mobilkom austria will launch the first HSDPA network in Austria and begin sales of its HSDPA data card by the end of January 2006.

The Austrian operator will sell the Vodafone-branded Mobile Connect Card HSDPA/UMTS/EDGE , which will be available to customers in Vienna's city center from January 23, 2006 at a cost of EUR 99.Owners of the operator's UMTS+EDGE data card, which was launched in September 2005, will be offered a freee upgrade to the HSDPA card at the same time. By the end of the second quarter 2006 HSDPA will also be available in most of the Austrian provincial centres, the operator said

Hannes Ametsreiter, Chief Marketing Officer at mobilkom austria said: “This makes us the first operator in Austria to offer our customers the benefits of this new high-speed technology, demonstrating our clear innovation leadership.”

mobilkom austria is among the first in Europe to launch a live HSDPA service, albeit on a limited basis at first. O2 test bed Manx Telecom can claim, as usual, to be the first.

A-bis and A-ter gateway maximizes bandwidth efficiency over Ethernet/IP/MPLS packet-switched networks or TDM-based transport

RAD Data Communications has announced that at the 3GSM World Congress it will exhibit its complete Vmux family of access solutions for cellular networks.

At 3GSM, RAD will unveil its new Vmux-420 A-bis (BTS to BSC) and A-ter (BSC-to-MSC) standalone optimization gateway. The Vmux-420 enables mobile operators to make better use of their network resources by offering up to 3:1 bandwidth optimization (assuming 50% average network silence) as well as a 2:1 reduction in the number of E1 ports required. The product is adapted to function in a terrestrial, satellite or microwave environment over packet-switched networks (Ethernet/IP/MPLS), or TDM-based transport.

Used together with RAD's Vmux-2100 voice trunking gateway, which provides A (BSC to MSC) interface and E (MSC to MSC/PSTN) interface optimization, the Vmux-420 can help cellular operators reduce operating expenses (Opex) across the entire backhaul pathway, while enabling them to expand their network infrastructure and introduce new services without incurring additional leased lines costs.

The Vmux-420 complements RAD's Vmux-400 A-bis and A-ter standalone optimization gateway by providing a higher port density in a point-to-multipoint configuration. Both products are fully redundant and scalable, and offer an impressive price/performance ratio.

A-bis/A-ter Optimization over TDM and Ethernet/IP/MPLS Networks

The Vmux-420 can be connected either over a TDM-based transmission network or a packet-based (Ethernet/IP/MPLS) network. “This flexibility is of enormous importance, given the evolution that the mobile market is undergoing in terms of adopting new transport alternatives,” states Gaby Junowicz, Director of Business Development for Cellular Networks at RAD Data Communications. “In order to run TDM-based traffic over a packet network, the timing information has to be accurately recovered in order to provide synchronization to the remote base stations,” he continues. “Due to the synchronous nature of cellular networks, clock regeneration over asynchronous IP transport networks represents a challenge,” Junowicz notes. “RAD, however, has solved this problem with advanced clock recovery algorithms that have been implemented into the Vmux-420.”

Eliminating Backhaul Inefficiencies over Satellite

The Vmux-420 is especially attractive for backhaul over satellite applications. “In many areas of the world, the rapid growth of voice and data communications usage has outpaced the deployment of network infrastructures,” Junowicz explains. “When, for reasons of geography, history and topography, the laying of copper or fiber landlines has been slow or prohibitively expensive, local carriers and enterprises may resort to satellite links for their communications transport needs.”

Satellite services, however, are billed according to the quantity of bandwidth consumed, so cellular operators that have opted for such resources are under ceaseless pressure to implement whatever measures are available to maximize bandwidth efficiencies. The Vmux-420 ensures that satellite links are utilized as efficiently as possible by eliminating inefficiencies by not transmitting idle and silent frames. This results in bandwidth savings of 50 percent and more, enabling satellite service providers to offer their customers a more attractive complete solution.

Supporting All Codecs While Optimizing GPRS and EDGE Data

Product functions support all relevant codecs, including HR (half rate), FR (full rate), EFR (enhanced full rate), and AMR (adaptive multiple rates) – the codec used in 3G cellular applications. “The Vmux-420 features a number of unique features that make it ideal for cellular operators bridging both 2.5G GSM/GPRS and 3G EDGE environments,” states Toby Korall, Senior Product Line Manager at RAD. “In addition to supporting A-bis and A-ter protocols, it offers a unique, cost-cutting solution for optimizing both GPRS and EDGE data traffic over multiple timeslots, making it exceptionally suitable for cellular applications over IP networks.”

Vmux-2100 Can Yield Full Payback in as Quickly as 40 Days

RAD will also be exhibiting at 3GSM the industry-leading Vmux-2100 voice trunking gateway. Deployed by cellular operators on six continents, the Vmux-2100 dramatically reduces voice trunking expenditures for BSC-to-MSC, MSC-to-MSC and MSC-to-PSTN interconnectivity by enabling up to 16 full E1/T1 lines to be extended over a single E1/T1 or Ethernet uplink. The Vmux-2100 can yield full payback within six months, and even as quickly as in 40 days.

New technology solution will enable network operators and brands to roll out feature-rich, totally secure mobile dating service complete with live video calling

Mobestar, a leading provider of mobile video community applications and content, will officially launch mDate, its mobile dating solution, at this year's 3GSM World Congress, the largest mobile business event in the world.  Based on Mobestar's unique Flexible Anonymous Communications Engine (FACE), mDate is the first mobile dating solution to offer anonymous live video and voice calling in a completely secure environment.  It is available to network operators and brands as either a fully managed, outsourced solution or as an integrated solution, enabling them to launch a customised, revenue-generating mobile dating service with a short time to market.

mDate is the first mobile technology solution to evolve the mobile dating experience from simple text messaging to true-to-life dating by also allowing live voice and video calling between consenting members.  Using FACE, all live calling between members is conducted in a totally secure and anonymous environment to provide members with total peace of mind - an essential requirement for a mobile dating service. mDate runs on existing 2G and 3G networks and is accessible through any compatible mobile phone, whenever a member wishes to use the service. Live voice calling is available between members over 2G, but 3G allows members with 3G handsets to choose either voice or live video calling.

"An increasing number of network operators and brands are launching services specifically developed for high speed wireless technologies such as 3G to increase ARPU from their customers. These services need to be innovative, provide value for money and be entertaining - mDate ticks all of these boxes," explained Peter Richards, CEO, Mobestar. "As well as providing end users with the ultimate mobile dating service, mDate has been specifically designed to provide businesses with an attractive commercial model and a clear path through the technology and commercial minefields. mDate is Mobestar's first mobile community solution but the underlying FACE platform can be easily adapted to suit other mobile communities such as sport, music and fashion."

Visitors to 3GSM will be able to see mDate in action on stand CZ18 (hall 2, level 1) at this year's 3GSM congress where 34,000 visitors are forecast to attend over the four days. 
 

iPass integrates KubiWireless’ new Wi-Fi hotspots covering the 3GSM conference centre into its Global Roaming network

iPass has announced that it will integrate KubiWireless’ newly deployed Wi-Fi access points at Barcelona’s 3GSM World Congress site into the iPass Global Roaming Network to provide seamless connectivity for visitors to the congress.

By integrating the access points, iPass users including delegates, exhibitors and the media, will be able to securely access the Internet and corporate resources and remain productive throughout the exhibition.  More than 30,000 visitors from 171 countries are expected to attend the congress, which takes place at Fira de Barcelona on the 13th-16th February.
 
KubiWireless is Spain’s leading operator of high-speed wireless Internet access for business travellers and has been an iPass partner since June 2002.  The company has an exclusive contract with Fira de Barcelona to provide high-speed Wi-Fi access in Fira’s facilities for the next five years.  Through this partnership KubiWireless is enabling iPass’ 500,000 plus active monthly users to access its Wi-Fi hotspots as part of its Global Broadband Roaming network.
 
“iPass has a strong international customer base that includes many of the Fortune 500 companies,” said Luis Malagarriga, Chairman, KubiWireless.  “The partnership has already increased network traffic and helped attract new users to our services.  3GSM offers an exciting opportunity for us to further develop our relationship with iPass and showcase our network capabilities to a worldwide audience.”
 
KubiWireless’ new Wi-Fi hotspots will be put through iPass’ rigorous Enterprise Ready certification program to ensure they are ready for enterprise usage. This program will test the hotspots to ensure network quality and service availability standards as well as interoperability with policy and security tools, such as virtual private networks, personal firewalls and anti-virus software.  iPass users of KubiWireless’ hotspots will receive a  single consolidated bill based on usage per minute.
 
“It’s our goal to provide secure and simple access wherever our users may be,” commented Doug Loewe, VP and Managing Director, iPass EMEA and Asia.  “Large, international conferences such as 3GSM are vital places for many of our users to conduct business. Having secure, quick and reliable access to the Internet is essential for them to foster new deals, build relationships and share ideas as well as keep on top of work from the office.  KubiWireless has proved a strong and reliable partner in Spain and we’re confident that it will provide our users with the service they need at 3GSM.”
 
In addition to the new locations at Fira de Barcelona, iPass users will also be able to benefit from the integration of KubiWireless’ new Wi-Fi hotspots in the Barcelona/El Prat and Madrid/Barajas airports, including coverage in the soon to be inaugurated Madrid Terminal 4. In addition, KubiWireless has coverage in 35 hotels across Barcelona ensuring that iPass users at 3GSM can enjoy seamless connectivity from the moment they land and throughout their stay at the congress.
 

New software, new languages, new markets to be highlighted on the back of major 2005 successes

Zi Corporation, a leading provider of intelligent interface solutions, is to have a major presence at February’s 3GSM World Congress conference and exhibition in Barcelona, Spain. The company is a key enabler for 3G applications and will have several new offerings at the event.

Visitors to the Zi stand (E21, Hall 2) will see new language software for its eZiText and eZiTap text input technologies, further developments of Zi’s world class Decuma natural handwriting recognition and its revolutionary Qix service discovery engine – a “search, index and discovery-style” idle screen platform which makes 3G application access sheer “child’s-play” for users.

Zi’s presence in Barcelona comes following a year of considerable success around the world in both new markets and new software developments.

These include:

• A licensing agreement with Nintendo for Nintendo DS developers to employ Zi's Decuma handwriting recognition technology. Nintendo DS is the first handheld gaming platform to offer dual screens and touch-screen technology, similar to touch technologies found in some PDA's or smartphones.

• Announcing the world’s first consumer trial, with Virgin Mobile, of Zi's Qix technology. Qix (pronounced "quicks") is a mobile service discovery engine which combines predictive text and content indexing to enable rapid search and discovery of contacts, features and services on a mobile phone.

• Winning the Handango Champion Awards 2005 'Best Application for Life' for the Symbian OS UIQ category with its eZiTap FEP. Decuma Alphabetic was also nominated for 'Best New Application' in the same category.

The company, which was also named among Deloitte's prestigious Canadian Technology Fast 50 Program, the annual selection which recognizes excellence, innovation and the fastest growing technology companies in Canada, now looks forward to 2006 with great confidence.

“Our solutions and applications provide the key to unlock the door that will bring users and operators together like never before,” said Milos Djokovic, chief technical officer and chief operating officer for Zi Corporation.

“Users are aware of a whole new world of multimedia service offerings and the operators – having invested heavily and now looking to boost their ARPU statistics – cannot wait to deliver them. Zi makes it possible for them to do it quickly and, crucially, in the most user-friendly manner yet devised”.

Zi will be showing and demonstrating its latest applications throughout the show in Barcelona.

Starhome, leading provider of mobile roaming technology and services, will be showcasing a plethora of new roaming solutions running on its IntelliGate Roaming Service Delivery Platform on Stand No. D73 at the 3GSM show in Barcelona, Spain in February.

The new services are designed to provide mobile operators with additional means of managing their roaming business, both voice and data - and enhancing network efficiencies, whilst delivering a service to customers that looks and feels like the service offered on their home network.

International roaming currently contributes on average over 10% to overall operator revenues and offers even higher margin contributions. Research from the latest Informa Global Mobile Roaming report estimates that the number of international roamers will reach 850 million by 2010, representing a four-fold increase from 2004, with expected revenues of US$ 211.8 Billion.

The range of new services, targeted at both outbound and inbound roamers are designed to drive increased roaming revenues for operators, whilst offering the subscriber an easy-to-understand and cost-effective service. Two of the new services are designed to provide operators additional steering of roaming capabilities to complement the well established Intelligent Preferred Network service. These include:
• Intelligent Border Roaming - Keeps subscribers connected to the home network when close to international borders
• Inbound Roaming Manager - Monitors, manages and optimizes inbound roaming traffic by reducing excessive signaling by other operators to the home network.

Another addition to the portfolio is the Global Roaming Coverage service that enables fast and easy establishment of new roaming and SMS internetworking agreements for new and small operators.

Other services make SMS handling more efficient:
• SMS Routing Control- Ensures that outbound roamers receive SMS messages from foreign networks
• Intelligent SMS Filter - Protects against SMS fraud and detects, filters and blocks SMS spam

Additional services are:
• Roaming Anti Fraud - Real time roaming fraud prevention
• Roaming QoS Monitor - Ensures quality of service for both inbound and outbound roamers for all voice and data services
• Mega Event Promoter - Broadcasts SMS messages to inbound or outbound roamers for event related promotions or emergency alerts.

“Mobile operators have become increasingly conscious of the potential for using roaming to differentiate their subscriber offerings, as well as maintaining the loyalty of premium customers who want to use both voice and data whilst roaming.  The vast number of new features have been derived from operator's intense interest and demand for new roaming capabilities,” said Shahar Florence, Starhome CEO.


Unified Assurance offering helps improve revenue and minimise opex

3GSM 2006 HALL 1, STAND NUMBERS D30, D31, D32, D38

Tektronix, a worldwide provider of communications network management and diagnostics products announced the addition of Intelligent Application Services (IAS) for mobile network operators to its Unified Assurance (UA) solution.  The UA offering from Tektronix leads the industry in managing GPRS and UMTS networks, and is in operation in major mobile networks throughout the world. The addition of the IAS application will enable network operators to further increase customer satisfaction, leading to cost savings and increased revenue from wireless services.

As the mobile market matures, operators face the challenges of commoditisation, churn and reduced margins.  In this competitive marketplace, the rapid provision of wireless data services such as email, web browsing and downloads, along with automated problem identification, are crucial for customer attraction and retention.  IAS applications leverage the wealth of valuable information provided by Tektronix’ industry leading GeoProbe network monitoring platform to provide critical network intelligence to various organisations including customer care, network operations and engineering, and marketing and sales.

“We are excited to add IAS applications to Unified Assurance, the industry’s highest capacity and most scalable architecture available,” said Robert Froehlich, Senior Manager, Mobile Multi-Service Product Marketing for Tektronix’ Unified Assurance business.  “With Tektronix’ IAS offering, carriers can automate the discovery and resolution of the most important service access problems in their network. We will continue to work closely with major carriers worldwide to enhance our IAS offering with new applications that will enable them to improve their end customer’s experience while significantly reducing operating costs.”

The IAS application provides the ability to analyse, detect and correct improper configuration of subscriber handsets.  When misconfigured handsets are detected by the IAS application, over-the-air (OTA) reconfiguration messages can be initiated automatically to correct the problem, allowing the subscriber to successfully gain access to their desired services.  The IAS application can also notify the operator’s customer care system with the pertinent information before complaining subscribers even realise their handset problem is fixed, greatly improving efficiency, quality of service and customer satisfaction.

“We see a significant potential for OPEX reduction for carriers due to the automated, self-healing nature of this application”, said Sankara Jambulingam, Communications Test Research Analyst, Frost & Sullivan. “The significance of this application is the direct impact on improved perception of network quality and reliability that leads to reduced churn levels thereby maximising CPGA (Cost Per Gross Addition) investments and ROI (Return on Investment).”

At the 3GSM World Congress, to be held February 12-16 in Barcelona, RAD Data Communications, a leading manufacturer of fixed and mobile network access equipment covering a diverse set of voice and data applications for carriers, service providers and enterprises, will exhibit its unique portfolio of cellular backhaul access solutions for 2G and 3G networks.

“The high cost of backhaul transport is driving mobile operators to search for innovative ways to reduce their backhaul operating (Opex) and capital (Capex) expenses,” states Gaby Junowicz, Director of Business Development for Cellular Networks at RAD Data Communications. “In searching for alternatives they have seen the future, and the future is backhaul transport implementing cutting-edge packet technologies.”

With a broad range of devices optimized for packet infrastructure, from DSL modems for packet transport over copper, to Integrated Access Devices (IADs) to complement IP-DSLAMs, to WiFi and WiMAX in wireless environments, RAD’s cellular backhaul solutions are uniquely positioned to meet this demand. “As a pioneer in this market, and with its broad range of solutions for packet switched transport, RAD has become a natural partner for both cellular operators and vendors,” Junowicz adds.

RAD Pseudowire Solution Chosen by Time Warner Cable

Recently, RAD and Time Warner Cable, a division of Time Warner, announced the deployment of RAD’s patented TDM over IP (TDMoIP) pseudowire technology as part of Time Warner Cable’s rapidly growing metro Ethernet service offering in their Houston, Texas market. RAD’s IPmux family of TDMoIP gateways enables Time Warner Cable’s customers to take advantage of its economical and reliable Ethernet services while providing integrated support for existing TDM services over the same Ethernet transport network. TDMoIP pseudowire technology enables E1/T1 and E3/T3 TDM circuits to be transported transparently across Ethernet, IP or MPLS packet switched networks (PSNs).

Time Warner Cable saw the potential of offering low-cost Ethernet connections to cellular operators in their region. With the Time Warner Cable service, operators now have access to high bandwidth, low latency Ethernet connections for cell tower-to-Mobile Switching Center (MSC) connectivity by using RAD’s IPmux pseudowire solution to transport the TDM traffic across the same Ethernet link.

Synchronization Essential for Migration to Packet-Based Transport

Cellular networks require synchronization, because cellular traffic is extremely sensitive to latency and packet loss. Because of their synchronous nature, it is essential for cellular networks to support migration to packet-based transport, since packet networks by nature are statistical-based and do not provide inherent timing. “RAD is unique in being able to meet the ever-challenging requirements for 2/2.5 G (GSM/GPRS and CDMA) and 3G (WCDMA-based UMTS, CDMA2000 and TD-SCDMA) because its industry-leading ASIC-based performance ensures very low latency, with jitter buffers starting at 0.5 milliseconds, and an adaptive clock recovery accurate to within 16 parts per billion,” Junowicz explains. The link redundancy feature helps provide Time Warner Cable’s customers with rapid failover and reliable TDM transport.

IADs Complement IP-DSLAMs in Packet Network

“RAD’s cellular backhaul strategy also includes the use of IADs for deployment alongside IP-DSLAMs,” Junowicz continues. DSLAMs have become a complementary solution for the access network by providing packet transport over copper. For this reason, they also have become elementary building blocks for backhaul-over-packet technologies. To meet this need, “RAD’s cellular backhaul portfolio includes its LA-110 and LA-130 IADs, which use pseudowire techniques to convert TDM and ATM into packets to complement IP-DSLAMs as part of the packet transport network,” Junowicz notes.

Future-Proof Aggregation

RAD will also display at 3GSM its ACE-3100, ACE-3200 and ACE-3400 multi-generation aggregation units. The ACE-3x00 series aggregates TDM traffic from a GSM network and ATM traffic from UMTS (release 99) simultaneously onto the same transport infrastructure, be it TDM, ATM or even packet (Ethernet/IP/MPLS). “Cellular operators, therefore will also be able to use the ACE-3x00 series to aggregate the IP-based traffic that will typify future generations of cellular networks,” Junowicz concludes. “RAD’s future-proof aggregation solution will guarantee cellular operators significant savings on Opex and Capex as they migrate to tomorrow’s backhaul technologies.”


ZTE Corporation, China's largest listed telecommunications manufacturer and wireless solutions provider, will showcase its advanced 3G wireless technologies and solutions, including its industry-leading WCDMA system demonstrating a wide range of 3G services and its latest 3G handsets at the upcoming 3GSM World Congress 2006 in Barcelona, Spain.

Visitors to ZTE's booth (B04, Hall 8) and the demo truck (AV 02) will be able to experience 3G services such as Video Telephony, Mobile Video Conference, VoD over HSDPA and innovative converged services such as "Shared Whiteboard", "Instant Messaging" and "ONLY" (One Number Links You) provided by the company's in-house developed IMS Core Network.

The IMS system and services, which are being shown for the first time anywhere in the world, have been developed using ZTE's universal IP hardware platform and support a smooth migration from R4 MGW to R5 IM-MGW/MRFP for example.  ZTE's IMS suite provides a shared platform for its WCDMA, CDMA 2000, TD-SCDMA and NGN products.  ZTE's universal IP hardware has been commercially deployed and proved in telecom networks in more than 60 countries. 

"The idea of the smooth evolution from UMTS to HSDPA is at the heart of the design of our platform.  This means that operators only need to upgrade the software to support HSDPA functions, creating a future-proof and cost-effective solution," said Mr. Cao Qiang, VP of ZTE Mobility.

With over 10% of annual revenue committed to R&D, ZTE is a leader in the wireless industry with a global wireless customer base of over 100 million subscriber lines. ZTE's HSDPA equipment has achieved a downlink peak rate of 10.8 Mbps per user per sector. In the recently-concluded HSDPA testing organized by China's MII (Ministry of Information Industry), ZTE passed 80 test cases and was ranked top out of all participating vendors. To date, ZTE has deployed WCDMA networks in over 10 countries and regions around the world, all of which can be seamlessly upgraded to HSDPA networks and can operate seamlessly with 2G legacy networks, thus protecting the operator's existing investment to the utmost.

Olista,  pioneer in service adoption management, is presenting the latest version of its TAO Service Adoption Management software solution at 3GSM in Barcelona from February 13-16 on stand No.H92. Today just 12% of users equipped with mobile devices capable of sending multi-media messages (MMS) actually do so with any regularity.

The new version of TAO TM software, together with a new managed services offering, is designed to increase mobile data usage.  The software enables mobile operators to anticipate, detect and automatically resolve user problems before they negatively impact user experience allowing subscribers to enjoy a more reliable and positive user experience.

The three key components of the new version of TAO include:

· Adoption Management - Provides a variety of actionable dashboard views of individual user experience as they pass through the ‘Funnel of Use’ from awareness to regular usage, enabling the operator to identify and remove usage problems that may hinder adoption.  Also provides statistical evidence of the impact on adoption of new events such as marketing campaigns and new handsets introduction.
· Knowledge Preservation - To assist in identifying previously known problems, a new problet repository enables the abstraction, identification and grouping of similar problems that necessitate similar corrective actions.
· Automatic Problem Elimination - Automatically corrects problems likely to impact on adoption by taking remedial actions such as network optimisation, configuration changes,  over-the-air handset upgrades and retries requests to name a few.

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