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Aculab, a leading provider of enabling technology for the global communications market, today announced the launch of the ApplianX IP Gateway - one of the initial products being made available within the ApplianX portfolio which includes a number of devices designed for network infrastructure roles in the developing converged networks of enterprises and service providers. 

By design, the ApplianX IP Gateway aims to help enterprises reduce operational costs, extend the life of existing TDM based equipment and take advantage of new IP based services and endpoints by being an easy to install, configure and manage network device.

The enterprise class ApplianX IP Gateway, is an easy to deploy SIP to TDM gateway, often installed within an enterprise or service centre.  It can be used to bridge between an internal VoIP or packet switched telecoms network and the external PSTN, a PBX or private circuit switched network. The ApplianX Gateway is easily configured and administered via a web HTML interface, which allows remote backup and restore of stored configurations and user data.

The ApplianX IP Gateway comes with 1, 2 or 4 E1 or T1 trunks supporting a wide variety of E1 and T1 protocols and approvals so that it can be deployed worldwide and connected to globally dispersed remote offices and service networks. 

In addition, the ApplianX IP Gateway provides comprehensive support for many PBX inter-working protocols, such as Q.SiG and DPNSS, allowing investment in legacy equipment such as PBXs to be protected - they can remain in service while new IP based services and endpoints can be taken advantage of.

Finally, a broad range of voice codecs are supported including G.711, G.723.1, G.726, G.729A&B and iLBC, guaranteeing connection to a diverse mix of endpoint devices.

The ApplianX portfolio will eventually include a range of voice and video IP gateways, SIP trunking gateways, media servers and associated devices, and will be available in both enterprise class and carrier class presentations of highly resilient, scalable, high availability configurations with capacities of up to 4 trunks in a single 1U server and 80 trunks in a cPCI, carrier class chassis.

Synchronoss Technologies, a provider of on-demand transaction management software to Tier One communications service providers (CSPs), has announced that its ConvergenceNow platform will be rolled out across Europe. Addressing the growth opportunities for network and device convergence, ConvergenceNow will be launched initially in the UK, Germany, France and Spain.

Synchronoss will be deploying and contracting directly with leading Tier One Communication Service providers. In order to accelerate time to market and transactional growth, Synchronoss has engaged major European system integration firms who have deep understandings of the back-office platforms at Tier One CSPs. Certified system integration partners selected by Synchronoss have committed financial, technical, and operational resources.

"We are truly excited about the growth opportunities that the European market offers us," said Stephen G. Waldis, president and CEO of Synchronoss Technologies. Waldis added, "We are convinced that our proven ConvergenceNow platform will allow European CSPs to create considerable value by optimizing the customer experience associated with activation and provisioning processes."

"Our research clearly indicates that converged networks and devices are expected to grow significantly over the next five years in Europe, with a variety of OEMs launching innovative handsets," said Omar Téllez, EVP of Marketing at Synchronoss Technologies. Téllez added, "We have seen first hand that European CSPs face significant challenges in deploying these converged services. We believe that our game-changing activation process is delivering the best customer experience possible. As the best in class solution in the United States on this front, we are excited as we begin our roll out of ConvergenceNow across Europe."

Thomson has announced its strategy for the delivery of interactive voice and video services over any fixed or mobile network using IMS ("IP Multimedia Subsystem") architecture. The announcement follows Thomson's on-going action to ease the deployment of new IPTV and interactive TV services and lower network costs.
 
Leveraging standard interfaces and mechanisms, IMS is a network architecture developed together by equipment vendors and telecom operators to deliver any type of service over any local loop and any device using a single infrastructure. It is seen by operators as the way to replace legacy telecom architectures with IP networks and launch a new breed of interactive and multimedia features to compete against "peer-to-peer" and Internet-based services.

"As one of the first telecom equipment manufacturers to announce the availability of IMS solutions, we are committed to the promotion of non-proprietary and open standards" said Frédéric Caussarieu, senior vice president of the Network Intelligence Solutions activity within Thomson's Systems Division. "In fact, our Cirpack telephony application and core IMS solution have already been deployed with large broadband operators as well as with fixed mobile convergence rollouts."

Frédéric Caussarieu added that IMS technology will resolve a number of IPTV issues which are becoming critical for operators wishing to deploy IPTV, including a lack of standards, bandwidth management, and a complexity that hinders the ability to offer cross services. He sees the combination of IMS technology and Thomson's video expertise as a unique asset that will give the company an edge in content distribution services across fixed and mobile broadband networks.

"Our IMS solution will clearly accelerate deployments of IPTV services, but will also enable content roaming and handover across networks and terminals to realize the vision of a unified TV experience that only telecom operators can bring to life" said Frédéric Caussarieu.

Thomson is a major contributor to standardisation efforts, chairing the DVB-IP workgroups and playing a key role in the European Telecommunications Standard Institute's "TISPAN 2" working groups currently finalising the IMS specifications for IPTV.
 
These new industry standards for IPTV are expected to be released in the first quarter of 2008. Thomson has already started to adapt its SmartVision IPTV service platform, and will make its full IMS solution available for trials in 2008. Existing SmartVision customers will be able to migrate smoothly to embrace IMS standards when desired.

AirMagnet, the specialist in security, performance and compliance solutions for wireless LANs, has announced that Huber & Suhner is using the  WLAN site survey tool, AirMagnet Survey PRO, to speed deployment and optimize configuration for public Wi-Fi networks for train lines in the United Kingdom.

Wi-Fi usage is growing rapidly in commuter travel, yet deploying wireless networks for the transportation sector can prove particularly challenging. Train network operators, for instance, require antennas to be hidden, which creates major performance and coverage challenges when positioning the access points during deployment. AirMagnet Survey PRO overcomes these difficulties by allowing rapid, intuitive modelling of different deployment scenarios to determine optimum performance settings.

"Since using AirMagnet Survey PRO I have reduced time taken to deploy wireless networks by 80 percent and can now gain an accurate network plan to ensure successful wireless deployment," said Robin George, application engineering manager for Huber & Suhner. "This eliminates guesswork and ensures there is no network bleeding, saving time, money and, most importantly, guaranteeing the end user access to the best high-speed networks during their journey."

AirMagnet Survey PRO automatically gathers critical Wi-Fi and RF spectrum information using multiple data collection methods, and then generates detailed Wi-Fi performance maps of the results. It is able to account for all potential factors, including access point channel, transmission power, IP address, antenna type, orientation and height, and more. After simulating network deployment, AirMagnet Survey PRO also generates a report with ideal configuration settings for optimum network performance.

"We reviewed a range of other solutions on the market, but AirMagnet really stood out as the most intuitive and easy-to-use solution," George said.

Nokia Siemens Networks and Deutsche Telekom have today signed a wide-ranging partnership agreement that places Nokia Siemens Networks as a strategic partner to Deutsche Telekom. Under the terms of the agreement, Nokia Siemens Networks will assume control of Vivento Technical Services (VTS) - a division of Vivento, Deutsche Telekom's personnel service provider - and has signed a managed services contract valued at nearly €300 million over the next five years. In addition, Deutsche Telekom has also selected Nokia Siemens Networks to deliver a range of capital expenditure projects for several T Mobile affiliates in Europe, including next-generation IN (Intelligent Network), valued at up to €150 million.

The companies have agreed to make Nokia Siemens Networks a preferred services partner for Deutsche Telekom for upcoming outsourcing and managed services projects. With this agreement, Nokia Siemens Networks becomes a major supplier for managed services in Europe further increasing its strong international position in managed services. The asset deal is expected to close at the beginning of next year and includes the transfer of VTS assets to Nokia Siemens Networks, as well as additional support from Deutsche Telekom to ensure a successful transition of VTS to Nokia Siemens Networks.

 "This agreement is proof that Nokia Siemens Networks is the right partner for Deutsche Telekom in the industry's trend to outsource services," said Rajeev Suri, head of Services at Nokia Siemens Networks. "The integration of VTS into our portfolio supports our strategy of transforming into a services and solutions company and helps us become one of the leaders in the European managed services market. By combining the Managed Services contract and the next-generation equipment agreements with ongoing partnership and support from Deutsche Telekom, we see this as a compelling opportunity for Nokia Siemens Networks."

 With the addition of VTS, Nokia Siemens Networks has the increased ability to address the multi-vendor maintenance, installation and commissioning services market within Deutsche Telekom and with other customers across Germany. Under the agreement, Nokia Siemens Networks will deliver a range of managed services to Deutsche Telekom, including a single point of contact for managed maintenance and systems integration, as well as providing build, operate, care and transfer services for major Deutsche Telekom roll-outs in the next few years. The integration of VTS will complement the capabilities of Nokia Siemens Networks in managed services and raise its share in this growing market in Germany by allowing it to increasingly offer installation, commissioning and maintenance services to operators other than Deutsche Telekom.

"We are delighted that by securing this deal with Nokia Siemens Networks, we are partnering with one of the leading providers of global communications services, enabling the employees of VTS to go after new opportunities and customers in the German market," said Dr. Martin Walter, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Vivento Technical Services.
     
Deutsche Telekom will support the continued business development of VTS by committing to use its service delivery capabilities, by placing additional service contracts with the company.

In a very fragmented market consisting of thousands of sub-contractors, cost and resource co-ordination are key factors. VTS is said to offer a promising entry point into the German infrastructure services market which, according to Nokia Siemens Networks internal estimates, is expected to grow annually by around 6%, reaching €1 billion by 2010. With VTS, Nokia Siemens Networks will improve its time-to-market and open up growth opportunities by increasing efficiency and building market share in Germany's managed services market.

"With more than 160 managed services and outsourcing contracts we have a strong track record of integrating employees from customers and delivering a successful business and we will do so with VTS", said Suri. "The scope of the deals we are announcing today strengthens Nokia Siemens Networks' position as a preferred supplier to Deutsche Telekom and positions us well for Deutsche Telekom's upcoming deployment projects across Europe," said Suri.

 "As part of the strategy announced by Deutsche Telekom in 2004, close to 2000 VTS employees will transfer in an asset deal for VTS, which will become a wholy-owned affiliate of Nokia Siemens Networks. Deutsche Telekom will support the continued business development of VTS by committing to use its service delivery capabilities and also by placing additional service contracts with the company", said Dr. Martin Walter.

KPN International, the business unit of Netherlands based and multinational telecoms leader KPN, is launching a new way for UK channel partners to extend their international offering. KPN International is launching its Business Partner Programme as the demand for cross-border networking solutions and the number of lucrative international contracts steeply increases. The move will give partners access to KPN's wholly-owned fibre network across Europe which, complemented with global reach, covers 85% of the world economy and services over 26 million customers.

KPN International has discovered that many VNOs, Network Integrators and VARs are missing valuable international networking business worth £billions. Channel partners want to rely on a flexible telecoms partner who has international expertise, is flexible and easy in doing business with. With the launch of the new KPN International Partner Programme the channel can now take advantage of KPN's international network and experience in working with multinational companies.

The Partner Programme gives partners a chance to benefit from KPN International's wholly-owned European fibre network which features 50 PoPs across 22 European countries. In addition KPN reaches 180 countries worldwide via 100,000 km of cables, plus partnerships with 30 regional carriers. Partners will be able to add KPN International's data services to their own portfolio of products and services. For many partners, this will be the first time they are in a position to offer international network solutions like VPN, Ethernet, SDH, Wavelength and fibre services to their customers.

Says Owen Raisborough, UK Channel Director at KPN International: "We've encountered many channel partners in the UK who are keen to expand their international business so they can maximise lucrative opportunities. That's why KPN offers partners our extensive network reach, innovative product portfolio, and flexible 'Dutch' approach, which we know partners will find refreshing and valuable. It will support them in differentiating themselves from competition and thus in generating additional business."

The move by Vodafone to purchase Tele2's fixed network assets in Italy and Spain for EUR775 million demonstrates the increasing importance of fixed broadband services in the mobile operator service portfolio, according to research specialist, Analysys.

Some mobile operators have considered offering a complete set of fixed and mobile services using wireless technologies (such as HSDPA and WiMAX), but operators will need both fixed and mobile networks in order to deliver a comprehensive range of services to end users, says Mark Heath, Analysys Associate and co-author of the report How to Succeed with Fixed-Mobile Convergence.

"Fixed broadband services could generate revenue for mobile operators, at a time when mobile voice ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) is declining and it continues to be difficult to achieve substantial growth in non-voice revenues," Heath argues.

"Bundling fixed broadband with existing mobile services is an immediate opportunity for new revenue and, in addition, can be an effective means of retaining existing customers. Furthermore, the importance of fixed network access for mobile operators will increase as they start to deploy femtocells (or indoor base stations), which depend on broadband connections for backhaul to their mobile networks."

Vodafone offers DSL services through wholesale agreements with Arcor in Germany, and BT in the UK. Following Vodafone's latest acquisition, it can now offer fixed broadband services alongside its traditional mobile services in four of its major European markets.

"It is highly likely that other mobile-only operators will acquire fixed network assets, or establish partnerships or agreements, with fixed operators. However, mobile-only operators that have begun to negotiate partnerships or agreements with fixed operators may need to consider more radical action in order to achieve service profitability," says Heath.

"Broadband services may provide a much-needed revenue boost, but operators must not lose sight of the need to achieve and maintain service profitability in the longer term. Mobile services can offer significant profit margins, but the margins for fixed broadband services may be small. Mobile-only operators that have wholesale agreements with fixed operators, may be unable to offer low-priced fixed broadband services without damaging profitability. Such operators will need to consider alternatives, such as the acquisition of fixed operators or local loop unbundling," he concludes.

Comfone has announced that, together with Spotigo, it has successfully terminated WISPr compatibility testing for Spotigo's Wi-Fi SmartClient on WeRoam's aggregated public hotspot network.

Tests were performed at Comfone's Wi-Fi test laboratories in Bern Switzerland by Spotigo's technical staff in close collaboration with Comfone's specialists for public Wi-Fi roaming. As a result of these tests, Spotigo was able to extend the WISPr interoperability of its software to the WeRoam network and thus simplifying the end-user experience when connecting to foreign access points. All tests could be carried out in a very efficient manner, thanks to the high concentration of hotspots from dozens of WISP's from around the world in one physical location at Comfone's premises.

"It was our intention from the beginning to build up and open our test hotspot facility to third party suppliers and software developers" says Toni Stadelmann, Vice Chairman of Comfone, "thus we are very satisfied to have been able to support Spotigo improving their software. Eventually a uniform login experience at hotspots around the world is beneficial to all involved business partners."

"Spotigo is happy to announce that our market leading WISPr SmartClient is now also supporting the WeRoam network, an important aggregator for public hotspots. Our software makes it easier for network operators to bind and acquire Wi-Fi users by making Wi-Fi usage as simple and convenient as possible. We are convinced that simplifying the connection process for the end-user will increase the use of public hotspots." says Daniel Pruemers, Managing Director of Spotigo.

Truphone, the UK-based mobile Internet network operator, is broadening international public Wi-Fi access for its customers and automating the Wi-Fi login process at these global locations through a new agreement with Quiconnect.  This will build on and augment existing public Wi-Fi access already established by Truphone while making it far simpler and faster for its customers to make mobile VoIP calls in public places, both in the UK or abroad. 

Truphone uses the Internet to deliver voice calls for customers without requiring a separate handset to be used,  as calls can be made on mass market Nokia mobile phones. Just like Skype did with PC-based VoIP calling, Truphone is making mobile VoIP a reality today worldwide. Using open source and standards-based software, Truphone calls are routed over Wi-Fi using SIP and RTP. 

According to analysts, ON World Inc, the mobile VoIP market will see staggering growth with 70.6 million consumer cell-VoIP users expected by 2011, up from 480,000 last year. 

Truphone will licence Quiconnect's Connector software, embedding it into its own solution, so that customers' handsets will automatically be authenticated at public Wi-Fi locations when in range. This means the cumbersome process of inputting login details prior to making calls is avoided as all the credentials and various scripts required for a customer to log onto a network are already preloaded.  Truphone customers can therefore be completely focused on what they really want to do and that is to make telephone calls rather than worrying about access and log in.  
 

As part of the agreement, Quiconnect will create a virtual Wi-Fi network for Truphone so that customers can access the Truphone service from public Wi-Fi hotspots across the world, including the most important, high traffic locations such as hotels, airports, conference centres, coffee shops and train stations. 

Since active interconnections commenced in 2001, Quiconnect has built extensive virtual public Wi-Fi networks for its customers establishing numerous agreements with the world's leading telecoms companies and network operators and connecting them to its platform.  This includes BT, Sprint Nextel, SFR, VSNL, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, various Chinese operators along with numerous network operators globally. 

Over the next 12 months, Quiconnect will be establishing multiple relationships for Truphone with a number of companies, focused on the USA and Europe initially, so that customers travelling abroad can avoid paying GSM roaming charges by making and receiving low cost VoIP calls (where legal) on their mobiles.  Quiconnect is also providing all the necessary financial and clearing house intermediary services to facilitate this. 

Luke Vinogradov, Quiconnect's senior marketing manager, new products, says, "For the first time, we will be adding presence capabilities and creating arrangements with local Wi-Fi operators whereby Truphone customers don't need to have local subscriptions with operators to access their networks.  Presence capabilities means customers will be automatically logged in at Wi-Fi locations but will only pay once a mobile VoIP call is made just like in the GSM world.  This is fundamentally different from current Wi-Fi pricing models, where you start paying when you connect to a hotspot. We expect this new approach to pricing to make mobile VoIP usage explode."

James Tagg, Truphone's founder and CEO, says "Quiconnect does two important things for Truphone: it makes thousands of public Wi-Fi locations worldwide accessible and makes it easy to connect to them. Our customers can now just take their phones out in these public locations and make Truphone calls without even thinking about it."

Truphone selected Quiconnect as its public Wi-Fi integration partner because of its extensive wireless broadband industry expertise, new approaches to support innovative Wi-Fi pricing models, the broad relationships established with service providers and network operators, as well as technologies developed like Connector software.

Ali Khan, Truphone's director of business development says, "Going to each and every network vendor or service provider to establish agreements would be hugely time consuming.  Working with Quiconnect centralises all this and capitalises on what they have already done. This means rapid network creation for us so that users can get pervasive access, plus clearly an opportunity for local Wi-Fi providers to increase revenue from their infrastructure by capitalising on the interest in mobile VoIP."

Truphone is the first company to take advantage of Quiconnect's new range of solutions for application providers to make its services available over wireless broadband.  This includes connectivity tools for automated login of mobile devices on commercial Wi-Fi hotspots (Connector software); network integration and management services to connect large networks spanning multiple operators and geographies; and data and financial clearing services which provide flexible charging models based on the device used and application.

Nokia Siemens Networks Italy has signed a contract for the transfer of the manufacturing functions of its Cassina de' Pecchi and Marcianise facilities to Jabil Circuit Italy, upon completion of the legal asset transfer procedure. Having received European Union (EU) antitrust authorities approval, the agreement will be effective presumably on November 1st; at the same time, the two companies also signed a long term manufacturing agreement.

The Marcianise site employs 336 and its main manufacturing lines are GSM and Edge Radio Access, while the Cassina site employs 276 and manufactures microwave devices for wireline and wireless networks.

Jabil, a global electronic solutions company will take over the management of the two manufacturing units whose activity will continue on the same sites for which Jabil has signed a lease agreement with Nokia Siemens Networks. Jabil is currently a manufacturing partner of the parent companies of Nokia Siemens Networks and will utilize all its manufacturing sites for production of the telecommunication products.

"The signature of this agreement confirms a long-term partnership which will offer Nokia Siemens Networks the opportunity to compete in the highly complex and competitive telecommunication market and optimize overall manufacturing capabilities in a time when global competition results in intense cost pressure," said Herbert Merz, Head of Operations at Nokia Siemens Networks. "Moreover, we are also able to preserve the whole value chain in Italy, securing important high-tech manufacturing jobs while achieving flexibility for our future development."

"We are delighted to become a preferred supplier to Nokia Siemens Networks and hope to build on this relationship in the years to come," said Maurice Dunlop, Vice President, Global Business Units. "We have enjoyed a long and successful presence in Italy. We believe this agreement strengthens our position in Italy and enhances our global standing as a leading provider of telecommunications infrastructure hardware."

21Net, a UK company specialising in broadband Internet access on board high speed trains, has been selected by the Trans European high-speed train operator Thalys to deliver the 'first ever' true broadband Internet access to passengers travelling between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne.

21Net has been selected by Thalys as part of a consortium lead by Nokia Siemens Networks. This consortium will combine satellite, mobile phone technologies (GPRS and UMTS) with wireless networks similar to Wi-Fi Hotspots to provide a continuous Internet connection on board trains travelling at the speed of 300 km/h. The service is expected to be in full operation by 2008.

Initially sponsored by the European Space Agency, Cambridge-based 21Net has worked with leading railway operators such as RENFE (Spain), SNCF (France) and Thalys to develop a "Broadband To Trains" system that is robust and technically mature and applies to all railway standards.

"Our successful trial in 2005 with Thalys put us on the road to where we are today, with our first commercial deployment on their trains," said Henry Hyde-Thomson, Chairman of 21Net."We are all the more pleased to have been selected by Thalys, as it represents an important step towards more high-speed trains benefiting from the opportunity to provide a quality Internet service to their customers".

The 21Net system combines low-profile tracking antennas on the train with two-way "Ku-band" satellite transmission to deliver high bandwidth (2Mbit/s by 512kbit/s) connectivity to a master server on the train.

This unique system puts 21Net in an entirely different class to existing competitor systems, which rely on narrowband (56kbit/s) GPRS connections which are then shared between the simultaneous users on the train.

This high bandwidth can be shared by simultaneous users. On the train, WiFi (wireless LAN) connections are used between the master server and customers with WiFi enabled laptops and PDAs.

Already, 21Net is preparing its next generation of lower profile antennas, using jet fighter technology for maximum strength and even lower profile. "This continuous technological leadership will ensure that our broadband-to-trains service can be implemented cost-effectively by all railway operators, including those travelling across difficult geographies or under low-gauge tunnels like the Channel tunnel", said Jean-François de Lantsheere, CEO of 21Net.

Cambridgeshire County Council is transforming its working environment by providing its employees with fast, simple, 'always on', access communications to improve the delivery of services to a population of over 560,000. Using a Unified Communications solution from Avaya, the global provider of business communication applications, systems and services, the Council is building a converged IP (Internet Protocol) network in a three year phased project.

Cambridgeshire County Council's new converged IP network, was designed, installed and is now being managed by Central Telecom, an Avaya Platinum BusinessPartner. The solution has allowed the Council to achieve a true business transformation, helping meet its objective to develop an empowered and responsive workforce, whilst delivering more than £1.2m savings over a two year period.

"Thanks to Avaya's technology and Central Telecom's system integration expertise, the new network is allowing us to execute our "WorkWise" programme, an initiative specifically designed to reduce operating costs and improve council efficiency" said Mike Parsons, Deputy Chief Executive, of Cambridgeshire County Council. "Upon project completion the Council will benefit from a truly unified communications solutions, providing over 5,000 government employees with a platform to effectively communicate, share and interact together from anywhere at anytime, enabling new forms of flexible working and significantly improving the quality of public services offered " concluded Mike.

The deployment based on Avaya's Communication Manager IP Telephony software, created an excellent converged network, allowing employees to 'hot desk', working from different locations, saving the Council money by reducing unproductive office space. The new converged network was also a key 'building block' to creating a unified communications solution, with new applications designed to drive productivity by increasing collaboration amongst the Council's staff. By using Avaya's Modular Messaging application employees can now answer voice messages and email from one Microsoft Exchange inbox.

"It's a fast moving world where people need to respond quickly to meet their customers needs - in the government sector citizens are expecting higher quality of services" said Jonathan Buckle, Head of Public Sector, Avaya UK "Central Telecom, by deploying the right unified communications applications enabled by Avaya's IP Telephony, has shown how local government can improve business agility, creating a virtual workplace with fewer employees needing to work in 'headquarters'. Local Government organizations are not just speeding up service delivery but are also changing the way they work to make services more cost effective and more accessible" concluded Buckle.

The new Cambridgeshire County Council communication system also includes Avaya's Meeting Exchange a true collaboration application which provides web conferencing capabilities that go beyond audio conferencing. In future Council staff will share documents, presentations and desktop views and even edit materials, in real time over the Internet.  In addition to the current Avaya one-X IP Phones, the Council will be rolling out Avaya's software based telephone the 'one-X Portal' - another fundamental productivity booster that will allow staff to place and receive phone calls from any desktop or laptop PC with Internet access, making it an ideal application for employees on the move or working remotely.

Andrew Shaw, Head of Central Public Sector commented "It has been a very exciting 12 months for the Central Public Sector Team. We have enjoyed significant success with a number of Local Authorities who are investing in technology as a means to reduce office estate and transform public services. The Public Sector in general is under enormous pressure to provide better services to their local communities and to offer flexible working opportunities for employees. At Central we are in a unique position in being able to provide the technology from infrastructure right through to applications. As an Avaya Platinum BusinessPartner we have been able to bring all the skills and experience needed to deliver very successful projects in an extremely demanding sector."

Comptel Corporation,  the vendor of dynamic Operations Support System (OSS) software, has announced today that Datagroup, a fixed, broadband and satellite service provider in Ukraine, has selected Comptel Fulfillment Solution to provision their network and activate services faster and more accurately. The Comptel Fulfillment Solution is a suite of pre-integrated inventory and provisioning modules to cover end-to-end service fulfilment functionality from order capture to activation and reconciliation. Initially, the focus is to automate service delivery for the residential market, especially fixed voice and broadband access services. Subsequently, the project will extend to value added services as triple- and quad-play, as well as services targeting the business market.

Until now, Datagroup did not have a fulfillment solution, as Datagroup's focus was on the B2B (business to business) market and each installation was unique. However, Datagroup is now moving into the B2C (business to consumer) market, aiming to gain a substantial foothold in the market by providing triple-play services faster and more reliably than the competition. 

To achieve this, Datagroup has picked the complete functionality of the Comptel Fulfillment Solution, including Comptel Provisioning and Activation, Comptel Number and Identifier Management, Comptel Inventory and Comptel Inventory Mediator, which allows the inventory to be synchronized with the network. The solution will help Datagroup with every aspect of fulfillment, from the roll-out of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) to the reliable provisioning and activation of services on the network.

Mr. Alexander Danchenko, CEO of Datagroup says: "We want to offer innovative services fast and reliably to our customers. We chose Comptel because they offered a comprehensive off-the-shelf fulfillment solution, outstanding OSS experience and good adaptation to our local requirements. Both the technical capabilities of the solution and Comptel's excellent track record were key factors for us, as we needed a fast way to enter the B2C market."

Mr. Harri Palviainen, Executive Vice President, Inventory Business and Deputy CEO for Comptel, concludes: "The Comptel Fulfillment Solution is a modular solution, but by selecting all the modules, Datagroup has shown that they believe that there are significant benefits to choosing a pre-integrated solution, including better value-for-money and improved time-to-market for the deployment of the solution."

The Service Box, designed and developed by Italtel to make advanced communication services available for Service Providers and Large Enterprises on different types of devices and networks, has received the Infovision Award, Category ‘New Product Concepts', promoted by IEC (International Engineering Consortium) to award innovation in telecommunication products and services. Finalists included major companies such as Alcaltel-Lucent, Qualcomm Cdma Technologies, Thomson and Soapstone Networks.

The Service Box, was judged by a qualified panel of industry experts who considered it an excellent software product as for originality, vision, quality, innovation and contribution to technology advancement and industry growth.

"We are very pleased to receive this award," said Giorgio Bertolina, Italtel CEO, "in fact we are awarded not only for The Service Box, but also for our innovation capabilities and our commitment for the future of new media. Italtel has always meant product research and innovation and we hope The Service Box might have the same success as Italtel softswitch platform i-SSW, which won an innovation award in 2001 and has been leader for four years in next generation networks in Europe and among the tops worldwide."