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Subex Azure hosts International User Conference for global customers and partners

Subex Azure, a leading global provider of OSS solutions for telecom operators, is hosting its bi-annual International User Conference between 18 – 20 April 2007 at the Athenaeum InterContinental Hotel in Athens, Greece.

The three-day event will provide attendees with valuable insight into emerging trends in the revenue maximization space, as well as the discussion of best practices and the examination of case studies from a variety of operators. Guest speakers include James Moran, Director of Fraud & Security of the GSM Association and presentations from customers including BT, Claro Brazil, Global Crossing, RCI Rogers, StarHub and Vodafone UK.

This year’s conference will also include presentations from Subash Menon, CEO, Managing Director and Founder of Subex Azure, who will give a review of the past year for Subex Azure, which has included the acquisition of Syndesis and a company listing on the London Stock Exchange.  In addition, Mark Nicholson, CTO of Subex Azure, will speak on the topic of ‘Managing Triple Play, Quad Play and Content based services with a converged IP infrastructure’.

Subex Azure will be providing an overview of its latest corporate and product developments, the evolution of the Revenue Operations Center (ROC) and the future plans of the company following its recent acquisition of Syndesis.  The event will also offer all attendees an exceptional opportunity to network with their peers from around the world.

Meru Networks delivers the largest campus-wide wireless network in Belgium

The Ministry of the Brussels-Capital Region selects Meru to provide wireless Internet access across the Vrije Universiteit Brussel/Universite libre de Bruxelles in Brussels

Meru Networks, a leader in wireless infrastructure for the All-Wireless Enterprise, has announced that the Brussels Regional Informatics Centre (BRIC), on behalf of the Brussels-Capital Region, has deployed Meru Networks’ Wireless LAN (WLAN) System and its Wireless Backbone System (WBS) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel/Universite libre de Bruxelles (VUB/ULB) in Brussels, making it the largest mesh network in Belgium.

Designed by Multicap, Meru’s distribution partner in Belgium, the mesh network provides broadband Internet access to all students and campus visitors.  Meru’s 4th generation WLAN provides reliable application delivery for high density data, toll-quality voice, and streaming video Wi-Fi applications. WBS extends these services to outdoor areas and remote locations through an innovative wireless backbone and mesh repeating scheme that provides end-to-end QoS and security.  Additionally, Meru’s network enables wireless VoIP to all VUB/ULB university staff. 

Guy Vanhengel, Brussels’ Informatics Minister, described the deployment, “We see this as a revolutionary step forward for the University. This impressive wireless network provides a fine example that other institutions will be able to emulate.  To achieve such a sophisticated solution and to make such significant cost savings at the same time is remarkable.”

Meru’s Air Traffic Control technology automatically balances network traffic among the wireless Access Points located throughout the campus. WBS allows the Access Points to be installed in locations without access to a wired network, including on light poles, rooftops, and exterior walls.

Glenn De Haes, System Engineer of Multicap said, “Meru’s Wireless Backbone System provides 100 percent reliability and security. Their mesh network enabled us to install Access Points in locations where it would have been very difficult and expensive to string cabling, so WBS saved VUB/ULB a significant sum of money. Meru delivered everything we needed - scalability, low installation cost, and superior Quality of Service.

Kamal Anand, SVP Marketing and Corporate Strategy at Meru Networks explained, “This installation really demonstrates the superiority of Meru’s innovative technology. Unlike older 3rd generation wireless LANs, Meru’s network has been purpose-built to reliably carry high bandwidth voice and data traffic with optimum quality. These features, combined with the WBS mesh support, are ideal for high density environments such as universities.”

Vodafone selects Ericsson for European-wide managed services contract for its network spare parts

Agreement set to deliver greater efficiencies to Vodafone

Vodafone has selected Ericsson to manage the supply and distribution of spare parts for its mobile networks across several of its major European operating companies including Germany, Spain and Portugal.

Under the multi-million euro deal, Ericsson will assume responsibility for the logistics, warehousing, repair and replacement of multi-vendor spare parts in the selected operating companies. This is expected to deliver greater cost efficiencies to Vodafone through lower average prices for the management process of spares, as well as enhanced service levels.

The agreement will cover the end-to-end management of spare parts for 2G, 3G and transmission equipment in the selected European operating companies.

The initiative forms part of Vodafone's cost reduction strategy as each Vodafone operating company currently runs its own spare parts operation.
It will also enable the company to focus more on its core business of enhancing network performance, as well as delivering more attractive services to customers.

Working under service level agreements, Ericsson is tasked with taking advantage of its expertise in the managed service sector to deliver an enhanced and added-value service to Vodafone operating companies.

Other benefits to Vodafone include the harmonisation of the spare parts supply process, greater price transparency for the provision of services, as well as removing the need for further investment in stocks of spare parts for the future. The agreement is also expected to deliver greater savings by channelling spare part purchases in all participating operating companies through a single supplier.

The deal will be effective from April 2007 and the service will be implemented in the participating Vodafone operating companies in the course of this year. During that time, Vodafone will also have the option to further extend the agreement to additional operating companies.

Commenting on the deal, Detlef Schultz, Vodafone Global Director for Supply Chain Management said: "This initiative is another example of how Vodafone is looking for more and more innovative ways to deliver on its cost reduction strategy in Europe. By agreeing this managed services contract with Ericsson, we will be even better placed to focus on our customers and give them an even better mobile experience."

Hans Vestberg, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Unit Global Services, Ericsson, said: "Vodafone has truly been in the forefront demonstrating their innovative approach which has been a key success factor when developing this solution. This agreement will bring further benefits from leveraging on economies of scale and skill across several countries. We are extremely proud to extend our partnership with Vodafone, breaking new ground together. This is an evolution of Ericsson's managed services capabilities, enabling operators to outsource their entire supply chain of spare parts. This is also to date one of the biggest contracts for multivendor spare parts management."

VoluBill wins major Latin American deal with Telef

VoluBill’s Charge it platform will replace the existing solution and enable Movistar to roll out differentiated charging for browsing, MMS and content

VoluBill, a leading provider of flexible data charging solutions to fixed and mobile telecoms operators, today announced the successful delivery of a major project with Movistar Venezuela, an operating company of Telefónica Móviles, and the largest wireless provider in the country.  According to the terms of agreement, VoluBill will supply Movistar with its market leading Charge it solution.  This is a strategic win for VoluBill as it is the company’s first deal in Latin America - a region which boasts many of the world’s fastest growing mobile markets and will offer VoluBill new opportunities to expand its business horizons across the continent.

“This new agreement reinforces VoluBill’s reputation as the leading provider of charging applications for the world’s most innovative mobile companies,” said John Aalbers, CEO of VoluBill.  “We are very excited about this project and are looking forward to working with Movistar to enhance its capabilities, increase revenue streams and maintain a high level of customer satisfaction."

Gustavo Reyes, CIO, Telefónica Movistar Venezuela added “Following a comprehensive review of various options, Movistar selected VoluBill for this strategic project due to the flexibility of the solution, proven ability to support zero revenue leakage and its strength in supporting multiple technologies. Another critical factor in our decision was VoluBill’s commitment to rapidly implement the solution within 4 months to enable Movistar to differentiate its data services offering in the competitive Venezuelan wireless market”.

VoluBill’s Charge it platform will enable Movistar to roll out differentiated charging for browsing, MMS and content services - a capability currently not fully available with the company’s existing solution.

“As Movistar Venezuela continues to develop its network with the latest next generation services, VoluBill’s support team will ensure that the Charge it platform can manage these changes,” added Aalbers. “This will enable the operator to provide high levels of on-demand customer service while quickly and accurately charging for all types of network traffic.”

Charge it by VoluBill will enable Movistar to maximise revenues and reduce costs by offering the operator the capability to accurately charge for all pre-paid and post-paid data services from a single platform. VoluBill’s technology will also ensure zero leakage in case of service control and will allow for interactive dialog between the operator and the subscriber. These capabilities are crucial to Movistar’s business success, as it grows its market share and continues to roll out the most advanced services in Latin America.

Movistar Venezuela is the biggest and fastest growing wireless provider in Venezuela. In 2006 it attracted close to 2 million new subscribers to end the year with over eight million customers. The operator was one of the first companies in the region to launch a successful next generation service, called “Interactivo Play 3G”, which enables subscribers to download and see multimedia and entertainment content such as movie clips, digital images and music videos, and participate in third dimension video games.

Movistar Venezuela joins a growing list of customers currently benefiting from VoluBill’s solutions. VoluBill is meeting the charging demands of both emerging and established operators worldwide, helping to support more than 125 million subscribers worldwide with its cutting edge technology.

GSA survey confirms over 250 HSDPA devices

100% Increase in 3 Months

The latest "HSDPA Devices" survey undertaken by GSA - the Global mobile Suppliers Association, is said to underline the huge rise in the number of HSDPA devices now available. The survey, published on April 3rd, 2007 and following announcements at the CeBit and CTIA trade shows, confirms that 254 HSDPA-capable devices have been launched, which is double the number reported in a similar GSA survey 3 months ago. The number of suppliers in the market increased from 39 to 62 in the same period.

The range of devices identified in the survey confirms all market segments are addressed by HSDPA:

·    104 mobile phones
·    54 PC datacards (PCMCIA cards and embedded modules)
·    43 notebooks
·    29 Wireless Routers
·    20 USB modems
·    3 Personal Media Players with HSDPA-connectivity
·    1 camera with HSDPA-connectivity

The survey confirms that 40 devices support, or can be upgraded to, a high-speed downlink capability of 7.2 Mbps peak (according to network capabilities). The first 7.2 Mbps capable products begin shipping in volume this month.

At least 20 devices support, or can be upgraded for, HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access), initially delivering 2.1 Mbps (peak) for the uplink direction, as HSUPA services which are entering the commercial phase.

The survey also confirms how HSDPA is supporting enterprise and domestic Internet users. 117 devices enable high-speed broadband connectivity with full wide-area mobility for PC and notebook users. Fixed locations such as offices and homes can also be HSPA-enabled for broadband Internet connectivity, extending competitive choice. There is a wide and growing choice of wireless routers supporting HSPA as well as WCDMA, EDGE and GSM/GPRS radio access.

Alan Hadden, President, GSA said "Positive user experiences of 3G/HSPA, greater choice of user devices, and increasing competitive alternatives from mobile operators for broadband services show HSDPA has entered the mainstream."

A related survey by GSA confirms there are 156 HSDPA network commitments in 72 countries/territories worldwide, including 104 commercially launched HSDPA networks in 54 countries.

The majority of 3G/WCDMA-HSPA systems operate in the internationally designated IMT-2000 core band spectrum of 1920 - 1980 MHz paired with 2110 - 2170 MHz (referred to as the 2100 band). Increasingly WCDMA-HSDPA devices are produced for tri-band operation, i.e. 850/1900/2100 MHz. At least 72 WCDMA-HSDPA devices can operate in the 850 MHz frequency band, as currently used for commercial WCDMA-HSDPA services in North America and Australia. The combination of growing choice of devices and rapidly developing economies of scale, means that deployment of 3G services in the 850 MHz band with WCDMA-HSDPA is a very attractive choice for operators with access to this band e.g. in Central and Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia Pacific and elsewhere.

Vimio establishes Ukrainian joint venture, Vimio Eastern Europe

Ukraine business partner to invest US $2 million in VEE

Vimio, a leading provider of Live TV, media distribution solutions and content to mobile network operators, has announced that it has entered into a joint venture, through a newly incorporated company VEE, with Nichols Ltd., a British Virgin Islands registered company to commence operations in the Ukraine.

Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, Nichols will invest US$2 million in VEE to establish an operations centre in Kiev, in return for a 50% equity stake in VEE. Vimio has granted a software licence to VEE enabling it to exploit Vimio's technology to provide content to mobile network operators in the Ukraine market. VEE's head office will be located in Kiev.

VEE intends to enter into revenue sharing agreements, for live TV and other content, with the TV Channels and mobile network operators in the region, for delivery over existing GSM networks. VEE also intends to exploit the popular music market for music downloads, videos and live radio by launching its Shopfront application which will enable users to search, purchase and download all types of content on their phones.

At the end of 2006 there were over 50.5million subscribers using mobile services in Ukraine. The two largest mobile network operators in the Ukraine have over 42 million subscribers both of whom have conducted initial evaluations of the company’s technology. Roll out of Live TV and content services is expected in the third quarter of this year.

Trustive provides seamless one-click access to over 20,000 hotspots

HotSpotter removes the hassles from Wi-Fi hotspot access on the move

Trustive, the European wireless hotspot access provider, has today announced the launch of its new consumer service to provide seamless hotspot connectivity for business travellers and other mobile workers.

The Trustive network covers more than 20,000 hotspots, connecting 60 of the best networks across Europe, including The Cloud, SFR, KPN Hotspots and Vodafone Italia. Trustive customers can access some of the prime wireless locations across Europe, including coverage at all major EU airports.

To sign up to the service users need to visit www.trustive.com. Here, users can register and download Trustive's newly-released HotSpotter, which is a clever piece of software that enables users to easily detect Trustive hotspots and provides secure one-click access to the network.

Being unable to send emails from a hotspot will be a thing of the past, as the HotSpotter has it own unique email tool which enables messages, using your existing email account, to be sent from any hotspot even if SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) access is blocked.  Other key features of the HotSpotter include a hotspots locator, instant account history and overview, and VPN connectivity.

Trustive offers several price plans including pre-paid and subscription* - giving users the flexibility they need to access the internet while they are on the move.  Trustive's 'per second' billing means that users only pay for the time that they use and only receive a single monthly bill.

Bram Jan Streefland, co-founder and managing director of Trustive, said:
"Today's business traveller is demanding seamless Wi-Fi access wherever they are in the world.  By signing up with Trustive, customers can enjoy an enhanced hotspot user experience.

"Our per second pricing also means that users can avoid the frustration of burning minutes unnecessarily.  For example, at an airport you may only want wireless access for 10 minutes to check some emails, but often you are only presented with the option to purchase a 60 minute voucher which is only valid for a limited amount of time."

According to ABI Research, the number of commercial Wi-Fi hotspots grew by 47% worldwide in 2006. However, up until now many hotspot users have faced the frustrations of multiple logins, limited coverage from a single provider, and even being unable to send email.  Trustive's service addresses these problems by offering seamless wireless hotspot access to people on the move through a unified global network of hotspots.

AxisMobile signs contract with SonicDuo

AxisMobile, a specialist in consumer mobile email, has announced it has signed an agreement with Sonic Duo,  a fully owned subsidiary of OJSC “MegaFon” and the operator of Megafon-Moscow, to provide consumer mobile email services to its subscribers.

MegaFon provides a broad range of wireless telecommunications services to businesses, other telecommunication services providers and retail subscribers.  As of January 2007 the company had over 30 million subscribers, including over 5 million customers of Sonic Duo.  MegaFon’s license area covers all 88 regions of the Russian Federation.  Based on the success of the consumer mobile email service in Moscow, there is potential to expand the service throughout the MegaFon Network.

AxisMobile’s consumer mobile email solution has been developed specifically to fit easily with the network operator’s existing technology infrastructure, therefore minimising the lead time to market.  It offers a user-friendly interface, extensive attachment support and supports over 300 different mobile devices.

Commenting on the agreement, Shai Schiller, CEO of AxisMobile, said: “Russia is an important market for us – with a population of over 145 million and a huge demand for mobile telecommunications services. We look forward to building on this success and reporting further customer wins in Russia and other markets.”

New Visionael Systems Orchestrator enables broadband service providers to speedily deploy interactive services to customers

Software unites OSS and BSS systems to streamline provisioning of IP-VPN, IP telephony and xDSL services

Visionael, a leading provider of IP service automation software, has announced Visionael Systems Orchestrator, a new platform capability within its Service Automation Suite that allows broadband service providers (SPs) to more easily handle new order requests, change orders and fulfillment for services.

“In today’s competitive market, service providers don’t get a second chance to make a first impression when it comes to acquiring new customers or selling and deploying services to existing customers, ” said Craig Nichols, president and CEO of Visionael. “Visionael Systems Orchestrator directly addresses these challenges by automating more of the processes needed to help meet the growing demand for interactive broadband services, allowing SPs to actively avoid problems around responsiveness, dependability, and quality of service.” 

The new Visionael functionality uses defined workflows that connect a service provider or enterprise’s business support systems (BSS) and operations support systems (OSS) processes via an inventory-based repository. The software eliminates the need for expensive and often cumbersome customized workflows, instead delivering “productized” versions that only require configuration changes for each provider. Systems Orchestrator includes tools that automate repetitive tasks and reduce the errors that often plague complex IP-based network deployments, resulting in improved quality and quicker delivery of residential and business services such as IP-VPN, IP telephony, xDSL and 3G.

“With Visionael, our engineers no longer have to do error-prone, repetitive tasks such as configuring hundreds of network elements with the same information, or learning different configuration and management software from different vendors,” said Peter Eriksson, manager of PSS, TDC Song, Sweden. “Visionael’s Systems Orchestrator deals with different vendor protocols and configuration commands, freeing our employees to handle other tasks that are key to successfully running our business.”

Existing automated service delivery solutions usually support only a limited number of hardware vendors, service offerings and platform technologies. In contrast, Visionael Systems Orchestrator can configure, retrieve, and push information to and from any technical system that has a standards-based interface transparent to the technology chosen as the foundation for the service offering.

Ofcom, the body that regulates and oversees the UK telecommunications industry, says it received 26,926 broadband-related complaints from consumers in a 10-month period last year. Although Ofcom did not reveal the exact breakdown of the complaints, a large number of high profile complaints have been published in the media relating to delays and quality of service provisioning. 

Instead of requiring weeks or even months to process new orders, Visionael’s inventory-based flow-through provisioning can process an order in just a few hours. Customers can request and receive services on their own as the system registers payment and deploys automatically. Visionael Systems Orchestrator achieves this through an inventory-based repository that creates a seamless link between BSS and operations OSS processes.

The new software also addresses the growing challenge of network complexity and the cost increases and customer satisfaction woes that can result from the adoption of new technologies. Use of heterogeneous equipment and development of multiple unique applications – some of which do not communicate with one another – can create an order-to-activation process so complex that it requires many human touch points. This in turn can expose the system to more mistakes.

Visionael’s software is said to tackle these challenges by automating any processes that cause a change in the cost structure for customer and service expansion. It also improves quality assurance by eliminating human interaction in areas that are error-prone.

The Visionael Systems Orchestrator is now available globally as part of the Visionael Service Automation Suite and other automation offerings.