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MERA Systems, leading developer of tandem softswitches and session border controllers for VoIP, has announced the release of MERA IP Centrex v.1.2.0. MERA IP Centrex v. 1.2.0 allows a wider range of services and features more convenient tools of system administration.

The main innovation in version 1.2.0 is a voice mail service. It allows subscribers to receive, record and store voice messages in a personal voice mail box. If a subscriber can not answer the call, the incoming message may be recorded and an email notification can be sent to the called party. The subscribers can also manage voice mail messages: listen, save, and delete them via WEB interface or IVR using their phones.

MERA IP Centrex v.1.2.0 includes automatic media proxy capability when at least one of the user's endpoints is behind a NAT router. This new functionality ensures end-to-end connectivity to corporate and private user terminal equipment sitting behind NAT routers. The new fields, including IP addresses of endpoint devices and disconnect codes, are now displayed in the CDRs for more convenient analysis of the terminated calls.

A number of issues fixed in the new version of MERA IP Centrex include:

-  Sending of the authorization packets to the RADIUS-server when the "Call Transfer" function is in use, which resulted in the wrong billing before

- Failure of the "Three-party conference" function for subscribers, whose call was "unparked"

Germany's Mobile 3.0 is offering high-quality broadcasts of television and radio channels to users on the move, having launched a test service based on a mobile television solution from Nokia Siemens Networks.

The service, initially available in four German cities - Hamburg, Hanover, Frankfurt and Munich - includes nine TV channels (ARD, ZDF, Deutschland 24, RTL, VOX, SAT 1, Pro 7, N-TV and N24) and three radio stations (bigMUSIC, MyFun Radio, and 90elf). It will help gather information on actual demand, expected consumption patterns, coverage and reception conditions in order to fine-tune the broadcasts and identify commercial services to be launched in the future, once Mobile 3.0 receives all the remaining licenses.

During the test, Nokia Siemens Networks is fully hosting, operating and integrating its mobile TV solution, which is based on the Digital Video Broadcasting for Handheld (DVB-H) standard. The platform processes the content and provides the data stream to the broadcast network operator, while Nokia is supplying end-user terminals.

"Mobile TV in DVB-H standard is becoming reality in Germany," said Dr. Rudi Gröger, President of Mobile 3.0. "With the Nokia Siemens Networks complete solution and their services we have been able to launch this service in a very short time."

To achieve optimum results, Nokia Siemens Networks has been working closely with Mobile 3.0 to meet various challenges - in connectivity, efficiency, quality assurance and revenue generation. The DVB-H solution includes a broad range of services like system design, installation and integration. Nokia Siemens Networks also will host the system in its European hosting center and will be responsible for operation and maintenance.

"With our end-to-end capabilities for DVB-H solutions and our service capabilities to provide a fully managed and hosted system, we will support Mobile 3.0 to drive DVB-H in Germany," said Hartmut Müller-Leitloff, head of Nokia Siemens Networks business operations in Central Europe.

Ericsson company, Redback Networks, has today announced the launch of the SM 480, a smart Ethernet switch that will help operators unify their fixed and mobile networks. The product is the first in a suite of carrier Ethernet products from Redback and Ericsson said to be designed to simplify network architectures, lower carrier costs and accelerate the convergence of fixed and mobile networks.

Smart Ethernet switches provide greater flexibility for operators to consolidate their networks and introduce new services. The SM 480 is a key platform, providing a cost-efficient evolution to an IP-based transport solution and offers future terabit switching capacity. It will be integrated into Ericsson's fixed and mobile broadband solutions including LTE. Key features of the SM 480 include: Layer 2 subscriber management for wholesale broadband services; improved quality of service and reliability for video services; and a simplified IP-over-Ethernet architecture that boosts network availability and reduces downtime.

Bert Nordberg, Executive Vice President Ericsson Group, says: "The SM 480 was developed as a low-cost infrastructure alternative for consolidating fixed and mobile networks. It reflects Ericsson's vision of a single platform for fixed and mobile networks, helping operators to deliver seamless full-service broadband and offering consumers a richer user experience."

Steve Murray, Vice President for Product Management at Redback Networks, says: "Operators are eager for a solution that combines Redback's IP-over-Ethernet innovation with Ericsson's mobile expertise. The launch of the SM 480 highlights the strength of our combined technology leadership in addressing the surging global wholesale broadband market."

The first Mobile WiMAX field testing in Finland has been carried out in Savonlinna. Part of a larger Mobile WiMAX technology study initiated by ten Finnish broadband operators, the field test was run by local telephone company SPY and consultancy company Omnitele in collaboration with network company Daimler Finland. The equipment used in the field tests were Alvarion's 4Motion solution with its IEEE 802.16e compliant BreezeMax as radio access network platform. The Mobile WiMAX pilot network was hosted by Savonlinna Telephone Company (SPY).

SPY currently offers fixed WiMAX broadband services in both rural and urban areas to private households, businesses and summer residents. A Mobile WiMAX network was set up for testing purposes in the city centre. The field trial included measuring data transfer rates in different radio environments, handover, response times and coverage.

The Mobile WiMAX project was commissioned by ten Finnish broadband service providers and supported by Omnitele Ltd, a Finnish wireless communications consulting firm. The project aimed at giving a comprehensive view of WiMAX technology and the current market situation, in order to position WiMAX in the technology portfolio of the operators in the coming years. Omnitele acted in the role of project planner and independent supervisor of the field testing.

"The target of the field testing was to test the performance and functionality of a Mobile WiMAX system from both an operator and end users points of view," said Senior Consultant Jouni Salmi of Omnitele. "Alvarion proved to be the only vendor ready to provide the equipment needed and willingness to support the unbiased testing in a real network environment proposed by this project. The most anticipated feature of the 802-16e system being full mobility, this was naturally one of the key features to which we were giving special attention during the tests. In the Alvarion system both intra and inter base station handovers worked flawlessly. Handovers were seamless, totally invisible for the common user. In addition, downloads rates of 6 Mbit/s were achieved with very low latency times. Even mission critical voice applications such as SIP, as well as video streaming, were functioning fully to our satisfaction.".

Ericsson has been selected as the supplier and systems integrator of its Mobile Softswitch Solution to Poland's leading operator Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (PTC). The solution will boost PTC's network capacity, performance and coverage, and support a range of multimedia services.

Under the frame agreement, Ericsson's Mobile Softswitch Solution will replace PTC's current mobile switching center. Commercial launch is set for 2008.

Ericsson's Mobile Softswitch Solution will allow PTC to reduce its core network operating expenses and is the first step towards an efficient and converged all-IP core network. The solution employs layered architecture that allows for leveraging of the existing infrastructure and ensures a common foundation for new consumer services - supporting improved call control and network intelligence, enabling a reduction in the number and size of main core network sites. It also offers PTC bandwidth savings, improved voice-over-IP network services, and enhanced voice quality for customers.

Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, Director of Network Operations and member of Management Board at PTC, said: "Ericsson's Mobile Softswitch Solution enables PTC to expand and upgrade our network and provide a platform for the launch of attractive multimedia services for our customers ."

Lars E. Svensson, President of Ericsson in Poland, says: "This deal marks a significant milestone in Ericsson's ongoing partnership with PTC and sets the stage for the introduction of a host of state-of-the-art services across Poland."

Ascom and Vodafone were awarded by the TM Forum with the Excellence Award of the category "Best Prosspero Implementation" for their common project "VINE" (Vodafone International Information Exchange). The prize was awarded to Ascom and Vodafone within the scope of a festive ceremony on May 19, 2008 during the Management World Congress in Nice.

The VINE project, specified, realised and led by Ascom, enables the international exchange of Trouble Tickets based on the OSS/J standard of the TM Forum, both between Vodafone entities and with Vodafone partners and suppliers, independent of their local used Trouble Ticket technology. Due to the unified interface and the abolition of numerous point-to-point connections, the costs can be reduced significantly, the integration of new entities and suppliers can be accelerated and last but not least the service quality is increased.

Martin Creaner, President und CTO of TM Forum: "Implementing Prosspero interfaces, gives vendors and service providers the trust, standards and good practices that speed-up integration projects and reduce their risks. This major project between Vodafone and Ascom provides both parties with a winning solution. Congratulations on the project."

Michael Wallrath, Managing Director of  Ascom Deutschland GmbH: "We are proud having won this price in onjunction with our customer Vodafone. It remunerates our longterm engagement in the area of the OSS/J standard and accentuates in particular the innovative Vodafone project "VINE", certainly belonging to the most interesting and exciting major projects in the OSS area."

Verint Systems has announced that Jazztel, a leading telecommunications and data transmission carrier in Spain, has implemented Impact 360® Workforce Optimisation (WFO) a solution offered through the company's Verint Witness Actionable Solutions business line. Having deployed the solution in an Avaya IP environment, Jazztel is leveraging the software to help improve workforce management capacity and performance at its contact centre in Madrid.

The ability to capture, analyse and take action on customer interactions is what appealed most to Jazztel in selecting Impact 360 Workforce Optimisation. With the information acquired, the organisation better understands trends and root causes. Jazztel is also able to leverage other functionality across the WFO suite - such as workforce management, eLearning and performance management - to establish realistic forecasts and performance goals, schedule the appropriate number of staff, drive performance improvement with targeted training and measure performance to identify execution issues and excellence. The solution has been deployed in conjunction with Verint partner Voiceware Communications.

"We are confident that the innovative technology and the quality of professional services provided by Verint Witness Actionable Solutions and Voiceware, along with the expertise of our own team, will further enhance our customers' experiences with Jazztel's customer care," says Marcos Liberini, Director of Customer Care at Jazztel. "By implementing Impact 360 Workforce Optimisation, we expect that our service efforts will continue to stand out in the Spanish market."

By design, Impact 360 Workforce Optimisation enables Jazztel to scale based on demand, adding new functionality in the future to span across the entire enterprise, such as customer feedback and speech and data analytics. The unified suite also helps the organisation obtain greater insight into workforce performance, customer service processes and customer loyalty.

"Impact 360 Workforce Optimisation enables Jazztel to extract and analyse important information on interactions with customers, analyse the effectiveness of the service they deliver and improve the experience for its growing customer base," comments David Parcell, Managing Director EMEA for Verint Systems. "The software complements Jazztel's vision in optimising its contact centre, and helps provide increased quality and productivity."

87% of businesses are looking to invest in Unified Communications solutions in the near future despite fears about spending due to the credit crunch. And a new survey carried out for Interactive Intelligence by independent specialists Vanson Bourne has revealed that only 13% of those questioned said they were not considering moving towards a Unified Communications solution.

A strong message to come out of the survey was that individual technologies that make up Unified Communications solutions such as VoIP and Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) were driving this move.

VoIP was the most popular aspect of Unified Communications, with 80% of respondents citing it as a technology they were planning to invest in as part of their customer service solution. In addition 41% said they were interested in Interactive Voice Response, 31% in presence management and 30% in Session Initiated Protocol (SIP).

Richard Brown, VP Sales EMEA of Interactive Intelligence said, "This confirms our longheld view at Interactive Intelligence that individually, technologies such as VoIP and SIP can deliver huge benefits internally to companies by improving their operations, yet when brought together as a Unified Communications solution companies can experience both improvements in customer service and internal operations."

Key Findings

*       Interest in moving toward a unified communications solution was
particularly strong in the retail, distribution and transport sector, with 100% of those questioned indicating they were considering moving towards a Unified Communications solution.

*       50% of businesses said that the credit crunch would not affect
their spending on Unified Communications solutions

*       58% of respondents hoped to see the greatest gain through
internal return on investment, while a further 38% hoped to see both operational improvements and better service quality for their customers.


*       80% of respondents felt that offering Unified Communications
rather than managing the call centre as a separate aspect of the business would benefit the enterprise as a whole.

Financial Results

Although all sectors felt that Unified Communications is of key importance, this was particularly true of the financial services sector. 100% of respondents in this sector said that they were looking to invest in Unified Communications in the near future. 76% of respondents in the financial sector thought that Unified Communications would benefit business more than treating the call centre as a separate entity.

Brown confirmed, "The financial services sector has always been at the forefront of investing in new communications technologies to continue to deliver better customer service to its clients. Therefore it is no surprise to us as Interactive Intelligence that as a sector they are particularly keen to invest in Unified Communications and is in fact borne out by our recent experience."

Meru Networks, the specialist in mobility infrastructure for data, wireless voice (VoIP) and video, today announced that it has appointed Pamplona headquartered Sistelec, a Spanish importer and distributor of networking products and solutions. Following on from the launch of Meru's new partner program last week, the partnership represents another entry by Meru into a marketplace which will increase its established portfolio of deployments. Healthcare, education and SMEs will be Sistelec's main targets to introduce Meru's access point architecture to.

During the recent elections, a huge emphasis was placed by the Spanish Government on the need for technology innovation. Sistelec, the pioneers in distributing wireless solutions, will support and provide this demand for the country's fast changing public sector which has an increasing need for ubiquitous broadband internet. Whilst sectors such as the construction industry in Spain have declined in market growth, technology has continued to increase year by year.

Dave Kelly, VP EMEA at Meru explained: "Spain's appetite for advanced networking solutions is growing rapidly and this partnership aims to support and take full advantage of this. The combination of our unique wireless infrastructure technology and Sistelec's highly skilled workforce is an excellent and competitive pairing that can offer more choice to this important market."

Whilst others have created WLAN switch architectures, Meru says it has focused primarily on ease of deployment and central management of access point (AP) configuration parameters. Solving this problem is both important and necessary, but it is not enough. The key challenge in a pervasive wireless LAN deployment is managing contention, interference and Quality of Service (QoS) in a dense Wi-Fi environment. Meru has done just that with its WLAN System.

The Meru Wireless LAN Controller provides centralized management and control of Meru Access Points. Meru Wireless LAN Controllers intelligently manage the RF spectrum to deliver a wireless LAN network that is as reliable as the wired network. Intelligent management of client access ensures the highest performance for dense voice and data applications, delivering a true converged voice and data WLAN network.

Monica Perez de Larraya, Marketing Manager at Sistelec commented: "Sistelec focuses strongly on differentiating itself from the competition and Meru's unique single cell architecture gives the Spanish market the lift it needs.  This makes us the pioneer distributing this type of technology as a wholesaler for wireless solutions in a much in demand market."

Meru's VirtualCell architecture is defined by access points that coordinate with one another to the extent that they don't interfere and can co-exist. Every access point uses the same a/b/g/n Wi-Fi channels. The VirtualCell approach simplifies channel mapping making it easier more cost effective to deploy and grow especially for users wanting to migrate to the next generation wireless standard, draft 802.11n.

Comverse, the leading supplier of software and systems enabling network-based multimedia enhanced communication and billing services, has announced availability of the Comverse ONE Billing and Active Customer Management solution - the industry's only customer care and billing solution built around a single data model and a single product catalog, allowing seamless and efficient support for both multi-service and payment convergence all through one system. This approach uniquely gives operators the ability to use one system to manage all subscribers consistently, regardless of payment or service type, as well as accelerate the launch of new offers and promotions.

This Comverse ONE approach lowers costs, accelerates time to revenue and improves the customer experience. Since the end-to-end functionality is all built around one data model and one product catalog, integration points are removed, reducing deployment time and cost. Comverse ONE can be deployed in a variety of ways to meet unique operator needs. In addition to supporting pure-play prepaid, pure-play postpaid or hybrid prepaid/postpaid, an operator can also deploy Comverse ONE to support postpaid subscribers with real-time credit control; to support prepaid subscribers with order management and customer care; or to support any combination of prepaid, postpaid and hybrid accounts. Any deployment mode can be efficiently evolved to add capabilities over time to meet phased business transformations or changing business needs. Because all modules are based on the same architecture, upgrades and evolution are swift and cost-effective.

"Convergent, real-time charging is vitally important to fully support and monetize next-generation services, as well as to provide operators with the flexibility for key differentiation through personalization, bundled offers and multiple pricing models," said Norbert Scholz, Research Director at Gartner.

"We are very proud both to bring this next-generation solution to market and to be underway with our first deployment," said Howard Woolf, President, Comverse Converged Billing Group. "We understand that operators need to simplify operations, lower costs and decrease the complexity associated with use of disparate systems. Comverse is in a unique position to address these business issues for our customers."

The solution - based on Comverse's 'market-leading' billing heritage - is an evolution path for existing customers, and delivers comprehensive BSS functionality from real-time rating, charging, promotions and session control, through active customer management - including self-service and order management - to billing and financials, mediation and content partner settlements; all based on the same architecture.

Jacob Fleming Conferences produces another five-star Telecom event on 8th and 9th October in Amsterdam.

In today's highly competitive business environment, operators cannot afford to lose one profitable business customer. Their customers need to be connected but providing a "one service fits all" approach is not the most practical when they vary in size, structure, nature of business and needs. The question is not which technology is used, but whether the solution works for them and enables them to communicate effectively for their level of investment.

As today's technology continues to develop in bringing many new possibilities and methods for providing services to customers, it is now up to operators to use the available options and offer the right solutions to the market.

This Developing and Marketing Telecom Services for Business Customers conference, provides the best case studies on how to create the best portfolio of services for the Telecom industry's business customers and align their services with current trends of convergence.

Over the two days, delegates to this conference will learn how to incorporate their clients' needs into the product development as well as the range of innovative services that can be offered to business clients in addition to voice and data, how to adjust company strategy to the market situation and examine the differences between top accounts and SMEs needs.  Presentations on these and more topics will be given by Senior Executives and Heads at top Telecom companies including British Telecom, Elisa, Makedonski Telekomunikacii, Siminn and Turkcell.

Through some breakthrough topics and carefully designed events, Jacob Fleming Conferences has become one of the leading business intelligence companies in Europe and beyond in organizing top-level B2B conferences with strategic orientation. Senior decision-makers from leading companies are present at the events both as speakers and as delegates. Their fields of interest include financial services, telecommunications, chemicals, energy and the pharmaceutical industry. Extensive research, targeted speaker selection and top class venues provide a unique incentive and exceptional opportunities for the executives and experts participating in Jacob Fleming conferences.

For further information about the event and Jacob Fleming conferences contact Sherisse Shelton-Smith on +421 257 272 131 or e-mail s.shelton@jacobfleming.com

Unisys Corporation, the worldwide information technology services and solutions company, has announced it will be working with Expand Networks, a leader in application acceleration over the Wide Area Network (WAN), on a new managed WAN optimisation service. Expand Network's Compass platform will be tightly integrated with Unisys' new managed WAN Optimisation service to provide optimised IT infrastructures for organisations in the Italian market.

As part of the Network Connectivity Solutions portfolio, Unisys new Local Area Network (LAN) and WAN Network Management Services will be based on Expand Network's Compass platform, a portfolio of tightly integrated technologies including WAN optimisation and network acceleration solutions. The service will enable customers to improve remote user productivity and achieve cost savings across the IT infrastructure, also enhancing performance of applications to distributed business enterprises.

"A major concern in the distributed enterprise is poor performance of applications as they cross the WAN, hindering company-wide initiatives such as virtualisation, server consolidation and migration to web applications." said Marco Tesini, Business Operations Director Global Outsourcing Infrastructure Services."

"Expand Network's Compass platform has a broad and advanced features set that complements Unisys already existing managed services. It can improve the performance of applications from Microsoft Exchange to Remote Desktop Protocol to Terminal Services and supports our customer's global IT initiatives. Working together to deliver the new managed WAN optimisation service; we believe poor performance issues will be easily addressed in the future."

Gerhard Unger, Director, Partner Development, Carrier and Alliances, EMEA, Expand Networks said: "In today's economic environment companies are demanding greater flexibility in technology to allow them to choose between CAPEX or OPEX options. Unisys managed service based on the Expand Compass platform delivers the alternative WAN Optimisation offering the market is seeking and helps companies to access greater business opportunities in the Italian market."

    

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