Trapeze Networks and 3Com sign partnership deal to boost sales

Two large networking vendors are to join forces to help them sell their wireless LAN (WLAN) equipment.

Trapeze Networks will produce WLAN gear with the 3Com badge on it, and the company will work to integrate its equipment with 3Com's existing offerings.

Although the partnership should help drive sales for both vendors, it highlights the struggle both companies have faced in getting their respective products to market.

3Com is trying to win favour with enterprises once more, having turned its back on businesses' networking requirements after the dotcom bubble burst. It is still struggling to build its networking portfolio.

Trapeze, an American start-up, ploughed much investment into its launch a year ago, but has since struggled to make a name for itself in the industry.

The deal with 3Com is ideal because it gets to sell its technology with a well-known brand name.

Trapeze's ceo Jim Vogt said, "This relationship will provide us with an increase in our worldwide channel ... and will allow us to reach new customer segments we are not able to get to on our own."

Vogt added that his long term strategy included forming more strategic partnerships with established vendors.

Trapeze's WLAN infrastructure is based around a central wireless switch, and includes software to plan and monitor the wireless network.

Employees panic after receiving apparent virus by SMS

Employees panicking about the three recent mobile phone viruses are causing headaches for network managers by complaining about a new virus released by a computer games company.

Many mobile phone users have received an SMS which claims to be a virus, leading some to contact their network manager for help.

The SMS, which reads "I'm infecting you with t-virus", is a hoax released by CE Europe, a computer games company trying to promote a new game called Resident Evil.

Some mobile device users have panicked after the release of three real viruses aimed specifically at mobile devices.

Cabir was the first in June as it infected Symbian phones, and it was closely followed by the Duts virus, which attacked Windows Mobile operating systems.

Neither carried a damaging payload.

Then this month, the Mosqit virus, disguised as a game, caused mobile phones to send SMSs to premium rate numbers.

It appears the panic over the hoax t-virus has been largely caused by Cabir, Duts and Mosqit.

"The messages [SMSs] are themselves not infectious, but some people have panicked," said Graham Cluley of Sophos, the anti-virus company. "Viral marketing campaigns like this generate work for IT departments and support desks as they have to reassure users."

It is not the first time a company has released a hoax virus for promotional purposes.

Sophos says Penguin Books tried the same tactic in 1996, which caused confusion over a period of several years.

T-Mobile's commitment to a combined wireless broadband access strategy was reflected in the launch of its 3G data card service in the UK, combined with the extension of its Wi-Fi HotSpot access points across the UK. The service launch is combined with a tariff providing unlimited usage of both the data cards and Wi-Fi access.

The 3G data cards give access speeds of up to 128 KB, a speed which will progressively increase to 384KB in the coming months.
With the card, customers can have  Wi-Fi, GPRS and 3G access, with seamless roaming between GPRS and 3G, depending on the coverage available. T-Mobile's Wi-Fi service is now available at over 500 locations in the UK (over 7,000 group-wide) and offers broadband internet access and services at speeds of over 1MB. T-Mobile plans a very considerable increase in the roll-out of its Wi-Fi HotSpots throughout the UK.
Brian McBride, managing director of T-Mobile UK, said, "3G data cards give customers internet access at similar rates to those they experience with high speed fixed-line internet access. Together with the full broadband speeds and capabilities of our unique Wi-Fi service, T-Mobile is truly starting to put the internet in your pocket and enable you to take your office with you on the move."
The launch comes after trials with over 150 of T-Mobile's business customers, including Hewlett Packard. The promotional launch of the cards will be focussed in the major business centres where T-Mobile's 3G coverage is highest.
The multi-media package costs £199 plus a monthly fee of £70 for a 12 month contract, and includes unlimited data access on 3G, 2.5G or Wi-Fi.  For a limited period the service will be free for the first three months.

The boss of a British supplier of location based services infrastructure says the technology's time has finally come.

After a series of false starts that would shame a 1996-vintage Linford Christie, Chris Wade, ceo of Cambridge Positioning Systems (CPS), says that LBS technology is now available to operators at a price and level of accuracy that make it a worthwhile investment.
A version of CPS' patented technology is gaining ground with operators, offering a viable alternative to GPS. One recognition of this has come from Frost & Sullivan, which awarded CPs its Customer Value Award for 2004.
Wade admits that the LBS provider claims to have been here before, only to fail. That was because previous technology relied on units (LMUs) being installed at each base station where an operator needed coverage. Operators baulked at the cost of the system, which Wade said touched $35 per subscriber. The base station unit approach also meant that the LBS providers needed to form their own relationships with OEMs such as Nokia and Ericsson.
Meanwhile CPS has developed internally a technology that was purely software based, and required no base station installations. Despite this, Wade admits that CPS was still trying to make a success of its existing technology, and had even licensed it to Ericsson, Siemens and Nortel, and there had been trials in Helsinki with Sonera, in London with Vodafone and with German operators. But the trials petered out when the operators realised what the cost of a network-wide rollout would be,
CPS then turned to its "new' technology, which it had christened Matrix. Matrix is built around a technology known as E-OTD, which uses handset and server software to take measurements, rather than base station based units. Then, as Wade tells it, around 18 months ago the operators started to come back to LBS, but because of their experience with the base station based technology they were more open to listening to the GPS community. But soon operators were finding a huge difference in the performance of GPS over GSM as opposed to GSM over CDMA networks. Whereas in-building accuracy may be down to 100m with a CDMA GPS system, over GSM that accuracy was down to 300m. Also, it took up to a minute for GPS to create a position over GSM. The reason for this is to do with the timing updates the GPS chipset needs from the network. As CDMA is a synchronised network the time to a first fix was much quicker. Qualcomm had also developed a fall-back triangulation mechanism for GPS over CDMA, whereas there is no such equivalent for GPS over GSM.
Briefly, CPS tried to tie its fortunes to GPS, recognising the need to have a foot in a number of camps, Wade explains.
However, with GPS systems meaning a similar network integration effort for operators, and wrangling at standards level from the main vendors, CPS has recently begun to market its E-OTD system to operators, and Wade claims there will be a commercial deployment of the system before the end of 2004. Wade says that in trials with Telia Sonera the Matrix technology has been averaging accuracy to 88m 67% of the time, compared with 300-400m with Cell-id based technology (which maps a user based on which cell he is in).
"Pleasantly surprised" by this, in Wade's terms, the operator is now considering which services to launch on its network.
Wade reserved some harsh words for competitor company True Position, which markets a base station-based solution based on its own U-TDOA technology. As with CPS' own LMU (location monitoring unit) based system, it comes in at a hefty cost per user.
Jason Angelides, ceo of True Position, responded to the implication that LMU based systems are inherently too expensive for operators. He said that operators need to take a demand-led approach to LBS. In other words, if operators decide that the most profitable services merit the most expensive solution, then it is worth the investment. But if services can meet expectation based on solutions that cost less (Cell-id, GPS) then operators should build that into their technology mix.
TruePosition is endeavouring to communicate to European operators the message that it is more than just a provider of systems to US operators who had to meet the E911 mandate. Angelides said, "We are often viewed as a parochial solution, extremely complex and not cost-effective, but we are communicating there are multiple ways to go about this.
"People have pointed to the cost of the technology but you get out what you put in. Operators are now using Cell-id which they basically paid nothing for. As a result they can provide generalised location information without the quality of service needed for high value services.

Suggestions that other vendors would move to prevent outright Nokia control of Symbian were proved correct when SonyEricsson, Panasonic and Siemens all increased their stake in the company, following the sale of Psion's 31% stake in the company.

Symbian is also seeking to raise GBP50 million in additional funding through a rights issue, to support a rise in headcount from 900 to 1200 people as the company seeks to beef up Symbian development.
An early proposal was made that Nokia would purchase Psion's complete stake in Symbian, giving the Finnish company an overall 63.3% stake in the company.
But amidst concerns about Nokia taking outright control of the venture, SonyEricsson has invested GBP57.4 million to bump up its shareholding from 1.5% to 13.1%.
SonyEricsson's P800 and P900 range of phones are based on the Symbian OS and UIQ user interface.
"We are pleased to see the broad participation of Symbian's shareholders in the pre-emption of Psion's shares and the Symbian rights issue. With Symbian as an independent company, unity and interoperability among phone vendors can be strengthened," said Miles Flint, President of Sony Ericsson.
Symbian's ceo David Levin said that the rights issue funding would support a move into mass market phones. Symbian has until now been reserved for the smartphone  market. 

Alcatel has finalised an agreement to buy Swiss mobile application service provider MNC.

The acquisition is designed to support Alcatel's approach, which is to offer operators hosted solutions to enable them to open their networks to hundreds of external content providers, enterprises and communities.
MNC provides mobile services providers with externally managed solutions including mobile applications, content aggregation and hosting.
This  service  will now be  provided  by Alcatel as a hosted solution. Alcatel owns, maintains  and  operates  the  technical  solution  on behalf of the mobile service  provider.
"MNC  has  always  been  at  the forefront of innovation for the benefit of mobile   service  providers,  mobile  content  providers,  and  end-users"  Edouard  Lambelet,  chief  executive  officer  of  MNC, said.
"For MNC, joining  Alcatel  represents  a fantastic opportunity to leverage Alcatel's impressive  global  reach in order to successfully  replicate our solutions and our business model around the world."

This year's review of contracts carried out by the TETRA Association on behalf of its members shows that the total number of contracts recorded stand at 505 in 65 countries around the world.

The Middle East and Northern Europe have been the two fastest growing regions since last year's review nine months ago.
The highest growth by user sector has been in the Oil & Gas and Industrial market sectors. Overall growth percentages are 55% for contract growth and 19% for country growth. More details are available on the TETRA MoU Association's website at www.tetramou.com.

l Following-up on last year's success in the Middle East, the Association returned in May of this year to Dubai to run their Middle East TETRA Conference for 2004. The one day conference and exhibition attracted 200 people from more than 20 countries. The conference was chaired by MoU vice chairman Risto Toikkanen and opened by Jørgen Friis, Deputy Director General of ETSI.
His presentation highlighted the benefits of open standards and the balance of technologies to address all sectors of the market.
Commenting on the event, Jørgen said, "This conference was a great success and the TETRA MoU can be happy to have organised such an event. I was also very satisfied about the feedback and it was great to hear about how TETRA is used in real life".
The exhibition area was supported by around a dozen companies from Europe demonstrating TETRA terminals, infrastructure, applications and consulting support.

O2 Airwave has launched a new Alliance Programme to bring together technology specialists who will further help to improve public safety communications.

The O2 Airwave Alliance Programme aims to bring together innovators in emergency services communications technology, enabling organisations with complementary products and services to work together to provide complete solutions to the public safety sector.
O2 Airwave already works with a number of companies to meet the specific needs of the emergency services. However, it is intended that the Alliance Programme will stimulate a wider partnership approach in developing technology that supports the present and future needs of public safety agencies.
Pete Carrasco, Alliances Manager, explained, "Now that the [Airwave] network is almost fully rolled out it is time for us to further bring together suppliers, terminal manufacturers, applications partners and a host of other service providers so that we meet the present and future needs of the different emergency services."Â

The Parisian public transport agency (RATP) has awarded the contract for its network modernisation to Alcatel, which will deploy Nokia TETRA equipment to cover Paris' extensive Metro, express line and bus system.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2007 and the TETRA network to be deployed by Alcatel comprises six Nokia TETRA switches and around 500 TETRA base stations. The contract also includes operator consoles developed by Alcatel using Nokia's open interfaces, and Alcatel's mass transit-specific applications.
The network will enable mobile voice and data connectivity for over 10,000 personnel including bus, express-line and metro conductors, as well as maintenance crews and security personnel.
"We are glad to have been able to provide the most suitable solution for RATP and Alcatel." says Hans Holmberg, Vice President, TETRA Sales and Marketing, Nokia.

TeliaSonera has completed its acquisition of Orange Denmark, beginning consolidation in a crowded market. Orange Denmark has 650,00 customers, and has cost TeliaSonera EUR600 million less net debt.

TeliaSonera said the acquisition would generate SEK490 million worth of synergies, mainly related to closing down one of the two networks the operator now owns. SIM cards and network traffic will have to me transferred from one network to the other. Following the acquisition, TeliaSonera will have approximately 1.1 million mobile customers in Denmark, and will be the third largest Danish mobile operator.
Ovum's Carrie Pawsey said the deal made good sense for France Telecom in the face of a highly competitive Danish market, but queried whether the deal was as good news for TeliaSonera.
 "The sale of Orange Denmark has been expected for some time. FT is focusing heavily on the profitability of its foreign investments and has already decreased its exposure in Thailand and exited the Swedish market.
Denmark has one of the most competitive mobile markets in the world: it has five mobile operators, four large MVNOs, over 10 other MVNOs and Enhanced Service Providers (ESPs), just 5.2 million subscribers and margins well below the European average. Consolidation has therefore been widely expected, and kicked off with TDC buying Telmore, the largest MVNO, at the beginning of 2004 and Sonofon buying CBB Mobil, the third largest MVNO, in April 2004.
The deal itself looks good for France Telecom. It values Orange Denmark's customers at euro 1000 each, while the ARPU posted by Orange in Denmark was EUR373 in 2003. But is it so good for TeliaSonera? There is no real value in acquiring a second GSM network and TeliaSonera will have to shut one down to save costs (estimated to be about euro 51m). And euro 1000 per new customer is a high price just to become Denmark's third player, particularly if you consider that TDC paid euro 88 per subscriber in its acquisition of Telmore. We expect further consolidation to come."
Initially, TEliaSonera said, no changes will be made in  existing customer relationships. Existing products and services of both organisations will continue to be delivered under separate existing brands until at least spring 2005, and no significant organisational overlaps are expected.

BT is to head an international working group trying to establish the best technologies for the convergence of fixed and mobile networks.

The telco is keen to promote technical partnerships to help it develop its Bluephone proposition, which will enable mobile phone users to roam onto Bluetooth or wireless LAN cells without their call being dropped.
It had announced it was working with several other telcos, but it had not produced a definite list until now.
BT will work immediately with five other companies within the so-called Fixed-Mobile Convergence Alliance (FMCA).
They will be Swisscom, Rogers Wireless, NTT, Korea Telecom and Brasil Telecom.
BT's mobile products chief Ryan Jarvis will chair the FMCA for the first twelve months.
But France's Cegetel, one of BT's early convergence partners, has not joined the alliance.
And Vodafone, which BT claimed was supporting it on the Bluephone project has not joined the alliance either.
The telco claims 15 operators are interested in joining the FMCA.

O2, the mobile operator, claims it has won significant business contracts, but it will take a hit from the ending of its virtual network operator agreement with BT, in its first quarter results, which it has just revealed.

"Contract ARPU [average revenue per user] continued to grow strongly, driven in part by O2's success in the business market," the operator said.
"Investment in our in-house business sales capability, and the development of innovative campaigns targeted at the smaller corporate and SME markets delivered customer growth."
O2 does not divide its subscriber numbers into businesses and consumers, but it said total subscribers were up 261,000 during the quarter.
Contract ARPU was up £12 to £537 per year. Data revenues, which are now  increasingly non-SMS, were up £4 to £59.Thirty-eight police forces, plus a number of other blue-light organisations, now have the company's Airwave TETRA solution, O2 added.

The mobile phone sector's contributions to both the UK GDP and government finances are set to more than double over the next ten years --- a report commissioned by operator MMO2 has predicted.

Confirming the importance of the mobile industry to overall economic health and government finances, the report also forecasts that around 56,000 new jobs in the UK will be created by 2013 and that productivity will far out perform the national average.
The report was undertaken by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (cebr) for MMO2, and looks at the future economic impact of mobile communications. According to the report, the mobile industry's proportion of the UK economy is expected to rise to 3.0%, or £49.1 billion, by 2013 --- up from £22.0 billion, 2.2% of total GDP in 2003.
Government finances also stand to receive a massive boost. The total impact, last year, of mobile operators on the Exchequer was £15 .2 billion and this is expected to jump to £31.8 billion by 2013. Without the mobile industry, the Exchequer would need to find the equivalent of more than 4p on the rate of basic income tax today, rising to over 5p in ten years time.
Peter Erskine, chief executive officer, mmO2, used the report to lobby for a stable regulatory and legislative environment. "The cebr analysis underlines what we have long believed --- that the mobile sector is poised for even more dramatic growth as we focus on developing new mobile data products and value-added services. The research shows that these services are likely to account for a significant element of the growth over the next 10 years.
"Across the Group more than five million customers, representing about 25% of the total O2 customer base, are now using non-SMS mobile data services. 
"However, if we are to maintain the mobile industry's contribution to the economy and life in Britain, it is imperative we have a stable environment of non-obtrusive regulation and balanced public policy decisions in areas such as the building of cell sites, digital rights management and e-money. Following years of enormous growth in the late nineties, we have seen the industry's contribution to UK GDP plateau over the last two years as a direct result of economic factors and the regulatory climate."
In addition, the cebr study found that the number of jobs accounted for by the mobile sector will grow from less than 200,000, 0.66% of all employment, in 2003 to over a quarter of a million, or about 0.79% of all employment in the UK within 10 years.
In 2003, per capita productivity in the industry is estimated to have been £111,600, nearly three times the national average of £34,000. By 2013, productivity in the industry is forecast to have risen to £194,200 which will be nearly four times the predicted national average of £51,000.

Chinese handset manufacturer TCL Mobile Communication has shipped 10 million GSM/GPRS cellular phones based on Analog Devices SoftFoneR platform and TTPCom's  protocol stack and applications software.

"Analog Devices' platform and TTPCom's software have enabled us to quickly develop a complete range of handsets to serve many segments of the market," said Wang Kailong, chief engineer, TCL Mobile. "The ability to add new features in software allows us to react quickly to changes in customer requirements, while meeting our cost and performance objectives."
TCL and Alcatel recently agreed to establish a joint venture company engaging in the research and development, subcontracting of manufacturing, sales and distribution of handsets and peripheral devices. 
Tony Milbourn, managing director of TTPCom said, "The strategic partnership between our three companies has enabled TCL, not only to lead the Chinese market in terms of innovative products, but also to reach the point where they are the handset brand to watch.
"If TCL continue as they are going today, I have absolutely no doubt that they will be one of the top five manufacturers in the world."