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China's ZTE, a provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions, has signed a network equipment Global Framework Agreement (GFA) with Vodafone spanning ZTE's complete telecoms infrastructure equipment portfolio. The GFA represents a contract framework that can be used if Vodafone decides to contract ZTE for network equipment in the future.

The agreement builds on agreements previously signed by the two companies making ZTE a Vodafone Qualified Global Supplier in April 2006, and a terminal GFA announced in February 2007.

"As a major global telecoms equipment supplier, ZTE is an important potential network equipment supplier to Vodafone worldwide," said Detlef Schultz, Vodafone Global Supply Chain Management Director. "This GFA ensures that when Vodafone companies want to work with ZTE, the structure is in place to enable that to happen quickly and efficiently for both parties."

"This GFA gives Vodafone companies access to ZTE's comprehensive range of network equipment that covers every possible equipment need for every global mobile communications standard," said Mr Lin Cheng, President of ZTE West Europe. "We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Vodafone as a strategic global partner in the telecoms infrastructure equipment area."

The terminal GFA signed by Vodafone and ZTE in 2007 led to the launch of Vodafone's first ZTE-made ultra low cost handset (ULCH) GSM handset in May 2007. ZTE has now shipped over eight million units of Vodafone branded GSM handsets to over 30 Vodafone operating companies and partner networks worldwide.

Speaking at the 2008 Mobile Internet Conference in Berlin, Professor Barry Smyth, Chief Scientist & Co-Founder of leading mobile personalization company ChangingWorlds, highlighted the necessity of intelligent off portal personalization to ensure the success of the Mobile Internet.

According to Prof. Smyth, "As in the case of 'on-portal' browsing, the promise of open internet browsing on the mobile device, with restricted user interface and limited screen size, also presents significant content discovery and usability challenges for end-users. Off Portal Personalization, that takes account of a users' context, behaviour and content interests, is essential to enhance usability of the Mobile Internet and to ensure the uptake of Mobile Internet data services." 

Throughout his presentation Prof. Smyth concentrated on the challenge of mobile content discovery on the Mobile Internet and the importance of using a highly advanced personalization and mobile subscriber intelligence solution to drive Mobile Internet usage and revenues. Drawing on ChangingWorlds' expertise in this area, Prof. Smyth described how in-depth subscriber intelligence and real, granular personalization is essential in order to deliver Mobile Internet content that is relevant and that closely corresponds with an individual's context and interests.

Prof. Smyth emphasized that off portal personalization enables mobile operators to intelligently personalize the 'invisible' 90% of off-portal content, including content catalogues, content partner sites, networked content applications and freely available Mobile Internet content.

SwissQual, an independent Swiss network quality measurement company, has announced that it's Diversity Network Optimisation and Benchmarking system now supports WiMAX technology. The Diversity platform offers the monitoring and analysis of data, video and voice, including VoIP, services using proven SwissQual voice and video quality algorithms.

Diversity is designed to help service providers identify interference issues and cell site configuration problems enabling a rapid deployment and smooth on going maintenance of the network. More importantly, it can also show a direct comparison of the quality delivered by a new WiMAX network versus that available from existing networks running other technologies.

Said Pero Juric, SwissQual VP of Product Management: "With SwissQual's Diversity platform, WiMAX service providers will not only be able to efficiently roll out a new network, but will also be able to directly see how the service delivered by their WiMAX network compares with the service from existing networks using alternative technologies such as 3G. Diversity can show how the "human centric" quality measures such as service coverage, service drop rates, clarity, download speed and latency vary for different networks based on a wide range of technologies. These measurements are informed by our original research into human perceptions of quality and allow service providers to achieve the optimum balance between network cost and service quality."

SwissQual Diversity is a quality measurement platform that provides simultaneous, end-to-end testing for voice, data and video. It is a highly scalable drive test solution offering network benchmarking, optimization and service monitoring. SwissQual Diversity is already in use with more than 70 customers in 50 countries.

The Diversity test platform provides the ability to test WiMAX data cards, network elements and services from the early stages of development through final operation. This allows design, optimization and quality assurance engineers faster and more cost efficient work. The test types supported include FTP, UDP, HTTP, Video streaming, Email, VoIP call and many others.

Ericsson has today unveiled its M700 mobile platform, said to be the world's first commercially available LTE-capable platform, with peak data rates of up to 100Mbps in the downlink and up to 50Mbps in the uplink. According to Ericsson, these speeds match, or in some cases surpass, fixed-line data rates, enabling a superior user experience, supporting advanced real-time mobile services such as online games and video streaming.

The M700 is optimized both in terms of size and power consumption and comparable to standard 3G platforms available today. The first products based on M700 will be data devices such as laptop modems, ExpressCards and USB modems for notebooks, as well as other small-form modems suitable for consumer electronic devices. A rich set of interfaces allows easy integration with other handset platforms to create multi-mode devices. Samples of ASICs will be available during 2008 and commercial release is set for 2009, with products based on the platform expected in 2010.

Supporting bandwidths between 1.4 and 20MHz, the M700 is compatible with networks around the world. It can support up to six bands, including the 700 MHz bands. Ericsson's interoperability testing ensures manufacturers can rapidly bring highly advanced devices to the market while reducing risk and lowering development costs.

Robert Puskaric, Head of Ericsson Mobile Platforms, says: "This world-first launch marks a milestone in Ericsson's technology leadership and reflects our commitment to developing LTE as an evolutionary path. It is set to boost operators' service offering and provide consumers with a superior experience with full service broadband on any device, anywhere, at any time."

Starent Networks, a provider of infrastructure solutions that enable mobile operators to deliver multimedia services, has announced Vodafone Germany is deploying Starent's intelligent multimedia core solutions to deliver services over its broadband network.

Starent Networks is delivering these solutions to Vodafone Germany as a part of a global agreement with Vodafone Group to serve as a preferred vendor of multimedia core solutions.

Last year Vodafone Group launched its 3G broadband service based on High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) with downlink peak rates of up to 7.2Mbps in selected markets, including Germany. The deployment of these networks further improves the customer experience when using multimedia services and the mobile Internet.  To enhance the customers' mobile experience, these broadband, next generation networks can benefit from greater intelligence that allows the operator to better understand and shape network traffic.
Starent Networks' products are said to address the requirements of these networks by combining subscriber and network intelligence with high performance in the core to deliver robust voice, data and multimedia services.

"Vodafone is committed to delivering cutting edge services such as video downloads and high-speed mobile Internet to our subscribers alongside voice and SMS.  We want to make their interaction with our network seamless to deliver a strong multimedia experience," said Hartmut Kremling, CTO for Vodafone Germany. "Starent Networks' solutions are an ideal fit with our requirements for network intelligence, high-performance and support of both 2.5G and 3G technologies."

Starent Networks will be providing Vodafone Germany with the intelligent Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) and Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) for their Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) network.  The GGSN and SGSN functions are being deployed on Starent Networks' ST40 multimedia core platform with the capability to integrate both functions in a single platform.
The SGSN will also provide both 2.5G and 3G network access in the same platform.  This ability allows Vodafone to support its 2.5G packet network requirements along with their 3G network deployment.  This simplifies the network topology while handling subscriber roaming between the 2.5G and 3G networks.  Starent Networks' solution is able to handle both the 2.5G and 3G transactions within a single process, which will enable node and network performance to be optimized.  Furthermore, utilizing the ST40 platform's built in routing engines, Starent Networks' SGSN enhances the handling of 3G traffic by providing both traditional 3G architecture and direct tunnel in a single solution.

"Vodafone is an industry pioneer in delivering broadband multimedia services to the great benefit of their customers," said Ashraf Dahod, CEO of Starent Networks.  "Being selected by such a prestigious operator is very rewarding and will enhance our offerings as we partner with Vodafone Germany to deliver a superior multimedia experience to their customers." 

Subex, a  global provider of Operations Support Systems (OSS) for communications service providers, has today announced the availability of Moneta 2.6, a new edition of the revenue assurance solution for IP-centric networks, cable, wireless and wireline operators.

"Content-based services are critical to boosting bottom-line revenue and gaining a competitive advantage within extremely tight market conditions," said Mark Nicholson, Subex's CTO. "This new version of Moneta addresses the growing need to monitor and monetize content-based services, and it includes several additional features that greatly improve the usability and value of automated Revenue Assurance technology."
Other new features of Moneta 2.6 include:
  a.. Enhanced capabilities to analyse data from IP-based systems for data, voice and value added services. Moneta can process and analyse any data from systems compliant with IPDR v3.5.1 specification, helping operators to quickly integrate the system with content and IP based systems.
  b.. Advanced trending capabilities with historic and multiple analysis capabilities that captures unique network and service usage activity for quick detection of Revenue Assurance issues.
  c.. As operators add new services and products, there is an increasing challenge of dealing with new Revenue Assurance issues. Moneta V2.6 provides powerful multi-dimensional analysis capabilities to support dynamic Revenue Assurance environments.
  d.. Moneta now provides solution templates specific to each type of business that ensures quick deployment and ROI.
  e.. Moneta now provides enhanced data integrity checks, enhanced manageability and increased automation to manage more complex Revenue Assurance environments. 

A component of the Subex suite of Revenue Maximization solutions, Moneta is the leading choice for telecom operators looking to improve the health and vitality of the entire revenue chain. It helps tackle critical Revenue Assurance challenges across the enterprise and provides unprecedented automated correction capabilities to improve bottom-line results and provide a quick return-on-investment.
Moneta includes pre-configured solution templates that address Revenue Assurance issues across areas such as service fulfillment, usage integrity, retail billing, interconnect/wholesale billing and content settlement.

Celltick Technologies, a specialist in active mobile marketing solutions, has today announced it has won a contract worth over $5.7m with MTS Ukraine. The agreement will bring interactive cell broadcasting to MTS's subscriber base of 19.8m and enable it to drive take up of value added services such as information and entertainment services.
"This is a very exciting opportunity for Celltick," comments Stephen Dunford, CEO Celltick. "This gives us entry into one of the largest operators in the world and is the first venture of many that we hope to generate through our strategic partnerships in this rapidly developing and high growth region."
Celltick will be working on the deployment in conjunction with SITRONICS Telecom Solutions, a leading provider of telecommunications IT and microelectronic solutions in Russia and the CIS.
MTS is the largest operator of cellular communication in Russia and CIS countries. It is the leading operator in Ukraine with over 4,500 base stations but its licence portfolio also includes the majority of regions of Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Combined with the population living within an operative range of its network, MTS has a potential customer base of 230 million people making it one of the largest operators in the world. MTS will be using Celltick's premium LiveScreen Media products in order to help drive take up of value added services and promote mobile advertising opportunities.
Celltick's LiveScreen Media platform broadcasts targeted marketing messages across the idle screen of mobile phones, turning the handsets into a series of personal interactive billboards.

Telenity, a leading provider of next generation converged services platforms and applications for communications networks, announced today that its Canvas SMSC, Short Message Service Center, has been selected by its channel partner for deployment in a leading mobile operator in Latin America. Canvas SMSC was successfully deployed in the customer's wireless network in a short time frame compared to typical industry deployments.

The deployment of Telenity's next generation SMS solution will enable the Latin American mobile operator to meet its subscribers' demands for person-to-person and application-to-person messaging services more efficiently. With Canvas SMSC, the mobile operator will be able to offer innovative SMS services that increase data ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) at significantly lower costs.

"We have won this new account, by showing a deep understanding of our customer's technical and business requirements and the increasing needs of its subscriber base," said Dilip Singh, CEO at Telenity. "With our solution, our customer will be able to move towards a converged messaging environment while reducing churn and controlling costs with a more scalable and reliable system than what they had deployed before."

"This short message service center win is a strategic achievement for Telenity expanding our footprint in the next generation messaging market," said Nitin Patel, VP Strategic Marketing at Telenity. " We see more and more operators of all sizes approaching us for their messaging needs - a scalable and reliable messaging solution ready for next generation IP networks."

"The success of SMS service is due to its very fast means of peer-to-peer communication and addition of new subscribers," said David Kerr, Vice President at Strategy Analytics. "The ongoing growth of SMS requires wireless operators to replace their legacy messaging network infrastructure and build out and upgrade to a more modular network environment".


Intec, a specialist in business and operations support systems (BSS/OSS), today announced it has completed the initial phase in the implementation of its Intec Convergent Billing technology with Polkomtel, one of Poland's major mobile operators. The implementation of Intec's convergent architecture is said to be a new innovation in the Polish market that will allow Polkomtel to launch new value added and bundle services and to implement marketing campaigns such as special rates for family and friends.The billing implementation project started last year as part of a long-term and extensive partnership agreement.

"Intec has worked with Polkomtel for the past several months to deliver the biggest convergent billing site in Poland through the installation of the Intec Convergent Billing platform," said Konrad Kobylecki - Management Board Member and Operations Director from Polkomtel.  "With Intec's market leading billing and customer management system, Polkomtel will be able to improve offer flexibility and time-to-market due to having all its billing functions on one platform, across pre-paid, post-paid and all other types of customer and product services. We are delighted to be working closely with Intec as we continue our expansion into the Polish market. Intec Convergent Billing will play a crucial role in supporting our billing operations as well as providing us with the flexibility and scalability to launch our highly advanced new services."

Polkomtel S.A. is one of three major mobile operators in Poland, a country with one of the biggest wireless markets in Central and Eastern Europe. The operator has established a reputation as an innovator its field, delivering advanced GSM-technology-based services to its customers ahead of all its competitors. Since the beginning of its operations Polkomtel has been the pioneer in implementing state-of-the-art technological and data communication solutions on the Polish market. The network's customers were the first in Poland to use HSCSD high speed data transmission as well as GPRS and EDGE packet data transmission and also the first to use the full range of services relying on advanced mobile technologies, UMTS included. Plus, one of the brand names Polkomtel operates under, offers the most extensive 3G coverage in Poland. The company currently has over 13 million customers across the country.

Gary Bunney, Intec's Chief Operating Officer, said:  "We are delighted to be working with an operator that has such an enviable record innovating in its market and capturing market share. Moving to convergent billing is now the critical focus as this will enable Polkomtel to launch new market leading product bundles, win new customers and further grow its market share. The selection of the new billing system and supplier partner was therefore of paramount importance and followed an extensive evaluation of  the major vendors in the market"  He adds:  " Polkomtel chose Intec billing because of its ability, proven in every continent across the globe, to power convergent services and support innovative and dynamic tariffs structures irrespective of payment regimes. To support Polkomtel we have established a dedicated team, including local Polish staff, and this will expand to form the core of our  central Europe competency centre providing billing expertise to our customers in Poland and across the wider Central and Eastern European Region". 

Orange has announced the launch of a new advertisement-supported content trial on its mobile internet platform, Orange World. The move will see 800,000 of Orange's 15.6 million mobile customers given the option to download a variety of music content, from four different genres (Urban, Pop, Rock, Dance) to their mobile handsets for free, or a discounted rate, which is said to make it the largest trial of its kind in the UK.

Ad-funded content is said to offer new ways of reaching audiences and the potential to generate new business models within the industry. Beginning this week, the trial will last three months and will allow brands to have their advertising banners promoted prominently during the content purchase process as customers download music, offering them a unique opportunity to interact with a captive audience on their mobile phone.
Mobile advertising company ScreenTonic will be managing and delivering the ads for the trial, and is said to have already signed up a number of advertisers to the trial including Paramount Pictures and Ford. Orange customers taking part in the trial will be able to download music either for free, for half or full price. Orange will make over 500 music tracks available on the service.
Gavin Forth, head of entertainment, Orange UK said: "We believe this ad-funded content model will drive adoption and usage of services, and deliver better value content to our customers. The mobile is an incredibly personal device, and our ad-funded content offerings give advertisers a great opportunity to reach a new audience".

Theo Theodorou, head of sales at ScreenTonic said: "The ad funded content trial will provide a route into the mobile experience for brands that have previously had little familiarity of the medium. It is an exciting reason for brands to get involved with mobile, as the media develops increasingly innovative solutions to allow advertisers to reach audiences"

ZYB, the company responsible for the ZYB Phonebook for mobiles, has announced that T-Mobile Netherlands is using a bespoke version of ZYB's proprietary Phone Migration Tool to support Orange customers in their migration to its existing network. This follows T-Mobile's acquisition of Orange in 2007.
The Phone Migration Tool - which went live this week - is available online and takes Orange Netherlands users through a step-by-step process to transfer contacts and calendar events from Orange to T-Mobile phones. The process works over the air, doesn't require the use of any cables and downloads, is globally accessible from any PC or Mac and is available free of charge.
Tommy Ahlers, CEO at ZYB, said: "Today's launch marks an important milestone. The transfer of data from one mobile to another is a technically complex process and to date has required the use of cables, CD's, and complicated manual instructions. It's no surprise that this has resulted in a poor consumer experience, deterring many users from even attempting it. The ZYB Phone Migration Tool is set to change the way people use their phone, providing a seamless, simple and user-friendly means of transferring data from one mobile to another, even across different phone brands.  We are proud to have been a part of such a critical project with a recognised market leader like T-Mobile."
Tessel Jarigsma, Executive Vice President Product Management T-Mobile Netherlands BV, said, "ZYB shares our belief in maintaining the highest standards of user experience and customer service.  The tool provided by ZYB helps us to make migration for our customers simple and easy and this is exactly what T-Mobile stands for. As a business partner, ZYB has proved to be an innovative partner and we have appreciated the flexibility they have shown consistently during the roll out process." 

Subex, a provider of Operations Support Systems (OSS) for communications service providers, has today announced that a leading mobile communications provider in Poland is implementing its Nikira Fraud Management system.

The service provider, with a user base of over 11 million GSM, 3G and mobile IP access customers, was looking to replace its existing Fraud Management system in order to support its fast-growing customer base and meet the requirements of emerging next-generation IP and content services.

Following a competitive tender, the contract was awarded to Subex along with its system integrator partner, Alcatel-Lucent.  A key differentiator was the ability to implement a proof of concept within a short deadline. The new Fraud Management deployment will help the service provider to automatically deliver content based services over one IP infrastructure, ensuring maximised revenues at minimised cost.

Sudeesh Yezhuvath, COO, Subex said, "Detecting and preventing fraud is a very important issue for telecoms operators, particularly those in fast-growing deregulated markets.  This implementation is a great endorsement of the Nikira product and our partnership with Alcatel-Lucent."

Nikira uses flexible rules-based alarms and artificial-intelligence driven advanced analytics to identify likely fraudulent behavior, helping operators to detect known fraud types and patterns of unusual behavior in all telecoms environments - wireline, wireless and across all services.

Telecommunication experts will gather at Jacob Fleming's conference in Rome to meet and discuss how they can put quality management at the core of development strategies.

Jacob Fleming Conferences is providing a unique platform of discussion with the leading telecommunication companies. With the contribution of Orange, Telefonica O2, Vodafone, Motorola, senior executives will come together to exchange experiences on quality management on 14th & 15th May in Hotel Radisson SAS, Rome.

The 3rd Annual Telecoms Quality and BP Excellence

Past, satisfied clients return to this event because they know what to expect: a high standard of organization, focused topics in an interactive platform and a vivid exchange of experiences among key decision makers. All this in a 5-star environment with a uniquely high level of speakers: VPs, Heads and Directors of Quality and BPM at the forefront of their fields will give insight into the current and future standards.

Building on the success of two previous events, this year the focus of the event is not only finding the best strategies in business process management but to establish the culture of quality within the whole organization and implementing the most effective tools and methods through Six Sigma. The interactive setting, the several networking and benchmarking opportunities provide different perspectives by looking at other companies' models.

Iskratel, in consortium with Telsima Corporation, a specialist in WiMAX systems, has announced that Telekom Slovenia has chosen Iskratel's SI3000 Wimax solution which has integrated Telsima WiMAX technologies, as the infrastructure solution for its nationwide WiMAX network.

Telekom Slovenia is the country's leading national and international telecommunications provider of fixed and mobile services for residential, enterprise and service provider customers. Slovenia's broadband access market leader provides digital telephony, Internet access and video services to its Slovenia OnLine (SiOL) customers. Telekom Slovenia is expanding its broadband offering by adding a nationwide WiMAX network using its 42 MHz license in the 3.5 GHz band. Network integration services will be provided by Iskratel.

Matjaž Pogacnik, Head of Network planning in Telekom Slovenia, comments, "We are pleased to partner with Telsima and Iskratel to create our WiMAX network throughout Slovenia. In order to maintain our market leadership we eagerly embrace the worldwide WiMAX standard and the end-to-end solutions enable by Telsima and Iskratel technologies. Having a commercially proven WiMAX system that encompasses RF planning, deployment services, customer provisioning, network management, base station and subscriber station solutions enables Telekom Slovenia to confidently deploy this wireless broadband service. Of ultimate importance to Telekom Slovenia is Iskratel - Telsima's ability to provide WiMAX networks able to optimize Quality of Service delivery of telephony, Internet and support a competitive business model."

Telsima's WiMAX certified mobile product portfolio si said to allow operators to offer mobile services, MIMO antenna diversity and ASN network control today while smoothly migrating to 802.16e-2005 and NWG ASN solutions once commercially available. Iskratel is a supplier in Eastern Europe & Russia, Iskratel integrates Telsima's WiMAX technology into its SI3000 Multi Service Access Plane (MSAP) product family in these markets and is Telsima's OEM and system integration partner.


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