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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.

Comtrend, the manufacturer of network solutions, specialising in broadband, VoIP and data network technologies, has today announced it has become the first manufacturer to offer home networking adaptors that support speeds up to 400 Mbps. Comtrend's new product, called the PowerGrid 904, is an Ethernet Powerline adaptor that plugs into any standard power plug in a home. The PowerGrid 904 provides Comtrend's carrier customers a competitive advantage in deploying next-generation triple-play services, particularly IPTV, over existing wiring within a consumer's home.

The PowerGrid 904 plugs into any power outlet into the home and has Ethernet plugs to turn the home power lines into a network. Each power outlet in the home with a PowerGrid 904 becomes a place to connect Residential Gateways, IP Set Top Boxes and Computers to join a high speed home network. The PowerGrid 904 uses advanced chipset technology from DS2 to achieve speeds up to 400Mbps. The PowerGrid 904 and DS2 chipset technology are compliant with the Universal Powerline Alliance (UPA) standard.

 With this new technology carriers have a simple way to deploy IPTV and other advanced triple-play services within a consumer's home. The use of power lines within a home to create a network eliminates the costly and time consuming need to re-wire with Ethernet cables. With such features as Quality of Service (QoS), remote management and repeater function, the PowerGrid 904 is capable of distributing reliable services in any home environment.

"Reliable distribution of high speed data within a consumer's home is the key to a successful deployment of triple play services," said Harold Fitch, General Manager of Comtrend Europe and South America.  "With the advancement of high speed technologies over copper or fiber for carrier deployment the home network is the final frontier to deliver such services as High Definition TV to any room in a home. The PowerGrid 904 meets our telco customers' current and future needs with breakneck speeds up to 400Mbps over power lines, QoS, remote management and repeater function."

Subex Azure, the provider of Operations Support Systems (OSS) solutions for telecom operators, has announced that Swisscom, Switzerland's leading telecom company, has deployed the enhanced Syndesis Business Ethernet Fulfillment solution from Subex Azure to deliver innovative Ethernet-based Services to Enterprise customers across the country. Swisscom now uses a comprehensive Syndesis fulfillment platform from Subex Azure to deliver a range of next-generation services and service bundles to residential customers, Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and large corporations.

The new deployment complements Subex Azure fulfillment solutions already in place at Swisscom, extending and enhancing the operator's ability to leverage its Ethernet network for more advanced service offerings.   Thanks to its long-standing strategic partnership with Subex Azure, Swisscom can now offer a broad range of next-generation network services to its subscribers, including IPTV, ADSL, the higher speed VDSL, and now Ethernet Services Ethernet over Copper for SMEs.   The new Syndesis Business Ethernet fulfillment solution integrates with Swisscom's existing processes and OSS systems ensuring it is able to handle residential service requirements and manage the fulfillment and customization of enterprise customers on one unified, seamless platform.

"We are fully committed to the ongoing transformation of our OSS to realize our All-IP network vision,"said Peter Frauenknecht, Head of Fixnet Wholesale Information Technology, Swisscom.   "The solid, strategic relationship we have built up with Subex Azure enables us to deliver quality next-generation services based on Syndesis NetProvision with its enhanced Ethernet Fulfillment capabilities.   By working in partnership with Subex Azure we are confident that we have a solid platform that will help our business fulfill both current and future migration plans."

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with one of the world's major operators on delivering next generation network services,"said Saul Nurtman, president EMEA, Subex Azure. "Swisscom is ahead of many operators in the world in terms of the deployment of IP services and the use of advanced technologies. They are the first to deploy Ethernet over Copper across the country and were the first to switch directly from ADSL to VDSL. We are proud to be a strategic technology partner of Swisscom and look forward to working closely with them on meeting their All-IP plans."

Mobile operator Telenor is upgrading its existing WCDMA 3G network in Norway with High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) technology from Nokia Siemens Networks. With HSDPA, data can be transmitted through the mobile network at speeds up to 14 megabits per second. The initial upgrade at Telenor is supporting up to 3.6 megabits per second.

The HSDPA solution from Nokia Siemens Networks will help Telenor in reducing costs per megabit delivered over its 3G network, while providing true speed for mobile broadband and a solid technology base for future enhancements of HSDPA. The deal contains upgrade of the mobile network in Norway and is part of a pan-Nordic HSDPA contract, between Telenor Nordic and Nokia Siemens Networks, covering Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

"We are very happy to extend our business relationship with Nokia Siemens Networks. This HSDPA update enables us to use our already installed 3G network more effectively and can complete our offering with improvements in mobility and coverage. Moreover, the Nokia Siemens Networks base station, Flexi WCDMA Base Station, that is compact and installation-friendly with its unprecedented downscaled size and weight, will be a cost-efficient way to expand the network. Reduced power consumption also serves the environment in a favourable way", says Trond Wiborg, CTO, Telenor Nordic.

In addition to 3G expansion and the HSDPA software, Nokia Siemens Networks will provide care services such as software support services and hardware repair services. The network continues to be supported by the multi-technology, multi-vendor NetAct network and service management system, which will be upgraded to support HSDPA. All this will ensure that the network continues to offer high levels of reliability and performance to Telenor's customers.

"We are very pleased to continue our good co-operation with Telenor in the Nordic region, says Finn Erik Hermansen from Nokia Siemens Networks. "We are fully prepared to support Telenor in meeting the market needs to provide a state-of-the-art HSDPA solution with a network of high speed, capacity and quality enabling true mobile broadband."

The deliveries started during autumn 2007 and the service will be launched this month.

Visto, the provider of secure and easy-to-use mobile email for business and consumers, has today announced that it will provide access to corporate mobile email on the Apple iPhone across Europe. Closely following on the heels of the availability of Visto Mobile for the iPhone in the US, the company has extended its support to those regions that are actively selling and promoting the iPhone.

Using Visto Mobile, iPhone users will be able to securely and easily access push corporate email without downloading any additional software to the iPhone or requiring any changes to security policies or corporate firewall settings.

"The iPhone has come out of the gate faster than any other smartphone in history and has broadened the market extensively with a form factor and user interface that provides a better "all in one" experience than anything else on the market today," said Brian Bogosian, president, chairman and CEO of Visto. "For business users whose personal requirements and tastes extend beyond the Blackberry device, we have enabled a solution that marries the demand for corporate email with all the advantages the iPhone brings to an individual."

Visto Mobile takes advantage of the iPhone user interface so that users will be able to send and receive attachments, receive rich HTML email and view emails as they were originally sent. And with the corporate directory search capability, individuals can search for any contact and either place a call, send an email or obtain driving directions by selecting the contact's phone number, email address or physical address.

    

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