European Communications

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News

Keep up with all the latest news affecting European telcos from regulation and financial results to developments in network sharing, billing and innovative new content.

Trustive launches Wi-Fi hotspot service for small and medium enterprises

Pooled subscriptions provide IT and finance directors with greater flexibility and cost control

Trustive, the European wireless hotspot access provider, has today announced the launch of its new Business Solutions service aimed at providing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with flexible Wi-Fi hotspot access across Europe for their mobile workforces.

Keeping track of communications usage and expenditure can be a major headache for many SMEs.  Despite Wi-Fi proving to be the most cost-effective service for people on the move, up until now there has been no real solution for SMEs wanting to provide their workforces with extensive, high-speed wireless Internet access. Trustive's pooled
subscriptions* from their Business Solutions service will provide employees with seamless access to more than 20,000 hotspots. Pooled subscriptions enable minutes from each individual user to be aggregated into one pool, so that usage can be shared out across an organisation, as need dictates, all at a fixed monthly cost.

Accounts can be easily monitored and changed online using Trustive's management tool, which allows IT and finance directors to easily add or delete users and track usage across their mobile workforce. This provides SMEs with total control and visibility and at the same time, the flexibility to modify their account to meet the ever-changing requirements of their mobile workforce.

Trustive offers seamless wireless hotspot access through a unified global network of hotspots.  Using Trustive's recently released HotSpotter software, users can easily detect hotspots anywhere in the world and have secure one click access to the network.  Trustive's 'per second' billing also means that users only pay for the time they actually use, rather than burn unused minutes unnecessarily.

The Trustive network covers over 20,000 hotspots, connecting more than 60 of the best European networks, including The Cloud, SFR, KPN Hotspots and Vodafone Italia. Trustive customers can access some of the prime wireless locations across Europe, including coverage at all major EU airports.

Bram Jan Streefland, co-founder and managing director of Trustive, said:
"Staying on top of communications expenses can be a nightmare for SMEs, particularly if employees are regularly travelling throughout Europe and the US.  Trustive's Business Solutions service aims to provide SMEs with the flexibility to manage their accounts online when travels habits or employees change, and at the same time provide them with greater cost control."

Martin Dawes Systems upgrades Vodafone CRM System for UK business customers

Martin Dawes Systems has announced the completion of a major project for Vodafone to upgrade the customer management systems at its UK Enterprise Business Unit (EBU).  This involved the implementation of the latest version of dise3G, the company’s end-to-end billing and CRM solution.

The Vodafone EBU provides a range of communication services and products for UK enterprises. These are supported by dedicated business customer support centres that utilize the Martin Dawes Systems’ solution to manage customer requests and queries.

The customer service agents who use the newly upgraded systems will benefit from a range of new features and functionality that enhance customer care.  Its provision of a 360° view of a customer will enable Vodafone to further improve customer service handling and build cross-selling of products and services, helping the operator reduce customer churn and increase ARPU.

Vodafone is also benefiting from greatly improved systems scalability and resilience by running in a single environment. This will deliver significant reductions in operational costs whilst improving system performance.

The extensive Vodafone upgrade, which consisted of an amalgamation of five major releases, was planned and implemented in just three months.  The software will be used by 270+ Vodafone customer care representatives in the EBU call centre.

Barry Dowd, Martin Dawes Systems Customer Support Director, said: “Vodafone is committed to the enterprise market and meeting the high expectations of business communications users.  We specialize in this area and the operator recognized the unique benefits our solutions bring to this complex environment.  We worked together to deliver this massive upgrade in a timely and efficient manner and we are extremely pleased to have helped Vodafone evolve its customer management systems with the swift completion of this latest project.”

Celona launches new generation of application data migration software

Celona Technologies, the accelerated transformation company, has today announced the release of Celona 3.1: the new generation of application data migration software. Celona 3.1 advances the practise of data migration further by providing the next step towards automated migrations. With Celona companies can now perform fast, low risk application data migrations from legacy systems, independently from other systems and from business-process transformations.

 Celona has built their reputation with global Tier 1 Communications Service Providers (CSPs) by accelerating business and systems transformations. Celona’s unique, patent-pending technology allows CSPs to migrate to new operation and business support systems (OSS/BSS) using a business-aligned approach.

 Celona completes migrations progressively and with business-as-usual throughout. By delivering independence between each migration project and between the users and system data, Celona 3.1 enables large migration programmes to be delivered more flexibly. Celona 3.1 brings to market a range of new features including:

 ·  configurable migration processing – enabling dynamic business priorities to flex the migration as it progresses

·   flexible and prioritised control of migration and synchronisation activity – ensuring independence yet mutual cooperation of business and systems

·   advanced model flexibility and independence – enabling rapid change to the migration process and data quality rules.

Tony Sceales, CEO of Celona says “We are very excited about bringing Celona 3.1 to the market and to be showcasing it at TeleManagement World in Nice. We will be able to demonstrate to the audience our world class product, which will allow companies to complete migrations smoothly, efficiently and most importantly on time and on budget.  The product also has the great benefit of enabling companies to rapidly move forward their system migrations without disrupting their business.”

Helsinki Host City Service brings Eurovision song contest to Internet

Finland's largest event portal brings Eurovision content to multiple platforms including mobile TV and Second Life

Forum Virium Helsinki today announced the opening of the new www.helsinkihostcity.fi service, which brings digital content from the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest to the Internet in real time.

The event portal, designed for Eurovision guests and other visitors interested in the song contest and its host city Helsinki, offers a program guide to events in the Helsinki metropolitan area, as well as numerous themed routes for touring the city. The mobile-ready service provides a wide range of interactive real-time experiences for visitors, and it is the most extensive portal site ever launched for a single event in Finland.

A 90-student production crew of Arcada polytechnic's urban TV project DINA will produce a continuous stream of real-time video material covering events throughout Helsinki during the song contest. The fast-moving DINA Host City channel also utilizes user-submitted video material.

"The new service is an unprecedented innovation for an Eurovision Song Contest host city," said Mr. Jarmo Eskelinen, Director, Forum Virium Helsinki. "The event portal is also unique because the TV stream produced by DINA can be followed on no less than six different platforms. These are the Helsinki Host City web portal, Sonera MobileTV, DVB-H mobile devices, the Second Life virtual world, the DINA channel in Welho's cable TV network, and the Yle Extra digital television channel."

For culture enthusiasts, the Helsinki Host City portal offers several different routes for exploring Helsinki from various perspectives such as Design. Continuously updated program guide provides the latest information on current and upcoming Eurovision-related and other events in Helsinki. A mobile version of the guide can be downloaded to smart phones. Video material from the portal will be integrated into the Helsinki cityscape by projections on urban screen surfaces.

The community-driven Helsinki Host City service provides a dynamic portal for fans of the Eurovision Song Contest enthusiasts, whether onsite or located on the other side of the world. The easy-to-use service has been designed in cooperation with Eurovision fan organizations.

"With the new event portal, Finland is taking a pioneering role as an Eurovision Song Contest host," said Ms. Helena Hyvärinen, Concept Designer, Forum Virium Helsinki. "The service allows us to offer a unique multimedia experience and bring the excitement of the contest to a wider audience than ever before."

Forum Virium Helsinki is realizing the Eurovision multimedia portal in cooperation with Metropolitan Area Marketing, the City of Helsinki, the DINA project of Arcada polytechnic, TeliaSonera, Digita, Satama and the member companies and partners of Forum Virium. After the Eurovision Song Contest, the Helsinki Host City service will remain a part of the information offering of the City of Helsinki.

Macropolitan partners with Alcatel-Lucent to offer urban WiMAX sites for UK operators

UK’s largest owner of urban site rights signs partnership with Alcatel-Lucent: Combined offering provides best deployment service for WiMAX operators

Macropolitan and Alcatel-Lucent have announced that they have signed a deal to work together to provide UK operators with an offering that brings the technology and services leadership of Alcatel-Lucent together with Macropolitan’s ownership of the UK’s largest portfolio of exclusive telecoms rights at 8,900 urban sites.

Alcatel-Lucent can now offer UK operators a fully outsourced WiMAX network deployment in urban areas. Alcatel-Lucent is able to provide the WiMAX infrastructure, network planning, site acquisition, installation and maintenance services while Macropolitan will offer its portfolio of urban sites to Alcatel-Lucent. This partnership will deliver a best-in-class WiMAX deployment service, removing delays associated with traditional site acquisition.
 
“Alcatel-Lucent is offering UK operators a WiMAX network turn-key deployment service using Macropolitan’s leading urban site portfolio. We chose to work with Macropolitan to enable us to offer superior urban coverage to our customers and to further extend our strategic advantage in the WiMAX market” said Alan Mottram, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent UK & Ireland. 
 
Ryan Jarvis, CEO, Macropolitan stated that “Alcatel-Lucent has a proven track record in WiMAX innovation. Macropolitan is therefore pleased to provide our sites to Alcatel-Lucent so that Alcatel-Lucent can now offer the fastest WiMAX turn-key roll-out service available to any UK operator.” 
 
Many telecom operators are moving to outsource their network deployments to the major technology vendors. Alcatel-Lucent has recently won several major outsource contracts, such as with E-Plus in February 2007. As Macropolitan is a pure-play site provider it is well positioned to take a partnership approach with the major vendors. Unlike a traditional tower company, Macropolitan does not compete with a vendor’s managed services business. This vendor partnership approach is off to a strong start with a global leader such as Alcatel-Lucent.

Global demand for WiFi on trains, says BWCS

Train operators and service providers from all over the world will meet in London next month to discuss progress in providing passengers and rail staff with on-board internet connections. The conference, which is being organised by technology consultancy BWCS, will focus on the means and the benefits of supplying broadband signals to trains.

Train Communications 2007 will examine the ways that new technologies are dramatically altering on-board communications systems. As Graham Wilde, CEO of BWCS, put it "Suddenly train companies are being offered new and dynamic ways to make their services more profitable, more secure, more efficient and even more passenger friendly."

"Almost every train company which is currently offering or trialing on-board train internet services for passengers and staff will be at this year's conference," reports Wilde. "We feel this is a great opportunity for all of us to learn from their successes and occasional failures, as well as to hear reports on progress from trials of new systems and services - straight from the horses' mouths."

Yet, despite great progress in this sector and in the face of overwhelming public demand for such services, only a handful of train companies have so far managed to supply customers with an internet connection. The latest example of this is the Heathrow Express, which now allows passengers to hook up to the internet as they travel between Paddington and London's major airport.

The response to this conference, which builds on a similar event last year organised by BWCS, has shown that there is tremendous interest in this topic amongst transport and companies and technology suppliers around the world.

One of the major themes of this year's conference will be the uses that operators can make of on-board train access to assist in security, safety and reducing staff costs. Delegates will discuss such issues as on-board CCTV being wirelessly relayed from train to trackside and wireless ticketing services.

The speakers will provide first hand accounts of the problems and pitfalls that can befall operators and explain how these can successfully be avoided and overcome. The proponents of all the main wireless access technologies will debate their strategies and solutions as well as discuss the future development of the industry.

Among those presenting at Train Communications Systems 2007 will be:
Virgin Trains, Capitol Corridors Joint Power Authority (US Train Operator), VIA Rail (Canada), Swiss Rail, NSB (Norwegian Rail), GNER, Nokia Siemens Networks, Lloyd's Register Rail, NS Trains, Icomera, Nomad Digital, T-Systems and many more.

Over two days, a combination of interactive workshops, panel sessions, presentations and networking sessions will explore the commercial and technical issues arising from the deployment of train WiFi around the world as well as other newer applications developed as wireless broadband on trains becomes a reality. Train Communications 2007 will be held in central London on the 6th and 7th of June 2007.

The conference is sponsored by Icomera and Lloyd's Register Rail with lunches sponsored by Nokia Siemens Networks and Nomad Digital. 21Net is sponsoring a cocktail event at the end of the first day.

New Nokia security appliances go deep to find threats, meet growing network performance demands

Nokia  has today announced two new IP security appliances, Nokia IP290 and Nokia IP690 security platforms, rolling out a scalable hardware platform design offering better IT investment protection and a greater choice of security software applications to address emerging threats to company networks and data.

Nokia IP690 is the first new IP security appliance with a multi-core and multi-threading architecture optimized for performance and scalability, readying businesses for processor-intensive security applications. The new hardware design offers investment protection by extending product life from two years to an average of five years. Nokia hardware platforms purchased today are upgradeable when newer versions of the Nokia IPSO(TM) operating system are released, and Nokia IP690 is expandable through various interface cards and accelerated data path (ADP card) technologies. This expandable approach allows customers to retain their initial investment for longer periods of time by offering the flexibility to expand performance at their own pace.
 
"Businesses today are looking to get as much mileage as possible from every IT dollar spent, but they simply cannot compromise on performance when it comes to protecting the security of the corporate network," said Tom Furlong, vice president, Security & Mobile Connectivity, Nokia. "By enabling our customers to boost the performance of their security appliance - when the time is right for them - we are giving them a way to protect their network while also protecting their IT investments."
 
Nokia IP290 combines powerful network performance with a compact ½ RU form factor, offering branch offices and extended enterprise sites a full-featured security appliance backed by Nokia global support. Expandable with an included empty PMC slot, Nokia IP290 ships with Nokia IPSO 4.2 and an updated architecture, making it a reliable platform for unified threat management (UTM) implementations.
 
Nokia security appliances detect and block the increasingly sophisticated threats companies face as mobile device usage among workers expands, and as new network traffic patterns alter business security requirements. Nokia security solutions use deep packet inspection to uncover vulnerabilities and provide protection against application-level threats in the perimeter, core and data center.
 
Nokia IP690
Nokia IP690 security platform is designed to meet the demanding price performance, multi-Gigabit throughput and port-density requirements of medium to large businesses and service providers. Nokia IP690 readies businesses for processor-intensive security applications by introducing multi-core and multi-threading architecture. Businesses planning to implement next generation security applications can take advantage of the native enhancements and expandability features of Nokia IP690 without costly 'forklift' upgrades. A compact 1RU (rack unit) security appliance, Nokia IP690 supports next generation ADP cards to accelerate firewall and VPN performance and delivers enhanced business continuity through features such as dual, hot-swappable power supplies and optional redundant hard disk drives.
 
Nokia IP690 Firewall/VPN delivers up to 7 Gbps (Gigabit per second) of throughput performance and up to 16 Gigabit Ethernet ports to run Check Point® VPN-1, Check Point Power and VPN-1 UTM suite of applications.
 
Nokia IP690 Intrusion Prevention with Sourcefire delivers a 1 Gbps sensor and offers the unique combination of highest port density and performance in a single rack configuration. The solution is built on hardware optimized for security and offers the ease of use, reliability and rich feature set of the Nokia IPSO operating system.
 
Nokia IP290
Nokia IP290 is a multi-purpose security platform ideal for small and branch offices, and extended enterprises that require robust, large-enterprise performance, simple remote management, and high reliability at a low total cost of ownership. Powerful yet cost-effective, the compact, ½RU form factor design allows for side-by-side redundancy in a single 1RU pull-out tray providing a low-cost/high-availability solution with IP clustering and VRRP technologies (virtual router redundancy protocol).
 
Nokia IP290 Firewall/VPN supports traditional firewall and next generation security applications such as Check Point VPN-1 UTM, which includes firewall, VPN, intrusion prevention, anti virus and URL filtering. Nokia IP290 Firewall combines market-leading Nokia hardware design and quality with market-leading Check Point software and the Nokia IPSO operating system for maximum security, high availability, reliability and manageability.
 
Nokia IP290 Intrusion Prevention with Sourcefire, as part of the Nokia Intrusion Prevention (IPS) portfolio, ensures that whatever the performance requirements for a company's network, there is an intrusion prevention appliance to meet them. Nokia offers performance of 100Mbps, 250Mbps, 400Mbps and 1Gbps across the product range. Nokia IP290 also offers resellers and system integrators a lower point-of-entry for branching out beyond firewalls to deliver intrusion prevention systems.

LHS and Alcatel-Lucent launch new convergent billing and customer care solution for prepaid and postpaid customers

LHS, a leading provider of telecom billing and customer care systems and Alcatel-Lucent, have announced a fully integrated prepaid and postpaid convergent billing system for present and next-generation voice, data and multimedia services. Alcatel-Lucent will offer the solution to all of its existing customers and new customers to support their transformation to prepaid and postpaid convergence. This solution becomes a major component of Alcatel-Lucent’s customer care and billing portfolio, and adds particular value to customers in emerging markets.

This new joint solution strengthens an existing strategic relationship between LHS and Alcatel-Lucent. In the past, the companies worked on many postpaid customer care and billing solutions together.
The solution combines components of LHS’s iX Series Release 2 system with Alcatel-Lucent’s payment suite. It also integrates all components needed for provisioning, customer care and refilling prepaid telephone cards.
The most recent example of a customer benefiting from this successful cooperation is the Belarus mobile services provider BeST, Minsk, for whom Alcatel-Lucent implemented the BSCS iX billing and customer care system.
“With this new joint solution with LHS, network operators are offered a fully converged all-in-one system, which combines rating, billing, customer care, provisioning and Alcatel-Lucent’s integration services for prepaid and postpaid customers in real time,” said Jean Pierre Gaillat, Professional Services Managing Vice President, OSS/BSS and Software Integration at Alcatel-Lucent. “Communication service providers will benefit from LHS’ best-of-breed product BSCS iX and Alcatel-Lucent’s carrier-grade payment suite, which will help them improve customer retention overall.”
“In addition, the solution is a reaction to the increased billing demands of providers who want to harmonize all processes across prepaid and postpaid segments”, said Wolfgang Kroh, CEO of LHS. “This not only significantly reduces the running costs of telecommunications providers, but also allows them to launch innovative services much faster than before with lower initial capital expenditure.“
LHS is the preferred supplier for a billing solution sold and marketed by Alcatel-Lucent. By selecting components of the widely tested and established billing software BSCS iX of LHS, Alcatel-Lucent lowers the technology and investment risks for network operators. In addition, the integration of the total solution keeps implementation costs low, while customers benefit from the flexibility of freely choosing prepaid and postpaid options. Regardless of the payment option, they can always enjoy the full range of their network provider’s services.

Irdeto to secure T-Mobile Hungary and Antenna Hung

Irdeto, a specialist in content security for digital TV, IPTV and mobile, has announced it has been selected by Hungary's leading mobile operator, T Mobile Hungary and Antenna Hungária, Hungary's leading broadcast-service provider, to provide its Irdeto Mobile Broadcast content security solution for the companies' DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld) end-to-end technical trial. 

For the trial, Antenna Hungária brings the broadcast expertise and infrastructure to deliver mobile TV and related interactive broadcast services to T-Mobile in Hungary's capital city, Budapest.  The trial will test interactive services, technical capabilities and performance of the DVB-H solution. 

"AH enjoys the main position in the Hungarian broadcasting market where the key opportunity is the forthcoming digitalization. AH aims to be the main digital technology service provider, offering services also for mobile operators. Consequently, entering the mobile TV broadcasting market via DVB-H is one of the most important strategic initiatives for the company," said Mr. András Tóth, director of Communication and Marketing for Antenna Hungária. 

With nearly 40 years of experience in pay TV technology solutions, Irdeto was selected because of its proven experience in securing content for mobile TV.  As the world leader in conditional access (CA) and DRM for the mobile market, Irdeto is the only company with live customers using Satellite Digital Multimedia Broadcast (S-DMB), Terrestrial Digital Media Broadcasting (T-DMB) and DVB-H technologies. In addition, the Irdeto Mobile Broadcast conditional access (CA) solution was the world's first content security system deployed for mobile broadcast services. Irdeto technology is currently integrated into more than 90 different devices from leading manufacturers including mobile phones, PDAs, PMPs and in-car devices, making it the most-integrated mobile TV security solution in the world.  The solution uses patented technologies to support up to 16 million active mobile TV subscribers.

"Irdeto has been developing and deploying mobile TV content security solutions for nearly four years now," said Graham Kill, CEO of Irdeto. "Our implementation experience, our support of every major mobile standard including DVB-H, T/S-DMB and MediaFLO and the outstanding availability of Irdeto-integrated handsets will continue to make Irdeto the provider of choice for mobile TV operators worldwide."