European Communications

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KPN and Atos Origin reinforce collaboration and renew outsourcing agreements

KPN and Atos Origin, an international IT services company, have signed Heads of Agreement and Letters of Intent redefining their relationship in The Netherlands in order to reflect the changes in KPN’s strategy.  Atos Origin will continue to deliver most of the current services to KPN and the contracts will be extended with a minimum duration of 3 years. The relationships with E-Plus in Germany and BASE in Belgium are not altered by the new agreements and remain in place.

Atos Origin and KPN have an extensive outsourcing and IT services relationship dating back to 2001. Atos Origin performs datacenter services, end user services, system integration services, consultancy and application maintenance services for KPN in The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

Atos Origin and KPN have agreed that Atos Origin will continue to perform application maintenance and enhancement services for KPN on the current application portfolio. KPN has selected Atos Origin as its sole System Integrator for Enterprise Application Integration and for Delivery Orchestration.

Atos Origin and KPN will continue their day to day collaboration for datacenter services as usual. Since it is now KPN's strategy to be a leading supplier in the Dutch market for infrastructural services including housing and hosting, Atos Origin will transfer three of its six datacenter sites in the Netherlands back to KPN. The transfer is in line with Atos Origin’s datacenter strategy, aiming to consolidate its existing datacenters into high availability main sites in the Netherlands and other key countries. The agreement with KPN will have no impact for Atos Origin customers whose high level services will continue to be delivered by Atos Origin.

KPN has also entered the market for workspace services. A logical consequence of this strategy is that Atos Origin and KPN have agreed that, after a period of transition, KPN will insource end user services currently provided by Atos Origin.

The new agreements do not cause any transfer of personnel between the two companies and no restructuring consequences on Atos Origin employees thanks to the continued datacenter services to KPN and increased demand with other customers.

“KPN is a very different company from what it was in 2001. We are pleased that we have found a way to continue our longstanding relationship with Atos Origin and at the same time expand our capabilities as an ICT services supplier in The Netherlands” says Marcel Smits, CFO of KPN. “We are looking forward to a renewed and invigorated relationship with Atos Origin.”

“These agreements show that we are capable of building long-term relationships that span several outsourcing cycles. Releasing control over 3 of our 6 datacenters in The Netherlands fits well with our 3O3 transformation plan.” comments Wilbert Kieboom, Senior Executive Vice President Operations at Atos Origin. KPN has been and will continue to be one of our largest accounts. The telecommunications industry is one of our key industry markets and the Netherlands is one of our largest geographical markets. We will continue to leverage our relationship with KPN in these markets.”

Siemens selected for Europe's largest private managed IP network

Siemens Enterprise Communications has announced today that it has been selected by Global Crossing to provide the open communications technology behind Europe's largest private managed IP communications network.

OGCbuying.solutions has extended Global Crossing's existing Managed Telephony  Service (Mts) to 125,000 UK public servants across 600 locations until December 2011. A key enabler of the Government's shared service agenda; Mts applies advanced communications technology to achieve more efficient use of public funds. Siemens' open communications technology is a critical part of the infrastructure underpinning new ways of working.

Global Crossing is partnering with Siemens for a hosted IP telephony service delivering pan-governmental collaboration and messaging services. The services are based on a managed implementation of Siemens HiPath 8000 platform plus its OpenScape unified communications application.

The contract calls for HiPath 8000 and OpenScape to be EAL2 security accredited, providing assurance for "restricted" communications. The open standards infrastructure will allow adoption of full unified communications across the whole of government at a pace that meets the needs of individual departments.

"This is flexible working in practice - on a massive scale," said David Leighton, director public sector at Siemens Enterprise Communications. "Government departments can access a simple, seamless communications experience that brings together every important business communications method, from voice and email to IM and video.  Cross-governmental collaboration efforts will be underpinned by presence and preference-based functionality, delivering enhanced productivity. This arguably puts the public sector ahead of the private sector in the wide-scale adoption of unified communications."

Anthony Christie, managing director UK and Europe, Global Crossing said, "Bringing together our two companies' expertise has enabled us to create a service that will transform the way that government departments work in the future.  With a strong focus on creating efficiencies and supporting a completely secure and flexible working environment, this agreement includes migration capability to a full suite of advanced IP services which will allow government users access to one of the largest managed IP network services in Europe."

cVidya Networks launches KPIMap

cVidya Networks, the specialist in Telecom Data Integrity and Revenue Assurance Systems, has announced that it has launched KPIMap, a monitoring and operational tool for Revenue Assurance operations among communications service providers. cVidya's KPIMap offers pre-packaged best practice KPIs’ which provide monitoring on strategic, tactical and operational levels. By analyzing this information KPIMap also contributes to a better understanding and smoother management of operational and business-level objectives, setting medium and long term Revenue Assurance goals for the organization.

With the launch of its KPIMap, currently deployed with a major European carrier. cVidya is the first vendor to implement the Revenue Assurance KPI standardization initiative, in addition to being the leader of the TMF’s Revenue Assurance team that developed this initiative.  The Revenue Assurance Standard KPI functionality recently was further validated in the TeleManagement Forum's Catalyst project on Revenue Assurance Standard KPIs, in which cVidya lead a group of operators and vendors demonstrating the standard KPI’s benefits.
 
"We are proud to lead the way in implementing these standards in the Revenue Assurance field," commented Alon Aginsky, CEO at cVidya Networks.  "As RA operations are becoming increasingly complex in today's competitive environment, solution vendors can offer a very high-value contribution by making these operations easier to manage and increasing overall efficiency and profitability among communications service providers."
 
cVidya's KPIMap is a KPI modeling tool which features operational and monitoring capabilities to enable operators to better manage all aspects of their Revenue Assurance operations and understand the impact on overall business performance. KPIMap® builds on existing Revenue Assurance capabilities through a strong coupling with MoneyMap®, as well as passive and active data collection from existing Revenue Assurance platforms  installed in the organization and other OSS and BSS systems integrated with Revenue Assurance operations.

Subex Azure wins Fraud Management contract with Melita Cable

Subex Azure, a leading global provider of OSS solutions for telecom operators, today announced it is deploying its Fraud Management bureau for Melita Cable, Malta's primary cable television and internet service provider.

Melita is the first 'triple-play' (internet, TV and telephony) operator in Malta, providing services to more than 100,000 subscribers.  As the company and its number of services continue to grow, Melita is keen to ensure that it is protecting its revenues effectively.

Subex Azure was chosen after impressing Melita with its Fraud Management bureau implementation at UPC (United Pan-European Communications). The bureau is a unique offering in the revenue maximization space and is ideal for growing operators as it provides them with leading-edge fraud management capability without large up-front costs.

The Subex Azure Fraud Management bureau uses flexible rules-based alarms and fingerprint pattern matching to identify likely fraudulent usage, enabling operators to detect known fraud types and patterns of unusual behaviour in all telecoms environments - wireline (PSTN, ISP, VOIP), wireless (2G, 2.5G, 3G) and across all services (postpaid, prepaid, VAS, MMS, m-commerce).

George Galea, Manager of IT and Data Services, Melita Cable, said: "We have chosen Subex Azure's Fraud Management bureau as it is a cost-effective and scaleable solution that can grow in line with our subscriber and network traffic volume.  By ensuring we are protecting our revenues we can continue to offer innovative communication services to our customers."

Saul Nurtman, President EMEA, Subex Azure Limited, said: "We are delighted to be working with Melita Cable.  This is a great example of how our bureau service can provide smaller growing operators with world-class fraud management capability without the pressures of large capital and operational expenditure."

Viacom's BET Networks continues global expansion with a new Internet video initiative in the United Kingdom

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc , and Brightcove, the leading Internet TV service, have announced a partnership to distribute ad-supported Internet video channels in the United Kingdom. BET Networks is the leading provider of media and entertainment for African Americans and consumers of Black culture globally.

Through its partnership with Brightcove, BET International will extend the distribution of its compelling content -- including entertainment, music and celebrity programming -- to online audiences in the UK via the new Internet video site, BETonBlast.co.uk. BET will also take advantage of Brightcove's viral promotion features to enable consumers to share and embed BET Internet video content on websites, blogs and social networks in the UK. All Internet video channels will also offer online advertising opportunities sold by Viacom Brand Solutions in the UK.

"We're excited to continue building the BET brand around the world, and with the launch of our beta broadband site in the UK, users can get an early taste of our forthcoming multiplatform offering that's set to debut later this year," said Michael D. Armstrong, BET International Senior Vice President and General Manager. "We're also looking forward to working with Brightcove, whose technology allows us to tap into the power of Internet video, while maintaining control over the quality of the viewing experience and the revenue potential of our video content."

BETonBlast.co.uk, set to launch later this summer, will include content focused on the most popular Black music, lifestyle, news, fashion, entertainment and community issues of the day.

"BET is one of the most popular cable networks in the United States with a programming line-up that has strong worldwide appeal," said Jeremy Allaire, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Brightcove. "We are thrilled to be working with BET and chosen as the Internet video platform for their expansion into Europe."

Ericsson has signed the first GPON contract in Europe with CYTA in Cyprus

Ericsson and CYTA, the leading operator in Cyprus, have signed a contract for a Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) network based on Ericsson's GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) solution.

CYTA has started to provide advanced broadband services, such as High Definition TV (up to two channels per home), games, on-demand services, Voice over IP (VoIP) while there is also the option of Surveillance and Security services.

Nikos Timotheou, CEO, CYTA, says: "With this pilot project, CYTA proves once again its commitment to offer high quality broadband services to our customers, using innovative technology. In this effort, Ericsson, with their leading global experience and expertise combined with their local commitment, is our valuable partner."

Spyros Nikolaou, Country Manager Ericsson Greece, Cyprus, Albania & Malta says: "This agreement confirms Ericsson as partner of choice for CYTA to provide users innovative services to any device, anywhere and with the maximum convenience. We are proud to be the partner, providing solutions that support a Full Service Broadband strategy, today and in the future. "

The contract includes delivery of central office optical equipment and devices for the homes, EDA1200 and EDA1500, and passive infrastructure such as fiber systems and cables. Apart from the GPON network (point-to-multipoint configuration), the pilot project includes also a point-to-point network, using Ericsson's equipment (switches and CPEs)

The contract also encompasses a comprehensive portfolio of Services, such as education and knowledge transfer, business consultancy, network design and supervision.

MACH signs agreement with Mobitel D.D. Slovenia

MACH, the clearing and settlement partner for mobile based transactions, has announced that Mobitel D.D. Slovenia has signed a contract with MACH for their market-dominant Financial Clearing and Settlement solution.

Mobitel D.D. Slovenia is Slovenia's national mobile telecommunications operator and provides a range of mobile services to domestic and foreign users throughout the country. They are the leading operator in Slovenia with more than 70% market share and their services include GSM 900/1800, GPRS, WLAN and UMTS.

Slovenia has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in Europe, which is growing rapidly. As a result of this burgeoning market, it is imperative for Mobitel Slovenia to have a reliable and solid Financial Clearing & Settlement system in place to ensure that revenues from their increased customer base are collected accurately and on time, to cater for both existing and future demand.

Mobitel Slovenia decided to move to MACH from their previous Financial Clearing service provider, due to MACH's capacity to help them increase their profitability. The timing of the move follows on from MACH's recent merger with Cibernet; which has further cemented MACH's market superiority in providing advanced Financial Clearing & Settlement solutions for mobile operators worldwide. 

MACH prides itself on excellent customer care and service levels. One of the main reasons why Mobitel Slovenia chose MACH for their Financial Clearing & Settlement alongside their current Data Clearing contract is due to the very good relationship between both companies, in addition to MACH's proven strength of solutions and experience of working with the biggest global operators.

Terence Ledger, Chief Commercial Officer at MACH commented; "The agreement with Mobitel Slovenia represents a further endorsement of MACH's proven track record of providing operators whom operate in some of the world's most rapidly changing markets, with an effective future-proofed Financial Clearing & Settlement solution. We are delighted to have signed this agreement with Mobitel Slovenia, and look forward to a long-term partnership".

Huawei wins Telecom Italia HSPA network expansion

Huawei, the provider of next generation telecommunications network solutions for operators, has been selected by Telecom Italia to expand and upgrade its HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) networks covering Southern Italy, including important cities such as Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The expansion will help boost Telecom Italia’s network capacity and allow it to rapidly deliver new services.

Huawei will supply its new generation Node B solution to fulfil Telecom Italia’s technical requirements. Huawei new generation Node B will support full-performance HSDPA, HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access), and IP RAN (IP-based Radio Access Network). The open architecture of Distributed Node B provides Telecom Italia with more flexible networking to allow it to accelerate the delivery of its HSDPA services and ready for commercial deployment of its HSUPA services.

Upgrading Telecom Italia existing network with Huawei’s advanced HSPA solution will allow the Italian operator to provide the best possible end-user experience and reinforce its leading position in the market.

“We are proud to provide HSPA products and solutions to Telecom Italia,” added Mr. Qiao Xiaoping, Managing Director of Huawei Technologies Italy. “With our advanced HSPA technologies and fast service response times we hope to help Telecom Italia extend its lead in the dynamic and fast-growing mobile broadband market."

According to In-Stat Market Research, Huawei is the fastest growing WCDMA/UMTS manufacturer with 32.9% market share in terms of new contract wins in 2006. The cooperation with Telecom Italia Mobile will further consolidate Huawei’s position as a leader in the global WCDMA/HSPA industry.

LHS introduces new release of iX Mediation

LHS, a leading provider of telecom billing and customer care systems across the wireless, wireline, and IP telecom markets worldwide, has announced the launch of iX Mediation Release 2, the latest version, of the fully convergent solution for the collection and administration of customer usage data. iX Mediation Release 2 supports wireless, wireline, IP, and IMS (IP Multimedia subsystems) providers, offering them 'substantially more flexibility'.

iX Mediation Release 2 now features many new standard protocols allowing providers to be more flexible when introducing new services. In addition, during runtime, updates or new network elements can be integrated without the need for shutting down and restarting the system.

Mediation systems convert information about the utilized services into a format that is supported by billing, CRM and other downstream IT systems. An effective mediation system enables providers to introduce and bill new products faster. This allows corporations to improve customer loyalty, increase the average revenue per user (ARPU), reduce costs and secure their turnover.

"Legacy mediation systems frequently have problems in collecting all user service data in real time, which naturally had a negative effect on the revenue recognition of the providers as well as customer satisfaction. iX Mediation Release 2 provides a real-time link between the network and the charging system," said Dr. Jens Troetscher, Chief Technology Officer of LHS.

iX Mediation Release 2 enables data transfer across all networks and service platforms for voice, data and content services. In addition, the software also offers mediation options for value-added contents and allows the speedy introduction of new services through the simultaneous configuration of all networks and applications.

Support of multimedia systems
In developing the new version, special attention has been given to the graphical user interface, which now facilitates the integration of new network components by users. In addition, the software offers online charging (OCF) and charging collection (CCF) functions, which are of central importance to IP multimedia subsystems (IMS).

"From now on, IMS will convert all services of a provider into a single protocol. This facilitates the integration of services such as voice over IP, push services, messaging and multimedia applications, such as multi-user gaming and videoconferences. Two of our customers are already implementing the new solution, which allows them to be more flexible and faster than their competitors," added Dr. Troetscher.

iX Mediation Release 2 is a stand-alone solution that is pre-integrated into the BSCS iX billing and customer care system by LHS. It can easily be integrated into any kind of network infrastructure and provide data to any billing system.