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Business Logic Systems, a specialist in customer intelligence, marketing automation and customer loyalty solutions for mobile network operators, has announced it will demonstrate its full portfolio of InTelestage products and technologies at this year's Mobile World Congress. InTelestage is said to be the only Customer Lifecycle Management software specifically designed for mobile operators, and is claimed to enable telcos to quickly and easily reduce churn, develop subscriber loyalty and increase the lifetime value of the customer. 

InTelestage allows marketing departments to access, analyse and act upon customer event data in real-time to create a continuous closed loop campaign process.  It delivers the ability to run multiple concurrent campaigns to highly-targeted micro segments, creating an interactive, two-way dialogue with customers, via their preferred communication channel.

InTelestage has been designed specifically to offer easy integration with third-party systems, enabling platform providers and developers to easily create fully-automated, innovative marketing solutions that increase the value of existing IT investments.

"At a time when the depressed economy is causing consumers to re-evaluate their monthly spend, the challenge for operators to retain customers and grow the average revenue per user has never been greater", commented Stewart Goldberg, Executive Chairman, Business Logic Systems.  "With InTelestage, telcos can better understand their subscriber base, reward profitable customers and increase loyalty."

The InTelestage portfolio includes products such as: Knowledge Base, Profiler, Reporter, Marketing Manager, Relationship Manager, Loyalty Manager, Reward Manager, Voucher Manager and Lucky Draw; and solutions such as Campaign Management, Campaign and Loyalty Management, Recharge Management, Customer Lifecycle Management and Revenue Optimiser.

Industry leaders from Kabel Deutschland, the BBC, Virgin Media, Walt Disney and Liberty Global are to debate the future of content creation and digital distribution at the 2009 Cable Congress in Berlin

Chairmen and chief executives from some of the world's largest media, entertainment and pay-TV companies will share their vision and strategic ambitions with cable executives at the forthcoming Cable Europe congress.

More than 700 delegates from a business sector serving more than 70m households will hear presentations from leaders including Tony Ball, Chairman of the Advisory Board at Kabel Deutschland; John Smith, CEO of BBC Worldwide and Neil Berkett, CEO of Virgin Media at the premiere event of the European cable industry.

Manuel Kohnstamm, President of Cable Europe, said: "Cable in Europe is growing at an encouraging pace and is at the vanguard of technological innovation. The annual Cable Congress is the ideal forum for our industry to share past experiences and plan future success."

Over three days of cable industry events from 18 to 22 March 2009, Cable Congress will focus on the issues of monetising content in the digital age, the future of cable broadband technology and innovation strategies in a challenging trading environment.
As well as panel discussions and smaller break-out sessions, Cable Congress, held at the Berliner Congress Centre, will feature more than 500 square metres of exhibition space over two floors.

Telekom Austria Group today announced that its mobile subsidiary, mobilkom austria, has developed - in cooperation with ÖBB (Austrian Federal Railways Group) - the 'first' chip-based end-to-end NFC solution for mobile ticketing in pre-selling conditions.

The new chip-based NFC application is based on the interoperable and high-security international standard VDV-KA (Association of German Transport Undertakings - Core Application) and has been integrated into the mobilkom austria mobile ticketing platform. As this new generation NFC mobile ticketing solution offers enhanced user-friendliness and convenience for both passengers and ticket collectors when buying and managing train tickets, mobilkom austria and ÖBB embarked on a pilot project to test it with the support of Nokia.

Hannes Ametsreiter, CMO mobilkom austria und CEO Telekom Austria TA AG, said: "With mobilkom austria's new, worldwide first chip-based NFC mobile ticketing solution, train tickets are no longer sent via text messages to the customer's handset but are saved in the so-called ‘secure element' of NFC-enabled mobile phones and can be validated by a simple touch."

"Moreover, train tickets will not get lost, even if the SMS inbox of a mobile phone is purged by mistake, and they are always available, even when the phone battery has run out. In addition, tickets can be managed and validated while the customer is having a phone conversation," added Gabriele Lutter, spokesperson of the Management Board of ÖBB-Personenverkehr AG.

Tickets can be validated with a simple touch of the passengers' and the conductor's NFC enabled mobile phone. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to enter a SMS code to validate the transaction, considerably enhancing time efficiency.

The pilot project will involve 100 test customers and 100 ticket collectors, who will trial the new chip-based application on the test routes Vienna-Krems and Vienna-Gmünd, using the NFC-capable handset Nokia 6212 classic for three months. Feedback from test users will be used to improve future NFC services.

Nokia is the only handset supplier which has been able to commercially launch NFC-capable handsets to date. The new Nokia 6212 classic will be commercially available starting from February 2009, and mobilkom austria will be the first mobile operator to offer this phone in Austria. In the initial stage, the Nokia 6212 classic will not be equipped with the new chip-based NFC application developed by mobilkom austria as this solution is still in a trial phase.

COLT, a leading provider of data, voice and managed enterprise services and ADVA Optical Networking today announced the market's first deployment of an 8Gbit/s Fibre Channel (FC) service over distance. Featured within a customer's Storage Area Network (SAN), the new service, built specifically upon the ADVA FSP 3000's 8Gbit/s FC card, provides a point-to-point link that stretches beyond 135km. Connecting two data centers with an 8Gbit/s FC link across this distance was dependent upon the ADVA FSP 3000's Raman amplification capabilities to eliminate the need for mid-span huts and the associated operations and maintenance costs.

"The increasing growth in data-intensive, high-speed networking applications, particularly in storage environments, is driving the demand for Fibre Channel solutions at higher bitrates and longer distances," said Dr. Alireza Mahmoodshahi, COLT group chief technology officer (CTO). "ADVA Optical Networking understands this demand and has developed an industry leading 8Gbit/s FC solution capable of responding to our customers' needs. Successfully tested and deployed, ADVA Optical Networking has helped us to deliver a key service and a market first. We look forward to rolling this out to more customers soon."

ADVA Optical Networking and COLT Telecom are currently the only companies capable of deploying 8Gbit/s FC over distance and have worked extensively to ensure the solution is able to perform under the most stressful network demands. Before installation, ADVA Optical Networking developed and extensively tested its 8Gbit/s FC solution in its Meiningen, Germany, laboratories, ensuring that it could operate over large distances and that it is compatible with 10-, 4-, 2- and 1Gbit/s FC interfaces and a range of industry switches, including Brocade's 8Gbit/s SAN switch. This comprehensive compatibility ensures that enterprises can deploy all FC interfaces in the same network without additional capital expenses.

"ADVA Optical Networking has a long history of developing technology innovations of real market value. We were among the first companies to introduce 4Gbit/s and 10Gbit/s FC, and this successful implementation of 8Gbit/s FC further emphasizes our commitment to the storage industry," stated Dr. Christoph Glingener, chief technology officer (CTO) at ADVA Optical Networking. "COLT and ADVA Optical Networking have worked extensively to ensure this 8Gbit/s FC service is specifically tailored to meet enterprises' growing data demands with the most cost-effective and flexible solution possible."

Celltick, a provider of idle screen mobile marketing, has announced the launch of livescreen.com, claimed to be the world's first web-based ad server which allows local and global advertisers to purchase idle screen advertising in all markets where Celltick's LiveScreen Media platform is operational. The platform was built in collaboration with BidVertiser an international ad network using a proprietary ad serving platform.

Celltick's LiveScreen Media allows millions of users around the world to receive entertainment, news, sports, business and lifestyle teasers, as well as advertising and operator promotions, direct to the idle screens of their mobile handsets. The content broadcast to each customer is segmented according to their historical responses, geographic location, the time of day and individual demographics - ensuring that all content is relevant to the person who receives it. 

This announcement is part of Celltick's stated media strategy. The first phase was to shift its business model from selling technology to managing a media channel for operators. These services have already achieved critical mass in their respective markets and are currently covering over 20 million users.

LiveScreen Media allows advertisers to place idle screen advertising campaigns prompting an immediate response from interested consumers.  Advertisers who have already taken advantage of this unique media channel include Coke, America Express, Unilever and Honda. With the launch of livescreen.com, long tail advertisers will now be able to participate in idle screen promotions as well.

A recent survey conducted among LiveScreen Media users indicates that 19% of customers were exposed to advertising on the idle screen during the last 3 months.

- 43% of LiveScreen Media users are between the ages of 25-35, 40% are between the ages of 14-24.

- 65% of LiveScreen Media users are male, 35% female.

When examining users' attitudes towards advertising, the majority (57%) indicated that the most appealing proposition by advertisers on the idle screen is a discount on the advertised service or product.

Stephen Dunford, CEO of Celltick, said: "Celltick is proud to be launching a global ad network specifically for the idle screen.  The idle screen represents one of the biggest mobile advertising opportunities in the coming years, and we are already well placed to serve ads to millions of mobile customers around the world.  livescreen.com provides a central hub for advertisers of all sizes to interact with customers on a local, personalized and timely manner." 

Sicap and French service provider Utel, have today released details of their collaboration to enhance mobile business opportunities by running marketing campaigns through an open standards messaging hub, connected to multiple operator networks.

The announcement underlines Sicap's commitment to enabling a new type of business model for telecom operators by securely allowing third party access to their networks. Sicap messaging hub has recently been deployed by a tier-1 operator group, with web-based API connections and a powerful statistics management facility which both facilitate a revenue sharing business model with multiple third party service providers.

For service providers such as Utel, Sicap technology and their commitment to an open-standards framework is getting them to market on multiple operator networks simultaneously and in the most cost-effective way.  The Sicap platform uses open source Linux and MySQLTM components which ease the entry of applications and service providers from the Internet world into the mobile sphere. For operator-side implementations Sicap typically uses Unix and OracleTM based configurations.

Utel's migration to the open-source MySQL database has streamlined in-house operations and reduced administration costs linked to training.  Additionally, Utel has eliminated database license fees.  Confidence in Sicap carrier-grade technology and easy connections have helped Utel impose their services at tier-1 Group level and enabled them to expand to serve subsidiary networks in a very short time.

Pierre Antoine, Chief Technical Officer of Utel added that: "We are now running campaigns in French-speaking West Africa subsidiary networks from the centralized messaging hub. We have gained in both business opportunities and efficiency by choosing Sicap technology."

Operational costs for message handling are also coming down on the operator side.  The Sicap platform features portability management, which means that all the messages sent from applications are filtered to identify the home network and then channelled to the appropriate network.

Grégory Grin, Sicap Chief Operating Officer said today: "The Sicap messaging hub is an ideal way for operators and mobile service providers to both expand and streamline their business.  Routing and management of high-volume message campaigns in an increasingly complex environment remains seamless, controlled and cost-effective.   The Sicap hub enables win-win transactions for Utel and the operators whose networks they are connected to."

Aircom International, an independent mobile network planning and optimization consultancy, today announced its new Aircom IQ optimization service, a platform  that is said to analyse and optimize cellular network performance, detects network problems and limitations, and reduces capital expenditures for network growth and 3G (third generation) migration.

As telecommunications operators grow their networks to meet rising customer demand, Aircom IQ addresses the need for efficient optimization and management of their network infrastructure.  The key components of the Aircom IQ toolset include: a hardware audit that analyzes network and planning data and consolidates datasets, identifying missing and incomplete information; a measurement collection function that uses customer mobile measurement reports to characterise network performance and build analysis; an automated and flexible analysis toolset that detects network problems (e.g. swapped sectors, faulty transceivers, etc.); and automatic optimization that enhances performance by improving the configuration of the network.

"With 2G technologies still generating most of the revenue for operators and these networks requiring continuous optimization to respond to subscriber growth, Aircom IQ offers an ideal solution to reduce network-oriented operational expenditures through increased optimisation efficiency, capacity gains and better traffic management," said Marty Smuin, president of the Americas for Aircom International. "By creating efficient services that guarantee 2G performance improvements, operators can focus their operating expenditures on 3G and 4G technologies, new service offerings and network infrastructure growth."

Changes in business conditions, such as spectrum refarming and sharing, mean that 2G networks need to be revisited quickly and efficiently. Aircom IQ uses mobile measurement reports to determine 2G network performance as seen by terminals and for all users, both indoor and outdoor.  Using a combination of switch and probe measurements, the Aircom solution provides optimisation that is both accurate and simple.

"We can help operators reduce churn by addressing pockets of poor efficiency and weak performance, delivering an optimized view of network performance as their customers perceive it," said Smuin.  "Aircom IQ offers a complete, vendor-independent solution that utilizes customer generated measurements to ensure real network improvements."

While the initial functionality of Aircom IQ is geared toward 2G networks, future enhancements will include 3G and 4G optimization, antenna reconfiguration, capacity management that leverages traffic information to provide new insights on user locations, parameter optimization and LTE/HSPA+ optimization.

Ixia, a leading, global provider of IP performance test systems, was recently honored by four prestigious industry organizations for its leadership in communications test technology. Ixia was recognized by eWeek as one of its Top 10 Products of the Year, by Frost & Sullivan with its 2008 Global Integrated Triple Play Test & Monitoring Equipment Market Leadership of the Year award, by Test & Measurement World with three Best in Test award nominations and by Internet Telephony as a Product of the Year.

"To be acknowledged by such a large and respected group of technology influencers is further proof that Ixia is driving new advancement and strategic initiatives in the test, measurement and service verification markets," said Atul Bhatnagar, President and CEO of Ixia. "We are well positioned to leverage these and other innovative developments to continue our market growth in 2009."

Ixia's iSimCity executive briefing center and proof-of-concept lab was selected by eWeek, an award-winning newsweekly reaching over 400,000 IT industry professionals, as one of its Top 10 Products of 2008. Each year, eWeek Labs analysts pick 10 products that stand out for their innovation. This year Ixia's iSimCity was acknowledged alongside such well-regarded companies as Cisco, Nokia, Apple, and Microsoft. iSimCity is the first facility of its kind to allow customers to conduct city-scale testing of network equipment, providing users access to thousands of test ports, and generating traffic in the range of 10-100 Gbps. iSimCity is equipped to emulate hundreds of thousands of subscribers and millions of routes with thousands of routing peers.

Frost & Sullivan, in its analysis of the 2008 worldwide triple play test industry, selected Ixia as the market leader in Test & Monitoring Equipment market with a 38.5% market share. Last year, Ixia was also recognized by Frost & Sullivan as the market leader in 1G and 10G test interfaces.

Test & Measurement World, the leading test and measurement industry publication for almost 30 years, recognized Ixia with nominations in three categories of its 2008 Best in Test awards: the IxRave service validation platform in the Audio/Video and Multimedia category, the IxYukon load module in the Protocol Analyzers category, and the 100GE Development Accelerator System in the Network Physical-Layer Test category. Winners of each category will be announced in T&M World's April issue.

Ixia's IxGreen energy consumption measurement solution was named a recipient of Internet Telephony Magazine's Product of the Year award. IxGreen is the industry's first fully integrated "green" test and measurement solution, measuring a device's energy usage at various load conditions while utilizing real-world traffic profiles.

These awards reinforce Ixia's position as a leader in technology innovation. With the industry's most expansive suite of products to test the performance and compliance of communications equipment, Ixia has a proven track record of bringing quality products to market first. Ixia's solutions cover a wide range of technologies used in today's modern networks including triple play delivery, IPTV, broadband, both TDM voice and VoIP, and a range of security protocols, proving Ixia's continual drive to remain at the cutting edge of technology development.

Complexity is preventing uptake and usage of mobile applications and services, according to a survey of US and UK consumers commissioned by mobile device management (MDM) specialist Mformation. 95% of consumers surveyed indicated that they would be more likely to try new mobile services if setup was easier. Complex setup issues are also preventing 45% of people from upgrading to new, more sophisticated mobile phones. Moreover, 61% of these mobile users say phone setup is as frustrating as changing a bank account. 
 
"With the current economic climate, operators and device manufacturers need to remove barriers to service uptake. The message from consumers is that phone setup is simply too complex. Clearly, this needs to be addressed," said Matthew Bancroft, Vice President, Mformation. "‘Up and running straight out-of-the-box' means exactly that, and our research shows that improving this aspect of the mobile phone purchasing experience will help to improve the fortunes of many players in our industry."
 
65% of respondents agreed that mobile operators are losing out, as people will not buy a new phone because of the time it takes to set up.  Indeed, 78% say they would change their handsets more regularly if the setup process was less painful.  The situation is further compounded when it comes to the use of advanced revenue-generating mobile applications and services, with 88% agreeing that they would use these services more if setup were less painful. Basic services such as email (46%), Internet browsing (40%), instant messaging (30%) and picture messaging (29%) are among the top applications and services that people find don't always work when they first switch on their phone. As a result, 61% have stopped using mobile applications because they cannot solve problems with them.
 
"Subscribers are clearly convinced of the value of mobile services," added Bancroft. "However, 85% of the people we surveyed find it frustrating to have to go through a number of steps when they want to activate a service or application. It's a bit like getting a new gadget, then finding that the batteries aren't included. Providing mobile subscribers with a more seamless experience will remove these pains."
 
The survey found that, on average, people feel it should take no longer than 15 minutes to set up a new mobile phone and feel confident it is working. However, at the moment the average time is nearly an hour. The survey highlighted one straightforward example of how setup of a new phone can be dramatically improved. With over three quarters (78%) of consumers saying they are worried about losing mobile data when changing handsets, 96% see value in a service that automatically copies numbers, content and other data from an old phone to a new one.

The research was undertaken by independent research house Coleman Parkes, which asked 4,000 people in the UK and US about problems related to mobile usage.

Quiconnect has today launched its new Connector software which will enable service providers to "push" Wi-Fi or WiMAX connectivity to laptop users, so they avoid having to login through operator branded landing pages or input credentials such as user names and passwords. 

A small piece of client software installed on the user's laptop, said to be easily customised to the specific branding of the wireless service provider, Connector detects wireless networks within range, identifies those which belong to home and office networks or public hotspot providers (and their  international roaming partners) and sends a message to consumers informing them that connectivity is available.

Jeff Mabe, Quiconnect's vice president, sales and marketing, says, "Since 2005, we've predominately worked at the back end integrating RADIUS servers to make it easy for service providers and network operators globally to interconnect their WLAN infrastructure to enable in and outbound international subscriber roaming.  From a consumer perspective, some individual operator branding on partner websites has been added to make it easier for people to get connected, but it's still a manual login process of going to a page, searching for one's ISP, putting in registration details and so on.  Connector removes this and automates the whole process."

Installing Connector therefore means that consumers now have two options in terms of how they get connected.  First, they can choose a setting to automatically login to any WLAN infrastructure owned by their home service provider or those of associated roaming partners.  In other words, as soon as a person is in range of a hotspot, connectivity is provided.  Second, a user can select an available network individually by clicking on the wireless network tab on their computer's tool bar, viewing the wireless networks available and then simply choosing the appropriate SSID to login. 

The architecture of the Connector system includes two components: a lightweight laptop-based connection utility, comprising utility library and user interface, which allows connectivity management functions between the client device and hosted network service.  The second component is a Quiconnect-hosted knowledgebase database which stores the connection policies, network parameters and roaming service availability which is provided to the connection utility to control access and provide the necessary authentication information to enable automated user login. 

Quiconnect's Connector software supports various authentication methods such as WISPr, UAM and IEEE 802.1x.

Connector is available today, supporting both Microsoft Windows XP and Vista laptop users.  Pricing is based on the number of users to be connected by a service provider, along with associated set up, customisation and IT staff training and maintenance requirements.

In addition to the millions of laptops already in day-to-day use, according to data from research and consulting firm, Strategy Analytics, portable consumer Wi-Fi devices will grow from 65 million units sold in 2008 to 104 million devices sold by 2010 in Western Europe. These devices include: digital cameras, MP3 players, media players, games consoles, dual mode cell phones, mobile Internet devices (MIDs), netbooks, notebooks and navigation devices (PNDs).

Mabe concludes, "Connector takes the webpage login step out of the connectivity equation to automate and speed up the process of accessing the Internet on the move which is crucial, not only to energise network traffic usage to increase service provider revenue, but given the raft of wireless enabled devices on the market today and those expected to be launched which don't have keyboards or mice, meaning login would be troublesome."

To support this, Quiconnect will be extending the functionality today available in Connector for laptops to include a Connector Mobile Edition primarily for wireless enabled handheld devices, with a release expected in the first half of 2009. 

Business Logic Systems, a specialist in customer intelligence, marketing automation and customer loyalty solutions for mobile network operators, has announced it has opened another regional office. The new office, based in Vienna, will be headed up by Ivan Skerlanitz, newly appointed Sales Director, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), who will be responsible for the entire region, including Austria, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Croatia and Serbia.

Skerlanitz will shortly be joined by a technical consultant who, working together, will be responsible for making the most of the growing mobile market in the region. Their role will be to engage with new and existing customers and position the benefits of using InTelestage's portfolio of products and technologies to unlock the value of real-time behavioural customer data.

"Mobile telecoms are developing at a rapid pace in Central and Eastern Europe and having a dedicated office there will be key to our success in the region," commented Stewart Goldberg, Executive Chairman, Business Logic Systems.  "Ivan and the team's local knowledge and contacts will enable Business Logic to deliver first-class customer service and at the same time give mobile network operators access to a cost-effective, easy to use campaign management tool that can reduce customer churn and drive loyalty."

Skerlanitz brings more than 15 years of sales experience to Business Logic Systems, specifically from the OSS-BSS, billing and messaging markets.  Most recently he worked as Sales Director, EMEA East at Evolved Networks in the UK. Before that he held several senior positions at LHS and Redknee in Germany and CSG in UK. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science from the Technical University of Budapest, Hungary and an MBA from DEC, Oracle Corp. and Rutgers in USA and Europe.

The opening of the office in Vienna follows the recent launch of a dedicated sales facility in Dubai to cover the Middle East region.

A recent study by global management consultancy, Arthur D. Little, is said to have found that traditional telecoms suppliers are facing an overall critical situation as the recession deepens in 2009. The increasing strength of the Asian market was identified as the primary threat that telecom suppliers face, due to its expanded reputation, innovation and consistent delivery of quality.

As an example, the study points to Chinese telecoms provider Huawei, which has already achieved more than 10% of the global market share for investments of fixed and mobile network infrastructure, while the expansion rate for investments in fixed and mobile networks in industrialized countries is stagnating. Affected components manufacturers will see a one-digit expansion rate in the next few years - a significant downward shift from the recent two-digit figure trend.
 
"Given the pressure on their market shares and margins, large, well-established companies such as Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Nortel and Motorola have to prepare for a completely new competitive environment," says Klaus von den Hoff, a partner at Arthur D. Little. "There are three main drivers bringing about this change. Firstly, neither the national nor the international consolidation of telecom network operators is complete, and moreover, every instance of consolidation leads to a new system standardization that will increase the buying power of the operators. Secondly, the pressure felt from new Asian competitors has increased in all markets. Finally, traditional telecoms suppliers face growing pressure from IT suppliers who have aggressively gone to market with their equipment for telephony. Behind all of this is a change in networks' IP requirements that will once again see a shake-up of the entire sector. This trend will open up the formerly proprietary systems and technologies."
 
What can telecom infrastructure suppliers do in order to stay ahead of the curve? According to Von den Hoff, "Innovation will be the key differentiator between established and new participants on the market."
 
Dr. Karim Taga, partner at Arthur D. Little and head of the Technology Economics Competence Center adds: "The fact that providers such as Cisco are looking for innovations outside their usual business arena makes the situation that much more complex." Based on this background, Arthur D. Little surveyed leading global managers to establish the position of telecoms suppliers in various fields of technology.
 
Main survey results
While Motorola and Nortel were characterized as "technology followers" by CTOs, the "big four" - Ericson, Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks - are seen as the leaders of technology within the industry. In particular, Huawei appears to have made an impressive impact on the market.

"Even if established suppliers defend their market share through aggressive pricing policies and network operators rethink their supplier switch-over due to the billions invested in infrastructure, the Chinese heavyweight can still gain more share through massive innovation investments and cost advantages tailored to meet specific customer solutions," says von den Hoff.

"Additionally some of the traditional suppliers are still struggling with the integration of their acquisitions and consolidated structures," adds Dr. Taga. Accordingly, those telecom suppliers researched in Arthur D. Little's survey lag behind in terms of innovation and technology positioning when compared to the bigger players.
 
The survey's emphasis was on the performance of three main operating areas of telecoms: access network infrastructure, core switching networks and network-oriented operating services, which have increasingly been provided by network operators. The results highlight how CTOs rate companies very differently. Alcatel-Lucent and Motorola have perceived strengths in WiMax, whereas Ericsson and Huawei are regarded as being particularly strong in 3G and LTE; Cisco however continues to shine in IP routing. Despite the individual skills of these network operators, they still get the choice of between three and five suppliers that are seen as particularly reliable. "In addition, it is worth mentioning that not all manufacturers can provide all technologies in the current climate," adds Dr. Taga.
 
Industry positioning required
Von den Hoff sums up the results of the survey: "The main challenge facing suppliers is to define both their economical and technological position from the customer's point of view and to then decide how to be creative and improve most efficiently." An additional concern is which market scenarios are the most realistic and what impacts they will have on individual suppliers' competitive positioning. In addition, suppliers must make tough choices about their technical focus as a direct result of their competitive positioning. "Overall, as the pace of the market increases," says Dr. Taga, "companies have to prepare for mergers and acquisitions. They must also familiarize themselves with PMI management."
 
Between May and July 2008 Arthur D. Little looked at ten key telecoms suppliers that generated 59% of the industry's total global revenue. Following this, the team interviewed more than 100 CTOs of fixed and mobile service providers as well as organizations within the telecommunications industry, analyzing their responses qualitatively. The survey will be carried out annually.

Vodafone says it has successfully trialled an evolution of mobile broadband technology achieving actual peak data download rates of up to 16 Mbps. The high speed data connection was achieved during field trials of HSPA+ 64QAM technology on Vodafone Spain's network.

Vodafone now says it plans to trial mobile broadband data connections with peak rates of up to 21Mbps early in 2009 using HSPA+ MIMO functionality. Vodafone experts reckon that the technology would be capable of delivering a typical video download experience of more than 13Mbps in good conditions and an average of more than 4 Mbps across a full range of typical cell locations, including urban environments. If the trials prove a success, Vodafone plans to make the technology available in selected commercial networks.

"Successfully demonstrating a live HSPA+ high speed connection has been a key milestone in continuing to build confidence in this new technology," said Andy MacLeod, Global Networks Director of Vodafone. "The results show that HSPA+ technology is well placed to further enhance our customers' mobile broadband experience through the evolution of our existing 3G networks."

Vodafone worked in association with Ericsson and Qualcomm to prove the potential of the technology in the field, following 'impressive' data throughput rates achieved in laboratory tests. HSPA+ technology is the next evolutionary step in the (3G) HSPA roadmap and increases performance through the use of a more advanced modulation technique called 64QAM. Performance can be enhanced further through the use of multiple antennae on both base stations and data devices (Multiple Input Multiple Output - MIMO).

Both 64QAM and MIMO features require new HSPA+ mobile broadband devices. Vodafone is working with its device vendors on the trialing, testing and validation of these devices ready for commercial availability. At present, Vodafone mobile broadband customers can download data and surf the net at speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps. The company expects HSPA+ mobile broadband technology to significantly enhance actual download speeds as well as customers' overall mobile experience. 

Spb Software, the Windows Mobile software developer, has released a major update for Spb Weather - an award-winning and world's best-selling weather application for Windows Mobile touch-screen phones. Aside from the modernized finger-friendly UI, Spb Weather 2.0 offers forecasts by Foreca - the trusted weather source of MSN.com, quotes current outside weather conditions, has an expanded city database, and a revolutionary 3D globe with animated weather forecasts over a real satellite image of the sky.

Mobility experts attribute the success of Spb Weather to the simplicity of customizable user interface, good integration with other Spb products, and unique flexible weather forecast engine, which allows users to create custom templates for alternative forecast sources. Spb Weather 2.0 builds on the success of the previous versions, bracing its original strong point and introducing new features:

3D Globe with Animated Forecasts
The mobile weather forecasts are visualized similar to those on TV: the 3D globe runs animated, several-day forecasts, with global sky conditions, temperature, and precipitation for up to 10 selected cities. The animated globe cites the local time for each location, shows the nighttime overshadow, and can be zoomed in/out.

* Modern Finger Friendly UI
The new interface of Spb Weather 2.0 is based on the time-tested Spb Mobile Shell UI engine, making use of such prized features as gestures, adaptive skins, smooth animations and very fast response time.

* Reliable Forecast Source
Spb Weather 2.0 global weather service is powered by Foreca, the trusted provider of MSN.com. The program also supports forecasts from US National Weather Service and Gismeteo, plus users still have the flexibility to create and use custom weather source templates.

* Current Weather Conditions
Current weather conditions data is retrieved from METAR (special aviation related weather observations data format), sourced from Weather.gov.

Spb Weather is compatible with Windows Mobile Professional 5.0 or higher; all Windows Mobile screen resolutions are supported. A free, 15-day trial can be downloaded, or Spb Weather 2.0 may be purchased for 19.95 USD, or upgraded from 1.x Spb Weather versions for just 9.95 USD, at www.spbsoftwarehouse.com. According to Spb Software upgrades policy, all Spb Weather 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. Users of Spb Traveler 2.x are also eligible to get Spb Weather 2.0 free of charge. 

    

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