Symbol Technologies has introduced the Mobility Services Suite (MSS), to help enterprises decrease the time it takes to deploy a mobile infrastructure. The Symbol Mobility Services Suite consists of three components: Mobility Services Platform (MSP); Mobility Services Agents (MSAs); and MSS Studio.

The MSP is an appliance that provides control of deployments by communicating with MSAs resident on all Symbol mobile devices and systems. This enables mobile device and wireless network management and monitoring, including discovery, remote control, configuration, provisioning and troubleshooting.
The MSS Studio enables application developers to create new and extend existing back-end applications to a large variety of mobile computing devices over WLAN, GPRS and other networks. MSS Studio is built on standards including J2EE and Web services. Future versions will include SDKs for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET and .NET Compact Framework.  
The Mobility Services Suite was designed to be extensible to accommodate emerging mobility services, including voice over IP, security and RFID.
The MSS is also designed to  integrate with existing enterprise network management solutions, such as IBM Tivoli, HP OpenView and CA Unicenter, supporting interaction through standard networking protocols.

GRIC Communications is adding support for GPRS in the forthcoming  version of its Mobile Office solution.

GRIC Mobile Office users who subscribe to a GPRS service will be able to wirelessly access their corporate networks and applications, anywhere there is a GPRS signal. End users can also exchange SMS messages with other devices on the GPRS network. GRIC already offers WLAN, Ethernet or dial-up access choices to subscribers.
"GRIC is delivering on our vision of providing secure, reliable, and cost-effective access to corporate networks, and applications using all popular access methods including wireless," said Rob Fuggetta, senior vice president of worldwide marketing for GRIC.

Processor and technology developer TTP Communications said it was encouraged by the outlook for the year ahead, despite reporting a pre-tax loss of £2.7million for 2003/4, compared to a 36.6million profit in 2002/03.

The company said a profitable second quarter gave it reason to be cheerful,despite a rough first half to the year, and it is forecasting revenues up 20% in financial year 2004/05. Revenues from ip access, its in-building GSM unit, were up to £3million from less than half a million in the year previous. TTP is targetting £10million revenues from in-building business in the coming year.
There was also a good market reaction to the company's single processor modem, TTP said. The single processor configuration of its cellular baseband engine integrates the complete modem from RF drivers to protocol stack software (GSM, GPRS and EDGE) on the Digital Signal Processor (DSP). A single processor enables handset manufacturers to use the second processor for applications or open operating systems, whilst minimising silicon count.
TTP began interoperability testing of the single processor EDGE modem in March 2004.

Teleca will supply Symbian OS and Series 60 support for Intel's PXA27x  processors aimed at mobile phone and other wireless device developers.

Recently appointed as a Symbian Independent Design House and a Series 60 boutique, Teleca will develop reference platforms and complete mobile phone designs for Series 60 licensees across GSM/GPRS, CDMA, WCDMA and multimode technologies.
Teleca integrated applications that execute high performance gaming, multimedia and telephony capabilities based on the Series 60 User Interface for the Intel PXA27x platform. The Series 60 Platform is a terminal software, optimised for Symbian OS that Nokia licenses to mobile handset manufacturers.
"Our Nokia Series 60 Boutique status has given us the ability to support Intel XScale technology-based mobile phone developments globally," says John Cooper, director, Smart Phones Business Segment at Teleca.

Chip manufacturer Qualcomm has said that it has the largest number of manufacturers working with its WCDMA chipsets, compared to other chipset vendors. There are now 21 device and equipment vendors integrating Qualcomm's WCMDA chipsets, including newcomers Vitelcom Mobile Technology, BenQ Corporation and Misubishi. Established players such as Samsung, LG and Toshiba have long been Qualcomm licencees.

Dr Sanjay Jha, president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, said the broadening customer base would aid adoption of UMTS, as more products hit the market. Proven interoperability would reassure the operators, as well.
"We expect global adoption of WCDMA to accelerate as our customer base brings new products to market," Jha said. "Qualcomm's extensive interoperability testing, in addition to the testing we've conducted with our WCDMA operator partners, provides our handset customers with the confidence that their development efforts can remain focused on quickly addressing new market opportunities."
Qualcomm's chipsets support its Launchpad and BREW environments for application development, as well as J2mE environment. The chipset vendor views WCMDA as an ideal entry point into a European market previously off-limits in the GSM world. It has made efforts to ramp up its BREW presence in Europe, signing up a series of application development partners.
l Qualcomm has also announced it expects to launch an HSDPA chip in 2005. Qualcomm says samples of its radioOne RFR6275 diversity receive chip, which it says will increase network capacity and deliver higher speed data rates for the next-generation UMTS technology High Speed Downlink Packet Access, is expected to ship in the second quarter of 2005. 
The RFR6275 chip extends the functionality of the RTR6275 transceiver device, also just announced, to include support for HSDPA receive diversity and Assisted-GPS (A-GPS). 
The RFR6275 supports HSDPA receive diversity, which uses an additional antenna and associated receive chain to provide improved signal reception, enabling higher data throughput and significant increases in network capacity, especially in dense urban environments. This allows the RFR6275 to enable up to 5 dB receive diversity gain. This device also integrates a GPS receiver, which supports Qualcomm's gpsOne solution.

112 won't necessarily be a boost for LBS

Oranges launch of its "Find Nearest" SMS service is evidence that operators are far from giving up on location based services (see link at the bottom of this page for the news announcement). There is clearly a demand, latent or blatant, for services designed to add to your life as you move around the world a yearning for a drink and a mobile in your pocket.

Oranges technology provider for this service is Webraska, which uses a Cell-ID based system to map a mobiles location. In a nutshell, the service will compare your location to a directory of whatever it is you are trying to find. The service uses two-way SMS rather than WAP, which Orange initially used when it first launched its Find Nearest service last year.

This kind of service was expected to be so commonplace by now, that it comes as something of a surprise to see that operators are only now beginning to get to grips with the practical issues of how to deliver them to users. The issues for location based services (LBS) are no different to any other service. First, users have to know the service exists, then they have to know how to work it, then the service itself has to work. This requires operators to have a complete view of marketing, service delivery and quality of service.

There are also still plenty of discussions up for grabs as to which technology is best placed to help operators deliver these services. Cell-ID is the dominant European platform at the moment, but there is increasing momentum, not least from the handset manufacturers, behing Assisted-GPS (A-GPS), which is a kind of souped-up version of GPS.

But Jason Angelides, director, Global Services, for TruePosition, a US based LBS company which has just opened offices in London and Stockholm to address the European market, says that reducing the debate down to the level of technology platform is what has been, in many ways, holding back the LBS market.

TruePosition is "not technology agnostic", Angelides says. Indeed it holds most of its IPR in a technology called U-TDOA. U-TDOA is what Cingular and T-Mobile, two of three national GSM 1900 US oeprators use, so TruePosition naturally falls more on that side of the fence.

But Angelides insist that what operators need is to take a whole view of what LBS they want to offer, and to what level. If, for instance, it is vital that an operator has high accuracy, even for a user in an indoor environment, then GPS is not going to be a natural fit. If an operator has dense cells in an urban area then Cell-ID could provide the correct level of accuracy, but if the cells are more dispersed in a rural or suburban environment, then Cell-ID may not provide a uniform service level, Angelides argues.

Therefore the answer is a consultative approach, blending technologies to suit customer demand and operator need. There is one further event which overshadows the LBS market  that of 112, emergency number, legislation along the lines of the 911 mandate in the US.

It seems increasingly likely that the EC will make some move to lean heavier on operators to be able to locate emergency calls accurately. Perhaps by the end of the year there may even be a legislative requirement. Now, although you might expect a provider of LBS technology to be leaning heavily on government to introduce such a mandate, Angelides thinks too heavy-handed an approach will be counter-productive.

In the USA, he argues, the mandate concentrated operators minds solely on meeting the requirements by a certain date and to a certain spec, and meant that commercial applications of the technology inevitably took a back seat.

External Links

TruePosition

802.11b helps to track assets in enterprises

Much has been made of the ability of 3G technology to pinpoint mobile phone users' location, but a wireless LAN (WLAN) company is hoping to take those location techniques and adapt them to locating assets in the workplace.

Airespace, a Guildford, UK-based company which manufactures WLAN appliances and access points, is to release a wireless 'tag', which can be attached to any piece of equipment to help locate it.

The tag emits a beacon, which is picked up by up to three access points, which, using triangulation, locate where the tag is.

Airespace claims it is accurate to one metre, subject to sufficient WLAN coverage.

Its vp for EMEA Marcel Dridje acknowledges that it has been possible to locate WLAN devices using triangulation, since the technique was developed in 2003, but argued that this is the first time it has been possible to locate a non-WLAN device.

"What happens if you want to track a dumb device that's not WiFi enabled?" he said.

"It doesn't make sense to stick a WiFi radio on the device because it's expensive. So what you can do is to stick this tag on it."

The tag, which is a more advanced version of the RFID tags used in supermarkets, is matchbox-sized, and will cost around £70.

Dridje believes the tag will have more success in healthcare, for locating emergency equipment, and in the manufacturing sector.

His company is trialling the equipment in the British armed forces and at a well-known leisure park.

The Airespace tag has been developed by Bluesoft, a start-up established entirely to develop the tagging technology.

External Links

Airespace

Those who have followed the 3G contract announcements coming out of France will note with interest Alcatel’s announcement about its role as primary service supplier to Orange for its Ville Pilotes UMTS project. (see link below)

The situation as it stood was that Orange was conducting trial 3G networks in three cities, Cannes, Lille and Toulouse. These trials were divided up between Nortel, Alcatel and Nokia, who were installing and managing the networks in each of the cities respectively.

But this announcement appears to position Alcatel as the main service supplier integrator across all three projects. The service package includes such goodies as fixed-to-mobile video telephony, web conferencing, video  messaging,  online  gaming, a  3G video portal and instant messaging.

Alcatel appears to have sewn up the deal for the supply of application servers, service platforms, and management of service quality and performance. It is also integrating the new services into Orange’s existing service platforms.

This growing relationship is one that will not surprise those who have seen Orange France increasingly become an arm of France Telecom (FT) – a drift that many blamed for the recent departure of its ceo.

FT’s Thierry Breton said at Cannes that he saw Orange as a strategic provider of wireless broadband, alongside FT’s fixed line efforts, and that the long term goal was to harmonise broadband service delivery platforms across the fixed and mobile networks. In that scenario, Orange becomes just one access provider to a range of branded multi-media services.

If FT genuinely wants to harmonise its broadband service delivery platform it is unsurprising that Alcatel whould be given the job of doing it. But the mobile operator  and its suppliers, still have a long way to go before that vision, which must be based on IP, will near reality.

External Links

Orange France
Alcatel

TeliaSonera shops running out of top selling phone

TeliaSonera has blamed poor supply from SonyEricsson for the fall of the T630 handset from top seller in March to fourth place in April,

The T630 was the top-selling mobile telephone at Telia stores in Sweden during March, but fell to fourth place during April, the operator said.

Hans Carlsson, marketing director for Telia stores, blamed poor supply from SonyEricsson for the drop.

"Unfortunately the deliveries from Sony Ericsson have not come up to customer demands," Carlsson said.

On the up side for SonyEricsson, "improved deliveries" of the T610 meant the phone entered the sales chart at number seven.

Nokia and SonyEricsson both have four phones in the top ten. Samsung has one phone, but it is the top selling SGH-E700 and Siemens has its A52 in third place.

April      March
Ranking Ranking     Model                      Comments
1        4               Samsung SGH-E700     GO + C
2        3               Nokia 3310                   P
3        2               Siemens A52                 P
4        New          Nokia 3200                C
5        1               Sony Ericsson T630      GO + C
6        7               Nokia 5100                   P
7        New             Sony Ericsson T610    GO + C
8        9               Sony Ericsson T100       P
9        8               Nokia 3510i                   P
10       10              Sony Ericsson T68i   

Key:
P – sales include pay as you go phones,
GO – sold preconfigured with Telia GO,     
C – has inbuilt camera.

External Links

SonyEricsson
TeliaSonera

OSS giant Telcordia has hastened consolidation in the OSS sector by buying up inventory specialist and sometime business partner Granite Systems.

OSS giant Telcordia has hastened consolidation in the OSS sector by buying up inventory specialist and sometime business partner Granite Systems.

Granite was 20% owned by Telcordia’s own parent company Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and was a partner in Telcordia’s Elementive programme. (Elementive is Telcordia’s open standard, modular approach for next generation OSS products and solutions.)

Rich Mangan, vp EMEA for Telcordia, said that the acquisition was made at a time when operator and carrier investment in OSS is "taking off".

"Granite has an excellent position in inventory management and we already have a number of dealings with Granite and it seemed a perfect time. We had a good working relationship and a nice cultural fit."

Mangan said that there were no current plans to acquire more of Telcordia’s Elementive partners. "I am sure we will continue to succeed with our partners but we will not necessarily buy all of our partners," he joked. Other Elementive partners include service assurance specialist Steleus and Elementive also includes technology acquired from DAX Tecgnologies.

Granite too has other partners, not the least of which is Agilent, a direct competitor of Telcordia’s. Mangan said that all such partnerships are now under review.
"We’ve been having a number of discussions with OEMs and VARs, reaffirming our overall approach. Where it makes sense at the request of our clients we will welcome all opportunities for partnership."

When asked if Agilent in particular would be more problematical as a partnership he replied, "It could be. But any opportunities that present themselves make for interesting partnerships."

On the reaction of operators to consolidation in the market, Mangan said he had received positive feedback from customers so far, and said future alliance strategies would be determined by customer needs.

Nigel Clifford, director of Tertio, a provisioning company that also has a relationship with Granite,  said that he saw the acquisition as "a logical fit" and said he  would  "look forward to opportunities of working together in the future". Tertio views itself as a provisioning company as non-competitive with either company and doesn’t anticipate there being any change in its relationship.

Granite spokespeople were thin on the ground, with most of the top people seemingly whisked over to the USA and uncontactable, presumably to begin their induction into Telcordia. Mangan said he had been to see Granite staff and said the deal would be positive for Granite employees. He was more vague on whether the Granite name and brand would continue to be seen within Telcordia.
 
As far as the mobile market goes, Granite has around a 50% share of the mobile operator market in the NAFTA zone for its inventory products. Telcordia is hoping to fit that experience to European mobile operators as well, Mangan said.

External Links

Telcordia
Granite Systems

Mobile networks division does well in Western Europe

Alcatel’s mobile division made a good contribution to first quarter figures that show a decrease in sales, but income up overall.

The mobile division’s first quarter revenue decreased by 5.1% to Eur757 million from Eur798 million in Q1 2003, Alcatel said. But income on tat amounted to Eur70 million compared to Eur15 million in Q1 2003.

There was good growth in mobile networks in Western Europe and Africa as well as China, while the other regions in the world were "less robust" the vendor said.

The mobile networks business was a good player for the vendor, recording double-digit growth in its mobile core business with "continued momentum" in areas such as next generation applications (video and convergent payment) as well as in messaging, with more than 135 mobile customers in this domain.

However, the wireless transmission business, which registered a revenue decrease, did affect overall revenue. The handset business saw increased volumes to 1.9 million compared to 1.7 million in the first quarter last year, but that volume growth was offset by price declines.

"The handset business continued to weigh on the profitability of the segment," Alcatel said. The vendor recently announced plans to "do an Ericsson" and offload the manufacturing burden to TCL.

External Links

Alcatel

Nokia’s claim to the have the first pre-commercial launch of a 3G network up and running for Orange France may not be welcomed by Nortel, which had a site, of sorts, up and running in Cannes in February for the 3GSM World Congress.

Nokia announced today that it has "lit" its 3G network in Toulouse. "This is the first pre-commercial launch of 3G in France," a statement from the company said. Nokia is one of three manufacturers being considered by Orange in a three way split of its 3G infrastructure and services contract. The third is Alcatel. Nokia and Alcatel are also carving up Orange UK’s 3G network between them.

Clearly it’s all a matter of how you define "pre-commercial". In any case, Nokia said its Toulouse network is now up and running. The third pilot city in France is Alcatel’s in Lille. No doubt that will be hailed as a first, too.

To see Nokia’s press release in full see News Wire section.

The mobile alliance formed by Orange,Telefonica Maviles, TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile) and T-Mobile will henceforth be known as FreeMove.

FreeMove's operators have 170 million customers between them in Europe, and have combined to offer their customers the same services on partner networks as they do on the "home" network.
There is also a secondary aim, which is to combine purchasing power for handsets and services from equipment providers. This will drive down prices, but also drive service adoption by ensuring a harmonised approach, the alliance's founders hope.
Mobile Europe spoke to Nikesh Aurora, chief marketing officer of T-Mobile, about the aims of the alliance. Aurora said the alliance can work on three different levels.
"The way we look at it, it allows us to leverage our scale, so if we are all together on a certain key topic we can  drive standardisation. We can also drive the acceptance of new products and services and bring our scale to that. It will also allow us to provide a 'home away from home' service to our customers."
Aurora said that certain services would only be possible "if we are all together." On the last of these points, the virtual home environment, Aurora said, "Customers will know wherever they are in a Freemove country they will be able to get their service as they experience it at home but supplied by their local partner."
Freemove hopes to increase voice roaming traffic between the partner networks by10% year on year. It also wants to double GPRS roaming traffic. A key to this will be the appeal of FreeMove to multinational corporates. Corporations with multiple locations will be offered one point of contact for their mobile roaming services across the partnership.
Pricing would also be "transparent" and "harmonised" across the partnership, Aurora said.
Aurora said the partnership had already combined to buy six million handsets, at a 10% cost saving. At the moment Siemens and Motorola have preferred supplier status on providing the features and services the alliance is looking for, but Aurora said Freemove is talking to others, particularly in the area of 3G handsets.
Aurora was keen to say that the alliance is different from previous operator alliances such as Concert. The chief difference is that the operators have not moved their responsibility for the alliance outwith their existing operations.

M-Systems' Fortress Security Division, a cryptographic and data encryption specialist, and Emblaze Semiconductor, a provider of mobile multimedia application processors, are cooperating to develop embedded security solutions for the mobile market.

Emblaze will integrate M-Systems' SuperMAP cryptographic co-processors, software protocols and application program interfaces into its  semiconductor products.
"As the capabilities of handsets become more complex, so do the security needs. Content providers want to secure rights preventing copying and illegal usage, m-commerce requires secure transactions and network wireless access requires VPN-like connections.  Additionally, the carriers are looking to secure expensive handsets from theft and code manipulations," said Uzi Breier, CEO, Emblaze Semiconductor.
"Our collaboration with M-Systems on a highly secure handset architecture provides the device security, DRM and secure connections to meet these strong market demands while keeping power consumption low and preserving high multimedia performance."
M-Systems' SuperMAP family of coprocessors implements public key cryptography such as RSA and Elliptic Curve, as well as conventional symmetrical data encryption and data hashing algorithms. m-commerce. 
The newest generation of SuperMAP is designed to secure content and communication within baseband and application chipsets for the consumer, mobile and cellular markets. SuperMAP supports initiatives such as digital rights management, content protection for removable media), secure sockets layer, wireless transport layer security, and soon IP security and Java mobile information device profile  2.0.
"We are excited that Emblaze has chosen our coprocessors together with the protocol & API layers to assist them in developing secure products and welcome this partnership to illustrate our value within the mobile market," said Dan Dariel, manager of M-Systems' Fortress Security Division.