Alvarion to provide OFDM solution for IMS-based convergence

Lucent has announced that it will integrate Alvarion's BreezeMAX (WiMAX-ready) product line within its Accelerate Next Generation Communications Solutions portfolio, which includes Lucent's IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) solution. Backing up that announcement, Lucent's Worldwide Services division has announcedsupport for the deployment, and maintenance of WiMAX. 

The announcement will be chiefly of interest to operators looking to provide a seamless service between different access methods, including 3G mobile and WiFi and WiMAX coverage.

BreezeMAX is Alvarion's 3G OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) platform, with advanced Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) functionality. It will be integrated to work within Lucent's converged networking portfolio, which rests on its IMS solution.  IMS is aimed at helping operators introduce new voice over IP (VoIP) and multimedia services more simply, by leveraging a common applications infrastructure to deliver services with a common "look and feel" across 3G mobile, WiFi, WiMAX, and wireline networks.

"WiMAX clearly complements existing and emerging 3G mobile and wireline networks, and can play a significant role in helping our customers deliver converged service offerings that can be accessed using a broad range of devices on a wide variety of networks," said John Marinho, vice president of strategic marketing for Lucent Technologies. 

The WiMax Forum intends to begin to certify products as WiMAx Forum certified later in 2005. Alvarion epxects the first demonstration of a mobile WiMAX solution based on the 802.16e standard within a year. The target launch in 2006 is intended to coincide with the availability of WiMAX-enabled devices such as laptops and PDAs that utilize chips currently under development.

Mobile WiMAX, as defined in the 802.16e standard, is intended to offer broadband services of several Mbps per subscriber or more with quality of service capabilities that enable applications such as VoIP.

The necessity for mobile operators to offer some form of fixed broadband wireless access to complement their 3G coverage is still a matter for debate, but most operators are looking at how IP could help them provide continuity of service across multiple access methods.

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Includes 11 complete example apps with downloadable source code

Nokia today announced publication of the second book in its Nokia Mobile Developer Series, "Developing Scalable Series 40 Applications," which provides a thorough examination of Nokia's Developer Platform for Series 40 devices. The book is written primarily for Java Platform developers and includes server code examples for complete end-to-end development.

Developing Scalable Series 40 Applications is the second book in the series of practical, in-depth guides in the Nokia Mobile Developer Series from Forum Nokia. Written by Michael Juntao Yuan and Kevin Sharp, two expert mobile technology writers, and published by Addison Wesley, the book is the first official end-to-end solutions guide for Nokia Series 40 developers. It focuses on application development guidelines, tools and best practices using the Series 40 platform.
"With Series 40 devices constituting a large majority of the more than 100 million developer platform devices shipped annually, developers seeking access to the enormous global platform represented  by Series 40 and the Java Platform will now be assisted by centralized, documented information published in this practical, in-depth book," said Lee Epting, Vice President of Forum Nokia.
"Knowledge of the Series 40 developer platform can be applied to the Java environment on all Nokia developer platform devices and is therefore crucial to developers' achieving success in the commercial market," Epting said.
Developing Scalable Series 40 Applications covers the entire Series 40 platform development process - from design and coding through testing and deployment - and includes eleven complete example applications including downloadable client and server source code for kick-starting projects. The book also explores the technical underpinnings of Series 40,  a Developer Platform that delivers color displays, Java(TM) programmability, and multimedia messaging to the mass market. It includes a review of crucial architectural issues, introduction of key mobile design patterns, discussion of scalability, device optimization strategies and many never-before published best practices and tips for Series 40 platform developers.

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Pearson Books

Willtek launches "universal" solution for shop floor

Willtek Communications today announced the new 3100 Mobile Fault Finder, a new communication test set for the testing of wireless devices on the shop floor at the point of sale, point of return, for incoming inspection in repair centres and final testing after repair and calibration. The new instrument initially supports GSM, EDGE and UMTS (WCDMA) and will be upgradable to CDMA2000 and future technologies. Together with the 4916 Antenna Coupler, the 4920 RF Shield Box and an up-to-date list for supported phones that is downloadable from the Internet, Willtek provides a complete solution to support Go/NoGo testing of the latest wireless devices like mobile phones, wireless PDAs and EDGE/UMTS data cards.

“With the 3100 and associated products and solutions, Willtek provides continued support to first-level service centres at the same high level as for the previous well-known products like the 4100 Series and 4350 Series Mobile Fault Finders”, explained Cyrille Damany, CEO of Willtek Communications. 

He continued, “The 3100 is the first wireless device tester for GSM, EDGE and UMTS at a price level affordable to low and mid-level service centres. Taking our free customer support into account, Willtek offers a complete solution at an unmatched price-performance ratio, especially considering the total cost of ownership over the whole lifecycle.” – 3100 pricing starts below € 20,000.

The Willtek 3100 is a Go/NoGo tester for wireless devices designed for GSM and UMTS (WCDMA). When a customer returns a seemingly malfunctioning mobile phone, the shop assistant can easily determine if the phone is indeed defective. The test only takes a minute and helps the shop save money it would have spent on handset replacement, shipping and repair. Three levels of results provide comprehensive information: a pass/fail indication, a simple test report indicating the module that is likely to be defective, or the detailed test report with complete measurement results.

Although easy to use by non-technical personnel, the 3100 provides highly reliable test results. Willtek offers a complete testing solution for the point of sale or return and for service centres. The 3100 is complemented by the 4916 Antenna Coupler and the 4920 RF Shield Box. The antenna coupler easily connects the wireless device to the tester with a highly stable RF coupling characteristic. By using the additional 4920 RF Shield Box with its unmatched shielding of 80 dB, the user avoids that other mobile phones and nearby base stations affect the test results. Conversely, the RF Shield Box also prevents the mobile phone’s radiation from interfering with nearby base station signals. These Willtek products are readily available and supported, as Willtek provides an always up-to-date list of RF coupling factors for all common mobile phones on the Internet for easy download into the test set, for tests both with or without the RF Shield Box.

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Integrated Passive Device (IPD) technology for the mobile
handheld market

SyChip, the leader in Radio Frequency Chip Scale Modules/System in Package (CSM/SIP) modules, has announced its Integrated Passive Device (IPD) technology as a means for developing miniature products for the mobile handheld market space, including smart phones, feature phones, PDAs, gaming devices and media players.

“The worldwide adoption of WLAN is continuing at a feverish pace, and the integration of WLAN into portable devices is at the forefront this trend,” said Moses Asom, co-founder and senior vice president of marketing and business development, SyChip. “As the trend to push the network edge into these devices continues to drive consumer demand, SyChip’s IPD technology, with its world class size, electrical performance and plug-and-play capability, is perfectly positioned to meet the market challenges and help manufacturers reduce design cycles by six months.”

SyChip’s proprietary IPD technology enables a best-in-class footprint that is crucial to the handheld device market.  A complete 802.11g module is realized in an area of 90 square millimeters and a height of only 0.9mm. The technology enables the integration of approximately 50 passive components, such as capacitors, filters, and inductors, directly into the IPD substrate, providing enhanced performance along with a large reduction in discrete components.  Performance enhancements are realized by minimizing component and trace parasitic effects while minimizing passive losses,
resulting in excellent range.  Fewer discrete components lead to reduced assembly time and cost.

SyChip’s IPD technology also incorporates the silicon chip-set, including baseband/MAC, EEPROM, and Transceiver.  The module comes in a ball grid array (BGA) structure that allows direct mounting to the main printed circuit board using industry standard surface mount technology for high volume production.

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Network independent location solution may speed integration

T-Mobile's Czech Republic business is having a look at a new way of implementing Assisted Global Positioning (A-GPS) services. The operator is trialling an IP based A-GPS system that can be intergrated directly into the the mobile network and communicates with a mobile terminal (equipped with an A-GPS ship) via an IP connection. T-Mobile is trialling the Siemens SX1 fitted with an A-GPS chip.

The current standardised version of A-GPS specifies that there must be alterations, often costly, made to the mobile network, in accordance with the 3GPP location services standard. This  presents operators with a double whammy of equipping the network and getting enough comaptible phones with A-GPS chips into the market. The IP based version is currently going through standardisation specification within the Open Mobile Allicance (OMA). The OMA is expected to conclude that work by around the middle of this year.

Heinz Schmid, Executive Vice President Technology T-Mobile Czech Republic, said the IP version said that the technology had a "clear advantage" in that it meant that the oeprator could introduce location based services with "a reasonable investment."

Christophe Caselitz, President of Mobile Networks at Siemens Communications, said IP A-GPS would give the market for A-GPS based navigation services a "significant boost."

"These standards are essential if the terminal devices of different vendors are to be able to exchange data with all mobile networks", Caselitz said.

Operators have been convinced of the value of LBS for years but have balked at the cost of implementing truly accurate solutions, both on the handset and network side. A-GPS has solved some of the issues involved with buildings blocking satellite signals to a GPS receiver, but problems still remain, requiring opertors to take a dual-technology approach to LBS. A reduction in the network invesment required is considered essential by many observers of the market.

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T-Mobile Czech Republic
Siemens Communications

Phased cuts during 2005 still under negotiation

Nokia has said jobs will go and "product roadmaps have been streamlined" in its Multimedia Business Group as it continues to cut back on its global R&D activities.

The handset and network equipment vendor has set itself a target of bringing overall R&D spending down to 9-10% of net sales by the end of 2006.

A statement from the company said that although hte cits will have a global impact, most jobs will be lost in Germany and Finland, although the exact numbers are not yet known.

Nokia's Multimedia business group deals with areas such as imaging, gaming, audio and music, including product areas sch as Visual Radio and the N-Gage gaming device.

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Rapid Mobile, an Edinburgh-based software specialist, is launching a new mobile application enabling punters to back and lay bets from their mobile phone or portable device.

The software, named mobex, has been created and developed by Rapid Mobile Media Limited, an Edinburgh-based software company specialising in java-based systems for mobile phones and mobile devices. Rapid Mobile is being licensed by the Betfair web-based betting exchange to develop applications using the Betfair API as part of the Betfair Developers Program  Any Betfair user can register, download and use the application. 

Mobex enables punters to see market information and transact wherever they are and they can even attend sporting events and still back or lay even 'in running'. Mobex works wherever there is a mobile signal.

Iain Maddox, managing director of Rapid Mobile Media Limited, comments: “Betting exchange punters need to be permanently in-touch with market movements and that means if they move away from a fixed internet connection, they risk losing out. Mobex, however, changes all that. It is simple to download and Betfair punters will find the interface very fast, familiar and user-friendly.”

He adds, “We spent 2004 developing and testing our core technology and we are very confident that punters will be delighted with the mobex product.”

Betfair has single-handedly revolutionised the global betting industry since its launch just over four years ago. It is already one of the UK’s most successful internet-based businesses, and is fast becoming one of the most recognised betting brands. It has 300,000 registered clients worldwide and Betfair matches up to 12,000 bets every minute."

The privately owned company pioneered the concept of ‘exchange betting’ - a form of betting that uses Internet technology to enable punters to bet at better value, because punters rather than the bookmaker set the odds.

Betfair will introduce mobex to their clients in January 2005 via their newsletter and the Betfair Developers Programme website which lists all its Licensed Software Vendors in its Solutions Directory An ‘Information only’ version of mobex will be free of charge and there will be a small monthly fee for the fully transactional version of mobex. See for more information.

Fading Desktop Solutions Offer Fast, Accurate and Repeatable Performance at Significant Cost Savings

Agilent Technologies has today announced that it has added fading technology to two lab applications used in testing mobile handsets, PDAs and other wireless devices. The E6702B cdma2000 and E6703C W-CDMA lab applications, when used with the Agilent N5115A Baseband Studio for Fading and the Agilent E5515C (8960) wireless communication test set, provide wireless device developers and qualification labs an affordable solution to enhance their qualification process.

These solutions emulate faded network conditions, such as modeling rural or urban environments, enabling design engineers to thoroughly test cdma2000 and W-CDMA designs locally. The fading capability increases verification test-screening confidence, reducing the risk of designs being returned because of failing conformance criteria. The test solutions increase throughput in verification labs by reducing bottlenecks at the conformance test system used to test products, and by off-loading various tests such as the "Demodulation of Forward Traffic Channel in Multipath Fading" found in the IS-98 standards, to the E5515C configuration.

"Agilent has created an affordable, fading desk-top solution that expedites wireless device development, and has the flexibility to adapt to emerging technology," said Earl Thompson, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Wireless Division. "Our fading solution costs thousands less than alternative systems, yet offers fast, accurate and repeatable performance."

The Agilent fading solutions digitally fade the forward link at the baseband, eliminating the need for complicated system-level calibration or concerns about RF path characteristics degrading the fading accuracy -- often the case in analog faded systems. The new lab-application interfaces help developers easily identify and solve tough problems such as the interaction of parametric, and signaling and timing issues triggered by network fading.

Orange UK has today announced the appointment of Mike Newnham as Vice-President of Sales and Customer Service, Orange UK. 

Mike will continue to report to Bernard Ghillebaert, Exec Vice-President of Orange UK as part of the Orange UK management board. Mike will replace Ian Fraser, who is leaving Orange at the end of January to take up a new position as CEO of a company outside the telecoms sector.

Mike joined Orange UK in 2001 as Vice-President of Finance.  In September 2003, he took up the position of Vice-President of Business Solutions, Orange UK. Prior to that, he was a Director at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, focussing on the telecoms and technology sectors.  He has a total of seventeen years' commercial experience.

"Mike has been instrumental in the success of Business Solutions" said Bernard Ghillebaert, Executive Vice-President Orange UK.  "I look forward to Mike taking up his new role, to help us maintain and build on our position as the leading brand of choice in the UK mobile sector" 

Alastair MacLeod will replace Mike Newnham as Vice-President of Business Solutions, Orange UK on an interim basis. Alastair joined Orange UK in June 2001 as Sales Director of Business Solutions.  Prior to joining Orange, Alastair spent twelve years at BT, where he held several senior positions.

Brendan Lynch has been appointed as Vice-President of Networks and IT, Orange UK, also on an interim basis. Brendan will also form part of the UK management board, reporting to Bernard Ghillebaert.  He joined Orange in 2001, and has fifteen years experience in the Telecoms sector.

The Mobile Imaging and Printing Consortium (MIPC), an industry group developing solutions and implementation guidelines for printing images captured with camera phones, today announced their first set of guidelines for the mobile and printing industry.

This first set of the MIPC Implementation Guidelines sets a common standard which all mobile and printer manufacturers can follow and implement into their products. The guidelines leverage existing connectivity technology standards and solutions, such as Bluetooth wireless technology, printing from memory cards and PictBridge. As a result, consumers can expect seamless interoperability between a broad base of mobile phones and printers. Any products that follow the MIPC technical guidelines will work with each other in that applicable technology.
"We are proud to deliver the first industry-wide guidelines for printing images from mobile phones, said Ramon Garrido, Chairman of the MIPC and Program Director at HP. "Consumers can be more confident that their mobile phones and printers will indeed work together. The common guidelines make development of solutions for mobile phone printing as easy and reliable as possible."
The "Mobile Imaging Report" (October 11, 2004) forecasts that roughly 370 million digital cameras will be sold in 2005, more than three-quarters (76.29%) of which will be embedded in mobile phones. The dominance of camera-phones, the report said, will impact the imaging market in a variety of ways that will benefit the industry.
The MIPC, which includes leading handset makers and printer manufacturers, was launched last February at PMA 2004, the Photo Marketing Association international convention and trade show. The MIPC was set up to drive standards for providing consumers with a simple and spontaneous experience when printing images taken with camera phones. Since then, the Consortium's members have collaborated on the development of these consumer printing guidelines. The MIPC's recent addition of Korea Telecom Freetel to its Board will bring future focus on wireless infrastructure as it relates to imaging and printing solutions and applications.
(The first version of the MIPC Implementation Guidelines is now publicly available and will be provided upon request via the following link: A Plugfest event is planned for spring 2005 to enable interoperability testing of mobile phones and home printers that have been developed using the MIPC guideline. Detailed information on the Plugfest will be available at the MIPC website.)