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Qtel manages growing subscriber base with Apertio One

Apertio has announced that Qtel is using the Apertio One-HLR (Home Location Register) to manage record subscriber growth. Qtel, with subscribers on pre and post paid, 2G, 3G and new generation, is utilising a single Apertio One-HLR for all its network and subscriber data.  Providing an instantly scalable solution, Apertio One-HLR enables Qtel to continue to offer a premier service across its diverse customer base.

Through Apertio's distributed architecture, enabling real-time replication across geographically disparate sites, business continuity and network integrity is assured, which is critical in a time of growth.

A growing customer base is only part of the story as Qtel subscribers create three to four times the amount of network traffic of their European counterparts.  Effectively managing this increased traffic and guaranteeing network performance is made possible through Apertio One-HLR's highly scalable, multi-dimensional platform.

"With Apertio we are able to rapidly and cost effectively scale to meet subscriber and traffic growth," said Fahad bin Jassim Al Thani, executive director, wireless at Qtel.  "Apertio One-HLRs centralised directory, based on open, IT standards-based software, allows us to instantly access subscriber data and places us in full control of new service deployment."

Qtel also benefits from reductions in OPEX and CAPEX as Apertio's unique software based applications require little capital expenditure and only minimal support levels, allowing Qtel to focus resources into new service generation and its new generation infrastructure.
 
"There is growing industry recognition that conventional core network infrastructures based on proprietary hardware is costly, inefficient, and more importantly inhibits growth and expansion," said Andrew Wyatt, Chief Product Operations Officer at Apertio. "Qtel recognised that in order to continually enhance and expand its services, a software-based approach to core networks was the only way it could do so in a cost-effective manner. This also lays the foundations for full IP-based services."
 
Apertio One-HLR is a module of the Apertio One portfolio of software-based core network products, built on open industry standards, transforming traditional networks by enabling communications service providers to place the subscriber at the heart of their businesses.

Nokia to set up a new mobile device factory in Romania

Nokia has today announced that it will set up a manufacturing facility for mobile devices in the county of Cluj in Romania. Nokia anticipates investing an estimated EUR 60 million in the Cluj plant, which will be the company's 11th mobile device production facility globally.

The decision to establish a new factory in Romania is a reflection of Nokia's strong volume growth globally, as well as the increasing demand for mobile devices in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Nokia selected Cluj as the location for the plant because of the county's availability of skilled labour, its good inbound and outbound logistics connections, its overall efficiency, and the long industrial tradition in the area.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed today in Romania's capital, Bucharest. At the signing, Raimo Puntala, Senior Vice President for Nokia's Operations and Logistics, said: 'As the global market leader for mobile devices, Nokia is committed to ensuring good product availability and smooth deliveries to important markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.'

Nokia's new facility in Cluj is located about 400 kilometers north-west of Bucharest. The construction work at Cluj will start in spring 2007 and production is expected to begin in the first half of 2008. Nokia foresees ramping up the factory gradually and will recruit approximately 500 employees there by the end of 2007. As part of the plans, Nokia is looking to establish an industrial village in the area, enabling a number of key suppliers and partners to locate their operations there.

Thomson's DVB-H Mobile TV solutions pass trials with Orange Spain

Orange Spain pilots Thomson’s head end equipment and Mobile TV service platforms with Viaccess content security

Thomson has announced that Orange Spain has completed successful technical trials using Thomson’s mobile TV solutions in conjunction with Viaccess solution for secured content protection, Purple-TV.  The tests, which were started in December 2006, used a range of Thomson’s solutions for mobile delivery, including the SmartVision service platform and Grass Valley Opal IP encapsulators, Argos Mobile encoders and Lazulite management systems.

Serge Mal, General Manager of Thomson’s Network Intelligence Solutions commented “Being part of one of the first ever successful trials using this simulcrypt technology clearly illustrates the compatibility of all Thomson’s solutions for video services delivery. We are looking forward to future collaborations with both Viaccess and Orange Spain.”

“Simulcrypt technology is a breakthrough development in video content protection and this is one of the first ever trials.” Added José Manuel Ortiz,  Technology Innovation Director of Orange Spain. “With the completion of positive successful technical tests using Thomson’s DVB-H solutions with Viaccess content security we are looking forward to the next phase of trials in the user environment.” 

“Viaccess’ Purple-TV solution allows conditional access to digital Pay-TV content for operators and device manufacturers ” explained Mathias Hautefort, Viaccess CEO. “Thomson and Viaccess are already powering France Telecom’s IPTV services globally and this project in Spain was the ideal opportunity for us to put the interoperability of Thomson’s mobile TV solutions to the test. As Viaccess is reinforcing its presence in the mobile market and strengthening its leadership in Mobile TV security, this successful cooperation will enable us to pursue numerous further opportunities in Europe and elsewhere”.

Telesur Suriname selects Comverse Real-Time Billing and SMS Solutions to support rapid subscriber growth and uptake of advanced services

Comverse, a leading supplier of software and systems enabling network-based multimedia enhanced communication and billing services, has announced that Telesur has selected Comverse’s Real-Time Billing Solution (RTBS) and Short Message Service Center (SMSC) to replace legacy competitor systems in its GSM network in Suriname.

“We selected Comverse solutions because of their flexible open architecture, rich roadmaps and opportunity for operational efficiency,” said Frans Eersteling, Product Manager of Mobile services, Telesur. “We have rapid market growth and need to be able to quickly and reliably launch new services. Comverse solutions answer our business needs and the local usage habits of our diverse marketplace including support for multiple languages.”

Comverse's Real-Time Billing Solution provides real-time authorization, rating, charging and control of voice calls, data services and m-payment transactions, and supports rapid subscriber growth. Marketing functionalities, such as real-time promotions, usage awards and discounts help operators drive revenues, while features such as real-time credit limits minimize risk. By bundling Comverse’s high-capacity Short Message Service Center with its advanced Real-Time Billing Solution, operators can improve network efficiency and speed time-to-market of popular new SMS services, such as news flash services and SMS voting.

Wi-Next powers Europe's widest municipal mesh network

Wi-Next technology provides broadband access to 21 remote Italian villages

Wi-Next, an open-source Wi-Fi company, is to provide broadband access to the Italian region of Alta Langa for the first time as part of Europe’s largest ever wide-area Wi-Fi mesh project.

Alta Langa is a mountainous area in North Western Italy that encompasses 21 small villages and a population of over 8,000 spread across a wide-area (218,740 km sq). Due to the economic and geographical constraints of delivering ADSL in the region, the new network marks the first time the region has been able to bridge the “digital divide” by offering wireless broadband access and enabling greater communications between the public administration and its citizens.

The project - which began two years ago - uses Wi-Next’s NAAW system, an open-source Wi-Fi mesh technology developed in conjunction with the Automatics and Informatics Department of the Politecnico University in Turin. It completely replaces the need for wireline broadband systems such as ADSL by creating an organic mesh network that every network client to operate as a network node and communicate with each other, allowing the network to be extended quickly and efficiently.  Unlike traditional Wi-Fi networks, which use a centralised model with a single access point, NAAW uses a “many-to-many” model that continually reconfigures itself and maintains the network even as nodes are added or removed. 

“We have solved the problem of the ‘digital divide’ by offering the access to the internet ‘always and everywhere’, just like in a big city,” says Michele Ferraudo, the designer of the installation. “The gap is not only digital, but also cultural. We have developed a real wireless network that allows people to connect to each other, makes communications possible between the Public Administration and its citizens thanks to encrypted VPN, and has the potential to offer many new innovative services as well.”

The project was developed in conjunction with the Union of Mountain Communities (UNCEM) and BBBELL, a local operator from Turin responsible for delivering the high-speed radio connectivity for the different villages in the region.

The new NAAW-based network provides the platform for a range of new services that can be rolled out over the coming months thanks to close co-operation between the public (Alta Langa, UNCEM) and private (Wi-Next, BBBELL) stakeholders in the project. New services are expected to include public transport services, hot-spots and low-cost home broadband. 

‘We have overcome many technical and legal challenges but are now ready to extend services to all citizens and companies in the region,” said Alessandro Barbero, the President of Alta Langa. “We aim to offer to every family or company in Alta Langa a tested and efficient broadband service at a fair price.”

BT announces new mobility services for the Spanish market

BT has announced the launch of its mobility services in Spain as part of an agreement reached with Vodafone Spain. The new mobility service will be the first in the Spanish market aimed at businesses and the public sector. 

Through the agreement, BT will become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) extending its global portfolio of services and solutions to include networking, information technology, communications and mobility. According to the terms of this agreement, BT will operate through Vodafone Spain’s mobile network. 

The new mobility service offering will be available in the summer and will allow BT to offer its customers value-added mobility services such as mobile video-telephony, audio/video streaming services, location based services or fixed-mobile convergence services, BT will be able to offer its customers a single supplier for all their networked IT services requirements – with one contract, one bill and one integrated customer support function

Luis Álvarez, chairman of BT Spain, said: “Convergence is the new paradigm of services our customers demand. We are delighted to be able to meet their requirements now that we are able to offer mobility services to complement our existing portfolio.  This announcement gives BT the ability to accelerate the roll-out of innovative mobility services, most important of which will be enhanced functionality on our ground-breaking fixed-mobile convergence service, BT Corporate Fusion that launches in Spain this summer.”

Rakesh Mahajan, BT’s Global Director of Mobility, said: “Across the globe, modern business is increasingly mobile – with employees needing simple, secure, reliable access to information and resources whether they are travelling, at home or in the office. This agreement with Vodafone Spain means that our corporate and government customers in Spain can come to us for all of their mobility needs.

“This announcement exemplifies our global commitment to offer our business and public sector customers a comprehensive suite of services that span fixed networking, IT and fixed communications, as well as mobile voice, messaging, mail and even company-specific applications.”

Subex Azure launches Symphona V9.1 for advanced interparty billing

Latest version to help telecom operators manage rapid rate of change in the next-generation service environment

Subex Azure, a leading vendor of revenue maximization solutions for telecom operators, has announced the launch of Symphona V9.1, the latest version of its interparty management system. Symphona enables wireline and wireless telecom operators to quickly and accurately bill customers and settle payments with partners using a single modular platform.

Part of the Rocware suite of revenue maximization solutions, Symphona V9.1 will enable telecom operators to better manage the rapid rate of change in the  next-generation service environment by providing subscribers with self-configuration rights and multiple currency transactions. This will help reduce dramatically the operator’s time-to-market and subsequent time-to-settlement.

The new features and benefits available of Symphona V9.1 will enable:
 - A telecom operator to upgrade network components quickly and thereby manage and properly bill for new, next-generation service rollouts
 - Quick settlement of outstanding payments through automated and instantaneous traffic correction at summary level thus eliminating the typical delays associated with slow processing of CDRs
 - Implementation of tariff rate agreements in multiple currencies that can be imported directly into the interconnect billing system
 - Settlement of a bill from an operator in multiple currencies if required for different geographies and services.

Geoff Ibbett, Director of Product Management at Subex Azure, said:  “With Symphona V9.1 telecom operators can experience faster and smarter operations as they rollout high-margin services that require exact tracking and reconciliation with third-party content and services. This new version provides simplicity in a highly complex network environment where technology changes with the blink of an eye. “

Symphona V9.1 is available immediately.

Poland

Siemens Networks has signed a contract with Telekomunikacja Kolejowa (Warsaw) for the supply and implementation of the modern optical transport platform Surpass hiT 7300 and the TNMS management system. The contract covers the construction of transmission links in the Berlin-Warsaw, Warsaw-Krakow and Krakow-Bielsko-Biala sections. The system offers a maximum capacity of 40 transmission channels at a bit rate of 10 Gigabits per second per wavelength – totalling 1.6 Terabit per second.

On the Berlin-Warsaw section, Siemens efficient solutions will replace the currently used links, while the two remaining sections will be built from scratch. “This project will allow Telekomunikacja Kolejowa to extend the market share of the innovation IP services for business, operators and administration”, said Jakub Prusik spokesman of Telekomunikacja Kolejowa.

“We are glad that we could offer Telekomunikacja Kolejowa the most up-to-date transmission solutions, characterised by high flexibility which will result in a considerable reduction of operational and investment costs. Owing to these solutions, the Telekomunikacja Kolejowa will be able to offer its customers faster connections meeting the current technological requirements of enterprises”, said Bernd Schumacher, President of the Optical Network Division of Siemens Networks.

Ornis selects Highdeal for pricing, rating and billing for new IP Business Services

Ornis, a leading infrastructure and Software as a Service provider, has selected Highdeal, the leading provider of Pricing and Rating solutions to power its IP Business Service offering to enterprises.

Created in 1999, Ornis began offering services such as VPN, email and back-up solutions in just one territory. Today they provide services to over 1000 companies world-wide, providing on-demand IT services and software around the clock.

Highdeal's awarding winning pricing and rating solution Highdeal Transactive was selected by Ornis to rapidly introduce telephony offers such as outsourced Centrex and Trunking services to enterprises. Highdeal will be pricing, rating and billing the new Ornis IP telephony service for small and medium sized organisations through to major enterprise.

The robust Highdeal Transactive solution will also be supporting large volumes of transactions generated from the Ornis business offering, including site to site, local, national and international calls as well as various subscription, line rental and equipment charges.

Ornis has further plans to maximize the benefits of Highdeal Transactive for future communications services such as hosting convergent communications solutions for enterprise and operators. This strategy represents a major business opportunity for Ornis as they develop indirect sales of IP telephony services through various partnerships with integrators, resellers, installers, and IT service companies.

“We chose the Highdeal solution because of its wide range of capabilities corresponding to our current activities. Highdeal appears to be the only solution that can handle CDR tickets as well as Managed services on a recurrent basis. Another appealing feature of Highdeal Transactive is its great flexibility and versatility,” said J F Fabry CEO of Ornis.

“We are very excited about this relationship with Ornis, a leading ASP provider which is growing so quickly. This contract underlines Highdeal's increasing momentum in the 'Software as a Service' domain and extends Highdeal's footprint in the IP Centrex space within the enterprise market,” said Eric Lavenir, EVP Sales EMEA at Highdeal.