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Comtrend, the manufacturer of network solutions, specialising in broadband, VoIP and data network technologies, has today announced it has become the first manufacturer to offer home networking adaptors that support speeds up to 400 Mbps. Comtrend's new product, called the PowerGrid 904, is an Ethernet Powerline adaptor that plugs into any standard power plug in a home. The PowerGrid 904 provides Comtrend's carrier customers a competitive advantage in deploying next-generation triple-play services, particularly IPTV, over existing wiring within a consumer's home.

The PowerGrid 904 plugs into any power outlet into the home and has Ethernet plugs to turn the home power lines into a network. Each power outlet in the home with a PowerGrid 904 becomes a place to connect Residential Gateways, IP Set Top Boxes and Computers to join a high speed home network. The PowerGrid 904 uses advanced chipset technology from DS2 to achieve speeds up to 400Mbps. The PowerGrid 904 and DS2 chipset technology are compliant with the Universal Powerline Alliance (UPA) standard.

 With this new technology carriers have a simple way to deploy IPTV and other advanced triple-play services within a consumer's home. The use of power lines within a home to create a network eliminates the costly and time consuming need to re-wire with Ethernet cables. With such features as Quality of Service (QoS), remote management and repeater function, the PowerGrid 904 is capable of distributing reliable services in any home environment.

"Reliable distribution of high speed data within a consumer's home is the key to a successful deployment of triple play services," said Harold Fitch, General Manager of Comtrend Europe and South America.  "With the advancement of high speed technologies over copper or fiber for carrier deployment the home network is the final frontier to deliver such services as High Definition TV to any room in a home. The PowerGrid 904 meets our telco customers' current and future needs with breakneck speeds up to 400Mbps over power lines, QoS, remote management and repeater function."

Subex Azure, the provider of Operations Support Systems (OSS) solutions for telecom operators, has announced that Swisscom, Switzerland's leading telecom company, has deployed the enhanced Syndesis Business Ethernet Fulfillment solution from Subex Azure to deliver innovative Ethernet-based Services to Enterprise customers across the country. Swisscom now uses a comprehensive Syndesis fulfillment platform from Subex Azure to deliver a range of next-generation services and service bundles to residential customers, Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and large corporations.

The new deployment complements Subex Azure fulfillment solutions already in place at Swisscom, extending and enhancing the operator's ability to leverage its Ethernet network for more advanced service offerings.   Thanks to its long-standing strategic partnership with Subex Azure, Swisscom can now offer a broad range of next-generation network services to its subscribers, including IPTV, ADSL, the higher speed VDSL, and now Ethernet Services Ethernet over Copper for SMEs.   The new Syndesis Business Ethernet fulfillment solution integrates with Swisscom's existing processes and OSS systems ensuring it is able to handle residential service requirements and manage the fulfillment and customization of enterprise customers on one unified, seamless platform.

"We are fully committed to the ongoing transformation of our OSS to realize our All-IP network vision,"said Peter Frauenknecht, Head of Fixnet Wholesale Information Technology, Swisscom.   "The solid, strategic relationship we have built up with Subex Azure enables us to deliver quality next-generation services based on Syndesis NetProvision with its enhanced Ethernet Fulfillment capabilities.   By working in partnership with Subex Azure we are confident that we have a solid platform that will help our business fulfill both current and future migration plans."

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with one of the world's major operators on delivering next generation network services,"said Saul Nurtman, president EMEA, Subex Azure. "Swisscom is ahead of many operators in the world in terms of the deployment of IP services and the use of advanced technologies. They are the first to deploy Ethernet over Copper across the country and were the first to switch directly from ADSL to VDSL. We are proud to be a strategic technology partner of Swisscom and look forward to working closely with them on meeting their All-IP plans."

Mobile operator Telenor is upgrading its existing WCDMA 3G network in Norway with High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) technology from Nokia Siemens Networks. With HSDPA, data can be transmitted through the mobile network at speeds up to 14 megabits per second. The initial upgrade at Telenor is supporting up to 3.6 megabits per second.

The HSDPA solution from Nokia Siemens Networks will help Telenor in reducing costs per megabit delivered over its 3G network, while providing true speed for mobile broadband and a solid technology base for future enhancements of HSDPA. The deal contains upgrade of the mobile network in Norway and is part of a pan-Nordic HSDPA contract, between Telenor Nordic and Nokia Siemens Networks, covering Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

"We are very happy to extend our business relationship with Nokia Siemens Networks. This HSDPA update enables us to use our already installed 3G network more effectively and can complete our offering with improvements in mobility and coverage. Moreover, the Nokia Siemens Networks base station, Flexi WCDMA Base Station, that is compact and installation-friendly with its unprecedented downscaled size and weight, will be a cost-efficient way to expand the network. Reduced power consumption also serves the environment in a favourable way", says Trond Wiborg, CTO, Telenor Nordic.

In addition to 3G expansion and the HSDPA software, Nokia Siemens Networks will provide care services such as software support services and hardware repair services. The network continues to be supported by the multi-technology, multi-vendor NetAct network and service management system, which will be upgraded to support HSDPA. All this will ensure that the network continues to offer high levels of reliability and performance to Telenor's customers.

"We are very pleased to continue our good co-operation with Telenor in the Nordic region, says Finn Erik Hermansen from Nokia Siemens Networks. "We are fully prepared to support Telenor in meeting the market needs to provide a state-of-the-art HSDPA solution with a network of high speed, capacity and quality enabling true mobile broadband."

The deliveries started during autumn 2007 and the service will be launched this month.

Visto, the provider of secure and easy-to-use mobile email for business and consumers, has today announced that it will provide access to corporate mobile email on the Apple iPhone across Europe. Closely following on the heels of the availability of Visto Mobile for the iPhone in the US, the company has extended its support to those regions that are actively selling and promoting the iPhone.

Using Visto Mobile, iPhone users will be able to securely and easily access push corporate email without downloading any additional software to the iPhone or requiring any changes to security policies or corporate firewall settings.

"The iPhone has come out of the gate faster than any other smartphone in history and has broadened the market extensively with a form factor and user interface that provides a better "all in one" experience than anything else on the market today," said Brian Bogosian, president, chairman and CEO of Visto. "For business users whose personal requirements and tastes extend beyond the Blackberry device, we have enabled a solution that marries the demand for corporate email with all the advantages the iPhone brings to an individual."

Visto Mobile takes advantage of the iPhone user interface so that users will be able to send and receive attachments, receive rich HTML email and view emails as they were originally sent. And with the corporate directory search capability, individuals can search for any contact and either place a call, send an email or obtain driving directions by selecting the contact's phone number, email address or physical address.

Trustive, the European wireless hotspot access provider, and Royal KPN, the Dutch mobile and fixed telecommunication operator, have announced that they have signed a roaming agreement. Through the agreement KPN will now be able to provide its mobile customers access to Trustive's global hotspot network, while Trustive will be able to do so at all KPN HotSpots in the Netherlands.

Trustive currently covers over 32,000 hotspots worldwide, including all major EU airports such as Paris, Milan, London, Copenhagen and Brussels Airport. Trustive's WiFi locations will be in addition to 59.000 foreign locations that KPN already offers to customers.  The partnership with Trustive is in line with KPN's goal to offer its customers the best connections possible and help them stay in touch with the people and the information they find indispensable.

Martijn de Kinkelder, general manager of KPN HotSpots: "This agreement complements our network very well.  We can provide our customers with high-quality hotspot coverage, especially in Europe where Trustive has very strong presence, including all major airports. Trustive also offers the additional option of a KPN-branded login page for greater user-friendliness."

Gavin Dresselhuis, co-founder and managing director of Trustive: "We are delighted to be helping KPN provide WiFi access to its customers. With the addition of another major European operator, this further strengthens Trustive's  leading position in the European WiFi hotspot market."

Ericsson and Finnish operator Elisa have activated the operator's WCDMA/HSPA network addition in the 900MHz frequency band. The new part of the network is said to be seamlessly integrated in Elisa's existing WCDMA/HSPA network in the 2.1GHz band. Ericsson's WCDMA/HSPA portfolio for the 900MHz band offers Elisa a cost-efficient way to further expand the coverage of its WCDMA/HSPA network in sparsely inhabited areas of Finland.

As announced earlier this year, Elisa chose Ericsson to deliver network equipment and related services for a substantial expansion of its WCDMA/HSPA network. Today's activation of Ericsson's WCDMA/HSPA 900MHz technology improves the cost-efficient and fast way the operator can cover large geographical areas without compromising HSPA performance, which offers high bit rates, low latency and full mobility.

Ericsson's WCDMA/HSPA solution for the 900MHz band provides more coverage because of the improved radio wave propagation at lower frequencies, making it easier to provide low-cost mobile broadband services in rural areas as well as improved indoor coverage in urban areas. Ericsson's solution is built on its existing portfolio of radio base stations, which provides commercial mobile broadband services with up to 14.4Mbps download speeds in more than 70 commercial networks.

Veli-Matti Mattila, President and CEO at Elisa, says: "Our objective in adding radio base stations for the 900MHz band to our WCDMA/HSPA network is, as always, an improved customer experience.  We are now able to cover substantially larger geographical areas; eventually making our fast and attractive mobile services available for every Finn."

Janne Laitala, President, Ericsson Finland, says: "As the technology leader in mobile broadband, Ericsson is proud to support Elisa on its journey to build nationwide WCDMA/HSPA coverage. Access to innovative mobile broadband services, anywhere and anytime, opens new and exciting opportunities for consumers and business users."

Ericsson says its WCDMA/HSPA technology is now commercially deployed in the 850, 900, 1700, 1800, 1900 and 2100MHz frequency bands and, as announced previously, deployment in the 2.6GHz frequency band will start shortly.

Tribold has today announced the latest version of its leading Product Management enterprise application software, specifically built for Communication Service Providers (CSPs). Tribold Product Portfolio Manager (Tribold PPM) version 2.5 builds on the existing capabilities of the application to deliver a wide range of functional enhancements and new features designed to improve time-to-market and increase profitability for CSPs.
 
Set against the five pillars of effective product management: Product Data Management (PDM), Product Data Integration (PDI), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Product Business Intelligence (PBI) and Product Channel Management (PCM), and in alignment with TeleManagement Forum's Shared Information / Data Model (SID), Tribold PPM v2.5 features a number of key enhancements specifically to elevate role-based portfolio management and promotion launch within the CSP.

CSPs will now be able to assign permissions to specific types of users such as product management, product marketing and service specification. They will also have the ability to control the users actions according to their position in the company, the department they work for and the access or visibility levels granted by the administrator, thus ensuring an overall tiered view of the product.

Role-based portfolio management also extends the product catalog access rights to trusted channel partners and suppliers. This capability enables external users and third parties to create, update, view and reuse products and attributes directly in the catalog and allows for faster development in the product-shaping process.

Coupled with the enhanced flexibility in defining and launching seasonal and competitive promotional offers, CSPs adopting the Tribold technology will now more than ever be at the forefront of product time-to-market and cost-to-market.

Catherine Michel, Chief Technical Officer at Tribold, said: "Real-time collaborative product development is a major step forward for CSPs, and allows for more efficient communication across the business critical PLM process. The benefits of this include reduced time-to-market and cost-to-market, and as CSPs handle an ever-increasing amount of products the need to get Product Management right is paramount.

"Tribold PPM v2.5 has built on the success of its predecessor and offers CSPs the best product in the market in which to handle product portfolios from inception to delivery. Effective product management is rapidly becoming the best practice within the industry, and our aim is to take this to the next level with Tribold PPM v2.5."

Tribold Product Portfolio Manager version 2.5 is now generally available.

Ericsson has unveiled its new Marconi OMS 1400 Optical MultiService Metro-Edge product at this week's Transport Network Strategies conference in Barcelona. The OMS 1400 expands the packet evolution capabilities of Ericsson's optical networking portfolio and strengthens its Full Service Broadband offering.  

As part of Ericsson's optical networking portfolio, the OMS 1400 plays an important role in building connectivity in metro-edge transport networks. It meets the demand from operators to evolve their network to support a new mix of services and traffic types, with dexterous backhaul connectivity that can be TDM or Ethernet-based.

Ericsson's Full Service Broadband offering is a framework for the provisioning of one single network optimised for packet-based services across all residential, business and mobile applications. OMS 1400 is a key element of this offering and enables such packet-service connectivity, meeting operator demand for telecom quality, flexibility and scalability. As part of Ericsson's broadband portfolio, the OMS 1400 complements other Ericsson offerings such as its microwave, broadband access and service-edge platforms for Ethernet networking.

Alfredo Viglienzoni, Head of Product Line Optical Networks at Ericsson, said: "The Marconi OMS 1400 greatly enhances our metro portfolio, and adds to our ability to support customers in their evolution to packet-oriented networking. It delivers technological advances which enable network operators to evolve their business models to be based on this mix of services, and to focus on a more optimized cost of ownership for their networks. "

The Marconi OMS 1400 will be commercially available in early 2008.

TT-Office, the provider of packaged quality solutions to businesses, based on TeleWare applications and THUS next-generation network solutions, has announced packaged voice solutions for flexible working.

TT-Office provides a ‘virtual' number that enables calls to be delivered, instantly, to any phone, over any network, worldwide.  The number will operate as a normal business number, delivering calls directly to the office and can be ‘pulled' to an alternative location, including home and mobile phones, when required.  All the features associated with a business telephone system can be retained, including information about who is calling, the ability to hold and transfer and the ability to record calls or use instant conferencing when needed.

 Flexible working programmes are increasing.  The UK now has 3.1 million home workers plus 8 million additional employees who regularly work from home 1 or 2 days of the week.  This trend looks set to continue, driven by legislative changes, corporate social responsibility, staff welfare and an organisational desire for increased performance alongside cost reductions.  Flexible working, whether home, office or mobile based, offers challenges to the business to support the users' voice requirements.

"Legislative compliance has been a key driver of the increase in flexible working," explained Steve Haworth, CEO of TeleWare plc. Aside from compliance, there are key performance related drivers that are motivating businesses towards delivering effective flexible working programmes.  Opportunities for greater cost effectiveness and efficiency, such as savings on overheads when employees work from home or less downtime for machinery when shifts are implemented, plus a reduction in wasted commuting time, result in improved competitiveness through being able to react effectively to changing market conditions," added Haworth.

Flexible working gives an organisation the ability to attract and retain a skilled and more diverse workforce, reducing recruitment costs.  It can increase job satisfaction and improve staff morale and create greater continuity of personnel, as staff that might otherwise have left are, instead, offered hours that suit their personal requirements.  An improved work/life balance has a positive impact on staff retention and on employee relations, motivation and commitment.

Without flexible work, each office employee requires a fully serviced desk costing from £5K to £20K; a flexible work programme will reduce the 1:1 planning metric.

Traditional telecom carriers can no longer rely on conventional competitive tactics such as price cuts, promotions and basic product bundling to maintain their edge in the consumer segment, has warned Gartner.  Speaking at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Gartner analysts said that non-traditional telecom players like Apple, Google and Nokia, which have a strong understanding of consumers, are adopting new business models that are forcing carriers to reassess their approach and service delivery. Faced with this competition, traditional telecom carriers will attempt to transform themselves by primarily exploiting content, but Gartner predicts that more than 80 per cent will fail.
 
"The players that will be among the successful 20 per cent will be the ones that provide a consumer-centric experience, for example through interactive TV, where users will be able to chat online while watching their favourite TV programmes," said Martin Gutberlet, research vice-president.
 
Owning infrastructure initially gives telecom carriers some competitive edge but this is mitigated by non-traditional competitors that don't own a network but bundle their services attractively. "As demonstrated by Apple and Google, three new attributes are coming into play and driving change in the marketplace that the traditional telecom players must embrace to become successful content enablers, which create and/or deliver content. They are trust, usability and an exciting customer experience," said Mr Gutberlet. "If customers trust your services, they are willing to grant you access to their personal life. Ultimately, improving the customer experience will increase customer loyalty."
 
In this changing landscape, the winners will be those companies that understand consumers' needs, focusing on usability and actually giving control back to the users. The losers will be the ones that focus on overly technical product differentiation that the majority of consumers will not understand and therefore not use.
 
Telecom companies need to make some strategic decisions, says Gartner, predicting that by 2012, half of the 20 largest carriers will establish new lines of business outside telecom, such as media entertainment, advertising and managed services, but more than half will fail. Further, leading carriers in developed markets such as Vodafone and BT will be able to derive at least 15 per cent of revenue from such non-traditional sources. "To uncover adjacent markets, carriers must leverage their unique assets, in areas such as billing, secure authentication and quality of service, and develop multiple partnerships to add creative talent to existing operational expertise.
 
According to Gartner, three business models are emerging that will help carriers remain competitive through 2012:
 
1. Content Innovator - Entering the Media Market: Embracing this model, content innovators produce and own their content and will use exclusive content to differentiate themselves. For example, France Telecom is investing in film production while SK Telecom acquired a record label. The risk of this model is a temptation to focus purely on content ownership at the expense of providing customer experience.
 
2. Aggregator: Unlike the content innovator model, the aggregator model will not involve the creation of content, rather the sourcing and packaging of it. Carriers that adopt this model realise that much future content will come from the internet. Their aim will be to make it as accessible as possible, given the constraints of networks and devices, especially mobile phones. Aggregators will engage in content location, rendering, billing, advertising insertion and customer care and, as such, will have the opportunity to offer comprehensive bundled packages. Examples include T Mobile's collaboration with Google for mobile search and Hutchinson's Xseries which embraces internet services such as Skype and eBay.
 
Gartner advises that a partnership or joint venture approach offers the best balance between risk and opportunity for carriers. They would have to establish themselves by teaming with content owners, producers, developers, distributors and media buyers.  BT is a good example of a traditional carrier that successfully understands and leverages wider media offerings. 
 
3. Bit Pipe Carrier: This represents a stable business model based purely on connectivity as a utility but with both lower revenue and lower margins than today. Rather than emphasising content and services, the bit pipe model is driven by operational excellence. In order to maintain profits amidst declining revenues, carriers that adopt a bit pipe approach are expected to reduce their core operational staff by at least 20 per cent by 2012, driven by internet protocol (IP) technology, infrastructure consolidation, process automation, operational outsourcing and cutthroat competition. "The risk of this model is making the wrong network investment decision," Mr Gutberlet said.
 
He added, "We envisage that carriers will use any combination of the three business models. A company that has successfully deployed this approach is Telefonica, which was once a content innovator and following its sale of Endemol became an aggregator and a bit pipe carrier."
 
"The telecom industry in 2012 will be very different from the one we know today. Developing strong partnership skills, focusing on customer user groups, embracing internet services and starting to talk the language of Web 2.0 will enable the carriers to thrive well into the future," concluded Mr Gutberlet.

Seeker Wireless, the zone detection technology provider, has today announced the launch of a cannibalisation calculator and a detailed study to highlight the loss in revenues operators can suffer as a result of inaccurate location technology. Seeker Wireless worked closely with a number of mobile operators and a telecom pricing data provider to ensure that the analysis was an accurate reflection of Fixed Mobile Substitution (FMS) trends worldwide. The calculator and study are designed to help operators effectively plan their FMS solutions.

Saturated markets in developed countries and rapid expansion in developing countries have led a number of operators to turn to FMS to expand their markets and drive revenues, offering consumers a single mobile handset for use at home and while out and about. HomeZones have become a key component of many operator FMS strategies; offering mobile subscribers competitive tariffs based on their location. Most HomeZone solutions however, have been based on network Cell-ID technology and this has delivered poor accuracy and significant cannibalisation of revenue.

The Seeker Wireless study found that with Cell-ID, up to 30% of calls are incorrectly tariffed as "at home" when users are actually outside the vicinity of their home, compared to as little as 3% with an advanced zone detection solution. The result is massive revenue cannibalisation with Cell-ID systems. The cannibalisation calculator allows operators to study their subscriber data and business case by country and compare the financial implication of deploying different technologies for HomeZone solutions.

Carrie Pawsey, Senior Wireless Analyst at Ovum comments: "Our research also shows that without increased accuracy, operators could experience significant revenue cannibalisation with traditional HomeZone solutions.
For FMS to be profitable, operators need the right technology to ensure an accurate service that delivers value and meets consumer expectations."

Dr Chris Drane, Chief Executive Officer at Seeker Wireless says: "The voice market is increasingly shifting from the traditional fixed-line towards a mobile future, and our study is further testament to our efforts to raise the bar on accuracy in location technology to make FMS truly profitable for operators. All too often operators considered accuracy to be the Achilles' heel in location technology; our study quantifies the impact of using network Cell-ID and demonstrates that the technology now exists to make location a real business driver."

SeekerZone developed by Seeker Wireless for the Fixed Mobile Substitution market has already been trialled by operators in EMEA and Asia Pacific and has been deployed in partnership with HP by one of the world's leading mobile operator groups. The detailed study demonstrates that by using Seeker Wireless's advanced zone detection system, operators are able to reduce zone size by up to 50 times and reduce cannibalisation of revenue by up to 90% compared to existing Cell-ID systems.

Ruckus Wireless has announced a deal with T-Home, a division of Deutsche Telekom AG, Europe's largest communications provider.  Ruckus Wireless has been selected by T-Home to supply 802.11a Smart Wi-Fi systems to enable in-home wireless distribution of its Entertain Comfort IPTV service.

Available immediately, Deutsche Telekom is private-labeling the Ruckus system as the Speedport W 100 Bridge under its popular T-Home brand.  The Speedport W 100 is available to consumers from more than 700 Telekom shops and from the online portal www.t-home.de.  T-Home is offering the Ruckus Wireless Smart Wi-Fi system as the only in-home wireless distribution option for its IPTV service.  The SpeedPort W100 Bridge (a Wi-Fi access point and Wi-Fi adapter) is provided to T-Home customers at a one-time cost of Euro 149.99.

"Our Entertain Comfort IPTV service provides our customers with a new dimension in high-quality TV and multimedia communications," said Christian P. Illek, member of the board of management, marketing T-Home.  "The new high-capacity Speedport W 100 Bridge, with Ruckus Wireless technology, is easy to use and gives subscribers simple access to our broadband-based services, making our IPTV offering even more user friendly."

With the Ruckus system, German subscribers will now be able to extend the location freedom they enjoy with Wi-Fi to their television viewing experience, giving them the power to place TVs virtually anywhere in their homes without cumbersome cabling. 

The Ruckus Wireless system is the world's first and only Wi-Fi system specifically developed to reliably transmit IP-based streaming digital video over standard 802.11 technology.  It achieves this by continuously routing Wi-Fi signals over the best and highest performing paths while steering these Wi-Fi signals around interference in real time.

"Signing such a world-class carrier as Deutsche Telekom represents a defining moment for our company," said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless.  "Our partnership with Deutsche Telekom represents a major milestone for us as well as for the industry.  It signals to the world that conventional Wi-Fi just isn't good enough for applications that require more than merely surfing the internet.  We've built a company around this singular purpose: making extended range Wi-Fi that's reliable."

With over 13,000,000 broadband subscribers throughout Germany, Deutsche Telekom is one of the top three broadband operators in the world.

By the end of 2007 Deutsche Telekom will be able to provide 17 million households with its IPTV services.  With the extended range of its Entertain all-inclusive packages, Deutsche Telekom is consistently opening up the mass-market for IPTV.

The telecoms company is installing ADSL2+ technology to 16 Mbps in 750 towns and cities all over Germany and providing 27 cities with a high-speed network based on VDSL technology up to 50 Mbps.

    

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