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Actix, a specialist in radio network status management and optimization, has announced that it has signed a major contract to provide centralized Self-Organizing Network (SON) technology for next generation LTE mobile networks to NEC Corporation (NEC), a global vendor of LTE systems. The agreement covers the delivery of an operational centralized SON solution for global operators deploying NEC LTE networks.

Centralized SON (C-SON) functionality is part of the 3GPP standard for 4th Generation mobile networks and enables the planning, rollout and operation of networks at greatly reduced operational cost whilst also improving customer network experience. The joint Actix/NEC solution will provide a full suite of SON use cases to support LTE self-planning, self-optimization, and self-healing of the LTE radio access network.

Actix' contract to provide C-SON systems to NEC is a multi-year commitment, and is said to be the largest contract placed to date in the LTE SON space.

"Actix SON fits perfectly into our vision of an efficient LTE system and this agreement will help us drive the deployment of many new LTE networks," said Kazuya Hashimoto, General Manager, Mobile Radio Access Division for NEC Corporation. "With a remarkable history as leaders in RAN engineering and optimization, advanced expertise in LTE technologies and considerable investment in building SON systems to date, Actix is uniquely positioned to provide C-SON capabilities very rapidly."

NEC has selected Actix to help plan, deploy and manage 4G networks using centralized SON systems in accordance with the recently defined 3GPP and NGMN SON recommendations. The combined NEC / Actix solution will address challenges such as wide area performance optimization, reactions to network disruption and energy saving.

"Self-optimizing networks are central to  Actix' long term vision of allowing operators to maximize customer experience at reduced operational cost, and many of the capabilities we have built and acquired have been targeted at creating an exceptional SON system," said Bill McHale, Actix CEO. "SON is essential to efficiently manage LTE networks and it's exciting to see our long term investment in the right capabilities come to fruition through this partnership with NEC. Actix is leading the SON market and by partnering with companies such as NEC we are enabling operators globally to benefit from centralized SON systems for LTE."

"NEC is one of the largest technology and systems integration companies worldwide, always at the forefront of innovative technologies and advancements in the RAN and it is great to see such a long term, high value commitment to centralized SON solutions as part of its LTE offering. NEC is seeking to drive the deployment of LTE-based next generation mobile networks and everyone at Actix is delighted to be a key part of that movement," McHale continued.

Based on the ActixOne RAN status management platform, the solution will be deployed in Tier 1 LTE networks from early 2010.

With its C-SON solution, Actix says NEC is able to deliver a full end-to-end self-optimizing solution for LTE and accelerate the rollout of new, low operating cost mobile broadband networks, systems and services for mobile operators.

AboveNet Communications UK, a provider of ultra-low latency, high-bandwidth fibre optic connectivity solutions, has extended its dedicated fibre network to Sentrum's major new 200,000 square foot Sentrum IV data centre facility in Woking, Surrey.

With the connection to Sentrum, AboveNet now connects to more than 30 data centres across the London area, with connections ranging from Canary Wharf, Basildon and Docklands in the East, through the City and West End, further out to Slough and Heathrow in the West, and now Sentrum's facility in Woking.

"At Sentrum we pride ourselves on providing our clients with the optimum environment for their voice and data connectivity, and are committed to giving customers the freedom to choose the communications and networking providers that best meet their business needs," commented Andy Ruhan, Sentrum's CEO.

"At AboveNet we're committed to ensuring that our fibre network provides organisations with the fastest, low latency direct routes between all their key locations. That routing increasingly includes data centres such as Sentrum that are proving so attractive for businesses looking to balance their key space, resilience and connectivity requirements,"added John Donaldson, managing director at AboveNet UK. "Connecting with Sentrum is part of an ongoing investment in the AboveNet network, and provides a valuable connectivity offering for organisations choosing to locate in Sentrum's impressive new Woking data centre facility."

"With this connection, AboveNet again confirms its determination to extend the scope and connectivity of our London metro network. We're looking forward to expanding our data centre activities as we accelerate into our second decade of providing high speed fibre to organisations across the London region," Donaldson added.

Sentrum's new Woking data centre provides organisations with customised solutions in terms of space, resilience and connectivity. Power configurations and levels of resilience (Tier III +) are also delivered to each customer's precise specifications. Sentrum provides clients with the optimum environment for voice and data connectivity. All sites are chosen for their proximity to major telecommunication and data networks and feature a growing number of peering points.

Albis Technologies, a technology company engaged in the development and marketing of innovative electronic systems, today announced the European launch of its ‘ACCEED Ethernet First Mile (EFM)' for Carrier grade high-speed Ethernet services. The new service, aimed at network operators, delivers fibre-optic speeds over existing copper wires, enabling operators to improve their infrastructure and enhance their performance.

Main ACCEED product advantages include:
- carrier-grade Ethernet services with guaranteed bandwidth and availability
- bonding of up to 16 copper-wire pairs for high bandwidths and long ranges with up to 8 repeater stages
- flexible "any port / any card" bonding
- scalable "pay as you grow" architecture
- network synchronization by means of Network Timing Reference (NTR), Synchronous  Ethernet (SyncE) or Precision Time Protocol  (IEEE 1588V2)
- standard Ethernet link- and service-OAM exceed the recommendations of the Metro Ethernet    Forum (MEF)
- reliable backhaul of mobile base stations, DSLAMs and PWLAN / WiMAX
- flexible campus applications

ULAF+, the standard for innovative network operators
Network operators place their confidence in ULAF+ systems by Albis Technologies for SHDSL and optical transmission solutions. The modular concept ensures high flexibility, scalability and migration capability. Through ULAF+ network operators expand their service offering and boost their return on investment. All of which are reasons why ULAF+ has become the standard for network operators.

Patrik Schönenberger, VP Business Access, Albis Technologies, commented: "Infrastructure and network optimization are a key to ensuring maximum ROI for network operators. Enabling fiber-optic performance over the existing copper network is one way in which network operators can quickly and efficiently add-value to their offering at a relatively low cost."

Huawei and Qualcomm have announced the completion of one of the industry's first interoperability tests on dual carrier HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access Plus) technology. The test, which reached a peak downlink data rate of 42Mb/s, said to be the fastest downlink rate experienced by 3G end-users, demonstrates that dual-carrier HSPA+ technology is ready for commercial deployment, say the pair.

Huawei's latest HSPA+ solution and Qualcomm's Mobile Data Modem (MDM) MDM8220 chipsets were used in the interoperability test. Implemented with dual cell technology, Huawei's HSPA+ solution can transmit data via two or more carriers, resulting in the downlink data rate of 42Mb/s, which is claimed to improve an operator's spectrum resources, enhances spectral efficiency and provides capacity gains of up to 20%.

"Qualcomm is pleased to be working with Huawei to bring dual-carrier HSPA+ technologies to market," said Alex Katouzian, vice president of product management, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. "We remain committed to WCDMA modem leadership and the seamless and cost-effective commercialization of next-generation technologies around the world."

Wan Biao, President of Wireless, Huawei, said, "Achieving higher speeds is a constant pursuit for customers and their subscribers. As a customer-centric company, Huawei is dedicated to developing innovative technology and cost-effective solutions and services. In cooperation with Qualcomm, we are able to deliver the latest in commercially available mobile broadband technology and user devices."

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Following the conclusion of the event the team behind European Communications and Mobile Europe will be producing a 12 page digital magazine. This publication will be a roundup of the major news, views and happenings which shaped this key industry event. If you were there or if you weren't, this digital magazine will be an invaluable resource to keep up to date with what happened in Barcelona. Exclusive branding opportunities are available for a sponsoring partner who wishes to profile themselves as a key player in the industry.

Price for the exclusive sponsorship of the digital magazine - £5000

Mobile World Congress 2010 Review, Webinar Sponsorship
Following the conclusion of the event, the editor of Mobile Europe will be hosting a webinar with key industry personnel to round up the news, views and opinions on this key industry event. If you were there or if you weren't, this webinar will be an invaluable resource to keep up to date with what happened in Barcelona. If your organisation services the telecoms industry then sponsoring this webinar is an ideal opportunity to profile your company at the heart of the profession.

Price for the exclusive sponsorship of the webinar - £7000

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HSL has announced it will be giving away a free femtocell, for use with 2G and 3G mobiles, to each mobile network operator visiting HSL's stand at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona 15-18 February 2010. In conjunction with the promotion, the HSL FemtoNet service will also be made available by HSL so that operators receiving a free femtocell can experience the capabilities of the HSL 2.75G Femtocell.

The promotion, says HSL, is part of an overall strategy to deliver femtocells to subscribers who suffer from inadequate mobile coverage. By giving mobile network operators the opportunity to evaluate the HSL 2.75G Femtocell through the promotion, mobile subscribers are a significant step closer to being able to benefit from HSL's femtocell in their homes and offices, says HSL.

The FemtoNet service allows an operator to outsource the operation of their own femtocell network using any of three different outsourcing models. HSL FemtoNet supports the use of IP or TDM links to connect with an operator's MSCs and SGSNs for circuit switched and packet switched services respectively. For this promotion HSL are making available their own MSC with FemtoNet to demonstrate the capabilities of the HSL 2.75G Femtocell.

According to HSL, unlike all users of existing 3G femtocells, users of the HSL 2.75G Femtocell are not restricted to requiring 3G mobile handsets. The HSL 2.75G Femtocell provides voice, messaging and data service to subscribers using any current 2G and 3G mobile handset that supports such services. Where the HSL 2.75G Femtocell also differs from existing 3G femtocells is that it does not provide 3G data but instead provides fast EDGE data that when coupled with existing home or office WiFi provides a superior wireless data service, says HSL.

Keymile,  manufacturer of Next-Generation data transmission systems, has added a Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) solution to its multi-service access platform MileGate. MileGate 2011 enables subscribers in multi-tenant buildings to be connected up to the fibre optic network. Network operators can supply a wide range of services with one single optical fibre that extends into the basement of a building. MileGate 2011 provides eight VDSL2 interfaces to connect subscribers at very high bandwidth to the Internet over existing in-house telephone cables. The MileGate 2011 FTTB solution can be used as a standalone system, or together with other components from the MileGate platform.

VDSL2 transmission allows network operators to deliver TriplePlay services, such as broadband Internet, VoIP, Video-on-Demand and TV over the Internet (IPTV). MileGate 2011 has multicast capabilities, making IPTV a viable option. Each of the VDSL2 interfaces offers a data rate of 100 Mbps and transmits several IPTV channels simultaneously in HDTV quality.

With its compact housing, MileGate 2011 is designed for installation in the building and requires no extra ventilation. MileGate 2011 is operable directly from the building's power supply network.

An optional feature in MileGate 2011 is an integrated media converter for analogue and digital cable TV (CATV). The converter allows network operators to deliver traditional CATV and broadband data transmission simultaneously to multi-tenant buildings via one single optical fibre. The combination of CATV and IPTV means more flexibility in the TV offering. MileGate 2011 uses the existing infrastructure to distribute the services. The CATV signal is transformed into an electric signal and passed on to each apartment through the existing coaxial cables. The voice and Ethernet signals are transmitted to the telephone cables.

MileGate 2011 has two SFP-based Gigabit uplinks for connection to the optical fibre network. Two more electric 100/1000BaseT connections can be used to cascade more MileGate 2011s in order to connect a further eight subscribers via a optical fibre. Network operators can obtain maximum protection from failures if they operate MileGate 2011 in a ring structure.

COO Björn Claassen commented: "MileGate 2011 allows us to fill the current gap in the portfolio between our new cards with high port density for FTTC and FTTH applications. By launching the FTTB solution MileGate 2011, Keymile can now offer a comprehensive one-stop solution for all types of optical fibre connection using one single access platform."

Keymile's new FTTB solution MileGate 2011 will be available from March onwards.

NTT Europe, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NTT Communications (NTT Com) overseeing operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa, has announced that it has extended its Global IP Transit Service into Spain, terminating its Global Tier 1 IP Backbone in Interxion's Madrid data centre. Interxion is a European operator of carrier-neutral data centres, and the new service went live on 1st December 2009.

NTT now provides a seamless service from a single, AS-based worldwide network. Direct connection to major ISPs in many countries makes Internet access faster and minimises distance delays. In addition to IPv4, the company operates the world's largest IPv6 backbone, spanning Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. Its network runs IPv4 and IPv6 in dual-stack mode end to end. Services include a high-quality hosting service that guarantees high availability and security from the Tier 1 Internet Backbone (NTT Communications Global IP Network). All services are multi-language, from design to operation.

The extension of the service into Spain has been made possible through close collaboration with Interxion, the pan-European colocation service provider. Interxion has a long and successful track record of delivering a full range of data centre, colocation and managed services solutions and is recognised as the provider with the largest reach across Europe. Today Interxion operates 26 data centres with over 55,000 m2 of equipped space, covering 13 cities in 11 countries. Interxion serves more than 1,200 customers, including enterprises, content providers, mobile service providers and hosting and telecommunications companies.

Interxion's Madrid data centre provides over 4,000 m2 of equipped space, with minimum N+1 power and cooling and 2N UPS, as well as the most advanced security, alarm and monitoring systems. The data centre provides unrivalled IP transit access to over 30 carrier and ISP connectivity providers, as well as access to ESPanix, Spain's leading Internet exchange. In addition, the Interxion facility provides NTT with direct in-house access to a highly interactive community of Interxion customers ranging from leading enterprises to content, gaming and application hosting providers.

This latest expansion is claimed to demonstrate NTT Europe's ability to deliver high-quality network services around the globe. Customers can now benefit from the firm's seamless, SLA-based IP Transit Service when looking to develop their enterprise connections in Spain. "NTTCom are very pleased to announce their presence in Interxion Madrid," said Clive Hamilton, NTT Communications, Head of Global IP - EMEA Region. "We feel that with the valuable support of Interxion, we will be able to offer their wide range of customers access to NTTCom's award-winning Global Tier 1 IP Backbone."

"We're very pleased to provide NTT access to the richest carrier network community in a single data centre in Madrid", commented Robert Assink, Managing Director of Interxion Spain. "The services of NTT's Global Tier 1 IP Backbone are a welcome complement to the connectivity offering for our mutual customers."

iBAHN, the specialist in digital entertainment and internet solutions for the hospitality and meeting industries, has signed a deal with Hotel ADA Palace in Madrid, part of Corporación Hispano Hotelera (CHH), to deliver in-room digital entertainment and internet connectivity services.

The installation, which has just been completed, provides all 80 rooms of the Spanish hotel with iBAHN's high definition digital entertainment solution, ETVi HD, along with fixed and wireless High Speed Internet Access (HSIA). Hotel ADA Palace will be the first hotel in the CHH chain to appoint a single provider for its HSIA and TV services, making it a point of reference for Spanish hotel technology.

The iBAHN ETVi HD package enables the hotel to integrate guest services with entertainment packages in its rooms, helping to improve communication channels with its guests. The deal will also offer the potential for bundling HSIA for laptops with TV video-on-demand (VOD) services, for a single 24-hour usage price.

Guests who need access to their corporate networks as well as those accessing the internet for pleasure will also find the highest standards of data security through iBAHN's Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) offering, which eliminates the possibility of data theft.

Manuel Enriquez Sanz, finance director for CHH, comments: "We selected iBAHN as a result of our previous positive experience of working with them and because of iBAHN's unique ability to offer both HSIA and fully digital TV in-room services. We hope that the installation will make us a shining example for hotel technology within the Spanish market. The deal that iBAHN was able to offer CHH was also particularly attractive."

Graeme Powell, Managing Director EMEA, iBAHN, adds: "Our relationship with the CHH hotel chain extends over five years, and we are delighted to be adding Hotel ADA Palace to our portfolio. iBAHN's product vision for in-room hotel technology is constantly evolving to ensure our digital entertainment offering is not only the most advanced on the market, but also developed to answer guests' requirements."

Easytalk, an alternative Spanish service provider, has selected the DIGITALK Multiservice Platform to launch new IP products across its European markets in early 2010.

Easytalk have already migrated their existing prepaid services to the DIGITALK SIP Application Server to gain immediate inherent improved operation efficiencies and cost savings. The group offers its customers high quality telephony services at competitive prices for both fixed and mobile markets, including calling cards, call shops, premium numbers, and also offers wholesale switch partitions to small distributors that want to develop their own business with greater flexibility and control. Easytalk plans to introduce a home residential service in early 2010 to expand customer reach with a wider service portfolio.

The crux of Easytalk's decision to invest in platform technology derived from the advanced management and billing features of the DIGITALK Multiservice Platform that provides the control and performance needed to offer the right services quickly and to manage customer payments.

Jose Luis García-Nalda, Associate Director of Easytalk commented: "In our opinion DIGITALK is one of the best companies offering top telephony technology in the prepaid telecom business. We have been working before with other providers but none of them gave us the flexibility and potential we need to be successful in this competitive ethnic market."

"The DIGITALK support team and management vision was key to Easytalk's decision. We are very happy to work with companies that are always one step forward. We are confident we will be able to fully exploit DIGITALK potential to become a one of the top players in our market. "

ip.access, a developer of 2G and 3G in-building wireless solutions, today announced that it has 'significantly enhanced' the capabilities of the nanoGSM product range with a new system release 4.1 that supports "plug and play" customer self installation and a range of other features said to extend the performance and capabilities of the system.

By enabling enterprise customers to directly install the nanoGSM BTS on their own premises, mobile operators can save up to half the total cost of a picocell deployment. This in turn expands the range of sites and businesses where nanoGSM can be deployed economically.

To support "plug and play" installation, the nanoGSM system includes automated BTS pre-configuration prior to delivery to the customer, and templated site creation within the BSC. Once the customer has installed the picocell, it connects automatically with the chosen BSC and can then either come directly into service, or send a notification to the network management system for the site to be finalized with automated handover configuration.

The new System Release 4.1 expands and extends the features and performance of the ip.access nanoGSM picocell which, with live deployments in more than 50 operator networks worldwide, is the most popular picocell in the world. Enhancements include a new capability to hand over a call directly from a nanoGSM BTS to the operator's 3G network for better network capacity management, and a fully dynamic AMR capability which enables much greater call density per BTS, thereby improving the efficiency and payback of the whole system.

Commenting on the release, ip.access CEO Stephen Mallinson said, "ip.access continues to innovate and expand the capabilities of our nanoGSM system by improving the value it delivers for our many mobile operator customers. It's a misconception that picocells are hard to deploy; in fact installing picocells is easy.  Our plug'n'play capabilities make it possible for the installation to be carried out by the end-customer, saving substantial costs."

ip.access will be showcasing the nanoGSM "plug and play" capability, alongside its other 3G picocell and femtocell solutions at Mobile World Congress.

Marking the third anniversary of the merger between the Microwave Communications Division of Harris Corporation and Stratex Networks, Inc., Harris Stratex Networks announced today that it has changed its name to Aviat Networks. 

The new brand is said to represent a culmination of the Company's transformation over the last three years from that of a specialized microwave backhaul equipment supplier into a provider of advanced IP wireless network solutions, with a comprehensive portfolio of migration solutions and lifecycle services.  Today, Aviat Networks says it is ideally positioned to help operators successfully evolve their existing networks toward an all-IP broadband future, expand into untapped rural and remote markets, and capitalize on the explosive growth of mobile data traffic around the globe.

"Today's unveiling of Aviat Networks marks a significant milestone in the evolution of our Company.  The Aviat brand embodies our commitment to quality and innovative products, highly individualized services, operational excellence and industry leadership," said Harald Braun, president and CEO of Aviat Networks. "In markets around the world, advancements in wireless network capacity have often been constrained because carriers are grappling with operational network limitations and cost-related challenges that historically haven't been sufficiently addressed by telecom equipment vendors.  Instead of ‘handshake' assurances that do little to mitigate the perceived risk of IP migration, operators need practical and innovative solutions that help them bridge seamlessly from the legacy network of today to the network that will fuel their success in the future."