg.

Under the six-year agreement, Ericsson will supply a WCDMA access network including HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) functionality. This will improve the performance of LUXGSM's mobile broadband services and enable peak speeds of up to 7.2Mbps, the maximum speed commercial HSPA subscriber devices can support at this date. The contract also covers network deployment and integration, as well as support services.
 
Ericsson's HSPA provides fast data-transmission speeds, boosts network capacity and lowers response times for interactive services. The contract will underpin the widespread availability of the latest high-speed mobile broadband services across Luxembourg and give LUXGSM subscribers access to a wide range of innovative services. The 3G radio network renewal will start in the first quarter of 2009.
 
Jean-Marie Spaus, Managing Director of P&TLuxembourg's telecom business, says: "P&TLuxembourg was the first operator to introduce commercial UMTS services in Luxembourg back in 2003. We are now excited about bringing our excellent LUXGSM mobile network to the next technology level. After a well-followed RFQ process, we have selected Ericsson which is the world market leader in this domain and which will provide us a smooth and efficient evolution of our high-speed mobile broadband services. We are looking forward to this new partnership and are committed to delivering the best technology and services to our customers via our LUXGSM subsidiary, the leading provider of mobile services in Luxembourg."
 
Jean-Marc Engels, President of Ericsson Belgium & Luxembourg, says: "We are honored to have been selected by P&TLuxembourg for the supply of a WCDMA/HSPA network. Ericsson's advanced technology will significantly increase network capacity and allow P&TLuxembourg to offer their customers high-speed mobile broadband experience anywhere, anytime."

Next generation voice network solution provider, Italtel, has been selected as prime supplier to expand Cable & Wireless EAUS' Voice over IP (VoIP) infrastructure through Voice Transit Evolution (VTE), a Next Generation Network (NGN) solution.

VTE will use an Italtel open softswitch platform and third party Media Gateways to transform Cable & Wireless' legacy voice network with a new all-IP-Telephony core. VTE provides a cost effective way to expand the capacity of Cable & Wireless' TDM voice networks to support increasing customer demand. VTE also provides for seamless integration amongst all of Cable & Wireless' existing and next generation voice platforms. VTE will allow Cable & Wireless to migrate its legacy TDM access switches over to all-IP switches incrementally over time, on an as-needed basis.

It will also enable customers to take advantage of the existing Cable & Wireless' Multi Service Platform (MSP), a market leading high-bandwidth IP core network, allowing for high bandwidth applications including Fixed Mobile Convergence, IPCCTV and digital signage.               

It fulfils the requirement for a single Softswitch platform for both VoIP and Time-Division Multiplexing (TDM) capabilities, and allows for integrated local switching, transit, TDM interconnect and VoIP interconnect functions, to deliver maximum network efficiencies - such as scalability, flexibility, and operational cost reduction.  Italtel will also provide system integration into the existing Cable & Wireless voice network.

Andy Evans, Chief Technology Officer, Cable & Wireless Europe, Asia & US, said: "This partnership enables Cable & Wireless to rebuild the core of our legacy voice network with a new all-IP-Telephony network. We've built this network to provide increased capacity to support customer demand, and to enable quick integration to other recently acquired legacy voice networks. VTE expands our portfolio of VoIP interconnect products, and provides a means for us, over time, to migrate away from our legacy TDM voice network. While other carriers embark on complex full network replacement programmes, VTE provides a simple, cost effective solution to network migration, and will provide immediate business benefits to ensure we continue to deliver excellent service to our customers."

Antonio Cassese, Italtel's Executive Vice President Sales Operations International Markets said: "Cable & Wireless is a leading operator providing services to major enterprises and carriers worldwide. The decision to entrust Italtel with a project of this importance is further recognition of our technological excellence, and our commitment to deliver cutting edge solutions. We're proud to further strengthen this partnership with Cable & Wireless as it consolidates our presence in the EMEA market NGN sector."

TM Forum, the world's leading industry association for improving business effectiveness, today confirmed seven distinguished keynote speakers and more than 20 summit keynote speakers, including C-level executives from across the global information, communications and entertainment industries, to speak at its flagship Management World event taking place in Nice, May 4-8, 2009.

Keynote speakers confirmed include:

  • Sanjiv Ahuja, Chairman, Orange UK;
     
  • Albert Hitchcock, Global CIO, Vodafone;
     
  • Simon Wright, CEO, Virgin Entertainment;
     
  • Kevin Peters, Executive VP: Global Network Operations, AT&T;
     
  • Matt Desch, Chairman and CEO, Iridium;
     
  • Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi, Chairman and CEO, 2020 Venture Partners; 
      
  • Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy Group.

Following on from last year's record-breaking event, Management World 2009 moves up another gear with a new format. Five focused summits will address key issues for the industry, with summit keynote speakers including NBC Universal, Google, Thomson Reuters, GroupM and MySpace.

  • The Business Transformation Summit will explore outsourcing and managed services as well as next generation transformation; what we have learned and what is next in the migration to next generation all IP enterprises. Cloud computing and cloud storage business models will be discussed as will the role of regulation and how we can eliminate risk through change management and business process models;
     
  • The Technology Transformation Summit will focus on how technology is playing an important role in transforming the entire value chain. It will address industry standards and frameworks along with new technologies and architectures that complement and underpin developments in TM Forum's Solutions Frameworks (NGOSS) and how they are helping to deliver profitable new services to market, faster, for less;
     
  • The Digital Media Value Chain Summit will examine how mobile, fixed line, and cable service providers are working with the advertising, media and entertainment industries to create and define new business opportunities -  examining new business models, and how to profit from new services;
     
  • The Charging & Revenue Management Summit will examine important aspects of charging and gathering revenue for a new generation of services. It will focus on personalized revenue models, online charging, revenue assurance best practices, combating fraud, benchmarking and performance KPIs. New and different charging models which enable revenue to be collected in a multitude of ways will also be debated.
     
  • The Customer Experience Summit will discuss how customer data can be used wisely and effectively to enable all the players in the value chain to offer quality, timeliness and relevance in all the services they offer - exceeding their customer's expectations and creating long-term loyalty.

Management World 2009 will once again bring the industry together to discuss, explore and solve critical business issues. With a theme of ‘Strategies & Tactics for Tough Times' the conference will focus on the impact and opportunities the current economic climate presents, providing the perfect arena to discuss how to drive up new revenues, increase customer care, retain business and drive down operating costs.

Verimatrix has announced Bouygues Telecom as the latest network operator in France to deploy the Verimatrix Video Content Authority System (VCAS) for IPTV.  Bouygues Telecom is securing its MPEG-4 live broadcast and on-demand video content delivered via ASDL to the Bbox home gateway, which was launched in October 2008.

Bouygues Telecom has deployed a highly-sophisticated IPTV system combining the services delivered by two major head-ends in France. The TV channel lineup is a combination of several free-to-air and premium pay channels, including the main provider of premium channels in the French market. Verimatrix enabled Bouygues Telecom to market the solution in an extremely short timeframe thanks to VCAS for IPTV's rapid and smart integration capabilities. An innovative roadmap, a fast time-to-market and advanced security capabilities have been the main decision factors for implementing Verimatrix's software-based content security solution.

"Bouygues Telecom is a substantial operator in a very competitive IPTV market," said Steve Oetegenn, chief sales and marketing officer at Verimatrix. "We were able to cost effectively deliver our solution, which easily integrates with its innovative Bbox home gateway. VCAS' inherent flexibility enables Bouygues Telecom to leverage its advanced network for future video distribution business models."

VCAS for IPTV is claimed to be the global number one deployed content security system for IPTV and has a particularly strong presence in Europe. Analyst firm IDC estimated that half of IPTV subscribers in Western Europe are in France, where Verimatrix maintains a sales office in Paris and an advanced technical support office in Sophia Antipolis.  VCAS for IPTV is a downloadable system that allows for renewable security software to be updated as required to combat piracy attacks. Furthermore, it ensures complete transparency for legitimate content consumption while significantly raising the level of protection against sophisticated forms of piracy.

Vodafone UK today announced that National Grid has awarded it a three year contract worth over £5m as its sole mobile voice and mobile data network provider in the UK.

National Grid owns the high voltage electricity system in England and Wales and operates the system across the UK. It also owns and operates the high pressure gas transmission system, and four gas distribution networks, delivering gas to 11million homes and businesses in England. The Vodafone service will provide embedded SIMs in laptops and telemetry SIMs - for diagnosing potential issues within the electricity and gas network and mobile broadband devices ensuring field engineers have connectivity and access to company information at all times.

Steve Samways, IS asset and vendor manager, said: "Having completed a comprehensive tender process, Vodafone proved that they could provide us with a robust voice and data services across the UK and demonstrated that they understood the importance of reliable communications for National Grid. We look forward to working with Vodafone for the next three years"

Peter Kelly, Enterprise Director, Vodafone UK, concluded: "We conducted stringent testing to prove our network capabilities could meet and exceed National Grid's expectations.  We are pleased that a company that is so essential to the UK's energy supplies is relying on our network to ensure their workforce is mobile and able to operate, safe in the knowledge that we can connect them reliably to the information they need, wherever they are."

Spb Software, the Windows Mobile software developer, has pushed a mobile TV update onto the online services pack Spb Online, and doubled the number of mobile TV channels streamed. Commercially launched at the end of September 2008, the subscription-free mobile TV component of Spb Online has hosted over a million of mobile TV viewing sessions, and today it offers 40 mobile TV channels in 11 languages.

Among the new channels streamed by Spb Online are Deutsche Welle (Germany), MAD TV (Greece), Graafschap TV (Netherlands), Channel One Russia (Russia), CCTV (China), RTV Pink (Serbia), iTele (France), and many more. Spb's patent-pending mobile TV technology facilitates fast channel switching, on-screen controls, intelligent video/audio stream adjustment to broadband fluctuations, picture-in-picture mode, and an integrated TV guide with option to set outlook show reminders. Other Spb Online components are Online Radio, Online Games, global Weather service, News reader, and an On-Device Catalog.

With many Norwegian internet banking users currently relying on security calculators to log in to their internet banking accounts. EDB, working in collaboration with Norwegian technology company Encap, is now launching a new solution for secure log-in using a mobile phone. The new solution may replace about 3 millions security calculators currently in use in Norway.

"We have recognized that Norwegian banking customers need a secure but simple way to access their internet bank without having to rely on a security code calculator. We have now found a solution that will simplify their everyday use of internet banking", explains Wiljar Nesse of EDB.

 An increasing number of Norwegian banks currently use the BankID system for logging in to their internet banks. BankID uses what is known as two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication uses "something you know" and "something you have" (often termed KNOW and HAVE factors). In practical terms, this normally means using a password and entering a code generated by a security instrument. Until now, banks have only been able to offer their customers security calculators or scratch card codes. These provide a high level of security, but do mean that the customer has to have the relevant security instrument to hand when carrying out authentication.

Norwegian banks are very actively involved in launching a number of new services that require authentication. Examples of this include Mobile Banking and the 3-D Secure security protocol to authenticate card transactions carried out over the internet. These services are in demand by customers, who need to be able to use them wherever they are.

EDB is offering two-factor authentication based on using a mobile handset. The solution is simple to use, and authentication can be carried out from most models of mobile telephones sold in Norway over the last three years. The solution delivers secure authentication using a mobile, which is something that customers will in practice always have available wherever they are. The Norwegian technology company Encap developed the solution, which is now being made available for Norwegian banks in collaboration with EDB. The solution uses the mobile handset's Java platform, and therefore operates regardless of which mobile operator the banking customer uses.
 
Each bank will make its own decision on whether to offer authentication from mobile telephones, and will also decide whether to offer this as an alternative to current solutions or whether it should replace them. One possibility is that internet banking users will be given the choice of which HAVE instrument they wish to use.

LSI has announced echo cancellation software for the LSI StarPro family of multicore media processors. Superior echo cancellation is critical to enhancing the quality of experience (QoE) of wireless, wireline and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services. LSI echo cancellation (ECAN) software provides carrier-grade performance and a complete feature set for high-quality, next-generation media gateways.

"Demand for VoIP is growing rapidly, but improved voice quality is crucial to maintaining the market's momentum," said Will Strauss, principal analyst with Forward Concepts. "With the introduction of their ECAN technology, LSI offers a low-cost, high-performance solution for a broad spectrum of digital voice applications."

Incorporating innovations based on decades of company research has resulted in a state-of-the-art echo cancellation capability that will enable OEMs to meet the voice quality requirements of next-generation voice services. LSI ECAN software exceeds the ITU-G.168-2004 industry standard today and is optimized for use across enterprise, wireless and carrier applications.

Charlie Kawwas, vice president of marketing, Networking Components Group, LSI, said, "With the rapid growth of VoIP, the need for cost-effective carrier-grade solutions to enhance voice quality are of paramount importance. Our customers are using LSI ECAN, codec and DSP technologies to build the industry's highest-performing media gateways now."

Voice quality is the key competitive differentiator for service providers and essential to the mass deployment of enterprise VoIP. LSI ECAN software provides a robust set of real-world VoIP communications features including a maximum tail length of 128ms, the ability to detect and compensate for up to three windows with the tail, rapid convergence, and 24ms of active echo cancellation. The software is available now for use with the StarPro SP2600 family of media processors.

    

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