European Communications

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Subex Azure wins Fraud Management contract with Melita Cable

Subex Azure, a leading global provider of OSS solutions for telecom operators, today announced it is deploying its Fraud Management bureau for Melita Cable, Malta's primary cable television and internet service provider.

Melita is the first 'triple-play' (internet, TV and telephony) operator in Malta, providing services to more than 100,000 subscribers.  As the company and its number of services continue to grow, Melita is keen to ensure that it is protecting its revenues effectively.

Subex Azure was chosen after impressing Melita with its Fraud Management bureau implementation at UPC (United Pan-European Communications). The bureau is a unique offering in the revenue maximization space and is ideal for growing operators as it provides them with leading-edge fraud management capability without large up-front costs.

The Subex Azure Fraud Management bureau uses flexible rules-based alarms and fingerprint pattern matching to identify likely fraudulent usage, enabling operators to detect known fraud types and patterns of unusual behaviour in all telecoms environments - wireline (PSTN, ISP, VOIP), wireless (2G, 2.5G, 3G) and across all services (postpaid, prepaid, VAS, MMS, m-commerce).

George Galea, Manager of IT and Data Services, Melita Cable, said: "We have chosen Subex Azure's Fraud Management bureau as it is a cost-effective and scaleable solution that can grow in line with our subscriber and network traffic volume.  By ensuring we are protecting our revenues we can continue to offer innovative communication services to our customers."

Saul Nurtman, President EMEA, Subex Azure Limited, said: "We are delighted to be working with Melita Cable.  This is a great example of how our bureau service can provide smaller growing operators with world-class fraud management capability without the pressures of large capital and operational expenditure."

Viacom's BET Networks continues global expansion with a new Internet video initiative in the United Kingdom

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc , and Brightcove, the leading Internet TV service, have announced a partnership to distribute ad-supported Internet video channels in the United Kingdom. BET Networks is the leading provider of media and entertainment for African Americans and consumers of Black culture globally.

Through its partnership with Brightcove, BET International will extend the distribution of its compelling content -- including entertainment, music and celebrity programming -- to online audiences in the UK via the new Internet video site, BETonBlast.co.uk. BET will also take advantage of Brightcove's viral promotion features to enable consumers to share and embed BET Internet video content on websites, blogs and social networks in the UK. All Internet video channels will also offer online advertising opportunities sold by Viacom Brand Solutions in the UK.

"We're excited to continue building the BET brand around the world, and with the launch of our beta broadband site in the UK, users can get an early taste of our forthcoming multiplatform offering that's set to debut later this year," said Michael D. Armstrong, BET International Senior Vice President and General Manager. "We're also looking forward to working with Brightcove, whose technology allows us to tap into the power of Internet video, while maintaining control over the quality of the viewing experience and the revenue potential of our video content."

BETonBlast.co.uk, set to launch later this summer, will include content focused on the most popular Black music, lifestyle, news, fashion, entertainment and community issues of the day.

"BET is one of the most popular cable networks in the United States with a programming line-up that has strong worldwide appeal," said Jeremy Allaire, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Brightcove. "We are thrilled to be working with BET and chosen as the Internet video platform for their expansion into Europe."

Ericsson has signed the first GPON contract in Europe with CYTA in Cyprus

Ericsson and CYTA, the leading operator in Cyprus, have signed a contract for a Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) network based on Ericsson's GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) solution.

CYTA has started to provide advanced broadband services, such as High Definition TV (up to two channels per home), games, on-demand services, Voice over IP (VoIP) while there is also the option of Surveillance and Security services.

Nikos Timotheou, CEO, CYTA, says: "With this pilot project, CYTA proves once again its commitment to offer high quality broadband services to our customers, using innovative technology. In this effort, Ericsson, with their leading global experience and expertise combined with their local commitment, is our valuable partner."

Spyros Nikolaou, Country Manager Ericsson Greece, Cyprus, Albania & Malta says: "This agreement confirms Ericsson as partner of choice for CYTA to provide users innovative services to any device, anywhere and with the maximum convenience. We are proud to be the partner, providing solutions that support a Full Service Broadband strategy, today and in the future. "

The contract includes delivery of central office optical equipment and devices for the homes, EDA1200 and EDA1500, and passive infrastructure such as fiber systems and cables. Apart from the GPON network (point-to-multipoint configuration), the pilot project includes also a point-to-point network, using Ericsson's equipment (switches and CPEs)

The contract also encompasses a comprehensive portfolio of Services, such as education and knowledge transfer, business consultancy, network design and supervision.

MACH signs agreement with Mobitel D.D. Slovenia

MACH, the clearing and settlement partner for mobile based transactions, has announced that Mobitel D.D. Slovenia has signed a contract with MACH for their market-dominant Financial Clearing and Settlement solution.

Mobitel D.D. Slovenia is Slovenia's national mobile telecommunications operator and provides a range of mobile services to domestic and foreign users throughout the country. They are the leading operator in Slovenia with more than 70% market share and their services include GSM 900/1800, GPRS, WLAN and UMTS.

Slovenia has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in Europe, which is growing rapidly. As a result of this burgeoning market, it is imperative for Mobitel Slovenia to have a reliable and solid Financial Clearing & Settlement system in place to ensure that revenues from their increased customer base are collected accurately and on time, to cater for both existing and future demand.

Mobitel Slovenia decided to move to MACH from their previous Financial Clearing service provider, due to MACH's capacity to help them increase their profitability. The timing of the move follows on from MACH's recent merger with Cibernet; which has further cemented MACH's market superiority in providing advanced Financial Clearing & Settlement solutions for mobile operators worldwide. 

MACH prides itself on excellent customer care and service levels. One of the main reasons why Mobitel Slovenia chose MACH for their Financial Clearing & Settlement alongside their current Data Clearing contract is due to the very good relationship between both companies, in addition to MACH's proven strength of solutions and experience of working with the biggest global operators.

Terence Ledger, Chief Commercial Officer at MACH commented; "The agreement with Mobitel Slovenia represents a further endorsement of MACH's proven track record of providing operators whom operate in some of the world's most rapidly changing markets, with an effective future-proofed Financial Clearing & Settlement solution. We are delighted to have signed this agreement with Mobitel Slovenia, and look forward to a long-term partnership".

Huawei wins Telecom Italia HSPA network expansion

Huawei, the provider of next generation telecommunications network solutions for operators, has been selected by Telecom Italia to expand and upgrade its HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) networks covering Southern Italy, including important cities such as Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The expansion will help boost Telecom Italia’s network capacity and allow it to rapidly deliver new services.

Huawei will supply its new generation Node B solution to fulfil Telecom Italia’s technical requirements. Huawei new generation Node B will support full-performance HSDPA, HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access), and IP RAN (IP-based Radio Access Network). The open architecture of Distributed Node B provides Telecom Italia with more flexible networking to allow it to accelerate the delivery of its HSDPA services and ready for commercial deployment of its HSUPA services.

Upgrading Telecom Italia existing network with Huawei’s advanced HSPA solution will allow the Italian operator to provide the best possible end-user experience and reinforce its leading position in the market.

“We are proud to provide HSPA products and solutions to Telecom Italia,” added Mr. Qiao Xiaoping, Managing Director of Huawei Technologies Italy. “With our advanced HSPA technologies and fast service response times we hope to help Telecom Italia extend its lead in the dynamic and fast-growing mobile broadband market."

According to In-Stat Market Research, Huawei is the fastest growing WCDMA/UMTS manufacturer with 32.9% market share in terms of new contract wins in 2006. The cooperation with Telecom Italia Mobile will further consolidate Huawei’s position as a leader in the global WCDMA/HSPA industry.

LHS introduces new release of iX Mediation

LHS, a leading provider of telecom billing and customer care systems across the wireless, wireline, and IP telecom markets worldwide, has announced the launch of iX Mediation Release 2, the latest version, of the fully convergent solution for the collection and administration of customer usage data. iX Mediation Release 2 supports wireless, wireline, IP, and IMS (IP Multimedia subsystems) providers, offering them 'substantially more flexibility'.

iX Mediation Release 2 now features many new standard protocols allowing providers to be more flexible when introducing new services. In addition, during runtime, updates or new network elements can be integrated without the need for shutting down and restarting the system.

Mediation systems convert information about the utilized services into a format that is supported by billing, CRM and other downstream IT systems. An effective mediation system enables providers to introduce and bill new products faster. This allows corporations to improve customer loyalty, increase the average revenue per user (ARPU), reduce costs and secure their turnover.

"Legacy mediation systems frequently have problems in collecting all user service data in real time, which naturally had a negative effect on the revenue recognition of the providers as well as customer satisfaction. iX Mediation Release 2 provides a real-time link between the network and the charging system," said Dr. Jens Troetscher, Chief Technology Officer of LHS.

iX Mediation Release 2 enables data transfer across all networks and service platforms for voice, data and content services. In addition, the software also offers mediation options for value-added contents and allows the speedy introduction of new services through the simultaneous configuration of all networks and applications.

Support of multimedia systems
In developing the new version, special attention has been given to the graphical user interface, which now facilitates the integration of new network components by users. In addition, the software offers online charging (OCF) and charging collection (CCF) functions, which are of central importance to IP multimedia subsystems (IMS).

"From now on, IMS will convert all services of a provider into a single protocol. This facilitates the integration of services such as voice over IP, push services, messaging and multimedia applications, such as multi-user gaming and videoconferences. Two of our customers are already implementing the new solution, which allows them to be more flexible and faster than their competitors," added Dr. Troetscher.

iX Mediation Release 2 is a stand-alone solution that is pre-integrated into the BSCS iX billing and customer care system by LHS. It can easily be integrated into any kind of network infrastructure and provide data to any billing system.

Wales & West Utilities connect to 3G through THUS Contract win highlights strength of THUS in utilities sector

THUS has announced that it has signed a deal with Wales & West Utilities to connect it to Vodafone's 3G network.  THUS will connect the gas distribution supplier via SIM cards placed in existing devices.  This is the latest in a number of recent customer wins for THUS in the utilities market, cementing its position as one of the leading communications providers in this important sector.

Under the terms of the deal, THUS will provide Wales & West Utilities with SIM cards to connect remote workers to Vodafone's 3G, allowing employees to send detailed reports from remote locations back into the main network covering 19 depots across Wales and the South West of England as well as the main office located in Newport. 

Wales & West Utilities will enjoy significant cost savings by opting to connect to its managed data service via THUS' solution.  THUS provides economic connection charges and allows Wales & West Utilities to buy data in bundles of 250Mb per user on a tariff suitable to their needs and  generating savings due to THUS' highly competitive, bespoke pricing.

Further benefits include enhanced billing, utilising controls and cost centres on Wales & West Utilities account for up-to-date, online billing.  Managers will be able to log on to their account via the THUS website to monitor usage and charges for the accounts relevant to their respective depots.  THUS' online account management will enable clearer and more detailed billing, drilling down to the usage patters of individual workers.

David Harrison Head of Infrastructure at West & Wales Utilities commented:  "THUS has been able to offer the exact service we needed with well-tailored tariffs.  Wales & West Utilities can now enjoy the benefits of 3G networking without suffering as a result of inefficient data bundles, allowing for a more effective use of resources".

THUS has a strong history of winning contracts with utilities companies - a sector worth multi-million pounds to the operator.  Phil Male, Chief Operating Officer at THUS plc noted:  "THUS has quickly established itself as a dominant force in the Utilities sector, and this latest contract with West & Wales Utilities once again demonstrates our capability.  Utilities suppliers need to have reliable communications if they are going to meet the high levels of service demanded by their customers, and it is a testament to THUS' proposition in this market that it is becoming the supplier of choice to utilities businesses across the UK". 

Russian operator Center Telecom selects Italtel for implementation of broadband and VoIP

Italtel consolidates its relationship with regional operator Center Telecom (Svyazinvest Group), launching the multimedia network expansion project that will provide connections for access to voice services and Fast Internet to over 8,000 users

Italtel, specialist in the development and integration of products and services for next generation networks over IP, has announced it has begun the implementation of the new multimedia communication network for Center Telecom, part of Svyazinvest Group, the incumbent Russian fixed network operator. The solution, based on Italtel’s platform, will allow users to take advantage of voice, video and broadband Internet services in addition to the services already offered.

The Russian market today is very dynamic, with drivers for growth linked to the demand for IP-based value added services, in addition to modernisation of traditional networks through the replacement of analogue exchanges with digital ones. Besides, from 2009, the implementation of broadband services, which is already high in the Moscow area, is expected to accelerate in the other largest areas of the country as well. 

Italtel acts as the reference partner of Center Telecom (which counts 6.8 million installed lines, 6.3 million users in fixed telephony and 3 million in mobile) in the evolution of its network through the development of innovative services, reinforcing the collaboration that began in 2003.
In particular, Center Telecom has started developing, with the collaboration of Italtel, an infrastructure for video/voice communication and broadband wireless that is part of an important national project for the development of new services that address the communication requirements of Public Sector, Universities and Residential users. 

The Italtel solution is based on the Softswitch i-MSS (Italtel Multi Service Solution) platform, which has been integrated in the core of Center Telecom’s network since 2006. This solution is the first step towards Next-Generation Networks (NGN) and the addition of advanced services like video telephony, IP Call Center and Wi-Max.

“Through the wireline and wireless broadband solution provided by Italtel, we are in the ideal condition to fulfill national projects like those called ‘Home’, ‘Education’ and ‘Public Health Services’, stated Ivan Mahov, CTO of the Orel branch of Center Telecom.  “Thus, we will enable a wide range of potential users to access not only to the contents available on the Internet, but also to advanced services in real time like remote training, telemedicine, and video surveillance.”

“We are very happy that a qualified operator like Center Telecom has chosen our technology for the development of its network and for the achievement of communications projects that are part of national programs”, commented Antonio Cassese, EVP Sales Operation International Markets, Italtel. “Furthermore, we are pleased to have further strengthened our collaboration with Center Telecom by providing our consulting services to allow the migration of their infrastructure towards Next-Generation Networks and Services.”

Present in Russia for 15 years now, with two main locations (Moscow and Saint Petersburg) and a qualified local technical team, Italtel has carried out important projects for the development of the telecommunication network of the Svyazinvest Group, installing over one million two hundred thousand telephone lines.

Patni acquires telecoms consulting specialist Logan-Orviss International

Adds telecoms thought leadership, domain expertise and operational transformation consulting

Patni Computer Systems, a leading global IT services provider announced the acquisition of Europe-based Logan-Orviss International (LOI), a leading independent specialist telecommunications consulting services company.

The consideration includes an upfront cash payment on completion of the transaction as well as performance-linked incentive payments on achieving financial targets over a three year period. LOI ended a profitable year with revenues of Euro 11.8 Million in 2006.

The acquisition strengthens Patni’s capability in communications and media practice providing operators thought leadership and operational transformation consulting for mission critical IT initiatives.

Logan-Orviss International will become Patni’s Telecommunications Consulting & Advisory practice, and will be led by Brendan Logan and Colin Orviss, the firm’s co-founders.

Commenting on the acquisition, Neeraj Gupta, Executive Vice President, Patni said, “The LOI acquisition underscores our commitment to global telecommunications and media customers. With this, Patni adds further depth to our pool of telecoms specialists enabling us to provide the best of world-class consulting and global delivery.”

Brendan Logan and Colin Orviss, Co-Founders, Logan-Orviss International, said, “The next generation communications and media service companies will be very different than today. The team of specialists at LOI along with Patni can enable their rapid transformation to developing new revenue streams, next-generation architectures and the best customer experience.”

“This is the age of multi-media content and IPTV,” remarked Keith Willetts, Chairman and CEO of the TM Forum. “Communications providers do not always have the expertise in house to transform their business to address new opportunities or the experience with new information systems architectures and implementation approaches to facilitate a rapid change. The combination of Logan Orviss and Patni skills highlights the growing industry trend of mergers to better serve this important and growing market.”

“This strategic acquisition is designed to offer holistic, multi-level business transformation services to media and communications companies," said Camille Mendler, European research Vice President at Yankee Group. "Patni's IT services portfolio coupled with LOI's deep industry and consulting know-how are a strong combination.”