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TM Forum, the world industry group focused on business effectiveness for the communications and media sectors, today announced that the growing risks of Cyber Security  will be addressed through a dedicated Security Management  conference session, at the Forum's 10th annual Management World Americas  conference next month (8-10 December, Orlando FL). 

Forming part of the new  Defense Spotlight at Management World Americas, Manuel Hermosilla (DISA DISN OSS) will lead a session entitled  "High Level Security Management for Defense" - which will focus on critical strategies to beat the growing threat of cyber security.  The conference session will include interactive presentations and discussions from an impressive line-up of leading figures in the defense industry including: 

  • Larry Huffman (DISA GIG Ops) - High Level Security Management Policy
  • LtCol Joe Wolfkeil (Air Force/NSA) - Data Models for Network Defense
  • Henry Sienkeiwicz (DISA CSD) - The Changing Nature of Data Center Security

TM Forum's Security Management Initiative, lead by Bob Natale of MITRE, will deliver a whitepaper on Cyber Security which proposes a clear way forward for incorporating Security Management topics into the TM Forum collaborative projects and programs as a first step.

Cyberspace is the operating domain realized most prominently over communications networks, the services they enable, and the data conveyed by those services is now a nearly universal mandate across the globe.

The need to secure "cyberspace" is absolutely vital to our everyday lives and for doing business, but takes on even more importance when we are talking about the security of a nation.

With growing dependence on information technology and increasing threats against it, President Barack Obama declared October to be National Cybersecurity Month. The U.S. Defense Department is one of the largest computer users in the world, and security has to be in the forefront of all users no matter what computer you use, officials say.

New and existing Communications Services Providers, applications developers, and solution integrators recognize their expanding responsibility to implement best practices in all aspects of network and data security. These organizations, which are looking at new profitable business models such as Cloud- based services, need to understand cyber security and its ramifications.

"The  ongoing protection of cyberspace is now seen as a critical global issue as our dependence on IT continues to rise," said Martin Creaner, President and COO TM Forum. "Through our Defense Industry Group we are continually looking at the issue of security management and cyber security, and our Defense Industry Spotlight at Management World Americas will provide the perfect opportunity engage with industry leaders and find out how the industry is collaborating through the TM Forum to protect cyberspace."

Ericsson engaged Iometrix to test and validate the power consumption of its SM 480 Metro Ethernet Service Transport platform and its SmartEdge® 1200 Multi-Service Edge Router with fully configured services and traffic loads to reproduce conditions of use typical of an operational network.

This series of lab tests assesses power consumption under simulated operational conditions and levels of service delivery and provides strong evidence that energy efficient design can significantly impact the amount of energy required to support large numbers of subscribers in highly scaled networking environments.

Most mobile operators around the world are already well on their way to all-IP networks. Their concern now is how to complete that transition and handle the substantial growth now being seen in mobile broadband services. They can address these concerns by choosing an end-to-end IP transport solution.

AT4 wireless, the wireless certification and testing laboratory, has announced that it is now offering additional Interoperability Test Suites in the framework of WiMAX Certification, being the first Laboratory worldwide that can provide in-house the full range of testing services required for WiMAX Certification.

AT4 wireless was selected in 2004 by the WiMAX Forum as its lead Certification Laboratory and has  played the role of reference Laboratory by offering to the WiMAX vendors ecosystem the full range of test suites required by the WiMAX Forum in order to achieve Certification for their products.

As the latest development in this field, AT4 wireless is now offering the so-called Mobile Interoperability Testing (MIOT) Amendment (PHY and MAC-related Interoperability Test Suites) and Operator Interoperability Testing (OIOT - Network layer-related Interoperability Test Suites), in order to complete their comprehensive portfolio of WiMAX Certification testing services.

"This is another important milestone for AT4 wireless, and we are pleased  to  provide in-house the full range of test suites required for WiMAX Certification, including the Operator Interoperability Testing Service " said Jose de la Plaza, Telecommunications Laboratory Manager at AT4 wireless "We have also enhanced this complete certification service by offering the most comprehensive set of validated test systems as an add-value in the form of enhanced flexibility to adapt better to vendors' specific needs"

TM Forum, the world industry group focused on business effectiveness for the communications and media sectors, has launched its latest Insights Report, "Evolving Service Delivery Platforms: Essential Plumbing For ‘Smart Pipes.'

"Rather than fear being relegated to ‘dumb-pipe' status service providers should look for opportunities to increase their innovation while lowering their cost of service delivery," said Rob Rich, managing director, TM Forum Insights Research. "This report details how SDPs combined with new business models can help organizations in both emerging and mature markets avoid being reduced to commodity provider status."

To explore opportunities for communications service providers (CSPs) wanting to become "enablers" in the value chain, market analyst Kristofer Kimbler demystifies the concept of the SDP, and he explores the potential for opening up CSP environments to third parties (i.e., content- and application developers) for innovation in services.

The report, exclusively available to TM Forum members, looks at why other stakeholders would covet CSPs' enormous data stores and sophisticated operations- and business support systems, as well as real-time charging, CRM and security capabilities. The CSP knows its customers' lifestyle preferences, locations, and demographics; the CSP already has the trusted relationships with both individual and enterprise customers.

With this report, CSPs from both mature and emerging markets, as well as their partners, will learn about the full business potential enabled by SDPs.

The report comprises five sections, which break down different elements of the SDP industry:

  • Section One-Defines and clarifies the term "SDP," and lays out its potential for helping CSPs transform into "smart pipes" capable of generating new revenue streams and adopting new business models. This section delves into the potential for enhancing core services, as well as getting into mobile advertising, mobile payments and banking, as well as location-based services;


  • Section Two-Breaks out the competitive landscape for mobile service providers, mobile handset manufacturers, operating system vendors, and third-party app stores. It also gives an in-depth look at "other players," such as mobile handset manufacturers, mobile operating systems vendors, and third-party app stores;


  • Section Three-Gives an in-depth analysis of "app stores," pioneered by Apple but now full of many players in the market-each which brings something different to the table. App stores already have significant impact on the market, and this section discusses the potential CSP strategies for cost-and-time-effective app store roll outs using SDPs;


  • Section Four-Discusses the role of SDPs as a driver of new, open, business models. Different business models supported by SDPs are outlined, and the future opportunity for creating and providing SDPs in the SaaS (software-as-a-service) model are analyzed;


  • Section Five-Explains how TM Forum is defining the management functionality to clarify the structure and management of SDPs. This section discusses how TM Forum can help its members to build management capabilities and interfaces that link together multiple service platforms, including SDPs and legacy "silo" solutions. The goal of the work is to create a common management framework through which service providers implement homogenous and cost-efficient service lifecycle management for different classes of services.


The report is now available to TM Forum members for download and will be also be distributed at TM Forum's Management World Americas 2009 conference (8-10 December, Orlando, FL).

NEC today announced the deployment of its femtocell solution by SFR, a leading French  telecommunications carrier which becomes the first operator to launch femtocell services throughout France.

NEC is providing SFR with an end to end femtocell solution which includes compact indoor femto access point to be installed in the customer premises of this carrier, the femtocell gateway which aggregates and connects several access points to the core network and the management systems for the access point and the gateway. The installation of the femtocell access point in customer premises involves plugging in the femto access point to the broadband router and to the power supply - much like the installation of any broadband home gateway product. 

The low-power femto access point will provide a dedicated 3G network indoors for personal use by customers. The enhanced coverage will improve the customer experience for both voice and data services, while the dedicated capacity will help customers to experience high data rates on their handsets and their 3G enabled laptops providing an enhanced ubiquitous mobile broadband experience. Along with providing benefits to operator customers, the femtocell network helps operators reduce CAPEX associated with macro cell equipment and OPEX costs in the backhaul network, says NEC. The increased standard of service delivery will also help improve customer loyalty and creates new network capacity wherever it is needed, it says.

Michel Lignon, President and CEO, NEC France, says: "It's been an exciting year for femtocell and we're delighted to be involved in some of the first commercial deployments in Europe and other parts of the world. SFR is one of the first to implement a femtocell network in Europe and we're seeing the technology change the economic and deployment models for networks as well as providing superior levels of service for consumers. This carrier is leading the way and soon we will see the femtocell form part of all operators' core offerings."

Richard Hanscott, Vice President Network Solutions, NEC Europe declares : "Femtocells not only have the capability to enhance voice coverage, but with the additional capacity, high speed and reliability they bring we will see them changing the role of mobile phones in our lives further. NEC is looking at new applications such as automatic synchronization with the home computer network. This will enable photos taken on your handset to be automatically uploaded or music/video you've downloaded on your home computer to be sent to your handset when returning home. The possibilities that the femtocell network can bring are endless. The technology has the potential to completely change the way we do things, using our mobiles."

Vodafone has provided Northamptonshire Police with a mobile data solution that now means up to 900 officers can spend less time at the station and more time in the community. Northamptonshire Police is providing frontline officers with BlackBerry smartphones, giving them on-the-spot access to internal computer systems and records. 

Initial trials of the solution show that officers increased time on the beat by as much as 10 per cent, with BlackBerry smartphones being used more than 20 times a day.  This equates to one hour of a ten-hour shift they would otherwise have needed to spend at the station.

The BlackBerry smartphones give officers direct access to internal police computer systems such as the Police National Computer (PNC) as well as vital information including duty sheets, policy forms and witness statements that can be used to enter information on an incident, at the scene. The internal systems have been adapted for easy access via the smartphones and built-in cameras are also being used to capture images at the scene.

Paul Hill, Mobile Data Project Officer at Northamptonshire Police, explains: “It’s not just that officers have to return to a police station to complete paperwork. When they’re there, there’s competition for resources – a desktop computer or laptop isn’t always available.”

An additional function that will allow officers to enter live intelligence that can be accessed by anyone involved at the scene of an incident, is also due to be deployed later this year.

The solution has been made possible through the Mobile Information Programme set-up by the UK National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) in an initiative to provide frontline technology to five forces in the East Midlands, including Northamptonshire.  

Hill continues: “This mobile technology implementation gives us valuable insights into the potential policing of the future.  Along with Vodafone’s vast experience in delivering mobile data services to the police, we now have a solution that is not only invaluable for policing today, but also ensures we can move forward with a detailed understanding of the role of technology in modern policing.”

Newly released forecasts by technology and media specialist Coda Research Consultancy are said to show that mobile phone users in Italy accessing video content via their devices will climb to 5.1m in 2015, and that revenues will reach US$685m.

Coda's report into the Italian TV market shows that users accessing TV content via DVB-H alone will double from its present 1.2m users to 2.5m in 2015.

In particular, the 2010 World Cup will act as a stimulus for accessing mobile TV services, as it did in 2006, and Coda estimates that regular usage will climb to 1.6m at the end of 2010.

However, Steve Smith, the report's author, commented that mobile TV take-up in Italy, although respectable when compared to the rest of Europe, has failed to meet expectations.

"In part this is due to how Europeans fit their mobile phones into their everyday lives," he explains. "People tend to use their phones for video, games, texting, social networking and so on when they are between spaces and events, such as when commuting or meeting friends. In Japan and South Korea, where mobile TV penetration is significantly higher, people spend a lot more time commuting on public transport and so have more time available. The streaming or broadcast of live TV simply doesn't fit the European consumer. This is one example of how operators and broadcasters aren't providing the kinds of video content and services mobile users actually want."

Where Coda does see the opportunity for significant growth is in users downloading video onto their phones either via 3G or from their laptops and PCs, with that caveat that content and rights owners allow them to do so. "Our research with iPhone users shows that downloading content allows people much greater control over their viewing experiences and the kinds of content they view. But content owners and service providers must provide more opportunities for users to do this," Steve explained.

The report Mobile TV and Video in Italy: An Assessment forms part of Coda Research Consultancy's ‘Mobilities' project.

Bournemouth top but the rest of the UK is still straggling, says Viatel

A new survey by comparison website Top 10 Broadband has placed Bournemouth at number one in its list of the fastest broadband towns and cities in the UK. The seaside town in Dorset, reknowned as one of the UK's top retirement locations, was reported to have an average download speed of 8.06Mbps - almost double Ofcom's July 2009 national UK average of 4.1Mbps.

Steve Powell, product manager for connectivity services at Viatel, stated: "While it is great to see some positive news about broadband speeds, there is still some way to go before the rest of the UK has such fast connections. The high speeds recorded in Bournemouth only serve to highlight the disparity in broadband performance currently exhibited in the UK, the lowest of which still come in well under the Government's 2Mbps goal."

Unfortunately as we begin to transition to Next Generation Access (NGA) technologies the UK looks set to continue in the slow lane. Powell continued:

"The UK is currently ranked outside of the European Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) Council's top ten fibre nations and looks set to stay there. This is due in part to efforts being made to wring the last drop of performance from first generation access technologies - DSL services. While these traditional solutions can currently deliver relatively fast connection speeds to users close to the serving exchange, FTTP (Fibre to the premises) can help the rest of us that are not so fortunate. Plus, with more and more applications being run over the internet, it is vitally important we begin to step up the move to these new services as legacy networks won't cope with these increases. FTTP can also provide significant economic and social benefits, and with the UK still waiting to exit the recession, superfast broadband could provide local enterprise with the means to succeed in challenging times."

Mobile operator 3 has launched the first mobile TV subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, giving subscribers on-demand access to entire episodes of hit TV shows.

The SVOD service, called ‘TV on Demand', is fully managed and enabled by Mobix Interactive, now part of On Demand Group, a three-screen enabler for premier content and operations brands.  3's TV on Demand fulfills the industry's anytime, anywhere personal TV vision to provide programs to any handset with complete on-demand control. 

TV on Demand is said to establishe a major competitive differentiation among mobile television services.  Leveraging Mobix's Adrenalin technology and numerous partner studios and programmer relationships, TV on Demand presents a mobile viewing experience that correlates to television and broadband PC viewing.  It offers a variety of top-rated television shows (comedy, drama, etc.), enabling subscribers to extend their enjoyment of complete programs while they're on the go, away from their TV and broadband connections.  Adrenalin now ensures subscribers on any 3 handset can enjoy the new personalised functionality, including play, pause and resume of all programs at anytime.

Subscribers will pay either £5 per month or £1.49 per day for unlimited access to all shows in the service. Full content details of the service will be launched shortly.

Charlotte Blanchard, Director of Products and Services at 3 UK, said, "This platform gives us the ability to offer true on-demand TV, bringing one of the most popular types of internet service to our mobile customers.  The TV on Demand service will allow our customers to watch their favourite programmes when and where they want to."

Damian Mulcock, CEO of Mobix Interactive, said, "The introduction of subscription video-on-demand with full length programming to the mobile environment heralds a new era in the growth of mobile video. Our experience shows that penetration and viewing rates are enhanced by subscription on demand services, and Adrenalin's capability to deliver this new experience fits with the convergence strategies of our customers and consumers' increasing desire for multi-screen access and on-demand viewing."

Mobix Interactive is now located in On Demand Group's recently launched London headquarters that provides 3 UK and other customers with access to an integrated suite of services and technologies, including the Adrenalin video delivery platform and the VZ content management platform, to develop and manage on-demand services to any consumer platform.  The organization today supplies telco, cable and mobile operators with movies, programmes and promotions in English, German, Greek, Turkish and Arabic.

There are now 302 HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) mobile broadband networks in commercial service, according to new research by the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA). It means that the number of HSPA networks in service has tripled in less than three years, making it the fastest adoption of any mobile broadband system, says GSA.

HSPA is now commercially available in 128 countries and territories, and emerging growth markets featured highly in recent HSPA service launches, particularly in Africa and parts of Asia.

Alan Hadden, President of GSA, stated: "The milestone of 300 commercial HSPA networks is hugely significant, and was achieved in only 4 years. The HSPA eco-system is very robust with more than 1750 user devices launched in the market by 190 suppliers. Network operators across the world are reporting significant traffic and revenue growth with HSPA-enabled data and Internet services, and are confidently investing to further enhance performance and capacity."

HSPA is the first evolution of WCDMA systems. According to GSA there are 314 commercial WCDMA systems in 131 countries, which means that over 96% of WCDMA operators have launched HSPA on their networks.

With the number of HSPA subscribers worldwide closing in on 200 million by year end, operators are investing in enhanced network capacity, efficiencies, and system capabilities including higher data speeds for mobile broadband services. Sixty-two operators have committed to HSPA Evolution (HSPA+), including 36 HSPA networks now commercially launched in
23 countries. Thirty-three HSPA+ networks support a peak downlink speed of
21 Mbps, and 3 networks have deployed MIMO and support 28 Mbps.

In July 2009, GSA revealed that more than 50% of commercial HSPA networks support a peak downlink data speed of 7.2 Mbps or higher, with almost 600 hundred compatible user devices in the market. GSA recently released the results of its unique survey of industry opinion on the expectation for the next baseline for mobile broadband. The survey results showed that most people believe that the next baseline for mobile broadband peak downlink data speed will be 21 Mbps HSPA+, and that this new baseline would be achieved during 2010.

Industry support for the next evolutionary step - LTE - is also firmly established as the key global trend, with 45 LTE network commitments secured, with several more expected to be announced soon following trials activities in all regions, and actions to secure appropriate spectrum to support LTE introduction. GSA says it expects 16 LTE networks will be in commercial service within the next year.

South Yorkshire is today said to have become one of the leading European regions for broadband deployment as Thales and Digital Region announced the "Go-live" of the superfast "Digital Region" broadband network. 

The multi-million pound project is said to have the potential to create thousands of new jobs and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who wish to sign up to use the Digital Region network can now do so, and the first residents and businesses could be using the service by early 2010.

The network is being delivered through the Digital Region programme, a public/private partnership between South Yorkshire's local councils (Yorkshire, Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster), the European Regional Development Fund and Thales UK, a leading international electronics and systems group.  Thales UK's technology partners in the consortium include Alcatel-Lucent and KCOM.

Around 97% of businesses and homes in the region will be able to connect to Thales's network, boasting guaranteed speeds of 25Mbps and above.  When the network is fully-complete, it will reach 1.2m people in 500,000 homes and 40,000 businesses, boosting the social and economic regeneration South Yorkshire.  With the core of the network ‘going live', South Yorkshire is said to be on track to become a flagship region for broadband services in Europe.

The open-access broadband platform, sold by Thales on a wholesale basis, will allow internet service providers (IPSs) and telecoms operators across the region to deliver some of the highest broadband speeds currently available in the UK, and much of Europe.  The network has been designed to foster applications that improve social cohesion, improve public services and help create high-value jobs in the region.  Home users will benefit from a raft of new content-rich services including HDTV, voice over internet protocol (VoIP), whilst businesses will be able to access affordable high bandwidth to support a wider range of online business tools, such as flexible working, video-conferencing and cloud computing services as well as more efficient day-to-day services.  

The public sector will be able to offer a greater variety of online services to residents of South Yorkshire, including healthcare applications and online interactive services with Local Authorities, whilst schools will benefit from near-instant download/upload times. 

The carrier-class network runs on VDSL2 carried over fibre-to-the-cabinet, with quality of service controls to support real-time applications, business services and broadband services.  The network has been designed to reduce barriers to entry for third-party ISPs wishing to resell network services through a single interconnect, in order to access 500,000 premises and an industry-standard B2B O&M interface.  ISPs offering the service will be able to provide users with world-class broadband services, thereby reducing customer churn.  In addition, Thales's competitively priced wholesale model provides equal opportunities for all ISPs, creating a healthy broadband market for local, national and international ISPs. South Yorkshire offers the ideal digital environment for application and content providers to develop, trial and rollout new and innovative products and services.

Thales UK CEO Alex Dorrian says: "The "Go-live" of our core network marks a step-change for businesses, local authorities and homes alike, throughout the whole of South Yorkshire.  It is no overstatement to say that the entire community stands to benefit from this super-fast broadband network, which catapults South Yorkshire to the forefront of European broadband deployments.  By bringing fibre to the curb, we are also confident that the region is well placed to face future developments in the evolution of broadband and will continue to lead the way in the UK and beyond."

David Holt, Chief Executive Officer, Digital Region, says: "The launch of the Network Operation Centre is a very significant milestone in delivering ‘Superfast Broadband' across South Yorkshire. This is a truly groundbreaking project that will provide a major boost to South Yorkshire's economy, encouraging inward investment and providing a wealth of opportunities for businesses, local residents and public sector organisations."

Andrew Solutions, a global specialist in wireless communication systems and products, has launched a new microwave antenna solution said to offer high performance in a smaller antenna size.

The Andrew ValuLine Vision one-meter microwave backhaul antenna, with its 'robust' electrical design, enables radiation pattern performance and gain levels that are similar to a 1.2 meter antenna and compliant to the highest regulatory standards. According to Andrew, this means that: substantial CapEx and OpEx reductions should materialize; many 1.2m antenna links can now be closed with the new 1m antenna, and; high gain is achievable with a smaller size antenna. 

The antenna's smaller size and improved physical design translate into the following: Lower freight and storage costs; less tower loading; lower tower leasing costs; easier installation; lower price.
"Overwhelmingly positive enthusiasm-that's the reaction from the largest microwave antenna customers with whom we have discussed this new one-meter antenna," said Andrew's John Cole, director of product line management, Microwave Products. "One of the selling points of microwave backhaul is cost-effectiveness, and offering high gain and superior performance in a smaller antenna size is definitely cost-effective."

The Andrew ValuLine Vision one-meter antenna's mount design gives unencumbered access to the rear of the antenna, making radio equipment and waveguide cable installation easier. The mount allows for gradual adjustments, simplifying antenna alignment even under adverse conditions. Andrew's design include a lower volume shipping package that also helps reduce freight and storage costs.

The antenna is made to withstand winds up to 250 kilometers per hour and boasts radiation pattern performance that exceeds ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) Class 3 performance.

The ValuLine Vision one-meter antenna will be available from the company's four microwave manufacturing facilities worldwide. Single and dual polarized models are available. The new antenna will support customer radios and couplers, as required.

A new report from Juniper Research is said to have found that the market for mobile augmented reality (AR) services is expected to reach $732 million by 2014, with revenues derived from a combination of paid-for app downloads, subscription based services and advertising.

The Mobile Augmented Reality report found that annual revenues from AR are unlikely to exceed even $2 million during 2010, due to the fact that only a small minority of smartphones will be AR-enabled.  However, this proportion will rise dramatically in the medium term, the result of increasing adoption of Android handsets and iPhones, along with greater deployment of AR enablers such as digital compasses and accelerometers by other leading vendors.

Although initial service adoption will be driven by AR location-based search, Juniper Research says it expects the first substantial revenues to be derived from AR-enabled games, bolstered by revenues from mobile enterprise solutions from 2012-3 onwards. Meanwhile, AR advertising is expected to be increasingly attractive to brands and retailers as the potential user base increases, with AR ad networks able to charge higher CPC and CPM rates because of location relevance.

However, the report cautioned that while AR geotagging presents a wealth of opportunities, providers and enablers must carefully consider the potential legal implications of enabling such services. According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, "The problem is that the embryonic nature of the technology means that we have no legal or regulatory framework in place which specifically covers augmented reality. For example, can a house-owner legitimately demand that a geotag of his or her property be removed? Would that third party require prior permission before creating a tag?"

Other findings include:

  • Incremental revenues from subscriptions, upsold content and licences will together comprise the largest AR revenue stream by 2014, overhauling point of sale revenues
  • 350 million handsets expected to be AR enabled by 2014