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Interoute, owner of Europe's 'most advanced' next-generation voice and data network has more than doubled its business in Sweden with the acquisition of Swedish Internet communications and services specialist pi.se. This move adds hundreds of new customers to Interoute's business and increases the number of employees in Sweden to 40. pi.se was founded in 1994 and has 27 employees and hundreds of business clients including Volvo, BMW Group Sverige, Expressen, SBAB, Svenska McDonalds and Vasakronan.

Gareth Williams, Interoute's CEO said "We have been searching for a company that could strengthen our offering in Managed Services, which is a rapidly growing part of Interoute's business in Europe today. We have previously been able to handle the management of Scandinavian business systems and services through other sites in Europe but with our increased presence and specialist competency we will be able to intensify our work within this area."

Interoute also gain the pi.se data centre in Stockholm. This will be integrated into Interoute's pan-European next generation network, along with Interoute's existing data centres in Amsterdam, Berlin, Geneva, Madrid, Munich, Paris, London.

Managed Services is an expression which refers to the outsourcing of parts of a company's business to a separate organisation, which through the economies of scale and specialist competencies can manage the work more efficiently and cost effectively. Managed Services can involve outsourcing servers, telephone switches and security solutions, but also includes managing applications such as ERP and accounting as well as data storage and backup/restore solutions.

Interoute Sweden provides products and services to corporate clients and Telecommunications operators in three key areas; communications, managed services and media solutions.

Shenick's diversifEye, the per flow stateful IP application performance test system, now comes with Multi-User capabilities in release version 5.0. Some of the defining benefits for Operators and Vendors include:
        a.. Greater flexibility in resource allocation for performance testing of IP Networks. 
        b.. Parallel test scenarios and test methodologies for stateful per flow IP application traffic.
        c.. Greater return on investment for stateful IP test equipment. 
    
Other key benefits included in recent software releases include:
     
·       SMTP - greater access to RFC2822 Header field options
·       IGMP/MLD - new statistics
·       PPPoE - PPPoE server application emulation
·       SIP - Increased access to protocol functionality
·       DHCP - More option settings

Subex Azure, a leading global provider of Operations Support Systems (OSS) solutions for telecom operators , has today announced the launch of NikiraTM V6.1, the latest version of its leading Fraud Management system with enhanced roaming fraud management capabilities in accordance with the NRTRDE standard guideline laid down by the GSM Association.

Part of the Rocware suite of Revenue Maximization solutions, Nikira V6.1 with an added NRTRDE module will now help operators to not only meet the October 2008 deadline set by the GSM Association for NRTRDE data transmission, but also to take advantage of the new data format by performing near-real time fraud detection. It may be noted that International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF), a form of roaming fraud, has one of the highest revenue impact on operators today.

Mark Nicholson , Chief Technology Officer, Subex Azure Ltd said, "Nikira V6.1 is designed to protect operators who are rapidly expanding their subscriber base and new service bundles in multiple ways. Our close association with the GSM Fraud Forum has helped us keep abreast with cutting edge technology changes whilst also being in tune with key operator concerns in the next generation network environment. We are committed to work with the industry in partnership so that together we can take fraud management to the next level of advancement."

 The new features & benefits available in Nikira V6.1 are said to include:

  a.. Near Real Time Roaming Data Exchange (NRTRDE): NRTRDE is a mandate by the GSMA to replace the current High Usage Reporting (HUR) by October 2008. NRTRDE allows for the delivery of roaming CDRs with basic call information to be delivered to the home network within four hours. With Nikira V6.1, users have the flexibility of analysing NRTRDE records to make quick decisions on fraudulent activity, without taking away the advantage of analysing existing TAP files for further fraud analysis.
  b.. Multi Level Account Hierarchy (MLH): Nikira V6.1 extends the concept of accounts to support a hierarchy of multiple accounts within a single parent account. As operators package high value service bundles targeted at specialized group of customers, MLH will help them realize the full benefit of increased revenue through granular monitoring of such customer groups.  The key benefits of this feature are:
    a.. Easier identification of related accounts, even with differing payment responsible entities
    b.. Improved control over 'groups' of users within large accounts
    c.. Simpler identification of payment responsible entities
    d.. Easier support for Reseller and Billed-on-Behalf-of customers
    e.. Similar account representation between billing system and Fraud Management System
 
Nikira helps wireline and wireless telecom operators to detect and investigate both traditional and next-generation frauds in order to prevent revenue leakage. The Global Operator Attitudes to Revenue Management Survey 2007, conducted by UK based telecom analyst firm Analysys, revealed that average fraud losses, arising out of external and internal fraud as well as fraud by other operators, has grown to 4.5% this year from 2.9% of turnover last year. 

IP Networks deployed by fixed and mobile operators will lead to mainstream Voice over IP and SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) services, driven by the increasing popularity of "smart" devices such as PDAs and smartphones, according to a new report from ABI Research.

ABI Research principal analyst Ian Cox explains, "New affordable price points and ease of use will allow consumers to benefit from SIP services such as instant messaging, video sharing, and conferencing, which will join VoIP as it takes over from circuit-switched voice."

Cox adds, "We have seen the start of a revolution, as mobile handsets become the product of choice not just for voice and simple text messaging, but also for any task that one can perform on a personal computer. And as networks are replaced by ‘flat architecture' all-IP with SIP application servers in the core, all forms of communications become possible."

SIP services will develop into the norm after 2010 and rapidly begin to dominate the world's telecom markets. By 2012, almost half of all telecom users will be using at least one SIP service, but likely will have many services from multiple devices able to communicate with other users and services across the Web and between enterprise and public networks. This will generate over $150 billion in service revenue annually with cumulative infrastructure capital expenditure of over $10 billion by that date.

"Using SIP, telephony becomes another Web application, which can be integrated into other Internet services," expounds Cox. "It enables service providers to build converged voice and multimedia services."

ABI Research expects that by 2012, almost 1.2 billion VoIP users to be active, with most users also subscribing to several forms of messaging and video sharing driven by interest in user-generated content. Additional services supported by SIP will include presence, click to dial, buddy lists, e-mail, and Web access, which are assumed to be "core" services and included as standard in any service offering and bundled with broadband access. A portion of the VoIP users will also be connected to an FMC service.

In its recent report The Worldwide SIP Services Market  ABI Research is said to review the global landscape for SIP services. It includes forecasts for the market potential to 2012, including users (consumer versus business), service revenue, and capital expenditure. It forms part of three subscription Research Services: Mobile Operators, Wireless Infrastructure
and Fixed Mobile Convergence.

VoluBill, a leading supplier of real-time charging, control and monitoring applications for VoIP, data, messaging and content services, has today announced it has signed an agreement to purchase assets relating to the Dynamic Charging Platform (DCP) product business from Intec Telecom Systems.

DCP is a leading real time charging and billing platform, with over 30 active customers globally. The DCP capabilities are perfectly complementary to VoluBill's existing Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and control technology and existing charging capabilities. The combination will enable VoluBill to offer an even more comprehensive "network to revenue" charging and control solution to Fixed and Mobile operators for any IP/NGN based service. This means that operators will no longer have the considerable challenge of dealing with the separation between the network and the BSS when deploying charging functions. VoluBill will offer a single solution that has a solid footing in the network and which provides the full suite of charging functions such as advanced rating, balance management, bundling, discounting and customer self care. Daisy-chaining multiple components, from multiple vendors with the associated integration costs and latency risks will be a burden of the past.

"This is a very exciting time for VoluBill. Being able to acquire a product of the calibre of DCP from Intec, one of the most credible companies in the industry, is a tremendously positive move for us," said John Aalbers, CEO of VoluBill. "Combine that with the long list of impressive customers, to whom we are committed to bringing a focused and dedicated service, and this all adds up to a great opportunity for VoluBill."

Along with the IPR, approximately 40 highly skilled DCP staff will transfer to VoluBill as well as over 30 active customer contracts. Intec and VoluBill will work together to provide a smooth transition for customers.

Aalbers continued, "This acquisition is about growth. We believe DCP is very relevant to the needs of both Mobile and Fixed operators today, and with VoluBill's focus the business will enjoy significant growth in the first year and beyond. With VoIP, data, messaging and content services now driving a large portion of operators' growth and with large scale WiMAX and IMS deployments gathering pace, DCP is the perfect technology to combine with our own to address the end to end charging and control requirements of these markets."

A new research study from Disruptive Analysis is said to show that evolution of mobile VoIP will rapidly eclipse voice over WiFi and become a mainstream form of communication. The analyst firm predicts that the number of VoIPo3G users could grow from virtually zero in 2007 to over 250m by the end of 2012. This is comfortably in excess of the expected number of FMC users with dual-mode VoWLAN/cellular phones.

The report is said to demonstrate that it will be the operators themselves which will be mainly responsible for the push towards VoIP being carried over cellular networks.  Carriers  will become increasingly attracted to VoIPo3G because it will enable them to fit more phone calls into their scarce spectrum allocations, reduce operating expenses by combining fixed and mobile core networks, and launch new services like push-to-talk and voice-integrated "mashups". VoIPo3G also fits well with the move towards femtocells.  Future generations of wireless technology - 3GPP LTE (Long Term Evolution), 3GPP2 UMB(Ultra Mobile Broadband), WiMAX - are "all-IP", so unless mobile operators continue to run separate voice networks in parallel, they will inevitably transition to VoIP at some point.

However, because these new radio technologies are three to five years away from mainstream deployment - what happens in the meantime will provide the major disruption to operator business models.   Some independent VoIP players are already exploiting the fact that today's 3G networks can already support VoIP, putting dedicated software on smartphones, exploiting open operating systems, flat-rate data plans and features like "naked SIP" and built-in VoIP capability. These are linked to competitive 'over the top' phone or IM services via a mobile Internet connection. 

At the same time, there is an increasing trend of carriers marketing 3G modems for PCs - not just for mobile computing, but also to compete with home DSL/cable broadband offerings. Laptop users expect to be able to use their normal broadband applications over 3G, including voice-based ones like Skype. Some operators are even offering their own VoIP software for PCs with wireless broadband.

The end-result of the push towards VoIPo3G is that by 2012, most VoIPo3G users will be using mobile carriers' own standards-based VoIP capabilities, over the new, advanced 3G+ networks. However, a significant minority of about 60m will be using independent or Internet-based solutions - many actually operated in partnership with carriers or retailers.
 
Dean Bubley, author of the report and founder of Disruptive Analysis, comments: "3G networks are increasingly capable of supporting VoIP, for both traditional mobile operators and independent Internet-based VoIP challengers. But while CDMA operators will benefit from VoIP being 'designed-in' to their newest networks, 3GPP / HSPA operators will have to wait for several years - a window of opportunity which will be exploited by the 'over the top' players. Rather than competing head-on, partnership models have the potential to create win-win propositions."
 
The report, "VoIPo3G Business Models", is said to be based on a huge research effort spanning hundreds of interviews and meetings, and contains extensive market forecasts, industry commentary & analysis and company profiles.

Clavister AB, a leading provider of IP based security and Unified Threat Management (UTM) solutions, has expanded its Clavister Security Gateway, a family of integrated UTM-platforms which solve many IT security problems, including support for the Voice over IP protocol SIP.

SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) has become a de facto standard within IP telephony. In large parts of Europe half of the largest companies have already deployed the technology and every sixth smaller company has plans to do so.

"Unfortunately the SIP protocol was developed without security in mind. Most IP telephony systems are consequently wide open to attacks which can cause expensive operational disturbances as a result," said Ralf Labeda, Vice President Sales & Marketing at Clavister.

IP telephony uses the same networks as the Internet traffic and is therefore exposed to the same kind of threats. The traffic can be wire-tapped, manipulated and distorted, conference telephones can be remotely controlled and hacked IP-telephony systems can allow access to other network components.

Disturbance of ongoing calls also occurs, as well as the stealing of connections for the reconnection of calls to waiting identity thieves. In addition to wire-tapping and spamming, voice mail could be a target for manipulation.

"The complexity of the SIP-protocol is a nightmare from a security point of view. Firewalls must be able to interpret SIP in order to determine which ports are to be opened, which precludes encryption. We have however, found an elegant solution to the problem with what we call Dynamic Pinhole Creation," said Ralf Labeda.

Clavister has implemented the SIP-protocol as an application layer gateway which does its job without degrading the performance of the network. The solution is also distinguished by the most flexible administration conceivable.

Clavister's family of security products covers the entire range, from security for smaller remote offices to powerful clustered systems in the multi-gigabyte class for network operators. The products require a minimum of maintenance; they have central administration, and exceptionally flexible configuration possibilities.

Leading provider of telecom customer care and billing systems LHS, today announced that Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), the second operator of the United Arab Emirates, has selected BSCS iX to rate and bill its integrated services across its mobile and fixed line network. EITC which operates under the brand name "du", launched with mobile services earlier this year, followed by long distance fixed line late summer and will launch full fixed line, broadband and pay TV services by yearend.

BSCS iX enhances "du's" ability to market products and services with very innovative and flexible tariff plans, allowing them to gain and maintain a competitive advantage. Customers will benefit from cross technology service bundles and marketing offerings, which will in turn increase their brand loyalty.

Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer at "du", comments: "We are committed to making "du" the leading provider of truly integrated communication services including voice, data and TV content over fixed and mobile networks to all customers. Customers are looking for two things: simplicity and convenience. With BSCS iX we are able to offer our customers LHS 2006-02 Page 2 of 3 an integrated solution that will simplify how they access and pay for services available to them."

Wolfgang Kroh, Chief Executive Officer at LHS adds: "As "du" establishes itself as the leading provider of fixed and mobile communications services for residential and corporate customers in the UAE, BSCS iX will enable them to offer customers three-fold convergence on the service, technology and payment levels."

BSCS iX enables real-time business operations for the entire rating and billing process, thus reaching a new level of customer-centricity, from the point of sale to provide real-time charging information right up to real-time billing. Its modular design enables low risk step-wise migrations and easy integrations of the system.

 

Telrad Networks, a veteran developer of carrier-grade telecommunications equipment, has announced its pseudowire solution for wireless backhaul and carrier Ethernet. The solution has been shown effective in several demonstrations at customer sites, and is available in a wide variety of configurations and form factors as Customer Premises Equipment (CPE).

The Telrad TAG-11C pseudowire (PWE3) Gateway enables T1/E1/DS0 Circuit Emulation Service (CES), Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) emulation, ATM/IMA emulation, PPP/HDLC Emulation Frame relay emulation and Ethernet emulation thus providing MPLS/IP/Ethernet transport over Packet-Switched Networks (PSN) for backhaul applications.

"Vendors are recognizing they need pseudowire in various places in the backhaul networks," said Itshak Aizner, Vice President of Product Management of Telrad Networks. "So although the basic platform is standard, providing a variety of models is crucial. Telrad has a flexible range of configurations available with very fast time to market, to meet those needs."

Today's radio access network (RAN) is typically composed of TDM-based leased lines for backhauling traffic from the base station to the base station controller (BSC) to the mobile switching center (MSC) to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Traditionally, mobile operators lease T1/E1 and High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC) lines to deliver ATM traffic, at a cost of 40%-60% of the network operational expenditure. TAG-11c's T1/E1 circuit emulation traffics network backhaul at reduced operational expenditure.

"Standards compliance is a major issue," said Aizner. "With so many different nodes in the network, from edge to aggregation, vendors want to make sure they are going to have full interop. Telrad has demonstrated that the TAG 11 product line overcomes technological obstacles and provides a full, working solution."

MACH, the clearing and settlement partner for mobile-based transactions, has announced that it will provide Financial Settlement services for eBIZ.mobility's OneTouch Online Purchasing solution for digital payments.

OneTouch Online Purchasing, the online payment processing service, gives trusted service providers including telecom operators, banks and ISPs the ability to provide consumers with an easy, fast and secure multi-device payment option for content downloads. Purchases are charged directly to consumers' existing accounts via their service provider, either as pre or post-paid.

OneTouch Online Purchasing is the only online payment processing service that enables service providers to authenticate users directly. Only the service provider is aware of the identity of each consumer, resulting in high level privacy and security for online buyers.

Based on patent-pending Federated Payment technology, the OneTouch Online Purchasing payment system complements the service provider's existing content billing infrastructure, through a simple interface. By adding some simple code extracts to a payment page, online merchants can immediately increase their sales from an expanded base of potential customers including those without credit cards, or those who prefer not to use them online.

OneTouch also enables trusted service providers such as mobile operators to become a global payment processing service for their subscribers, as it eliminates the need to establish or maintain a direct relationship with online merchants.

Bruno Pagliuca, Senior Vice President Financial Clearing at MACH, commented,  "The agreement with eBIZ.mobility represents our willingness to lead by example in the evolving telecoms industry. We have been working with eBIZ.mobility since 2005 and their clear strategic vision, and innovative technology has earned our trust. We believe that eBIZ.mobility's OneTouch Online Purchasing payment system will generate more revenue for operators, as the exploding market for content downloads continues to move to the open web at the expense of walled gardens. It offers a way for our mobile operator clients to stave off the threat of becoming low margin bit pipes and offers a lucrative alternative payment channel," Pagliuca continued.

Jeremy Kagan, eBIZ.mobility's CEO, noted, "MACH's proven reliability and broad reach to the majority of mobile operators worldwide makes them the best partner for providing financial settlement to participating federated merchants. This is a partnership that we are confident will benefit our customers as we continue to expand the OneTouch Federation."

Agillic, the specialist in customer lifecycle management, has announced that Telia, the third largest telecom operator in Denmark  has successfully deployed Agillic's CLM for Postpaid Solution.  Based on an on-demand business model,  the solution is designed to drive down churn levels and retention costs amongst Telia's post-paid subscribers. 

Operating in one of the most competitive market's in the world, Telia's goal to create growth and maintain profitability is challenging.  Already offering one of the market's most exciting and  innovative range of products and services Telia attracts new customers every day but has been suffering from unacceptable levels of churn.

"We were looking for a solution that could give us the flexibility to interact with over 600,000 of our post-paid customers.   We were successfully attracting new customers but wanted to connect with our existing customers more effectively."  said Mads Neble, Marketing Manager, Consumer Market, Telia DK.   "We wanted the capability to reward our customers for their loyalty and understand how we could better communicate and meet individual and changing expectations to create valued and long term relationships."

With Agillic's CLM for Postpaid Solution, each subscriber is treated individually according to personal circumstances. It automatically matches content to customer driven trigger points that accurately reflect an understanding of each customer's usage, lifecycle position and past history.   The benefit of this proactive approach to customer communications is that it effectively creates human-like relationships that grow in strength over time creating unprecedented levels of loyalty.

Telia has recently launched an exciting above and below-the-line campaign to engage its postpaid customers to participate in the "EliteMobilist" loyalty programme including TV adverts, banner ads and  direct mail invitations. Customers register via Telia's web portal where a truly individualised experience begins to develop. The portal is packed with tailored information on products and services, educational tips, competitions, incentives, special offers and interactive surveys.  The content is designed to remain fresh and addictive to prompt return visits creating  immense customer value.   

 "Agillic's CLM for Postpaid solution has provided us with a new way to communicate with our customers.  Having the ability to interact with all our high value customers on a one-to-one basis, from a completely hosted solution has reduced our risk and cost of ownership.  It has successfully given marketing full control of all in and out bound customer interactions enabling marketing progammes to be easily deployed and maintained with little IT integration and support." said Mads Neble, Marketing Manager, Consumer Market.

"We are delighted to welcome Telia as an Agillic customer which further strengthens our presence in the Nordic market" said Agillic CEO, Mikko Hietanen.  "Telia is known to be an innovative and forward-looking operator, and having been selected by Telia, it clearly demonstrates our ability to make a significant impact on the customer experience thereby reducing churn, increasing loyalty and lowering retention costs."

Siemens Enterprise Communications has released the HiPath Wireless Outdoor Access Point (OAP) and V5 of the HiPath Wireless Convergence Software.

The new weather-proof Access Point enables wireless connectivity for voice and business processes in outdoor, temporary and hard-to-cable locations. With Siemens' new release, Enterprise wireless LAN (WLAN) coverage can now extend outdoors between campus buildings situated in university and government settings and in industrial environments like warehouses, factories and construction sites. These new Siemens WLAN offerings further extend the company's commitment to creating an open, wide-ranging wireless network environment for Voice over WLAN and Mobility-Enabled Business Processes - delivering Fixed Mobile Convenience (FMC) to the enterprise.

Users can roam across corporate, industrial, government and educational campuses without any break in their WiFi connection and WiFi-supported voice calls. By extending WLAN coverage across the entire physical footprint of an enterprise, business communications and procedures can continue unabated, offering greater efficiency, responsiveness and performance.

"The HiPath Wireless Outdoor AP will allow us to break outside the classroom and cover our campus in a blanket of wireless LAN coverage," said Russell Diaz, Executive Director of Information Technology, Dominican College. "Such wireless availability will not only afford greater anytime, anywhere collaboration to students, faculty and guests, but it will also allow us to maximize our investment by adding innovative wireless applications such as asset tracking, Voice over wireless LAN and an enhanced surveillance system."

The Siemens HiPath Wireless OAP is designed for outdoor and industrial environments and supports Wireless Distribution Service (WDS) technology, which enables the OAP to operate without a wired Ethernet network connection. The solution is resistant to both freshwater and saltwater, fog, humidity, dust, and dirt and has a broad operating temperature range. Installation is plug-and-play. No Ethernet cabling is needed, so it's also useful for situations not suited for pulling data cable, such as historical buildings, campuses with large geographic distances between buildings and complex manufacturing environments.

In addition to supporting the new OAP, the release of HiPath Wireless Convergence Software V5 supports other important voice and security features. The new software offers three key elements: First: WDS, which enables the OAP and existing HiPath Wireless access points to operate without a wired Ethernet network connection - delivering wireless backhaul capabilities. Second: Opportunistic Key Caching (OKC), a secure, fast-roaming technique that allows access points to share authentication credentials to accelerate client roaming and prevent delays in voice calls. And third: 802.1x AP authentication, which provides secure wired network integration through access point authentication.

The Siemens HiPath Wireless OAP and V5 of the HiPath Wireless Convergence Software are the seventh and eighth major releases to the HiPath Wireless portfolio in 24 months, continuing Siemens' enhancements to its FMC offerings. The benefits of FMC and multi-vendor interoperability reflect the Siemens Open Communications architecture that is the foundation of the entire Siemens HiPath portfolio of enterprise communications solutions.

"This newest release will help our enterprise customers close the gaps that may exist in their wireless LAN coverage, creating comprehensive wireless connectivity for information access and communications anywhere on the company premises," said Marcus Birkl, Vice President Sales HiPath Wireless, Siemens Enterprise Communications. "By extending the WiFi footprint, our customers can gain that much more efficiency, collaboration and responsiveness in their day-to-day operations."

The Siemens HiPath Wireless OAP is available now in two models - the 2650, which has an internal antenna, and the 2660, with an external antenna. HiPath Wireless Convergence Software V5 supports the HiPath Wireless portfolio of WLAN controllers, access points and management software.

    

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