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.

Vierling and eudisa cooperate in Germany

Rate differences make GSM gateways popular

GSM gateway supplier, Vierling, and eudisa, a service provider focusing on communications solutions and based in Neuching, Germany, have entered into an agreement to cooperate together in the German marketplace. Effective immediately, eudisa will offer Ecotel GSM gateways from Vierling along with the relevant consultation, installation and maintenance services. Through this cooperation with eudisa, Vierling can further expand its network of qualified system houses throughout Germany for Ecotel GSM gateways.

"We believe there exists considerable potential for GSM gateways in the German market due to a mobile radio rate structure that makes such solutions pay off", said Ulrich Diehl, managing director of eudisa. "GSM gateways help to exploit the rate differences between fixed-to-mobile calls and mobile-to-mobile calls in the best possible way. Companies of all sizes can reduce the amount of money they are spending on domestic and international calling. GSM gateways are particularly popular among companies that have offices in other countries due to the huge savings they produce on roaming charges. We find that the combination of high-quality products from Vierling and our services generates true added value for our customers."

eudisa will primarily offer its customers the compact Ecotel GSM gateways with up to eight GSM channels as part of a complete package including consultation, installation and maintenance services. These gateways include their own mobile radio modules and antennas and can be used with SIM cards from any carrier. Once connected to a company's PBX, the GSM gateway works to reduce charges for mobile radio calls by up to 70%. Besides the compact Vierling solutions, eudisa will also offer Ecotel VTM multichannel gateways from Vierling along with the relevant services. These systems are designed for use by large companies and can accommodate up to 32 GSM channels in a 19" housing.

"Our sales & marketing tend to place significant emphasis on the very important German market", noted Wolfgang Peter, managing director of Vierling. "We are working to further expand our network of distributors, system houses and specialized dealers. With eudisa, we have gained another outstanding system house. Thanks to the company's existing customer base and proven consultation expertise and overall dependability, we feel convinced that this venture will  be successful."

Next Generation Network services by Italtel on Tellas IP network

Italtel, a leading supplier of products, solutions and services for next generation communication networks, has announced it has reached an agreement with Tellas, the major alternative telecom operator in Greece, for the supply of a Next Generation Network (NGN) for innovative Voice and IP services and for the deployment of a Metro Ethernet Network.

The NGN solution provided by Italtel guarantees the full interworking with Tellas existing legacy infrastructure for Voice services and enables the delivery over an IP network of new enhanced telephony and rich content services for residential and business customers with complete feature parity with the traditional telephony services.

Italtel will also supply a Metro Ethernet Network with IP capabilities for advanced traffic management to support both Tellas' existing broadband Internet services and the new services managed by the NGN. Also, Italtel will act as overall system integrator to seamlessly integrate the NGN and Metro Ethernet solutions into the operator’s network.

The solution selected by Tellas is based on the Italtel NGN architecture and on the Italtel softswitch (i-SSW) controlling both Access Nodes and CPEs. Network scalability, reduction of operational costs, complete interoperability with the current voice networks, capabilities to easily develop and offer innovative, new generation services for the service provider customers: these are the tangible advantages that the solution offers with respect to other competitive proposals.

The Italtel platform is already in use in domestic and international network infrastructures of several European telecommunication providers, in Germany, France, UK, Spain, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Poland as well as in Latin America and, recently, in the Middle East area.

Openet extends rating functionality with latest product launch

Openet, a leading provider of active billing mediation, charging and rating solutions that enable network operators to maximize the profitability of their network and services, has announced the release of FusionWorks ActiveRate 5.1 with new functionality designed to increase revenue and subscriber loyalty for pre-paid service offerings. The new version is said to add features that enable operators to create pricing models that drive subscriber loyalty while maintaining the product's industry leadership in performance, scale and convergence.

"ActiveRate 5.1 further elevates the FusionWorks product line above the competition in terms of both functionality and performance," said Michael Manzo, Vice President of Global Marketing. "This product enables tier one operators to increase ARPU and reduce churn, while decreasing operating costs by deploying a convergent, network edge rating solution."

Some of the new capabilities and benefits to the Operator offered by ActiveRate 5.1 include:
- The easy creation pricing bundles which can be used by individuals or groups of users. Bundles can be created for any service or combination of services. For example - "$9.99 for 60 minutes of calls and 100 text messages".
- The ability to demonstrate to customers how much they are saving by creating paired rating tables illustrating the customer plan against that of a competitor or previous price plan.
- Effective management of Special Days and Holiday Pricing through enhanced grouping thereby reducing configuration overhead and speeding up processing.

The 5.1 release enhances version 5.0 to provide a world-class fully configurable network edge real-time event rating engine. ActiveRate 5.1 is currently being deployed in three operators worldwide with a number of new deals lined up for the end of the year.

TeliaSonera strengthens its position within integrated enterprise services through the acquisition of Cygate

TeliaSonera, the leading telecommunications company in the Nordic and Baltic regions, has reached an agreement with the main shareholder of Cygate AB, the Swedish investment company Bure Equity AB, to acquire 98.66 percent of the shares in Cygate AB for a cash consideration of SEK 567 million on a cash and debt free basis.

“This transaction strengthens our position as an integrator of our corporate customers’ total telecom and IT solutions, a major future growth area for TeliaSonera,” comments Anders Igel, President and CEO of TeliaSonera AB. He continues “This is an additional step to become the leading player within IT and IP integration and to secure long term growth in integrated enterprise services”.

The transaction is a strategic acquisition which provides TeliaSonera with competence within sales, technical and project management within LAN and IP applications. Cygate provides solutions within networking, security, IP telephony and services within support, maintenance and IT management. Cygate, which has a strong brand recognition in the market, will operate as a separate business within TeliaSonera.

The acquisition will be subject to regulatory approval.

Siemens delivers broadband mobile network in Finland for broadcasting network operator

The Finnish broadcasting network operator Digita has concluded a master agreement with Siemens Networks for delivery of a national FLASH-OFDM mobile network. The plan is for the new broadband network to be put into operation next April – initially in Lapland and the more densely populated regions of the country’s south.

Helsinki-based Digita, which is the largest provider of radio and television broadcasts in Finland, has concluded a master agreement with Siemens Networks for the delivery, installation and maintenance of a mobile broadband network based on FLASH-OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) technology.

Digita is investing in the new network to enable it to offer broadband services throughout Finland over a mobile network. “Our goal is to make Finland the first country in the world with a full-coverage mobile broadband network. It will then be possible to use broadband services anywhere in the country over our @450 network,” explained Sirpa Ojala, Digita’s CEO.

A FLASH-OFDM network is especially suited for this because it runs entirely via the Internet Protocol (IP). It transfers data at particularly high rates and is distinguished by low latency. As a result, download times are as short as in fixed DSL networks. All commercially available PCs and laptops and all common applications work smoothly in conjunction with a FLASH-OFDM network.

“The FLASH-OFDM network will allow everyone to use broadband services with complete ease and reliability. I feel certain that, for this reason alone, Digita will blaze the way with its new network,” is the conviction of Christoph Caselitz, President Mobile Networks at Siemens Networks.

In the area of FLASH-OFDM technology, Siemens is collaborating with QUALCOMM Flarion Technologies (QFT) – a reliable and successful partner that is developing a range of FLASH-OFDM products in accordance with Siemens’ specifications for the needs of today and tomorrow.

Ray Dolan, senior vice president of QUALCOMM, says: "QUALCOMM is delighted to be at the forefront of mobile OFDM to complement our global 3G CDMA success, and looks forward to continuing to support both Digita and Siemens in the deployment of these cutting-edge services in Finland."

Telekom Austria Group demonstrates HSUPA live for the first time in Europe

mobilkom austria, the wireless subsidiary of the Telekom Austra Group has presented Europe’s first live demonstration of a video up-load via the HSUPA technology (High Speed Uplink Packet Access) at a press conference in Vienna in anticipation of its launch in the first half of 2007. The technology allows for up-load transmission rates of up to 1.4 Mbit/s, which are 22 times faster than UMTS and represent the highest up-load speeds currently available using mobile technology. HSUPA enables the up-load of pictures and videos in a matter of seconds as well as mobile video streaming in real time. 

Boris Nemsic, CEO of the Telekom Austria Group and of mobilkom austria, said: “We live in a world of growing mobility. The bulk of multimedia data is transmitted on the go. Especially in the business segment, it is of growing importance to be able to send presentations and pictures from outside the office. HSUPA provides a successful basis for mobile working, especially in the field of media and journalism.”

HSUPA will be available on the mobilkom austria’s A1 network in the first half of 2007. In January 2006 mobilkom austria was one of the first European operators to launch an HSDPA network providing down-link speeds of up to 1.8 Mbit/s. Soon after, in June 2006, the network was up-graded to reach a down-load speed of 3.6 Mbit/s. At present HSDPA is available throughout the entire country.

Huawei to build Versatel's all-IP network across Germany

Huawei Technologies, a leader in providing next generation telecommunications network solutions for operators around the world, has today announced that it has been selected by Versatel, a German fixed network operator, to build its Internet Protocol (IP) and Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) nationwide networks.

Versatel, a leading fixed network operator in Germany, has embarked on a comprehensive reconstruction and upgrade of its current networks. With a brand new all-IP network, Versatel will be able to rapidly meet demand for the fast expanding new services, such as high-speed xDSL access and multi-media service, amongst others. Versatel has selected Huawei to implement a bearer network solution to fulfill these service requirements.
 
"As the third largest fixed network operator in Germany, Versatel is providing high quality and comprehensive telecom services to all customers. We are willing to build up strategic partnership with Huawei to fulfill our development demands," said Mr. Peer.Knauer, CEO of Versatel.
 
"Huawei owns advanced core technologies and rich experiences in current network application. We believe that this cooperation is sure to provide Versatel Next Generation Networks with powerful bearer networks, which will provide higher-quality service experience for our users," said Mr. Cheng Hai, COO of Versatel.
 
In this bearer network solution, Huawei's WDM series of products were chosen to build the next generation of high-speed WDM links for Versatel. The entire network will use adjustable Optical Transmit Units (OTUs) to provide services for users with quick responses in the future. Meanwhile, Huawei's Quidway NetEngine series of high end routers, known for their high reliability, great expandability, and powerful performance, will effectively improve the network performance to support more services in an economical way.
 
"Versatel is an important operator in Europe. Huawei is very glad to have this chance to work with Versatel,” said Mr. DingShaohua, senior VP of Huawei, “Huawei will share its in-depth understanding of bearer networks and its mature deployment experience with customers. Huawei will also apply its advanced products and professional services to create long-term value for Versatel."

Hutchison Whampoa announces the global launch of the X-Series from 3

Partnership with Skype, Sling Media, Yahoo!, Nokia, Google, eBay, Microsoft, Orb and Sony Ericsson

Hutchison Whampoa has today announced the global launch of the X-Series from 3. The X-Series is said to mark the beginning of the internet via mobile broadband, heralding 'a new way of doing business for mobile network operators'. It will extend several of the core applications and uses of the broadband internet to the mobile handset, with a new pricing model. The X-Series from 3 will be supported by the leading internet companies, cutting-edge handsets from the world's leading mobile manufacturers and premium customer service.

With the X-Series, customers will be able to make unlimited calls from their mobile using Skype, watch their home television via their mobile using Sling, access their home PC remotely using Orb and have access to the best of internet and messaging services from Yahoo!, Windows Live Messenger and Google.

The X-Series from 3 will be priced like fixed line broadband. It will offer use of mobile internet services free at the time of use, for a flat fee. The X-Series from 3 will be available in the UK from the 1st December 2006 and in 3's other markets around the world in early 2007. Each 3 company will provide further details as they launch X-Series in their markets.

Canning Fok, Group Managing Director of Hutchison Whampoa, said: "This is the internet as it was meant to be and what people have been waiting for. Mobile broadband is the natural next step for mobile services, extending the full power of the internet to mobile handsets. By partnering with the leaders of the internet and the leading handset makers, the X-Series from 3 will give everyone access to more of what they want, when they want it, and however much of it they want, all free when they use it."

Frank Sixt, Group Finance Director of Hutchison Whampoa, said: "We believe that giving our customers the benefit of the favourable economics of the broadband world will lead more customers to join our network. That is the proposition the 3 Group will be putting forward in all of its markets under the X-Series. This is why we created 3, and what our network was designed to deliver. The X-Series heralds important changes in the business model for mobile media and internet. Moving away from unit charges will set mobile users free to enjoy broadband services without fear of 'bill-shock'."

Yankee Group Survey Overview

2006 US Mobile User Survey; 2006 Transatlantic Wireless Business Survey – US Small & Medium Business; 2006 European Mobile Multimedia Survey; 2006 US TAF Survey; 2006 US Small & Medium Communications Survey; 2006 Canadian Enterprise Managed Services Survey