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TM Forum, the world's premier industry group focused on business effectiveness for the communications and media sectors, today confirmed details of a new defense-related Technology Catalyst project. Key players from the global defense industry - including Booz Allen Hamilton, QinetiQ Ltd, NATO C3 Agency, DAX Technologies, Thales Communications, John Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab and Progress Software - will converge at Management World 2009 to demonstrate the results of this collaborative project, which focuses on improving the operational agility and real-time management of complex space networks.

Entitled "Collaborated End-to-End Operation and Service Management in Space Communications," the project looks at the end-to-end operation and multiple aspects of services that enable Network-Centric Operations with IP-based space communications management systems. The demonstration - part of the Forum's Technology Innovation Zone at Management World - will illustrate how policy-based management and TM Forum Solution Frameworks can be applied and extended to create a comprehensive operational solution to dynamically manage multi-operator space technologies.  Use of the Forum's standards has enabled the solution to be deployed repeatedly in a multi-vendor environment with extensive reuse, significantly reducing overall deployment cost, while the application of policy enables operational agility needed to support defense missions.

TM Forum's Technology Catalyst program delivers the environment for companies to work together, tackling management challenges in an environment that fosters an accelerated process for identifying deployable, cost-effective solutions. According to Martin Creaner, President and CTO, TM Forum, "One of the key benefits that TM Forum provides to its members is enabling a truly collaborative environment for the ongoing research and development of technology, standards and business processes.  Traditionally collaboration is difficult for members of the Defense Industry; however, under the auspices of the TM Forum, and leveraging the TM Forum's expertise in fostering multi-company collaboration, the participants saw a tremendous value in making it work to participate in this Catalyst project."

Technical Lead for the Technology Catalyst Project William Chang, Technical Fellow at Booz Allen Hamilton, commented, "Network-centric operations require information sharing and situational awareness, which in turn require seamless collaboration among service providers and operations in a coalition environment.  These cross-operational-domain offerings, both mission planning and service management, require a much higher degree of flexibility than do traditional management frameworks.  By incorporating TM Forum standard frameworks into this first defense-focused Catalyst project, the team has successfully created a new direction for industry leaders to explore for their mutual benefit. It is foreseeable that this exercise will eventually drive a greater adaptation of these standards in the defense industry."

Christy Coffey, TM Forum Defense Sector Head, added, "This team has put together a forward-thinking demonstration for our Management World 2009 conference in Nice.  With defense budgets under increasing scrutiny, the members who are participating in this project are finding the use of the TM Forum frameworks and interfaces invaluable for defining solutions that meet their cost goals.   Not only do our members benefit, but the TM Forum benefits, as well, with some of the world's foremost experts feeding their collaborative learning on Policy Based Management back into the TM Forum's Solutions Frameworks."

The project represents one of seven individual Technology Catalysts to be demonstrated within the Forumville Technology Innovation Zone at Management World 2009.

NEC has announced the creation of NEC Eastern Europe, headquartered in Budapest, Hungary. The new company will target 15 per cent revenue growth with a significant focus on the fast developing Eastern European Enterprise business with converged IT-Network solutions.

NEC has already been extremely successful with telecommunications and broadcast infrastructure in Eastern Europe, including its PASOLINK product, an ultra compact microwave communications system for mobile backhaul. The acquisition of Linecom KFT in April 2008 further enhanced the resources and experience of the organization and will now support the planned growth into the Eastern European Enterprise market..

Furthermore, having local staff, who understand the culture, language and regional business markets puts NEC Eastern Europe in a position to offer the most effective business and technological adjustments tailored to each country's and customer's specific situation.

Construction of communications infrastructure and the provision of digital broadcast networks are expected to contribute significantly to the growth of Eastern Europe's business opportunities, allowing it to compete on a level playing field with its European neighbours and globally. In addition, as companies come to relying more and more on their voice and data communications networks there is a clear need for a reliable, faster, more secure network infrastructure. NEC will provide its Eastern European customers with the equipment critical for economic success in the region, designed to facilitate optimum performance at no environmental cost.

"Over the past 30 years, NEC has gained unrivalled experience of Eastern European markets. Although we foresee that Eastern European economic growth is going to slow down due to the serious impact of the financial crisis, we also believe that demand for innovative services that include first-class communications and IT solutions remains strong. NEC provides these innovative and environmentally sensitive solutions, for example virtualization and low power consumption servers, that contribute to further growth in the region. The time is right for NEC to set up a new company and Eastern Europe represents a strong opportunity for us. We have had great success in the field of telecommunication and broadcasting, and we are sure to see this success replicated in other business areas of ours, such as IT solutions," says Toru Koishi, CEO of NEC Eastern Europe.

"NEC Eastern Europe will provide total solutions in IT and network technologies through customized products and a variety of engineering and professional services which meet the specific needs of our regional customers," he continued.

The new company's range of services includes broadcasting and IT network enterprises. NEC's broadcasting experience, in particular, covers more than 80 years of development highlighted by services for broadcasters and telecommunications carriers in 110 countries, including worldwide provision of more than 1,700 digital broadcasting devices. NEC's experience with these devices includes the provision of broadcasting equipment for the world's first commercial terrestrial digital broadcasting service, produced through England's Arqiva in 1997. Today, the spread of digital broadcasting in Europe continues, with Eastern Europe and Russia representing the most promising regional growth markets.

Looking forward, NEC aims to capitalize on its industry achievements to prepare a framework for providing digital broadcasting equipment and video solutions that drive the expansion of next generation networks (NGN) for broadcasters and telecommunications carriers alike.

Until recently, NEC Europe had operated through branch offices in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic in order to drive the rapid expansion of its Eastern European business, which now consists of activities throughout 17 Central-Eastern-European countries.

MTS has launched the first UMTS / HSPA 3G network in Armenia in the three largest cities of the country: Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, Guymri and Vanadzor. The network will be expanded to additional cities during 2009. The next-generation network will deliver faster data download speeds through the advanced UMTS / HSPA technology, enabling services such as video calling, and increase capacity to handle usage growth.

"By introducing 3G technology in Armenia, we are keen on playing our part in developing the telecommunications infrastructure in the country and offering consumers new products and services as well as enhanced quality," commented Mr. Oleg Raspopov, Vice President for Foreign Subsidiaries at MTS. "We view our 3G network as an ideal vehicle to meet the growing mobile broadband demand in Armenia and help stimulate further uptake in data and content services."

Development of UMTS networks is a cornerstone of MTS' strategy to provide mobile broadband in the CIS. As these markets demonstrate relatively low levels of fixed-line penetration and historic underinvestment in infrastructure, MTS views its networks as an ideal vehicle to meet the growing broadband Internet needs of its subscribers through attractive data products and services.

MTS already operates pan-regional 3G networks in Russia and Uzbekistan and offers high-speed data access through its proprietary CDMA-450 network in Ukraine.

Conax, a provider of content security solutions globally, has made its debut in the Caribbean, where broadcasters have long been plagued by a high degree of piracy and previous technologies have been unsuccessful at blocking impending threats.

Already providing security technology to over 300 broadcasters world-wide, Conax is focusing on the Caribbean and Mexican broadcasting markets vulnerable to a high level of piracy. Conax USA is cooperating closely with local partners, building regional partnerships to provide local implementation and support in the Caribbean, Mexico and America. Conax has secured content protection contracts with 5 new customers in the Caribbean in the last year.

"The Caribbean is a vast and varied market that we believe provides a host of opportunities in the future, comments Geir Bjørndal, EVP Sales & Marketing, Conax. Conax has several new contracts with operators that have been forced to change security solutions due to piracy issues. Our focus will be to provide the rock-solid protection necessary to battle pirates."

Caribbean operators, varied in size by the respective island populations, commonly employ MMDS technology due to unpredictable weather and hurricanes. Dynamic local markets include highly transient customer-base with readily available resources during different seasons of the year, high-end hotel customers, and a large population of local customers.

Veronigue Leander, General Manager, TDS, Curacao, "TDS is implementing content security technology from Conax, after experiencing a number of issues with our previous solution.  We are confident that Conax's focus on high-level security will provide us with the tools to block pirates and non-paying viewers. As we expand our operations into neighboring islands, we are keen to have a content protection solution we can trust."

"TDS chose Conax content security due to its strong track record in the world market, open standards and partnering policy and experience with complementary technologies," confirms Veronigue Leander.

Digital Rapids -  provider of tools and solutions for bringing television, film and web content to wider audiences - has launched a new version of the Stream software for Digital Rapids' ingest, encoding and streaming systems. New features in version 3.0 include significantly expanded compression and container format support (including Avid DNxHD, enhanced H.264 and more); new audio plug-in capabilities and third-party plug-in compatibility; enhanced Closed Caption support and more.

Further extending Digital Rapids' renowned format flexibility, version 3.0 features new or enhanced support for compression and container formats including Avid DNxHD, MXF, LXF, GXF, DVCPro, Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Digital Plus and more. The expanded format support enables Digital Rapids' ingest and encoding systems to integrate seamlessly with a broader array of broadcast servers, acquisition devices and editing systems. New H.264 encoding optimizations deliver enhanced performance and quality with the existing DRC Studio AVC Encoder and AVC for Adobe Flash option modules.

Stream 3.0 incorporates a significantly enhanced plug-in architecture, including all-new audio processing capabilities, additional video processing plug-ins, and support for third-party DirectShow and DMO plug-ins. Optional Civolution Teletrax support embeds watermarks for content tracking and monitoring. Extended Closed Captioning capabilities include full CEA-608 and 708 support in multiple encoding formats; 608 to 708 translation when encoding from 608-only sources; caption retiming during Inverse Telecine; and VC-1 Closed Captioning in script streams.

"With our earlier 2.5 upgrade, we extended our leadership in distribution format flexibility to connect broadcast-oriented workflows to new distribution opportunities. Stream 3.0 extends that versatility to a whole new level, as our expanded formats and extended Closed Caption support move us from the edges of broadcast and production workflows into the core of their operations," said Brian Stevenson, Director of Product Management at Digital Rapids Corporation. "At the same time, our new open plug-in architecture for video and audio processing allows users unlimited flexibility in refining the source content as they prepare it for distribution or archive."

The Stream 3.0 software is available in two software configurations - the base-level Stream LE and the advanced Stream FE, adding expanded workflow automation, integration capabilities and format support. A comparison of new feature availability between the two levels is available on our website. Stream LE is included with DRC-Stream board-and-software bundles. Stream FE is included with StreamZ and StreamZHD encoding servers and is available as an option for DRC-Stream. Existing users can purchase upgrades to the version 3.0 software. Optional codec and container format modules are available individually or in select bundles for easy ordering.

Digital Rapids' StreamZ, StreamZHD and DRC-Stream encoding solutions deliver multi-format video ingest, encoding, transcoding and live streaming in versatile configurations that integrate easily into any media environment. Combining the quality and performance advantages of hardware-based preprocessing with the format flexibility of software codecs and a feature-rich software application, Digital Rapids systems seamlessly support multi-platform distribution opportunities and multi-format workflows with real-time, simultaneous encoding to multiple output formats.

Spanish provider of location based services for mobile units, Genasys, and German WiFi positioning software and service provider, Spotigo, have reached an agreement to create common offer for the LBS market that is said to combine the specialties of both companies. 

The integration of Spotigo's WiFi Positioning Solution (WiPS) with Genasys' positioning platform will allow Genasys to improve its LBS quality and coverage by upgrading the company's location solution offer with WiFi-based positioning. On the other hand, Spotigo sees this cooperation as a great opportunity of expanding its market penetration by working with one of the leading companies on the LBS scenario.

According to Alberto Nicoletti, Vicepresident Sales & Marketing of Genasys, "We are very pleased about this alliance with Spotigo. I consider this agreement a very important step in extending the capabilities of our LBS solutions to be able to better respond to our clients demands and expand to new markets .

The integration of our location platform with the WiFi Positioning solution of Spotigo will allow Genasys to offer increased location precision in urban areas and a more flexible and competitive overall LBS solution to the market"

According to Darío Alonso, Head of Product Management of Spotigo, "we strongly believe that our positioning technology will bring customers many more possibilities to find their positions where GPS has problems, which will provide with improvements to existing LBS and opening the scope for many new ones. The possibilities of WiPS are just unpredictable and we are very keen on helping Genasys to provide its LBS wherever we have coverage, which is growing very rapidly".

Spotigo's WiFi-based positioning technology identifies the user's position on the basis of the received WiFi signal patterns. It is the perfect complement to GPS since it compensates the limitations of satellite-based positioning: especially in urban areas with high buildings and narrow streets, WiPS usually generates a faster fix, and very reliable accurate results. Another important advantage of this new technology is the indoor functionality.

Since it also works as a standalone positioning solution, Spotigo's WiPS now makes it possible to offer location-aware content on all mobile devices without GPS module. As a B2B company, Spotigo offers WiPS to companies, municipalities and organizations interested in offering high quality location-based services or location-based advertising.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan - European Mobile Broadband (EuMoBro) Mêlée between 3G LTE and Mobile WiMAX - is said to find that by 2013, there will be around 22.4 million 3G LTE subscribers with service revenues totalling to €9,685.4 million in Western Europe. Both Mobile WiMAX and 3G LTE technologies are covered in this research.

Over the past year, mobile data usage has skyrocketed - six to fourteen times more data is being used on mobile broadband networks today than in the previous year. This is being driven by flat rate pricing and high-speed mobile broadband availability (HSDPA/HSPA). Average users download more than 5GB per month, some as much as 9GB to 11GB.

Though data traffic is on the rise, revenues are unfortunately flat. Operators are witnessing divergence of revenues and traffic load curves for the first time due to the new data loads and flat rate price models. Hence, network cost has to decline and there is a strong focus in the 3G LTE camp on margin and production cost.

"Next generation wireless technologies such as 3G LTE and Mobile WiMAX will eventually lead operators to move to an ‘open' access, any client device connected, Internet model, with the advent of consumer electronic devices being embedded with 3G LTE technology," notes Frost & Sullivan Programme Manager, Luke Thomas. "This in turn will lead to higher service stickiness and reduced churn."

However, operators will need to do away with locking-in client devices to their respective mobile broadband access networks. More smartphones/UMPCs/laptops/consumer electronic devices connected to such high-speed networks will lead to incremental revenues for mobile operators.

"If a mobile operator has decided to deploy 3G LTE by 2010/2011, it should immediately start upgrading its backhaul as each LTE base station would require a minimum of 200-300Mbps backhaul capacity," advises Thomas.

Mobile operators are currently considering high-capacity point-to-point microwave links and relay for backhaul. However, some are considering minimising additional CAPEX on the backhaul by subsidising 3G LTE-enabled femtocells, thereby making their mobile subscribers pay for the backhaul. The deployment of femtocells, however, would require careful network planning to avoid any interference levels between the macrocell and femtocell.

"Rather than providing flat-fee unlimited contracts or traffic caps for 3G LTE and Mobile WiMAX, operators need to be more innovative with their pricing strategies so as to differentiate themselves from competition but, at the same time, ensure that it is not too complicated or non-transparent for the user to understand," remarks Thomas. "Furthermore, operators need to put in place effective management tools to manage traffic using QoS policies, prioritised access and flow based processing."

Such active traffic management will ensure that operators do not tarnish their brand image by levying huge charges for high-speed mobile broadband access, says F&S.

Global telecoms adviser Analysys Mason, in collaboration with international law firm Hogan & Hartson, has reviewed the status of the broadband markets in Belgium and set out actions to address identified market issues, in a report entitled Promoting the development of the broadband market in Belgium.

Belgium, which was among the countries with the highest broadband penetration until 2005, no longer belongs in the top tier of European countries. The latest figures from the European Commission show that Belgium is ranked eighth in terms of broadband penetration, as of the first half of 2008. Broadband growth in Belgium is now slower than in many European countries. "Regarding prices, although there has been a strong increase in broadband offer attractiveness since the end of 2007, with more than twice the speed for the same price from the main market players, the Belgian market is still characterised by high retail prices in comparison to other European countries" says Stephane Piot, Senior Manager at Analysys Mason and co-author of the report for BIPT, the Belgium telecoms regulator.

Commenting on the the key findings of the report, Piot stated that a number of key issues were identified as hampering the development of the broadband market in Belgium.

"Our assessment of Belgium's broadband market shows that market growth is slowing down and that the market is highly concentrated, with the two main established players cumulating over 80% market share over the last two years, which is not conducive to vibrant competition."

"Based on our identification of market issues at retail and wholesale levels as well as cross issues, we have determined 8 main areas of intervention, which we have broken down into more than 20 practical actions. These actions aim to address the identified market issues and drive the development of broadband in order to benefit consumers and the economy as a whole" says Piot.

Some of the immediate actions that the reports suggests include:

-Promote the increase in PC penetration rate

-Educate consumers about their real needs in terms of broadband services

-Ease the migration between operator's broadband portfolios and between different market  players

-Encourage consolidation of cable networks in the region of

-Wallonia Increase BIPT's powers

Worldwide, approximately 1.45 million BWA/WiMAX subscribers were added during 2008, while the WCDMA subscriber base increased by more than 90 million. And the average quarter-over-quarter subscriber growth rate in 2008 was 21.5%, according to the 7th issue of the 4GCounts Quarterly Report from Maravedis.

"Total BWA/WiMAX revenues for 2008 totaled US$1.82 billion, compared US$898.78 million in 2007 - a 102% annual revenue increase despite the economic downturn that began affecting operator revenues in Q3 2008," noted Maravedis CEO and founder Adlane Fellah.

"2008 was a difficult year for most WiMAX vendors, which accelerated both market consolidation and niche specialization in order to survive the downturn," said Cintia Garza, co-author of the report and 4GCounts team leader. "Because many operators are planning to deploy mobile WiMAX equipment, devices based on 802.16-2004 experienced a slow down," she added.

While LTE networks are yet to become commercial, vendors have stepped up availability of the prerequisite network planning tools, test and measurement systems; LTE and multi-mode ICs and devices are scheduled to become available later in 2009. Progress has been made both on 3G-LTE systems and on the next generation LTE-Advanced version. The impact of the economy on life-cycle extension of 3G and commercial momentum for LTE is of key interest," commented Robert Syputa, partner and senior analyst.

"Government and service industries are expected to be the top spenders on vertical applications. As WiMAX operators roll out their networks worldwide, increased availability of coverage will accelerate adoption of vertical services," noted Basharat Ashai, co-author of the report.

TM Forum, the world's premier industry group focused on business effectiveness for the communications and media sectors, announced today the release of MTOSI 2.0, the most comprehensive standard ever published for managing broadband telecommunications - covering both resource and service management and including inventory, assurance, and activation, some of the most integration-intensive areas in service provider operational environments.

Multi-Technology Operations System Interface (MTOSI) Release 2.0 simplifies integration by providing all the specifications needed throughout the development lifecycle, including business analysis, information model, and interface specifications. With MTOSI, implementers save significant and measureable effort on system integration at:

  • the requirements stage, by reducing uncertainty and providing leading-edge business analysis.
  • the design stage, by describing best practices for creating Web Services-based interfaces.
  • the integration stage, by defining detailed specifications of the critical interface operations that are needed to manage networks and services.

MTOSI 2.0 packages the widest range of management interfaces in an integrated suite, including functions in the Business Process Framework (eTOM), Resource Management and Operations (RM&O), and Service Management and Operations (SM&O) areas.

According to Martin Creaner, President and COO TM Forum, "Many companies are saving millions of dollars each year by using TM Forum standard interfaces, particularly MTOSI, to specify the interfaces between their technologies and third-party technologies. It costs service providers millions of dollars to write detailed specifications for the dynamically evolving technologies that are a phenomenon in our industry today. Aggregating the dollars spent by each company results in a collective industry waste many times that amount. In addition, when companies work individually instead of collaboratively, the integration challenge becomes even more complex because of incompatible specifications. TM Forum provides an environment in which service providers and vendors collaborate openly and vet solutions before they go into development. The MTOSI standards have been created in this collaborative manner by leading communications companies."

Phil Dance, MD, Technology Exploitation BT Group plc commented, "Standards are important in reducing costs and speeding up implementation. By using the MTOSI Version 1.0 standards in 2007, we found, through cost benefit analysis, that we had we saved significant time and money. We are keen to continue to use these standards in our development as a result."

Steve Orobec, Lead Consultant Strategy, Architecture and Innovation BT Group plc said, "By introducing and deploying software and APIs into our network using COTS rather than proprietary products and in-house development, we saw huge savings in integration times. Furthermore, managing thousands of APIs in a communications organization means managing the ‘how, what, why, where and when' of APIs-what they do, how to implement them and, more importantly, why they are there."

Orobec explains that managing a "spider web of hundreds or thousands of APIs across the OSS" can be quite daunting for designers and architects. "It is something I hope to address with the new TM Forum standard called NGOSS Business Services, for which MTOSI is the first stage and foundation of that evolution.

In another implementation, Chunghwa Telecom will demonstrate its use of MTOSI 2.0 in Transmission Network Management Systems at Management World 2009 in Nice, France (a cooperative project with Telcordia).


Huawei Technologies, a specialist in next generation telecommunications network solutions for operators globally, today announced that it has been selected by Avea, one of the largest GSM operators in Turkey, as the solution partner in its efforts to upgrade its current 3G network and to deliver 3G based services in central Anatolia and the Mediterranean regions. It is expected that the third generation GSM technology will be available to Turkish customers this year.

"Huawei is one of the leading global 3G service and solution providers" said Tang Qi Bing, director, Huawei Turkey. "We create groundbreaking 3G products and solutions in our R&D labs all over the world to boost our customers' competitiveness. Our engineers implement 3G infrastructures which gain advantage over the competition and take a considerable share of the market. Our main goal is to offer solutions and technologies to our customers that will help and inspire them to fulfill their greatest potential. We are delighted and honoured to be chosen by Avea, a mobile communication service provider with a proven track record."

"Our contract with Huawei, will include investments in 3G technical systems, 3G management and audit systems, 3G spare part management, 3G training and professional support, in central Anatolia and the Mediterranean regions", said Cüneyt Göktan, CEO, Avea. "Along with the launch of 3G service in Turkey in 2009, Avea will significantly impact the industry with both its well established infrastructure and innovative services and solutions."

TM Forum, the world industry group focused on business effectiveness for the communications and media sectors, today confirmed 23 official nominees for the prestigious TM Forum Excellence Awards. Recognizing global leaders in operational excellence and their innovative contributions to industry, the 2009 awards include two best practice categories: Best Practices: Communications Service Provider and Best Practices: Supplier/System Integrator. This year, for the first time, the winner of the industry supplier award will be decided through an open customer vote.

Competition for the highly respected awards has increased for 2009, with more than 40 companies successfully reaching the judging slate. Following detailed review by independent panel of experts, 13 communications service providers have now been confirmed as official nominees for the Best Practices - Communications Service Provider award. The 13 companies represent a broad spectrum of service providers using TM Forum best practices and standards to reduce operating costs, automate processes and improve business effectiveness, with the telecom, cable, mobile and enterprise sectors represented in the nominee line-up.

Official Nominees for the Best Practices - Supplier or System Integrator category were also confirmed today, recognizing ten industry-leading suppliers for their innovation. For the first time, the winner of the 2009 award will be decided through an open vote by the nominee's potential customers across the Forum's 200-strong service provider member companies.

"This year's nominations illustrate a real change of tactics in the industry," said Nik Willetts, VP Communications, TM Forum. "The current economic climate is forcing companies of all sizes to think outside the box when it comes to transformation. We're seeing more innovation: solutions that deliver real and significant OpEx savings through a model of continuous improvement, rather than major re-engineering effort. TM Forum Frameworks are providing the roadmap that ensures the success of the programs, both now and longer term. In short, it's clear that TM Forum standards have never been more relevant."

The Official Nominees for the TM Forum Excellence Awards 2009 are:

Best Practices - Service Provider:

      AT & T
      Chunghwa Telecom Co.
      Cox Communications
      KT Corporation
      Magyar Telekom Plc.
      Microsoft Corporation
      Slovak Telekom a.s.
      Telecom Argentina S.A.
      Telecom Italia S.p.A.
Best Practices - Supplier/System Integrator:

      cVidya Networks
      HCL Technologies
      Nakina Systems
      NetCracker Technology Corp.
      Progress Software
      Sigma Systems

Six finalists in each category will be announced later this month, with the winner being announced to an audience of more than 2,500 executives from the communications industry at the Forum's flagship Management World 2009 conference on the morning of Wednesday, May 6, 2009.