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While picocells - the 'big brothers' of femtocells - have not enjoyed rapid or massive adoption so far, ABI Research has estimated that, in 2013, there will have been cumulative deployments of about 366,000 picocell devices worldwide. While not a huge number in itself, say ABI, it does however represent a 38% compound annual growth rate over the years from 2008.
"The key to greater market acceptance for picocells lies in their increasing similarity to femtocells in terms of their setup and cost" says senior analyst Aditya Kaul. "However, unlike femtocells which are largely consumer-focused, next-generation picocells will continue to be targeted at the enterprise market, offering rugged, carrier-grade feature sets. There is also an understanding that many of these new picocells will still require a truck roll for deployment, although offering a lower cost device than the traditional picocell."
The most suitable market is comprised of establishments with between 20 and 100 employees. "Large buildings and corporate campuses tend to deploy distributed antenna systems (DAS)," says Kaul. "Operators haven't really succeeded yet in delivering a cost-efficient system for small-medium offices. Within the 20-100 employee market our research identified, the 20-49 employee group will see competition between picocells and domestic femtocells deployed in grids. The sweet spot for picocells is in the 50-100 employee segment. One good example is satellite offices of larger corporations that have a corporate account covering multiple branches: they could use next-generation picocells in a cost-effective way."
"Picocells", a recent study from ABI Research, is said to provide an in-depth look at picocells, exploring their relationship with femtocells, and explaining their role in the context of other in-building wireless solutions.

Huawei today announced that TeliaSonera has chosen to deploy its SingleRAN solution which will enable TeliaSonera to simultaneously provide its subscribers in Finland with high-quality GSM and UMTS services using the same 900 MHz spectrum. The network is said to be Europe's first GSM/UMTS converged network based on Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology.

Under the agreement, the existing GSM network will be upgraded to use Huawei's SDR-enabled base stations. Additional equipment to be provided will include radio network and base station controllers, operating support system and services to support network deployment.

Esa Rautalinko, CEO of TeliaSonera Finland Oy, said: "Huawei's SingleRAN solution will contribute to our goal to give an up-to-date mobile broadband experience to a growing number of customers while also supporting the fixed-mobile migration in the more rural areas in Finland. End-users will be able to experience-enriched communications services including voice, video and data services."

"We are delighted to have this opportunity to build this state-of-the-art network using our unique SingleRAN solution", said Richard Yu, President of Huawei European Region. "Customer-centric innovation is our strategy. We are confident in our ability to deliver an excellent network for leading operators like TeliaSonera to support their business success."

Huawei's SingleRAN solution is said to enable operators to achieve full convergence of multi-mode wireless networks, including base stations, base station controllers, sites and operation as well as maintenance management.  It provides a simple and unified radio access network which can achieve GSM, UMTS and LTE functionalities simultaneously and is software configurable, according to different traffic models, to have more GSM or more UMTS capacity.

TeliaSonera Finland and Nokia Siemens Networks have signed a contract to deploy a 3G radio network on the 900 MHz frequency. The new network will extend TeliaSonera Finland's 3G coverage and will enable mobile broadband services in the remote areas of the country and help further increase service quality in bigger cities.

Nokia Siemens Networks will provide a full WCDMA/HSPA 900 radio network system to TeliaSonera Finland, including its energy-efficient Flexi base stations and high capacity RNC 2600 radio network controllers. The new network will support fixed-mobile migration in the rural areas and save operational costs for the operator.

"Our customers demand high-speed high quality 3G service wherever they are. Nokia Siemens Networks' WCDMA/HSPA 900 solution will enable us to extend 3G coverage to the more remote areas of the country in a cost-effective way, extending the latest mobile broadband services to a growing number of customers," said Esa Rautalinko, CEO, TeliaSonera Finland.

"Our cooperation with TeliaSonera goes back a long way. We are extremely happy for this great opportunity to provide additional quality and coverage with state-of-the-art technology to TeliaSonera Finland and its customers," says Jan Lindgren, Head of TeliaSonera Customer Team, Nokia Siemens Networks.

PEER 1 Network Enterprises, a global online IT business hosting provider, has launched its CloudXcelerator program. The program will enable selected PEER 1 partners to hothouse innovative cloud applications on PEER 1's IT hosting infrastructure.

UK-based ElasticHosts is the first partner to join the EMEA CloudXcelerator program, enabling it to speed up roll-out of its cloud infrastructure products, which provide ultimately flexible server capacity in the UK for scalable web hosting and on-demand burst computing. ElasticHosts' new capacity with PEER 1 will make the company the first cloud infrastructure provider to offer dual redundant availability zones in Europe.

"Being fast to scale and demonstrating reliability and security at competitive prices are mission-critical to our cloud computing proposition," said Richard Davies, founder and CEO at ElasticHosts. "Partnering with PEER 1 through its CloudXcelerator program will give us rapid access to managed hardware and network to help us realise our growth plans and stay ahead of the market. PEER 1 is one of the most progressive hosting providers we've come across, and we're excited about the opportunity to exploit their strengths to deliver even more of our own."

The CloudXcelerator program allows qualifying partners to develop, test and run cloud applications on PEER 1's high performance 10GB SuperNetwork infrastructure, helping them to bring cloud innovations to fruition faster, more reliably and more cost-effectively. Program partners also receive added benefits through discounted hosting, discounted storage, co-marketing funds, publicity and lead generation and exposure on PEER 1's website and to its 3,000 customers across EMEA.

"Innovation is right at the heart of PEER 1. We know what it takes to deliver innovative services and what businesses need to allow their vision to become reality," said Dominic Monkhouse, UK MD at PEER 1. "Cloud technology and cloud-based IT service providers are a hotbed of innovation in the industry right now and we are in a unique position to apply the strength of our SuperNetwork and global infrastructure to maximising their development. The CloudXcelerator program offers a win-win for CloudXcelerator program partners, like ElasticHosts. They get the comfort and reliability of a robust, global infrastructure and PEER 1 succeeds through helping our partners to focus on their customers and bring the latest cloud innovations to market."

Viatel, a business communications provider, has confirmed that it will be taking part in BT Wholesale's 40Mbps Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) trial in Muswell Hill, London and Whitchurch in South Glamorgan.  The trials will take place after the local exchanges have been upgraded with fibre-optic broadband.

The trials will see fibre-optic cables running to existing street cabinets that connect homes and businesses to telephone exchanges, with the goal being to provide a reliable connection of up-to-40 Mbps downstream and at least 2Mbps upstream.  The testing period will last approximately six months, with the service predicted to be rolled out commercially next year.

Steve Powell, product manager, connectivity and security services, at Viatel said.  "We are obviously excited about being one of the few companies chosen for this trial.  This could have huge ramifications for businesses, as connection speeds can be one of the major frustrations for companies needing to send and receive information quickly and reliably."

"A successful trial will also be good news for employees.  A much improved and guaranteed broadband speed will ensure that flexible working becomes a realistic proposition.  With an increasing amount of regulations, businesses need to ensure that employees are able to work as productively at home as in an office environment.  One of the major problems that prevents this is a poor broadband service that restricts a great deal of what can be achieved away from the office - a successful roll out of this service across the country will eliminate this." Powell concluded.

SPB Software, a mobile applications developer, has announced the availability of SPB Wallet 2.0 for iPhone and iPod Touch from every local Apple iTunes App Store, worldwide. The first multiplatform application from SPB Software, SPB Wallet 2.0 is said to be a secure repository of most valuable private information, such as PINs, passwords, codes, accounts, passport and credit card numbers. SPB Wallet enables users to keep their sensitive data safe, even when they swap phones or mobile platforms: the application is available for iPhone, Windows, and Symbian S60 phones.

SPB Wallet AES 256-encrypts and password-protects all stored sensitive information, and supports automatic lockup, automatic clipboard cleanup, and protects from phishing. The stored data can be synchronized between (and accessed from) multiple PCs and mobile devices. The virtual, electronically stored licenses, cards, and passports look like the real ones: SPB Wallet 2.0 offers an integrated online database with images of thousands of most popular cards and documents, plus the option to order more custom pictograms - for free. The desktop component of SPB Wallet is said to offer advanced integration with web browsers, automatic supply and capture of online login information, includes a password generator, and a migration wizard from custom CSV formats and from other wallet applications.

Huawei has announced that Norwegian operator, Telenor, has chosen Huawei to provide LTE (Long Term Evolution) radio access and EPC (Evolved Packet Core) equipment for its LTE trial in Oslo, Norway.

Aimed at testing services and applications, such as VOD (Video-On-Demand), VOIP (Voice-Over-Internet Protocol), network handover and network throughput, the LTE trial will involve Telenor's Group Business Development & Research as well as several operating companies within the Group.

Yogesh Malik, Senior Vice President, Head of Technology & Sourcing, Telenor, said: "This is a milestone and an important step in better understanding the LTE capabilities and the LTE position in the overall broadband offering. We are very pleased to be working with Huawei on this trial."

All the necessary equipments have been shipped to Oslo and installation has begun.

Wan Biao, President of Wireless, Huawei, said: "We are honored to support the LTE trial for Telenor, and we are fully confident in meeting performance expectation in the upcoming trial in Norway. With the most cutting-edge technologies and customized solutions based on LTE, Huawei is dedicated to enabling operators worldwide to smoothly evolve to high-quality LTE networks and achieve continuous success."

Epitiro, a specialist in broadband communications benchmarking, today announced ISP-I WiMAX, said to be the world's first 'software as a service' (SaaS) test solution for WiMAX service providers and manufacturers.

ISP-I WiMAX covers the key stages from device manufacture, to subscriber pre-test deployment and ultimately to in-life operation - providing key performance indicator (KPI) information at every stage. ISP-I WiMAX reports real-time IP-based service delivery metrics (not simulated) based on the quality of actual services as experienced by subscribers.

"The variable QoS requirements of simultaneous VoIP, video streaming and data activity requires careful testing in the lab, pre and post deployment, especially during peak contention periods. The scheduling algorithms, likely to be a key area of differentiation among equipment vendors, need to be thoroughly tested, monitored and understood," said JP Curley, Epitiro's chief technical officer, "Operators must manage each subscriber's experience of WiMAX services or risk losing out to rival vendors or technologies."

Epitiro's ISP-I WiMAX is claimed to be a unique 'software as a service' solution enabling service providers to get subscriber experience information quickly without the installation delays, training costs and large capital investment typically required with test equipment purchases. ISP-I WiMAX also provides service providers with performance views of competitor networks enabling direct comparisons and a means of benchmarking performance in context of the overall market.

Based on Epitiro's ISP-I subscriber experience analysis platform, ISP-I WiMAX has extensive KPIs for broadband analysis and voice-over-WiMAX quality. In addition to a number of hardware interfaces, ISP-I WIMAX also measures subscriber experience with isposure, a software application that scales to unlimited coverage.

Epitiro's report-generating capability allows users to quickly and easily see test performance data in a variety of formats. The report generation, including web browser access to all reports, provides users with performance views of both their own network and their competitors.

"ISP-I WiMAX combines our expertise in broadband and voice analysis with our new interface technology to ensure successful WiMAX network installations," said Curley. "We're excited to bring this much needed solution to market."

The GSMA, the body representing the worldwide mobile communications industry, has announced the launch of the Mobile Money Exchange initiative at the Annual Mobile Money Summit in Barcelona. Visa and Globe Telecom are the first two founding partners of the Mobile Money Exchange, which has been launched to engage with new stakeholders and sectors that are entering the mobile ecosystem.

Through this initiative, the GSMA is helping financial services companies who are entering the mobile environment, by providing a common voice and formal business forum for business collaboration. The ethos behind the formation of the Exchange is for best practise and innovations to be highlighted and shared, both across industry and inter-industry. The Mobile Money Exchange will feature an online knowledge portal with social business networking and community functionality designed to advise and serve the interests of the mobile money industry.

"Mobile Money Exchange builds on the Mobile Money Programme that the GSMA launched in 2006 and which has been a tremendous success in terms of building a global community," said Bill Gajda, Chief Commercial Officer, GSMA. "Through the Mobile Money Exchange, fundamental principles and requirements which are not currently being met, such as fragmentation and therefore lack of ability to scale, will be addressed and the Exchange will advance, advise and serve the interests of the mobile money market."

"As a founding partner, Visa looks forward to helping drive thought leadership and industry participation in the Mobile Money Exchange programme in collaboration with the GSMA," said Tim Attinger, Global Head of Product Development for Visa Inc.

"We congratulate GSMA for the foresight to build on its successful Mobile Money Transfer initiative to this new Mobile Money Exchange programme," said Globe Telecom President and CEO Mr. Ernest L. Cu. "At Globe we have been constantly involved in global initiatives to hasten the advancement of mobile money and moves to position it into a mainstream business line not only for telcos but for the financial services industry as well. Being a Founding Partner in this umbrella program provides us an avenue to collaborate with experts and stakeholders in the mobile commerce space to come closer to this objective," he added.

The Mobile Money Exchange is open to any organisation and seeks to establish a broad-based stakeholder community that comprises key areas of mobile money including mPayments, mBanking, MMU (Mobile Money for the Unbanked) and MMT (Mobile Money Transfer). It will facilitate new partnerships and business models, drive thought leadership, champion innovation and knowledge transfer through engaging all elements of the mobile money industry. The Mobile Money Exchange will have an Advisory Board consisting of a select number of thought leaders to shape and develop the Exchange, working alongside discussion groups and committees who collaboratively set guidelines, standards and best practise.

SPB Software, a mobile applications and games developer, has announced the release of SPB Geo Game - a mobile game, designed to help players check and improve their knowledge of the world's capitals and national flags. Global diversity is represented by 235 countries (including small islands and independent territories), 235 flags, and 234 capitals. SPB says its Geo Game allows sifting through this wealth of geographic images and names, trains memory, and literally widens one's horizons in a fun way.

"Getting to know all the countries in the world with their capitals and flags is something a lot of us always wanted to do, but never had the time," said Vassili Philippov, SPB Software COO. "SPB Geo Game grants the opportunity to test ourselves and study the world's diversity in a fun and relaxing manner, within the few spare moments we have," Vassili concludes. SPB Geo Game offers two separate game modes: Capitals and Flags. The 'right answer' and its location are shown on a 3D globe.

The SPB Geo Game is available for touchscreen devices running Windows Mobile (5 and later versions) and Android. SPB Geo Game is available for 4.95 USD: the Windows Mobile version - from, and the Android version - from the Android Market, where paid applications are available.

NeuStar has launched the NeuStar Subscriber Growth Service and its corresponding Best Practice Guidelines, which are said to be designed to enable participating mobile operators to increase their mobile Instant Messaging (IM) subscriber uptake by up to 40% every year.

According to NeuStar, the Subscriber Growth Service has been created to help participating operators improve existing mobile IM services considerably and capitalise on the huge market for mobile IM, which grew by 83.3% in 2008 in Western Europe. Operators who adopt the Subscriber Growth Service will work with NeuStar's Strategic Services team throughout the process of launching, marketing, and running an IM service, and will receive consultancy on how to build successful new IP business models based on NeuStar's track record of increasing the level of subscriber uptake.

The company syas that, with access to the only database of real-time subscriber IM behaviour on the market, it is able to tap into each operator's subscriber base to break down which users are engaging with mobile IM, which handsets they use, how regularly they communicate via IM, and how much they spend, and help the operator use this information to optimise the service. By analysing each of the mobile IM services that it has launched since 1999, NeuStar has created the market's first Best Practice Guidelines and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with the aim of supporting operators to effectively launch, market, and drive additional IM services to their subscriber base.

Guenter Krauss, senior vice president and general manager of NeuStar Next Generation Messaging (NGM) said of the launch: "With the Subscriber Growth Service, we can work hand-in-hand with our customers, providing a consultative, analytical service tailored to their market that will deliver long-term business benefits and allow operators the privileged, granular view of subscriber experience they need to increase uptake and profitability. We believe that we can increase an operator's IM subscriber base and help them to generate incremental revenues from compelling next generation messaging services."

The Subscriber Growth Service will help participating operators to substantially grow their existing subscriber bases, and will advise them on the best handsets and price plans, customer lifecycle management and user experience throughout the lifecycle of the service. With only 19.2% of mobile IM users aged between 18 and 24 years old, and 20.3% of mobile IM users aged between 35 and 44 years old, NeuStar has the internal data and real-time analysis capabilities to advise operators how to effectively launch and market a range of IM services to affluent age groups beyond the youth segment. By harnessing this data and analysing IM activity on a daily basis, NeuStar says its customers will be able to develop a loyal base of mobile IM users and also pave the way for new presence-enabled services.

"We have discovered, for example, that the use of mobile clients is growing more rapidly than the use of browsers to deliver IM - and in many instances, users actually prefer accessing IM via a downloadable client because it gives a better user experience," Krauss said of NeuStar's analytical capabilities. "It is this type of data that we will feed back to our customers to help them develop the very best IM services, drive subscriber uptake and ultimately increase retention."

Envivio and Telemak today announced that the companies have reached an agreement that addresses the content encoding and distribution needs of mobile operators, broadcasters and internet service providers. Under the agreement, Telemak will sell, integrate and support Envivio products to its customers. Telemak is also deploying Envivio mobile TV and web TV headend solutions at its own operations center in Belgium. The installation includes Envivio 4Caster C4 convergence encoding solutions and the new Envivio  iLiveTV solution for the Apple iPhone.

"This is an essential upgrade of Telemak's own Mobile TV and Web TV headend  operations center, as well as a significant enhancement to our encoding solution  catalogue," says Christophe Lenaerts, Telemak CEO. "Envivio is the world leader in encoding solutions for Telemak's markets. We needed to offer our customers the possibility to either buy Envivio solutions through Telemak or to get full headend operations from our dedicated team. Thanks to this agreement, Telemak will now be able to provide its customers with the highest quality live television and radio services to any mobile or web TV subscriber."

Telemak is a specialist in mobile TV and web TV delivery, currently managing the aggregation and delivery of 40 television and radio channels for Mobistar subscribers in Belgium. Telemak's worldwide offerings includes everything from aggregation to 24/7 supervision, encoding, technical management, hosting and  delivery.

"Telemak recognized that a superior headend solution is critical to delivering the high quality, high value services that attract and retain subscribers," said Rich Stanfield, COO of Envivio. "We are very pleased the Telemak has selected Envivio encoding solutions to expand its service offerings and enhance it operations."

Keynote Systems, the global specialist in on-demand mobile and Internet test and measurement solutions, today announced Keynote Transaction Perspective 9.0, an enhanced version of the company's Web site monitoring service specifically designed for the ‘Next Web' applications. 

The features include support for interactive Flash and Silverlight, composite Web transactions and third party online ad tracking.  Transaction Perspective 9.0 is claimed to be the industry's only Web monitoring solution built on an actual Internet Explorer browser combined with the world's largest global test and measurement network.

"The Next Web is being built with Rich Internet Applications that increasingly use large Interactive Flash and Silverlight components as prominent parts of Web sites.  But until now they have remained very much a black box in terms of end user performance - we're changing that," said Vik Chaudhary, Keynote vice president of product management and corporate development.

Transaction Perspective 9.0, with Keynote Screen Sensing Technology, now provides precise and accurate measurement, from the end user perspective, into performance of Web applications that use Interactive Flash and/or Silverlight.

Keynote Screen Sensing Technology tracks the full variety of interactive Flash and Silverlight features such as hover-over effects, action buttons, drop-down menus and text entry - a first for Web performance monitoring solutions.

Interactive Flash and Silverlight-based applications are just two potential components of a Web site transaction in this ‘Next Web' environment.  When a user makes a hotel reservation, orders an item of clothing or watches a sports highlight, there are many interaction steps with different Web 2.0 components such as Ajax and JavaScript.  These Web technologies, that also pull content from other sources, are composite Web transactions and are extremely complex to test from the end user perspective in terms of performance.  With Transaction Perspective 9.0, Web operations groups will be able to easily dissemble complex composite Web transactions to understand the real performance impact on end users of multiple Web 2.0 technologies.

Hosting Web site content from a third party has become increasingly prevalent with examples such as online ad networks, Content Distribution Networks (CDNs), hosted content, and internal content hosted by other internal groups.  The new ‘virtual pages' feature of Transaction Perspective 9.0 supports easy grouping and isolating of Web components, allowing Web operations personnel to hold other content owners accountable with tailored monitoring statistics, SLAs and alarms.  All of the same power and functionality of the reporting portal for standard Transaction Perspective measurements can also be applied to third party component monitoring.

weComm, a specialist in interactive mobile data solutions, today announced that it has completed delivery of the MiniTV mobil 3G mobile TV application. The service, which is built on weComm's wave On-Demand Mobile Application Platform, delivers live broadcast from TV2 and ViaSat MTG along with news, information, programme guide and integrated video-on-demand streams.

weComm's wave platform is said to use a client-server infrastructure to deliver high-quality, interactive mobile data services optimized to all major mobile operating systems. The technology delivers content and applications to handsets on-demand, giving the richness and interactivity of an on-device application combined with the flexibility and freshness of an online service. By selecting weComm to enable the MiniTV mobil service, the multiple Norwegian broadcasters are claimed to be able to deliver branded context-driven media such as live news, weather, high-quality live and on-demand video streams, spotlight news and sports services, user generated comments and personalization.

"The aspiration from the start has been to select the best technology partner that would enable the multiple broadcasters to deliver their own consumer experience allowing us to compete on content rather than technology. weComm have met our expectations and delivered this service both efficiently and effectively. "  said Tor-Einar Eriksen, Head of Business Development at TV 2.

Steven Tan, VP Business Solutions, weComm, said: "MiniTV is unique in the way that leading broadcasters are collaborating to launch a compelling mobile TV experience. weComm is proud to deliver the companion 3G service that offers consumers the ability to access multiple broadcast content from a single application."