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TM Forum today confirmed Werner Vogels, Vice President and CTO of Amazon, will present at the opening keynote session of TM Forum's Management World 2009 conference (4-8 May, Nice, France). In charge of driving technology innovation within the company, Vogels is the only executive apart from Amazon's CEO to speak publicly on behalf of Recently recognized with the 2008 CIO/CTO of the Year award, he brings a new dimension to the conference with insights into using IT as the engine of change and growth of new service revenues.

Confirmed speakers for the conference now include more than 200 executives from the world's top service providers, broadcasters and media & entertainment companies. Management World 2009, which is the world's largest communications conference, will focus on business strategies and tactics to address the challenges and opportunities the industry faces in the current economic climate. Thought leaders from across the industry's expanding value-chain will offer perspectives on how to reduce costs and risks, improve customer loyalty and build the partnerships needed to rapidly bring new and profitable services to market.

"Management World 2009 is shaping up to be a record-breaking event, and we're delighted to welcome Mr. Vogels to the keynote stage," said Nik Willetts, VP Communications, TM Forum. "This year's top-notch agenda and speaker profile has already attracted a lot of interest, and we're on track to have more than 3,500 attendees. Management World in Nice has proven itself as the world's largest communications conference over the past 10 years - a place to gain insight and collaborate on the most pressing issues facing the industry."


Vogels joins an already impressive line-up of keynote speakers including Albert Hitchcock, CIO, Vodafone; Matt Bross, CEO, BT Innovate; Sanjiv Ahuja, former CEO, Orange; Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy Group UK; Kevin Peters, Executive VP, AT&T; Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi, Chairman & CEO, 2020 Venture Partners; Matt Desch, Chairman and CEO, Iridium and Simon Wright, CEO, Virgin Entertainment.  The keynote speakers will present to the general session audience on the morning of Wednesday, May 6, 2009.

The impressive line-up doesn't end with the keynote speakers. TM Forum has secured more than 200 speakers from across the value-chain to present at the 3-day conference. "Every session includes a service provider speaker," comments Willetts. "By providing meaningful insight, strategic vision and identifying winning ways to adapt to the fast-changing environment, each expert-led session will offer a clear view of where the industry is going, the challenges it faces and why collaboration is so essential."

Orga Systems, a provider of convergent real-time billing, has announced that Sunrise has bought its Prepaid Product and Service Management (OSM) to expand the OPSC billing system.

Sunrise complements its real-time billing and customer loyalty platform with OSM to offer foremost product and service bundles. Unlimited combinations of tariffs, services and promotion for segment tailored offerings as well as usage oriented service charging - for example per action, service, channel or time - will create best customer experience and satisfaction.

OSM enables Sunrise to offer new multimedia prepaid products and services like mobile e-mail, music downloads and mobile TV. In addition, Sunrise can target new customer segments, like no voice and no contract customers.

With Orga Systems' OSM, Sunrise will be able to offer next generation prepaid data services. Sunrise will introduce a mobile internet package (data modem and prepaid tariff) and for mobile internet access via modem on a daily rate without the customers having to sign a contract.

Real-time notifications to customers, automatic redirect to self care web page, and tailored bundles, promotions and campaigns will advance customers' loyalty. This way, Sunrise will benefit from its improved customer interaction and convenience using.

A survey of Mobile World Congress attendees conducted by SurfKitchen is said to confirm that mobile Internet services are poised for mainstream adoption. One third of attendees surveyed at the world's largest mobile industry exhibition stated that their mobile Internet usage has more than doubled over the last year, with 67 percent currently relying on WAP and mobile Internet browsers to access mobile Internet and data services.

Of over 100 attendees surveyed, 90 percent indicated that that they have increased their mobile Internet usage in the last year with 92 percent of respondents still citing email as the most popular service, followed by Internet browsing (80 percent) and news services (67 percent). Of the minority that indicated their mobile Internet usage has not increased, one third reported discoverability and navigation to be the key barriers to adoption.

"One look at the news from Mobile World Congress shows that the industry is focused on the delivery of mobile Internet services and applications," said Michel Quazza, chief executive officer, SurfKitchen. "While our survey is only based on a relatively small sample, it is notable that traditional access models are still used by the majority of consumers to access mobile Internet and data services. We expect this to significantly change over the coming months with mainstream adoption of new mobile Internet platforms and application stores. As a result, we will not only see a much greater increase in mobile Internet usage, but also in the variety of services and applications used by consumers regardless of their mobile device."   

The potential of mobile applications stores has been a focus of the show in Barcelona and respondents of the survey who already use applications and widgets to access mobile Internet services reported speed, ease-of-use and choice as the core benefits over traditional access methods of WAP and mobile Internet browsers.

The survey results echo a recent Informa Telecoms & Media report that predicted that annual data services will more than double from USD 148 billion in 2007 to USD 347 billion in 2013. The barriers identified by MWC attendees also matched recent industry research by Forrester Research that found that discoverability and usability are still presenting challenges to the industry.

Vesta Corporation, a specialist in virtual payment solutions, has partnered with Mobiun to develop a mobile application that allows the prepaid customer to Top-Up their account wherever they are, whenever they want.

The Top-Up application allows full customization of the user interface for each Operator, and is supported on over 700 handsets.  The technology supports dynamic content and can be updated with new tariff and customer offers in real-time or at scheduled times, and supports all major languages and character sets.

The application allows a customer to complete a top-up transaction using a credit card or debit card, and enables the gifting of credit to another prepaid phone.  Vesta's expertise in top-up payment processing, fraud detection and integration with billing platforms allows for a seamless, real-time transaction.  This results in increased convenience for the consumer, and increased revenue for the mobile operator.

"Because of the simplicity and 24/7 availability, we've found that customers using these handset-based top-up channels consistently deliver the highest ARPU for mobile operators," says Lorcan Burke, Vesta's Vice President, European Sales and Marketing.  
Tom Montgomery, Mobiun's CEO adds, "We are delighted to combine our mobile application expertise with Vesta's industry-leading mobile top-up services to deliver a market defining product."

In addition to the Mobiun collaboration, Vesta works with top mobile operators worldwide to enable electronic top-up transactions via SMS, USSD, WAP, IVR, Web, and through automated services like scheduled and low-balance top-up.

NEC has announced today its selection by Albania's Albtelecom to deploy a broadband access network based on NEC's 5000 Series ultra compact trunk microwave communications system, PASOLINK, and its MN Series SDH multiplexer, which will enable Albetelecom to efficiently address the region's rapidly increasing data traffic needs.

Albtelecom is Albania's leading fixed-line operator, and NEC's microwave systems will be introduced to support Albtelecom's broadband network. PASOLINK's flexibility enables the system to process a wide variety of transmission speeds and interfaces within the same platform, which facilitates the ongoing voice and data traffic growth associated with the expansion of ADSL network coverage in Albania.

Today's announcement marks the opening of business between NEC and Albtelecom, an agreement that also represents the first order in Eastern Europe for the 5000S trunk microwave system and the first European order for the MN Series SDH multiplexer. Looking forward, NEC will continue to leverage its industry experience to proactively develop and promote innovative new technologies as a leading global provider of wireless broadband communications systems.

China Mobile, Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone, and Vodafone has said that they have taken significant steps in developing the next-generation technology LTE as a truly global radio access technology, following yesterday's LTE FDD/TDD Convergence Summit at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

As part of their ongoing three-way trials, the operators have successfully demonstrated in laboratory conditions the time division version of LTE (TD-LTE) showing that the technology is capable of operating effectively in both unpaired as well as paired spectrum.

In addition to these initial results, a range of chipset suppliers including ST-Ericsson and Qualcomm are developing equipment capable of supporting both Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and Time Division Duplex (TDD) flavours of the LTE technology in a single device.

The trials are a step towards the goal of developing a single device capable of operating on TD-LTE technology in the case of unpaired spectrum or LTE FDD technology in the case of paired spectrum

The availability of a converged LTE FDD and TD-LTE system is set to enable an effective solution for both paired and unpaired spectrum. This also raises the prospect of providing greater interoperability between different global operators offering customers greater levels of convenience.

The TD-LTE portion of the trial, which involves seven vendors, will progress to full field trials in the second half of 2009. The locations for these field trials have been agreed in China, Europe and India.

The corresponding LTE FDD trials are progressing as planned and are now well into the final field trial stages where peak download speeds of up to 50 to 60 Mbps using 10 MHz bandwidth have been demonstrated. These field trials, which will also be introduced for the TD-LTE trials, create real-world loaded network conditions by using multiple base stations and terminal devices.

LTE's potential as a flexible global technology with a strong eco-system was the core theme presented at yesterday's LTE FDD/TDD Convergence Summit. The event attended by regulators, operators and vendors, was jointly hosted by China Mobile, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone with an endorsement from the GSMA and TD Alliance.

LTE technology is designed to deliver a range of customer benefits including higher speeds and enhanced throughput performance and lower latency thanks to improved spectral efficiency.

LTE is an evolution of existing 3G (WCDMA, TD-SCDMA and CDMA) cellular networks and has the advantage of offering inter-working with existing 3G technologies.

NEC announced today the successful development of one of the world's most efficient  transmitter amplifiers for mobile base stations, a 2.1GHz model that produces 45W of output power per 100W of power consumption.

Transmitter amplifiers are devices that increase the strength of RF signals transmitted from base stations to remote terminals. NEC produced these latest amplifiers by adopting high performance and highly reliable RF transistor technologies, in addition to independently optimizing Doherty RF circuitry with harmonic tuning. These innovations are accredited with NEC's successful creation of amplifiers with one of the world's highest efficiency levels, 45%.

Transmitter amplifiers are essential to the performance of mobile base stations, and telecom operators may now anticipate meaningful cost reductions from the introduction of this new technology. Mobile base stations fitted with the latest transmitter amplifiers are expected to be significantly smaller and to consume less power than existing equipment, which decreases the space required for storing units, time needed to assemble the stations, and simplifies maintenance.

NEC plans to begin shipment of the new transmitter amplifier, installed within LTE equipment, by the end of 2009. Looking forward, NEC also aims to provide the transmitter amplifier for W-CDMA, LTE and WiMAX base station vendors throughout expanding global markets.

Comarch SA, the Polish producer of IT software, and Polkomtel SA, Plus network operator, are executing the common implementation of Comarch InterPartner Billing (IPB), a system for managing multi-operator billing operations.

The contract for implementing Comarch InterPartner Billing in Polkomtel was concluded in May 2006. The implementation process was divided into five stages, each of them corresponding with different character of business billing and the type of operator.  

"Since 2006 we managed to conclude the implementation of the Service Providers billing and Content Providers billing functionalities. At the same time, we implemented the Protektor system, which allows for secure document interchange, e.g. exchanging billing reports between the partners by electronic means without the risk of data loss or unauthorized access to data. Furthermore, we also provided our customer with BMC Patrol, the central monitoring system, which checks the Comarch IPB system for the proper operation of the processes and the general system vitality," explained Jerzy Bartman, Telecommunication EEMEA Sales Director, Comarch SA.

Polkomtel will considerably benefit from the new system, which guarantees accurate billing of several business models within one system, cost-effectiveness, improved partner relationship management, as well as stronger position of the company on the market.

The implementation will be completed once the two final stages have been tested. First is already operating in the production environment waiting for the final tests comparing the outcomes of the current and implemented system; second is being prepared for the system and quality tests. Also within the first stage is included the interpartner cost optimizer, which is the integral part of Comarch InterPartner Billing, that ensures the operator extra profits thanks to the most optimal network configuration. Additionally, Comarch and Polkomtel are working on the implementation of the system for MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) billing that was started in 2006. The entire project is estimated to be fully realized by second quarter 2009.

Comarch IPB is a billing system which offers inter-operator connection management, multi-party billing functionality and revenue sharing processes, providing the operator with comprehensive billing information. The system is capable of identifying, estimating, pricing and processing millions of inter-operator events a day within different business models. The key features are the in-built, advanced reconciliation module and the inter-operator cost optimizer.

Comarch IPB System has already benefited many operators in Poland (Multimedia Polska, Netia) and all over the world (e.g. Vistream - Germany, Cablevision de Saltillo - Mexico, Cable Onda - Panama, BITE GSM - Lithuania, Latvia).

3GVision, a specialist in barcode-scanning technology for mobile phones, has announced today that its i-nigma code reading solution has been selected by Pannon (owned by leading Norwegian network operator Telenor) and T-Mobile to power their ‘Mobilkod' mobile code trial project, in collaboration with Hungary's leading publisher, Sanoma Budapest.

3GVision's 2D barcode reader enables a fast and simple mobile internet experience by scanning Data Matrix and QR barcodes with a mobile phone camera, to hyper-link to the mobile internet and eliminating the need to enter long URL's using the keyboard. In doing so, media and marketing companies have an accurate and reliable permission-based mobile channel open to them, while consumers have an easy way of using their mobile phone's camera to engage in campaigns and media on the mobile web that they are interested in.

Media company Sanoma Budapest is the first Hungarian publisher to take advantage of the ‘Mobilkod' offering by launching a promotional campaign in magazines such as FHM, and on web sites including Startlap, StoryOnline and Vezess, prompting readers to scan advertisements to enter a competition to win a vacation, camera, mobile phone or notebook. The campaign runs for eight-weeks until March 31st, 2009. 

Martin Copus, president of 3GVision, commented: "Being selected by Hungary's  leading mobile operators and publisher is an important milestone for our company. Pannon, T-Mobile and Sanoma share our vision that the mobile internet is about to become an integral part of marketing campaigns everywhere. This is a great way for publishers to add mobile connectivity to their editorial and advertising content, while mobile operators are able to drive revenues and increase mobile functionality for consumers. End users love it."

3GVision is at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Telenity, a provider of next generation converged services platforms and applications for communications networks, today announced that Eagle Mobile, the newest Albanian mobile operator, chose Telenity's advanced messaging solutions including Canvas SMSC, Short Message Service Center and Canvas USSD Service Center to handle its rapidly growing messaging traffic and enable the introduction of new USSD and SMS-based innovative services.

Telenity's Canvas Converged Messaging Solutions enhance revenues from Person-to-Person (P2P) and Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging with a modular, scalable next generation IP based architecture designed for CAPEX and OPEX savings. 

"As a new operator in the Albanian market, it's extremely vital for us to build a reputation as a reliable and innovative service provider. Telenity's SMSC will significantly improve our ability to gracefully handle SMS traffic peaks and offer higher service quality to our subscribers," said Ali Taskin, CEO at Eagle Mobile. "And Telenity's USSD Service Center will allow us to enhance our offering with new flexible and easy-to-use innovative messaging services."

"Since the launch of its operations in March 2008, Eagle Mobile captured 12% share of the total market in Albania and continues its solid growth.  Their selection of our SMSC and USSD Service Center applications to support their rapidly growing customer base and SMS traffic proves the solid reputation Telenity has in the market for high performance and reliable messaging solutions," said Serif A. Beykoz, General Manager Europe, Middle East and Africa at Telenity. "This is the start of a new relationship for us and we are committed to supporting Eagle Mobile on all avenues as they become a leading operator."

Canvas SMSC offers a next generation, IP-based, high performance and distributed short messaging system with:

  • First delivery attempt, SMS routing, IP-offload, and advanced SLA management features
  • One stop integration point for charging, subscriber database and third party service management solution

Canvas USSD Service Center offers a USSD gateway with pre-packaged services and a flexible, graphical service creation environment with interactive menu service templates and USSD Menu Browser capability.

Telenity, a provider of next generation converged services platforms and applications for communications networks, announced today that Astelit, Ukraine's third largest mobile operator providing communication services under the life:) brand, chose Telenity's Canvas CSP, Converged Services Platform including a content management system (CMS), common management and provisioning framework, third-party access and messaging gateways, and subscriber portal functionalities.

In addition to Canvas CSP, the four year frame agreement signed by Astelit and Telenity also includes voicemail system enhancements and capacity upgrades on advanced messaging solutions including SMSC, MMSC, and USSD Service Center. This multi-million dollar agreement is the result of long lasting trust and strong relationship Telenity has built with Astelit over the years. With this contract in place, Telenity now supports over 75% of life:)'s value added services (VAS) infrastructure.

"We are delighted to have signed this agreement to provide Astelit with our service delivery platform solution and capacity upgrades on a variety of messaging applications, " said Serif A. Beykoz, General Manager Europe, Middle East and Africa at Telenity. "Astelit is a growing operator with a customer base of around 11 million subscribers. With our proven advanced messaging applications and service delivery components, Astelit will be able to differentiate itself with innovative content services, supported by a reliable and high performance messaging infrastructure."

"We needed a flexible content management system capable of handling a wide range of enhanced value added data services for both of our prepaid and postpaid subscriber base. With their proactive approach, Telenity understood our needs and offered us a cost-effective and efficient solution that will help us support our subscribers now and in the future," said Tansu Yegen, General Director of Astelit.

 Telenity's Canvas CSP, Converged Services Platform enables network operators and service providers to develop and deploy innovative services in accelerated periods with little overhead. Astelit will utilize the following components of Canvas CSP to offer content based advanced value added services to its subscribers:

  • Content Management Server (CMS) - Provides a secure, flexible and comprehensive environment to aggregate, host and deliver content from multiple parties/sources
  • Common Management and Provisioning Framework (CMPF) - Centralized and flexible data repository comprising platform, service, partner, subscription (personalization), identity, security, and policy management data as well as OAM&P aspects of it
  • Access Gateway (XSGW) - Allows secure and policy-controlled single-point of access to the service enablers within the SDP environment
  • Subscriber Portal - Provides Web/WAP interface to access content and services with enhanced personalization capabilities

NEC Iberica today announced that it has established a VAS (Value Added Service) technical centre in Spain to reinforce Fixed and Mobile VAS in the region. The centre will offer telecom operators a platform for their consumers to access a range of VAS to mobile applications, including mobile internet, messaging, video streaming and navigation.

The VAS technical centre, as the central Hub of Europe, is to have links with Japan, allowing new NGN/SDP based value added services developed in Japan, to reach the European market. The links with the European hub will ensure customers in the region benefit from NEC's R&D. Most importantly it will allow a solid understanding of European culture, its VAS requirements, what the end user wants and its business environment and trends which may be different from Japan. The key outcome of this will be to bring business synergy to Europe.

Mr. Jaime Serrano, General Manager of NEC Ibérica says: "NEC has a deep understanding and a track record of outstanding performance in project execution in this area. We have been delivering a range of VAS to mobile applications via our platforms to more than 50 million users worldwide. NEC's VAS Technical Centre in Europe will bring even more business benefits to our customers by providing revenue generating VAS and CAPEX/OPEX reduction."

Serrano continues: " NEC is committed to providing first rate Fixed and Mobile converged service provisioning in Europe. Through this technical centre NEC is able to prove its important and innovative role in developing new services around fixed and mobile broadband."


AIRCOM International, the independent network planning and optimisation consultancy, today announced a contract with Croatian mobile operator Vipnet, to supply its OPTIMA Performance Management solutions across both the Core and Radio Access networks.

The deal will act to standardise the Operational Support System (OSS) tools across the entire Vipnet network, with OPTIMA having been deployed in the Core network for more than a year. Vipnet will now deploy OPTIMA in the Radio Access network, delivering a unified Product Management (PM) solution to both departments and increasing operational efficiencies across the country.   

"It's clear that AIRCOM is in the perfect position to align with our strategy and provide the network support needed to help roll out  of our GSM and UMTS radio access network and further maintain and develop high quality standards for voice and data. Advanced performance management is key factor for high level of engineering required for continuation of HSPA+ implementation" said Tomislav Makar, Director of mag Access Networks and Vipnet Access Network Development Director.  "With its global footprint and solid track record of delivering performance measurement solutions to operators around the world, it quickly became apparent that we could trust AIRCOM to help significantly reduce our OPEX, which was a key factor in the decision making process."

OPTIMA is part of AIRCOM's ENTERPRISE suite of products. While enabling Vipnet engineers to generate specific KPI queries from a single platform, OPTIMA will also generate consistent network performance data across the entire mobilkom austria group, meaning networks can be monitored consistently from multiple offices, departments and geographies.

"Croatia is one of the most exciting markets in the world, and to sign with the operator widely known for the best market entrance in Europe is further evidence of our leadership in the world's emerging markets," says Margaret Rice-Jones, CEO at AIRCOM International.  "We continue to beat off competition from major vendors in emerging countries thanks to our close understanding of market requirements and ability to scale quickly as new services are rolled out.  We look forward to working with Vipnet and ensuring its network runs at optimal performance for years to come."

The OPTIMA solution will be fully installed across Vipnet's multi-vendor network by end of April 2009. AIRCOM will also provide system training to Vipnet engineers upon completion. 

AIRCOM International, the independent network planning and optimisation consultancy, today announced a partnership deal with Hewlett Packard, to deliver an integrated network management system to one of the largest fixed-line operators in Europe.

The deal will see AIRCOM supply its OPTIMA Performance Management Solution as part of Hewlett Packard's (HP) overall network management system, OpenView.  This will add advanced reporting functionality to HP's existing suite of products, allowing users to generate specific KPI queries from a single platform and monitor the network from multiple offices, departments and geographies.

HP is widely regarded as the leading supplier of network management systems throughout the world, with OpenView deployed by major corporations across many different industry sectors.  HP has partnered with AIRCOM in a joint proposal to the Turkish operator as it seeks to upgrade its existing network and roll out next generation voice, video, data and other high speed DSL-based services to in excess of 40 million customers. 

"The operator in question currently operates a multi-vendor system that comprises of more than 10 different vendors each delivering the network infrastructure solutions," said Mustafa Bartin, Country Manager Consulting & Integration at HP Turkey.  "With such a large inventory of different vendor equipment, the need for a single management system that can extract key information from all the network elements became a critical factor in the purchase decision.  This joint proposal has ensured that we are in the best possible position to deliver significant process efficiencies and network monitoring to the customer."

OPTIMA is part of AIRCOM's ENTERPRISE suite of products and is the fastest selling performance and service management tool in Europe.  It delivers performance management across multi-vendor and technology networks from a single platform, rapidly alerting network operatives to abnormalities or unexpected network degradations.  It ensures operator networks run at optimal performance, drastically reducing OPEX and removing the need for additional infrastructure investment.

Commenting on the deal Margaret Rice-Jones, CEO at AIRCOM International said: "This is a highly strategic project for AIRCOM and we're delighted to be working closely with a leading network management system provider like HP.  This deal will ensure the operator has the right tools in place to achieve and maintain peak network performance."

The OPTIMA solution will be installed at a central Network Operations Centre, but will provide reliable performance and fault management statistics to a widely dispersed team of users.  AIRCOM will also provide installation consultancy services and user training for the system, with full integration into the customer site set for early 2010.