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Intec, a specialist in business and operations support systems (BSS/OSS), today announced it has completed the initial phase in the implementation of its Intec Convergent Billing technology with Polkomtel, one of Poland's major mobile operators. The implementation of Intec's convergent architecture is said to be a new innovation in the Polish market that will allow Polkomtel to launch new value added and bundle services and to implement marketing campaigns such as special rates for family and friends.The billing implementation project started last year as part of a long-term and extensive partnership agreement.

"Intec has worked with Polkomtel for the past several months to deliver the biggest convergent billing site in Poland through the installation of the Intec Convergent Billing platform," said Konrad Kobylecki - Management Board Member and Operations Director from Polkomtel.  "With Intec's market leading billing and customer management system, Polkomtel will be able to improve offer flexibility and time-to-market due to having all its billing functions on one platform, across pre-paid, post-paid and all other types of customer and product services. We are delighted to be working closely with Intec as we continue our expansion into the Polish market. Intec Convergent Billing will play a crucial role in supporting our billing operations as well as providing us with the flexibility and scalability to launch our highly advanced new services."

Polkomtel S.A. is one of three major mobile operators in Poland, a country with one of the biggest wireless markets in Central and Eastern Europe. The operator has established a reputation as an innovator its field, delivering advanced GSM-technology-based services to its customers ahead of all its competitors. Since the beginning of its operations Polkomtel has been the pioneer in implementing state-of-the-art technological and data communication solutions on the Polish market. The network's customers were the first in Poland to use HSCSD high speed data transmission as well as GPRS and EDGE packet data transmission and also the first to use the full range of services relying on advanced mobile technologies, UMTS included. Plus, one of the brand names Polkomtel operates under, offers the most extensive 3G coverage in Poland. The company currently has over 13 million customers across the country.

Gary Bunney, Intec's Chief Operating Officer, said:  "We are delighted to be working with an operator that has such an enviable record innovating in its market and capturing market share. Moving to convergent billing is now the critical focus as this will enable Polkomtel to launch new market leading product bundles, win new customers and further grow its market share. The selection of the new billing system and supplier partner was therefore of paramount importance and followed an extensive evaluation of  the major vendors in the market"  He adds:  " Polkomtel chose Intec billing because of its ability, proven in every continent across the globe, to power convergent services and support innovative and dynamic tariffs structures irrespective of payment regimes. To support Polkomtel we have established a dedicated team, including local Polish staff, and this will expand to form the core of our  central Europe competency centre providing billing expertise to our customers in Poland and across the wider Central and Eastern European Region". 

Orange has announced the launch of a new advertisement-supported content trial on its mobile internet platform, Orange World. The move will see 800,000 of Orange's 15.6 million mobile customers given the option to download a variety of music content, from four different genres (Urban, Pop, Rock, Dance) to their mobile handsets for free, or a discounted rate, which is said to make it the largest trial of its kind in the UK.

Ad-funded content is said to offer new ways of reaching audiences and the potential to generate new business models within the industry. Beginning this week, the trial will last three months and will allow brands to have their advertising banners promoted prominently during the content purchase process as customers download music, offering them a unique opportunity to interact with a captive audience on their mobile phone.
Mobile advertising company ScreenTonic will be managing and delivering the ads for the trial, and is said to have already signed up a number of advertisers to the trial including Paramount Pictures and Ford. Orange customers taking part in the trial will be able to download music either for free, for half or full price. Orange will make over 500 music tracks available on the service.
Gavin Forth, head of entertainment, Orange UK said: "We believe this ad-funded content model will drive adoption and usage of services, and deliver better value content to our customers. The mobile is an incredibly personal device, and our ad-funded content offerings give advertisers a great opportunity to reach a new audience".

Theo Theodorou, head of sales at ScreenTonic said: "The ad funded content trial will provide a route into the mobile experience for brands that have previously had little familiarity of the medium. It is an exciting reason for brands to get involved with mobile, as the media develops increasingly innovative solutions to allow advertisers to reach audiences"

ZYB, the company responsible for the ZYB Phonebook for mobiles, has announced that T-Mobile Netherlands is using a bespoke version of ZYB's proprietary Phone Migration Tool to support Orange customers in their migration to its existing network. This follows T-Mobile's acquisition of Orange in 2007.
The Phone Migration Tool - which went live this week - is available online and takes Orange Netherlands users through a step-by-step process to transfer contacts and calendar events from Orange to T-Mobile phones. The process works over the air, doesn't require the use of any cables and downloads, is globally accessible from any PC or Mac and is available free of charge.
Tommy Ahlers, CEO at ZYB, said: "Today's launch marks an important milestone. The transfer of data from one mobile to another is a technically complex process and to date has required the use of cables, CD's, and complicated manual instructions. It's no surprise that this has resulted in a poor consumer experience, deterring many users from even attempting it. The ZYB Phone Migration Tool is set to change the way people use their phone, providing a seamless, simple and user-friendly means of transferring data from one mobile to another, even across different phone brands.  We are proud to have been a part of such a critical project with a recognised market leader like T-Mobile."
Tessel Jarigsma, Executive Vice President Product Management T-Mobile Netherlands BV, said, "ZYB shares our belief in maintaining the highest standards of user experience and customer service.  The tool provided by ZYB helps us to make migration for our customers simple and easy and this is exactly what T-Mobile stands for. As a business partner, ZYB has proved to be an innovative partner and we have appreciated the flexibility they have shown consistently during the roll out process." 

Subex, a provider of Operations Support Systems (OSS) for communications service providers, has today announced that a leading mobile communications provider in Poland is implementing its Nikira Fraud Management system.

The service provider, with a user base of over 11 million GSM, 3G and mobile IP access customers, was looking to replace its existing Fraud Management system in order to support its fast-growing customer base and meet the requirements of emerging next-generation IP and content services.

Following a competitive tender, the contract was awarded to Subex along with its system integrator partner, Alcatel-Lucent.  A key differentiator was the ability to implement a proof of concept within a short deadline. The new Fraud Management deployment will help the service provider to automatically deliver content based services over one IP infrastructure, ensuring maximised revenues at minimised cost.

Sudeesh Yezhuvath, COO, Subex said, "Detecting and preventing fraud is a very important issue for telecoms operators, particularly those in fast-growing deregulated markets.  This implementation is a great endorsement of the Nikira product and our partnership with Alcatel-Lucent."

Nikira uses flexible rules-based alarms and artificial-intelligence driven advanced analytics to identify likely fraudulent behavior, helping operators to detect known fraud types and patterns of unusual behavior in all telecoms environments - wireline, wireless and across all services.

Telecommunication experts will gather at Jacob Fleming's conference in Rome to meet and discuss how they can put quality management at the core of development strategies.

Jacob Fleming Conferences is providing a unique platform of discussion with the leading telecommunication companies. With the contribution of Orange, Telefonica O2, Vodafone, Motorola, senior executives will come together to exchange experiences on quality management on 14th & 15th May in Hotel Radisson SAS, Rome.

The 3rd Annual Telecoms Quality and BP Excellence

Past, satisfied clients return to this event because they know what to expect: a high standard of organization, focused topics in an interactive platform and a vivid exchange of experiences among key decision makers. All this in a 5-star environment with a uniquely high level of speakers: VPs, Heads and Directors of Quality and BPM at the forefront of their fields will give insight into the current and future standards.

Building on the success of two previous events, this year the focus of the event is not only finding the best strategies in business process management but to establish the culture of quality within the whole organization and implementing the most effective tools and methods through Six Sigma. The interactive setting, the several networking and benchmarking opportunities provide different perspectives by looking at other companies' models.

Iskratel, in consortium with Telsima Corporation, a specialist in WiMAX systems, has announced that Telekom Slovenia has chosen Iskratel's SI3000 Wimax solution which has integrated Telsima WiMAX technologies, as the infrastructure solution for its nationwide WiMAX network.

Telekom Slovenia is the country's leading national and international telecommunications provider of fixed and mobile services for residential, enterprise and service provider customers. Slovenia's broadband access market leader provides digital telephony, Internet access and video services to its Slovenia OnLine (SiOL) customers. Telekom Slovenia is expanding its broadband offering by adding a nationwide WiMAX network using its 42 MHz license in the 3.5 GHz band. Network integration services will be provided by Iskratel.

Matjaž Pogacnik, Head of Network planning in Telekom Slovenia, comments, "We are pleased to partner with Telsima and Iskratel to create our WiMAX network throughout Slovenia. In order to maintain our market leadership we eagerly embrace the worldwide WiMAX standard and the end-to-end solutions enable by Telsima and Iskratel technologies. Having a commercially proven WiMAX system that encompasses RF planning, deployment services, customer provisioning, network management, base station and subscriber station solutions enables Telekom Slovenia to confidently deploy this wireless broadband service. Of ultimate importance to Telekom Slovenia is Iskratel - Telsima's ability to provide WiMAX networks able to optimize Quality of Service delivery of telephony, Internet and support a competitive business model."

Telsima's WiMAX certified mobile product portfolio si said to allow operators to offer mobile services, MIMO antenna diversity and ASN network control today while smoothly migrating to 802.16e-2005 and NWG ASN solutions once commercially available. Iskratel is a supplier in Eastern Europe & Russia, Iskratel integrates Telsima's WiMAX technology into its SI3000 Multi Service Access Plane (MSAP) product family in these markets and is Telsima's OEM and system integration partner.

Ericsson has announced it has upgraded and expanded the GSM/WCDMA core network for Greek telecom operator WIND Hellas. The sole supplier contract included the swap to Ericsson's WCDMA/GSM common core network solution.

Under the agreement, Ericsson provided a turnkey solution including network design, equipment supply and migration to the new core infrastructure, as well as network deployment and systems integration. Ericsson was also responsible for network and business support systems, to ensure a seamless transition and handle increased traffic growth.

WIND Hellas' single core network is now based on Ericsson's Mobile Softswitch Solution (MSS), which allows the operator to deliver a common service experience for its 2G and 3G customers. It is an important step towards an all-IP network, enabling a reduction in network operating costs. Through the introduction of a layered architecture, Ericsson MSS ensures a common foundation for next-generation services. Ericsson's packet core nodes are now supporting WIND Hellas in handling their HSPA traffic growth efficiently.

Fotis Konstantellos, Chief Network Officer at WIND Hellas, says: "Our aim is to leverage on existing infrastructure to boost network capacity, performance and reliability in order to meet increased subscriber growth and consumer appetite for multimedia services. To this end, Ericsson's solution will enable us to effectively prepare our network to handle high-speed communications and personalized multimedia services".

Spyros Nikolaou, President at Ericsson Greece, says: "We were honored to be selected by WIND Hellas for the transformation of their core network. Ericsson's Mobile Softswitch solution provides a standardized service environment, carries large volumes of traffic in the most cost-effective way and provides the flexibility to meet future growth."

Advanced Digital Broadcast, a leading supplier of digital TV systems and software solutions for interactive television, announced today that its ADB-5810TWX high definition (HD), hybrid, IPTV digital video recorder (DVR) won ‘Best IPTV Customer Premise Technology' at the ‘IPTV World Series Awards' held at the IPTV World Forum. It is the second consecutive year that the elite panel of judges, comprising key industry analysts and journalists, has acknowledged ADB's commitment to developing state-of-the-art, IPTV technology.

ADB has established a widely acknowledged reputation as a leading supplier to the IPTV Industry world-wide. From bespoke product design for high volume markets, to off-the-shelf product solutions and ecosystems, ADB partners with numerous IPTV operators both in Europe and the Americas, supporting their visions of growing revenue streams through a migration to interactive and video services.

"ADB has consistently delivered IPTV products to the market ahead of the competition and we are delighted that the industry has once again rewarded us for our efforts", commented Mark Goodburn, Director of Marketing at ADB. "Following the success of our 3000 series IPTV set-top box, it was critical that we offered operators a road-map of products and features that have the potential to increase customer revenues while reducing churn".

The ADB-5000 series was launched in both in Europe and the Americas in Q3 2007 and has already been deployed on operators' networks. It is a state-of-the-art DVR incorporating standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) television reception and is based on MPEG-2 and H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding (AVC). The ADB-5810TWX platform enables access to a powerful range of value added IP services such as Video-on-Demand and video conferencing and can act as a ‘home server' at the heart of a home entertainment network. The unit was one of the first in its category to achieve DLNA® and UPnP certifications, ensuring that it can share content, such as video, pictures and music seamlessly with other certified devices within the home.

"This year's competition was extremely hard fought with over 100 entrants", commented one of the judges. "I was particularly impressed with ADB's product which is one of the first hybrid, high definition, digital video recorders to be successfully launched in both Europe and North America".

This year's CeBIT is said to have been a huge success for Orga Systems, market leader for convergent real-time billing. At the joint booth hosted by the Ministry of Research and Technology, the results of project LOMS (Local Mobile Services) were demonstrated. Various research institutions and mobile providers displayed a strong interest in the presented innovative context-based billing services.

In a public presentation, the simple configuration of two context-based mobile services was exemplified: one mobile service for context-based messaging and information services (Location-based News) and another for mobile information and maintenance that can assist engineering and construction crews with repair work. Visitors to the booth were able to configure both services live and test them with a mobile end device (cell phone, PDA, laptop, etc.).

There has been a great interest from international research institutes in the demonstrated Web Service technologies. Additionally a couple of Service Providers, preparing rollouts of context-based mobile services, where interested to sustain their business model with the comprehensive billing solutions presented.

All groups of interest will be invited to the "First International Workshop on User-centric Service Creation and Execution" in Madrid on the 25th and 26th of June, 2008. At this conference, the guests and participants will have the opportunity to take an in-depth look at the new methods and tools implemented in current European research programs (LOMS, MAGNET, OPUCE, SMS, SPICE, PLASTIC) for the development of mobile services. Concerning the integration of feasible billing services into sustainable business models, the LOMS project is at the forefront, due to the heavy involvement of Orga Systems with its innovative solutions.

IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) is expected to provide mobile telephone operators with a forecasted $300 billion in extra revenue over the next five years, according to a new study from ABI Research. Major operators such as Sprint, Verizon and British Telecom (BT) will increasingly deploy IMS across their networks in a quickening tempo starting this year.
"Until recently IMS was mainly the province of fixed-line operators," says senior analyst Nadine Manjaro, "but now it is essential to the success of mobile and fixed operators  who are losing revenue from traditional sources. IMS  enables rapid development and deployment of new services."
Some firms - notably Verizon and BT - are facilitating this process by offering an open IMS interface allowing third-party developers easy access, as a way of ensuring a flow of new applications. This means faster testing and deployment of services, which will be critical to their success.
"Operators are forced to look at IMS and similar solutions because they need to start generating more revenue," notes Manjaro. "With recent moves by Sprint, Verizon and AT&T to offer less profitable flat rate services as a way to fight subscriber churn, that need becomes more acute."
One impediment to IMS's success in the past has been the difficulty of proving the business case for it. But Manjaro suggests that planners were incorrectly considering IMS as a service rather than a platform. In fact IMS supports multiple services, and it takes several of them to make a valid business case. To use the hackneyed phrase, there has been a paradigm shift in operators' strategic thinking.
The major remaining challenge for operators is to integrate IMS without seriously disrupting existing services. That need is being met by the major infrastructure vendors such as Ericsson, Alcatel, and Nokia-Siemens, which have been packaging IMS (at additional cost) with the network upgrades they provide to operators. Manjaro points out that, "It's easier to quantify the opportunity for operators because you can look at it in terms of potential revenue. It's more difficult with regard to vendors, because they've been bundling it with the air interface, the base station, the architecture upgrade."

Vyke Communications has upgraded its Mobile Voice over Internet Protocol service, in conjunction with Nokia's Download! store. Vyke users can now download, create an account and start calling directly from their handset via Nokia's on-device 'Download' store. The service will initially be available to customers in the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

The improved facility includes numerous new features, primarily the focus on secure Vyke account creation which removes the need for users to access to create their account, providing quicker and more simple access.

Vyke's mobile VoIP software is found in the Download store, which is located in the main menu of compatible Nokia mobile phones. Once the download is started, the software installation and set-up process takes approximately 2 minutes to create the user's Vyke account and top it up with $1 of free calling credit.

Jan Christian Berger, CMO, commented: "We are delighted to offer this greatly improved service with Nokia. Our new account creation and top-up features enable any new user to make mobile VoIP calls in just a matter of minutes. With access to our service directly from any The Cloud hotspot and our $0.04 per call and $0.00 per minute pricing for calls to landlines in Western Europe or any number in North America, the value we are creating for users is very compelling."

Ofcom has today confirmed details of plans to auction radio spectrum suitable for a range of services, including mobile television and satellite radio. Ofcom also announced that the provisional deadline for applications is 10 April 2008, with the online auction likely to start at the end of April.

A number of possible uses of the 1452 - 1492 MHz band, the so-called "L-Band", have been identified including: mobile multimedia services including mobile TV which could be deployed using a variety of technologies; satellite digital radio; and broadband wireless access or high-speed internet on the move.

The release of the spectrum in the 1452 - 1492 MHz band is part of a wider programme to release around 400 MHz of prime spectrum. Other awards in the programme include the digital dividend - the spectrum that will be freed-up through the switch to digital television - and the
2.6 GHz band. 

The spectrum, which is available over much of Europe, will be released on a technology and service neutral basis, allowing users the flexibility to decide what technology to use, what services to offer and to change their use of the spectrum over time.  All licences will be tradable.

Ofcom's Spectrum Policy Partner, Philip Rutnam said: "Ofcom's fifth award of spectrum in the L-Band is part of the process of ensuring that the UK's valuable spectrum resource is used as efficiently as possible. This spectrum provides an opportunity for citizens and consumers to benefit from new services and greater competition."


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