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Myriad, a global specialist in mobile technology with software in over 2 billion phones, today announced that it has been selected by T-Mobile Czech Republic to provide the USSD platform for its customer care service. The solution exploits the strengths of the Myriad Services Platform to allow the operator to offer USSD as a simple trigger for subscriber self service, so helping to reduce customer churn.
 
The solution is a self-service system that allows customers to quickly access services and information on their mobile handset and change their settings. By entering a short-code in their phone, users are provided with a simple text menu which provides fast and direct access to various operator services such as service settings, service status and tariff information. The solution improves customer satisfaction, reducing the need for customer service requests and can be upgraded to support advanced self services using graphical interfaces in the future.

Myriad won the mobile self-service tender in 2008 and is providing the USSD channel that combines with the SCE module from VoiceObjects. The service was launched this month.

"Providing excellent customer service is a core value at T-Mobile and so we are constantly evaluating the best methods of communicating with our customers," said Jan Šafka, Head of Self Service at Deutsche Telekom AG. "The ability to immediately support our users' existing handsets via a simple to use mechanism made Myriad's USSD system the ideal choice."

"The Myriad Services Platform provides a simple to access communications channel that works on any handset without the need for any modifications," said Simon Wilkinson, Myriad CEO. "For T-Mobile the use of USSD provides an intuitive channel which allows any customer to immediately self-provision customer care."

EMC, a specialist in information infrastructure solutions, today announced that Vodafone has selected EMC as a preferred partner for storage and storage-related products in its European markets.

The deepening of the strategic relationship between the two companies will result in EMC receiving preferred vendor status for the next three years. Under the terms of the agreement, EMC's solutions will represent a significant proportion of the overall external storage capacity for all new storage-related purchases within Vodafone Information Systems' data center control. This will help to ensure that Vodafone continues to provide continuous availability of all customer and corporate data - with an optimal Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) - across Europe.

Vodafone currently uses EMC high-end and mid-range Storage Area Network (SAN) and Network-attached Storage (NAS) systems in its global data centers, as well as EMC storage management software and services. With this agreement Vodafone and EMC have expanded their existing partnership to unify the maintenance and service for Vodafone's European storage environment, and to help increase efficiency by consolidating around - and upgrading to - EMC's industry-leading information infrastructure technology.

"Both Vodafone's global brand and its established reputation are founded on technical excellence. EMC recognizes the significance of the endorsement that Vodafone has made in moving to work with us as a preferred storage solution partner in the European theater," said Frank Hauck, EMC's Executive Vice President, EMC Storage Division, Global Marketing and Customer Quality. "We look forward to working with Vodafone more closely than ever, in this and in other areas of the EMC Information Infrastructure and Management portfolio."

Envivio, a provider of IP video convergence encoding solutions from mobile to HD, has announced that its Mobile Series video encoding platform has been installed by Digita Oy. Digita Oy, which is owned by France's TDF, is said to be Finland's leading distributor of radio and television services.

The Envivio platform is being put to immediate use to deliver ten channels of DVB-H encoded, free-to-air and pay-tv mobile television to be offered by mobile operators in Finland's top markets. Plans are in place to expand the platform with additional channels.

euNetworks Group, a provider of mission-critical, high-performance networking solutions in Europe, has reported a 32% improvement in revenue to €14.3 million for the six months ended 30 June 2009 ("1H09"), compared to €10.8 million achieved in the same period a year ago ("1H08"). 

Driving this growth in revenue was the signing of 93 new recurring revenue contracts worth over €9 million, together with the addition of 24 new customer contracts, the bulk of these coming from the financial services and trading sectors.

Noel Meaney, Executive Chairman, commented, "We had a very encouraging half-year, with a sizeable number of new customers secured and a strong mandate from existing customers in the form of additional new contracts.  We also achieved a number of noteworthy milestones which should position us well to capitalise on opportunities in the future."

Improved Gross Profit and First-Half Net Profitability Along with the increased revenue, the Group also achieved a significant improvement in gross margin to 45% in 1H09, compared to 40% in 1H08.

In the second quarter of 2009 ("2Q09"), the Group successfully completed a fund raising exercise, which consequently enabled it to buy back some €43.8 million worth of Convertible Bonds.  These bonds were re-purchased at a discount to the face value, and thus resulted in an exceptional gain of €6.96 million.  Taking into consideration this non-recurring gain, the Group reported a net profit of €2.0 million for 1H09, compared to a net loss of €6.2 million for the corresponding period in 2008 ("1H08").

THUS has launched VoIP & Web Connect, a complete VoIP ready connectivity solution. Offering an efficient and reliable network at a low cost entry point, without the need to replace or upgrade existing equipment, the product will offer small businesses an easy migration path to IP Telephony.  Part of THUS's Connect suite of products and services, the fully integrated voice and data network will offer immediate savings.

VoIP & Web Connect enables businesses to use a single connection for voice, data and internet services, delivering cost savings immediately through reduced line rental while providing small businesses with a simple reliable, flexible first step towards Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and the potential additional savings on call costs it can offer.

With cost reduction being a key driver for business, the deployment of reliable VoIP connectivity without the need to replace legacy, analogue handsets or existing PBX systems is a clear advantage.  Running via ethernet over fibre, VoIP & Web Connect is a single solution which removes the need to run separate ISDN voice and internet lines by consolidating voice, internet and data traffic over a local access connection and into a single integrated device.  Moreover, THUS offers a highly competitive uptime availability on the Dedicated Internet Access over Ethernet connection of 99.90% per month, providing peace of mind reducing costs does not mean any risk to crucial business services.

The solution is built using the Samsung Ubigate gateway offering full routing capabilities, enterprise-class switching capacity, VoIP and best-in-class integrated security. In addition to being very stable with a mean time to failure of 25 years, it replaces a range of special-purpose network devices, such as separate routers and ISDN bearers, to deliver an efficient network infrastructure with a far lower total cost of ownership.

Dan Cole, Director of Products and Marketing, said, "By eliminating the need to rent an expensive BT ISDN line, cost savings from VoIP & Web Connect are immediate but it offers small businesses the ideal platform to gain so much more.  Creating a VoIP network in this sensible, simple straightforward manner will offer access to a wide range of IP services that will benefit their business capabilities, increase efficiency and flexibility and will generate further cost savings going forward."

Wilfred Wood, Head of Sales Engineering at Samsung said, "THUS and Samsung are together offering enterprise customers a network infrastructure that meets business needs, both today and into the future. Whether the priority is security, additional bandwidth, support for mission critical applications or true enterprise voice and data convergence, a network solution from THUS using Ubigate technology can give customers a competitive advantage through improved productivity and create the foundation for more rapid growth."

United Biscuits (UB), a leading European manufacturer of biscuits and snacks, has appointed Reliance Globalcom, a global provider of connectivity, hosting and managed network and communication services for multinational enterprises, carriers and consumers, to design, implement and manage its Global Wide Area Network (WAN).

The three-year agreement worth over £1.3 million, will deliver complete end-to-end connectivity, providing significant additional bandwidth and enhanced prioritisation features. Reliance Globalcom's offering helps customers compete effectively on a global scale by providing speed and flexibility when working in international markets, network agility in response to fluctuating business dynamics and secure connectivity with the world's key business centers.

The Reliance Globalcom solution will use a 6COS MPLS network replacing the existing 3COS MPLS network across 25 sites in five countries. UB selected Reliance Globalcom for its new Ethernet core, offering up to triple the existing primary bandwidth & enhanced resilience via triangulated core. The inherent flexibility of Reliance Globalcom ensured increased bandwidth (up to 400%) even at remote sites, an improved MPLS network with additional COS ability and the implementation of QoS.

Clifford Burroughs, Group IS Director, United Biscuits commented, "In addition to a hardware refresh Reliance Globalcom will in effect complete a wholesale upgrade to our business critical wide area network which to UB means that we will have the resilience, performance and flexibility to meet the ever greater demand for new networked enabled services for the enterprise."

"Reliance Globalcom is very happy to continue the strong relationship held with UB over the last six years. We truly believe that Reliance Globalcom continues to offer both existing and prospective customers an innovative model with the financial backing of one of India's largest and most successful companies", commented Alan F Whelan, SVP EMEA region, Reliance Globalcom.

Vodafone Germany and Huawei have signedf a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to conduct a joint test gauging the performance of LTE (Long Term Evolution) in the Digital Dividend Band. The agreement marks a joint initiative to validate LTE' s application within the Digital Dividend Band (790-862MHz) using Huawei' s end-to-end LTE solution.

From this summer the cooperation will see Vodafone Germany and Huawei not only demonstrate LTE' s ability to provide broadband coverage to rural and urban areas, effectively bridging the digital divide between those areas of Germany, but also to prove its compatibility with adjacent technologies such as Digital TV and Digital Radio. The test will be based on Huawei' s end-to-end solutions and both parties will form a joint working group for conducting the test.

Hartmut Kremling, CTO of Vodafone Germany said: 'Vodafone is an active player in bringing leading broadband services to Germany. By cooperating with local telecoms authorities, utilising the rich LTE experiences from Vodafone Germany and Huawei, we are confident that the test will be carried out successfully.'

Vincent Pang, Vice President and Head of Huawei Vodafone Business Unit said: 'We are very pleased that Vodafone Germany chose Huawei as the partner for this test, which is another milestone for the collaboration between our two companies. Huawei will leverage its cutting edge LTE technologies to ensure Vodafone Germany remains ahead of the market as well as help it to achieve sustainable growth in the future.' '

Ovum today announced its preliminary 2Q09 results for global optical equipment networking vendors. The global optical networking (ON) market, led by strength in Asia-Pacific markets, was $3.9 billion, up 11% sequentially but down 9% compared with 2Q08.

"This marks the third consecutive quarter that the ON market has shrunk compared with the year-ago quarter, but given the global economic conditions we were not surprised," remarked Ron Kline, Ovum's Research Director, Optical Networking.

"Spending in Asia-Pacific remained surprisingly strong, driven by 3G network builds in China. The level of spending we're seeing in China has disproportionally benefitted Huawei and ZTE, adding over a share point each to their market positions, and has brought Huawei to the verge of market leadership, an event we think very likely for 3Q09."

Top ten ON vendor share
Of the top ten vendors, only Huawei and ZTE posted both sequential and year-over-year revenue gains, reflecting the surge in spending in their home market. Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson posted sequential revenue gains but were still off 22% and 18% from the year-ago period, while Ciena, Fujitsu, NEC, Nokia Siemens, Nortel, and Tellabs all declined sequentially and year over year. Huawei and ZTE grew revenues by 21% and 62%, respectively, over 2Q08 due to 3G mobile-related aggregation spending in China.

"Alcatel-Lucent held on to the market lead with 20.7% annualized share, but Huawei picked up 1.4 percentage points to come within just 0.2 points of the market leader at 20.5% share," said Kline. "Given the continued strength of spending in China where Huawei is strong, favorable exchange rates, light exposure to North America, and access to capital, it's only a matter of time before we have a new market leader."

A new report from Juniper Research is said to show how the mobile handset market is becoming increasingly polarised between low cost handsets for emerging markets and high-end smartphones for developed regions - with the mid-range handset market being squeezed.

According to Juniper, low-cost handsets and Smartphones will together account for almost 79% of all new mobile phones by 2014, or just over 1 billion units in all. Operators and vendors are preparing to deal with a massive influx of new users from low-income socio-economic groups in developing markets and a rising demand for complex ‘smart' devices from affluent users in developed markets.

Vendors such as Nokia, Apple and RIM (makers of Blackberry) are well positioned to benefit from these trends whilst players operating more in the mid range market such as Sony Ericsson and Motorola are having to rethink their strategy.

According to Low-cost handsets report author Andrew Kitson: "Low-cost handset shipments will number more than 700 million in 2014, up by 31% from levels seen in 2008, albeit down slightly from a peak of 716 million in 2012 as some users begin to upgrade to costlier devices. At the same time, smartphone shipment volumes will grow continuously across the forecast period, reaching almost 360 million by the end of the period. We therefore expect that mid-range device sales volumes will fall by more than 41% over the period".

Other findings from the Low cost handsets research include:

  • In 2008, the Indian Sub Continent region accounted for the majority (23%) of low-cost handset sales, due to efforts by operators such as Vodafone to meet low-income users' needs in markets such as India: by 2014, the region will account for 22% of sales
  • Take-up in emerging markets will be boosted by the availability of low-cost, highly targeted localised information services, such as Nokia's Life Tools offering

Today, SC Magazine opened public registration and announced the preliminary agenda of events, speakers and conference tracks for the second annual SC World Congress Conference and Expo to be held in New York City on October 13-14, 2009.

 

Building on the success of last year's inaugural event, SC World Congress 2009 will feature timely keynote addresses and presentations from some of the security industry's most prominent and influential luminaries, including:

 

 

  • Bob Carr, chairman and CEO, Heartland Payment Systems

Bob Carr founded Heartland Payment Systems, the nation's fifth largest payments processor, in 1997. In this discussion, Carr details the lessons learned and the crusade he has undertaken to strengthen credit card payment data security in the wake of the Heartland Payment breach, including a huge push to mandate the use of encryption technologies in the process to benefit the industry, merchants and consumers.

 

William E. Kovacic has served on the Federal Trade Commission since January 2006, and served as chairman from March 2008 until March 2009. With the economy challenged with recession, many are turning to financial fraud and other information crimes. Kovacic will detail recent cases examples of how internet-related crime continues to increase and how it is being addressed by governing bodies like the Federal Trade Commission.

 

Since 1996, Jim Nelms has been responsible for the information security and risk management infrastructure for the Treasury as well as the security of all related financial services worldwide. In his presentation, Nelms will discuss the growing trend of the insider threat and how this danger is being amplified by the recession as organizations continue to lay off countless workers.

In addition to these and dozens of other presentations from esteemed security leaders, the conference has four information tracks designed to increase the security professionals' knowledge: Policy/Management, Emerging Threats/Risk Planning, Editor's Choice and Technical requirements and advances. Through these tracks, attendees will examine topics ranging from data theft and compliance to establishing partnerships between government and the private sector, security awareness to critical infrastructure protection, and from SCADA attacks to cyberwarfare.

 "For an entire year - since the success of our inaugural SC World Congress - we've been working to solicit input from our readers' about what they want to experience at the East Coast's largest security event, and working to build an agenda that exceeds their expectations," said Illena Armstrong, editor-in-chief, SC Magazine. "We are proud to say that for the 2009 SC World Congress, we have put together the most comprehensive and exciting roster of informative experts, special events and talk tracks to share the latest and greatest the information security world has to share."

 

A full list of speakers, a conference agenda, media partners, sponsors and participant registration can be found at http://www.scworldcongress.com/.

 

In addition to the presentation tracks and keynotes, the SC World Congress has put together two events wholly unique to international security conferences:

 

Events Unique to SC World Congress

 

  • Your Day in Court - Turning Legalize and Security-ize into Jury-ize
  • - A mock trial of a computer crime case presented by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Secret Service and Homeland Defense experts. As the jury, the audience will participate in a mock trial of a case relying heavily on electronic forensic evidence - while real prosecutors, lawyers, judges and FBI professional witnesses present the case. In today's world of cybercrime and e-discovery, this session will arm SC World Congress delegates with the facts and advice needed to find success in front of a judge and jury, in an innovative, interactive and unique format.

 

  • The Security Innovators Throwdown
  • - During which leading young companies, chosen by SC Magazine, will present their goals for their newly developed technologies or services before a judging panel of experts.

Judges will assess which vendors have the most considered business plans and most robust tools that not only could garner interest from buyers, but also possible investment from venture capitalists (VCs).

 

The ultimate goal of this event is to help find ground-breaking cybersecurity technologies and services, showcase them before the industry, and educate and gather the venture capital and investor community to support continuing innovation.

SC Magazine is looking for individuals or start-up companies that want their technologies seen, critiqued and championed through the influential power and industry reach of SC Magazine. Additional information on event details and how to apply can be found at www.scmagazineus.com/SCWCThrowdown/section/1013/.

"With the innovative agenda and superb quality of the presenters, the 2009 SC Magazine World Congress is the place for security professionals to learn more about the latest in the ever-shifting security landscape," said Jim Nelms, CISO, The World Bank, Treasury. "I am looking forward to both presenting and attending. There will be a tremendous amount of collected knowledge that will help facilitate a better and more clear understanding of today's information security challenges."

 

Registration for the conference is currently open. To register for the conference, please visit http://www.scworldcongress.com/.

Icomera, a provider of cellular broadband gateways, has announced that UK-based Excel Passenger Logistics has selected Icomera's Moovbox M200 Mobile Broadband Gateway to provide Wi-Fi connectivity and GPS tracking on buses and coaches serving British airports.

Passengers travelling on Excel ground transport connections to Stansted, Liverpool and Manchester airports will benefit from free hotspot Internet access at broadband speeds up to several megabits per second.

The Moovbox gateways will also provide real-time GPS tracking of the vehicles, helping Excel monitor schedule adherence and improve overall service performance. Excel's ‘airportbycoach' service offers luxury road transport from Ipswich to Stansted Airport, and between Manchester and Liverpool Airports, the latter operating every hour, 24 hours a day.

"Coach and bus services play an extremely important role in providing travelers with fast and cost effective connections to and from British airports," said Graham Hayden, Managing Director at Excel Passenger Logistics. "We want passengers to enjoy the very highest level of service and the installation of free Wi-Fi on our fleet is a major part of our offering. For international passengers, the presence of free Wi-Fi avoids expensive data roaming fees that make using 3G connections aboard so unattractive. In terms of reliability, feature set, price point and return on investment, the Icomera product ticked all our boxes when we were researching an on-board Internet solution."

The Moovbox M200 Mobile Broadband Gateway acts as a bridge between a vehicle and high-speed cellular data networks including 3G/HSPA, EV-DO and WiMAX, providing Wi-Fi access and an Ethernet-based local area network (LAN) for connecting on-board systems such as CCTV and passenger information systems. The M200 also has integrated GPS receiver for real-time automatic vehicle location (AVL) via the web-based MoovManage service.

"Air travelers are used to Wi-Fi hotspots in airports around the world, and Excel have taken this one step further with their decision to deploy free Wi-Fi on their coaches," said Dave Palmer, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales at Icomera. "Manchester Airport alone serves over one million passengers every year, and by 2030 it's hoped that coach connections like those run by Excel will attract up to 10% of passenger traffic. Free in-vehicle Wi-Fi service is a great way to encourage people to catch the bus rather than drive by car, and make best use of their journey time by sitting back in comfort and catching up on email, browsing the web and participating in the all-important social networking sites."

With the proliferation of Wi-Fi enabled portable devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch and Blackberry, free on-board Wi-Fi is rapidly becoming expected by passengers, especially on commuter routes and inter-city transport services. All five major UK transport operators - Stagecoach, Arriva, FirstGroup, National Express and Go-Ahead - have deployed Icomera Internet systems on key routes favoured by commuters, students and international travelers, serving over 50,000 Internet connections every week.

Subscribers of T-Mobile in the Czech Republic can expect advanced 3G data and multimedia services as a result of a faster mobile broadband network. The upgraded 3G network is based on the energy-efficient Nokia Siemens Networks Flexi Multiradio Base Stations and HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) technology. It is expected to be launched in Prague by the end of the year.

The agreement between T-Mobile and Nokia Siemens Networks signed this month will offer a number of benefits to customers, but in particular the availability of high-speed mobile data services. HSPA technology is one of the latest developments in 3G mobile networks. The main advantage it provides to customers is high-speed data transfers with download and upload peak rates of up to 14.4 Mbps and 5.7 Mbps respectively. Such performance will create a DSL-like user experience.

Moreover, the technology to be installed, will prepare the ground for the roll-out of the next generation of mobile networks.

"The demand for data services in the Czech Republic has been growing continually. Therefore building a 3G network is one of our priorities even in these economically more challenging times," says Roland Mahler, Managing Director of T-Mobile Czech Republic.

"Nokia Siemens Networks is one of the companies that supplies technology for the entire mobile division of the Deutsche Telekom Group, which is a guarantee that we will be able to offer the top quality services to our customers. "

"We are very pleased to extend our partnership with this important agreement," said Ralph Griewing of Nokia Siemens Networks, in charge of business relations with Deutsche Telekom. "We are also glad that our innovative solutions, like the Flexi Base Station and HSPA, will provide the Czech consumers with a fast, reliable broadband experience, offering at the same time an energy-efficient platform to T-Mobile."

Nokia Siemens Networks is also providing T-Mobile with network integration services, the NetAct network management system to monitor, manage and optimize the network and an upgrade of the core network to support advanced 3G services. The pilot operation of T-Mobile's 3G network will start in the autumn in Prague.