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NEC and NetCracker Technology have announced today a joint solution aimed at helping operators streamline their operations and optimize their investments in wireless broadband. This joint solution is said to exemplify the commitment made to the market by the two companies to jointly bring new capabilities that enable service providers to quickly exploit the opportunities offered by the rising demand for wireless broadband. The solution leverages NEC's expertise in the area of Femtocell, WiMAX, and LTE, and NetCracker's next-generation OSS capabilities.

Wireless broadband is the foundation of delivering innovative services such as video streaming, rich media content, and multi-media gaming. With these new opportunities come the challenges of rolling out new infrastructure in the most cost-effective manner, operationalizing it quickly, and managing it optimally. These challenges can only be met when the hardware component of the infrastructure comes well-integrated with the Operations Support Systems (OSS) for service management.

The joint solution is on display this week at the Mobile World Congress.

"Wireless Broadband offers unprecedented opportunities to enter new markets, offer a diversity of services, and meet the bandwidth and quality needs of mobile customers," said Mr. Masanobu Yamaguchi , NEC's Vice President and Executive General Manager

"NEC's cutting-edge Femtocell, WiMAX, and LTE innovations, combined with NetCracker's decade-long experience enabling mobile operators to maximize their return on investment, ensures that wireless broadband can become the foundation for growth for service providers around the world."

Together with the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), Rohde & Schwarz is demonstrating the latest developments for the LTE TDD standard at MWC. 

In the setup at the Rohde & Schwarz booth, an R&S AMU200A baseband signal generator will generate a base station's LTE TDD MIMO signal received by the user equipment (UE) implementation jointly developed by ASTRI and Innofidei. The signal contains an encoded video stream that is decoded by the UE. The R&S AMU200A is already equipped with two signal sources and one internal two-channel fading simulator. In the demonstration, it will include the option for LTE MIMO fading. This will enable the instrument to add 2x2 MIMO realtime fading in order to assess the effects on the receiver. The unique concept of the R&S AMU200A offers in one box all functions that are required to perform measurements on 2x2 MIMO receivers.

The 3GPP Release 8 specifications include both an LTE frequency division duplex (FDD) mode and an LTE time division duplex (TDD) mode. Both are essential for the commercial deployment of LTE. Although the two modes have been technically harmonized, solid test solutions are needed.

In addition to the setup in the demonstration, ASTRI also uses test solutions from Rohde & Schwarz to verify a femto base station implementation for LTE TDD. This involves using two R&S FSQ signal analyzers that assess the RF characteristics of the base station's MIMO signal.

The LTE TDD test solutions for signal generation (options R&S AMU-K55 and R&S SMx K55) and signal analysis (options R&S FSQ-K104 and R&S FSQ-K105) are available from Rohde & Schwarz.

At Mobile World Congress 2009, Amdocs, the provider of customer experience systems, today announced that Telefónica Europe has selected Amdocs ChangingWorlds' technology to launch a new mobile Internet service to four of the mobile operators from Telefónica Europe. Amdocs completed its acquisition of ChangingWorlds in December 2008.

The agreement includes O2 UK and Czech Republic, which have already launched, and O2 Germany and O2 Ireland, which will launch in 2009. The new Mobile Internet service will be made available across the majority of the Telefónica Europe device portfolio. 

The solution was defined by Telefónica Europe in close collaboration with Amdocs ChangingWorlds and offers a new Internet-like portal and a browser bar that provides intuitive navigation support. As users browse the new Mobile Internet service, the browser bar guides and provides links to both on- and off-portal content that matches their content preferences and behavioral profiles. The personalization engine automatically selects new, fresh and relevant content for each user based on learned user content preferences and behavioral patterns. Additionally, the Amdocs ChangingWorlds' device management system optimizes content presentation and screen flows to the specific capabilities of each O2 handset.

"The launch of a personalized Mobile Internet service is an integral part of the Telefónica Europe mobile data strategy designed to optimize user experience, and to ensure Telefónica Europe can offer a convincing Internet experience to mobile users," said Tanya Field, director of the Mobile Data Group of Telefónica S.A. "It allows Telefónica Europe the opportunity to extend key Internet functionality to the mobile environment giving customers the ability to manage a mobile browsing experience for both on- and off-portal activity. Essentially the new Mobile Internet portal delivers a customer user experience for internet customized to the mobile device."

FTS, a global provider of Billing, CRM and Business Control solutions for communication and content service providers, today announced that Foris Telecom has selected FTS' Leap Billing platform for its WiMAX operations worldwide.

Foris Telecom builds and operates next generation wireless broadband networks in multiple markets, providing VoIP telephony, data and video services.  Foris Telecom is building out its WiMAX infrastructure in a number of markets including South East Asia, the CIS, South America, and Africa. Leap Billing will support Foris Telecom's charging, billing and customer management, including invoicing, voucher management, and financial services.

"We selected FTS' Leap Billing for our WiMAX services for its flexibility, ease of configuration, and real-time support of all our transactions," said Haim Maimon, Foris Telecom's Chief Operating Officer. "One of our main objectives is to supply our customers with fast, simple, reliable and affordable services. Leap Billing supports these objectives while improving our business planning and enabling us to offer more and better services," he added. "We are proud to have teamed up with FTS, a key player in the billing and CRM arena."

"This is yet more proof of the wealth of features and benefits offered by our Leap range of solutions," said Gadi Maoz, FTS' Vice President of Sales & Marketing. "Leap Billing will provide Foris Telecom with billing and customer-management capabilities for their operations in multiple markets. This contract is testament to FTS' commitment to join forces with leading providers, and of our constant investment in further developing and innovating our field-proven product line." 

Harris Stratex Networks, a  specialist in backhaul solutions for mobility and broadband networks, today introduced Eclipse Packet Node to address the growing demands for high speed packet transport in next generation mobile backhaul networks.
Eclipse Packet Node builds upon the Eclipse platform to support Native Mixed Mode (TDM plus IP) transmission for smooth and cost-effective migration of backhaul networks. Eclipse Packet Node now adds increased nodal and radio link native packet handling capacity to meet the transport requirements expected for 4G, as well as a host of leading edge innovations that will help Operators overcome challenges in traffic management, backhaul bandwidth limitations and costs, and even timing and synchronisation in an all-IP network environment.

Eclipse Packet Node increases the packet handling capability of the Eclipse nodal design by over 1,000%, thanks to a new ‘Packet Plane' architecture. Eclipse Packet Node supports dramatically increased link throughputs with over 1Gbit/s transported in a single 56 MHz channel and over 140 Mbit/s in a single 7 MHz channel. Operators can make more use of their limited frequency resources than ever before. Innovative coding enhancements have also enabled improved RF path performance, with up to 6dB of additional system gain, resulting in longer paths, smaller antennas, and/or extended availability.

"Eclipse Packet Node represents the most comprehensive convergence solution available on the market today, that will enable our customers to transform their networks to all-IP ," said Paul Kennard, Harris Stratex Networks Chief Technology Officer, "Packet Node provides seamless support for both TDM and all-IP traffic with the same carrier-class performance, protection and network resiliency features, along with the raw IP capacity capability to meet network requirements all the way to LTE and beyond."

Alcatel-Lucent has announced the launch of a multi-industry initiative - the ng Connect Program - that is dedicated to establishing a rich and diverse ecosystem of infrastructure, devices, content and applications for both mobile and fixed broadband networks including 4G, Long Term Evolution (LTE), GPON and other ultra high bandwidth technologies. The ng Connect Program will bring the benefits of a seamless broadband experience to mobile phones, computers, cars, gaming systems and more, enabling consumers to stream more content, run more sophisticated applications on-the-go, and communicate in the most popular formats of today, and tomorrow.

One example of the possible applications resulting from this ecosystem is in the automotive sector - connecting automobiles to new services through tomorrow's broadband networks.  "QNX is excited about what LTE can bring to the next-generation connected vehicle. A reliable high-speed connection transforms the user experience: no more hard drive in the car, no more out-of-date navigation and mapping system, and no more visits to the dealer to update your software," said Dan Dodge, CEO of QNX Software Systems. "The car becomes an Internet terminal, an edge device, providing users with real-time access to the latest applications, data, and content. LTE complements our own vision of enabling cars that dynamically connect to the internet cloud, to consumer devices, and to one another."

The ng Connect Program is committed to bringing together companies, large and small, that are developing cutting edge technologies and services which will reshape the way people communicate, interact online and on-the-go, including augmented reality, mobile games and compelling social networking/entertainment experiences.  By helping bring new applications and services to market more quickly, the ng Connect Program will facilitate an expansion of the revenue base for network operators and others.  To accomplish this, ng Connect Program will promote a variety of pre-integrated solutions featuring the latest innovations in network, device and software technologies.

"As we move into the next phase of the evolution of broadband networks with the advent of ultra high bandwidth systems such as 4G and GPON, it is critical that a broad spectrum of companies - including those from industries that are not normally associated - come together in a strong ecosystem that can effectively innovate, remove business and technical barriers and define new business models to accelerate mass adoption of new services and devices," said Tim Krause, Chief Marketing Officer at Alcatel-Lucent, a founding member of the ng Connect Program. "The establishment of the ng Connect program is an important step in our strategy to create an open ecosystem so that the trusted capabilities of service providers can be combined with the innovation of the web to bring whole new classes of services to market, services that can leverage the growing capabilities of service aware IP networks, IMS and more. The ng Connect Program is dedicated to bringing this ecosystem to life."
The ng Connect Program's initial phase has three goals: accelerating deployment of new services and devices through pre-integration and validation; identifying and promoting new revenue streams through innovative business models; and broadening the wireless broadband device landscape to include consumer electronics products, industrial and consumer equipment for machine-to-machine communications, and automotive connectivity.  The ng Connect Program will showcase the next generation connected user experience through proof-of-concept solutions. 

MobiTV has announced its Media Distribution Platform is now capable of delivering live streaming and on demand video content to the iPhone.

The iPhone will be added to the 350-strong list of mobile devices that are already supported by MobiTV's technology and infrastructure. The user interface of the MobiTV service, which includes immediate session start and fast channel change functions, has been adapted to suit the features of the iPhone, and can be leveraged by service providers and content owners who wish to bring linear television to the iPhone platform.

Bruce Gilpin, Chief Operating Officer, MobiTV said: "Our new live streaming technology will open up an exciting new range of possibilities for delivering engaging media on the iPhone platform."

MobiTV is exhibiting at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Vodafone is trialling new microwave technology that is said to quadruple current backhaul capacity in channelling voice and data traffic away from base stations while enhancing performance and quality of service levels for customers.
Vodafone has carried out a series of trials investigating the potential of Ethernet microwave which is capable of greatly enhancing the performance of existing microwave backhaul technology.
Under current estimates, the upgrade from typical microwave backhaul technology to Ethernet microwave backhaul technology is capable of raising peak capacity from around 32 Mbps to around 180 Mbps using the same frequency range.
The Ethernet-based point-to-point technology is also designed to support IP based traffic from the Radio Access Network by deploying an adaptive modulation technique that increases throughput, decreases latency while improving quality of service levels for customers.
As the performance boost is based on upgrading the cheaper electronics in the cabinet rather than the more expensive microwave dish itself, the move also offers cost efficiencies.
"As Radio Access Networks are upgraded to reflect growing demand for mobile broadband services, it is important to ensure that the backhaul is able to deliver on that potential," said Andy MacLeod, Global Network Director of Vodafone. "The trials show that Microwave Ethernet technology can play a role in maintaining high levels of mobile broadband performance for our customers through adopting a holistic approach to maintaining service levels."
The technology is expected to be commercially available from the end of 2009.
The initiative forms part of Vodafone's Backhaul Evolution Programme designed to boost network efficiency and offer customers unparalleled levels of network performance. As well as replacing leased lines with more cost effective Microwave technology, the programme has seen Vodafone deploy both fibre and DSL to base stations in areas with particularly high demand for capacity.
The move comes as Vodafone continues to upgrade its Radio Access Networks to match growing demand for mobile broadband services, made more popular through the rise in sales of data dongles and attractive bundles offering more value for money.
Vodafone has already deployed hotspots offering peak theoretical speeds of 7.2 Mbps in selected countries across its global networks to ensure that customers are getting the performance they require.
Vodafone recently announced ongoing trials of HSPA+ technology achieving peak data download rates of up to 20 Mbps.

"In a recent report, ABI forecast that by 2013 more than 67% of all handsets shipped will be 3G/3G+ capable. Growing demands for mobile data services and applications are expected to significantly help wireless operators increase average revenue per user (ARPU) and improve subscriber retention. However as the battle to retain and attract new subscribers becomes more fierce, operators are under growing pressure to not only improve the quality and capacity of their 3G networks but to also ensure a good return on investment on network infrastructure.

In mid 2008, In-Stat cited indoor coverage as one of the biggest challenges facing wireless subscribers and warned operators that success of 3G services, and hence revenues will be limited until the in-building coverage issue is properly addressed. The firm pointed towards smaller and less powerful in-building wireless systems in public spaces, such as microcells, as a way to enable carriers to provide better in-door coverage without making huge capital investments.

Reliance on mobile devices as a business tool for corporate and enterprises is rising, and putting more and more pressure on operators to provide ubiquitous coverage for wireless services whether indoors or out. One example of this can be seen through the recent forecast from Gartner that in North America the number of enterprise mobile phones will overtake the number of fixed access lines, and desktop phones by 2011. In bustling city centres, networks are fast reaching breaking point with too many subscribers placing demands at any given time, and users are becoming increasingly frustrated with reduced data rates and loss of signals caused by obstructions by large buildings.  Gartner recommends for enterprises to increase coverage for mobile phones through distributed antenna systems (DAS), repeaters, microcells and wireless LANs.

There are multiple competing technologies designed to address the demand for wireless data and Mobile Broadband, however with so much uncertainly in the market over what technology to support from UMTS to Wi-Fi, or WiMAX etc, how can wireless operators possibly protect new investments in network infrastructure whilst simultaneously addressing end user needs? For example technologies such as femtocells are expected to offer huge potential in this area but are severely limited in that they are only optimised for 3G and are also reliant on subscribers to dig deep into their pockets.

Active distributed antenna systems (DAS) are forecast to have the most significant impact on in-building wireless.  In the current uncertain economic climate, operators are far better off focussing on improving in-building coverage by investing in service-independent active DAS to help future proof their investments in new infrastructure and ensure increased coverage and capacity of their networks for today with 2G and 3G, and for tomorrow with 4G and LTE and beyond.

Active wideband DAS is the only solution on the market today capable of providing simultaneous distribution inside buildings for any number or combination of wireless services, independent of frequency, technology, or protocol. Users can therefore be guaranteed improved indoor coverage (whether in public or work spaces), and have the ubiquity and continuity of service connectivity that they desire, whatever wireless technology is used to provide them with it."

Volubill, a leading supplier of real-time charging and control applications for mobile data and content services, has reported another year of stellar revenue growth. The company's CHARGE-ITTM family of products have proven to be instrumental in helping service providers, especially those within emerging markets, charge for data services and manage bandwidth across fixed and mobile broadband networks-and ultimately increase revenue and advanced service options.

Volubill's revenues grew by 84% in 2008, with Q4 (October through December) representing the best in the company's history. Volubill was recognized as one of the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 in EMEA having now achieved over 500% percent revenue growth over the past three years. In 2008, the company's growth was realized through significant repeat business with existing customers as well as major wins with new customers, including DIGICEL in Honduras and Panama, Excelcomindo in Indonesia, Globacom in Ghana and Zain group in the Middle East. Volubill's CHARGE-IT solutions are now being used within 15 ORANGE markets worldwide.

This year, Volubill has provided its solutions to more than 250 million subscribers through its five largest mobile operator customers. The company predicts that these five accounts will experience 200 to 500% growth in data volumes over the next 12 months.

"Due in large part to the capabilities, power and relevance of our solutions to the mobile data revolution, Volubill has made significant strides within the competitive telecom marketplace during uncertain economic times," said John Aalbers, Chief Executive Officer, Volubill. "We provide solutions that are seen as "must have" by operators as they directly lead to increased revenues and reduced costs. In 2009 we expect to continue delivering rapid value to our customers. Our unique Usage Policy Management solution enables operators to defer costly network upgrades, which is a major issue for mobile operators today as they struggle to keep up with the demand for bandwidth."

Volubill is exhibiting at Mobile World Congress in Hall 1 Stand 181B.

Comarch, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, has announced the newest versions Comarch Interconnect Billing and Comarch Wholesale Billing with IPX billing modules - the solutions for modern providers of telecommunication services that conduct settlements according to GSMA recommendations for network and IPX services.

Functionalities that are included in the new Comarch solutions include, among others, the full support of inter-operator settlements required for IPX as well as short implementation time of bilateral and multilateral agreements. These solutions, containing the IPX billing module, are dedicated for all providers of telecommunications services, including wholesale departments, as well as HUBs integrating the IP and traditional telecommunication worlds. The IP services market is a new and essential source of revenue for providers of telecommunication services. Comarch's tools are designed to assist the development of new and existing leaders in this market.

"Taking under consideration the development of IP technology, we decided to pre-configure and support the agreements resulting from IPX services in our 2 solutions: Comarch Interconnect Billing and Comarch Wholesale Billing. These handle Cascade Billing settlements in the "bilateral", "bilateral service hub" and "multilateral" modes, management of complex settlement agreements, based on SLA agreements yet also paying attention to various QoS's (Quality of Services) and the creation of new business scenarios for providers of telecommunication services and partners," explains Piotr Machnik, Business Development Center Director, Comarch SA.

From the point of view of telecommunication service providers, IPX is a service delivered to another provider or bought from them. It is also the network infrastructure which forms the basis for the delivery of the services. IPX solves many problems such as availability for Mobile, Fixed, Carriers and ISP Providers as well as the delivery of services according to the set QoS level. On the business level, it helps in the execution of different types of agreements based on "bilateral", "bilateral service hub" and "multilateral" Cascade Billing.

Comarch and T-Systems announced today they have agreed to begin cooperation in order to market a common integrated suite of OSS products. Comarch will incorporate PegaPlan, a T-Systems planning solution, into its OSS Suite. The product resulting from this cooperation will offer clients a closed loop, full-blown OSS environment of deluxe functionalities.

The combined solution will fully support mobile operator operations in planning access and backbone networks. The present OSS functionalities of Comarch OSS Suite will be enriched by the following functions: new equipment planning based on geographical and coverage maps, building and bringing new sites into the operation, planning radio parameters (NE components, neighboring, handovers) and frequency planning for RAN including the latest LTE technologies as well as the planning of new backbone capacity.

"By cooperating with Comarch we will continue and extend the success story of PegaPlan. The integration of PegaPlan with a world class solution like the Comarch OSS Suite will create additional value for our customers," said Mr Ulrich Kriszun, Vice-President of Export Sales of T-Systems.

The newly enriched Comarch OSS Suite is bound to be a powerful tool for increasing the market position of its users through improved resource planning and usage. As one of the first on the market, our solution will fully support change management processes through the planning, execution and reconciliation of network changes. The solution improves operations by improving the management of network resources and maintaining up-to-date information about the network throughout the entire planning and fulfillment process. This integration allows operators to close the gap between planning and operational processes which helps close the loop, and shorten the flow from planning, through execution, monitoring, optimization, and back to planning.

"By integrating T-Systems' successful PegaPlan with the Comarch OSS Suite, we can extend our current product portfolio and reach, targeting new regions and operators, building on the established and trusted reputation of both our companies' products. We are delighted to enter into this cooperation with T-Systems to offer operators the greatest flexibility of solution design" explains Mr. Piotr Piatosa, Vice-President of the Telecommunications Business Unit, Comarch SA.