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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.

Ruckus Wireless selected by Sonaecom to support nationwide IPTV service in Portugal

Ruckus MediaFlex NG enables wireless IPTV to 3.6 million households targeted throughout Portugal

Ruckus Wireless has today announced that it has been selected by Sonaecom, Portugal's second largest telecommunications provider, to supply its MediaFlex multimedia wireless systems for Sonaecom's fast growing Clix SmarTV IPTV service.

Smart Wi-Fi is a ground-breaking technical advance in Wi-Fi that for the first time allows delay-sensitive traffic and services, such as digital TV and voice, to be reliably transmitted over standard 802.11 frequencies. 

Launched in April 2006, Clix SmarTV was the first IPTV service offered in Portugal.  It remains the only IPTV service available to Portugal's 3.6 million households.

With the Ruckus MediaFlex system, Portuguese consumers will now be able to extend the location freedom that they enjoy with Wi-Fi technology to their television viewing experience.  The Ruckus MediaFlex allows Clix and its customers to place televisions virtually anywhere within their home without running cumbersome and costly cabling to each TV.

The Ruckus MediaFlex system is based on standard 802.11g Wi-Fi that allows Sonaecom to cut installation times in half by requiring only a single installation technician to be on site. 

"The Ruckus system delivers economies of scale that let us dramatically reduce installation times and the costs associated with those installations, while allowing us to speed the rate at which IPTV installations can be performed," said Susanna Barbato, Sonaecom's director of IPTV.  "Our goal is to make the installation experience as quick and pleasant as possible for our customers.  Smart Wi-Fi technology is enabling precisely this."

Barbato noted that Sonaecom's goal is to move to a self-install model where consumers can simply receive the Ruckus MediaFlex or purchase it in a retail outlet and install the system themselves.  This will provide IPTV on demand and enable the installation of additional TVs as quickly and as easily as needed.  "Self-installation allows the subscriber to drive the installation process when it is convenient for them, without being handcuffed by the operator."

In the longer term, Sonaecom can use the Ruckus MediaFlex system to support both IPTV and data within each subscriber's home.  Each Ruckus MediaFlex router supports multiple wireless networks, each of which can be devoted to a specific service with distinct parameters and security settings.

"Sonaecom chose Ruckus Wireless because they think like their customers," said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless.  "Consumers want location freedom and instant gratification for all their multimedia content and services - all without wires.  Smart Wi-Fi is the only technology that can deliver this today."

Reaching 1.6 million homes with its national network, Sonaecom currently offers a full range of triple-play services to broadband subscribers.  Portugal has one of the highest penetration rates of PayTV in Southern Europe and 1.4 million broadband access lines.  Sonaecom delivers IPTV over an ADSL2+ infrastructure offering broadband speeds of 12 Mbps and 24 Mbps at EUR29.90 and EUR39.90 per month respectively.  For a nominal price, consumers can purchase the Ruckus MediaFlex router and adapter to support location-free IPTV.

Sonaecom offers a complete triple-play bundle and a variety of IPTV packages within its Clix SmarTV brand.  Clix SmarTV includes a complete line-up of MPEG-2 broadcast television, video on demand (VOD) and subscription video on demand (SVOD), with more than 100 channels and several entertainment packages including premium broadcast from Discovery Channel, Disney, and movies from major Hollywood studios including Warner Bros and Buena Vista.  The packages are priced from EUR8.90 to EUR34.50 per month.

PacketFront launches the industry's first NPU-based router for the FTTH access segment

Advanced Services Router (ASR) 5000 set to revolutionise how broadband networks support future developments and coming end user demands

PacketFront, a specialist in open-access broadband networking, has launched the first NPU (Network Processing Unit)-based advanced services router, which is said to provide unmatched performance and full support for coming functions being developed in the future.  Through this sophisticated, and for the FTTH access segment, new way of designing broadband routers, the need for expensive hardware upgrades are eliminated.  Crucially, it provides network owners with infinite flexibility to support future developments, important as nobody can tell which applications, features, functions or standards will be demanded or required in the time to come.

Intended for FTTH access and cost efficient broadband aggregation, the Advanced Services Router (ASR) 5000 secures the high-quality delivery of advanced and concurrent triple-play services to countless end users via one single broadband connection - provisioned automatically.  This advanced services router supports virtually any application and its powerful design enables seamless software upgrades without compromising on performance - completely doing away with the need to predict and anticipate future service demands. 

Up until now, companies have been forced to invest heavily in hardware upgrades in order to cope with ever-changing network and service requirements.  The financial and efficiency implications of this have been massive due to the cost of hardware exchange and the inevitable downtime during equipment switchovers.  Before PacketFront's solution, access equipment would not allow for advances in features, standards and protocols, placing demands on the networking industry to make predictions about the future.  The NPU-based design of the ASR 5000 makes e.g. advanced service personalisation, identification, control and capitalisation of peer-to-peer traffic, advanced measurement of multicast traffic and SLA monitoring a reality, and all software updates are made fully automated. 

"Unfortunately, crystal-ball gazing is not a credible business tool, but up until now, the networking industry has had to make 'guestimates' about likely future services networks or network equipment would need to support - and that hasn't always been beneficial for customers," said Martin Thunman, CEO of PacketFront.  "We're very proud to have designed a broadband router offering network owners and service providers an endless scope of future services and applications, and end-users true choices.  It's another step towards making the deployment of FTTH networks not simply a pie-in-the-sky notion, but a business critical choice."

Enterprise VoIP over Wi-Fi equipment market to reach $15bn by 2012, claims research

Market to be led by Cisco Systems

According to a new report by Juniper Research, Cisco will be the undisputed leader in both the Enterprise VoIP Access Point market and the VoIP WLAN Switch/Mobility Controller market in the next few years. Juniper estimates the total market to be worth around $2bn this year growing to $15bn in 2012.

Report Author, Basharat Hamid Ashai said that "Cisco has a worldwide market presence and huge resources that makes it difficult for any other vendor to take market share. Other vendors such as Aruba Networks, Trapeze Networks, Proxim Wireless and Meru Networks are poised to face stiff competition, not being able to maintain a lead for more than two or three consecutive years. However, these companies are growing at a good pace and are almost on a par with each other in terms of the success in this sector."

VoIP Access Points
VoIP Access Points for enterprises are expected to reach over $5bn in revenues by 2012, growing from $930m this year. North American revenues are expected to grow from $442m in 2007 to $1.75bn in 2012. EMEA and Asia Pacific revenues are expected to reach $1.7bn and $1.6bn respectively by 2012.

VoIP WLAN Switch/Mobility Controllers
VoIP WLAN Switch/ Mobility Controllers for enterprises are expected to reach almost $8bn by 2012, growing from just under $1bn in 2007. North American revenues are expected to grow from around a $0.5bn in 2007 to $2.7 Billion in 2012 with EMEA and Asia Pac revenues reaching $2.7bn and $1.4bn respectively by 2012.

VoIP over Wi-Fi handsets (single mode) are predicted to ship $155m worth in 2007 increasing to $1.5bn by 2012. North American revenues are to grow from $93m this year to $600m in 2012. EMEA and Asia Pac is expected to touch $480m and $324m respectively by 2012. The report found that Spectralink (acquired by Polycom) is expected to lead the single mode VoIP over Wi-Fi handset market for the coming few years aided by its powerful OEM relationships with Avaya, Inter-Tel, NEC, Alcatel and Nortel.