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Mentum, a wireless access and backhaul network planning and optimisation company, today announced the completion of its acquisition of Ascom's network planning business. The acquisition includes the TEMS CellPlanner and TEMS LinkPlanner product lines, intellectual property, customer contracts, member staff, equipment and office located in Kista, Sweden.

With the acquisition, initially announced on April 16, Mentum has assumed all of Ascom's product-related commitments and will honour the currently committed TEMS CellPlanner and TEMS LinkPlanner roadmap and will continue to sell and support the products. Ascom's network planning unit and Kista office location will be seamlessly incorporated into Mentum's core business.

"The addition of TEMS CellPlanner and TEMS LinkPlanner to our family of products enables us to bring together some of the strongest solutions and competencies in the market space. Ascom customers will benefit from the breadth and depth of our solutions, our commitment to unsurpassed quality and our renowned R&D and world-class technologies that have led to our strong leadership position in the network planning industry," commented Bernard Breton, Chief Operating and Strategy Officer at Mentum.

According to a new research report from Berg Insight, mobile location-based service revenues in Europe are forecasted to grow from € 220 million in 2009 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12 percent to reach € 420 million in 2015. Local search, navigation services and social networking are believed to become the top applications in terms of number of users. Berg Insight estimates that one third of all mobile subscribers in Europe will use some kind of location-enhanced application on a regular basis by 2015. The social networking category is forecasted to experience the highest growth in the coming years.

"Location-based services are finally on the verge of mainstream acceptance. Increasing sales of smartphones are driving end-user awareness of mobile Internet services and applications in general. On-device application stores enable access to mobile services for a broader audience at the same time as flat-rate data plans make pricing more transparent. More and more developers are now adding location support in their applications to enhance the user experience", said André Malm, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight. He adds that integration of GPS in handsets is an important driver. "The installed base of GPS handsets in Europe has recently surpassed 15 percent of total handsets and will increase to 50 percent three years from now."

The revenue model for many mobile applications in the consumer segment is shifting from premium fees to ad-funding. This is especially the case for location-based services where now also navigation services are becoming free for end-users and developers monetise their offerings through ads and various bundles. However, revenues may not grow at the same rate as usage because the mobile advertising ecosystem is still nascent. It will take some years before a successful model has been established that allows advertisers to reach out to a critical mass of active users, and this is especially the case for emerging location-based advertising, concludes Berg.

The world's first TETRA operational ISI standard-based cross-border communication between two national authority networks will be trialled during 2010. The network operators, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) and the Federal Agency for Digital Radio of Security Authorities and Organisations (BDBOS), have signed an agreement to launch a cooperative project with EADS Defence & Security to implement and trial cross-border communications. The trial will involve frontline authorities from Sweden and Germany, and is planned to take place during November and December 2010.

The operational trial will center around an exercise in international incident management, and will use TETRA for cross-border communications. The aim is to study how TETRA functionalities can improve radio communication and cooperation between two countries' authorities. It will also demonstrate the usability of TETRA communications in managing an international incident.

"This trial goes to show that authorities involved in a cross-border incident in another country can communicate with each other and with their international counterparts as securely and seamlessly as in their everyday operations in their home country," says Dr. Gabriele Knoll, Head of Directorate-General, BDBOS.

"The Rakel network brings significant security benefits to Sweden," says Stefan Kvarnerås, Head of the Rakel organization, MSB. "The trial expands these benefits. We have developed the trial and operational concepts to be able to meet the call for cross-border communications that the Council of the European Union have very high on their agenda."

"EADS Defence & Security was the first to prove in independent tests that its TETRA networks can be interconnected according to the ETSI TC­TETRA ISI standard, and this project is a direct continuation of our strategy to ensure interoperability between networks," says Dirk Borchardt, Head of Security and Communication Solutions at EADS Defence & Security. "This trial shows that modern technology can make a difference in real, demanding operations".

The trial between Sweden and Germany will study mobility management of radios, group calls, inter-network individual calls and inter-network short messages (SDS), as well as control room interoperability.

NEC announced today that NEC Eastern Europe, a wholly owned subsidiary of NEC Europe, has been selected as the sole supplier by the new Albanian operator, MOBILE 4 AL Sh.a (M4AL) to build a nationwide mobile transport network over the next four years. NEC will provide a full turn-key solution which comprises PASOLINK NEO microwave communications system, and MN5000 Series, a multi-service node, Network Management System, as well as associated professional services.

NEC says its full range of packet/hybrid transport products, which provide communication links essential for mobile voice and data communication services, will enable M4AL to quickly launch services and deliver a better user experience for Albanian mobile users.

"We are proud to select NEC as a partner to build our network in Albania. NEC is known for its reliable and high-quality equipment and has always provided us with excellent service," said Moni Buchnik, CEO of MOBILE 4 AL.

Hiroyasu Ishii, General Manager of the Global Network Division at NEC Corporation, Tokyo said, "It is an honour to be the preferred partner of MOBILE 4 AL. This project demonstrates our ability to partner and deliver high-value transport solutions. With our best-in-class technologies, integration expertise and resources we can help operators deploy complex systems that enable the five nines of reliability with the lowest total cost of ownership."

A new study from Juniper Research has found that Mobile VoIP services will develop significantly faster in developed markets due to the direct correlation between 3G roll outs and the take up of mobile VoIP. This is the case even though mVoIP traffic volumes may eventually be higher in developing markets due in part to the calling patterns of migrant workers, according to the study Mobile Voice Strategies: mVoIP Opportunities & Business Models, 2010-2015.

"By 2012 we expect significant uptake of mobile VoIP in its various different flavours", says Anthony Cox, Senior Analyst at Juniper Research. "By that date mobile VoIP will be available over both 3G and WiFi networks. We also anticipate that several more traditional operators will have joined 3UK and Verizon in the US and developed relationships with mobile VoIP players such as Skype," he says.

Further findings include:

  • Alliances between mobile VoIP players and traditional operators may provide the best option for today's incumbent operators to address the advent of mobile VoIP.
  • Revenues from the circuit switched voice market will continue to diminish over the next five years, although this will not accelerate.
  • A high percentage of Mobile VoIP carried over applications will be via WiFi networks, bypassing operators' networks altogether. Such traffic will result in some lost revenues, amounting to around $5bn by 2015.

The mobile voice report includes an in-depth analysis of the current state of play of the mobile Voice market considering the position of both the incumbent operator and the mobile VoIP new entrant. The report contains five year forecasts for the number of Mobile VoIP Users over 3G networks, the number of mobile VoIP users via alliances, number of mobile VoIP users via applications, number of 4G mobile VoIP users. It also contains the value of traffic associated with all of these categories.

ACCESS, the joint venture company set up by Glasgow City Council (GCC) and Serco, has extended a £50 million, eight year contract with Cable&Wireless Worldwide which will see the company continue to provide a complete communications infrastructure to all Glasgow Council sites, connecting some 37,000 employees across more than 300 GCC sites.

C&W Worldwide provides ACCESS with a converged voice and data network, delivering IP telephony services together with high bandwidth internet connectivity. This keeps Council departments connected 24 hours a day and, crucially, reduces any digital divide by allowing social services, museums, carers, social work projects such as Skills Academy, colleges and libraries to offer training, support and free high-speed internet access to residents of Glasgow. As part of the Council's continued efforts to improve communication through new media, C&W Worldwide provides free home internet access to some children with disabilities.

Additional telephony services are supplied to various ACCESS customer contact centres using IP Contact Centre techonlogy, including Intelligent Voice Routing capabilities to help ensure all calls are routed quickly and to the correct advisor first time, every time.

Joe Boyle, Chief Operating Officer, ACCESS, comments "Cable&Wireless Worldwide has become an extension of our own ICT team. Its network and services underpins everything we do from sending emails to receiving calls and keeping our mobile colleagues connected. The continued, high quality service we receive from C&W Worldwide means we're able to provide the best levels of service to the Glasgow community."

Jim Marsh, Chief Executive Officer, Cable&Wireless Worldwide, added: "The provision and management of secure, resilient network infrastructures is what we do best. Our aim is to be the market leader for mission critical communications and the renewal of our contract with ACCESS is testament to our capabilities. We look forward to the continued growth of this partnership."

Envivio today announced that Portugal Telecom (PT), the largest telecommunications and broadband service provider in Portugal, has selected Envivio's Three Screens delivery platform to support the commercial rollout of MEO@PC-a complete television service for delivery to PCs.

The service relies on Envivio's complete Internet TV solution, including 4Caster C4 encoders configured to deliver content via Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) Smooth Streaming and Silverlight, protected with PlayReady DRM, providing subscribers with high quality video and playback delivered over broadband. After an initial trial period, PT plans to offer subscribers a channel lineup and interactivity that mirrors its MEO@TV service throughout Portugal.

"Subscribers have been thrilled with the experience offered by our IPTV service. MEO has reached 581,000 clients in less than two years," said Pedro Leitão, board member at Portugal Telecom, "and we want to bring that same MEO experience, enabled by Microsoft MediaRoom, to everyone in Portugal by delivering it over the Internet, reinforcing our multi-platform strategy. Envivio earned our trust during our Mobile TV rollout, proving that they know how to deliver great quality video service at very low bitrates. The close cooperation between Microsoft and Envivio, particularly in enabling the deployment of PlayReady DRM, brought the whole MEO@PC project together, allowing us to complete it in record time."

"While compelling interactivity and high quality video are essential to pleasing subscribers, content protection is a critical requirement for service providers to deliver the premium video content consumers are demanding," said Jonathan Usher, marketing director for the Media Platforms Business at Microsoft Corp. "The development of a seamless interface between Envivio's 4Caster C4 platform and Microsoft PlayReady Servers means that innovative services such as PT MEO@PC can move forward knowing that all of these components for secure delivery of high quality content are covered."

The Internet TV headend at PT uses Envivio 4Caster C4 encoders to simultaneously process video at a variety of resolutions. This enables PT to use Microsoft IIS Smooth Streaming adaptive streaming technology for Silverlight, which is said to ensure viewers receive uninterrupted video live play at the highest quality possible given variable network bandwidth and PC processing conditions. The Envivio encoders directly ingest the same sources as Portugal Telecom's IPTV service, enabling the MEO@PC service to mirror PT's IPTV channel lineup without requiring additional interfaces.

Microsoft and Envivio have developed a dedicated interface between the Envivio 4Caster C42 encoder and Microsoft PlayReady DRM Server to in order to secure delivery of high-value content while ensuring complete transparency for subscribers. The Envivio 4Manager network management system provides complete system monitoring and redundancy management to maintain 24/7 service availability.

"Portugal Telecom is demonstrating a keen understanding of what today's consumer wants, which is to have access to their favorite TV services whenever and wherever they want," said Envivio Vice President of Marketing Boris Felts. "Envivio's Internet TV solution brings the highest quality video experience to PC screens, ensuring that MEO@PC will far exceed consumer expectations."

In a mid-term review of progress made towards attaining the 10 Millennium Development Goals set out in 2005, the ITU says mobile telephony development has surpassed expectations, but a significant broadband divide remains

Almost 2 billion people across the globe now have access to the Internet, and around 5 billion have a mobile phone subscription, but this still means that three quarters of the world's population still have no access to the Internet at all.

According to the latest World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report from the International Telecommunication Union, huge progress has been made in the last 10 years but "there is still a vast amount of work to be bring affordable fast broadband access within reach of the great majority of the world's people."

The report was launched during this week's World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-10) in Hyderabad and provides a mid-term review of the progress made in creating a global information society by 2015. At the last two World Summits on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005, governments from around the world agreed on 10 Millennium Development Goals to be reached by 2015.

These 10 targets are:

1. To connect villages with ICTs and establish community access points;

2. To connect universities, colleges, secondary schools and primary schools with ICTs;

3. To connect scientific and research centres with ICTs;

4. To connect public libraries, cultural centres, museums, post offices and archives with ICTs;

5. To connect health centres and hospitals with ICTs;

6. To connect all local and central government departments and establish websites and e-mail addresses;

7. To adapt all primary and secondary school curricula to meet the challenges of the information society, taking into account national circumstances;

8. To ensure that all of the world's population has access to television and radio services;

9. To encourage the development of content and put in place technical conditions in order to facilitate the presence and use of all world languages on the Internet;

10. To ensure that more than half the world's inhabitants have access to ICTs within their reach.

Point 10 is the key goal as without Internet access it would be hard to meet the other objectives. In the mid-term review of progress towards the 2015 MDGs, the ITU notes that the rise of mobile telephony across the world has surpassed all expectations and the target has already been achieved, with penetration at 67% of the population by the end of 2009.

There is still some way to go with broadband, however. According to ITU figures, some 1.7 billion people, or 26% of the world's population, were online by the end of 2009. Global Internet user penetration has doubled between 2003 and 2009.

But while targets have been reached in developed countries, with an estimated 64% penetration rate by the end of 2009, "less than 20% of people in the developing world were using the Internet", commented the ITU. "Major efforts are required to bring half the world by 2015."

The ITU says the broadband divide remains significant. However, it expects developments with wireless broadband since the last WSIS to also make a significant contribution towards achieving the 10th MDG. "Since the Summit, the area where most progress has been made is connecting people via mobile technologies," the report adds.

Huawei, together with Telfort, a subsidiary of KPN, today unveiled a preview of Telfort 2.0, said to be Europe's first Next-Generation Business Support System (NGBSS).  The system, named Telfort 2.0, is a new customer care and billing solution which began serving a selected number of new customers in a few of Telfort's shops in April 2010. In June 2010 all of Telfort's postpaid customers will be transferred to this new platform. In the years to come, it will also serve Telfort's prepaid and internet customers.

Telfort has partnered with Huawei to deliver a NGBSS that will integrate Telfort's complicated IT landscape, and increase its business efficiency. The new system is based on service oriented architecture (SOA) and combines TM Forum Frameworx (also known as Next Generation Operations Systems and Software, NGOSS) enhanced Telecom Operation Map eTOM and Shared Information/Data Model SID standards, which are the basis for future evolution and transformation.

By optimizing business processes, simplifying the creation and deployment of new products and services and enabling customers to handle a much wider range of activities through self-service, Telfort's new system will reduce the company's Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). In addition the simplified open architecture will reduce the time to market (TTM). With the reduction in TCO and TTM plus the enhanced self-service for customers, the company can offer various types of new service plans.

Telfort has adopted Huawei's convergent next generation business support system to replace its legacy systems, and has selected a managed services partner (MSP) for the long term. "The telecom market is changing significantly", Robin Clements, CEO of Telfort explains. "The cooperation with Huawei offers us an efficient and future-proof IT environment with which Telfort will continue to compete successfully under changing market conditions."

BT Global Services has selected SMS hubbing technology from mobile interaction service provider tyntec to be part of its Global Telecom Markets (GTM) portfolio. The deal will see BT combining tyntec's International Messaging Transit (IMT) technology into its wholesale offerings for mobile network operators (MNOs) and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) clients.

SMS hubbing provides MNOs and MVNOs a ready-made, one-stop-shop portfolio of international SMS connectivity, doing away with the need for them to sign and manage hundreds of individual SMS roaming agreements. Having access to more than 700 mobile networks worldwide, BT GTM's SMS Hubbing service, based on tyntec's fully GSMA compliant hubbing solution IMT, can offer new and existing mobile operators global reach with one interface, one contract and one bill.

BT GTM will be offering the service to MNOs and MVNOs of all sizes, enabling large operators to reduce costs and increase reach whilst giving new operators instant global SMS capabilities. The hubbing solution allows customers choosing from a wide range of interface, connectivity, self-administration and reporting options. GTM will be offering the technology either as a fully managed service or with self-administration capabilities realised through a web portal.

Michael Kowalzik, CEO of tyntec, said: "Our agreement with BT represents a significant validation of our SMS hubbing technology. For BT Global Services to select IMT as its SMS hubbing solution of choice shows that it represents a truly market leading combination of reliability, flexibility and capability."

Oscar Ruiz, president Global Telecom Markets at BT Global Services, said: "tyntec's IMT solution provides a compelling combination of global reach, reliability and technology expertise for our Global Telecom Markets business. We aim to offer MNOs and MVNOs best of breed solutions, whatever the technology challenge, and we believe that tyntec offers this solution for SMS hubbing."

Aito Technologies Oy, a provider of customer experience analytics (CEA), today announced that it will extend its agreement with TDC Oy Finland, to apply its CEA tools across the operator's fixed line network. Aito's analytics tools have already been applied to monitor behaviour and usage patterns of TDC's mobile subscribers; the extension will enable TDC to monitor and analyse usage of all its fixed line voice, mobile voice and data services.

TDC has chosen to extend its partnership with Aito and deploy CEA tools to provide accurate data analysis of its fixed line voice subscribers. Rather than independently monitoring both mobile and fixed line services, using Aito's CEA tools, TDC will now be able to take a holistic approach to analysing customer experience, usage and behaviour. With the addition of fixed voice to the diverse range of services that its CEA product can support, Aito provides a comprehensive overview of an operator's business covering usage, experience and revenue analysis.

TDC Oy Finland is one of the leading communication solution providers in Finland's b2b market.  Aito's partnership with TDC began in October 2009, when its CEA tools were deployed to provide highly accurate data analysis of the behaviour and experience of TDC's mobile customers.

TDC says it has drilled down into the data to develop a better understanding of the customer experience, which has allowed the operator to focus on the needs of its subscribers and enhance service performance. These benefits led to TDC's decision to adopt CEA to monitor its fixed line voice subscribers.

Emilia Ervola, Business Manager, Voice at TDC, explained: "Fixed voice traffic represents a substantial share of TDC's overall business, therefore we wanted to add this to the scope of analysis along with mobile voice and data."

"We can now benefit from having the customer and call data combined together with the analysis easily accessible from Aito. The information will enable us to develop our service further, follow customer trends and revenues such as subscribers and service numbers", added Petteri Nissinen, Deputy Managing Director at TDC.

Anssi Tauriainen, CEO of Aito Technologies, said: "By implementing the latest CEA systems, operators can monitor performance across different services to gain a holistic view. Working with TDC has provided us with the opportunity to expand the market application of our CEA product, allowing us to bring convergence to the analysis of fixed line and mobile traffic. With easy access to quality business information, operators can monitor the experience being delivered to customers in order to proactively manage accounts and tackle potentially relationship-damaging problems before they become an issue."

Aito's CEA product suite utilises existing data from various sources - billing systems or customer databases - to apply business logic to produce analytics that provide a holistic view of activity on the network. Deployed as a simple plug-in these tools can be up and running quickly, ready to produce accurate data practically overnight, providing internal teams with accurate profiles of subscribers and their behaviour patterns in a format that is simple to understand and easy to access.

HP and Alcatel-Lucent  today announced they will provide new communication solutions, allowing clients to easily adopt and deploy Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) to drive greater organizational value.

Building on the companies' global alliance, the agreement enables HP and Alcatel-Lucent to deliver and market end-to-end UC&C solutions to clients. The solutions use the convergence of telecommunications and IT to transform the way customers use UC&C services.

"Clients want an open, holistic approach to services delivery that maximizes their investment in UC&C," said Gary M. Budzinski, senior vice president and general manager, Technology Services, HP. "The strength of Alcatel-Lucent and HP's combined portfolio provides organizations with open and highly scalable solutions that address the touch points where communication is critical."

"We have a common approach to solutions that meet the needs of each individual customer's requirements, including their existing technology mix, overall organizational needs and migration plans for the future," said Tom Burns, president, Enterprise and Strategic Industries business, Alcatel-Lucent. "HP and Alcatel-Lucent have forged a close relationship which will enable enterprises around the world to drive down costs, improve productivity and optimize the customers' experience throughout the entire UC&C environment."

The HP services and Alcatel-Lucent solutions for UC&C work across all types of media and locations. The offerings include:

  a.. Migration from multivendor and legacy PBX to an IP voice integration layer that uses Alcatel-Lucent's open IP Telephony architecture for UC&C. HP will help clients achieve a greater return on their UC&C investments by using the Genesys Customer Interaction management platform, UC connect solutions and the Alcatel-Lucent OmniTouch Instant Communication Suite and IP Telephony offering - the OmniPCX Enterprise.
  b.. Automated workflow and workload within business processes reduce operational costs by increasing the effectiveness of all enterprise-wide resources and superior customer service with HP and Genesys intelligent Workload Distribution.
  c.. Industry applications for UC&C that demonstrate a streamlined approach to reducing costs and improving efficiency, such as Digital Hospital. HP will use Alcatel-Lucent's Advanced Communication Server to provide an enhanced, open UC&C integration layer across industry domains, including healthcare, financial services, utilities and government.
The offerings are built on HP's UC&C consulting services, which take a comprehensive approach to enterprise communications from strategy and planning through implementation, design and education. They can be implemented on a customer's premises or via an outsourced operating model.

HP helps clients develop a business case, long-term vision and current gap analysis based on their unique requirements. Clients then determine the priority and value for each element of an overall solution followed by solution implementation, IT integration, monitoring, program management, global support and outsourcing. The result is a complete life cycle of services to ensure the technology is mapped to deliver organizational value.

The industry's first enterprise class cellular router with Qualcomm Gobi technology is now available from UK based, solutions specialist, Horsebridge Network Systems.

Gobi technology supports either High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) or Evolution-Data Optimised (EV-DO) networks from the same cellular radio, which means the Digi TransPort WR44 can connect to virtually any cellular network in the world.

Horsebridge says customers can now benefit from reduced costs and improved efficiency by utilising one solution for use in multiple regions. The WR44 also minimises risk by being able to develop with the system as required.

The Digi TransPort WR44 is an all-in-one router with an integrated Wi-Fi access point. The multi-function unit provides high-speed connectivity to remote devices by combining a 3G cellular router, security, advanced routing, an Ethernet switch, global positioning system (GPS), telemetry and Wi-Fi access point within one device.

"Qualcomm's Gobi technology is unique because it provides reliable, transparent 3G connectivity to both EV-DO and HSPA networks," says Horsebridge Managing Director, Geoff Smith "This will allow customers to access global networks and critical information from nearly anywhere in the world."

The combination of enterprise class features and flexible wireless functionality makes the router ideal for connecting remote devices in vertical applications such as transportation, remote offices and retail point-of-sale, says Horsebridge.

Intec, a provider of Business Support System (BSS) solutions, has announced the availability of Version 5 of InterconnecT Optimised Routing, its wholesale trading and routing product.  

Intec's InterconnecT OR V5 is a complete solution for the trading and routing of wholesale traffic and said to lower costs, enable new revenue streams and maximises interconnect margins whilst maintaining call quality. Interconnect costs are minimised by determining optimal routing plans while maximising the utilisation of available network assets. The solution incorporates a suite of advanced quality measurement tools which allow the operator to ensure reliable, high quality call termination thereby helping to maintain customer satisfaction and boost international call revenues.

"InterconnecT Optimised Routing has been a key component in the growth of TeliaSonera International Carrier's voice business since 2006," said Simon Dodsworth, Director of Trading Operations. "Access to real-time volume and QoS information is vital for TeliaSonera International Carrier to enable timely and accurate decision-making. The ability of our traders to make key margin-generating decisions has been enhanced by the live quality feed provided by the latest version of the product. We are very pleased with the solution's performance to date and we are confident that the new version will continue to support our plans to further optimise our business processes."

"With the rapidly increasing number of trading and routing partners, operators need the best technology to help them optimise profitability by tracking wholesale margins,"   commented David Heaps, Chief Product & Strategy Officer for Intec.   "Intec is delighted that a number of the world's leading operators, including TeliaSonera International Carrier, are already deploying Version 5 of OR and taking full advantage of the most advanced tools on the market, to manage their international wholesale business."

The release of Intec's InterconnecT OR V5 follows extensive investment in the product with new features including active test calling and a new near real-time Quality of Service Monitor - both key tools in operator SLA compliance.   Intec says user experience is greatly enhanced and the product is benchmarked to handle up to one billion events per day, comfortably supporting traffic levels for the world's largest operators.  

For customers looking to apply Business Intelligence to their wholesale business, InterconnecT OR V5 also offers an extensive reporting and data analytics package; customers can take advantage of the built-in standard reports and business analytics with full drill-down and "slice & down" functionality, or customise them to their specific needs.

Other significant enhancements include trading automation in the area of price list management and exchange, bilateral net cost calculations, and streamlined switch configuration management.