T-Mobile and Microsoft have announced the MDA IV - the first Windows Mobile-based 3G device.

In addition, a messaging solution has been launched in Germany which packages together a scalable solution for businesses that want to empower their employees with a familiar and fully functional mobile connection to their Outlook e-mail (including attachments), calendar and contacts, while on the move. 

This messaging solution will be offered together with a range of Windows Mobile based devices (MDAs and SDA smartphones).

The T-Mobile MDA IV, the first 3G Windows Mobile based Pocket PC Phone Edition device, just 100 centimeters squared, is the latest example of current innovation on the Windows Mobile software platform. 

A compelling device for business customers, the MDA IV offers access to Pocket Outlook, Pocket Word, Pocket Excel, Pocket Internet Explorer and a choice of GPRS, UMTS and W-LAN connectivity options. 

Availability is expected in summer 2005. 

Pricing details will be available upon launch.

Additional device specifications include:

- PIM Synchronisation with Microsoft Outlook (calendar, contacts, email)

- Access to other familiar applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Internet Explorer

- Camera and video conferencing capabilities via two integrated cameras

- GPRS, UMTS and W-LAN  connectivity - Three-band device supporting GSM 900,1800 and 1900 megahertz networks

- Built-in QWERTY keyboard

- VGA touch screen

- 520 Megahertz-Intel-Processor

The MDA messaging solution is targeted towards any business that wants to empower its employees with a familiar and fully functional mobile connection to their Outlook e-mail (including attachments), calendar and contacts, while on the move. 

Information can be synchronized over the air on Windows Mobile-based Pocket PC Phone enabled devices, such as the MDA-models or SDA Smartphone all available from T-Mobile.

Specifically this includes:

- A T-Mobile network tariff

- Windows Mobile based devices (MDA III and/or SDA smartphones)

-  IT consultancy (certified T-Mobile/Microsoft partners) to integrate the solution into an existing Exchange Server 2003 infrastructure

- Special upgrade packages to Exchange Server 2003 for those not running this version of the platform.

Global Crossing has announced the launch of Wireless Services Exchange, an extranet solution that provides mobile network operators with a cost-effective mechanism for the international delivery of multiple services over a single direct interconnect from a neutral provider with global reach.

Wireless Services Exchange ensures the consistent, high- quality delivery of MNOs' current voice and video applications, as well as supporting the imminent convergence with IP data services, with guaranteed feature performance such as caller line identity.

"As the wireless market continues to grow, we're committed to delivering the high-quality IP services that mobile network operators need to meet rising demand for new converged mobile communications services," said John Legere, Global Crossing's CEO.

Wireless Services Exchange will be launched in multiple phases, with an initial introduction in the first half of 2005 delivering international mobile-to-mobile routing with caller line identity (CLI) and point-to-point video with differentiated billing. The second release, to be launched later in 2005, will include global roaming exchange services (GRX), short messaging services (SMS) and multimedia messaging services (MMS).

Anthony Christie, Global Crossing's chief marketing officer, said: "Our superior global IP network and high-quality service put Global Crossing in a strong position to collaborate with mobile operators who seek to broaden their range of international services. These operators will appreciate the fact that we are a neutral network provider, free of any financial or ownership affiliations with MNOs. The growth of 3G services is driving MNOs toward convergence, and our international IP footprint matches this need perfectly."

"Global Crossing Wireless Services Exchange enables consistent delivery of feature-rich services by connecting disparate mobile networks," stated Keith Mallinson, EVP for Wireless and Mobile Research at The Yankee Group. "Global Crossing's leadership in converged IP services makes it an ideal partner for mobile operators looking to migrate to an all-IP world."

Global Crossing is positioning Wireless Services Exchange to meet the mobile industry's requirement for superior quality, innovative messaging services and value-added IP services. In targeting international business for growth, an operator's primary need is to ensure that customers using their services abroad receive levels of service that are on par with the "at home" experience.

MNOs see the expansion of international services as a means of overcoming the multiple challenges of increased competition from new 3G offerings, the rise of the mobile virtual network operator, pressures from national regulatory authorities and flattening revenues from domestic voice and text messaging.

Providing high-quality CLI transmission and processing is critical for MNOs and an important service differentiator for Global Crossing. Transmitting CLI drives end users to both answer and reply to more wireless calls which, in turn, drives up call minutes and revenue for operators.

Wireless Services Exchange enables the convergence of both voice and video traffic over the same connection, which is unique to Global Crossing and is a key differentiator from other international providers. The service also has the capability to offer differentiated billing for point-to-point video. This means MNOs do not have the cost of providing separate circuits for just video traffic, as Global Crossing's underlying VoIP network supports the required signaling quality and creates identifiable video call records for billing purposes.

As MNOs progress toward converged IP networks, Global Crossing will be ready to deliver voice, video and data service over a single IP interconnection. The data services will be delivered via this converged circuit and the same interconnection as voice prior to the mobile operators' network convergence. These data services will include GRX, inter-carrier messaging, content delivery and video gateways for other services. This single interconnect reduces the total cost of ownership for mobile operators as the use of a single converged circuit minimizes the number of trunk groups required, which reduces the number of facilities to manage and carrier relationships to support.

Global Crossing will target Wireless Services Exchange at the European market and is extending its interconnects in multiple geographic markets across Europe, where its pan-European network links 13 countries and potentially up to 44 mobile operators.

A dedicated Wireless Services Exchange sales team  supported by operations, product management, marketing and customer service staff  is in place to cover the UK, Ireland, the Nordics, Western Europe, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Malta and Greece.

MNOs will also benefit from Global Crossing's uCommand on-line portal for real-time management and tracking. uCommand provides access to data such as invoices and call detail records (CDR) and allows customers to open and track trouble tickets; submit orders or make inquiries; and to submit requests for service level agreement credits.

Global Crossing's international network delivers IP services to more than 500 major cities in 50 countries and supports a global VoIP infrastructure that currently handles up to 2.5 billion minutes a month. This global IP and VoIP infrastructure is ideally suited to MNOs' current demand for international voice termination, plus the inherent capability to support next-generation IP data and multimedia applications running over 3G networks.

Spin3, the leading innovator in mobile casino systems, in partnership with Microgaming, the leading developer of e-gaming solutions, has announced the launch of the first complete mobile casino system. 

By utilising the Spin3 wireless casino system, casino operators, mobile network providers and any company with an internet presence can now offer a trusted and secure mobile casino via a large selection of mobile phones and other wireless devices. 

The Spin3 wireless casino system consists of six real-time networked casino games, including blackjack, roulette and scratch card.  The Spin3 mobile casino system also includes a progressive jackpot slots game, Treasure Nile.  Players have the chance to win a continuously growing jackpot that starts at US$40,000, right from their mobile device.

“Industry analyst Juniper Research has forecast that the mobile gambling industry will reach US $16 billion in revenues by 2008,” said Matti Zinder, CEO, Spin3. “We are ideally positioned to provide a complete casino system for any company wishing to compete successfully and capture a significant portion of this exploding market.”

Microgaming’s integrated gaming and casino management technology powers the graphics-rich, Java based mobile casino games via the GameWire server to form the Spin3 system.

The Spin3 mobile casino system, which is comprised of the GameWire suite of mobile play-for-real casino games and the SpinFone suite of pay per download casino games, is able to provide CRM (Customer Relationship Management) capabilities giving customers player management, reporting, data analysis, promotion management and loyalty programme tools. 

In addition, player authentication, financial transactions and gaming activities within the system are protected by an array of highly advanced security measures that make up the patent-pending SpinLoc technology.  This proprietary security and authentication system constitutes the most secure wireless gaming system available. 

“By combining our gaming and casino management technology with graphic-rich games, advanced player management capabilities and reporting tools, customers can now benefit from a complete mobile casino that will set the standard worldwide,” said Dion Hatton, Product Manager of Microgaming. 

He added: “We chose Spin3 to market and distribute this product because of its extensive experience in the online casino industry.”

For customers that prefer to distribute a non-gambling version of the wireless casino technology, Spin3 has created the SpinFone suite of interactive casino games.  These applications, which are based on the same client-server architecture as those in GameWire, are especially suited to be utilized as an acquisition, promotional and marketing tool with such features as a leader board, interactive communication capabilities and unique branding opportunities.

Compelling channel proposition

Huawei Technologies, one of the world’s fastest growing telecommunication network solutions providers, has appointed Chris O’Dell as its Head of Channel Business for the UK and Ireland. This role is focused on driving sales of all Huawei products and solutions though local partners, and building a first class supply chain and support infrastructure. Huawei is continuing to invest heavily in the UK and is enjoying significant growth in this market with the forecast number of local staff growing to 200 before the end of 2005.

O’Dell is now on board and will be heading up the new channel business team in the UK and Ireland.  Prior to joining Huawei, he worked in Nortel Networks for over nine years in both the carrier and enterprise sectors. His previous role was leading a European business development initiative in Nortel’s Enterprise business focusing on LAN switching. “Huawei’s innovative technology and business proposition for the channel market is extremely compelling,” comments O’Dell. “Huawei’s focus on driving sales through partners will bring a new proposition to market and will provide a really credible alternative to traditional suppliers.”

“I am very pleased to bring Chris into Huawei and into this key role in our growing organisation,” comments Huawei Sales Director Steve Harris.  “Huawei has a clear business proposition and clear differentiation within this space, as Chris and the Channel Team are already starting to demonstrate to our customers.”

Mobile Operators Now Able to Create and Execute Branded Campaigns to Targeted Individuals and Subscriber Segments

Unipier, a leading provider of innovative mobile service delivery architecture and products, has announced the availability of the latest addition to its product line, Unipier Campaign Manager.

Unipier Campaign Manager, which has already been successfully implemented at a major tier-one operator in Europe, enables the rapid creation and execution of low cost dynamic marketing campaigns and promotions that yield high hit rates. It allows operators to easily update campaign messages, target specific user groups, control delivery frequency and schedule promotion activity. Advanced monitoring, statistics and reporting features enable operators to fine tune campaigns in real-time.

Operators are able to take advantage of the multi-channel delivery opportunities to significantly increase the offerings provided to subscribers and to up-sell and cross-sell existing mobile data services, reducing customer churn and increasing ARPU.

"With the number of wireless subscribers forecast to grow to more than 2 billion by 2008, the proliferation of mobile devices and growth in subscribers opens up a key new marketing front for operators," said Gabby Levy, CEO of Unipier. "Unipier Campaign Manager enables mobile operators to improve service traction and subscriber satisfaction with personalized and targeted offerings, while growing revenues from increased usage.”

The Unipier Campaign Manager provides the following key elements:

Easy-to-Use Online Point-and-Click Interface
An easy-to-use, online point-and-click interface enables operators to rapidly develop and deliver campaigns that automatically match subscriber usage patterns with content and promotions tailored for their specific needs. Unipier Campaign Manager offers a single point of control allowing operators to segment, optimize and fine-tune promotions to maximize results.

Multi-Channel Support for Enhanced Message Delivery
Unipier Campaign Manager supports mobile marketing activities, including:

Compelling multi-channel push campaigns, with rapid broadcast of SMS, MMS and i-mode messages and notifications

Unique WAP in-session browsing campaigns, with context-sensitive insertion of splash screens, inline promotion banners, sponsored links, interstitial tailored advertisements and while waiting notifications

Monitoring and Analysis for Campaign Fine-Tuning

Unipier Campaign Manager gives marketers full visibility to campaign results, based on real-time response analysis and comprehensive reporting for accurate results measurement. Based on these results, operators are able to research, test, fine-tune and launch new campaigns increasing market and revenue opportunities.

List Management and User Privacy Rules
Unipier Campaign Manager takes both operator marketing considerations and user privacy into account by empowering users to opt-in and opt-out of campaigns through built-in list managers and by enabling operator marketers to set transmit rate rules.

Real-Time Event-Based Campaign Execution
With Unipier Campaign Manager, event-based campaigns react in real-time to user context triggers. Leveraging the system's constant monitoring of user actions, profile, past behavior and physical location, marketers can create dynamic, real-time targeted campaigns with messages that may contain text, images and links to other services. The campaigns can be delivered at a defined time or simultaneously via multiple channels.

Pointsec to provide Electrolux with mobile device encryption

Pointsec, the worldwide de facto standard for mobile device security, has announced it has extended its partnership with Electrolux AB, the world's largest producer of appliances and equipment for kitchen, cleaning, and outdoor use. Electrolux has placed an additional order with Pointsec to protect sensitive data stored on desktops and laptops. The order is valued at £318,000 of which £276,000 has been recognised in Q4 2004.

"As businesses embrace mobile technology, the risks associated with storing information on those devices increase," said Peter Larsson, CEO of Pointsec. "At the same time, legislation stipulating the protection of personal data is becoming more rigorous. Enterprises such as Electrolux that are storing sensitive information at the end points of their networks - on mobile devices that are easily lost or stolen, are now further strengthening regulatory compliance by protecting that data."

Legislation such as Sarbanes-Oxley, California Senate Bill 1386, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and The Data Protection Act make the encryption of sensitive information - such as personal data of customers - more important than ever before. Pointsec has designed its industry-leading security solution to be strong, non-intrusive, quick, and seamless, ensuring that confidential data stored on any kind of portable computing device remains proprietary and secure.

"We recognize that the loss, theft, or unauthorized access of one of our mobile devices exposes not only the confidential data stored on it, but also risks revealing passwords, logon ids, or other credentials that could jeopardize our entire network," said Ingrid Udén-Mogensen, Electrolux Group Information Security Director. "We want to provide users with a secure environment where they can live up to the responsibility for information security put on them. At the same time key recovery processes must be excellent not to jeopardize the user workplace. That's why we are confident in partnering with Pointsec as our vendor of choice for mobile device security across our enterprise."

DxO Aperture allows cameraphones to collect up to 4 times more light, thus extending shooting latitude to dim light environments and higher motion scenes

DxO Labs, a software editor focused on image processing research, has announce DxO Aperture, a new technology that breaks the limitations of traditional optics design. DxO Aperture delivers the ultimate image quality for cameraphones and dramatically extends their shooting latitude.

“Consumers want to take pictures in low light conditions and shoot moving subjects, which cameraphones have been unable to handle due to limited light collection capabilities,” explains Jerome Meniere, CEO of DxO Labs. “By breaking these limits, we believe that DxO Aperture’s revolutionary new approach will dramatically boost cameraphone usage.”

DxO Aperture is based on the award-winning technology of DxO Optics Pro, already adopted worldwide by pros and serious photographers.  This technology mathematically reconstructs the convergence of light rays effectively entering the camera module lense.  By removing major optical convergence constraints, DxO Aperture allows the design of a new type of camera module optics with much wider light collection: typically from an aperture of f/2.8 up to an amazing f/1.4, i.e. physically 4 times more light entering the cameraphone.

This technological breakthrough is the result of a successful scientific collaboration between DxO Labs and leading optics specialists.  DxO Lab’s ambition is to explore how digital imaging redefines the laws of optics design for a variety of consumer and professional imaging applications.

“If opening up the aperture to collect more light seems a sensible solution, then image processing becomes absolutely critical to compensate for all the additional optical defects,” explains Frederic Guichard, Chief Scientist at DxO Labs. “DxO Aperture achieves the tough goal of digitally processing the light rays that are being improperly focused by the optics at full aperture, thus effectively collecting up to 4 times more light per pixel on the sensor plane.”

Universal Array platform shortens SoC turn-around times while partial frequency/voltage regulator technology reduces IC power consumption

Toshiba Corporation has announced two new system-on-chip (SoC) design platforms that address the critical design challenges facing developers of new and emerging multimedia ICs for mobile phones and other portable, battery-powered applications. The Universal Array platform significantly reduces the development time for media embedded processors, while the company’s ‘partial frequency/voltage regulator’ technology reduces system LSI power consumption during operation

Initially targeted at 130nm and 90nm process technologies, Toshiba’s Universal Array is a cost-effective solution that brings advanced flexibility to the SoC development and verification process. The result is dramatic reductions in turn-around-time for the production of engineering samples. The partial frequency/voltage regulator technology platform optimises the operating frequency and supply voltage at the module level. This allows developers to optimise the power consumption of each individual intellectual property (IP) block integrated into an SoC design, producing an overall decrease in IC power consumption.
All cell-based ICs must undergo a rigorous verification and testing process prior to production, a process that is as essential as it is time-consuming. Conventionally, once the design process reaches tape out, the point where EDA tools can be applied to production of engineering samples of ICs, the diffusion wafer (DW) that integrates the basic IC components is fabricated. The wafer then undergoes personalization (personalized wafer, PW) to complete the manufacturing process. Toshiba’s Universal Array shortens this process time by allowing fabrication of the DW at the same time as the implementation and timing verification processes.
As mobile multimedia SoC solutions advance in functionality and scale, measures to curb leakage current and power consumption are among the biggest challenges for system LSI engineers. Toshiba has already promoted a partial solution to this problem with the development and deployment of selective multi-threshold (MT) technology, which reduces leakage current and cuts standby power consumption. The partial frequency/voltage regulator platform complements this technology to reduce operating voltage. By integrating both selective MT technology and partial frequency/voltage regulator into SoC, Toshiba has realized an innovative SoC design platform for power management and transistor leakage control and it will apply the platform to future generations of devices. The end result will be seen in lower power consumption in mobile applications, such as cellular phones and digital still cameras.
Toshiba will apply Universal Array to the production of engineering samples of its TC280 series (130nm) devices in the first quarter of 2005 and plans to extend its application to the TC300 series (90nm) in the second quarter. The company has already used its partial frequency/voltage technology to achieve a 40 percent power saving on an operating module of a test chip (media embedded processor base) for mobile multimedia applications.
“Universal Array is a cost-effective solution that brings advanced flexibility to the SoC development and verification process,” said Takashi Yoshimori, Technology Executive of Toshiba’s Semiconductor Company. “This fast and flexible SoC development platform will allow us to offer customers faster turn around times and support them in responding to market needs with differentiated digital products.”
Commenting on the partial frequency/voltage regulator, he adds: “Development of this new technology really allows us to make an important contribution to overcoming power consumption limitations with a modular dynamic-voltage and frequency scaling architecture. Once we have made this new design platform a standard part of our low power design methodology, we will be able to offer improved device performance to our customers.”

Application developers can bridge the testing gap between CDMA and GSM

Aeroflex has launched a new development and conformance test system that can test applications running on all major cellular phones including GSM/EGPRS and W-CDMA. The Aeroflex Air Interface Monitor Emulator/Applications Test (AIME/AT) conformance test system can be used for all major phone types. In addition, it is the first test system of any kind that can test applications on GSM/W-CDMA and CDMA handsets on a single platform. The AIME/AT test system can be used for live network testing or in conjunction with any of Aeroflex's GSM, W-CDMA and CDMA protocol test systems for deterministic lab testing.

“Application developers can no longer think of themselves as being part of either the CDMA or GSM world. Instead it is now essential to be able to market their applications globally. Our new multi-standard applications test platform will give them and their customers the ability to ensure that their products will work around the world without interoperability problems,” said Peter Connell, general manager, Aeroflex Burnham.
Aeroflex has taken a “protocol agnostic” approach to applications testing that is air interface independent.  The AIME/AT platform will meet the current and future applications testing needs of handset manufacturers. Aeroflex’s test capability includes applications testing such as MMS (Multi-media Messaging Services); running these test cases was made mandatory by the GSM Certification Forum on December 1, 2004.

The AIME/AT test system can be used to verify that a cellular handset can pass all applicable minimum and application-enabled conformance tests, along with all operator-specific test plans. It can also be used to ensure data performance/throughput, application performance and recovery from network failure conditions.

Handset manufacturers are under pressure from network operators to deliver a plethora of applications during 2005 and early 2006. Although the protocol standards bodies are still working on the exact timeframes, the sheer volume of test cases to be delivered and tested will be challenging. 

After MMS, the next two applications that will need certification are Video Telephony (two way images in real-time) and Digital Rights Management (to prevent data forwarding). Following those will be Video Streaming (downloading images), Instant Messaging, Push-To-Talk over Cellular, and Browsing. As test cases are defined, they can be downloaded and run on the Aeroflex AIME/AT test system.
With the new AIME/AT test system at the forefront of its development plans, Aeroflex has ensured that its applications test capability is available across all the company’s protocol test hardware including the 6103 AIME/CT for GSM and (E)GPRS, the CDMA-AIME system for CDMA2000, and the 6401 AIME/CT  system for W-CDMA.

The issue of managing channel conflict is one of the most critical in the entire mobile distribution arena, according to a new report from INFORMA TELECOMS & MEDIA, as leading players in the value chain seek to integrate the direct and indirect routes to market.

With direct retail sales accounting for some 30% of the total by 2009, or US$46 billion worldwide, the challenge for operators, vendors and content providers is how to deliver mass market services in the most effective way. “Probably the main enabler for this is communication, both vertical - to and from the supplier, and horizontal - between the different channels,” says the report's lead author Richard Jesty. By clearly communicating its goals and objectives, and then underpinning these with guidelines such service level agreements, mobile value chain players can help to manage the potential disruption of traditional 'bricks and mortar' retail channels by the newer forms of distribution.

A powerful driver for this trend towards direct forms of retailing is the increasing importance of mobile content in the merchandising mix over the coming years.  INFORMA TELECOMS & MEDIA estimates that around 95% of mobile content is distributed directly today - for example by premium SMS or direct response to a call centre.  To reach a mass market audience, mobile value chain players need to get a balance between this kind of direct delivery and indirect delivery via distributors and retailers.  The critical factor here for all players is how to put mobile services such as games or music in front of consumers on the high street or in a shopping mall.

One way of doing this is to set up multimedia kiosks in retail stores so that consumers can 'browse and buy' online using a touchscreen and then download content to their phone via a short range link such as Bluetooth.  Another way is to distribute mobile content in a pre-packaged form so that consumers can pick it up in a self-service environment from a supermarket or high street store.

“We're seeing an emerging trend for music and games to be offered on removable memory cards which can used in mobile phones - but it's still early days for this kind of product,” comments Richard Jesty.

This new breed of distribution channels includes developments such as installing multimedia terminals in convenience stores, or offering mobile prepaid top-up services through bank cash machines. This trend has channel management implications for vendors and operators, since the commercial terms offered to each type of channel will need to be appropriate to each trading environment. There are also implications for the technical infrastructure and service platform, because service delivery can take place instore, via direct mail or via over the air downloading.

Equally, the increase in importance of packaged software being sold through supermarkets and other national chains will call for a new supply channel involving logistics and distribution
specialists, and requiring a new range of value added services from these players.

The new strategic report from INFORMA TELECOMS & MEDIA (Mobile Distribution and Retail 2005) is published this month, and covers the mobile distribution and retail industries worldwide, bringing together Informa Telecoms and Medis's latest forecasts which are based on its ongoing programme of research amongst key players in the mobile business. A feature of this research is the online survey of telecoms professionals worldwide.  In addition, a number of case studies of leading edge practice are presented, illustrating current themes and trends in the market, along with selected profiles of leading players.

The report is available for purchase at: