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Mycom, a leading global provider of best-in-class OSS Service Assurance software solutions and innovative ICT professional services to the telecoms industry, today congratulated leading UK operator, O2, on their No.1 ranking in the recent J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Survey of UK Mobile and Fixed Broadband.

J.D. Power and Associates latest customer satisfaction survey of UK Mobile and Fixed Broadband services ranked O2 ahead of all its rivals in the UK. The provider won high praise in the report for the performance and reliability of their network and services.

Contributing over the past 5 years to the success of O2's network performance has been Mycom's NIMS-PrOptima Performance Management software solution.  Allowing full end-to-end performance management of the network, NIMS-PrOptima is deployed across O2's 2G, 3G, radio, packet core and soft switch networks.  Delivered interfaces have ensured seamless synchronization with Nokia and Ericsson 2G & 3G equipment, facilitating and empowering O2 engineers to achieve very high standards in the quality, performance and reliability of their network. 

Nigel Purdy, Head of Technology Engineering at O2 in the UK said "NIMS-PrOptima gives visibility of 2G and 3G performance covering both voice and data.  As our network has grown Mycom's solution has proved to be scalable and has provided us with some simple yet intelligent reporting and analysis capabilities. This has helped us to monitor and manage the significant growth we are now experiencing in 3G data traffic which has come from a number of propositions including Apple's i-Phone."

Mycom's Mounir Ladki, General Manager, Product Business Unit, commented "O2 has been a key customer of Mycom's since 2004.  Since the initial delivery of NIMS-PrOptima, O2 has been able to collect, view and evaluate performance and configuration data in near real time so that they are able to optimize the performance of the network and guarantee best levels of service to their subscribers, in a background of the ever increasing roll out of new services". He went on to say "O2 has been able to benefit from increased operational efficiencies and reduce costs while rapidly introducing new innovative services.  We look forward to our continued relationship with O2 in the coming years."

Spb Software, a leading mobile applications and games developer announces that Spb Brain Evolution - the world's number one bestselling Windows Mobile game of 2008 - is now available for users of iPhone and iPod Touch. Spb Brain Evolution is a braintrainer: an intellectual game that helps to improve memory, logic, arithmetic, and puzzle-solving skills. The application is an intriguing suit of addictive 10 games, which have to be played in sequence: only good results in one game unlock the next one for playing.

Spb Brain Evolution supports two independent game modes: Brain Marking and Brain Training: for evaluating the current 'brain fitness', and for improving the score, respectively. Logic, orientation and patterns, memory and calculation, facts and statistics - all can be worked on while playing Arithmetics, Balltracker, Encyclopedia, Guess Who, Matches, Memorics, Minesweeper, Numbers, Quadronica, and Sudoku. Spb Brain Evolution keeps overall game statistics, builds progress reports, and supports profiles for multiple players. Brilliant play with high scores is rewarded with special achievement certificates, which can be printed out and used to intimidate the more novice Spb Brain Evolution players, be it family of friends. Spb Brain Evolution also cites an interesting fact at the end of every completed training.

Telecom Egypt and Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (Cyta) today announced, that they have entered into an agreement to cooperate through extension of Telecom Egypt's TEN Cable System to Cyprus, thereby creating reciprocal Eurasia and Eastern Mediterranean opportunities. As part of this cooperation, Cyta will purchase a fiber-pair on TEN, capable of transporting a terabit of telecommunications capacity from Cyprus to Egypt and Europe. TE, in turn, will obtain both the opportunity to transport Cyta traffic to key European and Asian destinations, and the opportunity to cost-effectively reach regional markets accessible via Cyprus.

Telecom Egypt's TEN Cable System, which is currently under construction by Alcatel-Lucent, is scheduled to go into service towards the end of the year, linking Egypt to France with over ten terabits of telecommunications bandwidth. The cable system is being installed with underwater branching units, which enable TEN to be extended to other Mediterranean countries in the future, including Greece. These extensions will form MedGateway - a bridge between Mediterranean countries, Europe and Asia. The extensions will also provide TE with access to new markets, as well as the opportunity to provide these MedGateway partners with connectivity to key markets in Europe and Asia through TE's extended network, beyond France and Egypt.

Cyta currently serves as a hub for regional telecommunications in the Eastern Mediterranean, with cables linking Cyprus to the Levant region, Greece, Egypt, Italy, and other European destinations. Cyta's new fiber-pair subsystem, which will be named ALEXANDROS, will complement these existing facilities, enhancing the robustness of Cyta's international access through physical diversity and significant increase in bandwidth.

Mr. Akil Beshir, Chairman of Telecom Egypt echoed the enthusiasm in this cooperation reached between Cyta and TE. "Telecom Egypt is pleased that Cyta is our first regional partner to join the MedGateway project as part of the TEN. Along with our existing fiber-pair customers, who rely on TEN as a critical conduit between Asia, Africa and Europe, this agreement has assured that TEN is truly becoming a regional and global building block for international communications through the region. Through each of these relationships, TE aims to continue to expand its reach to major destinations of the globe."

"Cyta is extremely pleased to have reached agreement with Telecom Egypt for this new and important project for Cyprus. ALEXANDROS will enable Cyta to have access to new opportunities to better serve our customers both at home as well as our neighbours in the region. Our partnership with Telecom Egypt affords us the opportunity, through TE, to allow our customers to reach the world." said Mr. Stavros Kremmos, Chairman of Cyta's Board of Directors.

Ericsson has today announced an exclusive contract with 3 Italia that includes a seven-year agreement to modernize and upgrade the existing WCDMA/HSPA network with Ericsson technologies and architectures. It also includes an extension of the current managed services deal.

Under the network transformation contract, Ericsson will modernize and upgrade the existing 3G mobile broadband access and core networks, optical and radio transport, data charging, and consumer-services platforms and systems.
 
The deal also extends the exclusive managed services contract signed in 2005 for the total management of 3 Italia's multi-vendor 3G network and telecom IS&IT infrastructure. The prolonged contract runs for five years. It has a reduced financial value compared to the previous contract, as a result of the returning of some third party contracts and the implementation of the new service delivery model, enabling scale and skill synergies in the operations. Also, the optimized network is more efficient and requires less service activities. Transition and transformation costs will put pressure on margins initially but over the total contract period the profitability is satisfactory.
 
The agreement combines extensive technology modernization and network upgrade with operational process improvements and managed services, and will provide 3 Italia with a 'world-class' mobile broadband network and 'excellent operational efficiency'. At the end of the transformation and modernization process, 3 Italia's mobile broadband network will be managed by Ericsson.
 
Vincenzo Novari, 3 Italia's CEO says: "We are pleased with the successful cooperation with Ericsson. This agreement has been and will remain a reference in innovation and network development for the Italian market. With this agreement, we take a new step in meeting the demand for mobile broadband connectivity and services by Italian consumers and enterprises and make our network even more efficient in handling data traffic and ensuring better quality of experience to our customers."
 
Cesare Avenia, Ericsson's Head of Market Unit South East Europe, says: "This agreement is a continuation of our long relationship with 3 Italia. It confirms the high quality and reliability of our technologies and services and creates new opportunities for our industry, at a time when dynamism and innovation are key. We are proud to make our technology, services, know-how and experience available to 3 Italia to transform its mobile broadband network."
 
This agreement comes after a successful long-term collaboration between Ericsson and 3 Italia, which started in 2001, with 3 Italia choosing Ericsson as the main partner for its 3G core and access technology and later, in 2005, as exclusive partner for managed services of its multi-vendor network and telecom IS/IT infrastructure.

Mobile TeleSystems, said to be the largest mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS, and Nokia have signed the memorandum of understanding on the direct delivery of Nokia devices to MTS' retail network. The first joint project of the two companies will be the priority sales launch of Nokia N97, Nokia's flagship mobile computer, equipped with exclusive software from MTS.

The agreement signed by MTS and Nokia at the 2009 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum provides for the direct supply of Nokia products to MTS' retail network, joint marketing campaigns to promote Nokia's handsets and a special training program for MTS' retail employees.

"This partnership agreement with Nokia is a milestone in our development of the MTS proprietary retail network. Teaming up with the world's leading maker of mobile devices will allow us to further differentiate MTS' retail network by matching cutting-edge products with tariff plans to enhance customer experience and spur the growth of data usage by our subscribers," noted Mr. Mikhail Shamolin, President and CEO of MTS.

"Nokia N97 is the flagship product which has no analogues in the world. For the first time in Russia, Nokia is launching such an important device in partnership with the largest mobile phone operator, MTS. Together with MTS, we have developed applications and widgets tailored to the Russian users," noted Mr. Niels Nielsen, Director-General of Nokia in Russia. "The primary difference of N97 from the currently available smartphones is not just the availability of touch display and QWERTY keyboard on one device, but the fact that it is a mobile computer with a range of applications that allow individual customization of the handset."

MTS has developed a number of branded applications for Nokia N97 aimed at business users that will be distributed on a free 2 GB micro-SD memory card. The sales of Nokia N97 will start on June 17 in all MTS stores in Moscow and in the flagship Nokia store. By the end of the month, the device will become available to subscribers of all mobile operators through the MTS retail network in Russia and the 30 Nokia stores in the largest Russian cities.

As the leading global forum for free, libre and open source software (FLOSS) worldwide the second Open World Forum will welcome all the key global players to Paris on 1 and 2 October 2009, in partnership with the Open Source Think Tank. The event will aim to cross-fertilize initiatives around the issue of 'Free, Libre and Open Software at the heart of the Digital Recovery'.

''Computing - along with green technologies - is the key driver for the growth of our economy. Free, Libre and Open Source Software is now its essential foundation and source of innovation,'' commented Jean-Noël de Galzain, Chairman of the Program Committee for the Open World Forum 2009 and CEO of Wallix.

Since early 2008, the founders of the Open World Forum felt that it was necessary to create an event on a global scale where the decision-makers in innovation, community leaders, political leaders, CIOs, and other players from the world of open software could get together. Last year, over 1,200 delegates came to take part in the 17 associated seminars, and hear 160 speakers from 20 different countries. This year, in partnership with the Open Source Think Tank, the Open World Forum will make its mark as the essential global event for Open Source decision-makers. Our aim for 2009? To ensure that Free, Libre and Open Source Software is one of the key drivers of the Digital Recovery.

"We are excited to partner with the Open World Forum and host the Think Tank September 28th - September 30th. As the industry's only by-invitation event for global open source business leaders to gather and discuss the opportunities and challenges facing commercial open source; the Think Tank is a perfect complimentary event to the OWF," said Andrew Aitken, Managing Partner of Olliance Group and the founder of the Open Source Think Tank, now in it's fifth year. 

The aim of the Open World Forum is to bring together players from information technology and Open Source, to share ideas and initiatives, to stimulate competitiveness and innovation, and finally to build business relationships within and through open software.

The forum is an open event, and welcomes new conferences proposals.

For more information on the Open World Forum, visit: http://www.openworldforum.org/

Huawei and TeliaSonera/Netcom have today announced the 'world's first' mobile broadband internet connection over a live commercial LTE network in Oslo, Norway. The demonstration saw download speeds to mobile devices greater than what is currently available. Based on Huawei's LTE solution, TeliaSonera's LTE network will benefit from high quality and extensive capacity to provide end users with the best mobile communication experience.

Mr. August Baumann, president of Netcom, a subsidiary of TeliaSonera in Norway, said: "We appreciate the professional implementation from Huawei and we are very pleased to make this world's first LTE session in Norway. It is a significant step in bringing our customers much closer to real fourth generation mobile broadband service. It is also a milestone in the cooperation between TeliaSonera and Huawei."

"We are proud and excited to support TeliaSonera in completing its mobile broadband connection over the world's first live LTE network," said Mr. James Chen, managing director of Huawei's Nordic Office. "The first LTE session reflects Huawei's leadership in the most cutting-edge of technologies and its ability to build LTE networks. We are well positioned to deliver a high quality network that will enable leading operators like TeliaSonera to achieve business success."

The first showcase of the live LTE network in Oslo, between a Laptop PC with a 4G modem and public internet/intranet, included downloading of high resolution photos, music, movies and mobile business applications, at a speed much quicker than most available fixed internet accesses of today.

By adopting the LTE MIMO and OFDM technologies (Multiple Input Multiple Output and Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex, key radio technologies of LTE), the download peak data rate can reach 150 Mbps in one LTE cell with multiple terminals.

TM Forum, the world's premier industry group focused on business effectiveness for the communications and media sectors, today announced the publication of a new book, Business Transformation with TM Forum Solution Frameworks and SOA. The new book is the latest in a series that describe how to adopt and apply the TM Forum's Solutions Frameworks as part of cost-base transformation for communications service providers.

 

Co-authored by Iwan Gramatikoff and Serge Garcia of Edelweiss Consulting and John Wilmes, Chief Technical Architect, Communications Sector, Progress Software and co-chair of the TM Forum's Information Framework Collaboration Program, the authors assert that to move towards the "next generation" business model supported by the TM Forum Solution Frameworks, enterprises must first undergo a business transformation. With that transformation they will acquire the ability to use business processes more effectively to attain strategic goals.

 

Business transformation requires more than just introducing a new IT and process architecture. To move forward, service providers need to transform their organizations from technology-driven to market-driven. The purpose of Business Transformation with TM Forum Solution Frameworks and SOA is to guide and assist service provider transformation towards this next generation world.

 

Recognizing and overcoming the challenges involved can result in:

Effective business processes to help reach strategic enterprise goals
Agile resource management that can evolve as needed
Efficient resource allocation to meet expected results

Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA) and TM Forum Solution Frameworks offer complementary approaches for managing complexity and ensuring success. This book enables organizations to find the best path to follow for their own successful business transformation.

 

Business Transformation with TM Forum Solution Frameworks and SOA can be purchased through www.tmforum.org.

 

Vialtus Solutions, in partnership with Cable&Wireless, has launched the UK's first 1GBPS Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network (IP VPN) to run on Cable&Wireless' Multi-Service Platform (MSP).

Vialtus Solutions' new IP VPN service enables companies to deal with increasing volumes of data from enterprise, web, e-commerce, voice, data and video applications faster than many market equivalents.  The network builds on the existing advantages companies can achieve through Vialtus Solutions IP VPN such as; reducing costs, outsourcing operational administrative tasks and benefiting from the latest technology and business processes. [These include Quality of Service (QoS) evaluation and five Classes of Service (CoS) which enables prioritisation of network traffic.

Cable&Wireless' MSP is an IP-based next generation platform, combining technological capability with a viable economic model to power bandwidth-hungry applications. The new network offers a number of value added advantages, including; the ability to upscale bandwidth as and when the network needs more capacity and supports all types of last mile connections - including leased lines, DSL and Ethernet.

Maria Cappella, CEO at Vialtus Solutions, explains, "Through Vialtus Solutions, businesses can today take advantage of the next generation of IP VPN. Existing benefits such as CoS are not useful if your network does not have the speed, security and capacity to quickly transfer increasing volumes of data."

Cappella continues, "Companies now have the opportunity to take advantage of next generation technology without substantial up front or ongoing costs, enabling them to invest their energies and resources on their core business where they achieve the best results.

Vialtus Solutions' new IP VPN harnesses Cable&Wireless' wider network, a network which has extensive coverage, reliability and security. It is flexible enough to meet the individual needs and requirements of businesses."

Ian Thomas, Managing Director, Partners, Cable&Wireless Worldwide, explains; "Today, businesses run applications they hadn't even dreamed of a decade ago.  As a result, they demand a robust, high-bandwidth, high-speed network. We designed our MSP around the needs of customers and it delivers the network performance businesses need today and will continue to need in the future." 

Empirix Inc., the market leader of service quality assurance solutions for new IP communications, today announced a period of remarkable growth. Empirix extended their global reach and is continuing their momentum by signing additional new customers and partners, launching multiple product offerings, having received numerous industry awards and expanding the company's management team. The company's growth, innovation and continued leadership positions Empirix to thrive in the evolving service quality assurance market in the coming year.

"Despite the challenging economic times, Empirix continues to gain market share in the competitive quality assurance market. Our customers realize that a small investment in Empirix enables them to offer improved services to end-users, which positively affects their bottom line," said John D'Anna, president and CEO, Empirix. "Over the past year, we have made significant inroads into the European and Latin American markets, as well as North America, and built our position as the leader in the network testing and monitoring space. We recently expanded our management team to place a strong focus on the unique issues faced by our enterprise, service provider and network equipment manufacturer customers. Empirix is committed to providing the most comprehensive and reliable service quality assurance solutions and to continue this momentum in the coming year."

 

Company Milestones

Empirix reached several significant milestones that further extend the company's leadership in the market. These include:

 

  • Ø New Products: Empirix introduced a number of products--all relying on the patented Empirix Hammer technology.

 

  • o Empirix unveiled Hammer Edge, which emulates the realistic behavior of users and devices required to test elements at the network edge, including border controllers, firewalls and deep packet inspection devices, as well as security and application level gateways--in both secure and unsecure network topologies. Based on patent-pending RUB/E technology, Hammer Edge gives customers the ability to test complex IP architectures, including voice, data and video, across the network.
  • o Empirix upgraded Hammer G5 to include video quality scoring and metrics, SIP I/T protocol support, expanded G5 load test capacity to 32K endpoints for SIP signaling-only scenarios and expanded feature test capacity to 500 endpoints.

 

  • Ø Customers and Strategic Partners: Empirix's customer and partner base increased over the last year to now include:

  • o Ditech Networks-Ditech Networks selected Empirix's Hammer test solution to verify Voice-over-IP (VoIP) capabilities of the Ditech Networks' Packet Voice Processor (PVP).
  • o Sonus Networks-Sonus Networks selected Hammer Edge to easily emulate realistic scenarios with limited time and resources by using a multiservice testing tool.
  • o Unitymedia-Based in Germany, Unitymedia is the second largest German provider of media and communication services via broadband and triple play services. Unitymedia selected Hammer XMS to monitor its VoIP network ensuring the highest quality telephony service to its residential and business customers.
  • o Manx Telecom-Manx Telecom selected Empirix's Hammer XMS system to provide service quality assurance for its new IMS network.
  • o JDSU Partnership-Empirix and JDSU joined forces this past year, bringing together JDSU's service assurance platform, NetComplete, with Empirix's Hammer XMS. The combined technologies form a complete solution for content traffic and signaling-layer monitoring.
  • o Rep Channel Management (RCM) Partnership-Empirix partnered with RCM, a provider of outsourced sales channel support, to extend Empirix's own direct sales force by selling the company's Hammer Technology Service Assurance and Lab Solutions to service providers and network equipment manufacturers in North America. RCM founder Larry Albertson brings 30+ years of experience working with the world's largest service providers and network equipment manufacturers to help grow Empirix's channel team in North America.
  • o Empirix also joined ECTA (the European Competitive Telecommunications Association) to help operators better understand and address the challenges of service quality assurance in order to meet both regulatory requirements and their own service standards.

 

  • Ø Management Team Expansion: Empirix appointed Fred Sammartino as vice president of marketing and product management for the company's Service Assurance business unit, which is focused on meeting the quality assurance needs of service providers. In this role, Sammartino will assist in extending the global reach of the business unit.

Timothy Moynihan was appointed as vice president of marketing for the Contact Center Solutions business unit, which is focused on providing contact center assurance solutions for enterprise customers.  In this role, he will be responsible for strategic business planning and product revenue growth strategies. Together, Sammartino and Moynihan bring a wealth of industry experience to the Empirix management team that will enable the company to continue to achieve strategic goals.

Bob Eaton was named the director of international business development, responsible for increasing Empirix's global reach in CALA, Australia, Asia and India. Empirix has also expanded into the Latin American market by opening an office and hiring Manfred Steube and Christian Steube to manage the territory.

 

  •  Industry Recognition: Empirix was the recipient of a number of awards, providing further proof of the company's innovative technology and service quality assurance solutions. Industry awards include:

  • o CIS Magazine's 2008 Product of the Year Award
  • o Frost & Sullivan's 2009 Global VoIP Test & Monitoring Equipment Market Leadership of the Year Award
  • o TMCnet's 2009 NGN Leadership Award for Empirix's Hammer G5
  • o Everything Channel's 2009 var500, North America's Top 500 Technology Integrators
  • o TMCnet's Customer Interaction Solutions 2009 Lab Innovation Award for Empirix's Hammer Edge.

Advertising budgets for mobile channels are expected to buck the downward trend and exhibit strong growth over the next five years, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

The report found that constraints on budgets, imposed in the wake of the global economic downturn, had resulted in an increasing migration of adspend from above the line to below the line channels: the need for engagement with the consumer, and a quantifiable ROI, meant that mobile was increasingly being perceived as a key medium through which to pursue this strategy.

However, the Juniper mobile advertising report stressed that, while this was encouraging, the level of growth had to be put into context - that mobile advertising still remained very much a nascent medium, and even by 2014 it would only account for up to 1.5% of total global adspend.

The report noted that, while a number of major brands had made relatively large investments in the mobile platform, advertisers have yet to be fully convinced that mobile has sufficient reach to warrant substantive adspend. Report author, Dr Windsor Holden said, "These investments still form only a small proportion of a brand's total advertising budget: Regardless of mobile's advantages - its personal nature, the facility for highly targeted advertising - advertisers will not commit more budget until  they perceive that the audience for their advertisements has reached a critical mass."

Other findings from the Juniper report include:

  • Mobile Internet will become the most popular mobile delivery channel for advertisers in 2009, and will attract the largest proportion of mobile adspend throughout the forecast period
  • Mobile Cost Per Clickthrough (CPC) and Cost Per Mille (CPM) rates have fallen sharply over the past year in large part due the negative impact of the economic downturn
  • Mobile advertising response rates remain substantially higher than those in other media

TM Forum, the world's premier industry group focused on business effectiveness for the communications and media sectors, today announced details of its latest Business Benchmarking Report: "Winning in a Shrinking World: Significance of the Billing Metamorphosis." The report concludes that the accelerating demand for pervasive, individualized services can withstand the current economic climate, and that the unique requirements of these service offerings demands a major change in billing systems.

The report offers valuable insights from TM Forum and Stratecast, the telecommunications strategy and analyst firm (a division of Frost and Sullivan), on the impact new converged, multimedia services have on billing systems. The report incorporates analysis of data gathered by TM Forum's Business Benchmarking Program, which includes more than 130 Service Provider participants from around the world. The report was supported through sponsorship by Amdocs.

The market dynamics and business drivers forcing billing system transformation are addressed in the report, which analyzes the market from four perspectives: new services, the changing billing landscape, the market appetite for new services, and the degree of required billing system changes.

The report finds that fundamental industry changes are being driven by new services that operate independently of transport method, end-user device, or location and provide customized services directly to the end user. These pervasive, individualized services typically involve anywhere-anytime interaction with others, consumption of content, access to the Internet, and the use of personal device applications. Delivery of these services requires automated billing processes that operate in near-real-time, as well as billing systems that support converged services through unified billing data.

According to Martin Creaner, president and COO, TM Forum, "The consistent theme emerging from this report is that new flexible, personalized services are here to stay, and that billing systems must change to accommodate them. Service Providers who make these changes ahead of their competition will ultimately emerge as the winners in this tough economic climate."

"Service Providers have a unique opportunity to provide exciting new services to their current subscribers, giving them the home-field advantage over newcomers from other industries. However, significant transformations must be made to billing systems and processes to take advantage of these major industry shifts," said Creaner.

Tonia Graham, TM Forum Business Benchmarking program manager added, "Pervasive, individualized services are driving substantial changes to billing systems and processes. These services shift control to the subscriber and place focus on the service, customer experience, real-time billing, and the need for a single view of the customer data record."

"Winning in a Shrinking World: Significance of the Billing Metamorphosis" is the latest in a series of TM Forum reports, exclusively available to the Forum's membership of more than 700 member companies, addressing strategic Service Provider issues. TM Forum members can download the report now at http://www.tmforum.org/ResearchPublications/7097/home.html.