News

Latest News

Actix, a specialist in technology rollout solutions for the Radio Access Network (RAN), today announced its comprehensive support for LTE devices across its Actix Analyzer and ActixOne products in support of LTE rollouts. Actix Analyzer is desktop software for RAN engineers, which automates network acceptance tasks essential to LTE network rollout. ActixOne is server software for automating a standardized network acceptance process across regional or national engineering teams.

As mobile data traffic skyrockets, many operators are announcing their plans to deploy LTE technology, which delivers greater capacity and throughput at a fraction of the cost of HSPA. More than 10 operators have announced plans to begin rolling out LTE in 2010 and more than 20 have announced plans to begin in 2011, ramping up to 30-40 launches per year beginning in 2012.

To ensure the quality of a new LTE network rollout, operators need to independently measure and verify that the infrastructure meets their network acceptance criteria prior to launch, while achieving tight go-live deadlines. Network acceptance processes including reporting and troubleshooting of issues are therefore on the critical path to deployment of new, more cost-effective LTE technology.

"Our comprehensive LTE device support will enable us to immediately support network acceptance activity for LTE deployments underway in 2010", said Jeff Atkins, Vice President of Product Management at Actix.

"With 15 years of Technology Rollout experience, we are now uniquely positioned to accelerate and ensure the quality of initial LTE rollout activity. Our software enables LTE network acceptance reports to be generated in a matter of hours - typically these reports take weeks of intensive manual activity to produce. Furthermore, with the release of Version 3 of ActixOne, our server-based automated diagnostics can reduce the time to troubleshoot network issues by more than 50%, while ensuring consistent acceptance reporting across all users. To date we have delivered network acceptance capabilities to 9 of 10 operators that have rolled out UMTS and HSPA networks, including deployments of our ActixOne server software to leading operators in Europe, the U.S., Latin America and Asia-Pacific."

Empirix, a specialist in service quality assurance solutions for new IP communications, today announced that it has expanded its Hammer XMS technology to provide end-to-end network monitoring for mobile core architectures. For mobile operators transitioning to all IP LTE networks, and traditional wire line operators or MSOs that are adding mobile service offerings, Hammer XMS is claimed to help lower the cost of deploying and maintaining multi-protocol network architectures and ensures a more consistent, high-quality customer experience.

Hammer XMS is a fully integrated network monitoring and analysis solution and includes a suite of protocol support for both GSM and CDMA networks including MAP, CAP, IS-41, CAMEL and WIN services, complementing existing SS7/C7 and IMS protocol support. Hammer XMS extends its hallmark end-to-end view across TDM and IP domains to the mobile market, giving operators unparalleled visibility into the customer experience throughout the core network.

This expansion of the Hammer XMS product family represents a natural progression of functionality. Hammer XMS has supported IP and SS7, including SIGTRAN, simultaneously for several years. Now, Hammer XMS seamlessly integrates mobile protocol support into its design and gives mobile operators the flexibility to monitor core mobile networks over TDM or IP links. Transaction monitoring, real-time packet analysis and historical storage of CDRs enable operators to troubleshoot, analyse and report on service quality much more effectively - thereby giving them the ability to more quickly identify and fix issues before they impact their customers.

"As the boundaries between fixed and mobile services blur, end-to-end network validation will only become a larger, more complex task for providers adding mobile services as well as mobile operators migrating to all-IP networks," said J.D. Doyle, general manager, service assurance solutions, Empirix. "Ultimately, however, these new services will help them become more nimble and Empirix is committed to smoothing the inevitable transition to IP, lowering costs and speeding the time to market for our customers."

cVidya Networks, a global  provider of Revenue Intelligence solutions for telecom, media and entertainment service providers, announced today that it has won a Price Plan optimization project for a Tier 1 mobile operator in Europe. As part of the project cVidya will deploy BusinessView, a Margin Analytics solution, which is part of its IRIS suite.

BusinessView enables Marketing departments to increase their profitability through analysing the margins of their price plans, managing product portfolios and promotion of new offerings by focusing on these integrated areas:

-New services and pricing plans implementation - BusinessView evaluates usage scenarios before launch to ensure their profitability and success.

-Customer retention - BusinessView assesses customer profitability and scoring and suggests best next offer through financial simulations in retention campaigns.

"BusinessView offers a set of business-intelligence tools that helps operators to manage price-plan costs, revenues, and customers' lifecycles", said Alon Aginsky, Founder, President and CEO of cVidya Networks. "Through this tool, operators can accurately target marketing campaigns while increasing revenues and profitability."

BusinessView is installed in a number of Mobile operators in Western Europe and Africa. cVidya recently added Margin Analytics solutions as part of its Revenue Intelligence product portfolio in addition to its leading Revenue Assurance (MoneyMap) and Fraud Management (FraudView) solutions

Nokia Siemens Networks has today launched new software that allows mobile operators to improve understanding of customer usage patterns and to analyze the business performance for new offers. The immediate feedback enabled by the new charge@once business analytics software helps to measure whether an operator is genuinely improving the experience for its customers and enhancing the business value of its customer relations. The software has been launched ready for Management World 2010 in Nice, France.

"Telco operators can only develop sound marketing strategies based on comprehensive, up-to-date insight into what their customers are doing," said Rick Centeno, head of Charging, Billing and Care at Nokia Siemens Networks. "This software helps operators develop effective strategies to optimize and adapt their market offerings and business propositions and then measure the effects of those changes." According to Nokia Siemens Networks research, operators worldwide consider the improvement of their subscribers' experience as their most important business goal for 2012.

charge@once business analytics provides a set of predefined reports and dashboards for revenue analysis, customer segmentation, service and product use. The dashboards can be customized and personalized providing a user-friendly presentation of information and metrics. Extensive charging data analysis capabilities complement vendor's recently launched Insight & Experience Framework. Notably charge@once business analytics adds business intelligence functionality to the company's customer value management solutions. It helps operators assess the revenue potential of offers, compare the impact of marketing campaigns across revenue, usage, and subscriptions, gain a clear view on figures such as how often customers recharged their prepaid account per offer and provide insights into customer churn, how often subscribers bought a voucher to recharge their accounts, and usage of specific services.

Analyzing the data from the charging and billing systems is one key element to manage and improve customer experience, says NSN. To get a 360 degree view on customer needs, this in-depth charging data analysis can be complemented by analyzing data from network elements, other IT systems as well as end-user devices. Nokia Siemens Networks says its Insight & Experience Framework captures and mines this wealth of customer data, giving operators' further tools to treat their customers as individuals and maximize business performance.

Swedish startup Anyfi Networks has launched Anyfi.net, a Wi-Fi roaming technology the company hopes will 'shake up' the mobile broadband industry. The new technology is claimed to let an Internet service provider offer the same Wi-Fi user experience both at home and on the go.

"Until now Wi-Fi hotspots have been difficult to use and inherently insecure. Our solution works with any Wi-Fi device out of the box and provides fully automatic WPA security," said Björn Smedman, CEO.

The trick, says Anyfi, is combining Wi-Fi with IP, to break the tie between logical network and physical infrastructure, much in the same way as Voice over IP separates a phone service from the physical line.

"You can think of it as Wi-Fi over IP" explained Björn Smedman. "Our cloud based matchmaking service keeps track of each device's favorite network and makes sure it is available from the closest access point. By forwarding the raw Wi-Fi radio traffic over the Internet we can ensure security, even if an attacker is in control of the access point."

According to the company, this high level of security is one of the key features making the technology suitable for integration in modems of various types, and this is what makes it potentially disruptive, effectively turning Wi-Fi into a full-blown 4G technology.

"Today only about 1-2% of residential broadband capacity is actually used. The rest just goes to waste. At the same time we are seeing mobile networks brought to their knees under the load of data-hungry devices like the iPhone. If you can guarantee that there is no negative impact whatsoever to the subscriber, why not use some of that spare capacity to offload mobile?" asked Björn Smedman.

According to Anyfi, using this reasoning a broadband connection with a Wi-Fi router at the end can be thought of as a building block of sorts and Anyfi.net is the mortar. By combining them, existing infrastructure can be transformed into a radio access network, license-exempt and Wi-Fi compatible. A fixed-line operator with a high density of broadband subscribers in an urban area could become a mobile operator over night by simply upgrading the modem software, something that can be done remotely. But smaller operators could also join together to collectively provide mobile Internet access, with worldwide roaming, says Anyfi.

Interxion, a European provider of carrier-neutral colocation data centre services, today announced an agreement with Trunk Networks, a hosted-solutions provider, to deliver equipment housing and connectivity services in Interxion's London City data centre.

Trunk Networks is one of the newest players in the data centre, hosting and connectivity market for the SMB sector. It provides all aspects of colocation, hosting and connectivity, from its hosted-desktop, 'cloud computing', and Citrix products through to Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony and hosted-email solutions.

Key to Trunk Network's business is its ability to offer its customers a wide range of connectivity options in the lowest latency environment possible. To deliver this, it realised the need to have a point of presence in a connectivity-rich environment with direct access to the core fabric of the Internet.

Interxion provides hosting PoPs for 18 leading European Internet Exchanges and over 350 carriers and network service providers across Europe. Critically, Trunk Networks can connect directly with the London Internet Exchange (LINX) infrastructure in Interxion's London data centre, enabling it to peer directly with BT and a number of other large networks across Europe.

Interxion's data centres also provide a highly secure physical location with advanced infrastructure. High-density power configurations and dual redundancy are also available, with 'industry-leading' Quality of Service levels and availability and 24x7 secure access to equipment.

Drew Marshall, Director, Trunk Networks, commented, "Interxion has enabled us to offer our customers a London City presence, which is critical to our business. A choice of 36 carriers means we can get the best deal, with the best rates of bandwidth and critically the best resilience. Overall the experience of working with Interxion has been very good from day one. They were the only data centre to really understand our needs and to make a real effort to meet them." 

"We are pleased to provide the space, power and connectivity that Trunk Networks needs to offer the best service to its customers now and in the future," said Greg McCulloch, Managing Director, Interxion UK. "We always try to find the solution that best fits each of our customers, and it's great to see that we've been able to deliver this again to Trunk Networks. Our large choice of carriers has always been key to our business, and we are glad to see that Trunk Networks has been able to take full advantage of this."

Frameworx Distilled, a new book by John P. Reilly and Martin J. Creaner, provides a handbook for new and experienced digital service providers and suppliers implementing TM Forum's recently launched Frameworx - an integrated business architecture created for the industry, by the industry. Focusing on today's Service-Oriented Enterprise, Frameworx Distilled is said to provide a significant update to NGOSS Distilled, published in 2005.

The new book provides a detailed overview of Frameworx, as well as detailed example implementations. The book reflects the authors' wealth of experience and knowledge. John Reilly, a TM Forum Subject Matter Expert and Distinguished Fellow, teaches Frameworx principles to students around the world. Martin Creaner is TM Forum President and Chief Technical Officer. Both authors have held pivotal roles in the development of Frameworx, based on the Forum's highly successful NGOSS standards.

Frameworx, an integrated business architecture blueprint for the communications and digital services markets, enables service providers to significantly reduce their operational costs and improve business agility by providing an industry agreed approach for rationalizing their operational IT, processes, and systems.

Frameworx expands and integrates the Forum's existing NGOSS standard Business Process (eTOM), Information (SID), Application (TAM), and Integration Frameworks into a full enterprise IT and process architecture that also embraces major IT industry standards such as ITIL and TOGAF. The suite provides a service oriented integration approach with standardized interfaces and support tools.

Frameworx Distilled focuses on Frameworx, its component frameworks, and the relationships between them. Detailed examples are provided to illustrate application of the component frameworks for immediate, short-term, and long-term use.

Frameworx Distilled provides:
  a.. An overview of Frameworx;
  b.. An introduction to its components-the Information, Business Process, Integration, and Application Frameworks;
  c.. Examples of how Frameworx supports service-orientated enterprises and business transformation;
  d.. Clear advice on implementing and using Frameworx;
  e.. An introduction to Frameworx Conformance;
  f.. An overview of harmonization with other industry groups.

Huawei sponsored the publication of the book.

The book's authors, Martin Creaner and John Reilly, will sign copies of the new book at TM Forum's Management World conference in Nice next week at the Huawei booth on Tuesday, May 18, and Wednesday, May 19, from 6 to 7 pm. Complimentary copies will also be made available to press attending the event and TM Forum training attendees. A new Frameworx overview poster, also sponsored by Huawei, will be available to attendees in Forumville.

Frameworx Distilled is the latest in a suite of resources from the Forum to facilitate the adoption of Frameworx including, product conformance certification, certified training, a certified partner program, and extensive implementation support to help service providers and suppliers.

"The TM Forum has been leading the thinking on how to achieve greater use of standards-based, commercial-off-the-shelf systems that are able to share information and be integrated simply and easily both within the service provider and between trading partners. The Frameworx integrated business architecture provides an industry agreed and supported roadmap for that standards-based approach. This book is very timely and it is great to see this updated and revised book being published in time to help the industry move quickly to get to a much lower cost and a more automated and integrated operational base," said Keith Willetts, Chairman & CEO, TM Forum.

The European Space Agency (ESA), Europe's gateway to space, and Interoute, owner operator of Europe's largest next-generation network, have signed an agreement with ESA to provide a new IP Wide Area Network (WAN) connecting the Earth Observation (EO) Payload Data Systems sites across Europe and Canada.

The ESA Earth Observation satellites monitor the natural world gaining valuable insight into the impact of climate change, melting ice, wild fires, and deforestation among other natural phenomena. The advanced Wide Area Network from Interoute will help ESA distribute, store and protect this valuable data. ESA needed to rationalise and enhance its existing connection capabilities, to connect the various EO Data Centres and the main IT platforms for data access and distribution. To meet ESA's requirements, Interoute has offered a secure private IPVPN connecting the 13 ESA sites to a single performing platform: Interoute MPLS backbone.

Interoute's next generation network will provide ESA with a secure and scalable environment ensuring the consolidation of its disparate data networks, large cost savings and an improved operational efficiency through one central reporting point for all WAN-based issues. Interoute's solution includes Internet connectivity (1.2 Gbps access shared by all sites) with a fully redundant design, secured access through firewalls and denial-of-service (DDoS) protection.

M. Eugenia Forcada-Arregui, head of EOP Ground Segment Strategy Management Office at ESA, commented: "The existing EO Data Circulation and Dissemination Networks are intended to support the ESA Payload Data Ground Segment during the mission operations. An efficient and secure distribution network with very large bandwidth is essential to effectively gather, archive and distribute the large amount of data from the European satellite missions related with Earth Observation, to coordinate around 15 ground facilities throughout Europe and cooperate with most European ground-segment operators."

J. Antonio Rodríguez-Vázquez, head of ESRIN ICT Services & Evolution Section, added: "We needed a European partner with outstanding network capacity and availability, which could assist us with an expert and dedicated team, delivering a fast response to address our IT challenges. We found such a partner in Interoute."

Gareth Williams, CEO at Interoute, declared: "Interoute is proud to be involved in this significant international project for such a prestigious customer as the European Space Agency. Earth Observation data has a critical importance for science and society, and we are privileged to contribute to this mission by putting our next generation network, expertise and people at ESA's service to create a fast, secure and reliable connection for data management and distribution in Europe and beyond."

Volubill, provider of real-time policy and charging solutions, today announced that Network Norway has chosen to implement Volubill's standards based PCRF solution - CONTROL-IT - to comply with the European Union's (EU) new Bill Shock data roaming regulations. Volubill's solution will be tightly integrated with Network Norway's existing network environment based on Cisco GGSN and CSG2 technology. T

"Bill shock," which occurs when subscribers receive an unexpectedly large bill for their mobile service with no prior warning, has become a growing problem in the midst of a rapid increase in mobile data consumption.  In response to this issue, the European Commission mandated a new rule requiring EU mobile operators to offer customers the choice to cap their data use while roaming within EU member countries.  The new regulation is designed to help reduce bill shock symptoms that degrade the overall customer experience.

"As mobile data usage continues to increase, bill shock reduction has developed into an increasingly-prominent and immediate pain point for today's mobile providers," said John Aalbers, CEO, Volubill.  "Companies like Network Norway have realized that in order to preserve a high quality of experience for customers in the new mobile environment, they need to be able to keep their customers updated about their network usage and what it's ultimately going to cost them.  Volubill's bill shock management solution gives them that ability."

Digi International today announced that its Digi TransPort enterprise class, multi-function cellular routers can now be used on CDMA450 data networks prevalent throughout Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.

As CDMA450 transmits over lower frequency via 450 MHz, it is able to communicate over much longer distances, allowing cellular operators to cover larger geographic areas with fewer cell towers. This enables high-speed data connectivity in rural, newly developing markets.

Digi TransPort cellular routers are said to provide secure high-speed wireless connectivity to remote sites and devices for primary or backup wireless broadband network connectivity over CDMA450 networks. The products feature advanced routing, security and backup cellular interfaces. The routers are said to be ideal for electric and water utilities, maritime, logging and other remote device connectivity applications.

"Countries like Russia, Sweden , Norway and Ukraine that use CDMA450 networks now have an enterprise class, cellular router for remote connectivity," said Frederic Luu, vice president of sales and marketing for EMEA, Digi International. "The Digi TransPort CDMA450 provides all of the benefits of an enterprise-class network router, but with the unique addition of integrated cellular connectivity."

Multi-function Digi TransPort routers feature a flexible design with a variety of configuration options, including multiple serial ports (async or sync), GPS, Wi-Fi, I/O telemetry modules and integrated primary DSL; and standard features like USB, serial and Ethernet. The products also offer advanced routing and firewall/security features including, stateful firewall inspection and integrated VPN. Enterprise-class protocols include BGP, OSPF and VRRP+, a patented technology that builds upon the popular VRRP fail-over standard which provides true auto sensing, auto failure and auto recovery of any line drop.

Digi TransPort routers also feature remote management software for easy setup, configuration, reporting and monitoring of large installations. The products support a custom scripting development platform allowing users to easily create applications running directly in the router.  Digi TransPort routers can also be used on Skylink and ice.Net networks.

The global enterprise services arm of US-based Verizon Communications is launching fixed-mobile services in Europe, while enterprise mobile and security as a service are to become its first key managed services to be offered via the cloud on a per-use charging basis.

 

A lot can happen in three years - or not as the case may be. It was as long ago as 2007 when Verizon Business told journalists that adding mobile connectivity to its service portfolio for multinational corporations was at the top of its agenda.

At that time the enterprise-focused business unit of US operator Verizon Communications provided some mobile services in its portfolio: access to the US EV-DO network run by Verizon Wireless, an agreement with T-Mobile UK for access to the mobile operator's GPRS network, and access to 48,000 WiFi hotspots globally. But it knew it had to do more, and said it fully intended to offer a full fixed-mobile convergence portfolio for its customers.

Fast forward to 2010 and Verizon Business has, at long last, unveiled a new fixed mobile convergence offering in Europe. The company also seems to have forgotten its dislike of the term "FMC": then chief marketing officer Nancy Gofus said she had a problem with the term FMC: "I think of it in terms of equipping the mobile worker" so they have full laptop and mobile phone connectivity, Gofus said at the time.

The current CMO, Kerry Bailey, appears to have no problem with the term FMC: Indeed the new service is called Verizon Global FMC and is based on IP technology from MobileMax.

MobileMax provides a software client that can be installed on a user's existing mobile handset and will then dynamically direct calls to either Verizon's global voice-over-IP communications platform or to the enterprise customer's GSM mobile network service depending on which is the cheaper option.

Verizon Business said the Verizon Global FMC service will be available immediately to its customers in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Verizon added that the Global FMC service will be integrated next month with its VoIP platform.

"Businesses are increasingly requiring the mobile cost control, management and productivity benefits FMC provides without large up-front investments in technology," commented Nicholas McQuire, research director at IDC. "Verizon is tackling these critical areas without forcing customers down a technology path or investment route."

Like mobile operators such as Vodafone and O2, Verizon Business is offering FMC to customers as a first step they can take towards unified communications and full-blown collaboration solutions.

What is really exciting Verizon, meanwhile, is the potential it sees with new cloud-based managed services. Indeed, at the same time as announcing the Global FMC service Verizon unveiled a new offering called "enterprise mobility as a service", which it describes as a cloud-based service that will allow mobile workers to more quickly and easily access their corporate networks via WiFi, mobile broadband or VPN depending on cost and availability. The service will be delivered using Verizon's global network and IT infrastructure.

Verizon plans to make the enterprise mobility service available from June in around 30 countries and territories in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Customers will be charged monthly on a per-use basis.

In addition, the company launched a new "security as a service" portfolio that aims to allow companies to add security services when required and thus avoid the need to buy expensive equipment. The service will also be delivered by Verizon's global IP network and is seen as particularly beneficial for geographically dispersed companies that need to deploy security protection quickly and easily in any location. The service will complement Verizon's existing managed security services portfolio.

"The cloud provides us with a new delivery model," said Bailey. "We believe that everything is a service."

Bailey added that 2010 will be the "execution year" for the company's new cloud-based managed services, which will be charged for on a per-use basis.

Everything Everywhere, said to be Britain's biggest communications company, was unveiled today by Orange and T-Mobile. Everything Everywhere will run Orange and T-Mobile and has a customer base of 30 million people - over half of the UK adult population.

Orange and T-Mobile will continue as separate brands in the market, with each brand having its own shops, marketing campaigns, propositions and service centres. However, behind the scenes, the two brands will be run by one company.

Everything Everywhere will be officially integrated on July 1.

Tom Alexander, Chief Executive of Everything Everywhere, said: "Together, we are Britain's biggest communications company, with over 30 million customers.
"We are on the verge of a communications revolution. Up until a few years ago, mobile was just about voice and text - not now. Multimedia phones have already started to change the way our customers access the world - for entertainment, education, information - wherever they are, whenever they want.

"That is why, through our scale and Britain's only super-network with its unsurpassed coverage and capacity, we will be leading this revolution, giving customers instant access to everything, everywhere.

"We are Everything Everywhere - it's our name, our vision, and our ambition - and we run two of the UK's biggest brands Orange and T-Mobile. It's our vision to give our customers instant access to everything everywhere, opening up a world of endless possibilities."

Telesens, a supplier of billing systems to the telecoms industry, today announced that it has successfully completed the implementation of its interconnect billing system, Tinterconnect (T-IC), at Transtelecom JSC (Kazakhstan).

Both parties signed the acceptance certificate on the 15th of April 2010 putting the T-IC billing system into live operation between Transtelecom and the other operators it provides telecommunication services to.

Telesens already has a number of successful implementation and support projects for the T-IC system in Central Asia and Eduard Rubin, Director of Telesens, believes that the successful fulfillment of the contract with Transtelecom will help the company to strengthen its position in the Central Asian telecommunications market.

BroadSoft, a supplier of residential and business IP-based communications, is providing the platform behind the UK's latest wholesale hosted telephony company ‘thevoicefactory'.

thevoicefactory is enabled by the latest enhanced BroadWorks release from BroadSoft, providing a platform that accommodates the latest in unified communications technology, including HD-quality audio, desktop integration and video call capability.

thevoicefactory CEO, Martin Sims commented: "Our technical team has listened intently to the market, well-established resellers and business partners. Tapping into this rich vein of knowledge, we identified a need for white-labelled, robust and affordable access to a platform that satisfies and exceeds much of our future known requirements in the hosted telephony environment. The ability to integrate with emerging technologies, whilst maintaining quality of service has been a constant focus as thevoicefactory has formed."

"In choosing BroadWorks as its core IP communications platform, thevoicefactory will be supported by the same cost effective, high-quality VoIP services that more than 425 service providers around the world already rely upon," said Mark Purdom, BroadSoft vice president of Northern Europe and Middle East, ‘We are proud to have been selected by thevoicefactory for the important role of helping them bring technologically advanced communications services to the global market."

BroadWorks VoIP communications application server enables service providers to offer a comprehensive portfolio of business and consumer communications applications and value added applications from a common network platform. BroadWorks delivers communication solutions that integrate video, fax, voice and email communications for businesses and consumers worldwide whether through IP PBX/Centrex, Mobile PBX, Business Line, Trunking and consumer solutions.

Unified communications is no longer available only to the largest of large enterprises. Using BroadWorks and its tight integration with business applications from companies like Microsoft, IBM, and Google, service providers are able to offer "UC as a Service". The service provider hosts UC "in the cloud", and businesses buy UC on an as-needed basis, similar to proven Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models. With this solution, businesses receive all the benefits of Unified Communications, without having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) on premises-based systems.

    

@eurocomms