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Google has been selected by Juniper Research as the top award winner in the Future Mobile Awards - mobile search category.

The Future Mobile Awards are given to companies that have made a significant contribution to their sector and are poised to make considerable market impact in the future.  The gold award recognises Google as being a leading light in the development of the sector.

Dr Windsor Holden, panel judge and Principal Analyst at Juniper Research says, "Through the development of Google Mobile, Google has provided consumers with a user-friendly interface and applications which have successfully translated its appeal in the fixed environment into the mobile space. Furthermore, its release for the iPhone - integrating its multiple services into a single interface - has provided additional enhancements to the user experience."

The awards were granted by a panel of expert judges based on a number of criteria, including: Innovation; Customer retention and growth; Commercial deployment; Ease of use/user interface; Revenue generation; Pricing (for services/products); and Capability/functionality. Gold and Silver awards were conferred for each category - Gold awarded to Google, and Silver to JumpTap - within the mobile search category.

Sara Rowghani, product marketing manager for Google's mobile programmes in Europe, said "We're excited to hear that our mobile search has been recognised by the Future Mobile awards 2008. We're passionate about helping people find the information they need quickly and easily, wherever they are, and mobile search is an important part of that."

Technology from Digital Rapids - a leading developer of solutions for bringing television, video and movie content to the latest generation of viewing devices -  is one of the key enablers of the unprecedented live Internet coverage of the Summer Games currently being enjoyed by U.S. audiences.

 

Over 2200 hours of video will be streamed live on the Internet at NBCOlympics.com, powered by Digital Rapids' encoding and streaming systems. (Please see the March 27 press release "Digital Rapids to Provide Encoding, Transcoding and Streaming Systems for NBC's Online Coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games".) The unprecedented scale of NBC Universal's online coverage created new challenges going far beyond typical streaming scenarios.

 

In the past, the live streaming of major international events typically started with the satellite transmission of a single main feed from the source location to the destination country, where that single feed would be encoded, streamed, and distributed. The content of that feed - the switching between camera angles, viewpoints, and storylines - was controlled at the source. In contrast, for the Summer Games, dozens of simultaneous live event feeds are being encoded in Beijing and streamed to the U.S. for distribution to web audiences. In doing so, NBC Universal is putting the control in the hands of the viewer, letting users watch multiple events concurrently while interactively switching between streams through a rich media experience enabled by the cross-platform Microsoft Silverlight technology.

 

Bringing this number of streams to audiences at high quality all starts with Digital Rapids encoding systems, which transform source video feeds into web-friendly streams. An array of Digital Rapids DRC-Stream encoding solutions is deployed in Beijing, capable of ingesting and encoding over 100 live video sources. Each source is encoded in three combinations of resolution and bit-rate, tripling the amount of encoding to be performed. The high volume of streams to be encoded in a fixed number of systems, combined with the unpredictable and varying visual nature of the content - from fast-moving events with extensive camera motion, to close-ups and wide shots with minimal movement - created numerous encoding challenges. Leveraging the inherent advantages of the DRC-Stream encoding hardware and software alongside custom development working closely with Microsoft, Digital Rapids is leaping these hurdles to enable this breakthrough online video experience.  

 

"NBC Universal's coverage of this year's Summer Games is raising the bar for live event streaming. From the volume of live streams and the massive amount of on-demand content to the quality of the end-user experience - everything about this initiative is changing how content consumers will look at live event coverage from this point forward," said Brick Eksten, President of Digital Rapids Corporation. "Never before have live event viewers had this much control over what they watch and how they watch it, and we're ecstatic to be part of this phenomenal effort. The future of online event coverage is brighter than ever, and we look forward to our next challenge as multi-platform distribution continues to revolutionize viewing experiences."

 

Digital Rapids' DRC-Stream encoding solutions combine powerful hardware for video and audio capture and pre-processing with the intuitive Stream software interface, delivering reliable, high-quality, multi-format media encoding and streaming for professional applications such as high-end Internet TV and IPTV. The advanced, hardware-based video processing features enable superior quality and the most efficient use of bandwidth in the compressed result.

 

Beyond the United States, Digital Rapids solutions are playing key roles in the online coverage of the 2008 Summer Games worldwide, with leading broadcasters in additional countries including China, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand depending on Digital Rapids encoding, transcoding and streaming systems.

Broadcast technology leader Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) will demonstrate the industry's most comprehensive portfolio of RF solutions designed to support the digitisation of television--including mobile TV--at the IBC 2008 exhibition in Amsterdam. Incorporating a suite of new antennas and filtering solutions, RFS's end-to-end solution-set is smaller, lighter, more affordable and higher performing than ever before.

According to Mick Bennett, RFS Global Product Manager for Broadcast and Defence Systems, the company is investing significant resources in R&D, with a large number of new products recently released and many others in development. "The industry is at a pivotal point, with preparations for analogue TV switch-off, further digital deployments and, of course, planning for mobile TV," he said. "RFS's mission is to have solutions available to support all these activities when they eventuate. We're thinking ahead to what will be required and making sure we're addressing all the issues before they actually occur."

The result is the most comprehensive end-to-end broadcast RF solution-set on the market, comprising a full suite of antennas for DTV and mobile TV broadcasting, plus combiners, filters, transmission line, and switch-frames with digital monitoring options. "In addition to launching new products, we've focused on many existing products as well," said Bennett. "Every single building block is enhanced and our panel antennas are unarguably the best-performing on the market."

Central to RFS's IBC exhibit will be a suite of vertically polarised omni-directional mobile TV antennas, specially designed for co-location at mobile base stations. This will include two additions to the range: the fully broadband, lightweight MTV-4, and the CTV series of compact multi-channel antennas.

Weighing in at only 25kg, the 140mm diameter MTV-4 is the smallest antenna of its kind, accommodating input powers of up to 1kW and supporting frequencies from 470 to 806MHz. Complementing this, the four antennas in the 500W CTV series are suitable for multi-channel operation, and together cover the full range of UHF mobile TV frequencies. Both the CTV and MTV-4 antennas are ideal for deployment at mobile TV repeater stations, which will likely be co-located with existing infrastructure such as mobile base stations.

Also launched at IBC will be a series of sophisticated filtering solutions, specially designed to support co-location of mobile TV services at mobile base stations. These include two new low-pass filters--the 2kW LPF8E4 and 5kW LPFS16E4--that attenuate all frequencies above the UHF TV broadcast band up to 4.5GHz, including harmonics. Such filtering will be essential to prevent interference to co-located cellular services.

RFS will also launch a unique two-in-one mobile TV filtering solution that has never-before-seen levels of flexibility. The rack-mountable 6PX80E band-pass filter with integrated low-pass filter provides both DTV transmission mask and low-pass filtering in one unit.

Also on display at IBC will be the company's high-performing broadband UHF panels, further mobile TV antennas, RF combining and digital monitoring solutions, and semi-flexible HELIFLEX coaxial transmission line. To learn more of RFS's extensive digital and mobile broadcast solutions, visit the RFS IBC2008 stand at Hall 8 Stand D29, RAI Convention Centre, Amsterdam, 12-16 September, 2008.

Digital Rapids will be showcasing our complete range of professional solutions for multi-format video ingest, encoding, transcoding, streaming, playout and delivery at IBC2008.

 

Digital Rapids solutions enable content and rights owners to effectively repurpose their content for new platforms, devices and distribution opportunities. Scaling from individual products to complete workflows spanning the critical points the multi-format content chain, Digital Rapids systems continue to set new standards in quality, productivity, flexibility and workflow efficiency. Digital Rapids solutions empower applications including post production, IPTV, VOD, web streaming, mobile video, corporate and government communications, education, archive and more.

 

 

Company Information for Publication:

 

Digital Rapids Corporation Ltd

Passfield Business Centre

Lynchborough Road

Passfield

Hampshire GU30 7SB

UK

Telephone: +44 1428 751012

E-mail: sales.eu@digital-rapids.com

Fax: +44 1428 751013

www.digital-rapids.com

 

 

Featured Solutions: Streaming

 

  • StreamZ Live (new model!) - Live streaming media encoders with exceptional quality and reliability for applications from live IPTV channels to webcasting and mobile video. StreamZ Live offers a choice of encoding formats including H.264/AVC, VC-1/WMV, On2 VP6 for Adobe Flash, MPEG-2, and the newest model, 3GPP/Mobile.

 

  • Digital Rapids Broadcast Manager (new version!) - Enterprise-level management and control application for multiple live streaming encoders. Broadcast Manager simplifies operation with centralized scheduling, monitoring and remote control while bolstering reliability with automated failover and alerts. New features include mosaic-style multi-channel confidence monitoring and router matrix control for enhanced failover flexibility.

 

Digital Rapids IBC2008 Preview - 2

 

 

Featured Solutions: Ingest and Encoding

 

  • StreamZ and StreamZHD (new software version!) - Studio media ingest, encoding, transcoding and streaming with hardware-based pre-processing for optimal quality and simultaneous output to multiple formats including AVC/H.264, VC-1/WMV, Flash, 3GPP, MPEG-4, MPEG-2, QuickTime and more.

 

Featured Solutions: Transcoding

 

  • Digital Rapids Transcode Manager (expanded format support!)  - Automated, distributed media transcoding for high-volume, multi-format content workflows. Scalable from small transcoding farms to enterprise level operations, Transcode Manager provides centralized management, job monitoring and intelligent load balancing, increasing throughput while reducing operational costs.

 

Featured Solutions: Playout

 

  • CarbonHD (new version!) -HD/SD digital disk recorder (DDR) with integrated HD/SD format conversion, plus support for both uncompressed video and hardware-based JPEG2000 compression in lossless and lossy modes. CarbonHD's integrated software features a new streamlined user interface for managing capture, clip trimming, playlisting and playout. 

 

Featured Solutions: Delivery

 

  • Copper C2 (new version!) - Data delivery software transfers media and data files securely and reliably with a significant speed advantage over FTP, and with outstanding resilience to challenging network conditions. A new network mesh topology increases the efficiency of transfers to multiple recipients with multiple simultaneous connections, parallel transfers and simultaneous send/receive.

AdaptiveMobile, a security provider of mobile subscriber protection for enterprises and individuals, has today said that mobile operators need to carefully consider their international mobile broadband strategies.

The advice, says the company, follows the European Union's threat to impose legal measures to make operators cut the amount they charge their mobile broadband customers for roaming on overseas networks, which has made some operators consider banning all customers from downloading data through their mobile broadband service while abroad to avoid getting involved in a high profile legal wrangle.

AdaptiveMobile argues that operators taking a simplistic view to blocking subscribers' mobile broadband usage while abroad run the risk of losing the significant revenues promised by mobile broadband subscribers willing to pay for a high-quality roaming service.

Gareth Maclachlan, COO of AdaptiveMobile, comments: "Whilst operators understandably don't want to be perceived as trying to unfairly glean excess revenues from unwitting subscribers while abroad, taking a ‘one size fits all' approach blocking their usage while abroad will result in them losing very significant revenues, at a time when you would expect them to be looking to maximise their 3G network investments. Even though there is the suggestion that subscribers would be able to lift the block, for a high proportion, this would be too disruptive and operators would never maximise their average revenue per user (ARPU).

"Operators need to take better control of their network assets, so that they can offer a bespoke service to each user on a case-by-case basis. In this way, they can not only control subscribers' mobile broadband usage in the UK and abroad, but also the type of content that is being delivered over their network to the user, in terms of blocking spam and viruses, and in the case of vulnerable users, inappropriate or intimidating messages and imagery. They should also make steps to better protect roaming users from unnecessary data usage, such as application and operating system updates, which can be upto 500Mb in size and in many cases are downloaded without user knowledge.

"In a competitive European market, where operators are increasingly trying to differentiate their service and the many millions of corporate subscribers are becoming increasingly international, operators surely have no choice but to ensure they maximise all mobile broadband revenue opportunities whilst offering subscribers the best possible service."

In its UK Communications Market Report 2008. communications regulator Ofcom has identified a drive in the in the use of mobile broadband in the UK.

According to Ofcom, following the launch of marketing campaigns for mobile broadband devices which enable consumers to access the internet on the move, there has been a surge in take-up with around 2 million adults in the UK saying that they had used a data card, USB modem or dongle to access the internet in March 2008.

The driver of this has been the sale of dongles, says Ofcom - small devices plugged into the USB port of laptops enabling internet access via a mobile network. Between February and June 2008, the number of dongle sales to consumers nearly doubled from 69,000 to 133,000 a month. During this five month period, there were 511,000 new mobile broadband connections in the UK.

Three-quarters of all mobile broadband users say that they access the internet via their dongle while at home and two-thirds of mobile broadband users say that they use both dongles and their landline to connect to the internet.

Ofcom also states that more than one in ten mobile phone users have accessed the internet on their mobile phone with the number of 3G mobile connections growing by 60 per cent in 2007 to reach 12.5 million subscribers - an increase of 4.7 million in 12 months.

Orga Systems, the leading expert in convergent real-time billing solutions, has supplied Si.mobil with its OPSC real-time billing. The Slovenian network was the latest member of mobilkom austria group to port to Orga Systems' real-time billing.

With Orga Systems solutions, Si.mobil can easily fullfill the rising demand for advanced customer oriented campaigns and promotions. The advantages for Si.mobil and mobilkom austria group are on the one hand the next step in unifying the group systems environment and on the other hand the possibility to re-use modules for promotion and loyalty campaigns to lower OPEX.

"Supplying real-time billing, loyalty and promotions management, Orga Systems is a strategic partner of the mobilkom austria for more than 10 years, and an ideal partner for Si.mobil. Taking advantage  of the group wide usage of Orga Systems‘ billing system and loyalty solution, the re-use of campaign modules, programmed for sister companies and vice versa, will enable Si.mobil to launch marketing and loyalty campaigns very fast and efficiently", says Milan Zaletel, Management Board member at Si.mobil.

The new contract builds upon a successful and long-standing relationship between mobilkom austria group and Orga Systems in Europe. mobilkom austria has been using Orga Systems‘ OPSC Billing System since 1997 to handle real-time billing of its B-FREE and prepaid Vodafone live! customers in Austria.

World leaders from the telecommunications industry are to gather in Brussels next month, when the International Engineering Consortium (IEC) brings its Broadband World Forum Europe 2008 conference and exhibition to the city. Backed by official host sponsor Belgacom, the four day flagship event - running from 29 September to 2 October will focus on how developments in telecoms technology are being combined to produce new innovations for business.

"In collaboration with the co-located ICT Symposium, this year's event will combine telecommunications solutions with innovations for enterprise," commented IEC President John Janowiak. "The exhibition and workshops will cover technology, business, strategic and operational issues on topics such as mobility, collaboration, security, and risk management, and address the most promising alternatives for moving forward in the ICT industry."

Themed "Delivering the Promise," the Broadband World Forum Europe 2008 will present key industry leaders at the event including World Forum Chair Scott Alcott, executive vice president of the service delivery engine at Belgacom; and Keynoters Didier Bellens, chief executive officer of Belgacom; Pat Russo, chief executive officer of Alcatel-Lucent; John McMahon, president and managing director of the European department at Sony Pictures Television International; Carl-Henric Svanberg, president and chief executive officer of Ericsson; and Julio Linares Lopez, chief operating officer of Telefonica de España.

The event provides "a great opportunity to see what is happening, what is on the future time path, and great interaction with all of the professionals around the world," declared World Forum Chair Scott Alcott.

Continuing the tradition, this year's InfoVision Awards will honor the most unique and beneficial technologies, applications, products, advances and services in the industry.

Sponsors for the Broadband World Forum Europe 2008 include Official Host Sponsor Belgacom, as well as Nokia Siemens Networks, Alcatel Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, NEC, Thomson, ZTE, Italtel ADVA, Allied Telesis, Astra, AVM, Actelis, ADC, Soapstone Networks, and Cisco.

Paradial has teamed up with Toucan Global to integrate advanced firewall traversal technology into the Snap Communicator. Paradial's technology enables the Snap Communicator to be maximally useful in a corporate environment, facilitating connection to the Internet in a variety of networking situations that might otherwise pose complications for a voice-over Internet protocol system.

"Our customers must be able to focus on their business objectives and keeping end-user satisfaction high," stated Paradial CTO, Espen Skjæran.  "Working with Toucan Global demonstrates how RealTunnel through its support for ICE, STUN, TURN and HTTPS tunneling is a key contributor to optimizing end users' VoIP experiences."

"With Paradial, Toucan Global can increase the availability and usefulness of the Snap Communicator," said Ravin Suri, VP of Technology at Toucan Global.

Digital Rapids - a leading developer of solutions for bringing television, video and film content to the latest generation of viewing devices - will be bringing the excitement and momentum of its worldwide Summer Games involvement to the annual IBC Conference and Exhibition in Amsterdam, with the IBC debuts of new and enhanced products in stand # 7.G41. Digital Rapids systems will also power the encoding of content for the IBC TV News website and mobile delivery

 

Leading up to IBC, Digital Rapids' award-winning encoding and streaming systems are being showcased on the world stage from the United States to China following their selection by NBC Universal and CCTV.com for online coverage of the Summer Games. (Please see the March 27 press release "Digital Rapids to Provide Encoding, Transcoding and Streaming Systems for NBC's Online Coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games" and the August 5 release "Digital Rapids to Power Live Web Streaming of Beijing Olympics for China's CCTV.com".) Major broadcasters in countries including The Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia are also using Digital Rapids systems to power their online Games coverage.

 

"We're thrilled to be able to demonstrate to IBC attendees first-hand the reasons why the world's leading broadcasters have chosen to depend on our systems for coverage of the year's paramount global event," said Clive Vickery, Managing Director of Digital Rapids Europe. "With new products, our nomination for a prestigious IBC Innovation Award, and the use of our systems to encode video for IBC TV News for a fifth consecutive year, IBC promises to be another very exciting show for us."

 

Continuing to set new standards in quality, productivity, flexibility and workflow efficiency, featured Digital Rapids solutions at IBC2008 span the critical points in today's sophisticated media workflows:

 

 

 

Streaming

 

A new 3GPP/Mobile configuration joins the StreamZ LiveTM family of streaming encoders. With additional format options including AVC/H.264, VC-1, On2 VP6 and

MPEG-2, the StreamZ Live product line offers top-quality live streaming supporting distribution channels from IPTV to webcasting and mobile video. The year's second major upgrade to the Digital Rapids Broadcast Manager® live encoder management software also debuts, with new features including control of third-party video routers for enhanced failover and scheduling flexibility, and mosaic-style multi-channel video confidence monitoring.

 

Ingest and Encoding

 

Digital Rapids' award-winning StreamZTM and StreamZHDTM servers continue to raise the bar for multi-format encoding solutions, seamlessly supporting three-screen experiences by offering simultaneous encoding to multiple formats and devices. A new version of the StreamEnterpriseTM software for StreamZ and StreamZHD will be unveiled at IBC, continuing Digital Rapids' tradition of easy upgradeability to support new formats, features and distribution opportunities.

 

Capture and Playout

 

Version 2.0 of the CarbonHD® Digital Disk Recorder makes its first IBC appearance, featuring an intuitive new software interface and enhanced functionality. CarbonHD supports both uncompressed video and JPEG2000 compression, and features integrated HD/SD up, down and cross-conversion.

 

Transcoding

 

The latest version of the Digital Rapids Transcode Manager® distributed media transcoding software will be showcased, featuring expanded format support and a comprehensive Web Services interface for custom integration.  Transcode Manager provides centralized management, failover, and intelligent load balancing for high-volume transcoding workflows.

 

Delivery

 

Streamlining the delivery of media files to multiple distribution points, the Copper C2TM high-speed global data delivery software extends the highly regarded transfer speed, reliability and security of Digital Rapids CopperTM delivery technology to add network mesh topologies, parallel transfers and simultaneous send/receive.

Orga Systems, a leading provider of convergent real-time billing, has announced that it will deliver its prepaid top-up solution Virtual Voucher to Claro Brasil.

With Orga Systems' Virtual Voucher any mobile handset can be used as the vending device to sell prepaid airtime and communication services in real time. It provides the sales person with convenient means for direct recharge of a subscribers' account. The sophisticated sales and distribution system is designed to support a hierarchical network of distributors and retailers, and it provides comprehensive functionality for all aspects of sales and channel management in real time. The solution is based on fast and proven technology.

Compared to recharge systems like scratch cards or POS payment terminals, Virtual Voucher provides ROI usually in less then 6 months  as well as superior operational benefits to launch, monitor and control dedicated prepaid recharge strategies. It is ideally suited to target new and existing customer segments - also in areas facing logistical challenges as well as in highly populated metropolitan areas. Orga Systems' Virtual Voucher won the TMForum Excellence Award 2008 in the category "Most Innovative Application of Customer Care".

BTC Mobile, said to be the fastest developing company in the Bulgarian telecoms market, has implemented Neural Technologies' Minotaur solution to enable it to tackle fraud on its network.

BTC Mobile is part of the larger BTC Group, Bulgaria's main telecommunications provider, and has over a million mobile subscribers.  A fraud review carried out by the operator in 2006 highlighted several areas of concern, the most pressing of which was bypass fraud.  Bypass fraud is the illegal routing of calls in order to avoid paying interconnection fees.  Legitimate operators negotiate interconnection agreements between each other that define the routes and the cost to terminate calls on their network; routing calls in a manner that avoids these agreed interconnection points is bypass fraud.  The advent of Voice over IP (VoIP) has made bypass easier and more common and large telcos are losing significant revenues to VoIP routing.

Based on the review, BTC Mobile entered into a tender process to find an external fraud system to protect its profits and reputation.  Neural Technologies' Minotaur solution came top of the list.  "We selected Minotaur based upon its proven track record and its flexibility in accommodating new fraud trends and service offerings.  We have not been disappointed; to date we are identifying in excess of 80% of bypass fraud on our network and expect to see this figure rise in the near future.  Fraudsters should be aware that BTC Mobile has got tough on fraud and is no longer an easy target!", stated Mihail Radulov, the operator's Fraud & Revenue Assurance Manager.

Luke Taylor, Commercial Director of Neural Technologies (Nt), said, "We are delighted to be working with the fraud management team at BTC Mobile.  Their proactive and professional approach to combating network fraud, coupled with the capability of Minotaur and Nt's dedicated support, is already delivering outstanding results and is set to provide them with an early return on investment".

    

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