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HGI defines future of the Home Gateway

Next Generation Network integration and SOHO environments to be key features in Release 3 specification document

The Home Gateway Initiative (HGI) today identified the key operator requirements driving future development of Home Gateways with the commencement of work on its third specification document.  The key features addressed will include: designing the Home Gateway for IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-based Next Generation Network
(NGN) environments; the growing need for supporting the SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) market; and the impact of connecting Consumer Electronics devices in the broadband home.

"IMS-based NGNs have been hot topics in the industry for some time now, but few standards have been developed that will allow consumer devices to efficiently access added-value services on these networks and, hence, allow operators to generate the increased revenues required to support network investment," said Paolo Pastorino, Chief Technology Officer at the HGI.  "With our sets of specifications built around and for the Home Gateway, we are working to address these crucial issues.

"Release 3 will be a solid set of technical specification, based upon the business requirements of our operator members, that will aid all the actors in the broadband home space: operators in delivering and supporting services; vendors in being quicker and more competitive in providing CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) devices; and customers, who will have a real 'plug and play' experience with services, and devices.

"The specifications outlined in the HGI Release 1 document ("The Building Blocks for the Home Gateway", published in July 2006) are now playing a significant part in operators' RFI/RFQs, and many of the home gateways deployed globally are architecturally based upon our specifications," concluded Mr. Pastorino.

Release 3, entitled "Seamless integration into IMS-based NGN service environments", will be finalised and issued in Q4 2008.  Prior to that, Release 2, entitled "Evolution of support to end-to-end broadband networks and services", will be finalised and made public in Q4 2007 after the final review that will take place at the HGI Plenary meeting in Shanghai (People's Republic of China) in September 2007.

The HGI was founded and launched by nine telecom operators (Belgacom, BT, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, KPN, TeliaSonera, NTT, Telefonica and Telecom Italia) in 2004, and now has members from five continents, representing the entire spectrum of actors in the broadband home arena. The main tasks of the HGI are to establish home gateway-related technical and interoperability specifications and provide input to standardisation bodies.

cVidya networks signs UK revenue assurance agreement with BT

Multimillion dollar deal follows a successful project executed by cVidya in 2006

cVidya Networks, a global leader of telecom data integrity and revenue assurance systems, has announced that BT has signed an agreement for implementation of cVidya's MoneyMap solution across its UK operations.  This agreement follows on successful execution of cVidya's project with BT in 2006 and subsequent ITT process.

BT created its Revenue Assurance Centre of Excellence two years ago, and has since been reviewing many strategic programmes and has run a number of proof of concepts with various vendors.  BT's objective was to provide a single revenue assurance subscription inventory to better support its internal and external customers worldwide.  cVidya was selected due to its leadership in implementing industry standards, as well as its track record for success.

Geoff Hammond, head of BT’s revenue assurance centre of excellence, says: “We have previously managed our own revenue assurance needs through internal developments and legacy applications; however the significant pace of change and product development, combined with the growing operational role within our team meant the only way forward was with an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution.

“Through our stringent ITT selection process it became apparent that the cVidya MoneyMap solution offered the functional capabilities to streamline our revenue assurance processes, and enabled our team to react quickly to new requirements and make major contributions to BT’s goals in the short and long term.”

"We are proud to be selected by BT, and look forward to building on our previous success to strengthen our relationship," commented Alon Aginsky, CEO at cVidya Networks.  "In addition, this decision highlights the added value that MoneyMap can bring even to those service providers who already have a mature revenue assurance operation in place."

cVidya’s MoneyMap Revenue Assurance Solution enables operators to correlate and consolidate information from all network, operations and business systems. Through an ongoing process, it automatically detects problem areas in which profit margins are decreasing as a result of revenue leakage, data inconsistencies or resources that are not being used efficiently, leading to substantial revenue loss. Once MoneyMap identifies the areas of revenue leakage and resource inefficiency, it provides the user with intuitive tools to promptly correct and manage the problems to achieve profit maximization.

Aepona Expands Solutions Portfolio With Call Centre Control Application

Leading Telecoms Applications Supplier releases solution that allows network operators to deliver next generation flexible, effective service to Call Centres

Aepona, a leading supplier of Service Network products and solutions to telecoms operators worldwide, today announced its solution for next generation Call Centre Control, C3.

Call Centre Managers need to have the ability to react quickly to changes in call patterns. Disaster recovery, higher than expected response to marketing campaigns, staff shortages can all require immediate restructuring of call flows. The worst case scenario for the Call Centre manager is overload in one location with spare capacity availability in another, and no way to spread the load.

The Aepona Call Centre Control Service is designed to prevent exactly this waste of resources by not only allowing the call centre manager unprecedented flexibility in how calls are routed, but also giving the tools to rapidly change routing plans to cope with circumstances as they arise.

The Call Centre Control service is owned, operated and branded by the Network operator, and sold as a value-added service by the network operator to its call centre customers

"The Aepona Call Centre Control service provides network operators with a clear opportunity to deliver real value to their Call Centre customers and clearly differentiate from their competitors" says Michael Crossey, VP Marketing at Aepona. "With powerful traffic based routing, time based routing and disaster recovery capabilities, the C3 service delivers unprecedented control to the Call Centre Manager and drastically reduces the operational load on the Network provider"

The Call Centre Control application is currently undergoing field trials and will be Generally Available on May 30.

Ericsson supports Telef

Ericsson has been selected to support Telefónica in building and operating a new nationwide DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) transport network in Germany. Rolled out over the next few years, it will provide wider optical transmission paths coverage, giving Telefónica a significant advantage in the German market.

Karl Wilhelm Rohrsen, board member of Telefónica in Germany, says: "The new transport network is a major step forward in the German market. Here, we rely on an experienced and reliable partner. That is exactly what Ericsson is."

Ericsson's DWDM platform will enable Telefónica to build a future-proof optical network, with leading technology that will provide the operator with unique flexibility, best-in-class performance, and operational synergies for efficient and evolved metro and core networking.

Stefan Kindt, President of Ericsson in Germany, says: "We are pleased to provide Telefónica with a highly versatile solution that will allow them to offer new services with minimal incremental investment. It confirms our long-lasting partnership."

The Ericsson solution provides operators with an opportunity to maximize their revenues through such new services as high-speed data, storage, video and voice transmission. Automatic network control and operation allow them to simplify the way they operate their transport networks, always granting the best quality of service.

The rollout of the network has already started.

Huawei signs deal with KPN's Telfort

Huawei Technologies has announced that Telfort, part of the Netherlands' largest telecoms operator KPN, will procure Huawei's Convergent Billing Solution. Huawei CBS will help operators build an open and horizontal billing architecture with the capability to support various networks and services.

Huawei currently supplies the KPN Group with extensive transmission and all-IP based core network products. Telfort will have the opportunity to significantly shorten its service delivery cycle for 2G and 3G services with the convergent rating, charging and billing infrastructure powered by Huawei CBS.

Telfort CEO Mr. Marco Visser expressed his satisfaction with the cooperation with Huawei at the ceremony. He said, "Huawei CBS is an important building block for Telfort's future service development. This is the first time that the KPN Group has been cooperating with Huawei on services, and it marks a deepening of the relationship between us."

Dr. Haiping Che, President of Huawei Application and Software Product Line, said, "KPN is a prominent European operator that is highly innovative in adopting new services to grow its competitive edge. Our product portfolio is closely aligned with KPN/Telfort's strategy and well positioned to meet its needs. We will continue to work closely with the KPN Group to help it achieve its business goals."

Leading regional telecom operator selects Ceon to provide Product Lifecycle Management solution

Elion, the leading fixed-broadband provider in Estonia, is preparing to deploy Ceon’s Product Control Center (PCC) product lifecycle management (PLM) and new product introduction solution. Elion made the decision to pilot Ceon PCC as the first phase of a multi phase deployment after analyzing and reviewing the ability of PCC to meet its product management needs.

Ceon PCC is the communication industry’s first purpose-built and standards-based system focused on enabling service providers to construct, manage, and deploy a layered product catalog that includes the full technical and commercial definition of products. PCC supports extended attributes, complex business rules, constraint processing, multi-user collaboration, entity revision management, lifecycle state management, a SID-based data model, and online order configuration and price calculation support.

IP-transformation and accelerating competition is forcing service providers to be more creative and agile in rolling out new product offerings. The primary way in which operators can differentiate themselves going forward is around innovative product offerings. Ceon PCC has been developed to meet the product management challenges faced by operators in today’s marketplace, where product lifecycle management systems have now become a strategic imperative rather than an operational efficiency consideration.

“Ceon PCC will be used to manage the end to end lifecycle of our product and service offerings. As more complex bundled products like Triple Play services are being demanded by our customers, it is critical that the product creation process maps directly to the networks ability to deliver the created products and the PCC will manage this process for us”, said Agur Jogi, Chief Information Officer of Elion.

Axiom Systems

The TeleManagement Forum has today announced that the Product and Service Assembly (PSA) Catalyst Initiative has been selected as the best catalyst project at TeleManagement World Nice 2007.

Axiom Systems, leader in service fulfillment software for communication service providers, spearheads the PSA Catalyst, which is now in its second phase. Sponsored by some of telecommunications biggest names including British Telecom, Cable & Wireless, TeliaSonera and QinetiQ, the PSA initiative is a collaboration of vendors and service providers who are looking to solve today’s largest operational problem - how to create an IT reference architecture which will streamline the NGN product/service lifecycle, bridge the service creation gap between OSS/BSS/service execution and reduce the cost of service/product production. Phase 2 of the PSA initiative demonstrates how broadband DSL, VoIP and IPTV with VOD capabilities can be dynamically created and rapidly delivered as a triple play bundled product. 

The award has been was given to the PSA Catalyst as it successfully demonstrates how the project has furthered TM Forum initiatives in relation to the principles of its project. The judging criteria were based on the catalyst’s collaborative efforts of team members and the benefits to Service Providers as a result of the project work. The same project has also been short listed as finalist for the BT Innovation awards.

“We are delighted to receive this prestigious award from the TeleManagement Forum as it is testament to both the time and hard work dedicated to the project by the member companies and the relevancy of the project to the industry”, commented Brian Naughton, Team Leader of the PSA and VP Strategy and Architecture.

NewVoiceMedia launches new platform for personalised customer care

Hosted contact centre set to deliver cost savings of 60%

NewVoiceMedia, one of Europe's leading Hosted Telephony Service providers, has launched ContactWorld, a next-generation platform for voice applications. The solution has been designed to help companies introduce Individual Caller Treatment (ICT), a new personalised service that can turn any contact centre into a highly-focussed, precision marketing tool.

Set to deliver cost savings of 60% when compared to conventional applications, ContactWorld is one of the most powerful systems available on the market with the capability to handle over 50,000 simultaneous calls. As it is both cost effective and easy to set up, the solution is ideal not just for companies that need a contact centre, but even for large departments that do not see themselves as traditional call centres.

"Contact centres are not always associated with personalised customer service and businesses have struggled to introduce such a system" said NewVoiceMedia CEO Jonathan Grant. "Companies sometimes fail to realise that customers are at their most receptive when they call into the business, so asking callers to hold for long periods of time or getting them to go through endless menus is not the best way to make a customer feel valued.

Jonathan Grant continued, "Individual Caller Treatment, which combines CRM with telephony, offers businesses an intelligent marketing tool that can cross and up sell services to clients. More importantly, it can automatically route customers to the most appropriate agent whenever they call to maximise the customer experience".

ContactWorld users can make changes to customer data in real-time. In trials one user was able to make four changes a day, directly on to the system. Traditionally this would involve the use of expensive system integrators and even a small change could take days to take effect.

ContactWorld can also be scaled within minutes to meet high call volumes following a promotion or an advertising campaign. In the event of an emergency, such as a fire or a terrorist attack, the system can switch to the disaster recovery option and direct calls to agents working from home or in any other location. 
   

Ericsson selected as supplier and integrator to expand WIND's optical network

Ericsson has been selected by leading Italian internet provider Wind as a provider for metro and core optical transport technology and systems integrator to support its fixed IP broadband access.

The contract awarded to Ericsson includes a DWDM (Dense Wavelength-Division Multiplexing) solution to increase transmission capacity of 1600km of existing fiber cables and BRAS (Broadband Remote Access Server) technology to improve fixed broadband access performance.

Ericsson's turnkey solution incorporating the Marconi-branded multihaul metro and core platform will handle broadband end-user traffic allowing Wind to underpin its offering. The deployment will ensure that Wind, Italy's largest internet provider, can provide high-capacity internet access for subscribers and support next-generation internet services.

Paolo Dal Pino, CEO, Wind Telecomunicazioni S.p.A. at Wind, says: "Ericsson's solution enables us to leverage our existing infrastructure to boost our broadband offering and offer our customers reliable, high-speed connectivity."

Cesare Avenia, President, Ericsson South East Europe, says: "This deal builds on Ericsson's established relationship with Wind and underlines our system integration capabilities and robust broadband solutions. The rollout is set to consolidate Wind's market-leading position by providing a carrier-class solution to provide its end-users with cutting-edge multimedia services."

Ericsson's optical network solution is a key enabler for deploying new broadband services, and is part of Ericsson's Full Service Broadband offering.