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Momail has launched its mobile email in three more countries - Spain, Switzerland and Ireland. Momail has also incorporated Spanish language support, continuing its strategy of local language support in countries where launched.

After completing the simple set-up process, users in these new countries can get all of their emails, including Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and other ISP mail, to their mobiles. The Momail user only has to select which email accounts that automatically will be transferred to the mobile. Before the email reaches the mobile, an immediate and automatic optimization plus a spam and virus control is performed.     

With Momail's "Dynamic Sender" feature all replies on received emails are automatically sent from the email address to which the original email was sent. All the emails collected from the different accounts will arrive into one Momail "Superinbox" on the mobile. With Momail there is no limit of the number of email accounts that can be aggregated into the mobile.

"The Momail service continues to grow and we are happy to welcome three new country family members. Consumers in these countries can now enjoy mobile email the way it should be. We are also proud to announce that the Momail service now is available on more than 1200 different mobiles, making it possible for almost anyone to get access to their emails, where ever they are", says Kenneth Lundin, CEO of Momail.

Computaris, a specialist in consultancy, system integration and software development for the mobile telecoms industry, and Highdeal, the world's leading provider of pricing & rating solutions, announced today that XOX Sdn Bhd, Asia's first next generation regional integrated telecommunications service provider, has deployed Computaris' Convergent Charging System (CCS) as its convergent billing platform. The Highdeal Transactive full-suite is managing the prepaid, postpaid, and hybrid accounts.

With the Computaris and Highdeal converged billing platform, XOX has become the first telecommunications provider in the region to offer mobile payment and access convergence. XOX services unify the mobile and web experience, providing users with multiple channels of accessibility to their mobile and web services. XOX selected the Computaris and Highdeal solution to ensure that users will be able to seamlessly access their mobile services through both an Internet and a mobile device based web services platform, with the convenience of a unified account - be it a postpaid, prepaid or hybrid.

"Delivering unparalleled services and user experiences requires solutions that are innovative, flexible, scalable and robust. It is essential that the implementation is entrusted to a company that has extensive experience and expertise. Highdeal and Computaris is a perfect fit for XOX," explains Robert Chew, COO of XOX.

"XOX is providing its users with a personalised and fully integrated communication experience. Computaris is pleased to deliver its Convergent Charging Solution to XOX, drawing on its experience in next-generation, convergent BSS and OSS solutions. We will implement a unique capability in the Asian marketplace for XOX - with our innovative solution, offering XOX a long-term competitive edge," appreciates Ian Tidder, CEO of Computaris.

"XOX understands the positive impact that innovative pricing and packaging can have on their business. We are extremely pleased that our solution was selected and deployed by such a forward thinking and pioneering telecommunications operator," says Eric Pillevesse, CEO of Highdeal.

Spb Software has released Spb Wireless Monitor 3.0 - said to be a powerful software solution that offers full control over all types of smartphone data connections by monitoring them in accordance with configurable tariffs and data plans, and providing per application data traffic reports. 

First brought to market in 2002, Spb Wireless Monitor, formerly known as Spb GPRS Monitor, accounts for the lack of a built-in data tracking tool in Windows Mobile devices.  A four-time prize winner in the Smartphone and Pocket PC magazine's Best Software Awards, shipped in over a dozen devices by ASUS, HTC, O2, Samsung, and T-Mobile, the Spb Wireless Monitor has over 3,000,000 loyal customers worldwide. The new name of version 3.0 comes with massive enhancements in features and abilities.

With the growing popularity of mobile Internet and captivating online services - crossing the data plan limits and receiving painful phone bills is common, especially with the high cost of roaming.  Spb Wireless Monitor 3.0 prevents unwanted mobile service charges and gives subscribers control over their mobile data spending, by measuring data traffic, calculating the network charges, warning of costly data usage, and reporting which application exactly generates what kind of data traffic.

The new Wireless Monitor supports both touch and non-touch screen devices, it can manage CDMA, GPRS, 3G, and even Wi-Fi and USB connections.  Spb Wireless Monitor can provide per application traffic and cost reports, allowing users to single out guilty applications, responsible for high data charges.  The new version has a modern, multilingual user interface and can manage several connections simultaneously.

New features of Spb Wireless Monitor 3.0:

* Per Application Traffic and Cost Reports Detailed traffic per application or time-based reports can be viewed on screen or exported as CSV files

* More Connections Supported
CDMA, GPRS, 3G, and even Wi-Fi and USB connections supported

* Peak and Off-peak Tariffs Support
Some data plans offer different tariffs for peak and off-peak hours, Spb Wireless Monitor 3.0 accounts for that

* Excessive Data Use Alarms
Set as many excessive data use warnings as you want, to avoid unwanted data charges

* Modern Multilingual User Interface
One-handed navigation, adaptive skins, for touch and non-touch screen devices


Spb Wireless Monitor is compatible with Windows Mobile 5.0 and higher, Professional and Standard devices; all Windows Mobile screen resolutions are supported. A free, 15-day trial can be downloaded, or Spb Wireless Monitor 3.0 may be purchased for 19.95 USD, or upgraded from 2.? Spb Wireless Monitor versions for just 9.95 USD, at www.spbsoftwarehouse.com. According to Spb Software upgrades policy, all Spb Wireless Monitor users, who have purchased the product within the last 90 days, are invited to exchange the previous version of software for the newly released one, for free.

RAD Data Communications, a specialist in developing solutions for the transport of data, voice and signaling traffic in cellular and mobile applications, announced today
that TeliaSonera, the international mobile operator based in Scandinavia, has selected its advanced cell site gateway to backhaul 2G and 3G mobile traffic over all-IP fibre infrastructure in Finland.

RAD's ACE-3220 cell-site gateways will connect over the fibre network to Cisco's 7600 edge routers.

"One of the keys in winning this project against a competitor with a strong local presence was our ability to quickly integrate with TeliaSonera's existing Cisco backbone network," noted Mati Epstein, Carrier Strategic Accounts Director at RAD, who led the company's sales team in the commercial negotiations with TeliaSonera.

Currently, most mobile operators upgrading their backhaul networks to meet the demands of HSPA, and eventually LTE, are deploying one network for data and a separate one for time-sensitive legacy traffic such as voice. TeliaSonera will become one of the first operators of a unified all-IP mobile backhaul network. This breakthrough was made possible because RAD overcame the technological obstacles that until now have prevented the transport of legacy voice on a packet-switched cellular backhaul network without compromising Quality of Service (QoS). RAD's gateways employ pseudowires to allow legacy traffic to be carried over
IP and, by providing accurate clock synchronisation, ensure that voice traffic is not victim to QoS issues generated by network delays.

"This is a significant win for RAD in the mobile arena because it proves the business case for deploying an end-to-end pseudowire solution to simultaneously backhaul 2G and 3G traffic over fibre," stated Michael Howard, Principal Analyst and co-founder of Infonetics Research, "This represents a departure from the existing 'hybrid' or 'dual backhaul' model of HSDPA offload," Howard added, "and is a harbinger for the industry for tomorrow's backhaul architecture over a single packet network."

While the arrival of the iPhone is said to have generated a universally positive response from mobile games publishers and developers, the volume of paid-for mobile game downloads has nonetheless flatlined across North America and Western Europe, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

The report found that although the retail value of the global mobile games market is expected to rise from $5.4bn in 2008 to more than $10bn in 2013, the potential for growth in many key markets is being dampened by a combination of limited on-portal revenue share for publishers - meaning that some are exiting the mobile games industry - and poor games marketing.

According to report author Dr Windsor Holden "The revenue share offered by Apple to games publishers is incredibly attractive. The danger is that if operators do not respond with a similar business model, publishers faced with low margins may simply exit Java completely, thereby reducing consumer choice in the longer term."

The report also found that while ad-funded downloads have increased markedly in popularity, the revenues accrued from advertising are unlikely to be sufficient to provide developers or operators with a primary revenue stream. It argued that, with cost per mille (CPM) rates likely to fall in the face of pressures on advertising budgets, advertising would be largely employed by most publishers as a means of monetising older content.

However, the Juniper study remained optimistic about prospects for growth in regions such as the Indian Sub Continent, Africa/Middle East and South America, where the combination of increased mobile adoption and low levels of penetration of both games consoles and fixed Internet means that the mobile handset has already become the de facto gaming device.

Other findings from the Juniper report include:

  • China and the Far East will remain the largest regional market for mobile games throughout the period covered by the report.
  • Global revenues from in-game advertising will rise significantly from 2008 to 2013.
  • Operators need to reduce data charges further for out of bundle customers to encourage casual mobile Internet usage and thereby stimulate the mobile entertainment market

 

Transmode, a leading provider of Optical Networking solutions, has been selected by the Madrid Metro (Metro de Madrid) for a network improvement project to increase network reliability and to ensure that communications services continue in a disaster recovery situation.

Metro de Madrid put out a public tender seeking a solution to interconnect its main communications hubs. These are located at various points on the metro: Alto del Arenal, Puerta del Sur, Depósito de Canillejas and Campo de las Nacion. The aim of the project was to install a fibre-optic network with built in redundancy between these sites, ensuring that communications services are maintained while minimising the impact of any natural catastrophes or terrorist attacks.

In the first phase of the project, Transmode improved the communications network by providing Alto del Arenal and Puerta del Sur stations with a redundant and high-capacity link. Communications are now running between both locations, providing all applications, signalling information and end-user services.

The installation, based on Transmode's TM-Series/TS-Series WDM systems, won the tender because it provided the highest network reliability and the best price/performance ratio. The Transmode solution was integrated into Metro de Madrid's management platform by Indra (a certified partner of Transmode), Spain's first IT multinational and one of Europe and Latin America's most important.

Enrique Pérez Amorós, manager of Telecommunications, Signals & Control at Metro de Madrid, says: "After studying the existing technology options and the various bidders for this project, the choice was clear: Transmode fulfilled Metro de Madrid's requirements. Another factor in Transmode's favour was that the company has experience of working with other metro systems around the world."

Transmode's country manager, Iberia, Vicente Arroyo commented, "we are extremely pleased to be announcing Metro de Madrid as another customer in Spain in conjunction with our local partner INDRA. Transmode's TM-Series/TS-Series provide the ideal platform for applications like this where a small footprint, low power consumption and ease of use are key considerations along with network reliability."

The solution works with two racks configured to provide redundancy. Duplicates of all functional elements (lasers, transponders, filters, etc.), are located in these racks such that if one part should fail, the other will start to operate immediately. The communications system provides a range of protocols including SDH STM-1, Gigabit Ethernet and 10G, PDH, E1, Fibre Channel 4G and ATM STM-1. These are multiplexed into separate 10G channels generating a secure signal, which is combined with the carrier signal between the nodes.

Significantly, Transmode's solution is optimised to remove the need for active network elements at any point along the fibre or the need for further amplification. Therefore the network does not require regeneration or compensation filters for chromatic or phase distortion which minimises maintenance and will simplify any future development of the network.

The newly installed TM-Series/TS-Series system has unique features such as:

  a.. iWDM (intelligent WDM) technology, capable of automatically detecting the protocol and speed of a client signal.
  b.. Automatic management and monitoring of optical power, including intelligent mechanisms for automatic adjustment of the optical power levels when new services are added.
  c.. The option of adding or dropping services without interrupting existing communications.

The new system has to support the existing critical services such as:

  a.. MetroSur's low-speed (SDH) systems
  b.. Metro de Madrid's (GbE) PDHoIP systems
  c.. PABX and TETRA telephony systems over ATM
  d.. Metro de Madrid's gigabit Ethernet LAN network (10G)
  e.. SAN-NAS systems with 4G Fibre Channel connectivity

Now that the first stage has been successfully completed, Metro de Madrid is planning future developments. One of which is the integration of connections of the main sites in a ring-shaped homogenous architecture, and another is the possibility to integrate any future new locations.

Celona, the leaders in business-centric application data migration solutions, today announced that it has joined the Amdocs Alliance Partner Program. Celona's Evolve platform can ensure that service providers benefit from minimal business disruption as well as faster time-to-value when implementing or upgrading inventory management applications.

Celona specialises in delivering to organisations innovative, business-centric application data migration solutions with zero downtime, through a new, incremental approach that lowers risk and cost compared to traditional ETL (Extract, Transform Load) or manual scripting solutions.  Concurrent migration and synchronisation of data between legacy and new systems enables IT organisations to manage the transformation process and align data migration based on the reality of today's changing business environments.  When combined with the ability to control which data, users, processes and capability are migrated, and when, organisations now have a 360-degree view and management of their migration programmes and projects.

"Data migration is a key success factor for those organisations whose businesses are subject to change and transformation, or who are upgrading a legacy business application.  With current economic factors driving change across a number of sectors such as Telecoms, M&A activity at high levels, particularly within the financial services sector, and budgets coming under increasing pressure, it is vital that application data migrations are delivered with certainty," said Charles Andrews, CEO of Celona.  "Celona and Amdocs share the vision that data migration solutions must be agile and flexible enough to enable business evolution and transformation to take place with minimal disruption and risk, while at the same time providing early results and on-time completion. Our platform met these requirements, succeeding where traditional ETL solutions could not. We are delighted to now be part of Amdocs' alliance ecosystem.  Today's partnership helps ensure that service providers can solve the business challenges of OSS transformations and upgrades - the complexity and issues that can be associated with large scale data migration projects where data migration, system migration and user migration are inextricably linked, are eliminated with the Celona Evolve platform."

Celona Evolve's business centric approach to application data migration enables IT organisations to align with changing business priorities and manage the independent movement of users, data, process and capability within an application data migration project or programme, all within Celona Evolves pioneering zero down-time environment.  Celona Evolve is business orientated, minimises business disruption, reduces time to value, through faster results, and reduces complexity.

LHS, a leading provider of telecom billing and customer care systems across the wireless, wireline, and IP telecom markets worldwide, today announced that Telenor Serbia, a member of the Telenor Group, has migrated its BSCS 7 billing and customer care system to BSCS iX Release 2, LHS' latest product. This upgrade offers Telenor Serbia's customers new services and special offers including a web-based customer center, while the company can now benefit from comprehensive cost control as well as stronger functionality and the quick implementation of service offerings based on market needs and demands.

The company additionally selected LHS as the prime contractor for the upgrade that was completed in seven months. The project is a continuation of the cooperation between LHS and Telenor, with LHS providing billing solutions for several other Telenor affiliates around the world. With a 39 percent share of the national market, Telenor Serbia is the second largest of the country's three mobile operators, providing a wide range of services to more than 3 million subscribers.

"Telenor Serbia has definitely made the right decision to upgrade the BSCS system and to select LHS as the system integrator. We now have a postpaid billing system with great potential, which gives us an excellent position in our very competitive market. We can now be the first to market with innovative offers and quick answers to new market developments and needs," said Oystein Mikkelsen, Chief Technical Officer of Telenor Serbia. "We were also very happy with the smooth and professional implementation of the upgrade and the support we received from LHS. This project marks the continuation of our close and productive cooperation with LHS, ensuring continuous knowledge transfer," he added.

"This project is a step towards a convergent pre-postpaid solution for Telenor Serbia," said Wolfgang Kroh, CEO of LHS. "For us it has once again confirmed the trust of our customers not only in the quality of our product, but also in the skills of our experts who successfully migrated the solution on site. It was a pleasure working with Telenor Serbia's team throughout the entire process and we are looking forward to further projects between LHS and Telenor ASA and its affiliates."

ChangingWorlds, a specialist in mobile data personalization and subscriber intelligence for mobile operators, has today announced a new deal that will launch a personalized Mobile Internet service for the Telefónica O2 Czech Republic.  ChangingWorlds has worked with O2 UK and O2 Germany for several years but this is the first implementation with O2 Czech Republic.

Consisting of a new O2 internet-like portal and a browser bar that provides intuitive navigation support for users browsing off-portal , the O2 ‘True Internet' proposition seamlessly integrates mobile internet content services with key services from O2 Active and its' partner sites.

ChangingWorlds' ClixSmart system is employed to simplify mobile internet access, engage O2 users and optimize internet usability on the mobile handset. O2 Czech Republic chose ChangingWorlds' solution to improve the end user experience and personal value gained from using the Mobile Internet. ChangingWorlds Personalization technology is said to achieve this by reducing the information gap and increasing awareness of new relevant services for each O2 user. The personalization engine automatically selects new, fresh and relevant content for each user based on learned user content preferences and behavioural patterns.

In addition, the ClixSmart device management system optimizes content presentation and screen flows to the specific capabilities of each O2 handset. ChangingWorlds also provides in-depth reporting of both on and off-portal activity which enables O2 to recognize, manage and leverage learned browsing trends, both established & emerging. Moreover, intuitive ClixSmart content management applications allow O2 portal managers to assume full control of the service.

Speaking today, Lorcan Jordan, Program Director for ChangingWorlds said "O2 Czech Republic sees the delivery of a highly personalized Mobile Internet experience as an essential step in strengthening its competitive position in the now established Mobile Internet marketplace. The new personalized Mobile Internet service powered by ChangingWorlds' technology improves the internet user experience by delivering relevant content to each individual. ChangingWorlds and O2 will continue to collaborate and extend the Mobile Internet data service with the ultimate aim of providing a ubiquitous, personalized Internet channel for all O2 data users."

Jan Karas, marketing director of residential segment from Telefónica O2 Czech Republic commented: "The launch of a personalized Mobile Internet service is an integral part of the O2 Czech Republic mobile data strategy to optimize the user experience and to ensure O2 can offer a convincing internet experience to our mobile users. This service will also enable us to monetize off-portal activity and to up-sell key value-add O2 data services. Vitally, it also ensures that we can assume control of the Mobile Internet browsing experience so that it enhances, rather than detracts from, our O2 Active portal."

The Mobile Marketing Association has today released its Annual Mobile Attitude and Usage Study, conducted with research partner Synovate. With the objective of helping brands and advertisers understand the habits of mobile users, the study is said to provide insights into overall consumer mobile usage by demographic group as well as the awareness for the United States, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America markets. The study's key global findings include:

 

  • Overall interest in mobile marketing varies by geography. The United States and Western Europe report comparable interest levels in mobile marketing; similar interest levels are also noted among mobile phone users in Asia Pacific and Latin American markets.
  • One-in-four mobile users in the US and Western Europe express strong or moderate interest in mobile marketing.
  • Interest levels are higher in Asia Pacific and Latin American markets where roughly one-half and two-thirds of mobile users respectively express strong or moderate interest.
  • In all regions, "text-to-win" and interactive voting campaigns are the most common efforts in which mobile users have participated.
  • Echoing receptivity to mobile marketing overall, Asia Pacific and Latin American markets report greater participation in mobile marketing efforts; roughly one-in-five mobile users in these regions report having participated in mobile marketing efforts in the past year.
  • Creating strong market opportunity for mobile marketers, across all countries and regions surveyed, heavy penetration and reliance on mobile phones combined with strong feature, text and mobile web usage indicate a willingness to accept mobile phones as devices that reach beyond traditional communications.
  • More than half of mobile consumers (regardless of market) report that their mobile phone is "highly important" to their daily life.
  • Mobile feature usage of non voice applications (text, mobile web, camera and picture messaging) is strong in all markets.

"The Annual Mobile Attitude and Usage Study is one of the most powerful tools available in our industry and we are pleased to expand the number of countries profiled in this year's study," said Laura Marriott, president of the MMA. "Consumers are becoming more adept at using their mobile devices, opening the door to help them to explore and discover mobile marketing campaigns."

"Overall interest levels in the mobile marketing concept vary by market and geographic region - however, common in all markets is the importance of mobile phones in daily life. Further, all markets show an ever increasing reliance on services that are precursors and enablers to mobile marketing efforts," said Beth Ritchey, Vice President, Synovate Tech and Telecom. "This year's Mobile Attitude and Usage Study contains a wealth of information geared to help marketers understand market trends and opportunities in both individual markets and geographic regions."

The global study covers the following markets: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, United Kingdom and United States.

The Broadband Forum, formerly the DSL Forum, has today unveiled the latest edition of its BroadbandSuite Release Plan at this year's Telco TV.  BroadbandSuite 3.0 provides specifications for triple-play delivered via GPON and bonded DSL over a QoS-enabled Ethernet architecture, and remote management beyond the gateway to address video and storage devices.

BroadbandSuite 2.0, released in 2007, provided a roadmap for triple-play access via ADSL2plus, but over the past 12 months, the Broadband Forum has responded to an industry need for the ability to deliver triple-play services, such as IPTV, over a variety of different access technologies.

The key capabilities of BroadbandSuite 3.0 include triple-play augmented via GPON and bonded DSL over a QoS-enabled Ethernet architecture; full support for multicast to IPTV streaming; and integrated remote management of set-top-boxes (STB) and attached storage devices. 

This ability to deliver triple-play services over a number of different access technologies will give more service providers more options to offer new revenue generating services, such as IPTV, helping them to gain market share in an already competitive market. 

With the global economy showing more and more signs of slowing down, mobile messaging growth will continue, according to a recent report from ABI Research, which says that mobile messaging services revenues will grow from $151 billion in 2008 to greater than $212 billion globally by 2013. Supply side drivers will be of primary importance for maintaining this level of growth.
 
Principal analyst Dan Shey comments: "Mobile messaging ARPUs are 85%+ of all handset data services revenues regardless of region and will remain so for many years. As messaging involves all the biggest players in the mobile industry there will be incentives for all mobile messaging suppliers to work cooperatively to serve customers well and propel all parties through these rough economic waters."
 
The important messaging suppliers include operators, device OEMs, content providers and middleware vendors. But although these suppliers can make the mobile messaging experience as pleasurable as possible, there must also be valid practical reasons for customers to use them and to and consider upgrading to new plans and services. One of the main reasons: more and more customers see mobile messaging services as a more efficient way to communicate than voice services.
 
Shey says, "The utility of mobile services will keep them a necessity in tough economic times, particularly since displaced workers need to be mobile to find work."

The International Engineering Consortium (IEC) has announced that it will premiere BBWF*Unwired at International CTIA WIRELESS 2009 in Las Vegas this upcoming 31 March through 2 April. Themed "Networks in Transformation," BBWF*Unwired will bring together the world's top thought leaders in ICT (information and communications technology) to speak in its world-class educational program.

"BBWF*Unwired is the *Broadband World Forum ‘unwired,'" commented IEC President John Janowiak. "It is not a wireless or wireline program, but an event focused on the convergence of both networks' respective communities, companies, and experts to provide solutions for challenges associated with this inevitable transformation."

BBWF*Unwired will discuss the migration of fixed and wireless carrier networks and offer solutions to create a common infrastructure to meet the expanding needs and preferences of end users throughout the world.

Robert Mesirow, vice president and show director for CTIA, further commented, "The IEC produced a successful and well-received panel for International CTIA WIRELESS 2008, and we are delighted they have chosen to partner with us and expand our conference program to include the landline convergence space. Operators are looking for new ways to maximize their wireline business and capitalize on opportunities in wireless-and now, CTIA can offer them a comprehensive educational program led by experts in their field to navigate the challenges of convergence."

Sessions will examine how service providers must now support a new communications and entertainment world governed by convergence at multiple levels-device, network, content and applications and end user. Preliminary conference tracks include the following:

-       Broadband content, entertainment and applications
-       Wireless broadband convergence
-       Broadband networking technologies and architecture
-       IPTV futures

At a press conference held yesterday evening, the telecommunication expert Professor Kruse from the Helmut Schmidt University of Hamburg, Telekom Austria Group's mobile subsidiary, mobilkom austria, T-Mobile Austria and Orange (Austria) warned about the EU roaming regulation's negative effects on Austria's mobile industry. Kruse, who knows the Austrian market very well, presented independent research on the effects of the regulation on the Austrian telecommunications industry.

The outcome of the analysis is said to show a dramatic scenario: the decrease in EBITDA due to roaming regulation amounts to a total of EUR 81.5 million for the three Austrian mobile providers: mobilkom austria, T-Mobile Austria and Orange (Austria). This decline has a direct impact on investment volumes of the three providers, which decreased by 41.2% in the first half of 2008 compared to the same period of the previous year. In absolute terms, this means EUR 128.3 million in the first half-year 2008 versus EUR 218.2 million in the first half-year 2007, prior to the introduction of the EU roaming voice price caps.

The call volume effects forecasted by the EU did not take place: the average price per roaming minute (for both active and passive calls) decreased by 43%, however, the three mobile operators reported increases of only 3.7% for active roaming minutes and of 10.3% for passive roaming minutes. As a result, price cuts could not be compensated with rising call volumes. Since the introduction of the price caps, voice roaming revenues from active roaming minutes have decreased by 41.4% for all three mobile providers compared to the previous year. For passive roaming minutes the drop in revenues amounted to 37.4% on a half-year on half-year basis.
Professor Kruse drew the following conclusion: "Since its deregulation, the Austrian telecommunications market has been marked by intensive competition, which has led to considerable price reductions for the benefit of the Austrian customers. However, the central intervention measures of the European Commission in some areas of the price shaping process have resulted in negative effects on national price structures." 

"The Austrian mobile telecommunications sector is marked by three key attributes: an extremely high penetration rate of 122.5% (as of end of September 2008), the lowest prices when compared against international benchmarks and an internationally recognised strong commitment to innovation," said Hannes Ametsreiter, CMO mobilkom austria and Telekom Austria. "The planned intervention measures of the EU Commission with regard to roaming price caps for both SMS and data as well as the plans for pulsing, represent a massive threat to the Austrian mobile telecommunications industry. If we are obliged to reduce investments due to the aforementioned regulations, this will have repercussions on Austria as a business location as well as on customers," added Ametsreiter, warning that further financial losses of the same magnitude are expected due to planned increases in roaming regulation.

Wolfgang Kniese, CFO T-Mobile Austria, pointed out: "This research study confirms our point of view: the assumptions of the European Commission, according to which the negative effects from price cuts were to be counteracted with an increase in call volumes, proved wrong. On the long-term this results in negative effects for the entire industry. In the current context of the global economy this approach is in contrast with the EU political intentions of promoting growth via investments."

"As a traditional tourism country Austria is particularly exposed to roaming regulation compared to other EU member states," said Michael Krammer Orange CEO in Austria. 

The number of foreign visitors' call minutes within Austrian networks increased by 24% due to two effects: a good winter season and the 2008 European Football Championship. However, revenues per minute decreased by 44.8%.

Mr Krammer further pointed out: "In particular, the reduction of roaming prices at the wholesale level does not bring about any benefits for Austrian consumers. Quite the reverse, it leads to a capital outflow of millions of EUR to foreign countries as Austria is a popular tourist destination, which results in more customers of foreign networks roaming in Austria than the other way around. The EU regulation is weakening the entire European industry, while hitting Austria particularly hard."

    

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