Operator sers embedded on the SIM at purchase or O-T-A.

NEC Corporation today announced the launch of its AppliChoice solution at CeBIT 2004. With this solution, NEC has enabled new business models for mobile value-added services in Europe and other regions. AppliChoice realises the full potential of the Mobile Internet business model through retail kiosks that embed operator branded service portals into the mobile subscriber’s handset on purchase or at any time after. It is available now for GPRS and W-CDMA mobile network operators offering Mobile Internet services.

Designed to personalise the mobile phone menu in the way the user finds best, AppliChoice leads users to content of their choice at the click of a button. After purchase, users insert their SIM card into an AppliChoice Kiosk and then select which services they prefer from the options presented on the touch panel. Using the AppliChoice panel is straightforward with clear instructions at each stage. It is possible to purchase service packages or individual a la carte services, or a combination of the two, to provide an instant, customized service menu for subscribers. The SIM menu software can be used in any make of mobile phone bringing operator content and branding into everyday mobile handsets. AppliChoice Kiosks are compact and reliable, meaning they can be deployed for use in close proximity to wherever handsets are sold. Existing mobile subscribers can have the AppliChoice menu software sent to their handset over their cellular network. Kiosks can be deployed wherever mobile network operators wish to market mobile content services or provide automated Customer Service facilities.
 
The advantage of the system for the user is the direct access to pre-determined content which they have chosen without the current difficulties of browsing complex menu lists, resulting in them selecting only a few easy-to-reach services. In simplifying this process and making content more immediately available. AppliChoice enables the user to reach for more of the services they value. This selection can be amended remotely at any time via the Internet or by simply using an AppliChoice Kiosk and reprogramming the SIM. Direct links to news, sports, shopping and restaurant information, transport schedules and traffic condition update sites can all be preset according to subscribers’ needs. This means that instead of browsing through a vast amount of information, preferred links are immediately accessible and information can be assimilated rapidly and efficiently. Fresh updates or new services can be brought to the subscribers’ attention very easily, allowing them to modify their service selection and enhance revenue for content providers and operators.
 
For mobile operators this solution addresses several issues; how to provide content and get the best out of a relationship with content providers, organizing subscriber service categories, offers a strategy for marketing content services through hundreds of mobile phone shops and helps branding deeper into the handset at low cost. Content is deployed via an operator portal which AppliChoice creates, allowing subscribers to choose what they want and permitting operators to gather subscriber’s user information. Content is accessed via operators’ portals on GPRS or W-CDMA networks. A portal server automatically generates a customized portal for every subscriber while the central server resolves subscriber management, content and point of sale management issues, in addition to managing information on users portals. System information and updates, deletion and changes can be monitored by this solution and content duly distributed. AppliChoice brings mobile operators better information on subscribers’ preferences, richer content availability, more subscribers and therefore more revenue. Via the portal, the operator’s brand is delivered to the handset in a way that is not currently possible without bespoke handset customisation. Better services are realised on simpler phones and subscription rates for services are enhanced in tandem with phone and SIM purchases. There is the added bonus of operators being able to exert influence over mobile phone shops to favour their services over a rival, affording competitive advantage in the marketplace. For shops, AppliChoice will increase footfall through their doors and increase back margins from the operator.

External Links

NEC at Cebit

New Linksys Wireless-G Products with SpeedBooster provide enhanced performance by up to 35% and compatibility with other 802.11b/g Products

Linksys, a division of Cisco Systems, and the leading global manufacturer of broadband, wireless, and networking hardware for home and SOHO (Small Office/Home Office)
environments, today announced a new line of next generation 802.11g products - Wireless-G with SpeedBooster. These new products provide home and small office users with more wireless throughput and enhance network performance by up to 35%.

Designed to be backwards compatible with the existing installed base of 802.11b/g products, they include additional security options and the industry’s most advanced parental
control service to further protect computers and users on the network. In addition, users can see a significant performance enhancement when these products are used in mixed-wireless networks using standard 802.11g products. The SpeedBooster line includes a Wireless-G Router (WRT54GS), PC Card (WPC54GS) and PCI Adapter (WMP54GS).

"Our customers worldwide want more performance but they also want currently installed products and future wireless products added to the network to work well together.
It is highly likely that users will have a mixed network of Linksys clients, game or media adapters, and also laptops with embedded wireless clients like Intel’s Centrino", said Steve Troyer, Linksys’ director of product marketing. "Our SpeedBooster products can provide the fastest wireless
throughput in real-world environments without negative impact on the performance of nearby wireless systems."

SpeedBooster features

 Real-World Wireless Network Performance Enhanced by Up To 35%* when using
SpeedBooster products
· Designed for Complete Interoperability and Significantly Enhanced
Performance with all Standard-Compliant 802.11g Products
· Designed for Complete Interoperability with all Standard-Compliant 802.11b
Products·
‘Good Neighbour’--Designed to Limit Interference to other nearby Wireless Networks

Wireless-G Router with SpeedBooster Provides Additional Value with More Security Features such as the new Linksys industry leading Parental Control

Service, WPA, SPI Firewall and 802.1x Authentication and Authorisation

Increases Real-World Performance By Up To 35%*

SpeedBooster, built on Broadcom’s Afterburner technology, is desiged to help increase "real world" wireless network throughput performance by up to 35%.
SpeedBooster can also increase the aggregate throughput performance of a mixed wireless network of 802.11b/g by up to 70%.  This means that no matter what wireless device is running, the overall performance of a network is enhanced.  SpeedBooster products minimise overhead communication between data transmissions which enable the boost in performance.

Unlike other proprietary speed-enhanced products, a SpeedBooster router is designed to associate with standards-compliant 802.11b/g products on the
network and conform to the speed of that device. SpeedBooster adapters communicating with the SpeedBooster router will continue to perform at enhanced speeds whilst
802.11b or 802.11g products, including Centrino equipped notebooks, will gracefully downshift to their designed data throughput.

Interoperability with all Standard-Compliant 802.11b/g Products

SpeedBooster is the first speed-enhanced technology designed to offer complete 802.11 compliancy with products that are fully standards-compliant. The SpeedBooster product line is currently the only speed-enhanced 802.11g products that are compatible and interoperable with other vendors’ 802.11b and 802.11g compliant products.

Designed to limit interference

The IEEE specification for certified 802.11g products require that the products stay within 20MHz (on Channel 6) of the 2.4GHz frequency band.
Adhering to this specification limits interference with devices and other networks in the 2.4 GHz band. Since Linksys SpeedBooster products conform to this 802.11g specification, they are expected to be the first speed-enhanced technology products in selected countries worldwide starting in May.  Several countries currently restrict the usage of wireless products that exceed the 20MHz rule.

Troyer said, "It is our commitment to continue providing additional value to our products and services.  In addition to all the award-winning features found in our standard Wireless-G products, we are also offering additional security features to our Wireless-G SpeedBooster Router.  Linksys offers as many security options as possible to give customers the choice if they require them."

Security features

The Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router with SpeedBooster includes new features that enhance not only the performance of the home network but the security levels as well.   Besides the SPI (stateful packet inspection ) firewall, Linksys has added WPA (currently being tested for certification) which offers improved encryption security beyond standard WEP. SpeedBooster also includes the IEEE security protocol 802.1x which uses a handshake protocol to pass data to authentication servers such as RADIUS.

Linksys is also announcing its new Parental Control Service, designed and developed with Netopia, Inc., which makes it easy for users to keep their family safe on the Internet.  Users can set individual profiles for time of day and day of week access restrictions for all major internet applications including browsers, email, chat, and Instant Messaging.  Through the 16
different web content categories, users can control website access for each member of the family. Web site filtering based on millions of URL classifications within over 50 separate categories including, pornography or violence, for example, which are updated on a daily basis by an independent rating service. The email and Instant messaging filters let users decide who in their family can send and receive messages. Online reports for the family network are viewable at any time.  The Parental Control Service will be available early Summer.

Pricing and availability

The SpeedBooster line is scheduled to be available starting in May through major retail, online resellers, distribution, direct mail resellers, and VARs.
Wireless-G Broadband Router with SpeedBooster (WRT54GS)
Wireless-G Notebook Adapter with SpeedBooster (WPC54GS)
Wireless-G PCI Adapter with SpeedBooster (WMP54GS)

External Links

Linksys

The TeleManagement Forum (TM Forum) announced today the release of New Generation Operations Systems and Software (NGOSS) Release 4.0. The new version of NGOSS introduces for the first time the "NGOSS Lifecycle" methodology that defines how to use the NGOSS framework to implement NGOSS-based OSS/BSS solutions. 

In addition, Release 4.0 contains enhancements to the eTOM, SID, and architecture tools.
NGOSS is the TM Forum's comprehensive, integrated framework for analysing, designing, developing, procuring and deploying operational and business support systems and software in a standardised, easy to integrate, and easy
to operate fashion.

"The purpose of Release 4.0 is to better equip service  providers with 'how to' tools for adopting and implementing NGOSS," says Martin Creaner, CTO of the TM Forum. "This significant move forward is a key contribution to the TM
Forum's 2004 strategy to better educate service providers on how to use NGOSS to transition to a 'lean operations' model."

The most significant enhancement to version 4.0 is the addition of the Lifecycle Management methodology which is a series of documents designed to help service providers develop OSS/BSS solutions for business problems using NGOSS principles. The Lifecycle Methodology defines a "cradle to grave" strategy for process definition, system design, solution implementation, and solution deployment by weaving together the detailed eTOM, SID, and architecture tools that exist in the NGOSS toolkit today.

"The NGOSS Lifecycle Methodology combines software engineering best practices with the NGOSS knowledge base to ensure that OSS/BSS systems meet the corporate business objectives," said Jenny Huang, OSS Architect and Standards Strategist at AT&T Labs. "The methodology blends the existing
software engineering best practices with real-world business experience from  major service providers and software vendors, to become a tailored methodology for the telecommunications industry."
 
In addition to the NGOSS Lifecycle Methodology, other version 4.0 enhancements also focus on increasing the usability of NGOSS.  These include:

eTOM:  Extension and deepening of eTOM business process map and example process flows

SID: SID Primer document providing a simple overview of the information models; extensions to information/data model definitions; users guide for the SID UML models

Architecture Enhancements: Detailed definition of a "Contract", which is the fundamental unit of interoperability within an NGOSS solution

Compliance:  Extension of tests to include new SID content; definition of strategy for testing for more detailed eTOM compliance.

External Links

TM Forum NGOSS 4.0 documents

ComArch takes telecommunications forward with OSS & BSS solutions supporting the technology of the future EDGE and UMTS and expands the possibilities of implementing new types of services for customers and gives new wide business opportunities for telecom operators and content providers. ComArch TYTAN Billing Platform and InsightNet Network Management Platform enable information and communication service providers to deploy, then effectively use 3G networks, and allow for the extension of their current functionalities within 2.5G networks.

The accounting of new type of UMTS services requires open and flexible billing systems to handle huge amount of data, new complex types of services and multiple service and content providers. The fully integrated TYTAN Billing Platform enables operators rapidly to develop new revenue streams, handle new services and share the revenue with the whole chain of service providers. Its real-time capability allows full prepaid and postpaid convergence.

TYTAN Data Processing Server (DPS), as the kernel of the platform, is a very efficient rules-based rating engine, that has been benchmarked on major hardware platforms to process the volume of data that UMTS will generate. TYTAN InterPartner Billing component uses the DPS to respond to the new market requirements  i.e. quick  implementation and configuration of various revenue sharing scenarios.

"Our OSS & BSS systems are specifically designed to handle the complexity and huge volumes of data connected with the next generation networks and services. They enable fast introduction of new services to the market giving the competitive advantage for the carriers and content providers and taking out the real business value out of new technologies" – says Christophe Debou, ComArch Board Member, Business Telecommunications Unit.

ComArch InsightNet Service Management gives the operators an innovative tool for managing UMTS networks and monitoring QoS for current and new UMTS services. Continuity and quality of the offered services has essential value in the context of the revenues of the carrier. Monitoring of the network as well as services and early detection of the potential problems allows the carrier to take measures aiming at minimalising the loss of revenue.

Another key component in InsightNet solution - InsightNet Service Level Agreement is ready to facilitate the implementation of new types and class of services. Thanks to this module operator can see its network state from the business point of view – how the quality of the network and services impacts revenue from the network. This approach is especially important in today’s high competitive market where the quality and price decides about the customer satisfaction and finally about customer retention processes.

External Links

ComArch

More flexible WLAN topology choices, increased system scalability, and additions to RF management capabilities

Trapeze Networks today announced major additions to its award-winning Mobility System that provide IT with the most flexible and scalable deployment options available to build a secure, service-rich, and operationally efficient WLAN. With the new hardware and software, Trapeze provides the complete set of tools needed to deploy a distributed or centralized WLAN and makes system capabilities, rather than topology, the focal point for customers selecting a WLAN architecture. 

“The deployment flexibility, secure mobility, identity-based network services, and low operational costs that Trapeze delivers persuaded our company to standardize on the Trapeze Mobility System as our WLAN infrastructure provider,” said Logitech chief technology officer Pierre-Olivier Monnier. “With the Trapeze Mobility System, we can deploy WLANs of different sizes and topologies as they make sense in our various locations, yet deliver a consistent user experience and common IT capabilities.”

The new Mobility System Software 2.0 allows IT to position the Mobility Exchanges (WLAN switches) and Mobility Points (access points) anywhere in the network. IT can choose to directly connect the two devices or use the existing wired network to link them. The system also provides stronger support for third-party APs, including powering them via standard Power over Ethernet (PoE) and modeling their RF patterns in a given customer’s environment. All existing Mobility Exchanges and Mobility Points can support the new system functionality.

Trapeze is also expanding its line of Mobility Exchanges to include the MX-8, ideal for smaller deployments or remote offices, and a data-center oriented version, the MX-400, for centralized deployments. Rounding out the Mobility System enhancements is RingMaster 2.0 which delivers 3D planning and management capabilities that allow IT to plan a building rather than just single floors at a time.

“Successful enterprise-class wireless LAN deployments often involve a range of products to meet application requirements from network edge to network core,” said Craig J. Mathias, a principal with the wireless advisory firm Farpoint Group. “Trapeze’s new Mobility Exchanges and Mobility System 2.0 software add capabilities and features essential to scaling WLANs from small to large installations.”

While all WLAN systems purport to enable mobility, only the Trapeze Mobility System delivers secure roaming over any network topology without forcing IT to change the wired backbone configuration. The system provides wireless access to customers’ existing wired networks, preserving all their network engineering such as VLAN/subnet structure and filters. It integrates with authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) servers to provide services based on user identity, called Identity-Based Networking, which lets IT centralize policies for network access, traffic prioritization, and mobility services that persist wherever users roam. The Trapeze Mobility System remains the easiest WLAN to plan and run and therefore offers the lowest total cost of ownership in the industry.

 


Topology independence

Trapeze 2.0 Mobility System Software supports any WLAN configuration model desired including centralized deployments with the Mobility Exchange in a data center or distributed deployments with Mobility Exchanges in the wiring closets. The Mobility Exchanges support direct or indirect connections to Mobility Points and third-party APs. Trapeze enables IT to retain their existing investment in third-party APs, supporting a broad set of services including planning and integration, RF modeling, channel and power management, security, and PoE.

Exchange family of switches

The MX-8 supports eight 10/100 Mbps Ethernet ports, providing PoE to both Mobility Points and third-party APs. IT can aggregate any combination of UTP ports on the MX-8 to provide high-bandwidth uplinks into the wired network. The MX-8 is available with either a single or redundant power supplies. An MX-8 can manage configurations for up to eight Mobility Points.

The MX-400 is designed for deployment in the data center and can control Mobility Points or third-party APs over existing wired infrastructure. The four Gigabit Ethernet ports can be aggregated to create a high-bandwidth backbone link, and the MX-400 can manage configurations for up to 100 Mobility Points. It accommodates redundant, hot-swappable power supplies.

The MX-20, shipping since 2003, provides 20 10/100 Mbps Ethernet ports and two gigabit interface connectors (GBICs). With the Mobility System Software 2.0, the MX-20 can now manage configurations for up to 40 Mobility Points and can be deployed in a centralized or distributed fashion depending on the user’s needs.       

All Trapeze Mobility Exchanges support the same topology independence and can sit anywhere in the network. They also share the same architectural features, including Identity-Based Networking, secure roaming for clients, dynamic support for users’ private groups, strong mutual authentication and encryption, voice support, rogue detection, and RF management. They also provide key AAA offload features such as running the Extensible Authentication Protocols (EAP) and encryption key management.

RingMaster 2.0 with 3D Awareness

RingMaster 2.0 adds 3D awareness to this full-featured tool suite that enables IT managers to perform pre- and post- deployment planning, configuration, verification, management and optimization of the WLAN infrastructure. No other WLAN system tool recognizes and defines building attenuation factors, so no other tool can pinpoint the optimal location for access points or user or rogue AP location. In addition, RingMaster remains the only WLAN tool that ties modeling to deployment, allowing a user to plan and then configure and deploy hundreds of Mobility Points in a single step. Now with 3D awareness, RingMaster allows  IT the ability to plan an entire building rather than just a floor, and the built-in library of measured attenuation factors ensures that RingMaster understands how RF will flow through the particular environment.

Pricing and Availability

The MX-8 and Mobility System Software 2.0 are both shipping now in the United States, Europe, and Asia. The MX-400 will ship next quarter. The MX-8 has a US list price of $2,995, and the MX-400 list price will be $21,995. The new starter kit price starts at $6,995 which includes one MX-8, four dual radio Mobility Points that support 802.11a/b/g and a RingMaster license. The new Mobility Point pricing is $549 for a dual radio Mobility Point and $449 for a single radio Mobility Point. Updates to the Mobility System Software are free for customers with SafetyNet™ service.

External Links

Trapeze Networks

Fastrack M1306B GSM/GPRS modem offers new features and compact size

Wavecom SA (NASDAQ: WVCM; Euronext: AVM; ISIN: FR0000073066) announced today the launch of a new GSM/GPRS modem for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications, the Fastrack M1306B.

In countless applications in sectors ranging from security and health care to telemetry and fleet management, wireless connectivity is being used to provide a communications link to fixed and mobile islands of information. Wireless M2M combines telecommunications and information technology to automate processes, to integrate all a company's assets with its IT system, and to create value-added services. Market researchers expect that "calls" between machines will outnumber voice calls by 2006, as more and more companies discover the advantages of adding wireless connectivity to remote assets.

Wavecom invested in the wireless M2M market as early as 1997, and has continued to lead the way with innovations such as the introduction of the first open software platform for wireless M2M modules in 2001 and the first integrated GSM/GPRS/GPS module in 2003. Its range of Fastrack modems has proven itself for stable, reliable performance on wireless networks worldwide for more than five years. Updated with new features, Fastrack continues to deliver rapid time to market and painless integration for M2M applications.

The Fastrack M1306B modem is perfect for adding robust and compact wireless capability to existing applications, such as remote control and monitoring, vending, and fleet management. By embedding applications directly onto the modem using Wavecom's open software environment, Open AT, developers can reduce the number of components needed and thereby the cost of the total solution.

Housed in a rugged metallic casing measuring only 73 x 54 x 25 mm, weighing 82 grams, the Fastrack M1306B offers two general purpose input/output access points, which can be multiplexed with an I2C bus to connect peripherals. In addition, a new serial auto shut down feature enables a programmable energy conservation mode especially valuable for battery-powered applications. Fully certified, the dual-band 900/1800 MHz Fastrack M1306B offers GPRS Class 10 capability and supports IT protocols such as IP connectivity.

Commenting on the announcement Olivier Beaujard, Wavecom's Vertical Applications Marketing Director, said: "Having pioneered the vertical applications market for many years, we are extremely satisfied to see it becoming the business reality we foresaw. With a dedicated organization including adapted support and engineering, Wavecom will continue to provide M2M customers with tailored solutions as applications grow more sophisticated and wireless networking standards evolve."

The Fastrack M1306B will be available in the third quarter of 2004.

External Links

Wavecom

GPRS wireless performance engineering solution supports rapid
troubleshooting and optimization of “walkie-talkie” style communications using mobile phones.

Actix, the global provider of wireless performance engineering solutions, has today announced that its GPRS IVS solution supports the rapid troubleshooting and optimization of Push-To-Talk (PTT) services. Actix’ ability to deliver this new PTT optimization and troubleshooting solution has been enabled by Actix’ support for standard PTT protocols used in CDMA and GPRS networks, combined with the company’s
existing support for end-to-end synchronization and  visualization of wireless network data sets.

Troubleshooting PTT services is difficult when only using fixed network measurements, or only mobile test data. However, by using Actix’ GPRS IVS solution, wireless operators can combine these two different sets of data to form end-to-end views of PTT sessions. This not only enables specific problems such as latency and packet loss to be diagnosed, but it also allows engineers to determine where problems are occurring.

Actix wireless performance engineering solutions are entirely vendor independent and enable operators to analyze raw wireless network data from a mix of network technologies, systems and data collection solutions in fine detail. This gives an end-to-end picture of vital wireless functions and the
quality of service delivery from the subscriber’s perspective; it also enables engineers to ‘drill down’ to the root cause of any deficiencies. Some of the operators using Actix’ solutions include: Nokia Taiwan, Nokia Japan, SKT Korea, FET Taiwan, Orange France, 02 Germany, 3GIS, Hutchison 3G, Swisscom, Mobilkom, Vodafone UK, Vodafone Ireland, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, Bell Mobility, Sprint PCS, and Qwest Wireless.

Duncan Vardy, Head of Product Management, Actix said, “Actix’ expertise in wireless performance engineering comes from delivering vendor-independent solutions to analyze data for all major wireless vendors and technologies, to over 170 wireless operators worldwide. Actix solutions are behind the
optimization and troubleshooting of the PTT service rolled out in the US by Nextel, the only wireless operator to offer the service nationwide. The competing PTT services launched by the US’s largest mobile operator, Verizon, and Sprint, both in 2003, are also supported by Actix solutions.

Vardy continued, “Combining Actix’ support for standard PTT protocols such as RTP and SIP with our software’s ability to enable end-to-end synchronization and visualization of multiple data sets, has meant that we have already been able to fully integrate PTT optimization and troubleshooting functionality into our wireless performance engineering solutions, including GPRS IVS. This will enable GSM/GPRS operators worldwide
to quickly and successfully deploy PTT services, which have so far proved to be a very positive additional revenue stream.”

External Links

Actix

Announces Latvian contract

Nortel Networks has been awarded a supply agreement by Telekom Baltija to deploy a CDMA2000 1X network for Latvia. Deployment of the network, which will operate in the 450 MHz radio spectrum, is already underway. Telekom Baltija expects to launch the CDMA network in the second quarter of 2004 and offer commercial service beginning in the third quarter of 2004.

Nortel Networks* [NYSE/TSX: NT] has been awarded a supply
agreement by Telekom Baltija to deploy a CDMA2000 1X network that will be used to provide wireless voice and high-speed mobile data coverage for Latvia.

Deployment of the network, which will operate in the 450 MHz radio spectrum, is already underway. Telekom Baltija expects to launch the CDMA network in the second quarter of 2004 and offer commercial service beginning in the third quarter of 2004. Wireless service offerings will be based on enhanced quality voice and high-speed mobile and fixed data transmission services.

"We are providing Telekom Baltija with a cost-effective 450 MHz wireless voice and data solution based on its specific business needs," said Steve Searles, vice president, marketing, CDMA/TDMA, Nortel Networks. "This will help position Telekom Baltija to usher in a new era of wireless services in Latvia."

"We plan to implement in Latvia one of the most progressive and advantageous mobile technologies in the world - CDMA," said Michael Zotov, chairman of the board, A/S Telekom Baltija. "The key to success is a trusting relationship between the technology provider and operator. We are very pleased to be working with Nortel Networks, who we view as the most
experienced CDMA technology provider."

Nortel launches CDMA 450 portfolio

The contract announcement coincides with Nortel's official launch of its CDM 450 product set.

The CDMA 450 products, built on Nortel Networks Metro Cell base station solution, are designed to be the most flexible available in the industry today.

CDMA 450 is a standard for use in countries transitioning to digital wireless service from Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) 450 analogue service and in countries advocating universal access to voice and data. Because ofthe lower radio spectrum, CDMA 450 has the advantage of covering a significantly larger geographical footprint compared to traditional cellular systems. This means fewer cell sites, lower capital expenditures and no need for licensed operators to acquire additional spectrum.

"We have been testing and deploying CDMA 450 over the past year and, based on the successes of these networks, we have brought to market what we believe is the most robust, cost-efficient solution available to operators today," said Steve Searles, vice president, marketing, CDMA/TDMA, Nortel Networks. "CDMA 450 is gathering momentum and attention across Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America because it is relatively inexpensive to deploy and is ideal for covering vast regions and less densely populated areas."

Leveraging its experience in deploying large CDMA-based networks globally and its existing product portfolio, Nortel Networks has designed its CDMA 450 products as dedicated, standalone radios. This provides operators with a cost-effective means of building on existing NMT450 infrastructure to expand and digitize voice and data services in both rural and urban environments.

Nortel Networks native radio solution reduces site power requirements by as much at 25 percent and eliminates the need for frequency shifter hardware, which can significantly decrease site deployments costs. Each radio can support three carriers, which can be easily activated individually via software. CDMA2000 1X and CDMA 1xEV-DO are also integrated in the same base station to enable operators to customize their mix of coverage and costs, and reduce site acquisition costs.

In addition to the contract with Telekom Baltija in Latvia, Nortel Networks is conducting CDMA 450 trials with a number of operators across Eastern Europe, and has just completed a CDMA 450 trial with UralWestcom, a joint venture between
Russian Telecommunications Development Corporation (RTDC) and Ural Svyaz Inform.

External Links

Nortel Networks

Cambridge Broadband to supply CPE and base stations

Danske Telecom has ordered a further 12 base stations and a substantial quantity of customer premises equipment units from fixed wireless access equipment vendor Cambridge Broadband. The new VectaStar shipments are a major expansion of the operator's nationwide network.
 
Danske Telecom has been using Cambridge Broadband's VectaStar 3500 equipment in the licensed 3.5GHz band for over two years. The company's CEO Peter Jerry Sorensen commented: "We originally selected the VectaStar equipment because of its unrivalled range, data rates and quality of service. Throughout the time we have been using VectaStar it
has continued to prove its superiority."
 
The Danske Telecom network offers a combination of ATM, E1 and IP services, primarily used by business, public and carrier customers. This new order will be used to expand geographical coverage as well as to add extra capacity as Danske Telecom's customer base continues to grow rapidly.
 
Peter Wharton, CEO of Cambridge Broadband, commented: "It is always our aim to maintain long-term relationships with our customers, and we have njoyed working with Danske Telecom over the last few years. This repeat order is a great  endorsement of how VectaStar continues to meet our customers' demanding requirements and outperform rival systems."
 
The financial details of this substantial equipment order have not been disclosed.

External Links

Cambridge Broadband
Danske Telecom

Deploys protocol analysis tools for UMTS deployment

Tektronix, a leading provider of test and measurement equipment, today announced that TIM has chosen Tektronix' K15 protocol analysers for field deployment of it's UMTS networks.

With this purchase TIM extends its existing Tektronix test infrastructure to a test platform that is able to address existing 2G and 2.5G, as well as 3G networks. The new tools enable faster troubleshooting for the network operator, helping TIM to deliver high levels of Quality of Service.

The new Tektronix K15 test system will allow TIM engineers to reduce the time required for protocol analysis during troubleshooting activities in the field. Identification and analysis of the sources of service degradation are conducted in real-time, allowing resolution within minutes or hours.

"The ability to deliver peak performance is key to our customers, whose success is dependent on a reliable, functioning network," said Bob Agnes, Vice-President for Mobile Protocol Test at Tektronix.  "As complex 3G networks go live and operate with existing 2G and 2.5G systems, our aim is to deliver high quality tools that allow operators, such as TIM, to deliver high quality services to end customers."

Tektronix has worked with TIM in the past to provide K1297 protocol analysers for the monitoring of core and radio access networks in Italy. With unmatched application software, including the first real-time Multi-Interface Call Trace for 3G, 2.5G and 2G networks, Tektronix' new K15 protocol test platform continues to address complex network issues and enable faster resolution of quality problems even in high traffic network environments.

External Links

Tektronix
TIM

The secure SMS Banking service component enables corporate institutions to deploy interactive mobile banking services to their customers

Zinek, the leading developer of automated content display and interactive information over mobile and broadband networks, announced today the upgrade of its SMS Engine server with secure SMS Banking functionality to facilitate its growing number of institutional clients around the world.  The secure SMS Banking components run over HTTPS / SOAP, and can facilitate numerous banking commands over the mobile data network securely.

In the last two years there has been a surge in mobile messaging, both in consumer and business markets. Over one billion text messages are now sent daily. Most SMS solutions, however, are still based on proprietary technologies, are costly to purchase and deploy, and give rise to the growing concern about the security and reliability of SMS services.  The SMS Engine Server is an out-of-the-box solution based on open Web services standards. It is designed to deliver high capacity, secure and reliable messaging, and can process more than 100 mobile messages per second.

"SMS Banking applications are really coming to the forefront in user terms - from getting a quick bank balance update, to transferring money from one account to another, or even to get a quick check on the last 5 banking transactions.  These simple end user service commands are what drives banking institutions to secure SMS Banking service like ours" says Paul Kinsella, Marketing Director, Zinek.

The SMS Engine is quite possibly the most powerful communicative application on the market today that not only gives large organizations the edge in the market, but also provides the tenacity to be the forerunner in new mobile technological service offerings.

"Already today, Zinek's SMS Engine servers are in the customer delivery phase with SMS Banking, and over the coming weeks Zinek will be announcing a number of exciting deployment", states Zidane Nekmouche, CEO, Zinek.  "Zinek software servers are gaining the deployment experience and we foresee tremendous sales growth in the second and third quarter of this year," he continues.

External Links

Zinek

Own brand PDA to get new fruit flavour

O2 and Research In Motion (RIM) today announced plans to enable BlackBerry connectivity support on the Xda II later this year. 

With support for BlackBerry connectivity, Xda II users will benefit from the ease of information access and enhanced security capabilities that the BlackBerry platform provides, together with all the functionality of the Xda II including tri-band mobile phone, colour screen, camera, entertainment, games and video, Internet access and Microsoft Windows Mobile software. 

Customers will no longer need to proactively think about downloading their email on their Xda II device. BlackBerry’s always-on connectivity and push-based technology will automatically deliver email directly to and from the user’s Xda II.  BlackBerry integrates with a wide range of email systems, including Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino and popular ISPs, which will enable the Xda II to be a mobile inbox.

Laurence Alexander, Products Director O2 UK said: “It is important to provide the best possible choice for our customers, and users will be able to use the industry-leading wireless communications solution offered by BlackBerry, along with the functionality and flexibility of the Xda II. This package offers an ideal solution, whatever their wireless needs.”

Mark Guibert, Vice President, Corporate Marketing at RIM said: ”We are pleased to be working with O2 to provide our end-user customers with greater wireless device choice to suit their individual needs, while enabling IT departments to leverage their existing BlackBerry infrastructure.”

Through RIM’s BlackBerry Connect licensing program, corporate customers using the Xda II will be able to connect to BlackBerry Enterprise Server using the same secure, wireless architecture and infrastructure that has made BlackBerry such a success in the enterprise sector. The Xda II will also be able to connect to BlackBerry Web Client services for individuals and smaller businesses.

The Xda II provides full-colour, Internet and email access, Microsoft Windows Mobile, a personal organiser, a built in tri-band mobile phone, games and video access. The Xda II includes Bluetooth and optional Wireless LAN capabilities, as well as an integrated camera.

Former Microsoft wireless architect joins

 The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the trade association responsible for the creation and promotion of Bluetooth wireless technology, today announced the appointment of Dr. Michael Foley to the position of Technical Director.

Foley will direct the development of future versions of the short-range wireless specification, champion both interoperability and usability initiatives while overseeing the various working groups responsible for the technology’s growth. The Bluetooth SIG created this position to meet market demand for the burgeoning technology and to ensure the specification continues to lead the way in the short-range wireless space.

“Globally this past year the market for Bluetooth equipped products nearly doubled, and we are encouraged for similar growth in 2004. We felt it was critical to create this new position to ensure a high quality experience for the growing number of users and to better prepare the technology to support forthcoming wireless scenarios,” said Markus Schetelig, senior manager, local connectivity group at Nokia and chairman of the board for the Bluetooth SIG. “Mike Foley brings the perfect mix of wireless know-how and Bluetooth specific background to this position.”

Foley is not new to the Bluetooth landscape. While at Microsoft he served as the SIG’s Chairman of the Board and was intimately involved in the launch of Bluetooth enabled Microsoft hardware products and worked toward the integration of Bluetooth into future versions of Microsoft operating systems. 

“Since its inception, I could see the potential for Bluetooth wireless technology. The growing momentum the technology has seen over the past several years makes this  an exciting time in the wireless industry, I am looking forward to being a part of it,” said Mike Foley, newly appointed technical director of the Bluetooth SIG.

External Links

Bluetooth SIG

Keith Willetts, widely recognised as one of the world's leading
authorities on communications management, is joining Logan Orviss International (LOI) as an Associate Partner. 

Honoured twice in the Communications Week 'Top 25' awards for industry visionaries, Keith is regarded as a highly experienced consultant specialising in strategic business development.

Keith espouses that operational systems and processes used in the telecom industry must be radically transformed to cope with today's mushrooming service mix, rapid change and constantly falling operational costs.  As co-author of the highly influential book, The Lean Communications Provider, Keith is a strong advocate of a 'lean' business framework that can deliver continuous reductions in cost, unrelenting service innovation and consistent improvement in customer service.

"The telecoms industry has been through some pretty tough times over the last two or three years, and this has brought to the fore the importance of having an organisational structure aligned with the business processes.  Vendor independent consultancies such as Logan Orviss International are critical in this environment and are valued by telecoms service providers looking for guidance in how they can optimise their systems and business processes," says Keith Willetts.

Keith will act as a senior level advisor to Logan Orviss International whilst still maintaining his positions as a Managing Partner at Mandarin Associates and as Chairman of the Board of Directors at TeleManagement Forum Inc. 

"LOI is expanding rapidly both in terms of geographic  overage and breadth of services it offers to the telecom industry. By joining LOI, Keith will help us fuel this expansion considerably and his talents will strengthen both the range of expertise available from our leading consultants and the LOI management team" said Brendan Logan Co-Founder
and Chief Executive Officer LOI Group.

External Links

Logan Orviss