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MERA Systems, industry-leading developer of tandem softswitches and session border controllers for VoIP, has announced the release of  MVTS II v.1.2.0.

MERA VoIP Transit Softswitch II (MVTS II) is a softswitch with fully distributed modular architecture and highly intelligent traffic handling options. MVTS II is specifically designed to increase the efficiency of VoIP traffic management on large scale networks.

The new release of MERA VoIP Transit Softswitch II is focused on the improvement of the system's billing capabilities. The innovations make invoicing more convenient and allow now adding calculable fields to the invoices. The invoicing functionality was revised and optimized. Now it is possible to:


  • Generate invoices according to predefined schedule;
  • Generate  .pdf invoices in one step;
  • Calculate taxes and include the resulting tax amounts into the total invoice amount;
  • Upload currency exchange rates to the Database from external servers.

MVTS II v. 1.2.0 includes new mechanisms of Database replication and management node redundancy. Earlier, replication was provided by means of database management system (DB), now it is fully ensured by intrinsic algorithms of Traffic Manager. The improvement has not only increased the solution's reliability but has also simplified the problem analysis. For maximum fault tolerance all Traffic Switch nodes including the management node are now backed up by launching additional nodes of the same type on separate servers.

A new node called "synchro" was introduced into Traffic Switch. The synchro node ensures synchronization of the System processes and control over the used resources. The synchro node interoperates with the signaling and Traffic Manager nodes. To enhance the System performance the newly-introduced synchro node stores current statistics and provides efficient access to statistic counters. The synchro node allows for absolute accuracy when applying equipment capacity restrictions (database storage limits of statistics on active calls could exceed the threshold earlier).

Some most serious issues of the previous releases were also fixed in the new version of MVTS II.  

Flint Telecom, a fast growing, technology and services company that provides "turnkey' telecom services to the global telecom and media industry, announced that it has acquired Prime Carrier, the market leader in the provision of ‘On Demand' solutions for the global telecommunications industry. Financial deals of the transaction were not disclosed.

Under the acquisition agreement, Prime Carrier now becomes a 100% owned subsidiary of Flint Telecom, remaining as a separate, autonomous company and will continue to trade as Prime Carrier. The market leading MOST solution, established as the industry standard platform for supporting inter-carrier trading and uniquely delivered as an ‘On-Demand' service will continued to be offered to global Telecommunication Carriers, Operators and Service Providers alongside Flint Telecom's technology and service offerings.

Prime Carrier staff will be retained to continue the on-going software development, marketing, customer deployment & support. Prime Carrier's existing customers include: Alltel, Arbinet, Bellsouth, Bite, BT Ireland, KPN, KVH, Ono, Orbitel, Romtelecom, Samitel, Tele2 UK, Telenet, Telecom Egypt, Telstra UK, Vivodi, Vox Mundi Telecom and UPC.

The acquisition strengthens and accelerates the respective market positioning and product strategies, resulting from strong product technologies, consolidated operations and ‘Go-to-Market' synergies into overlapping target markets. In addition, Flint Telecom provides a strong presence in the North American market and provides additional in-region resources, along with improved financial security through a broader range of technology and service offerings.

The acquisition was fully supported by Prime Carrier's former principal shareholders - ACT Venture Capital and Advent Venture Partners, as well as Enterprise Ireland.

Convergent billing specialist, Cerillion Technologies, has today announced the launch of Cerillion Express, a pre-integrated and pre-configured CRM and billing solution for telecoms operators. Said to offer rapid implementation and a 'very low' total cost of ownership, Cerillion Express is claimed to provide all the elements required to support a communications provider's business in one off-the-shelf package.

The first edition of the new solution, Cerillion Express for Mobile, is targeted at mobile service providers who require a proven business support system to support their mobile operations. Utilising core components of Cerillion's bundled component product suite, the solution covers the entire customer lifecycle from initial sales and order handling, to billing and collections, and includes the integration of prepaid and postpaid services. Other flavours of Cerillion Express will soon be available, tailored to other sectors of the telecoms market.

"With Cerillion Express we are able to dramatically lower the entry barrier for operators who want a complete solution to support their end-to-end customer management and billing processes," says Guy O'Connor, business development director, Cerillion Technologies.  "Based on best practice configuration and process support, Cerillion Express also delivers optimal system performance and can be run with a very small operations team or operated on a wholly managed service basis."

"Cerillion Express is able to grow easily in breadth and sophistication, enabling operators to add extra functionality as and when required," he adds. "We have drawn on more than ten years' experience and expertise of CRM and billing projects to build the solution, so that our customers benefit by being able to focus on critical 'go to market' decisions without the distraction of system constraints or integration issues."

The turnkey solution incorporates a full suite of professional services, including implementation in ten weeks; complete product and operations training; and a support and maintenance service, based on defined service level agreements. In addition to the full managed service option, the solution can be provided under a build-operate-transfer model, which offers a managed service for the first year of system operation.

Blyk, the new mobile network for 16-24 year olds funded by advertising, has announced its next wave of European expansion into Germany, Spain and Belgium in 2009, following its announcement to enter the Dutch market earlier this year. Blyk's rapid expansion is subsequent to its UK success where members are said to have embraced the Blyk concept so quickly that its annual member targets of 100,000 were reached six months ahead of schedule.

To date, Blyk has run over 900 campaigns in the UK for brands such as Coca Cola, STA Travel, Penguin, Buena Vista, L'Oreal and music artists The Kooks and Alphabeat with an average response rate of 29 percent, an extremely high level for any media platform. For example, Penguin's campaign to promote Nick Hornby's new novel, saw 7 out of 10 members engage with the publisher in a dialogue.

Blyk will make further announcements related to activities in each of these countries in the near future.

In addition to Blyk's European expansion plans, the company will continue to strengthen its services in the UK through more members and brands. By the end of the year, Blyk's aim is to boost the number of brands using Blyk to 200 by the end of 2008. In doing this, Blyk wants to deliver on their driving idea to unite young people and advertisers to free communication.

Blyk's CEO and Co-founder, Pekka Ala-Pietilä said, "There is a great opportunity for Blyk in these markets. Our research shows that young people in Germany, Spain and Belgium are interested in the Blyk proposition because they want to interact with brands they like in exchange for free communication. Our success in the UK, illustrated by robust member adoption, has proven that Blyk is a youth media that works and we hope to replicate this success as we enter new countries. We are also working to attract local talent who share our enthusiasm and can help build Blyk into a significant youth media in other countries."

Irdeto, a leading expert in content and business model protection solutions and services, today announced that Hebei Broadcasting and Television Information Network (Group) Co., LTD and Xinjiang Broadcast & Television Transmission Network have chosen the Irdeto DVB conditional access solution for their digital migration process. With these agreements, Irdeto is slated to deliver two million smart cards to both of these cable networks over the next 24 months.

Hebei is China's sixth largest province with 67.4 million people and with nearly 6.5 million cable TV subscribers. Hebei Broadcasting and Television, a provincial-level cable TV network operator, selected Irdeto to simulcrypt with its existing conditional access system and has agreed to purchase 1 million smart cards to be delivered within the first 18 months of deployment.

Xinjiang province in Western China is home to an estimated 1.3 million cable TV subscribers. The Irdeto DVB conditional access solution was selected by Xinjiang Broadcast & Television Transmission Network to securely enable the sale of high quality, premium content to its subscribers.

These two digital migration projects demonstrate the speed at which China's middle class is growing as well as the impact that the government-backed initiative is having on the adoption and migration of digital TV broadcast in China. As a result, China is seeing an increase in digital cable television enabling the delivery of new levels of viewing experiences to the world's most populous country.

"Piracy is an ongoing battle for all cable operators worldwide, so  with an unprecedented industry record of seven years with no piracy-related smart card swaps, Irdeto was the clear choice for our digital migration project," said Mr. Jiao, GM of Hebei Broadcast & Television Information Network (Group) Co., Ltd.

"Irdeto's proactive security strategy and flexibility allows us multiple ways to sell and package our content, which was exactly what we were looking for," stated Mr. Su Hao, General Manager of Xinjiang Broadcast & Television Transmission Network Corp. "The solution is also very scalable which will set a solid and flexible foundation for our future digital TV development."

"As China's digital migration continues to pick-up momentum prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Irdeto will continue its support of cable operators like the ones in Hebei and Xinjiang  to protect their content and revenues as they move into the new era of digital TV broadcasting," stated Graham Kill, CEO of Irdeto.

As of 2007, China had 151 million cable subscribers with the number expected to grow to 197 million by 2012, according to research by Media Partners Asia Ltd (MPA). Over the same period, the number of digital cable TV subscribers is expected to dramatically increase 540% from 25 million to 135 million.

Carrier Call, provider of integrated software solutions to solve the complex problems of the telecommunications domain, has announced that Versatel, one of the largest providers of Voice-, Internet- and Data- Services for Private and Business customers as a new significant customer of its fully integrated XCarrier by Carrier Call solution.

XCarrier by Carrier Call is an extensive integrated product suite based on most modern decentralized client/server technologies. The software solution supports highly complex business processes in gathering, matching, analyzing and maintaining data related to telecommunications voice carrier services. Data encompasses destination code lists (DCL), price lists and call detail records (CDR) just to name a few. Underlying data allows making informed decisions in real time and ties seamlessly into operational systems.

The XCarrier solution serves as Input System by gathering data from other systems, but also as output system with capabilities including generation of sales side price list and configuration files for voice switches to support least cost routing (LCR).

The XCarrier integrated Voice Trading Platform uses a central repository as a solid base to eliminate data matching errors between external offers and internal systems, to improve and refine the quality of data and to optimize operational systems and routing. Carrier Calls solutions allow decisions-, business- and operational- support and help automating key processes.

All these factors help to increase margins, improve profitability and allow crystallizing new components in the value chain to define new sources of income.

Improved margins and new services are key issues for Telecommunications Operators to consolidate market position and secure leadership in very competitive markets. .

The XCarrier Voice Trading Platform supports traditional fix-net telephony, mobile telephony and telephony using IP infrastructure (VoIP). The complete solution, as used by Versatel, builds an important part for any service provider building a NGN (Next Generation Network) of integrated services.

eDevice's RouteD230 not only extends the geographical Internet coverage for Ethernet devices but also secures networks requiring high availability.

The RouteD230 is a compact and affordable LAN to GPRS router solution that lets devices from an Ethernet/LAN network benefit from the flexibility, mobility, coverage, and low rates of GPRS/EDGE networks.

Computers and devices connected through Ethernet cables can access the Internet freely from everywhere without needing wired or satellite access!

The RouteD230 has been engineered to provide reliable wireless Internet connectivity that can be used as backup for already-connected sites or as a main link for yet unconnected or brand new sites. Cellular Network-specific features like automatic attachment management and link failure discovery increase link reliability while dynamic DNS allows to work around the limitations of dynamic IP addressing.

For critical applications such as banking, energy, and security where link redundancy is needed, the RouteD230 can easily be used as a wireless backup to the regular network infrastructure. The Plug & Play set-up of this unique backup feature is compatible with the most basic routers and does not require advanced and expensive features like VRRP.

When used as the main Internet/Intranet link, the RouteD230 embeds an internal DHCP server for easy and immediate IP address attribution throughout the LAN. The wireless Internet access is shared between several computers or LAN devices using Network Address and Port Translation allowing servers to be hosted on the LAN with the TCP port mapping technique.

The RouteD230 embeds a quad-band GSM/GPRS or EDGE module and targets cellular carriers, IT resellers, OEMs and integrators. It is designed to offer connectivity for networks of computers located in branch offices, mobile sites, stores and point of sales...

The integrated serial port and memory card holder pave the way for fast adaptation to specific customer needs in the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) area for applications such as remote monitoring, automated meter reading, video surveillance, traffic, medical...

VoluBill, a leading supplier of real-time charging, control and usage policy management solutions for data and content services, today announced that it has signed three major new software licence and deployment agreements for it's Charge it DCP (Dynamic Charging Platform) product.

The new software licence agreements are with the Zain Group in the Middle East, Excelcomindo (XL) in Indonesia and a third unnamed operator in the South East Asia region.

"We are delighted to be able to report three major new deals for DCP and VoluBill," states John Aalbers, CEO of VoluBill. "Since our acquisition of the DCP product business from Intec Telecom Systems in December, we have been focused on integrating the product with our Charge it Service Controller (Deep Packet Inspection) product line. That is now completed and the result is the only single vendor, end to end rating and charging solution of its kind in the market. These new customer wins show that the benefits of the solution footprint VoluBill can now offer is rapidly being recognised by operators as highly advantageous to them in the competitive markets in which they operate." added Aalbers.

By bringing the rating and charging function right up to the network edge with seamless integration over the boundary for the first time, VoluBill makes advanced charging a true real time operation, with real time access to the vital product, pricing and customer information required to accurately charge customers at the very instant they are using a service. Charge it enables operators to charge for as well and as control access to data and content services in an open and flexible way, whilst eliminating revenue leakage and fraud windows in the process.

 "These new customer wins in some of the worlds most dynamic and competitive telecoms markets is contributing to a strong first half performance for VoluBill in 2008, and we look forward to maintaining positive momentum with DCP in the market going forward," explains John Aalbers, CEO of VoluBill. "We are delighted to welcome on board these three major new customers. VoluBill is committed to being a key strategic partner and helping them achieve their key business objectives."

Juniper Research has forecast that 41.5bn mobile financial service transactions will be made by the end of 2011.  According to Juniper, the key drivers for these transactions will be the high speed of adoption by consumers of new mobile finance facilities - particularly those currently without access to any form of banking.  Bespoke payment applications for remittance purposes will also be popular but issues around legislation must still be overcome.

The new study reports that the desire from all sections of the MFS (Mobile Financial Services) ecosystem to deliver intelligent applications and services has created an atmosphere that is both creative and pragmatic. It also found that there is a strong desire from the MFS sector for cooperation in order to create non silo services that work together.

The Great Unbanked

The new research identified two exciting sectors:
-    The millions of mobile phone users in developing countries who do not currently hold bank accounts or credit cards and would like access to accessible banking services at the right price.
-    The millions of mobile phone users in developed countries who cannot currently access financial services due to age i.e. 13-18 year olds.

Legislation issues
The report forecasts that in-between 2007 and 2011, we will see an additional 517m global mobile phone users of MFS, although the report does warn that a number of issues still need to be overcome.  One issue particularly for new entrants is that of legislation.

Most developed world economies have strict rules and regulation governing the financial industry, to protect both the consumer and the retailer.  It can be a costly exercise, in both time and money, to design and implement an alternative MFS payment scheme that adheres to such regulation, particularly the case with mobile fund transfers and remittances potentially offering an easy route to money laundering around the world.

Other key report findings are said to  include:

  • 612m mobile phone users generating over $587bn worth of financial transactions by 2011
  • Annual global mobile banking transactions will rise from 2.7bn in 2007 to 37bn by 2011
  • The Far East & China region forecast to embrace mobile finance the most, with over 250m total mobile phone users to use MFS by 2011

Juniper Research illustrates the current and near-future status of the mobile financial services market with market forecasts, interviews, case studies and analysis from representatives of some of the leading organisations in the burgeoning mobile financial services industry.

The latest software release from Shenick for diversifEye per flow converged IP network test platforms packs new applications, upgrades to existing applications, more flexibility and increased functionality along with more visibility with a greater number of statistics available.

Features include:

      New Applications
      - Two Way Active Measurement Protocol (TWAMP Client/Server)
      - RTP only Application
      - Digital Audio Broadcast quality measurements

      Upgrade to VoIP Application
      - Dual Hosted VoIP terminal ( IPv4 and IPv6)
      - Telephony conferencing Video analysis
      - Voice and Video analysis on incoming calls
      - Multiple Handset support over NAT Boundaries

      Greater flexibility
      - Bring Hosts in or out of service
      - Increased Start time of Applications
      - HTTP Random Url Generation with substitution based on Zipfian distribution models
      - Customizable HTTP Headers
      - Customizable SMTP Headers with substitution

      More functionality
      - IGMP/MLD Client - Enhanced Leave Time Control
      - Support MPEG2-TS file in a Playback Resource List
      - SIP Signaling Performance
      - SIP Call Rate Limiting
      - SIP 503 message support

      Increased Visibility
      - SIP Statistics Updates
      - TCP Connection Timing Statistics
      - New Statistics

cVidya Networks, a global leader of telecom data integrity, revenue assurance and Dealer management systems, announced today that it has won the World Billing Awards 2008 in the Best Revenue Assurance and Management Project category at Billing & Information Management Systems (BIMS) 2008 in which deployments were evaluated based on their Effectiveness to enhance data quality and business processes that improves profits, revenues and cash flows.

cVidya was awarded this recognition for deploying  its MoneyMap®/Configuration and MoneyMap/ Rating and Billing Verification solution within the RA Center of Excellence at the British Telecom group, demonstrating a strategic and comprehensive RA program covering all business units of BT, and handling both the business aspects and the operational day-to-day challenges of Revenue Assurance.

cVidya won the award while competing against deployments that were initially shortlisted such as ECTel's implementation at AT&T, Connectiva systems at  Etisalat Egypt and Carphone Warehouse .  Winning this award reaffirms cVidya positioning as a leader and an innovator in the Revenue Assurance arena

"We are honored to receive this prestigious award that recognizes cVidya's tremendous achievements during this year" commented Alon Aginsky, CEO of cVidya Networks. "We are delighted to share this winner's award with BT.

"We believe that cVidya's deep understanding of BT's business processes and challenges along with our strong partnership allowed us a successful deployment of cVidya advanced tools while supporting BTs end-to-end RA approach."

Espial, a leading provider of TV middleware and applications, today announced it has signed a software licenseand distribution agreement with Motorola. According to the terms of theagreement, Motorola is able to resell Espial's Evo TV Service Platform tooperators worldwide.    

"This reseller agreement represents another important milestone inEspial's channel development strategy. Motorola brings a depth of experienceand leadership in providing digital video system solutions and interactiveset-top devices around the globe. They are well positioned to capitalize onthe increasing demand for IPTV and hybrid IP-Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) systems" said Jaison Dolvane, Espial's President and CEO.

"This businessrelationship expands our global channel presence and fulfillment capacity. Itfurther strengthens the foundation we are building to scale our business tointercept emerging opportunities in the Service Provider TV market."    

Espial Evo TV Service Platform meets the rigorous middleware selectioncriteria from operators worldwide including delivery of a highly customizableuser experience; platform openness for service customization and applicationextensibility; carrier grade architecture for reliability; highly flexibleservice and business management functions to ensure a smooth operational fit;and, innovative middleware architecture that lowers total cost of ownership.    

Mr. Dolvane added: "We are pleased to have built-in support for the Motorola VIP series set top boxes as reference platforms for the Evo TVService Platform. Looking forward through 2008, one of our key businesspriorities will be to educate, train and support the Motorola team on ourtechnologies all across the world. We will work with them to win new customersand are actively engaged in opportunities in North America, Latin America,Europe and Asia."    


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