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Huawei Technologies, the provider of next generation telecommunications network solutions, has announced that it has successfully deployed the industry's longest 40G commercial transport network for TransTeleCom, a top three fixed telecom carrier in Russia. The 1,141 km network, connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg, requires no electric regeneration.

The solution uses Huawei's patented SuperWDM technologies to achieve ultra-long haul transmission without electrical regeneration at distances of over 1,500km. Huawei's C-band extension patent technology can help operators increase their fiber transmission bandwidth by an extra 20%, which makes Huawei the only vendor with a transmission capacity of 3.84T - the largest in the industry. Huawei's 40G transport solution can also be upgraded from 10G to 40G without any platform replacement, providing new services 75% faster than previously possible.

"Even today telecom operators are faced with the problem of having insufficient capacity on their backbone transport networks," said Evgeniy Zhukov, head of optical network group of Huawei products and solutions department. "Presently the most viable solution is the 40G transfer technologies which can increase the capacity and efficiency of existing DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) systems. Huawei is the first company in Russia to demonstrate the operability of 40G technologies in real networks."

"By 2009 all TransTeleCom's DWDM backbones will be updated to 40G transfer per wavelength. It is a natural stage of backbone development, which is necessary to satisfy the constantly growing demand for bandwidth," said Andrei Pavlov, senior vice-president, head of TTC technical development department. "Thanks to Huawei's advanced DWDM equipment, 40G channels can be activated quickly without restructuring the existing network."

Comstar, the integrated telecommunications operator in Russia and the CIS, has announced that it has signed a strategic agreement with FON Wireless, a developer of a shared wireless internet access network based on Wi-Fi technology.

The FON network currently covers approximately 230,000 Wi-Fi hot-spots around the world, and any internet user with unlimited broadband internet access is able to use FON's Wi-Fi router, La Fonera. This router is a part of the global Wi-Fi network which can be used by anyone who has WiFi-enabled equipment for internet access. The FON shared wireless network is, therefore, created and expanded by the users installing La Fonera routers, which can also be used for connecting to personal networks.

Coral/ Sistema Strategic Fund, the venture fund set up by Sistema, is one of the owners of the FON network. The world leading companies and investments funds, such as Google, British Telecom, Skype, Neuf Cegetel, Index Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Excite and Digital Garage, are among FON's investment partners.

Under the terms of the agreement, Comstar and FON will develop a Wi-Fi internet access network. It will be created on the basis of the Comstar subscriber base in Moscow and will, therefore, enable the local customers to join the worldwide FON network. Within the framework of the project, Comstar plans to establish 30,000 Wi-Fi access points in Moscow in 2008-2009.

Broadband subscribers in Moscow will be able to rent La Fonera routers from Comstar, connect them to their ADSL or any other broadband internet access channel and join the FON network. The service will provide internet access at no extra cost in any places covered by FON, including the Comstar - FON network, using personal login and password details for the Comstar's Moscow ADSL network.

The subscriber's access point will also become "public" and might be used for internet access by both FON customers and others. The access of external clients to Comstar - FON network will be implemented with the help of pre-paid cards, SMS authorization and other means of receiving login and password details. The pre-paid cards will be sold by Comstar and FON through their sales channels.

Denis Muratov, Vice President, Head of Innovations and Science, commented: "We are very interested in global innovation projects which allow the introduction in Russia of new technologies and business development models, such as Comstar and FON's joint project to develop the worldwide Wi-Fi network in the territory of Russia. We see the global expansion of services provided by our subsidiaries as a positive development."

Sergey Pridantsev, President and Chief Executive Officer of Comstar UTS, commented: "Comstar is an exclusive operator of the FON network in Russia. The project with FON is an important addition to our programme of broadband access development aimed at providing our subscribers with the opportunity to be always connected. The agreement with FON will allow the users to join the global network in many places around the world, and we will be able to provide services not only to our subscribers, but also to other users in Moscow. We are planning to expand our joint project with FON to the Russian regions."

Martin Varsavsky, the founder and co-owner of FON Wireless Ltd., added: "FON is a unique network, and it is becoming exceedingly popular in many countries. We are very interested in cooperation with Comstar. This company is actively operating in the internet access market and is the market leader by subscribers in Moscow. Comstar is currently implementing a number of projects aimed at developing wireless internet access technologies, which is of great interest to us because of the potential opportunity for synergies with the FON network."

Jacob Fleming has announced the annual event held on 6th & 7th October 2008 in Amsterdam.

Young people today do not know their borders. They network to share ideas and experience and find new ways to do so, using all the new channels that technology brings. Telecommunication companies hold all the tools to be their partners in this new era of communication and digital entertainment. Do they really use all their potential? What are the ways to improve and how to become a regular part of your young customers' interactive world?

Therefore this event has the aim to offer a discussion platform for exchanging experiences on the possibilities and strategies at youth market. This year Youth Marketing in Telecoms conference provides the best case studies on how to make young customers embrace your brand and make them stay with you, how to effectively communicate with youth and how to use all the places of youth interest as communication tools.

This event will give participants unique opportunity to learn how to successfully launch their own youth brand by examining the strategic importance of young customers profile. Moreover the delegates can study how to utilize the new era of social networking to their advantage and how to build a strong brand that will hold young customers for the future. The experts from Orange UK, Turkcell, Telefonica O2, Mobily, Vodafone, Mobilink will give presentations and the participants will have a chance to personally discuss the presence in the places of youth market's interest and the ways of winning the customer without sacrificing APRU.

Jacob Fleming Conferences has always been carefully designed to provide key strategic business information and the best networking opportunities for the participants. This young, dynamically growing company provides events for specialized industries including Finance, Life Science, Telecommunications, Chemical, and cross industry sectors. Extensive research, targeted speaker selection and top class venues provide a unique incentive and exceptional opportunities for the executives and experts participating in Jacob Fleming conferences.

For further information about the event and Jacob Fleming conferences contact Maria Toporcerova on +421 257 272 131 or e-mail maria.toporcerova@jacobfleming.com

Shanghai Simcom Wireless Solutions, the leading provider of wireless communication module solutions, and eDevice, the leading provider of complete Machine-to-Machine (M2M) solutions, have announced they have entered into a partnership to provide the market with powerful GSM/GPRS modules with AT# Internet interface.

The collaboration between the two companies has resulted in the availability of eDevice's packaged TCP/IP solution, including integrated email (POP3 / SMTP) & FTP clients and TCP & UDP sockets, in new SIM305 and SIM345 modules manufactured by Simcom Wireless. For the first time in the wireless market, a Quad-band GSM/GPRS module will natively offer AT# commands making it easier and faster for OEMs to integrate TCP/IP enabled wireless connectivity.

The availability of TCP/IP technology in M2M applications enables significant reduction in both communication and development costs and delivers the benefits of using standard non-proprietary tools. The TCP/IP stack, driven through eDevice's industry standard AT# interface, does not require external programming or drivers, is optimised in terms of size and functionality, and is considered by M2M developers as the best-of-breed solution. The AT# interface is already running on more than 3 millions of wireless modules.

"The decision to partner with eDevice was a natural one. eDevice has the best packaged TCP/IP solution in the M2M market and the way we have built this partnership which includes making the new SIM305 and SIM345 AT# compatible allows Simcom Wireless to provide a unique product offering for M2M applications" adds Derick Tsang, General Manager of Simcom Wireless.

"We recognize Simcom Wireless as a major player in the wireless modules market and are excited about our partnership with them, which will make our award-winning technology available to millions of developers and users of M2M products worldwide" said Marc Berrebi, CEO of eDevice.

Leading Greek satellite operator, Hellas Sat, is ready to launch an exciting new HD platform with conditional access from Conax. The Hellas Sat HD platform will secure its premium pay content using state-of-the art content security solution, Conax CAS7, core product from leading CA provider, Conax.

The Hellas Sat HD platform is the first HD project in Greece and a special initiative to promote the benefits of HD. Launch strategy is meant to combine promoting the optimal high quality of HD using major events as the tools to introduce the new, added-value services available with Hellas Sat HD.

Satellite broadcasting operations tailor a strategic set of technologies to provide an optimal end-to-end platform. Though conditional access is a small portion of the overall platform, it plays a very key role in securing the business results of the total business model.

"Conax content security provides Hellas Sat with the proven solution, long experience, stability and flexibility we need to ensure a highly successful HD offering," says Georgios Skikos, Executive Technology & Operations Officer, Hellas-Sat S.A. "We are confident that we have chosen a security partner that will provide optimal protection for our most important assets - premium content."

"Hellas Sat is the first HD platform in Greece, and Conax's first HD project in Greece. Selection of Conax CA for the Hellas Sat HD platform is key in broadening not only Conax's customer portfolio, but also the scale of operators and Conax deliveries in the region," says Geir Bjørndal, COO / Sales & Marketing Director, Conax. "We are looking forward to an exciting and prosperous partnership with Hellas Sat."

The ETNA European consortium (Ethernet Transport Networks Architectures of Networking), which is comprised of leading European technology companies and universities has announced that it has received approval from the European Commission to execute the proposed ETNA project which will analyse, design and validate future metro and core networks based on Ethernet technology.

The goal of ETNA is to propose a model architecture for a low cost pan-European Ethernet network capable of serving millions of subscribers, providing common, reliable and secure transport infrastructure for different current and future network services. The ETNA project is part of the Seventh EU Framework Program (FP7) and started on 01/01/2008. The two year project is expected to end by 31/12/2009. 

The ETNA consortium includes Nokia Siemens Networks Technologies (IL, project coordinator), BT (UK), Ethos Networks (IL), Ben Gurion University of the Negev (IL), Helsinki University of Technology (FI) and Ernst & Young Israel (IL). The ETNA Consortium will invest a total of €3.4 million over the next two years, of which the European Commission will contribute €2.2 million.
 
The successful development of the Ethernet network has the potential to shape future developments of information and communication technologies and will deliver significant benefits for European citizens and businesses. Low cost, scalable and efficient Ethernet transport networks will enable the development of a wide range of innovative applications and will create new opportunities for high value products and services.

The ETNA consortium will define the requirements for new and innovative nation-wide Ethernet networks, research and develop architectures necessary to operate these networks in a cost-effective manner, design the network capabilities to deliver services to residential, business and mobile subscribers and investigate techno-economic models of such architectures. 

"We are proud to advance our research in the field of ICT with world leading research and industrial organizations," said Ilya Vershkov, ETNA project coordinator. "This project serves as a further example of the commitment the ETNA partners to develop new and innovative solutions and to demonstrate a prototype of the network nodes. The network will be based on Ethernet technology and capable of providing scalable point to point and multipoint services and support mobility in Ethernet networks".

iBAHN, the provider of digital converged services for hoteliers, today announces a major expansion to its EMEA network. The upgrade is designed to further strengthen iBAHN's proprietary worldwide network, which is already the most technically advanced available to the hospitality industry.

The network developments focus on iBAHN's Point of Presence (POPs) in Frankfurt and London. iBAHN has moved its London POP to a higher standard facility that allows all major data circuits entering the POP to be expanded, in answer to the continued demand for bandwidth, geographical expansion and iBAHN's advanced converged services.

Each POP will be connected to iBAHN's major telecommunications partners'
networks, offering full resilience against failures and allowing hoteliers to present an unrivalled quality of service to their customers.

iBAHN's continued investment in its network reflects the explosion in demand for online content, which has seen the amount of data that it handles increase five times over the last three years. This equates to
1.9 petabytes of data (nearly 2000 terabytes) or the equivalent of a book with more than 400 billion pages of data.

The data upsurge has been caused by the continued evolution of bandwidth-heavy applications such as iPods, VOIP, movies and online TV channels, which will be further exploited as more High Definition content is made available. These services are all essential to the majority of hotel guests, but place huge pressures on hotelier's networks.

Neil Williams, director of EMEA Operations at iBAHN, comments: "The completion of iBAHN's network expansion marks the end of nine months of work. The new network design offers much greater level of resilience and flexibility, and opens up an unrivalled level of capacity for our customers. At iBAHN, we are leading the industry in digital convergence and our network strength is the backbone to every service that we offer."

Upgrades to the network will also allow new converged services to be developed and launched such as building and property management, environmental control integration and security systems.

Currently, more than 40 iBAHN installed hotels offer between 10 and 100mb data lines, and as a result of the network expansion iBAHN will be able to offer hoteliers a wide range of cost, capacity and reliability benefits through its service offering. These include: Direct to Internet, Tunnelled On-net, IP-VPN over MPLS and Ethernet, and multiple delivery technologies such as ADSL, SDSL, E1 and fibre. 

MoMac, the mobile media publisher, has today announced that it has completed a deal with KPN to facilitate the Dutch network operator's mobile internet business across all three of its portal properties including KPN, Hi and Telfort. 

The service will be delivered by MoMac's carrier grade delivery engine, GoPortal - an operator module of MoMac's multimedia delivery platform, GoMedia.

The GoPortal platform will allow KPN to dynamically manage all the content that it makes available to its customers including direct branded feeds on news, weather and traffic as well a diverse diet of third party content such as ringtones, video and via MoMac's tier one publishing partners, made for mobile content such as AutoWeek, Sport 1, Elsevier and price comparison services for consumer goods.

MoMac has also integrated the GoPortal platform with Google so that the portal includes advanced search functionality with a Google bar that searches the mobile internet and delivers results from content that is available, firstly on-portal, then sponsored links and then results from the off-portal environment. 

GoPortal's in-built functionality will enable KPN to add a further personalisation layer to the portal experience.  In the near future KPN customers will be able to book-mark their favourite mobile internet sites via a specially created ‘MySites' page as well as manage their own on-portal information and entertainment preferences.  

The deal with KPN will also see a specialist mobile advertising agency serving targeted banner advertising from brands and media companies within the highly-trafficked portals which will deliver an additional revenue stream to the operator or allow it to make content available via the ad-funded model.

Marnix Laurs, portal manager, KPN said: "Our customers increasingly demand simple access to relevant mobile internet sites and services." 

"MoMac has an excellent pedigree in this sector and demonstrated a high level of technical and creative expertise as well as an excellent operator product in its GoPortal platform which gives us the tools to dynamically manage our portals and content and scale up and manipulate content availability in real time.  Ultimately KPN customers will be receiving a portal experience that maximises the unique properties of the mobile medium."   

Sham Careem, MD, MoMac UK, said: "Consumers of mobile services need to find the content that is relevant to them quickly and easily.  The personalisation features of the GoPortal product mean that this can be effortlessly achieved, delivering a mix of branded and relevant content and services to the user whenever and wherever they want it." 

"Search on mobile is very much a part of the personalisation process and the integration with Google provides a familiar way for KPN customers to explore both what the portal has to offer as well as the D2C environment."

Thomson has announced the availability of its SmartVision video services platform for cable operators launching On Demand services.

"Thomson brings to cable operators a comprehensive solution for Video On Demand that benefits from the rich feature sets and extensive deployments gained with IPTV operators over the last 5 years," said Patrick Montliaud Vice President of Thomson Networks and Integration Solutions, within the Systems division. "Leveraging our complete range of cable technologies, including transmitters, video head ends, VoIP softswitches, cable modems and set-top boxes, Thomson is the only vendor on the market with such a rich Triple Play solution for cable operators."

Being the world's most widely deployed solution for IPTV according to the recent report by analyst firm MRG, Thomson's SmartVision solution has extended its supported infrastructures to include cable. Smartvision's features, scalability and reliability help cable operators offer an advanced range of interactive services to increase revenue and be on a par with those offered by telecom operators and Internet Service Providers.

The SmartVision video server supports the industry requirements as a frame-accurate broadcast and on-demand playout server for high-definition, standard-definition, and mobile content. For even more revenue boosting opportunities, SmartVision also supports open standards as an advertising insertion server and acts as a scalable Network PVR manager.

Using Thomson's SmartVision solution, cable operators can offer interactive video services including Video on Demand, TV on Demand, network-based Personal Video Recording and Time Shifting, powered by a new flash interface that delivers one of the most intuitive user experiences available. Leveraging SmartVision's advertisement insertion capabilities, cable operators can further enhance their business models by developing their own advertizing strategies for video on demand and live content.

When combined with Thomson's Cirpack VoIP (Voice over IP) platform, SmartVision allows cable operators to launch unique Triple Play services including primary line telephony with pop-ups on TV for incoming calls, managing phone settings on TV such as accessing voice mail, browsing call history and click-to-dial with the remote control, activating new services, buying ring back tones and setting up call forwards.

Moovera Networks, a developer of fixed and mobile wireless communications systems, has today announced that Arriva Scandinavia A/S has selected the Moovbox M Series Mobile Broadband Gateway to deliver Internet connectivity on trains running across Denmark.

Arriva has equipped an initial twenty-nine trains serving commuters traveling between Aarhus, Thisted and Tønder in Jutland, and will provide free Wi-Fi hotspot services to passengers. Arriva will also utilize the Moovbox for GPS-based automatic vehicle location (AVL) to keep track of the train fleet via Moovera's MoovManage centralized monitoring system.

"We are continually seeking new ways to improve the quality of rail travel in Denmark," said Johnny Hansen, Managing Director of Arriva Scandinavia. "We believe that the introduction of broadband services on our trains in Jutland today will enhance the passenger experience and provide a useful and productive way for our customers to spend their journey time."

The Moovbox M Series delivers Wi-Fi Internet access on the Arriva fleet of Alstom Cordia Lint trains at speeds up to 7.2 Mbps by creating a bridge between the train and a next-generation 3G HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) cellular broadband network from 3 (www.3.dk). The Moovbox offers Ethernet connectivity for in-train systems such as CCTV and telematics data, and includes built-in GPS for real-time fleet tracking. The cost of the deployment will be partially underwritten by advertising on the Wi-Fi hotspot landing page that users see when they access the Internet service.

"This is a landmark deployment for Moovera as it is our first major installation with a national rail network operator," said Jim Baker, Moovera CEO and founder. "We have an established reputation as a leading provider of Internet access systems on buses, coaches and ferries so it was only a matter of time before we encompassed trains as well. Many of our large transportation customers who use the Moovbox mobile broadband gateway on their bus fleets also own train operations, so it is a natural progression for them to use tried and tested Moovbox technology to deliver Wi-Fi services to rail passengers."

Ankara-based cable TV and satellite operator, Turksat, has chosen to deploy a Conax CAS7 conditional access solution for the new Turksat DTV platform.

The unique cable operator in Turkey, Turksat serves over 1.7 million homes across the region. Partnering between Broadcast Group Turkey and Conax to deploy a content security solution from leading CA provider, Conax, will enable Turksat to focus on securing their core business and assets and provide the highest quality offering for pay content.

The strategy behind Turksat's the new DTV platform is to establish one central and four local HE sites (and it will go up to twenty five local HE sites) to provide and maintain a maximum quality of service in content distribution throughout the country. Plans and roll-out of additional local, decentralized HEs will follow. The Turksat organisation and operations benefit from a highly technical and quality-oriented staff that designs and develops its own satellites, in addition to running a large-scale cable TV operation.

Broadcast Group and Conax have a successful cooperation in Turkey and the Turkish speaking countries to provide complete end-to-end solutions and seamless integration of Conax CAS7 content security with 3rd party services and tools.

"We chose to go with conditional access solution from Conax, because of Conax's long security track record, wide range of services, liability, stability, and flexibility. CONAX CAS7 fits perfectly into business model now and for future purposes, says the Management Team of Turksat. We are also impressed with the local relationship we have been able to establish with Broadcast Group who clearly understands our needs."

"By selecting Conax to deliver their content security, Turksat has chosen an open- standard, non-proprietary solution that provides the freedom of choice for 3rd party solutions and future add-ons, meaning unlimited scalability for future growth. The addition of Turksat to Conax's portfolio of customers in strengthening our message in the Turkish cable market as well as globally," says Geir Bjørndal, COO / Sales & Marketing Director, Conax - something we couldn't achieve without cooperation with key partners like Broadcast Group".

At Anga Cable, Conax is showcasing its Conax CAS7, VOD and PushVod solutions for DTV and IP used by digital TV operators around the globe for unlocking the value of their pay content. Conax, a global player and provider of conditional access solutions for digital and cable TV, has experienced tremendous increase in demand for the company's core product, Conax CAS7 encrypted smart cards for pay-tv set-up boxes. Hot spots include traditional and newer markets such as CEE (Central and Eastern Europe, China and India.

Conax's combined offering of DVB and IP all under one platform is exceptionally strong for companies that have ambitions to stay ahead as leaders within their markets - maximizing the added value of their platforms while simultaneously keeping costs down. Conax delivers value by offering the same high-quality Conax CAS7 for DVB and IP at no extra cost.

Conax's track record in both global and local markets is an attractive choice for modern digital TV operators. Conax CAS7 allows a digital TV operator to start with a basic Pay-TV offer, Conax CAS7 Core. To support a wider range of services in more complex operations and business models, Conax CAS7 Extended optional components can be added to Conax CAS7 Core.

"Conax customers globally represent a cross-section of DTV and IP platforms and span a variety of medium to very large organizations, they have one point in common - they are all leveraging pay-content in ways that transform their business," said Geir Bjørndal, COO / Sales & Marketing Director, Conax. "By putting Conax and content security at the core of their business, these companies have risen above their peers securing new ways to maximize digital business performance and leverage pay content in new creative ways."

Digital TV operators are under immense pressure to react to market changes more quickly, move faster than the competition, rapidly integrate new business models and technologies responding to changing customer preferences. To effectively attract and engage customers, digital TV operators need to quickly and easily create new premium services and a variety of interactive campaigns that will enable them to unlock the potential of their broadcasting strategies.

"Conax content security allows TV operators to deliver premium services with engaging, relevant, and dynamic pay content - features and tools that allow businesses to deliver targeted content based on geography, target group, date, and time. The Conax CAS7 suite of products empowers TV operators to create, deliver, and optimize premium content that will engage each individual consumer. Content security is at the heart of what drives the cable TV platform's performance," continues Geir Bjørndal.

Conax VOD solutions for digital TV/IPTV are Video On Demand (VOD) solutions that allow users to select and watch video content over a network as part of an interactive television system. The VOD system streams the content to the set-top box (STB) in real time, or the content may be downloaded to the STB before viewing starts. Conax provides core products and modules and building blocks that enable TV operators rapidly adapt to the growing demands of an ever-changing and dynamic market.

Conax VOD and Conax Push VOD components are designed for flexibility to meet a multitude of business models and configurations. Conax session-based VOD is DVB Simulcrypt and Open CAS compliant. The Conax PreEncryptor hardware used for pre-encrypted VOD operations is supplied by Conax. Access to push VOD content can be purchased and received after the content has been stored on the consumer's local STB. Push VOD content is always pre-encrypted.

"The Conax message has remained consistent - we continue to focus our resources on providing the market with maximum content security and innovation. The changes attributing to our exciting growth are the increased ability to deliver product and services through strategic regional partners and the development of our product offering through the close cooperation with key customers," says Geir Bjørndal, COO / Sales & Marketing Director, Conax.

With offices in 10 countries, located strategically around the globe, market-leader Conax is able to serve more satellite, cable, MMDS, and terrestrial operations world-wide than most other conditional access providers. Conax provides flexibility for the operator to integrate additional services such as digital video recorder (PVR), pay-per-view (PPV) of Video on Demand (VOD) and more value-added services. Conax CAS7 integrates seamlessly with triple-play product deployments.

Andrew has won a multi-year contract for communications systems that will provide improved wireless coverage inside Deutsche Bahn AG's high speed train ICE in Germany.

Andrew in-train repeaters will be installed in all 250 ICE train sets covering nearly 1,500 carriages-the majority of the ICE fleet-that will feature high quality, high-availability mobile telephony signal coverage for passengers and official rail communications.  The project, which began this month and is scheduled for completion in 2010, is a common project between Deutsche Bahn and the German mobile network operators T-Mobile, Vodafone, the E-Plus Group and O2. 

The Andrew repeater system will support five separate GSM networks, covering the four operators plus the rail system's communications network, in the GSM-900, GSM-1800 and GSM-R bands.  The company has previously supported Deutsche Bahn in providing in-train coverage systems on portions of the ICE system since 2002.

"High-speed rail is one of the most challenging environments in which to provide wireless communications, with the complexities of different terrain and rapidly changing outdoor signal levels of the various networks," said Matt Melester, vice president and general manager, Wireless Innovations, Andrew.  "Andrew has vast experience around the world in successfully supporting such requirements.  We are proud to be chosen for this important project benefiting German rail passengers and ICE personnel."

The TM Forum announced today that it has been working with the UK Government to establish a new industry program aimed at serving the procurement needs of large-scale end-user organizations.  These buyers purchase IT and communications technology on a scale equivalent to many service providers and as such many of the Forum's standards and guidelines and best practices are directly applicable.

The TM Forum has traditionally mainly served the needs of the telecom industry. However, with growing convergence of technologies spurring a major change in the demarcation lines between telecom, cable, media and web players that position is changing very quickly.  The same underlying driver, technology convergence, is also changing the picture for many large-scale consumers of communications and IT technologies. No longer are these separate strands of their procurement requirements, the needs for an integrated procurement approach are rising with the advent of convergent approaches such as: Service Oriented computing architectures (SOA), all IP networking, and advanced Service Delivery Platforms.

The needs of large scale service providers are becoming indistinguishable from the needs of large-scale users such as government departments, defense industries, aerospace and financial services industries. 

Andrew Bull Head of Infrastructure, Strategy and Architecture for the UK's Revenue and Customs departments commented "We need to ensure the best value for money for UK taxpayers in our investments in IT and communications. Following international standards is one of the ways we can do that and we are delighted to be trail-blazing a new approach to working with an international trade association like the TM Forum. We hope other governments and large scale buyers will follow our lead."

Martin Creaner, TM Forum President said "This is a natural extension of our work with service providers around the world - convergence is making the needs of users and service providers ever more aligned. Standards allow economies of scale that these ultra large buyers want to tap into. We are delighted to establish a new program aimed at meeting these needs." The new program is expected to focus on ensuring that clear procurement guides can be developed to help large-scale buyers drive to standards in their procurements and market education."

An initial meeting to launch the "Large Scale Buyers" program is being held at the TM Forum Management World, in Nice on the 21st at 1pm in the Euterpe room. The meeting is Open to all conference attendees.

    

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