SchlumbergerSema's telecomms software activity will not be included in the deal to sell most of the company to IT services giant, Atos Origin.

However, the company did say that its telecoms software business, along with its smart cards business, are still being considered for divestiture or IPO.
SchlumbergerSema, the IT services arm of Schlumberger, was sold to Atos Origin for EUR1.3 billion, just two years after Schlumberger bought Sema for EUR4.5 billion.
Schlumberger will receive around EUR400 million of the deal in cash, with the rest accounted for in Atos stock, enough to give it a 29% ownership of the company. Over time, this will be reduced to a 19% share.
The deal would make the combined group Europe's second largest IT services company behind Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.
Andrew Gould, Schlumberger ceo, said that the sale reflected the phase of consolidation that the IT services industry is going through. The company will also retain its business continuity business and Infodata -- a Swedish database company -- along with its point-of-sale terminals, payment systems, eCity terminals and payphones businesses, although these too are earmarked for disposal.
To emphasise the move away from the parent company, Schlumberger Smart Cards and Terminals, simultaneously announced that it has changed its name to Axalto to bring more visibility and to reinforce its separate image in the smart card  market. The division opted for a name which, it said, reflects its strategy.
"As Axalto, we will continue to lead through meeting the challenges of the international marketplace, developing and deploying high-quality products and solutions and making a visible difference to our customers' businesses worldwide," said Olivier Piou, president of Axalto.

Motorola has signalled its intent to concentrate on other operating systems with the announcement it would be selling its share of Symbian to Nokia and Psion Software.

The deal, when complete, would leave both Nokia and Psion with just over 30% of the alliance. However, despite the "Motorola quits Symbian" headlines the news sparked, the deal would not necessarily change the landscape of the European market too heavily.
Motorola signalled at 3GSM in February that it would be developing Linux phones, and working heavily in Java, and also that China would be a priority. It is also, of course, becoming deeper and deeper involved with Microsoft.
Nokia is already a de facto dominant player within Symbian, with its Series 60 Symbian platform licensed by Panasonic, Samsung and Siemens amongst others.
It is also not as if Motorola is walking away entirely from the Symbian OS. The company emphasised that it would continue to license Symbian for its 3G phones, and pointed out, quite rightly, that Java and Symbian are not mutually exclusive.
"As a Symbian licensee, Motorola will continue to support the Symbian OS for specific customer and business needs, such as in our 3G  devices. However, our primary software focus for the mass market will stay centered on Java, which is also supported by Symbian. We believe Java is what ultimately provides our customers worldwide with the most optimised and differentiated mobile experiences," Scott Durchslag, corporate vice president of Motorola's Personal Communications Sector, confirmed.
With some irony, the news of Motorola's withdrawal from Symbian ownership coincided with the launch in the UK of its 3G A920 phone, available through operator 3.
Jessica Figueras, senior analyst and wireless software expert with Ovum agreed with the analysis that the decision makes little difference to Motorola's strategy, but argued that it would have a knock on effect to other partners, and to Symbian's ambitions outside Europe.
"Motorola's commitment to Symbian has always been half-hearted, so this development does not come as a big surprise.
"What is more important is Nokia's increased influence in Symbian. The widely-held perception of Nokia as Symbian's back-seat driver has always been a difficult issue for Symbian, and this development will simply confirm many peoples' suspicions. 
"Making Nokia the largest shareholder upsets the balance with Sony Ericsson, which could force it to reassess its Symbian strategy. And losing Motorola's expertise in North America and Asia will not help Symbian in its bid for a presence outside Europe. If it is to retain the confidence of all of its licensees, Symbian now needs to work even harder in demonstrating its independence from Nokia."

Mobile operators will be able to offer subscribers the ability to back up and recover data held on their phone, PDA or laptop with a new service from Attix5.

Attix5 has extended a fixed line remote back up service to work for data held either in the memory of a phone itself or on the SIM card. It is trialling the system at present with one non-European operator that it could not disclose, and is hoping to persuade European operators of the benefit of the value added service.
Client software is downloaded to the phone via a website branded by an operator. This software allows the user to select what data to protect, and how often to back it up. For example, a user could select automatic back up every time there is a change.
Data back up is then made via GPRS for data held on the phone memory, or by SMS for information on the SIM card. Information that could be backed up could range from directory and calendar information up to attachments and MMS messages held in the phone memory.
Ian Van Reenen, director of technology at Attix5, said that the solution would enable operators to automatically increase data traffic. Other benefits would include decreasing churn, increased use of a phone after loss, and the ability to charge subscription revenues for the service.
"There is evidence that when a phone is lost, the user makes 60-70% fewer calls on his replacement phone until he eventually re-populates his phone book. Also, the point of churn is often the loss of a device. If the operator is looking after your data for you there is an extra incentive to stay with them." van Reenen said.
For the part of the application where SIM data is backed up, Attix5 has partnered with SmartTrust, widely used by mobile operators for mobile management. One possible hurdle is that the application will require operators to use SIM cards which have been manufactured with the application written onto the card. But Van Reenen said that Gieseke and Dievrent have already produced a batch of such cards for the operator trial.
"The idea is to get the card manufacturers to write it as a default on all cards," van Reenan said.

The Open Base Station Architecture Initiative (OBSAI), the industry forum of over 40 telecommunications companies creating open specifications for base station architecture, has released  the first OBSAI interface specifications. 

The aim of producing the specifications for internal interfaces between base station modules is to enable the design and manufacture of non-proprietary modules and components for key base station functions.
Non-proprietary modules should reduce the development effort and costs traditionally associated with creating new base station product ranges, giving access to a wide range of technologies.
Jukka Klemettila, chairperson of OBSAI said that having open specifications would help operators overcome the high costs and complexity of bringing advanced mobile services to market.
"The release of OBSAI's first specifications marks an important milestone for the industry. Nothing like this has been achieved so far and we believe that this will help the industry face these challenges," Klemettila said.
The specifications apply to interfaces between a base station's control, transport, and base band functions. Currently, a number of OBSAI members are working on implementing products based on these interface specifications.
According to OBSAI, by 2005 industry-wide adoption of the interface specifications will accelerate the transition towards an open base station module market.
Howard Bubb, general manager of Intel Communications Group said,  "We are excited about the new business opportunities enabled by specifications such as those developed by OBSAI," said.
"OBSAI is an important initiative that helps base station equipment supplier's focus on the areas where they truly add value, the integration of the components into complex system, yielding increased innovation," stated Ken Rehbehn, principal analyst, at CurrentAnalysis
"Availability of two key OBSAI interface specifications is a great milestone, leading to real implementations that benefit ultimately the mobile operators," he continued.
Full details can be found from:

External Links

Open Base Station Architecture Initiative

Most GSM operators will deploy EDGE to complement GPRS and WCDAM for the delivery of advanced mobile data services, the Global mobile Supplier's Association has claimed after a meeting of the EDGE Operators' Forum in Rome in September.

With 50 operators worldwide now committed to deploying EDGE, according to the GSA, European operators will start operating services from early 2004.
The association said the complementary role of EDGE with WCDMA is now "widely understood".  In Europe, WCDMA using new spectrum will serve the major population centres, combined with EDGE for serving the rural and semi-urban areas.
Discussions highlighted that the bigger the success of WCDMA, the more that operators will be forced to upgrade their existing networks to EDGE to bridge the speed gap between GPRS and WCDMA with the help of EDGE.
EDGE is already a commercial reality in the United States, following the launch by Cingular Wireless in June, 2003. Deploying EDGE is a business decision for operators, to ensure they have the ability to compete, and to safeguard their investments and assets.
TIM was the first major European operator to confirm plans to deploy EDGE with WCDMA.
"TIM is in the forefront of the technology development," said Mauro Sentinelli, TIM managing director, speaking at the meeting in Rome. "We are glad to be the first operator in Europe to deploy EDGE in its network, thus offering always better and friendly services to our customers. As a matter of fact, EDGE deployment in TIM's network is starting, representing an integration with UMTS at the beginning, and an important ally in its maturity."
Mike Bamburak, vp, technology architecture and standards, AT&T Wireless Services (AWS), also speaking at the event, added, "I am happy to report that AWS confirms that EDGE performance lives up to the advertisements on all fronts."
Several manufacturers speaking at the event underlined the huge industry commitment to deliver increasing numbers and varieties of EDGE-capable devices in the coming year. More companies are coming into the market, and from 2004, EDGE will be a standard feature in all new GPRS phones. 2004 will also confirm the arrival of several dual-mode EDGE/WCDMA phones.

3G operator Hi3G Access AS has won a licence to provide services in Norway.

The operator, which is 60% owned by Hutchison Whampoa and 40% by Investor AB, paid NOK62 million for the licence, under the terms of which it must provide service to 30% of the population within six years.
Hi3G Access AS' Swedish parent company, Hi3G Access AB, already offers 3G services in Sweden, and will shortly be opening up in Denmark. All the services are, or will be, branded 3, in accordance with Hutchison Whampoa's other networks.
"3 brings a strong mobile video communication offering to the Norwegian market. We have started providing services in Sweden and will soon do so also in Denmark, which together with the rest of the global 3 network gives us a strong position to offer innovative services at competitive prices in Norway," Chris Bannister, ceo for 3 in Scandinavia, said.

Greek operator STET Hellas has deployed a LMDS wireless network to provide broadband wireless access and backhaul connectivity for its mobile services.

STET Hellas is using equipment and a management platform from Alcatel, enabling it, in theory, to be able to support TDM, Frame Relay, Ethernet, ATM and IP across the network.
Alcatel has supplied the LMDS basestations, as well as its 7270 service concentrator, which aggregates broadband traffic across the existing network, which already uses Alcatel's 7470 Multiservice Platform.
Michele Gamberini, chief network officer of STET Hellas, said, "The Alcatel LMDS backhaul and broadband wireless access solution will support us in evolving our network towards higher grades of flexibility and cost-effectiveness."
"LMDS represents an exciting opportunity for both fixed and mobile operators to deploy broadband wireless access and backhaul solutions," Marc Rouanne, chief operating officer of Alcatel's mobile communications group, said.

Personalised ring tones for the called party are old hat, but European Computer Telecoms has launched a service which will let operators offer subscribers the chance to substitute the normal ring tone a caller hears with a personal tone.

For a monthly fee the service will allow a user to change the normal national ringing tone heard by callers to his phone with a personal announcement, music or ringing sequence.
The applications is already being used by an ECT customer in Asia, and has now been made available to European operators.
ECT said that besides the surprise and fun effect for private subscribers, the ringback tone service also fulfils a business requirement for privacy. If, for instance, a German businessman is in England and receives a call via GSM roaming, the caller hears the UK ringing tone and thus knows where the businessman is, even before he answers the call. With the ringback tone service, the businessman could have all callers always receive the German ringing tone, regardless of the country in which he is currently using his mobile, ensuring privacy on his whereabouts. In Asia, the ringback tone service is already being offered successfully to business subscribers as a profitable premium service with a high monthly fee, ECT said on the launch of the service.
"Our application for ringback tone service offers mobile carriers a completely new feature to differentiate their service and supplement their income per subscriber. We are proud to be the first technology provider to enable this service and are looking forward to it becoming an important trend and moneymaker for our mobile customers," Dr. Christian Kühl, chief sales officer of EC, said.
The ringback tone service is based on ECT's AutoCarrier softswitch and includes a Web-based interface that allows the subscriber to upload his own messages, music or tones as Wav files and then activate his own personalised ringback tone. The subscriber can also change the ringback tone using interactive voice response.
SK Telecom in South Korea was the first in the world to launch personalised ring-back tones, and consumers are estimated to have spent EUR80 million in 2002 on the service, with the figure expected to increase sharply in 2003. SK Telecom now has 16 million subscribers signed up to personalised ring-back tones paying roughly EUR1.75 per month.
l Sicap, a wholly owned subsidiary of Swisscom mobile, has also launched a ring back tone service for the European market, called Tones4U.

Concern over the misuse of camera phones has led one company to introduce technology that disables the imaging functionality of a phone or wireless device when it is within a certain building or area.

Iceberg Systems' Safe Haven is designed to allow businesses, schools or any other establishment to prevent the use of the camera part of a phone when it is within their boundaries.
Safe Haven works by sending a wireless node sending a signal to the phone delivering the message that this is a privacy zone. Software on the phone then disables the imaging functionality, leaving other uses active.
Once a user leaves the zone the imaging function is automatically reactivated.
For the system to work it relies on phones either having been built with the Safe Haven application integrated into the handset, or alternatively have had the application installed as a Java download.
The system is currently in beta tests with handsets and will be marketed by audio IP licensing company Sensaura, which said it is in talks with handset manufacturers about implementing the technology.
Neil Mawston, senior analyst, Global Wireless Practice, for Strategy Analytics says; "Privacy and security issues surrounding camera phones are a growing concern for consumer and corporate users. Using technology to diminish localised privacy and security risks is a proactive option."
"Camera-embedded devices like camera phones represent a considerable step forward in technology. However, at times, they are prone to misuse," Patrick Snow, managing director of Iceberg Systems, said.
"Safe Haven solves the serious threat to security and privacy presented by such misuse in a simple, controllable manner."
The technology can also prevent the use of other types of wireless imaging devices including digital cameras, camera equipped PDAs or laptops, in a wireless privacy zone.

Israeli start up Mobixell, which specialises in adapting real time mobile multimedia content to the specifications of the device for which it is intended, has attracted a $5million investment from a group of investors.

The investors, who number Siemens ICN subsidiary Siemens Mobile Acceleration, private equity company Apax Partners, Comverse and Optibase, have backed the company's Mobixtar RMSC (rich media message centre). This is a tool which transcodes images, animation, audio and video and adapts it for the different devices, whether it be for screen sizes, colours, memory, processing power or camera quality.
"Mobixell Networks has potential to become the leading product for adapting and delivering mobile multimedia content in cellular networks, since it is the most attractive solution in this segment. The company's product line creates a superior user experience, enabling mobile operators to create new revenue streams," said Dr. Dietrich Ulmer, ceo of Siemens Mobile Acceleration.
"Securing funding from these leading partners is a major vote of confidence," Amir Aharoni, president and ceo of Mobixell, said. "The investor-group represents an ideal partnership to assist us in penetrating and realising the growing markets of mobile multimedia adaptation, optimisation and delivery."

Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia and Siemens mobile have completed their jointly developed Push to talk over Cellular (PoC) specification.

Based on the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) as defined by 3GPP, the specification is intended to reduce marketplace fragmentation and provide end users with an easy-to-use push to talk experience wherever they may travel in the world.
The PoC specification leverages existing 3GPP, OMA, and IETF specifications and is, in fact, a bundle of six specifications including: requirements, architecture, signaling flows, group/list management, and two user-plane specifications (transport and GPRS).
The companies have submitted this specification to the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) standards body for review as a baseline to provide an access-independent and globally interoperable standard for PoC.

Foundry Networks, the company well known for its enterprise switch products, is to launch a wireless portfolio.

The company will unveil standalone access points and will wireless-enable its Fast Iron Edge Switch and chassis-based solutions.
It intends to produce a high-end solution which will help its existing users to roll out wireless LANs.
"Wireless capability is the necessary add-on to the overall enterprise network infrastructure. Our wireless solution will seamlessly integrate with our line of enterprise switching and network management products," said Foundry vp Ken Cheng.
The wireless portfolio will be rolled out in three stages.
Foundry will first release its access points, which will be dubbed IronPoint. The access points, which are due to be released during October, can be used as a standalone network, or can be used with the vendor's IronView network management system.
The IronPoints will support all three wireless LAN standards --- 802.11a, b, and g --- which give up to 54Mbps theoretical throughput together with the newly-announced WPA security standard.
Foundry is then expected to wireless-enable its Fast Iron Edge Switch and Chassis solutions around the turn of the year. This will mean the products will be able to serve both the fixed and wireless networks.
The IronPoint will cost $945 and the software upgrade to wireless enable the switch will be priced at $1195.

O2 has announced the availability of the new BlackBerry 7230 for enterprise customers in the UK and Germany, with availability in Ireland scheduled a little later.

A number of major corporations have ordered "substantial" quantities of the new device, the operator claimed.  O2 also announced that its BlackBerry solution for SME and professional consumer customers will be available from November.
The triband BlackBerry 7230 is the first colour BlackBerry device, and includes access to corporate email, company intranet, Internet browsing and phone capability.
O2 said it has sold around 32,000 BlackBerry devices to more than 1200 organisation to date.
Kent Thexton, chief marketing and data officer, mmO2 commented, "We are the leading provider of BlackBerry in Europe and are very happy to extend our BlackBerry portfolio further. We believe that we hold a strong position in this market, and have learnt a great deal from selling the original BlackBerry handhelds."
l Blackberry developer, Research In Motion (RIM), has said that adding nearly 100,000 new Blackberry subscribers will enable it to beat revenue forecasts for the second quarter 2003.
RIM said that it expects revenue for the second quarter to be in the range of $123-$126 million, exceeding the previously forecasted revenue range of $105-$115 million. Net income for the second quarter is also expected to exceed initial forecasts.
RIM also said the provision for its ongoing patent litigation in the US courts is expected to be lower than the prior quarter, resulting from adjustments to previous estimates for professional fees and interest.
RIM expects the number of net new BlackBerry subscribers in the quarter to be between 94,000-97,000, which exceeds the previously forecasted range of 80,000-90,000 for the quarter. The BlackBerry subscriber base will now exceed 700,000 subscribers.
Dennis Kavelman, chief financial officer at RIM, said, "Global demand for BlackBerry accelerated in both enterprise and prosumer market segments as RIM fulfilled orders to its carrier partners to satisfy new subscriber growth, hardware upgrade sales and retail channel expansion requirements."

O2 has launched "Corporate Txt", a  tool that businesses can use to make savings on sending and receiving text messages from their employees and/or customers.

Corporate Txt is a web interface that can be used by any user within an organisation. A company's address book, or customer or contact database can be uploaded so that internal and external communications can be sent either individually or en masse. Responses can be routed directly onto the sender's desktop inbox.
Companies can also adapt the service for different brands or departments using a variety of templates.