Latest News

Interoute, owner operator of Europe's largest next-generation network, has been approved as a direct connectivity supplier to the pan-European multilateral trading facility, NASDAQ OMX Europe (NEURO).  By taking the most direct routes between 25 countries in Europe, Interoute's 'high quality' bandwidth service, Fast Trade, provides financial institutions with the fastest data speeds available between European trading platforms.

With milliseconds making the difference between losing and winning a deal, ultra- low latency connectivity is essential for financial institutions connecting into NEURO, which trades approximately 1,200 securities, including constituents of the main European indices.  The depth and breadth of Interoute's wholly owned pan European fibre optic data network makes the Interoute Fast Trade service ideal for the finance sector, as it guarantees ultra low round trip delay times between trading hubs, such as London and Frankfurt. Fast Trade is available in more than two hundred of Interoute's points-of-presence (PoPs), including eight that are located within key Equinix exchanges.

"With NEURO's continually expanding participant base it is essential that we ensure our customers gain access to the platform in the most efficient way," said Todd Golub, chief operating officer at NASDAQ OMX Europe. "Interoute's Fast Trade service has been specifically designed to provide low latency guarantees for algorithmic trading and their established European network will effectively support our pan-European offering."

Interoute Fast Trade is a point to point service based on Interoute's SDH and wavelength platforms. Any Fast Trade bandwidth purchased is entirely dedicated to the customer, ensuring the latency does not vary during the working day.  Before it goes live, each Fast Trade route is tested for its exact round trip delay. This delay, measured to the nearest 100 microseconds, is then guaranteed in a premium quality Service Level Agreement (SLA) before the customer takes delivery of the service, ensuring a predictable high quality, high speed service. Furthermore, the Interoute SLA means that should the round trip delay not match the guaranteed level the customer is free to cancel the service without any additional charges.

"With financial trading becoming increasingly competitive, we're delighted to be working with a trading platform trusted by over 1,200 European blue chips organisations," said Lee Myall, UK regional director at Interoute. "NEURO is dedicated to providing the financial community with a flexible and robust European trading platform and we are committed to helping NEURO deliver on its promise."

OnRelay is claiming to be the first Unified Communications provider to offer partners a fully cloud-based Mobile PBX for resale as Software as a Service (SaaS).  Twenty companies have already pre-registered with the programme to certify for resale in the UK, Nordics, Benelux and USA.

OnRelay's Mobile PBX, Unified MBX (UMBX), is an all software, turn-key office phone system, designed with the mobile phone as the primary extension.  Said to combine a leading open source IP PBX with proven Cellular FMC software, UMBX provides converged telephony without the expense of premises-based hardware.  

OnRelay's new cloud Partner Programme offers UMBX hosted in Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).  The Software as a Service (SaaS) model allows channel partners to capitalise on the growth Mobile PBX opportunity, without expenditure on hardware or software licenses.  Partners can resell UMBX as a monthly service, and launch "plug and play" hosted customer instances on demand.   

"UMBX is a brilliant system that enables true Unified Communications without the huge costs attached," comments James Chirunga, CEO of Riverdale Voice and Data, UK. "The hosted software provides a complete voice system for any combination of mobile phones, SIP desk phones and PC softphones.  It's a perfect fit for our small to medium business customers who look to us for cost-effective convergence."

"OnRelay is delighted to be the first to offer a cloud-based Mobile PBX, allowing our partners to quickly and cost efficiently launch a high availability service," adds Ivar Plahte, OnRelay CEO.  "The innovative combination of UMBX software and cloud computing meets businesses' needs for reduced PBX infrastructure costs, while making staff more productive with feature-rich mobile unified communications." 


Huawei today claimed that it has set a new data rate record, averaging up to 564 Kb/s, in a recent downlink dual carrier (DLDC) test for Enhanced Data Rate for GSM Evolution (EDGE). The record speed, which is said to be two times faster than that of existing EDGE networks, is claimed to enable operators to cost-effectively increase network data capacity and bring 3G experiences to 2G users over GSM networks, such as high-speed mobile data services including live video broadcast and video on demand (VOD).

Advancing EDGE technology significantly improves user experience through faster data rates, better quality of service (QoS) and lower network latency. Huawei's EDGE+ solution is said to enable GSM operators to quickly, smoothly and cost-effectively migrate their existing EDGE network to EDGE+ through simple software upgrades and supports smooth future evolution to 3G and beyond. 

He Gang, president of GSM/UMTS product line for Huawei commented: "This milestone demonstrates Huawei's continued commitment towards driving GSM evolution, the world's most widely deployed technical standard with the largest mobile subscriber base. Huawei's advanced EDGE+ technology enhances flexibility for operators building their 3G networks and provides a seamless high-speed data service experience."

Using the existing GSM frequency bands, Huawei says its EDGE+ can provide seamless high-speed mobile data service coverage and is one of the first-stage 3G networks that makes it possible for mobile phones to receive real-time streaming media from the Internet with lower latency. EDGE+ can bridge high-speed mobile broadband services on HSPA+/LTE networks and GSM data services to ensure the continuity and availability of mobile data services. EDGE+ best protects the 2G OPEX of operators and increases the average revenue per user (ARPU) of 2G networks.

According to a new Juniper Research report - ‘Endpoint Security for Business: Desktops, Laptops & Mobile Devices 2009-2014' - the value of data on corporate mobile handsets, and the need to protect it, will boost the number of corporate devices using security software to 77.7 million by 2014, even though an anticipated flood of malware that was expected to hit the mobile device has not materialised.

The report also found that Europe will dominate the market for mobile security, owing to its thriving smartphone market, followed by US, China and South East Asia. 

 "Improvements to the underlying security of the mobile operating system, shorter replacement cycles and concerted efforts by the mobile industry to avoid the problems seen in the PC world have so far kept the malware threat to the mobile device at bay," says Anthony Cox, Senior Analyst at Juniper Research.

However, the report notes that the increasing value of information held on the mobile device will be a significant factor in driving the uptake of security on the corporate mobile handset.

Further findings from the Endpoint Security research include:

  • Security software manufacturers have focused on the need for Encryption and device locking and remote-wipe features
  • Protection will be higher in developed markets with both Western Europe and North America at the forefront, largely on the back of companies' obligations to abide by data protection legislation
  • Corporate mobile device protection levels will rise from 5.6% in 2008 to 18.6% in 2014

The report, which includes major analysis of both mobile and Endpoint security (desktops and laptops) contains comprehensive six year forecasts for key security parameters including Basic antivirus and firewall security; Encryption and advanced authorisation functions; Advanced firewalls, Intrusion detection and prevention, Virtual private networks (VPN); Security policy management, endpoint security updates and provision; Security of corporate mobile devices.

Rainer Neumann, CEO of Orga Systems GmbH, has decided to leave Orga Systems in order to pursue other interests, and the company has appointed Ramez Younan as new Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect. Ramez, an ex senior Executive of Oracle Corporation, comes with a wealth of Telecommunication experience, established and ran global organizations advancing BSS and OSS systems and solutions at Telecommunication providers worldwide in over 45 countries globally.
During his seven years tenure as Chief Executive Officer Rainer Neumann has played the leading role in Orga Systems' conversion to the leading specialist in real-time charging and billing of mobile telecommunications services. Now, thanks to Rainer Neumann's dedication, Orga Systems has convergent real time billing solutions that set the standard for future products and provide more than 40 of the worlds leading mobile network operators with the services they require.

Ramez Younan's main focus will be on the further internationalization and growth of the Orga Systems Group to strengthen the strong relationship Orga Systems enjoys with its customers and extend Orga Systems' portfolio of products and services to future worldwide customers. Ramez Younan believes that Orga Systems' current portfolio and its leading position in the industry builds a strong platform for expansion in existing and new markets.

"I'm delighted to be part of Orga Systems' future. I strongly believe in its leading products, range of services, competence of its employees and commitment of its shareholders.  I'm committed to drive the continued excellence at our customer base and extend it to new customers and regions", Ramez states.

SwissQual, the independent Swiss network quality measurement company, says that 2009 orders increased nearly 30 percent over 2008 levels, and the company has added new customers in ten new territories.

"In the recession, mobile operators are buying products and services that enhance network performance and help them to reduce capital spending", said John May, SwissQual's CEO. "Our focus on product quality, service, and superior technology has brought us exceptional growth in markets where operators are utilizing established 2G and 3G technologies."

Wireless operators now have demanding performance requirements and SwissQual's customers regularly test HSPA+ mobile networks at speeds in excess of 7.2Mbits/sec in the field, and at more than 17Mbits/sec in the laboratory.  The Swiss company says its benchmarking and optimization tools have kept pace with these testing requirements and it is also enhancing its products ready for the arrival of LTE technology.   With three new products launched in 2009, SwissQual gained ground in their established benchmarking business, in the optimization tools market, and in the market for unattended benchmarking tools.

According to John May, "Our compatible suite of hardware and software platforms has demonstrated its reliability and flexibility in the market sectors allied to benchmarking.   More customers are now investing in our total solution, including the optimization tools. In cooperation with our scanner partner PCTel Inc, and with both companies being focused on today's technologies and on LTE, we are confident that we have the best product set in the market for benchmarking and for optimization."

Goode Intelligence has announced that 54 percent of organisations surveyed in its 2009 Mobile Security Survey (Part Two) are planning to deploy mobile anti-virus products and services.  Of these organisations, 33 percent plan to deploy mobile anti-virus products and services by March 2010 and the remaining 67 percent plan to deploy by September 2010.   

The survey, carried out in partnership with Acumin Consulting during September 2009, is claimed to be the most comprehensive vendor-independent survey on mobile phone security to date, and provides a snapshot of the current state of mobile security within organisations across the globe. 

"The threat from mobile viruses is currently low but with the rising adoption of data-centric applications on Smartphones, including financial services, we feel that the threat will rise from 2010 onwards" said Alan Goode, Managing Director, Goode Intelligence.  "Research for the new GI Analyst Report on mobile viruses/malware has discovered that mobile operators are struggling with growing mobile spam and malware. In the last couple of years the percentage of mobile messaging traffic (SMS/MMS/Email) that is defined as spam or malware has risen from approximately two percent to between 20-30 percent of total traffic and more significantly, between 14-22 percent of this figure is considered to be malicious."

The survey reveals that while nearly 71 percent of organisations currently feel that the threat from mobile phone viruses is low, this number drops significantly for the perceived threat by 2011 with only 21 percent believing the risk to be low and 29 percent forecasting that the risk will be high or very high.

"The threat to mobile devices from viruses is here today and growing" said Alan Goode.  "Last year's iPhone worms could be just the start of a concerted attack on Smartphones. The threat is increased by the proliferation of mobile app stores with users downloading applications, most of them free, to their Smartphones. Can the app store providers guarantee one hundred percent that their certification programs will capture all malicious code that may be lurking in a mobile application? This threat is dramatically increased if the user is running a jailbroken device. GI believes that companies must seriously consider the consequences of an unprotected corporate mobile phone being infected with malware that could upload all of that phone's data to a criminal server."

The survey is said to show that there are important challenges ahead for resourcing.  Gemma Paterson, Marketing Manager, Acumin Consulting said "With 40 percent of organisations planning on recruiting for mobile security roles in the next two years it is reassuring to see that mSecurity is being taken seriously and becoming more of a priority for the IT and Security functions.  It is essential to make organisations aware of this developing challenge and seeing as currently only 13 percent of organisations currently protect from mobile viruses, IT Security Managers will need to consider updating skill-sets and resourcing adequately for teams to ensure they are prepared for the risks arising from this transformation in the way we carry out business." 

Huawei has announced the successful completion of a 100G long-haul transmission field trial with Telefónica in Spain that covered a distance of more than 1000km. The high-speed 100G trial link spanned Valladolid to Zaragoza, a total transmission distance of 1022km, without electrical regeneration.

"It's an honor to work with Telefònica in completing the 100G field trial successfully," said Mr. Christian Chua, President of Huawei's Transport Network Product Line.  "The 100G is the most advanced transport technology and is crucial to operators' continuous development and the construction of green ultra broadband networks.  Huawei has consistently innovated to drive the progress of 100G standardization, focusing on customer requirements and continuous investment.  The successful field trial with Telefònica truly demonstrates Huawei's industry-leading R&D capabilities and innovative approach to 100G technology.  Huawei will continue to collaborate with leading global operators like Telefònica to further advance 100G technology and help the industry meet the future broadband needs of consumers worldwide."

The field trial in Spain was based on Huawei's OSN 6800 WDM/OTN transport platform with the transponder inserted in subracks. The fiber type used was standard G.652, and single lambda rate is up to 112Gbps. The link passed through 20 spans with the concatenation of 10 sets of ROADM, 33 EDFA amplifiers and 2 sets of MUX/DEMUX. Arbitrary mixed 10G/40G/100G transports with 50Hz channel spacing were also achieved. A smooth upgrade from 10G to 40G/100G was supported without interfering with the existing network, thereby protecting the operator's original investment.

As a leading transport network solutions provider, Huawei has worked with operators in more than 100 countries around the world.  Huawei launched the first series of next generation WDM/OTN products, which integrated OTN switching, ROADM, ASON/GMPLS, and 40G/100G advanced technologies.  According to OVUM-RHK, an international market research group, in its H1 2009 report, Huawei was ranked first in the WDM/OTN market, with the largest market share.

NextiraOne, a European specialist in communications services, has won a second major contract with the James Paget NHS Trust to build additional dedicated Data Centre facilities and provide a resilient communications platform. The new contract will help the Trust to achieve its objectives of delivering better patient services and of reducing its power consumption and carbon footprint as both a cost-saving and an environmental benefit.

The new solutions designed and implemented by NextiraOne will help ensure the continuity of critical medical and business applications. The new Data Centre completes the creation of a highly resilient network infrastructure supporting storage area networking and server virtualisation which will underpin the Trust's growing range of administrative functions, clinical applications and admission-critical systems for A&E and Theatre, including the PACS digital X-ray system and links to the National Patient's Records System. 

The new project allows the Trust to migrate to virtualised blade servers and employ the latest environmental technologies to help towards meeting the Trust's carbon reduction objectives. The contract, worth over £1.5M in total, includes a three-year Managed Services, Operational Support Agreement covering both the new and the existing Data Centre equipment and networking. Services will be deployed across both Data Centres to eliminate any single point of failure, thereby achieving increased service availability, enhanced productivity and contributing to improved patient outcomes.

Now fully operational, the project followed NextiraOne's successful implementation of the first phase - the ‘Nexus Suite' - in 2008. The new Data Centre will provide additional resilience and complete the process of consolidating and moving all the Trusts' IT and communications technology into dedicated, purpose-built facilities, providing the best-in-class infrastructure and environment required for a state-of-the-art healthcare provider in the 21st century.

The James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides acute hospital services for the Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Waveney areas, serving a population of some 230,000. With over 500 beds in total, the Trust also provides community hospital care at Lowestoft Hospital and at Northgate Hospital in Great Yarmouth, together with an integrated hospital and community children's service.

The new Data Centre uses Cisco's latest NEXUS 5000 range of switches and Cisco ASA 5520 Adaptive Security Appliance, plus a centralised UPS system, new fibre cabling and includes also an upgrade of the Trust's existing data switching infrastructure.

NextiraOne designed the new infrastructure specifically also to meet the Trust's targets in carbon reduction  - NextiraOne is supplying in-row cooling in a self-contained rack solution and free cooling air conditioning,  and an electrical solution based around the provision of UPS with generator back-up. The Data Centre will use the best of the new technologies in order to provide a suitable and energy-efficient operating environment, especially for the new blade servers. It is expected that the power consumption profile of the free cooling air conditioning will provide a payback within two years of installation - and the UPS solution is expected to achieve a 25% reduction in energy costs.

"We had very clear objectives around reducing our carbon footprint, at the same time as providing failsafe systems for critical medical applications and business continuity," said Stephen Kirk, Infrastructure Operations Manager at the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. "NextiraOne built our first Nexus Suite Data Centre and so the team knew our requirements and expectations intimately. They have given us expert advice throughout and we are confident that the system we are building together will provide the Trust, our staff and our patients with a highly resilient, environmentally friendly IT and communications infrastructure that is also scalable for our future needs as more and more clinical and administrative functions become digitised."

NextiraOne is Europe's leading expert in communications services and has a direct sales and service presence in 17 countries, serving more than 60,000 customers.  The company  designs, installs, maintains and supports solutions to meet the communications needs of its customers - from voice, data and video to mobility, security and applications. NextiraOne currently serves over 150 public sector organisations in the UK, delivering innovative solutions for a number of other healthcare providers, including the North Bristol NHS Trust and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Steven Skakel, Managing Director UK & Ireland at NextiraOne, said: "When completed, this project will make James Paget one of the foremost NHS Trusts in the country in terms of harnessing leading edge technology to deliver better patient care outcomes. NextiraOne has been working alongside the Trust for some time and it is a joy for our experts to work in such an innovative environment and to deliver the solutions that will shape the future of healthcare IT and networking provision."

Aviation communications specialist SITA today announced their appointment by Virgin Atlantic as the airline's Network Guardian with primary responsibility for all voice and data IT services, which will result in a significant reduction in network communication costs.

The five-year, multi-million dollar partnership with Virgin Atlantic covers in excess of 100 sites worldwide. It progressively moves full responsibility for a diverse range of services from multiple providers to SITA including; international and domestic IP VPN, voice (IPT and PBX), Managed LAN, cabling, core network support, Vendor Management Services and Service Management.

Tim Livett, Director of Finance and Business Services, Virgin Atlantic Airways, said: "Our mission at Virgin Atlantic dictates that we grow a profitable airline and to achieve this we constantly examine every element of our business. By consolidating the delivery of voice and data services from approximately 40 suppliers to a single supplier, SITA, we will improve the delivery of a high quality service to the business whilst we are achieving significant economies of scale and reducing the cost of delivery."

Matthew Billings, Head of IT Services, Virgin Atlantic Airways, said: "The financial savings are fundamental to our goal of driving down the overall cost base of delivery of IT to the business but as Head of IT I am also assured that our newly extended partnership with SITA will enable us to deliver other strategic initiatives including global supplier consolidation, service standardisation and improved Service Levels to our end users. Our company values are well aligned and our teams are closely integrated - we see the SITA team as a seamless extension of our own IT department."

"We will have the added benefits of simplified supplier management, faster deployment, improved reporting and reduced incident resolution times. All of these are hugely valuable in addition to the monetary savings."

Airlines have suffered from the organic growth of their voice and data solutions which in many cases has resulted in complex, unmanaged interfaces, the existence of non-standard solutions, major service overlaps and consequently, a high cost of support. The role of Network Guardian includes the standardisation and simplification of the delivery of these services, driving cost savings and improved service levels.

Rob Watkins, Regional Vice President for Northern Europe, SITA, said: "As Virgin Atlantic's Network Guardian, SITA will be in a position to focus on the airline's overall business objectives rather than the delivery of any single, specific technology. The immediate cost savings will be strengthened by our experience and understanding of the air transport industry. Virgin will also benefit from our drive for innovation and continuous improvement in the provision of IT and communications."

The service has commenced and full transition to SITA as the single supplier will be completed by summer 2010.

UK based Horsebridge Network Systems has announced a new partnership with California's GO Net to supply the company's mobile wireless broadband systems. GO Net is said to combine ‘smart antenna technology' with cellular-mesh radio access architecture, said to provide a new level of Wi-Fi coverage and performance.

By using the GO products now available through Horsebridge, carriers can reduce their wireless network's footprint by up to 40%, reducing upfront CAPEX by around 50% and lower recurring OPEX for maintenance by 30-50%, it's claimed.

MBW architecture utilises ‘micro' 'pico' and ‘femto' Wi-Fi base stations to provide advanced Wi-Fi coverage.

Horsebridge offers the MBW 2000 to provide top-down micro-cellular Wi-Fi coverage, the MBW 1000 series to provide complementary street-level Wi-Fi coverage and the MBW 500 series as a gap filler for increased coverage and capacity injection.

According to Horsebridge, until now, Wi-Fi solutions have struggled to meet the challenges of varying RF environments, networking requirements, and user loads. GO has developed patent-pending xRF technology which makes these issues a thing of the past, it says.

Based on an implementation of adaptive beam-forming and smart antenna signal processing algorithms, xRF is able to overcome the detrimental effects of multipath.  When receiving, it constructively combines the phase shifted signals obtained through reflections, resulting in significant improvements to the signal-to-noise ratio, particularly in multipath-prone non-line-of-sight scenarios, it's claimed.

In transmission the xRF focuses radio energy towards the client, effectively reducing the amount of multipath to which the client's receiver is exposed. This increases the system's range and throughput by 2-3 times compared to existing solutions, says Horsebridge.

GO xRF technology is alos claimed to be the only smart antenna technology that operates in a multi-channel access solution supporting both sectorial and omni-directional base stations.

Horsebridge says it has successfully installed the Go Net wireless solution in Northlew, Cornwall, a village previously un-serviced by broadband and the first of its kind in the UK to provide a wireless network for its residents.

In a new report published by Tariff Consultancy - ‘Pre Pay Mobile Broadband Services: Pricing, Trends & Products from around the world' - dynamic worldwide growth is predicted for Pre Pay Mobile Broadband, defined as being PC based internet connectivity usually using a USB flash modem which is capable of supporting download speeds of up to 384 KB and beyond.

Pre Pay Mobile Broadband services are being launched by more operators as 3G and HSPA services are being deployed, with over 300 HSPA networks currently in operation.

In particular, it is users in the Asia Pacific and Americas region who will lead Pre Pay Mobile Broadband subscriber adoption, says Tariff Consultancy. Asia Pacific Pre Pay Mobile Broadband subscriber numbers will increase 10 fold over the 3 year period to 160 million users over the period with the Americas region seeing a growth rate of almost 7 times, it says.

User take up of Pre Pay Mobile Broadband is being spurred by the increase in 3G and HSPA network deployments across all regions. Additionally in many countries as the majority of mobile users (as high as 90 per cent of mobile users across South America) are Pre Pay subscribers the availability of Pre Pay Mobile Broadband is required if Mobile Broadband is to become a mass market service.

Pre Pay Mobile Broadband providers are following a range of strategies, says TCL. In many countries providers are charging a premium for mobile internet connectivity with a relatively small data allowance.

But in other countries Pre Pay Mobile Broadband providers are offering high data allowances with a low cost per GB which are on a par with fixed Broadband services. For example, in Cyprus MTN offers a month to month contract (with no contract) with a data allowance of 25 GB, and in Honduras Tigo offers a data allowance of 16 GB, it says.

Other providers such as Virgin Mobile UK and 3 UK are offering Mobile Broadband services without a contract term as a hybrid month to month service. In the Asia Pacific region operators are launching Pre Pay Mobile Broadband services with low denominations of less than 1 Euro. They are also seeking to offset the once off purchase cost of the USB modem by offering a data SIM card only package.  

Daily Pre Pay Mobile Broadband rates are provided at an average of 3.4 Euro in the EMEA region, with a spread of pricing from 9 Euro to 1 Euro with weekly rates in the region cost an average of almost 8.9 Euro. The most popular tariff worldwide is a flat rate bundle of Hours or per flat rate per GB/MB followed by a Daily (24 Hour) flat rate.

Mobile operators around the world are seeking to differentiate their services in the face of market maturity by bundling additional services rather than competing on price. Service bundles now include the bundling of WiFi with the 3G mobile internet (for example by TMN Portugal). Examples of Pre Pay Mobile Broadband service bundling highlighted in TCL's report include the following:

  a.. Mobile Broadband USB modem with 100 Hours 3G internet usage plus unlimited Hot Spot usage offered by Globe Telecom in the Philippines,
  b.. Pre Pay vouchers which can be used both by both for a fixed line Broadband service and a Mobile Broadband service offered by CTM Macau.

"Data allowances are increasing and are buoyed by the introduction of a large number of data bundles which are becoming more complex," commented Margrit Sessions, Managing Director of Tariff Consultancy Limited. "For example both Optus in Australia, Reliance in India and Telkomsel in Indonesia are offering at least 8 different bundles with data allowances available of up to 8 GB," she added. "Although some operators continue to price their Pre Pay Mobile Broadband product at a premium, a large number of Pre Pay Mobile Broadband providers are in fact positioning their service to replace fixed line services".

In some countries such as India, the lack of existing copper infrastructure coupled with the mass market potential of pre pay services means that Pre Pay Mobile Broadband will become the norm for the majority of users to access the internet worldwide.