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Ericsson has been selected to provide Telefónica O2 Germany with an IMS core system with an IMS-based VoIP application server. The two contracts include hardware deployment and software systems integration services.

This is said to represent a major step forward for O2 in Germany, as it migrates its existing fixed and mobile systems into a converged IP-based Next-generation network (NGN).
Ericsson will also integrate O2's VoIP application server  using IMS, making services such as IP Centrex, business trunking or presence functionality available to all fixed and mobile users.

Andrea Folgueiras CTO Telefónica O2 Germany, said: "With IMS, we can advance the conversion of our current systems into more cost-effective and higher performance multimedia networks that can make optimal use of ever-increasing bandwidths. We based our decision to have Ericsson as a partner for IMS on the good experience from our joint projects in Spain and other countries."
Carsten Ahrens, President of Ericsson Germany, added: "We are pleased to strengthen our partnership with Telefónica O2 Germany by supplying and integrating the centerpiece of their IP network transformation. IMS will drive the evolution and convergence of their telephony service and provide the foundation for delivery of their other real-time multimedia applications."
IMS is said to offer the level of intelligence required in next-generation networks to provide all users with broadband multimedia services at any location, independent of the access network they are connected to, using a wide variety of different devices. Introduction of IMS and use of a common platform can also mean reduced costs for network providers for new applications and network operations as a whole.

C3, a UK-based interactive voice and data communications provider, today announced that SeTeCa, its 3G video platform, is being used by Africa's largest horse racing and tote betting company Phumelela, to provide a new service which enables punters to use their mobile handsets to watch live horse racing and place bets 24/7.

Phumelela has now launched the service in full, following a successful three-month trial in which it was used by over 2,000 punters, with at least 200 people accessing it on a daily basis.

The SeTeCa platform, provided via C3's South African distributor Atlantic Convergence, receives broadcast feeds from TellyTrack, Phumelela's own TV channel.  These are then compressed and resized so they are suitable for mobile screen sizes. Horse racing fans can watch races on their phones, simply by video calling a specified number, and the content is streamed to their phones in real time.

While watching the live streaming content, callers can still access Phumelela's existing voice betting service then return to the "live" video commentary when they have completed the call. 

TellyTrack broadcasts all national races and has access to coverage of major race meetings overseas, including the UK. The new 3G video application means Phumelela will be able to provide "live" race coverage and betting services to their customers around the clock and are not dependant on them having access to a TV.

As well as 3G video, the SeTeCa platform can also be used to manage IVR and SMS services all from the same core infrastructure, giving companies or organisations the power to monetise multiple communications channels.  

According to C3, the potential for sports streaming is virtually limitless as it can be used to broadcast both live and pre-recorded highlights of sports such as football, cricket, rugby, boxing and golf.

John Wood, John Wood, Head of Marketing and Sales, C3, commented:  "In South Africa where the cost of video calls are the same as voice, the streaming of live sporting events such as horse racing makes clear commercial sense for companies such as Phumelela.

"Combined with IVR, 3G video streaming can enable gaming companies to run fully automated betting services 24/7 and with South Africa set to host the World Cup in 2010 I expect to see services such as this taking centre stage next year."

Graham Finbow, of Atlantic Convergence, added: "The number of 3G enabled handsets is rising rapidly in South Africa.  As a result we've been able to work with companies such as C3 to develop new and exciting communication solutions which are not only engaging for the consumer, but also deliver valuable revenue streams.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has officially recognized the InterLab Bluetooth RF Test Solution from 7 layers as an RF tester for Bluetooth Low Energy.

The "InterLab Bluetooth RF Test Solution" is the only RF tester providing test coverage for all 10 test cases, defined by the Bluetooth Low Energy RF PHY Test Specification, according to the Recognized Test Equipment listing on the official website of the Bluetooth SIG.

The Test System Recognition Process has been introduced to enable test system manufacturers like 7 layers to provide Bluetooth SIG members with testing capabilities before the official adoption of a Bluetooth specification. In case of the "InterLab Bluetooth RF Test Solution", the recognition process was completed for the pre-adopted Bluetooth Low Energy RF PHY Test Specification (version 0.9).

"As a result of the Recognition Process, the technology features added by a new specification and the corresponding test capabilities will reach a much higher level of maturity by the time this new specification is officially adopted." says Tom Wellner, product manager of the InterLab Bluetooth RF Test Solution. "With the recognition of this new test case package, 7 layers' commitment to always provide the latest Bluetooth RF test capabilities has once again been confirmed. A valuable step for the further evolution of the Bluetooth technology."

The Recognition Process is not to be confused with the validation process for test systems used during the Bluetooth Qualification process. Official validation will be aspired once the Bluetooth Low Energy specification is adopted.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has officially recognized the "InterLab Bluetooth RF Test Solution" from 7 layers as an RF tester for Bluetooth Low Energy.

The "InterLab Bluetooth RF Test Solution" is the only RF tester providing test coverage for all 10 test cases, defined by the Bluetooth Low Energy RF PHY Test Specification, according to the Recognized Test Equipment listing on the official website of the Bluetooth SIG.

The Test System Recognition Process has been introduced to enable test system manufacturers like 7 layers to provide Bluetooth SIG members with testing capabilities before the official adoption of a Bluetooth specification. In case of the "InterLab Bluetooth RF Test Solution", the recognition process was completed for the pre-adopted Bluetooth Low Energy RF PHY Test Specification (version 0.9).

"As a result of the Recognition Process, the technology features added by a new specification and the corresponding test capabilities will reach a much higher level of maturity by the time this new specification is officially adopted." says Tom Wellner, product manager of the InterLab Bluetooth RF Test Solution. "With the recognition of this new test case package, 7 layers' commitment to always provide the latest Bluetooth RF test capabilities has once again been confirmed. A valuable step for the further evolution of the Bluetooth technology."

The Recognition Process is not to be confused with the validation process for test systems used during the Bluetooth Qualification process. Official validation will be aspired once the Bluetooth Low Energy specification is adopted. Refer to the Test System Datasheet for the InterLab Test Case Package "Bluetooth Low Energy - RF" at, for a brief test system overview, test coverage and contact information.

Huawei Technologies has today launched the world's first packet-based MSTP (Multi-Service Transport Platform) evolution solution which enables operators for the first time to move seamlessly from TDM (Time-Division Multiplexing) services to fully packet-based services without the usual cost burden that is associated with such a network upgrade.

MSTP evolution, which can be easily upgraded from an existing MSTP network, will be able to meet the operators' increasing demands of high-efficiency mobile transport networks. The new solution is backward compatible and future-oriented to support enhanced 3G and LTE technologies. 

"The long-awaited packet-based MSTP evolution solution has arrived and we are thrilled that Huawei's customers will be the first to take advantage of it," said Mr. Christian Chua, President of Huawei Transport Network Product Line.  "The new and future-proofed packet-based MSTP evolution solution presents significant opportunities for operators who are currently using TDM-based mobile transport networks and are now looking to upgrade to the exciting next-generation packet services of the future."

This latest packet-based MSTP platform enables mutual conversion and seamless operation among ‘pure TDM transport', ‘hybrid TDM and packet transport' and ‘pure packet transport' networks.  The solution also supports unified end-to-end management, protects existing operator assets and investments, and substantially minimises the costs for upgrading an MSTP network.

HP and Alcatel-Lucent have announced they have signed a relationship agreement establishing both parties' intent to form a 10-year global alliance to help customers leverage the convergence of telecommunication and IT.

Once the definitive agreement has been executed, the companies will jointly market solutions and capabilities that enable end-to-end transformation for service providers and enterprises.

The companies plan to launch a global go-to-market program to transform communication networks into converged, next-generation infrastructures. As a result of this transformation, service providers will be able to efficiently deliver new, revenue-generating services. HP and Alcatel-Lucent also plan to offer services to manage the new and existing infrastructures for customers looking for flexible sourcing options.

HP and Alcatel-Lucent also plan to create a joint go-to-market initiative to provide communications solutions to mid- and large-size enterprises and public sector organizations. Alcatel-Lucent products in areas such as IP telephony, unified communications, mobility, security and contact centers will be integrated with HP IT solutions. These joint solutions are planned to be offered to enterprises through HP resellers or as managed services.

Furthermore, the alliance will create new end-to-end customer solutions that take advantage of both companies' product portfolios for the enterprise and telecom markets.

With a binding agreement, the go-to-market program will include all required investment and will be supported by dedicated business development and sales resources. Once implemented, the program could generate multi-billion euros in net revenues for HP and Alcatel-Lucent over a 10-year period.

The companies also plan for HP to transform and manage a large part of Alcatel-Lucent's IT infrastructure, taking advantage of HP technologies and experience in IT transformation. Alcatel-Lucent will be able to accelerate the evolution of its operations toward the highest standard of performance, quality, efficiency and costs. HP has been selected for its advanced data center technologies and its managed services leadership.

"We expect customers will be able to create new business opportunities and greater efficiencies from this alliance," said Mark Hurd, HP chairman and chief executive officer. "By combining our deep expertise in IT and communications, HP and Alcatel-Lucent will help customers transform their technology needs into a competitive edge."

"Today's global alliance represents a major transformational deal that will deliver great benefits to our customers. IT and telecom are coming together in an unprecedented way and I am delighted to see how we can speed up innovation in our industry," said Ben Verwaayen, Alcatel-Lucent chief executive officer. "I am also confident that HP will deliver Alcatel-Lucent best-in-class solutions in terms of performance and cost for our IT needs."

The world's service providers and enterprises are adapting to new consumer and business requirements, new competitors and changing business models. As telecom and IT converge, many businesses are beginning to modernize or outsource their infrastructures.

Through the alignment of their offerings and common solutions, HP and Alcatel-Lucent plan to create a "one-stop shop," relieving service providers of the burden and complexity of coordinating the transformation of IT and telecom infrastructures. Similarly, the companies plan to empower enterprises to effectively create and manage truly integrated communication environments.

For its next generation platform architecture, Alcatel-Lucent would take advantage of HP IT and telecom technologies as well as HP supply chain efficiencies. Alcatel-Lucent will be able to offer service providers sophisticated solutions that are based on common technologies for carrier-grade and IT applications. This approach will help service providers exploit the advantages of standards-based server, processor and operating system technologies.

As part of the agreement, HP would be entrusted with a large part of Alcatel-Lucent's IT operations. By taking advantage of HP technologies and transformation expertise, Alcatel-Lucent plans to migrate more quickly to advanced IT infrastructure and services that deliver higher performance and greater efficiency. Throughout the 10-year agreement, Alcatel-Lucent targets significant aggregate savings along with material cash-flow improvements.

Intec, a global provider of business and operations support systems (BSS/OSS), announced today that it has been selected by Benin Telecoms, Benin's incumbent telecommunications operator, to deploy Intec's InterconnecT billing and Total Service Mediation settlement solutions. The implementation will ensure best-in-class operations to deliver a superior customer experience, while preventing revenue leakage and securing increased revenue streams.

A robust, scalable wholesale billing and mediation system is essential for Benin Telecoms to launch new services to maintain its existing subscriber base as well as attracting new users in this fast-growing market, all the more important given recent deregulation and Benin Telecoms losing its former incumbent position. 

Intec's InterconnecT solution will enable Benin Telecoms to maximise revenues through intercarrier billing, previously unachievable due to its legacy, proprietary systems; reduced disputes and shortened resolution times will further facilitate improved cash flow.  Intec's Total Service Mediation, through its real-time collection and automatic processing of CDRs, will also prevent any revenue leakage while checking for potential fraudulent usage patterns. 

"Intec demonstrated superior technical leadership during the RFP process and, with their ability to implement the solution with local, French-speaking resources, made them the outstanding partner of choice," commented Patrick Benon, General Manager for Benin Telecoms.  "With Intec InterconnecT and Total Service Mediation we will benefit from cutting-edge, market-leading solutions which will deliver outstanding ROI, and ensure revenue growth."

"Undoubtedly we will be able to help Benin Telecoms identify loss-making traffic extremely quickly, and thereby have a significant impact on its bottom line," added Gary Burch, VP for Intec EMEA.  "Intec's ability to deliver superior quality of billing and mediation data has been proven in carriers worldwide, and we look forward to delivering quick and clear commercial benefits to Benin Telecoms at a critical time of its growth."

Bridgewater Systems , the mobile personalization company, today announced Bridgewater's myPolicy solution. It features the new myPolicy application for the Apple iPhone and Research in Motion's BlackBerry, and policy control components that communicate with network and IT systems to provide a real-time view of mobile usage.   

Bridgewater's myPolicy solution enables mobile operators to give subscribers control over their mobile experience including: 

o My Usage: Tracking real-time data, SMS and applications usage, as well as voice and roaming charges anytime, anywhere. 

o My Limits: Setting personalized limits, notifications, and roaming controls to manage mobile usage and prevent bill shock.

o My Offers: Receiving special offers in real time such as day passes for new applications, roaming passes for subscribers who are traveling, bandwidth top-ups, or free SMS with mobile advertising.  

The solution features:
o The new myPolicy client application for the Apple iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry and coming soon for additional smartphones.

o Software development kits that allow operators to brand, customize and extend the myPolicy application to meet operator-specific requirements. 

o The new myPolicy Broker, a module of the Bridgewater® Policy Controller that brokers requests between the myPolicy application and the Policy Controller, and retrieves the appropriate information to present to the subscriber according to their preferences. 

o The Bridgewater Policy Controller, a PCRF-compliant policy control function that applies real-time network, application and subscriber rules such as updating usage information, providing subscriber context, and enforcing limits. The Policy Controller sends requests and receives information from relevant network and IT systems.

It offers several key benefits for mobile operators: 
o Improve customer loyalty by empowering consumers and enterprises to set their own policies including mobile usage at home, in the office, and while roaming, personal limits and notifications, prioritizing applications, or assigning different usage thresholds by employee function.

o Increase Apps Store brand awareness with a convenient mobile application that offers easy access to personalized usage controls and service options that leverage subscriber assets such as preferences, location, billing, and behaviors. Operators can customize the myPolicy application with functions available on self-service web portals such as modifying plans and access to account features.

o Drive incremental revenues with personalized services such as roaming or application day passes, bandwidth boosts, and special event offers based on usage or location. Custom myPolicy solutions can be provided to enterprise IT departments to manage mobile usage. 

o Reduce customer service costs by giving subscribers the freedom to set their own policies and monitor usage in real time on their mobile devices.

Peter Mottishaw, Principal Analyst, Analysys Mason said: "There has been a rapid take up of mobile data services in the last two years, driven by the introduction of more usable smartphones, such as the iphone and more attractive mobile data tariffs. However, users remain concerned about unexpected charges and bill shock. They are looking for ways to personalize and control their mobile data usage and experience. They want to monitor their roaming usage while traveling, receive notifications when they are near their monthly bandwidth limit, know how much data an application is using, and receive timely offers. Mobile operators who can meet these requirements will be rewarded by loyal customers and increased take up of mobile data services."

David Sharpley, Senior Vice President, Bridgewater Systems added: "Bridgewater's myPolicy solution revolutionizes the relationship between mobile operators and their subscribers by empowering smartphone users to personalize and manage their mobile usage and experience. This unique and innovative approach underscores Bridgewater's policy market leadership and the compelling value we bring to mobile operators."

Femtocell based services used by 3G mobile subscribers will generate in excess of $9bn per annum by 2014, according to a new study from Juniper Research determined.

The Femtocells research found that Femtocell access points will increase to multi million unit quantities over the next two to three years. With continued growth in the developed nations in North America, the Far East and China and Western Europe, these regions together will account for 90% of service revenues by 2014.

The Femtocell industry has seen landmark developments recently in areas such as interference management, architecture and business case. Report author Howard Wilcox explained: "3G femtocells are now positioned for the mass market in developed nations. Femtocells are a winning strategy for mobile operators. Not only do they fix patchy in-building coverage, they spell the chance to reduce churn, reduce backhaul costs and acquire new revenues".

Further findings from the Juniper Research Femtocell report include:

  • Multimillion dollar revenue opportunities for vendors and mobile operators alike as early as 2010/11
  • After trials in many developed nations, the next stage for mobile operators is to transition to commercial service with convincing, branded consumer service propositions

Huawei Technologies, specialist in providing next-generation telecommunications network solutions for operators around the world, today unveiled the iManager U2000, the world's first All-IP unified network management system (NMS), at CommunicAsia in Singapore.  The new system implements unified management of equipment in the IP, transport and access domains and meets market demand in the end-to-end operation and maintenance (O&M) of All-IP convergence networks while bringing the industry into a new era of visualised O&M for IP networks.

With advanced distributed software architecture and a carrier-class hardware platform, the iManager U2000 offers end-to-end visualised management with one-button configurations, enhanced O&M efficiency, reduced resource and operational requirements by O&M engineers, and substantially less OPEX costs.

You Yiyong, president of Huawei Network OSS and Service Product Line, said: "Carriers are looking for truly end-to-end network management solutions that improve operational efficiency and lower capital expenditure. The iManager U2000 not only achieves substantially lower operational costs, it also provides operators with unprecedented flexibility in operating, maintaining and upgrading their networks."

The iManager U2000 follows a series of Huawei NMS products that have been widely adopted by more than 200 carriers worldwide, including Vodafone, FT, Deutsche Telecom, KPN, China Unicom, China Mobile and China Telecom. Huawei has also established solid partnerships with mainstream OSS manufacturers globally, and is leading the innovation and development of next-generation NMS.

Polystar OSIX, a Swedish supplier of OSS/BSS solutions, today announced that it has become self-certified as a Global Roaming Quality (GRQ) Monitoring Provider under an initiative developed by GSMA, the global trade association for the mobile communications industry.

The Global Roaming Quality initiative provides a new framework for improving end-to-end roaming service quality and a mobile user's experience through the monitoring of key performance indicators (KPIs) for quality of service (QoS) and the use of roaming service level agreements.

Polystar OSIX, an active member of GSMA, participated in the GRQ trial process that demonstrated the validity of the proposed framework for roaming QoS monitoring. Following successful completion of the GRQ self-certification process, Polystar has become one of the first GRQ providers officially listed by GSMA.

The GRQ framework incorporates a list of 40 QoS parameters, alongside details of the monitoring methods that are used for measuring them. Polystar's GRQ solution enables operators to get a global perspective on roaming quality. It also helps operators to focus roaming resources where they are most needed and speed up the resolution of roaming QoS problems. These advantages lead to an improved experience for the mobile user, and benefit the operator through increased roaming usage and better customer retention. Two members of Telenor group have deployed the Polystar GRQ solution and already benefit from this innovative framework.

Digital Rapids - a provider of tools and solutions for bringing television, film and web content to wider audiences - has announced that World Sport Group, Asia's leading sports marketing, event management and media company, has selected Digital Rapids encoding and management systems to enable live streaming of hundreds of high-profile sporting events each year.

World Sport Group produces almost 600 days of sports events and more than 1000 hours of live sports programming annually, across more than 30 countries. Headquartered in Singapore, World Sport Group holds the digital rights for the continent's leading club and national team football competitions, and sought a robust streaming solution that could be easily managed to handle their high volume of live events. Working with partner sport and entertainment specialist Perform Group and reseller Mediamatic Systems International Pte Ltd., World Sport Group selected Digital Rapids' StreamZ encoding systems and the Digital Rapids Broadcast Manager® multi-encoder management software for their streaming operations.

Eight StreamZ systems encode source satellite feeds into web-viewable output formats, which are streamed live to content delivery network Akamai for live distribution to viewers. At the same time, highlight clips of these matches are produced in World Sport Group's post production facility, with StreamZ automatically transcoding the finished clips to web formats and delivering them via FTP. Digital Rapids Broadcast Manager provides centralized management and control of the StreamZ systems.

"Given the unforgiving nature of live coverage, it is essential for us that all the equipment is robust and reliable, and the Digital Rapids solutions have delivered on all counts," said James Leow, Head of Digital Media at World Sport Group. "With more than 300 football matches available annually via satellite, easy management of the streaming is also important, and Digital Rapids Broadcast Manager has provided exactly that."

"Consumers are increasingly choosing Internet TV as a primary platform for their sports viewing, with many sporting events unavailable through traditional media such as broadcast," said Nick Fitzgerald, VP, Asia Pacific for Digital Rapids. "The sheer number of these events makes easy management of streaming operations essential. The combination of StreamZ and Broadcast Manager delivers exceptional visual quality, reliability and streamlined management that make them perfect for multi-channel live streaming applications, and we're excited that World Sport Group has chosen our solutions to power their expansive streaming projects."

Digital Rapids' StreamZ encoding systems combine powerful hardware for video and audio capture and pre-processing with the intuitive and robust Stream software, delivering reliable, high-quality, multi-format media encoding and streaming for professional applications such as high-end Internet TV and IPTV. The Digital Rapids Broadcast Manager software provides enterprise-class management, control, monitoring and fault tolerance for multiple live streaming encoders, with features including scheduling, automated failover and alert notifications.

Verimatrix, a provider of content security technologies that enhance the value of pay-TV networks, today announced the deployment of the Verimatrix Video Content Authority System (VCAS) for IPTV with Beltelecom, a National Telecommunications Operator of the Republic of Belarus. VCAS for IPTV is the integrated content security solution for ZTE's ZXBIV IPTV Eyewill platform that enables the delivery of Beltelecom's Premiere service available in all Belarus cities.

VCAS for IPTV secures a wide range of interactive services offered on Premiere, including time-shift TV, video on demand (VOD) and parental controls, along with broadcast channels, delivered over the 10 Gbps network. Verimatrix's solution was a natural choice for Beltelecom because of its IP-centric, software-based advantages and dominant leadership position in Eastern Europe. ZTE's end-to-end multimedia solution has gained significant traction in IPTV deployments worldwide.

"Our partnership with Verimatrix offers a formidable IPTV solution for telecommunications operators to extend their networks. Beltelecom has invested in a first-class network for voice and data services, and we are able to extend its network to deliver highly-competitive video services to subscribers," said Mr. Fang Hui, general manager of ZTE Multimedia and Terminal Product Lines.

"Beltelecom reinforces our global leadership position in software-based content security and revenue protection. VCAS for IPTV addresses the operator's need for world-class protection techniques and system flexibility, while delivering on our high standard of customer service," said Steve Oetegenn, chief sales and marketing officer at Verimatrix. 

Conax, a global player within the broadcast industry, is well established as one of the top three security providers for digital TV and content distribution world-wide. The Conax global footprint includes more than 300 customer platforms in over 80 countries and a strategic network of technology and solution partners. Conax is also market leader in the rapidly evolving global security market within terrestrial broadcast, with 40% of the market.

"Digital terrestrial television, DTT, enables the potential for large volume operations and Conax provides state-of-the-art content protection for DTT platform investments. A global provider of security for content distribution, Conax is trusted by 13 national DTT platforms. Conax technology is well-suited for both vertical and horizontal DTT models," says Geir Bjørndal, EVP Sales & Marketing, Conax.

Free-to-air and pay TV operators benefit from shared DTT platforms  

DTT added-value includes additional space for channels within the same spectrum, the ability to offer a wider selection of channels and the benefits of sharing equipment. Adding pay-TV content to a public broadcasting DTT operation increases platform and consumer value and provides a competitive edge towards satellite and cable platforms. Once pay-TV content is made available, a security solution is critical to protecting operator content revenue streams.

"Conax recommends that DTT operators select a content security solution during the initial planning phase of the platform to enable a smooth introduction of pay-TV to the platform at a later stage, says Bjørndal. Conax secures the value of content and operator revenues."

A broader selection of channels is possible with DTT

DTT creates the ability to offer more channels within one platform - the potential for a wider selection of free-to-air, pay-TV and radio channels. MPEG-2 coding of the content provides good quality, while utilizing MPEG-4 content coding can support a multitude of channels in excellent picture quality.  DTT has proven to be highly successful in existing markets where cable penetration is already close to 100%. 

Secure set-top-boxes provide good DTT business benefits

Deploying Conax enabled set-top boxes capable of accessing both free-to-air and pay-TV channels makes it possible to reduce subscriber acquisition costs while at the same time deploying high quality set-top boxes. Utilizing Conax' proven pairing technology ensures quality, secures content and provides regulators and broadcasters with the freedom to choose the best and most secure set-top boxes for their platforms. Conax provides "freedom of choice" with a broad network of licensed set-top box and chipset partners offering a range of pricing models.