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weComm, a specialist in interactive mobile data solutions, today announced that it has completed delivery of the MiniTV mobil 3G mobile TV application. The service, which is built on weComm's wave On-Demand Mobile Application Platform, delivers live broadcast from TV2 and ViaSat MTG along with news, information, programme guide and integrated video-on-demand streams.

weComm's wave platform is said to use a client-server infrastructure to deliver high-quality, interactive mobile data services optimized to all major mobile operating systems. The technology delivers content and applications to handsets on-demand, giving the richness and interactivity of an on-device application combined with the flexibility and freshness of an online service. By selecting weComm to enable the MiniTV mobil service, the multiple Norwegian broadcasters are claimed to be able to deliver branded context-driven media such as live news, weather, high-quality live and on-demand video streams, spotlight news and sports services, user generated comments and personalization.

"The aspiration from the start has been to select the best technology partner that would enable the multiple broadcasters to deliver their own consumer experience allowing us to compete on content rather than technology. weComm have met our expectations and delivered this service both efficiently and effectively. "  said Tor-Einar Eriksen, Head of Business Development at TV 2.

Steven Tan, VP Business Solutions, weComm, said: "MiniTV is unique in the way that leading broadcasters are collaborating to launch a compelling mobile TV experience. weComm is proud to deliver the companion 3G service that offers consumers the ability to access multiple broadcast content from a single application."

Cinterion Wireless Modules, the global leader in cellular M2M communication modules, and 7 layers, an international provider of test and market access services for products with integrated wireless technologies, have developed a cost and time saving roadmap for Cinterion customers that are implementing new Cinterion Connector Modules.

Cinterion's new Evolution Platform, TC63i, TC65i and MC75i, offer significant improvements including a more compact size and backward compatibility with already existing platform products. The scalable platform allows customers to find the optimal product for their current demands with the ability to easily upgrade to higher functionality in the future - or even to develop several varying solutions.

End-user product manufacturers implementing wireless modules into their products have to follow a host of country specific, regulatory and type approval demands. Depending on the technologies in use, such products also may have to meet the requirements of certain certification regimes. Regulatory and certification requirements depend on factors like antenna integration, certification status of the module etc. Also the way the module has been built in, whether new functions have been added or the radiation has changed, may influence the certification requirements. Implementing already certified modules can keep the costs for end-user product certifications down. 

"7 layers is our main competence center for test & certification services", explains Lars Thyroff, Chief Marketing Officer, Cinterion. "We are very satisfied with the deep knowledge and understanding 7 layers gained of the technical aspects of our new modules. Combining this knowledge with 7 layers expertise regarding certification requirements enabled us to develop a concept that will considerably ease and speed our clients' way to market."

The MC75i, TC65i and TC63i and their predecessors were fully tested and certified by 7 layers. 7 layers has executed all applicable certification tests for R&TTE, FCC, IC, GCF and PTCRB for the MC75i, TC65i and TC63i.

"The new family of Cinterion Connector Modules have been rigorously tested in order to cover crucial regulatory and certification requirements", explains Sven Luengen Team Manager "Test & Market Access Services" at 7 layers. "Cinterion's main concern was to ease their clients' way to the global market and we therefore developed a special migration and certification concept together with them. It enables OEMs to achieve certification for products with integrated, new Cinterion modules in the fastest and most efficient way."

The concept describes the integration policy manufacturers have to follow in order to get the best benefit from the concept. In addition to that it explains a number of rules that have to be taken care of in order to fulfill regulatory and certification requirements for end-user products with implemented certified Cinterion modules.

The migration concept provides advantages such as:

  • Cost reductions of 25% to 70%, depending on product and target markets, due to 7 layers experience with the Cinterion modules
  • Faster time to market if using results of certified Cinterion modules
  • Preparation of technical construction files within short term.
  • Availability of all necessary certification documents at 7 layers, easing paper handling and documentation

Cinterion's new Evolution Platform Modules can be integrated into M2M solutions including metering, security, remote maintenance and control, vending, POS and more. Often manufacturers from such industry sectors do not have a long standing experience with the rules and regulations applicable to radio products. They in particular will benefit from the new migration and certification concept developed by Cinterion and 7 layers.

OnRelay, a Cellular Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) provider, today announced the general availability of its complete mobile PBX solution, Unified MBX.  The announcement follows successful trials in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.   

Unified MBX is a software-only IP business communication system built for mobile phones.  By pre-integrating OnRelay's Cellular FMC software with a feature-rich open source IP PBX, Unified MBX provides Unified Communications (UC) without the expense of proprietary telephony hardware or IP PBX licenses. 

Unified MBX can be deployed on-premises, or hosted in the cloud to provide mobile business communications as Software as a Service (SaaS).  Both offer the ease of deployment of pure software, as evidenced by the Unified MBX trials: customers across ten countries self-installed with only remote OnRelay support.     

"Unified MBX is the perfect convergent application. It helps us, a typical technology-oriented SME, to live the UC-ideal in a smart and cost-effectve way," comments Martin Fortmueller, CEO of Eltax, converged service provider and Mobilkom Austria partner. 

"Unified MBX combines the strengths of Cellular FMC with the cost benefits of open source telephony," comments Salem Bin-Furaih, Telecoms Consultant, Saudi Business Machines, the representative of IBM in Saudi Arabia.  "Our customers benefit from IP telephony without the burden of IP PBX licensing or the costly deployment of IP desk phones. They are understandably enthusiastic about this innovation in enterprise telephony."

At Unified MBX's core is OnRelay's Telephony Internetworking Protocol (TINP). TINP uses voice and data signalling to bring full IP PBX functionality to the mobile phone, over any cellular network - 3G/GSM, EVDO and Low Power GSM. 
 
BT Global Service's Allan Scott, Head of FMC Product Marketing, said: "OnRelay's FMC technology connects business users across multiple networks and when roaming internationally.  BT Global Services recognises the strength of this proposition for multinational enterprise and today's mobile businesses." 
 
"OnRelay have truly brought the functionality of the office phone to the mobile device," adds Roy McCullough, Product Manager for BGN, communications provider for world events, including the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

By choosing sipXecs, a SIP-compliant open source IP PBX, Unified MBX provides a highly scalable IP telephony system at a small business price point.  "The sipXecs IP PBX brings scalability, resiliency and an extensive feature set including voicemail, presence, remote worker support with SIP trunking, and Microsoft exchange integration," notes Martin Steinmann, member of the board of SIPfoundary, the sipXecs open source community.  "SIPfoundry supports the use of sipXecs IP PBX in leading-edge products like Unified MBX."

"We look forward to working with OnRelay as the perfect partner for these innovative times." concludes Fortmueller. 

Cisco has today announced that mobile operator T-Mobile Hungary has deployed the Cisco Content Services Gateway - 2nd Generation (CSG2) solution to offer dynamically personalised mobile applications across its network.

The Cisco CSG2 solution is based on the Service and Application Module for IP (SAMI) line card for the Cisco 7600 Series Router and provides advanced processing of Internet Protocol (IP) flows for content-aware billing, filtering, management and analysis.

The Cisco CSG2 solution is claimed to offer a flexible, scalable and reliable service personalisation and monetisation solution and is deployed globally by top-tier mobile Internet service providers.

The solution features include parental controls, as well as flexible billing options adapted to applications. This enables the differentiated pricing of services based on quantity, time, number of bytes downloaded and other parameters. Cisco claims that a single CSG2 system can serve hundreds of thousands of active mobile users and can process more than 1 million simultaneous connections and 10 gigabits of data per second.

The project was designed and implemented by the Cisco Advanced Services team in collaboration with KFKI, a Cisco Gold certified partner and a subsidiary of Magyar Telekom.

T-Mobile already has 90 percent of its broadband data traffic passing through its third-generation high-speed downlink packet access network. Anticipating customer needs, T-Mobile has continuously expanded its 3G/High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) network to provide good network coverage and plenty of bandwidth. As of April 2009, this service was available to 68 percent of Hungary's population.

In addition, T-Mobile has been offering a nominal download speed of 14 megabits per second in several regions across Hungary. This bandwidth is available to customers equipped with modems supporting higher download speeds.

"In addition to residential use, mobile broadband services are ideal for various business and vertical applications," said Istvan Maradi, chief technology officer of Magyar Telekom. "With the increase of bandwidth and improved user experiences, we see a rapidly growing number of customers, and the rate of expansion has exceeded all expectations. With the Cisco CSG2, we are able to bring new customers online quickly, provide them with high-speed services in a highly secure and reliable manner, and bill them accurately and clearly."

Otto Dalos, client executive, Cisco Hungary added: "Cisco is pleased to support T-Mobile Hungary in serving the increasing number of customers who use mobile Internet services. With the Cisco Content Services Gateway we deliver the scale and performance required to analyse traffic and launch new services much faster while maintaining a flexible architecture."

Alvarion, a provider of WiMAX and wireless broadband solutions, and Aria, the only telecom operator in Italy with a national WiMAX license, today announced an agreement to deploy Mobile WiMAX network throughout Italy.  Under the agreement, Aria will build a network at the 3.5 GHz frequency to offer broadband services to all 21 Italian regions using Alvarion's 4Motion Mobile WiMAX solution incorporating the WiMAX Forum Certified BreezeMAX platform.

Given Italy's 58 million highly-dense population, WiMAX is said to be the most economical and high-performance technology to deliver 4G broadband to businesses and residential subscribers in a wide geographic area. Alvarion's 4Motion is a solution for delivering innovative WiMAX services for a range of broadband applications in rural, suburban and urban environments.

"At Aria, we are committed to empowering businesses and consumers to realize the impact of high bandwidth, quality data and voice services, and we have full confidence in Alvarion's innovative WiMAX platform and services to ensure we deliver on this promise," said Davidi Gilo, CEO of Aria. "Alvarion's 4Motion solution will enable us to bring highly advanced broadband services throughout the country."

Aria currently holds nationwide WiMAX licenses at the 3.5 GHz frequency bands in Italy. By using Alvarion's Open WiMAX solution, Aria will be able to build a network with 'exceptional' coverage to meet the growing demand for broadband services in the country.

"We are pleased to be selected for another large WiMAX project through our partnership with Aria, one of Italy's leading telecommunications providers," said Tzvika Friedman, president and CEO, Alvarion Ltd. "This contract confirms Alvarion's Mobile WiMAX solution as the most advanced solution in the market, and our leading position as a long-term partner for WiMAX. Our cutting edge technology, proven business model and tailored solutions will provide the ultimate broadband services to the consumers and businesses in Italy."

Interxion, a European operator of carrier-neutral data centres, today announced the completion of a Euro 45 million subordinated credit facility. The facility complements an existing revolving credit facility of Euro 135 million and will be used to support Interxion's demand-led build-out of its data centre footprint across the 11 countries in which it operates.

The subordinated credit facility was arranged with Fortis Bank (Nederland) N.V., Coöperatieve Rabobank Regio Schiphol U.A. and ING Corporate Investments Mezzanine Fonds B.V., with Fortis Bank (Nederland) B.V. acting as agent. The new credit facility announcement follows on from the recent announcement by Interxion of the company's full-year results for 2008, which showed year-on-year revenue growth of 38% to Euro 138.2 million and Adjusted EBITDA margins of 34.9%.
 
"This new credit facility is a yet another vote of confidence in the past performance and future prospects of the company. Interxion will continue to maintain its focus on customer-led, profitable growth across Europe in 2009 and beyond," said Josh Joshi, Interxion CFO.

Ovum's latest fixed voice forecast has predicted that fixed voice lines will decline at a CAGR of -3% between 2008 to 2014, falling from 1.1 billion to 0.9 billion globally. It also anticipates that global fixed voice revenues will decline at a faster rate, with a CAGR of -4.9% over the same period, from US$418billion during 2008 to US$309billion by 2014. Asia-Pacific will perform similarly with a CAGR of -2.8% in terms of lines and -5.8% in terms of revenues over the same time frame.

"Despite pressure to de-prioritize legacy services, fixed voice should not be ignored", said Nathan Burley, analyst based in Melbourne. In 2008, revenues from fixed voice equated to 63% of that derived from mobile voice. By 2014, fixed voice revenues will still amount to 40% of mobile voice revenues, which will also be declining by that time.

Burley said, "Fixed voice lines and revenue declines will vary by market, driven by various factors including differing levels of Fixed Mobile Substitution (FMS), VoIP substitution, operators' strategies, cultural behaviour, economic conditions and existing telecoms infrastructure".

"Generally, in the short-term we expect broadband-led and mobile access substitution to cause further declines in fixed voice channels", advised Nathan Burley. Substitution from VoIP and naked DSL will also continue, although this effect will vary substantially from country to country, depending firstly on the degree to which large market players actively market and support VoIP services, and secondly on whether or not Naked DSL has been mandated by national regulatory authorities..

Ovum states that operators have been left to manage the decline in fixed voice, and as a result, initiatives such as subscription-based pricing and bundling have been widely implemented. However, despite continued development of more sophisticated packages, these initiatives look to have reached peak effectiveness.

The stickiness of broadband and cheapness of bundles relative to stand-alone products is helping operators to slow the decline in fixed voice subscriptions to a degree, particularly in those countries where Naked DSL has not been implemented. However, ADSL's reduced competitiveness as a broadband technology in advanced markets means that it will be increasingly difficult to bundle broadband with PSTN access.

"Additionally, some broadband FMS, especially at the low-end has begun, as wireless broadband alternatives gain more traction. Future upgrades to mobile networks could allow mobile operators to attract more fixed broadband users to their mobile broadband offerings, which is why it is imperative that fixed operators embrace next generation broadband in order to maintain their advantage in this market", said Burley.

In terms of call volumes, FMS will continue at a steady rate, with the ever increasing buckets of minutes available with mobile packages contributing to this trend. Furthermore, the convenience of mobile relative to fixed, and the converging trend in the price of the mobile and fixed voice minutes will result in users continuing to use mobile telephony even when they are within reach of a fixed line. "As a result, we expect call substitution to continue to grow at a greater rate than access substitution", concluded Burley.

AT4 wireless today announced the qualification of the first Bluetooth 3.0 (with EDR) controller design tested in a Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility (BQTF). It is also said to be the first design qualified using a Bluetooth Qualification Expert (BQE).

Manufacturers can now use AT4 wireless facilities for Bluetooth 3.0 testing and qualification based on the latest Bluetooth 3.0 test specification, launched in April 2009. With this new service, AT4 wireless expands its coverage by adding this new Bluetooth 3.0 CORE version to its already wide and full scope testing and qualification services for Bluetooth 1.2/2.0/2.0+EDR/2.1/2.1+EDR/3.0 technologies.

This first Bluetooth 3.0 enabled product qualified using AT4 facilities is the NaviLink 6.0 (NL5500) solution from Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI). TI's NL5500 solution is the industry's first single-chip that combines assisted global positioning satellite (A-GPS), Bluetooth, as well as FM receive/transmit capabilities. TI used AT4 wireless services to quickly certify its solution to allow handset manufacturers to begin designing NaviLink-based products using the Bluetooth 3.0 standard.

"We are very proud of such success, as we continue leading Bluetooth qualification activities being able to test and qualify the first Bluetooth 3.0 controller design in our facilities less than two months after the new core version was released. It is a clear example of our flexible capability to quickly and efficiently adapt our services to the Bluetooth technology evolution. We are very happy to work together with key Bluetooth players like TI to help them achieve their Bluetooth goals," said Jose de la Plaza, AT4 wireless Telecommunications Laboratory Manager. "We expect to announce very soon our service extension to also cover high speed wireless LAN (802.11)."

According to a new report from Juniper Research, ad-funded MMS revenues are set to soar over the next five years with annual growth rates reaching 94%, with SMS and mobile email continuing to dominate the person-to-person (p2p) mobile messaging market.

The report, ‘Mobile Messaging & IP Evolution', found that the Far East & China would lead the global ad-funded MMS market by a considerable margin, followed by North America and Western Europe.

The number of brands using MMS as an advertising medium is growing rapidly, says Juniper, with push MMS and SMS being employed to great effect in both mature and emerging markets. Crucially, this has enabled network operators to support ad-funded voice and SMS tariffs, and combat falling ARPU, while providing brands with new advertising channels, says Juniper.

Other report findings from the Juniper Research report include:

- The number of mobile email users will climb by 21% to reach 1.1 billion in 2014.

- SMS' share of total global P2P mobile messaging revenues will decline by 18% over the forecast period.

Steve Reynolds, Chairman of the MDA said: "Despite the global economic meltdown, mobile messaging continues to grow significantly. This report provides valuable intelligence to empower mobile-messaging-centric businesses in developing future demand-based commercial strategies."

The influence of social networking and Web 2.0 applications has been significant on both operator and vendor strategies, says Juniper. RIM in particular, has broken new ground in the consumer market with the addition of custom-built social networking applications for Facebook and MySpace, plus AOL instant messaging and other applications - factors that combined to bring Juniper's Future Mobile Gold Award for Mobile Messaging to RIM.

"The inclusion of popular messaging and social networking applications has broadened its appeal and ensured the BlackBerry has maintained its position as a compelling mobile messaging device." said report author and Future Mobile Awards panel judge, Ian Chard.

Other mobile messaging vendors such as Acision, Airwide Solutions and Miyowa were noted for driving significant innovation, but the Silver Award for Mobile Messaging was given to SpinVox, for its ‘Voice-to-Text' messaging service.

TM Forum, the world industry group focused on business effectiveness for the communications and media sectors, today announced the launch of a Certified Compliance Testing program. The new program offers reassurance to communications service providers seeking to future-proof their IT architecture through use of TM Forum's proven and flexible set of Solution Frameworks (NGOSS).

The Certified Compliance Testing service - the first of its kind for the industry - will allow suppliers to test and certify adherence of their products to TM Forum frameworks and standards through a combination of prescribed self-testing and external verification. The Forum's Information Framework (SID) is the first framework to be made available for certified compliance testing.

Products which successfully pass the tests, which are independently verified by the Forum, will be awarded a TM Forum Compliance Mark for each framework they successfully adopt.  Martin Creaner, TM Forum President commented, "The Compliance Mark illustrates a supplier's commitment to interoperability, and provides reassurance to customers seeking standards-based, flexible ‘plug and play' solutions. With TM Forum's flexible set of Solution Frameworks playing an increasingly central role in service providers' IT architecture, an ability to prove compliance to these standards will set companies apart from their competitors."

Tribold, a TM Forum member since 2005, was the first company to be awarded a TM Forum Certification Mark for the Forum's Information Framework (SID) with its TRIBOLD 3 enterprise software application. The certification recognizes the degree to which Tribold's Enterprise Product Management (EPM) solution complies with the TM Forum's Information Framework model, and the ease with which TRIBOLD 3 can be integrated into communications service provider (CSP) technical architectures, delivering lower cost implementation, reduced integration effort and alignment to a strategic data model.

"As the first company to receive the TM Forum's Compliance Mark, we are leaders in the industry in showing our commitment to providing cost effective and flexible solutions to our customers. Tribold have long been supporters of the Forum's work, and our TRIBOLD 3 product has been built to be compliant with important aspects of the information model such as Product, Service and Resource Specifications" said Catherine Michel, Tribold's founder and CTO. "This compliance has benefited our customers by minimizing integration costs and allowing our product to be deployed rapidly, allowing our customers to see benefits in as little as 3 weeks as they design and introduce new products."

The Forum will publish a publicly available directory, including assessment scores, of approved products which qualify for the Compliance Mark.

Vesta Corporation, a specialist in electronic payment solutions, has today announced results of an independent research study, which claims to indicate how an effective prepaid top-up strategy can deliver significant value to the prepaid mobile market.

The study, based on operator interviews, is said to show that the implementation of a direct operator top-up strategy can bring double digit revenue gains and reduced costs.

Given the size of the prepaid market in Western Europe, this can equate to hundreds of millions of Euros annually. Direct operator top-up channels include all operator-managed top-up channels that rely on electronic transactions outside a retail environment, such as the operator's website, IVR and handset applications.

The research is said to indicate the significant advantages that direct operator prepaid top-up has over other existing top-up methods, including improved performance metrics, lower costs and improved CRM capabilities. In addition, direct handset top-up has the ability to remove the fragmentation and complexity impacting the take up of m-payment services and drive new revenue streams for operators.

The research has been conducted by independent telecom consultancy Northstream and is based on the feedback of leading wireless operators across Western Europe. The results have been published in a whitepaper ‘Time to Top-Up the Prepaid User Experience: How an effective top-up strategy can improve operator performance metrics and accelerate mobile payments'.

Chris Parsons, CMO of Vesta commented; "When prepaid direct top-up is executed properly it not only offers an opportunity to increase the ARPU of prepaid but also provides the foundation for operators to seamlessly offer a wide range of profitable mobile payment services from the same platform. Aside from prepaid debit reload, other services such as peer-to-peer transfer, international remittance and mobile commerce become far more readily accessible".

According to the whitepaper, with overall growth in the prepaid market slowing, operators are looking at ways to reduce costs while increasing prepaid customer loyalty and revenues. Non-cash (credit/ debit card/ bank) payment penetration has grown significantly in Europe, and a staggering 91% of operators interviewed intend to drive top-up transactions from costly commission-based retail infrastructures to "virtual" non-cash top-up (NCTU) channels.

Aligned with this view, not only are operators exploring alternatives to retail top-up but 100% of those interviewed want to shift their non-cash payment mechanisms from a bank centric model to a direct operator model. Given this finding, it is somewhat surprising that less than 20% of the NCTU offerings analyzed in the research included handset-based top-up applications, even though top-up frequency using handset applications can be up to 80% higher than other channels. This increased frequency also results in an ARPU increase of 23%.

The main imperatives stated for adopting a direct top-up approach were avoiding zero credit service interruptions, increasing top-up frequency and improving customer experience with anytime, anywhere top-up availability via  handsets, the web and IVR. However, the research also indicated the ability of direct top-up to enhance CRM capabilities, enabling operators to identify high value customers and cross-sell while customizing and optimizing user experience. Indeed, over 90% of operators interviewed highlighted the need to strengthen the way that top-up integrates with their online services and other operator-controlled channels.

Chris Parsons continues: "By adopting a direct top-up approach, operators will improve their prepaid performance indicators by reducing costs, improving prepaid customer loyalty and increasing revenues. Operators are struggling to build-out direct top-up channels given the reduction in their IT budgets but those that address these challenges early will reap significant benefits in the prepaid market and create a strong platform from which to launch further mobile financial services."

Ericsson has been selected to provide Telefónica O2 Germany with an IMS core system with an IMS-based VoIP application server. The two contracts include hardware deployment and software systems integration services.

This is said to represent a major step forward for O2 in Germany, as it migrates its existing fixed and mobile systems into a converged IP-based Next-generation network (NGN).
 
Ericsson will also integrate O2's VoIP application server  using IMS, making services such as IP Centrex, business trunking or presence functionality available to all fixed and mobile users.

Andrea Folgueiras CTO Telefónica O2 Germany, said: "With IMS, we can advance the conversion of our current systems into more cost-effective and higher performance multimedia networks that can make optimal use of ever-increasing bandwidths. We based our decision to have Ericsson as a partner for IMS on the good experience from our joint projects in Spain and other countries."
 
Carsten Ahrens, President of Ericsson Germany, added: "We are pleased to strengthen our partnership with Telefónica O2 Germany by supplying and integrating the centerpiece of their IP network transformation. IMS will drive the evolution and convergence of their telephony service and provide the foundation for delivery of their other real-time multimedia applications."
 
IMS is said to offer the level of intelligence required in next-generation networks to provide all users with broadband multimedia services at any location, independent of the access network they are connected to, using a wide variety of different devices. Introduction of IMS and use of a common platform can also mean reduced costs for network providers for new applications and network operations as a whole.