In an attempt to increase their credibility in the business market both T-Mobile and Orange have launched new business services but have chosen to do so by targeting very different market segments. T-Mobile launched a mobile email and web browser service supported by a range of terminals aimed at the SoHo market, while Orange took a combined voice and data offering to the corporate market for the first time.

T-Mobile is now offering a service which enables users to access existing Internet-based POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) or IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) email accounts such as hotmail, via a Blackberry, Ericsson P800 or Nokia 3650 or 7650 device. T-Mobile is attempting to drive business take-up and, according to T-Mobile's Rob Price, "As T-Mobile's strength has traditionally been in the consumer market, the SoHo segment is a natural fit. It has a good alignment."
However, to address this market segment properly, T-Mobile has had to ensure that it the service is not priced out of the market and that it is easy to set up. Price explained that to create the market, the service would be priced at UKP10 per month for unlimited use until the end of October and thereafter at the same monthly fee for 6Mbytes which roughly equates to 1500 emails. Furthermore, the compression techniques integrated into the new Blackberry which has been supplied on an exclusive basis to T-Mobile until October, mean that the same number can be sent using only 3MB.
On the configuration side, all devices should be set up with the user's email address in store but new addresses (up to a total of 10) can be added easily by following the on-screen instructions. There is no requirement for the user to know complicated POP3 or SMTP setting as all this is taken care of over-the-air.
At the other end of the business user scale, Orange is claiming an industry first by combining voice and data in a single offering. The new offering called Orange Link Voice and Data, and created in conjunction with Cisco, automatically allocates the required bandwidth to each of the services used --- voice, data and SMS over a dedicated link into the corporate and therefore, is the first to offer true flexibility to the corporate market, according to Orange.
Typically, the traffic splits down to around 50% for voice, 30% for data and 20% for SMS, but, according to Jason Ellis product manager, Orange Business Solutions, other services "Don't react to users' behaviour. Customers are given a list of services and the bandwidth given is fixed and stays fixed." 
Orange Link Voice and Data creates flexibility and automatically allocates bandwidth according to the require-ments and as a result is both more efficient and provides future proofing as the system will automatically respond to changes in the traffic balance --- such as the expected growth in data usage.
This functionality is provided by Cisco IP router equipment located in both the corporate's and Orange's core networks.  The installation costs UKP3000 while the voice connection costs UKP7500 and each data connection UKP1500. However,  according to Ellis "It is worth putting traffic onto a single bearer even if it's just on a financial basis...and if you use more than once service from Orange then users will benefit substantially." He further claimed, "We have moved the perceived cost of entry for data down."
A vote of confidence for Orange's capability in the enterprise space came from Paul Di Leo, worldwide director, Mobility Technology & Solutions, Cisco Systems who stated that he, "No longer sees Orange as a cellular operator but rather as a mobility operator. Orange is deepening its relationship with the enterprise." For Orange, Alastair Macleod, customer development director, Orange Business Solutions  put great value in the relationship with Cisco claiming that, 'it says a lot about where Orange has reached in the business market that Orange can work with a market leader in data such as Cisco."

The long awaited E112 legislation which dictates that all mobile operators have to provide location information to the emergency services across the European Union, has now been ratified.

After much wrangling, the document demands that the location is derived using methods that are considered 'technically feasible.' In other words, Cell ID. It draws back from defining a specific accuracy as has happened in the US but it does at least get Europe started on the route to deploying emergency location information systems. 
Johan Othelius, area vice president, Location Based Services EMEA, Openwave welcomed the development and remarked that, "Worries about the technology and its capabilities have created confusion and forced timings and implementation to be put back...Getting some information is better than nothing and to add specific accuracy requirements on top would have been too much at this time."
According to research results presented by the UK regulator Oftel to the Coordination Group on Access to Location Information for Emergency Services at the end of 2001, 60% of all mobile phone callers to the emergency services are unable to give their exact location.
The European Union further states that over 50% of the 80 million bone fide emergency calls made in Europe are from mobile phones. Given that mobile penetration rates have continued to rise, particularly amongst children, the need for some form of independent location indentification mechanism can only be more pressing.
Indeed, the EU's own research indicates that making the location of a mobile caller available to the emergency services could lead to an additional 5000 lives being saved which correlates to financial savings of over â‚-5billion a year in medical and social costs.
Operators will need to install a location gateway (if they haven't already) to support this vital but non-money-making service. However, according to Othelius there are revenue opportun-ities attached.
"Operators are looking at wholesale type opportunities for location information. To do this you have to build a layer between the gateway and the applications, such as Openwave's Location Studio, which protects the user who has to give permission for their location to be sold on." Another possible opportunity Othelius identifies is as a marketing tool. Emergency use is often cited as the primary reason for buying a mobile phone and, Othelius stated, "By improving support for the emergency services in Europe, a 5-7% increase in penetration is possible and this goes straight to the bottom line."

3G Lab has launched two Trigenix Stores. Based on the company's customisable user interface solution, Trigenix, the Stores provide ready-to-go solutions for mobile operators. For example, the Service Store refers to an area of the mobile phone's user interface that draws together the existing data services and gives customers a one click access to them.

According to 3G Lab's ceo Steve Ives, "The Trigenix Stores make it simple for operators to rapidly roll out exciting new branded services, helping them to drive service adoption and revenue growth."
The  concept may be most familiar as Vodafone Live! but that is not Trigenix based and Ives believes that Trigenix has the edge over the technology used by Vodafone. "Vodafone Live is static and relies on specific terminals" he said. "With Trigenix, the operator can change the look and feel over-the-air on any Series 60 terminal. We're attempting to leap frog Vodafone Live and offer operators a choice of hundreds of UIs, not just one.  We don't want to imitate Vodafone Live, we want to go one better."
The advantage 3G Lab can bring to the market, Ives believes, is one of speed.  He explains, "Vodafone had a very long lead time. It took a year to get Live into the handsets and six months for customer feedback, the Trigenix integration cycle is more like three months."
Ives refers to Trigenix as a 'surface user interface.' It is actually a UI software layer which is managed over-the-air by a Trigenix server located in the operator's network. The client  can be loaded at the point of sale or downloaded over-the-air, meaning that operators can control the look and feel of a terminal after it has been sold. Ives explained the impact this could have, "Getting control of the UI is a key area with a lot of pressure building."
He is referring to the growing conflict between operators and terminal manufacturers over the UI. Operators obviously want control to ensure their services work effectively but the UI has been a traditional point of differentiation amongst terminal manufacturers.  What the Trigenix solution does is allow an operator to add its piece without having to fight the terminal manufacturer head on for control.
To date, T-Mobile is the largest mobile operator to be announced as a Trigenix customer,  and the company is also in negotiations with 'one of the top four' handset manufacturers  to have the client embedded in the device. Trigenix is only available for Series 60 terminals at the moment but versions for other OS variants are in the pipeline.

A study on pan-European mobile termination rates conducted by Cerna, the Warwick Business School and WIK-Consult and sponsored by COLT Telecom and Cable & Wireless, has found that mobile network operators have benefited from high mobile termination charges on fixed to mobile calls in France, Germany and the UK to the tune of €19 billion over the five year period from 1998 to 2002.

The study, which set out to address 'How termination charges shape the dynamics of the telecom sector' found that this sum has been transferred to the detriment of fixed mobile operators.
It is the first study of its kind to investigate termination rates and their effect on the scale and prosperity of both the mobile and fixed markets and key amongst its findings were that fixed network operators are usually required to set call termination rates at a reasonable and regulated level whereas mobile networks have not generally been subject to price control. They can therefore set termination rates which greatly exceed estimates of actual termination costs.
The result of this, the survey claimed ,is that fixed network customers and operators have been adversely affected.

Furthermore, competition within the fixed market has been damaged and competition between mobile and fixed operators, distorted.

Martin Cave, Professor and director of the Centre for Management under Regulation at Warwick Business School, and one of the four authors commented, "Most calls to mobile phones have been very expensive because mobile operators have been allowed to charge too much for mobile termination. Most European regulators have failed to respond to this. This report shows that the time is right for regulators to put in place arrangements that are equitable for both mobile and fixed operators and their customers."
Cave concluded, "Taking these steps will help to rekindle investment and competition in fixed networks, where it has faltered in the past few years."
This is just the latest attack on the share taken by mobile operators from interconnect charges. There is little question that it has been a lucrative source of revenue but legislation to control costs could backfire. Indeed, following legislative intervention in the UK, O2 cited anticipated revenue reductions as a reason for delaying its 3G implementation. All four UK networks have also moved to reduce handset subsidies, particularly on pre-pay, as a result. 

The third annual survey of mobile phone running costs carried out by Finland's Ministry of Transport and Communications shows that charges in Finland continue to be among the lowest in Europe.

The countries included in the survey were all the EU Member States,  plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, and private subscription services from a total of 61 operators were surveyed.
Comparisons were based on a 'price basket' comprising: 150 minutes of weekday and weekend calls to subscribers using the same and different operators; calls to fixed-line subscribers; 25 text messages; a monthly subscription charge and value added tax.
The results of the survey show that people in Finland pay just €31.09 compared to €50.47 in the UK. In Switzerland, the most expensive location covered by the survey, people pay an average price of €63.33.
According to Finland's Ministry of Transport and Communications, mobile phone running costs in Finland have fallen steadily and are now 6% lower than in 2001.
Sirkka Aura, chief executive of Invest in Finland, a government funded agency that assists and supports direct investment into Finland, commented, "Finland is one of the global leaders in the development of wireless and web convergence and is well known for its industry leaders like Nokia. The mobile industry has experienced a period of exceptional growth during the past ten years with the next wave of growth expected to come from mobile services.
"Being able to offer a competitive price for the use of new technologies is a huge advantage for companies locating operations here where an early adopter marketplace provides a great test bed for new services.
"The wireless entertainment industry, for example, which creates, publishes and distributes entertainment services and games for mobile devices is a new and growing sector that can benefit from the many advantages the Finnish business environment offers."

The introduction of multimedia functionality demands a similar leap in processing capabilities and, according to Mark Singer, the company's vice president corporate marketing, NeoMagic's MiMagic 6 application processor represents just that.

Singer suggested that the type of applications that are part of the next generation vision --- picture and video messaging, gaming, video conferencing and continuous speech recognition --- "require serious amounts of processing power on a low power budget."
He further explained, "Functions such as taking high quality MPEG4 pictures with more advanced light handling capabilities require in the region of 650 mips and that is far beyond the capabilities of traditional processors. For continuous speech recognition, 1000 mips are needed. MiMagic 6 has the potential to deliver 1200 mips"
The jump in functionality comes via MiMagic 6's multimedia engine, based on a proprietary technology called Associative Processing Array (APA). This enables it to execute more than one billion operations per second at a processor clock rate of only 100MHz. This equates to an order of magnitude more processing than competitive solutions at the same clock rate, meaning that more advanced multimedia functions can be run and existing functions can be supported with less power.
The APA core employs programmable parallel programming which is particular well suited to multimedia tasks as they tend to include high amounts of data with a high level of concurrency. Singer explained, "For example, with image processing tasks information on brightness etc can be taken from other dots. Most processors handle images one dot at a time, MiMagic 6 handles 100 dots in the processor at the same time, thereby delivering greater efficiency...It has the ability to run at half speed and still save power and increase the processing capability."
Singer claimed that, "The multimedia functions can advance more quickly if the multimedia processor develops separately from the baseband." However, that does not mean that NeoMagic underestimates the need for integrating the processor into a more complete solution. "We have assumed that integration is a big factor and have worked with partners to do this." These include the likes of Analog Devices and Infineon, while NeoMagic's own middleware was  used to integrate MiMagic5 with Microsoft and Symbian OSs, and the same will happen for MiMagic6.
As for the cost, Singer was adamant stating, "APA technology is more efficient in its use of the silicon area, therefore there is no need for MiMagic6 to be any more expensive than applications processors from competitors. It will absolutely not be more expensive."

Mobilkom Austria, has chosen Redknee and Kapsch CarrierCom to deliver a location system based on 3GPP standards to support GSM and UMTS networks in Austria.

Redknee's Location System for GSM and UMTS networks will be distributed through Kapsch CarrierCom, and enables subscriber services to be linked with location-based services. Using Redknee's Location System these 'location-aware' subscriber services will be delivered across both 2G and 3G networks.
"We believe Redknee's Location System will bring enhanced value to our 3G mobile multimedia services," stated Dr Alexander Kuchar, head of Mobile Service Network, mobilkom austria. "We selected Redknee and Kapsch CarrierCom because together they have proven experience in deploying 2G and 3G mobile solutions."
Redknee's Location System supporting GSM and UMTS networks complies with industry-standard specifications of the Location Interoperability Forum. With a standards-compliant design, the Redknee solution significantly speeds up location application development and promotes application portability across networks, the company claims.

Pop fans who attended the 'Box Live' concerts in the UK were able to send text messages effectively controlling the performances on stage thanks to an interactive SMS service. This demon-strates just how fast the interactive entertainment industry is growing.

The system was developed by telecoms solutions company Intelliplus, which provided access and reverse billing for the SMS system. Using this, members of the crowd were able to vote for their preferred format and post messages on a giant concert screen.
Songs, performers and even stage costumes could be manipulated by the crowds, during the ten-day tour from Blackpool to Wembley featuring Liberty X, Atomic Kitten and Danni Minogue.
Mohammed Khan, Intelliplus's solutions development manager, commented, "This level of live audience interactivity has never been seen before in this country."

Openwave Systems has released the second version of its MMSC.

Designed to improve the multimedia messaging experience and increase MMS usage, Version 2 boasts enhanced email capability, support for legacy handsets and a wide range of MMS terminals through improved transcoding. It also includes a set of pre-built applications including a gallery of images and photo albums, a branding opportunity for operators and a method by which subscribers can further personalise their MMS experience.
Openwave has run its own handset interoperability programme, and therefore MMSC Version 2 includes an intelligent rules engine which enables MMSC to optimise the transcoding to offer a better multimedia experience on more clients.
As you might expect, Openwave MMSC is fully interoperable with Openwave Mobile Messaging Client, one of the most widely available MMS clients in 2003. In addition, MMSC Version 2 has proven interoperability with a wide range of MMS clients including embedded software on handsets as well as clients based on Palm OS, Pocket PC and BREW.
Other functionality includes anti-spam software and the ability to view MMS messages from a PC or WAP browser 'as they were intended to be seen on an MMS capable handset,' according to Openwave,
"Many major operators are now entering the second stage of MMS," said Mark Lowenstein, managing director of Mobile Ecosystem.
"Many operators offer an MMS service, but they are unable to optimise or differentiate their service due to limited available content and handsets," said David Hose, vice president and general manager, infrastructure group for Openwave.
"Openwave MMSC Version 2 helps operators solve this problem by providing a solution that offers a better end user experience across both MMS and legacy devices. In addition, MMSC Version 2 aims to stimulate and increase MMS usage by providing easy access to ready content as well as providing a simple way to save and send personal content," Hose concluded.

TTPCom has demonstrated an EDGE module capable of achieving the maximum on air data rate of 236.8kbit/s for a four-slot capable mobile.

The module uses the highest EDGE coding scheme, MSC-9, more than tripling data rates previously achievable with GPRS and elevating the standard for rates over GSM networks. It is suitable for the development of EDGE PC cards, PDAs, embedded modules and handsets and also enables field testing on live networks.
The module is based on TTPCom's EDGE Protocol Stack and Physical Layer, running on Analog Devices's Blackfin SoftFone EDGE platform and features link adaptation, incremental redundancy and EDGE coding schemes including 8PSK, all verified under interoperability testing. Modular design enables different radios to be supported and offers flexibility for developers. According to Greg Matthews, TTPCom EDGE product manager, it "fulfils the both transmit and receive," of enhanced data rates for GSM evolution.
The system validation process has also included full integration and verification using TTPCom's GPRS protocol stack, in order to ensure a seamless transition for existing customers.
The module is targeted at the increasing global adoption of EDGE, which is now being looked at as a serious option by some European, as well as US operators.

Vodafone has signed a Partner Network Agreement with Bite GSM ("Bite") in Lithuania, taking the number of countries in which Vodafone's global services portfolio can be accessed to nine.

This means that Bite will offer Vodafone's and its Partners' customers seamless access to Vodafone's international mobile services while travelling in Lithuania. Bite's domestic customers will also be able to access Vodafone's roaming services across its global footprint.
Bite is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TDC Mobile International and is the company's second subsidiary to join the Vodafone Mobile Community following the agreement signed with TDC Mobil A/S ("TDC Mobil"), Denmark's leading mobile operator, in December 2001.
Bite, the second largest full scale mobile, data and internet service provider in Lithuania, will market Vodafone's international mobile services using the existing Vodafone service names. 
Under the terms of the agreement Vodafone and Bite will co-operate in developing products and services to international travellers and domestic customers. The principal benefits to Vodafone are further expansion of Vodafone's global products and services to its customers, as well as further leverage of the Vodafone brand.
Peter Bamford, chief marketing officer, Vodafone said, "Our tie-up with Bite is another step towards bringing our customers the key benefits of the Vodafone brand and services throughout Europe. The signing of this Partner Network agreement opens new sources of revenue for both Vodafone and Bite, and demonstrates Vodafone's attraction as a global mobile leader and innovator."

Greek operator COSMOTE has signed a Letter of Intent with Ericsson covering the initial phase of its  W-CDMA roll out in Greece.

The agreement, which runs until the end of 2004, will see Ericsson deliver the network infrastructure including core and radio equipment and support the 3G rollout with a full range of services. Most prominent amongst these is a commitment from Ericsson to work closely with COSMOTE in developing attractive end-user services in advance of the upcoming 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
"The start of the deployment of our 3G network in Greece is yet another milestone for COSMOTE and confirms once again the company's proven commitment to deliver the highest quality, most user-friendly services to the Greek people," said Evangelos Martigopoulos, CEO of COSMOTE.
"We are very honoured that COSMOTE has selected Ericsson as the main partner for its initial 3G network rollout," said Bill Zikou, president of Market Unit South East Europe at Ericsson. "This Letter of Intent is yet another confirmation of Ericsson's global leadership in providing end-to-end WCDMA solutions and a clear recognition of our competitive local position."

Trams in Warzburg, Switzerland will use TETRA radio for passenger information and voice services. It will serve as the mainstay of a computer-controlled traffic management system, which will keep passengers at central stops up to date with information like departure times and allow tram-operating personnel to have voice communications.

An onboard computer will provide location information to the manage-ment system and tram drivers and other staff will use duplex radio devices. R&S Bick Mobilfunk, working on behalf of Siemens TTS, which was responsible for the traffic manage-ment system, set up the system.
The network will comprise an exchange with an integrated TETRA base station and four other base stations.  It is due to begin operation in March 2004 and be completely synthesized with the traffic management system by the summer of 2004.

Team Simoco, the company born out of the ashes of Simoco Digital Systems' TETRA and Simoco's traditional analogue PMR businesses, has put itself back on a solid business footing, according Team Simoco's general manager, Kevin Paul.

"The aim has been to drive the business back to sanity...It's not about technology, it's about business," said Paul. "We have achieved 12 months of solid trading and have double the budget on the order books for 2003 and have demonstrated to Telecom that this has been a good acquisition for them.
This has been achieved by concentrating on the needs of customers and creating a business that is heading more towards systems integration than a pure systems provider.
Having built the initial success from the analogue PMR business which Paul had been involved in running prior to SDS' collapse, Team Simoco is now looking at ways to add the digital capabilities of TETRA to the company's customer offering. However, Paul was keen to point out that Team Simoco would not move back to the technology-based business of SDS. "We will look to add the digital element but without the risk." The risk has been reduced because Team Simoco is not blazing the TETRA technology trail.
Instead, Paul stated, "This is nowhere near the cutting edge. The plan is to move towards being a systems integrator that doesn't focus on any single technology.
"SDS in its later years was a fantastic free consultant. There was huge commercial benefit to what was being given away free. We are now using that to add value to our offering in the form of the skills and applications that we can offer customers to make their businesses more effective."