Broadcom Corporation, a provider of  integrated semiconductor solutions for broadband communications, has signed an agreement to acquire Zyray Wireless, a provider of baseband co-processors addressing WCDMA  mobile devices.

Zyray's SPINNERchip co-processor enables third generation (3G) mobile communications technology to be  added to current generation phone handsets and data terminals. Broadcom's has existing EDGE/GPRS/GSM mobile products to ad to Zyray's WCDMA solution. Broadcom intends to pairing the SPINNERchip technology with its single-chip EDGE/GPRS/GSM and GPRS/GSM baseband processors, enabling two-chip WCDMA multi-mode phones in the near term and potentially future solutions with enhanced integration.
According to a recent Deutsche Bank Securities market report, the worldwide WCDMA market is expected to approach 200 million units by 2008 --- 25% of total handset sales.

We are always being told that advanced mobile communication services will be all about creating communities of interest, although there has been not much in the way of tangible action from operators.

But Telefonica Moviles Espana and Boungiorno MyAlert are teaming up to exploit a 980,000 strong community already registered at www.cocacola.es. Telefonica Moviles is providing the mobile access to the Coca-Cola Community through MoviStar e-mocion, the content provider service of Telefonica MoviStar, for all users that access it through WAP navigation or i-mode technology.
Called the Coca-Cola Movement, the the community provides a forum for young people to chat, compete for prizes, listen to music and generally hang out online.
Adding mobile access to the site, via WAP or i-mode, means users can access content such as ring-tone, logos and wallpaper as well as account information. The first 10,000 people to register on the site will receive a free MoviStar TSM30 i-mode phone.
"We are helping a main consumer company to create the first mobile community. Slowly, we are helping to integrate mobile technology in everybody's daily life," Fernando Gonza¡lez-Mesones, general director of Buongiorno MyAlert Spain, said.

Another approach to tapping into communities of interest come from Bango, which is trying to take operators beyond the traditional SMS based approach to buying content.

Bango is working with the SMS industry to marry the traditional approach to selling ringtones and games with the latest "browse and buy" technology available on the mobile internet.
Bango says that repeat sales are tripled by taking users to a browse and buy internet site, in effect a content shop on the phone. Mobile content providers can add sophisticated mobile shopping services on the back of their basic SMS business, giving users the opportunity to buy further content after the initial download.
Drum and Bass Arena, the leading global Drum and Bass brand, is one of the first Bango customers to make this move.
"We found it very straightforward to integrate our content delivery platform and WAP sites with the Bango browse and buy technology," said Dell Dias, ceo of Drum and Bass Arena. 
"Bango's system makes it easy for us to encourage repeat sales from customers purchasing ringtones from our web and print channels. We have added a 'collaborative-filtering' system which will present a personalised WAP site based on the purchase history of other users."
The site can be accessed by texting "go breakbeat" to 87121.
The traditional way of buying a ringtone is to text a string of codes that takes users to a WAP page where they can download the tone --- but that is all. Adverts selling ringtones off the page stimulate people to buy specific items, but there is no incentive to spend more money.
Bango says its solution supports an existing SMS access and download channel, but also encourages users to continue to browse and buy further content from this initial point of entry.  Billing is integrated into the shop, as is customer profiling, security and operator content controls where needed.
"Our partners in the mobile content industry have established, successful businesses but they are always looking at ways to improve returns on their marketing investments," commented Anil Malhotra, vp of marketing at Bango. "Our data clearly shows that customers who can browse and buy spend much, much more."

Drum and Bass Arena can be found at www.breakbeat.co.uk.

iPass has demonstrated 802.1x technology coexisting with its Generic Interface Specification (GIS) and browser based authentication. 

iPass, which offers connectivity services for mobile workers, provided the 802.1x technical integration for the demonstration. 802.1x and GIS work together to secure Wi-Fi network access. Prior to the advent of 802.1x, iPass secured hotspots on its network through the the i-Pass created GIS. GIS  been adopted by numerous access point hardware manufacturers and network operators, making coexistence between GIS and 802.1x important as the Wi-Fi industry migrates to next-generation security.
"Layering 802.1x on top of roaming by iPass at public hotspots is a great demonstration of how to increase security and easier access to Wi-Fi hotspots," said Dan Dahle,  from Intel's Communications Technology Lab.

Mobile data will generate all mobile revenue growth in Western Europe until 2008, according to the Yankee Group's new EMEA Wireless/Mobile Data Forecast. Released today at the Yankee Group's Wireless Leadership Forum in London, the forecast projects mobile voice revenues stagnating at around $124 billion, while data revenues will more than double over five years to approximately $50 billion. Fuelling this data market growth will be quadruple revenue growth in wireless entertainment revenues as well as a doubling of enterprise data users.

"Data is what it's all about for Western European wireless carriers," said Declan Lonergan, director, Wireless/Mobile Europe.
"Voice markets are saturated and voice ARPU is declining. Data ARPU, however, will more than double over 5 years, representing 29% of total ARPU. This is significant both in terms of absolute numbers, and the applications behind the numbers as well. Entertainment revenue will be key to long-term growth and video, music and games will be growing at an impressive rate compared with more nascent data applications such as messaging, which will have begun to stagnate by 2008."
The Yankee Group EMEA Wireless/Mobile Data Forecast, a 5-year prospective view of key indicators for the EMEA wireless data application markets, including total market, messaging, entertainment, information, M-commerce, enterprise and value-added voice segments. The forecast includes metrics for the total region plus regional European segments, as well as country specific metrics for 16 major national markets.

Axalto has launched a SIM-based instant messaging application for mobile users. Axalto hopes SIMapse will help mobile operators builds on the growing popularity of Instant Messaging (IM) among Internet users in order to open up a new SMS (short message service) revenue stream for mobile operators.

The SIMapse application combines the SMS channel with a Java SIM-based solution, meaning mobile users can develop contact lists and receive online alerts about their contacts. Presence notification means users know whether their contacts are online or not and can  reply instantly to messages they receive. The mobile industry is hoping that online status and presence alerts will encourage users to communicate, generating more SMS traffic.
SIMapse brings to mobile instant messaging features such as one touch log-in and log-out, contact lists with corresponding details, message history, and one-touch messaging to multiple users.
Users can also change handsets while retaining their preferred service as the solution is SIM-based. Axalto says that applet communication protocols allow for interoperability and compatibility across instant messaging service providers, extending the advantages of SIMapse to a wider range of subscribers.
Axalto's solution uses Java SIM cards and SIM Toolkit technology, providing operators with a familiar means to extend IM services to all their subscribers.  
"SIMapse is an ideal way for operators to replicate the success of instant messaging in the wireless world," commented Philippe Vrignaud, director mobile communications at Axalto. "The business case is very straightforward for our mobile telecommunication operator clients, and, based on the strong appetite and familiarity young users currently demonstrate for this interactive approach, we anticipate rapid adoption of this technology."
Although there have been concerns about mobile instant messaging perhaps cannibalising SMS revenues in the mobile IP world, this approach maintains the use of the SMS channel.
Despite the fears about IM, the industry has recognised the potential as well. Recently, Microsoft signed an agreement with Openwave to integrate its instant messaging client into Openwave's latest version of its mobile browser technology.

Flarion Technologies, the architect of the FLASH-OFDM wireless broadband system, has expanded its Alliance programme to 24 members.

First launched in 2002 the Flarion Alliance programme brings together  enterprise, computing and solutions companies in support of IP-friendly mobile broadband. As part of the expansion, Flarion is welcoming three new members --- Amdocs, Fujitsu, and Sun Microsystems into the Flarion Alliance Program.
"With Flarion's network technology, productivity devices are no longer tied to the LAN," said Richard McCormack, vice president of product and solutions marketing, Fujitsu Computer Systems Corporation. "Soon, devices will incorporate not only WiFi, but also Wireless Wide Area Network connectivity as well - opening the door for ubiquitous coverage and increased productivity."
"Capitalising on Flarion's FLASH-OFDM broadband wireless technology, our solution will enable service providers to quickly launch next-generation services over the most advanced networks and drive revenue," said Michael Matthews, chief marketing officer at Amdocs."
Flarion Alliance Program members cooperate to accomplish the following objectives: Enable a true end-to-end, IP-based wireless network solution based on FLASH-OFDM technology
l Interoperability testing and/or technological integration with the FLASH-OFDM technology platform
l Generate industry support and adoption among IP and wireless solution providers
l Drive the convergence of the wireless industry and the Internet to create a mass market for mobile broadband services
Flarion is currently in technology or market trials with Nextel Communications, SK Telecom and Vodafone amongst other operators.
Alliance members include: Amdocs, Analog Devices, Inc., Andrew Corporation, Birdstep Technology, Black & Veatch, Cisco Systems, Dynamicsoft, Flextronics, Fujitsu, Funk Software, Hellosoft, HP, K&L Microwave, Kirusa, LCC International, Mitec Telecom, Powerwave Technologies, Ricoh, SBS Technologies, Inc, Sun Microsystems, Texas Instruments and WFI. An overview of the Alliance can be found at http://www.flarion.com/about/alliance_program.asp
Its FLASH-OFDM technology operates in frequencies between 400Mhz to 3.5Ghz. On the network side, the RadioRouter base station interfaces to an edge router and transparently supports all existing IP standards in the core network.

If evidence were needed that mobile telephony was placing pressure on the fixed line providers, news that TeliaSonera Sweden's fixed line division is introducing mobile-like call bundles may be it.

The carrier is scrapping per-minute fixed line pricing to introduce a flat fee bundle instead. Customers will be able to pay SEK65 per month in exchange for making calls round the clock. The new offering, called Telia Alltid, applies not only when calling other Telia customers, but also includes calls to those with other operators.
Subscribers to Telia Alltid will also see the per-minute charge lowered for fixed to mobile calls by up to 26%, and up to 20% for overseas calls compared with Telia´s basic price list.
 Telia Alltid is a development of Telia Fritid [Telia Freetime], launched in January 2004.
TeliaSonera said that research shows that users still prefer to use landlines when the are making long calls, and to stay in touch with friends of family they rarely see.

Vodafone Ireland is upgrading its backbone fibre network to meet the increasing demands placed on its network as it rolls out its 3G network.

Alcatel will supply a new optical transmission network, which will enable Vodafone to further support the increasing mobile communications requirements of its 1.8 million subscribers.
Vodafone will use Alcatel's metro dense wavelength division multiplexing  platform, the 1696 Metro Span, together with installation and commissioning services, to streamline its network operations and delivering data and third-generation (3G) services to its end-users.
The network upgrade will enhance Vodafone's transport capacity to support increased voice and data traffic over its existing network, which leverages Alcatel's SDH optical multi-service node (OMSNs) systems.
"Vodafone has been undertaking the most aggressive roll-out of any 3G network in Ireland. Alcatel's solution has the flexibility to expand in order to meet our existing and future needs," Liam Butler, head of network development, Vodafone Ireland, said.
"Alcatel's ability to provide a competitively-priced solution, within a short timeframe, enables us to maintain our competitive edge and provide a superior service for our customers."

Using terminal identification, rather than encryption, will help mobile operators protect content from unauthorised use, service control specialist P-Cube has said.

P-Cube has added a capability to its service control platform that enforces digital rights management not by encrypting data, but by allowng access to content by recognising a device's user profile.
P-Cube's Service Control technology is comprised of a programmable network element that sits in-line with data traffic and creates an intelligent overlay enabling the network to identify, classify, guarantee performance and charge for content-based services. Using Encharge v2.1, mobile operators can control access to their designated content servers based on a subscription plan and device type, which enables the operators to determine if an unauthorised device is attempting to download valuable content.
"Mobile content data is a very lucrative asset for wireless providers. It's imperative that providers protect their assets while simultaneously packaging, delivering and charging for services that permit subscribers to personalise content," said Yuval Shahar, president and chief executive officer of P-Cube. "Our technology-agnostic services layer allows mobile operators to identify individual subscribers and control access to services based on their subscriber profile and device type further demonstrating the importance of service control in IP networks."

Understand your true business needs, Ovum urges businesses

A leading analyst has warned enterprise IT managers to examine carefully the motives behind their mobile enterprise projects.

Jessica Figueras, senior analyst for wireless technologies at Ovum, told delegates at this week's Mobile Enterprise Summit in London that, "Projects that are invented by the IT department will fail if you don't get it right.

"Have a vision, by all means, but make it practical. Know your organisation and how your employees work," she said.

"The technology is really, really complicated [in that there are] so many components -- networks, devices and infrastructure ... The most reliable guide to the choice is the end user. Think about their information needs."

The key to a successful mobile project is to tread carefully with users who may be unfamiliar with mobile devices, and to establish exactly the reason why the rollout is to take place, Figueras said.

"The business goal is not to be a mobilised enterprise," she added. "Try to map mobile technology onto the business processes that are really needed."

External Links

Ovum

Don’t compare us to i-Pass; mobile operators "baffle us"

Corporate remote access specialist GRIC has changed its name to GoRemote and launched a new version of its remote access client software at the same time.

The name change goes along with a new policy to be more involved as a direct entity to the enterprise market, and get involved not just as a remote access specialist but as an all-dancing provider of corporate VPNs and a Frame Realy replacement. GRIC has until now been mainly resold by other service providers and VARs.

For Mobile Europe readers the main innovation of Mobile Office 5 is the inclusion of GPRS as an access option on the client. GPRS joins dial, Ethernet and WLAN as connectivity options. A user who already has a GPRS device of some kind can connect to the GPRS network by hooking his phone to the laptop, or via infrared, or PCMCIA card. Choice of access is determined by the client directory, which tells the user what his best option is, depending on location. The client also includes an SMS button, so that users connected by GPRS can use it to send and receive text messages.

Tom D’Arezzo, director of product management said GoRemote was also including additional administrator management and security functions in the client, to make it easier for enterprises to manage large numbers of mobile or remote workers. VPN technology from Cisco, Nortel, CheckPoint and Microsoft is integrated, as are firewalls and intrusion detection systems. If the VPN connection drops at any point, then the client automatically drops the connection.

D’Arezzo said that GoRemote was looking to partner with mobile operators to help them add value to their enterprise products. In his opinion most operators were too busy looking after their own evolution to 3G and were "not orientated to solving enterprise problems."
"They are looking to sell access technology and access technology is pre-disposed to commoditisation, there has to be a value-add, which is what we offer." D’Arezzo said GoRemote has been in contact with most of the major operators, and has had a standing engagement with Vodafone. 

"The mobile world has to change the way it works," he added. "It is all about consistency and performance levels. The first step is our GPRS capability on the client, where you can interface by clicking twice on the laptop – making it more usable for the user and the CIO, with all security integrated."

He admitted that many operators would have legacy clients "and for reasons that baffle us they have decided to maintain their legacy client or installed base." Other operators, such as Vodafone with its Dashboard product, are developing their own client, but D’Arezzo cautioned that as yet he saw no evidence of businesses using GPRS as a standard connectivity option.

D’Arezzo also had a harsh word for the company most obviously associated as a competitor to GoRemote, iPass. "With our solutions focussed approach we do all the things that iPass does not do," he said. "If you want remote access and you want any colour you like as long as it is black. Their focus is on remote access and security and our focus is on he entire remote workforce orientation of the enterprise. We are comparative except our client is a significant innovation and far above what everybody else is providing," he concluded.

External Links

GoRemote
iPass

Greek mobile operator Cosmote will launch commerically available i-mode from June 7, Mobile Europe has learnt. The operator will announce its i-mode service launch at a press conference scheduled to be held on 3 June, meeting a commitment to have I-mode services up and running in time for the Olympic Games.

Greek mobile operator Cosmote will launch commerically available i-mode from June 7, Mobile Europe has learnt. The operator will announce its i-mode service launch at a press conference scheduled to be held on 3 June, meeting a commitment to have I-mode services up and running in time for the Olympic Games.

This week Cosmote launched its 3G service, bringing mobile video streaming to the Greek market for the first time. The operator will cover 30% of the country at launch, and will offer customers the Sony Ericsson Z1010 and Nokia’s 7600 for video calling and streaming.

The launch of the service conincides with some cheap rates up until July 31 – close to the start of the Olympics. Video calling will cost half the usual rate until that date, at EUR.005 per second, and internet access packages will have twice the normal usage included. Video
streaming will cost users EUR5 per month for a 500Mb bundle, with EUR.001 charged for every kb over the 500MB limit.

Cosmote’s W-CDMA network was supplied by Ericsson, which has the contract for further equipment until the end of 2004. I-mode is a proprietary data service developed by Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo. NTT has signed up several other European operators for I-mode services (Bouygues, WIND, KPN Mobile, E-Plus, Telefonica Movile Espana) and sees great potential for marketing services available on i-mode during the Olympics. Cosmote is one of the major sponsors of the games.

External Links

Cosmote

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."