Netsize, Europe's leading mobile solutions provider, has announced the opening of its new subsidiary in Hungary. With more than 7.3 million subscribers and a penetration rate of 71.5% in the first half of 2003, Hungary is the third largest mobile market in the region.

Content providers in Western Europe especially in the UK will benefit enormously by the availability of premium SMS in Hungary giving them one more market to launch mobile services in and to generate incremental revenues. Netsize is already offering premium services in over 18 countries and extension of its services in Hungary is the next step as part of its strategy to further expand its coverage into Eastern Europe. Netsize started its operations in Poland last year.

The Hungarian mobile data market is very well developed; advanced operator solutions are already in place and Premium services are widely used. The market is also very provider-friendly, with its uniform tariffs and the relative ease with which cross-network premium rate numbers can be obtained. Yet despite this, the quality of mobile content on offer in Hungary often lags behind that of its Central and Eastern European neighbours.

"What is missing is a level of quality and maturity that only a large international service provider like Netsize and its partners can bring," said Peter Neuman, newly appointed country manager for Netsize Hungary. "Currently, the Hungarian market is made up of lots of small, local companies. Against this backdrop, Netsize, with its state-of-the-art technology, strong marketing approach and financial stability is ideally positioned to implement internationally-proven solutions and business models here in Hungary."

Additionally, its geographical location means that Hungary can also be a gateway for further expansion into other Eastern European countries like Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia and Romania.

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications today announced that it has appointed Mr. Miles Flint as the new President of the company. Mr. Katsumi Ihara, President of Sony Ericsson since the forming of the joint venture in October 2001, is appointed Executive Deputy President and Group Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Sony Corporation in Japan (subject to final approval by the Sony Board of Directors) and will continue as a member of the Sony Ericsson Board of Directors. The changes in Sony Ericsson management will be effective as of June 22, 2004.

"I am very pleased with Sony Ericsson's development and Mr. Ihara has performed a tremendous task in creating the joint venture and steering it to its present position. At the same time, I am looking forward to welcoming Mr. Flint to Sony Ericsson. He is bringing additional experience to secure the company's continued growth," says Carl-Henric Svanberg, Chairman of the Board of Sony Ericsson, and President and CEO of Ericsson.

Mr. Flint is presently President, European Marketing of Sony Europe (Electronics). Mr. Flint has worked at Sony for more than 10 years and has extensive experience in international management and valuable expertise in the world of consumer electronics as well as in the business-to-business environment.

"We are truly happy with Mr. Ihara's achievements and his creation of a solid business platform for the future and continue to have high expectations for Sony Ericsson's performance. I am convinced that Mr. Flint will lead Sony Ericsson to further successes," says Kunitake Ando, President and Group COO of Sony Corporation.

Commenting on today's announcement, Mr. Ihara says: "I am grateful to all the Sony Ericsson employees whose loyalty and hard work have repositioned the company and who are the real creators of Sony Ericsson's success."

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Birdstep, Gemplus and Alcatel join for service continuity offer

Alcatel , a worldwide leader in telecommunications network equipment, applications and services, Birdstep Technology, a global provider of Mobile IP software client technology and Gemplus International, the world's leading provider of smart card based solutions, announced today an alliance to jointly develop, promote and market the industry's most secure solution for seamless service continuity between GSM/GPRS/EDGE, UMTS or CDMA mobile networks and WLAN. This alliance will also apply to emerging technologies such as WiMAX.

This collaboration will enable users of laptops and PDAs to have an "always best  connected"  experience  at  any time, and to seamlessly profit from a smart  card  (SIM)  based  secure  handover  between  heterogeneous  access networks, ensuring the highest data rate, relying on a single subscription.

Alcatel  will  integrate  the  new  Birdstep's intelligent Mobile IP client software into its Evolium multi-access offering. This will enable seamless roaming  across multiple  access networks, with a smart card (SIM) enabled client software designed by Gemplus for secured wireless communications and  transactions. This  unique  combination will provide mobile operators with the best of breed solution for secure mobile broadband service continuity.

All  it  requires  is the client software to be installed on the end-users' Mobile/WLAN  enabled  laptop  or PDA and the SIM card to be integrated in a PCMCIA card inside the laptop. In the near future, the SIM will be in a USB key  plugged onto the PDA, or simply inside a BlueTooth-enabled handset. As soon  as  users  pass  by  a WLAN hot spot, the intelligent client software automatically  notifies  the  end-user  of  broadband services availability directly accessed in a totally transparent manner.

"The  Birdstep Mobile IP client software has evolved to meet the demands of infrastructure  vendors  and  other  component  vendors who want to provide seamless  mobility  with their solutions", commented Jørgen Bredesen, chief executive   officer  of Birdstep Technology. "By jointly creating end-to-end
seamless  solutions  for  operators,  our alliance with Alcatel and Gemplus will  provide  a  one-stop-shop  for  the market in need of secure seamless mobility."

"The Gemplus smart card authentication solution allows service providers to offer a totally reliable and convenient tool for accessing a network, WLAN, GPRS  or  even  3G,  while  providing  the  same user experience", declared Jacques  Seneca,  Executive  Vice  President,  Gemplus Business Development Group. "The partnership with Alcatel and Birdstep establishes a consistent offer for providing a unique experience for seamless mobile data access via a laptop or a PDA."

"Alcatel's  vision  is to consider the end-user at the center of the mobile experience by offering solutions guaranteeing totally transparent access to services from any device, regardless of the access technology," stated Marc Rouanne,  Chief  Operating  Officer  of  Alcatel's  mobile activities. "Our
alliance  with Birdstep and Gemplus supports this strategy and allows us to provide   operators   with   new   business   opportunities  based  on  the complementary  interaction  of  their  mobile  networks  today  with  WLAN, tomorrow with WiMAX."

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$50 million frame agreement with MTS

Alcatel today announced the signature of a USD 50 million frame agreement with Mobile TeleSystems, the leading mobile operator in Eastern Europe, for the deployment of MTS' networks in 11 regions in Russia and the extension of MTS' network in Ukraine.

Delivery of the equipment will be in phases scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2005.

Deployment  of  these  networks will considerably increase MTS' presence in the  Volga  and  Southern  regions of Russia. Alcatel will also deliver its Open Services Platform (OSP) that will be installed in MTS' networks in the North-West,  Urals,  Volga  and  Southern  regions  of Russia. Alcatel will supply  MTS with its Evolium? GSM/GPRS end-to-end solutions, including Base Stations  Sub-systems (BSS) and Mobile Switching Centers (NSS) that will be used  to  deploy new MTS networks in the Astrakhanskaya, Volgogradskaya and
Ulyanovskaya  oblasts,  the  Mari  El,  Chuvashskaya,  Mordovia,  Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkarskaya, Karachaevo-Cherkesskaya  and  North  Osetia-Alania
republics and Stavropolsky krai.

Vassily  Sidorov,  President and CEO of MTS commented: "Alcatel's solutions were chosen after extensive evaluation of other vendors' proposals. We have partnered  with  Alcatel on several projects already and are confident that their  technologies,  combined  with their understanding of our local needs and realities, will enable us to successfully implement this project".

Marc Rouanne, Chief Operating Officer of Alcatel's mobile activities added, "Alcatel  understands  that  the  operator's  need  for appropriate network capacity  is a key factor for successful development, together with on-time introduction  of  new differentiating services. The embedded multi-standard
capability  of the Alcatel Evolium? solution will allow for MTS's potential network  and  services  evolution.  This  new  project  confirms  Alcatel's commitment  to  the Russian market and will strengthen our partnership with MTS".

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ComArch, a global provider of OSS & BSS systems, successfully completed implementation of ComArch TYTAN Mediation Device, Service Provisioning and Interconnect Billing system at JV Mobile Digital Communications Ltd (MDC)—the leading mobile operator in Belarus operating under the trademark Velcom. The systems presently support more than 720,000 post-paid subscribers with forecasts that will exceed 1 million subscribers by year end.

The systems developed by ComArch, TYTAN Mediation Device, TYTAN Service Provisioning and TYTAN Interconnect Billing assist MDC adjust to the rapidly changing market conditions and improve the quality of services rendered by the wireless carrier. JV Mobile Digital Communications Ltd. noted that their operations are growing dynamically, which is why a new Mediation Device and Service Provisioning platform are required to support the expanding networks.

“We strive to maintain leadership in the Belarusian market which means always being first-to-market with new wireless services provided to our customers. This year we will have 7 Ericsson switches distributed throughout Belarus and Velcom continuously expands its base stations installations countrywide. Recently our technical department has expanded our network coverage to more than 95% where the urban population resides and extended the coverage along the main transportation highways. Velcom today is also the only GSM carrier who operates in all underground stations of Minsk. All the changes we are currently introducing will significantly influence the level of traffic in our networks. ComArch TYTAN Mediation Device and Service Provisioning platform turned out to be one of the more advanced products available on the market and nowadays allows us not only to introduce the sophisticated Next Generation services, but also offers technology that does not pose performance limitations which is a critical value for MDC,” said Sergey Zubkov, MDC IT Director

ComArch also deployed the TYTAN Interconnect Billing system, which allows the efficient and accurate billing of MDC telecom partners. “Belarus is becoming an increasingly competitive market”, says Alexander Voytov, MDC Chief Financial Officer. “This project is a critical investment for us to secure the interconnect revenues. That is why we wanted to work with a strong and reputable company that will be around to help and support us in the future. As ComArch is a renowned market leader in OSS/BSS, selecting ComArch TYTAN Interconnect Billing was a logical choice for us as it has already proven the ability to deal with the complexity of next generation interconnect services. It has the capacity to effectively  bill massive volumes of data.”

“We are proud that TYTAN platform performs well for Velcom’s traffic network and operations and welcome MDC as a key customer to leverage our strong position in Eastern Europe. Furthermore, the project proved the competitiveness of ComArch solutions within the telecommunication wireless market,"  said Christophe Debou, VP, ComArch.

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The worldwide market for handheld devices declined in the first
quarter of 2004 due to seasonally sluggish demand and vendor re-focusing. According to IDC's Worldwide Handheld QView, device shipments decreased 11.7% year-on-year in 1Q04 and droppedsequentially 33.1% to 2.2 million units.

While vendor commitment to entry-level devices at lower price points has helped to grow the handheld user base, many  would-be handheld purchasers obtained their devices during the holiday shopping season in the fourth quarter of last year. As a result, despite growth in the European market, the seasonal slump hit vendors particularly hard during the first quarter of this year. The market was also strongly impacted by a number of vendors focusing on trimming down their product offerings and clearing their channels in preparation for spring
product launches.

"Despite increasingly powerful handheld devices reaching market, the consumer uptake of entry- level devices available from nearly every vendor calls into question the upgrade path and value posed by the high-end devices. If entry-level
devices prove to be the most successful products adopted by consumers, the long-term impact could be acceleration away from hardware differentiation and a further loss of value in the handheld industry," said David Linsalata, analyst in IDC's
Mobile Devices program. "Handheld device vendors must continue to search for consumer and enterprise solutions for their products, such as GPS device bundles, that utilize the range of capabilities contained in a handheld device."

Vendor by vendor

Hit particularly hard by the seasonality of the handheld market, palmOne posted a sequential decline of 38.7% and a corresponding decrease in market share from
39.4% to 36.1%. However, palmOne will announce two Zire handhelds this quarter and, given the fact that the Zire family has surpassed 3 million units in fewer than 18 months, palmOne's shipments are expected to increase in the near

Hewlett Packard
Despite the declining handheld market and a 32.9% sequential drop, HP posted the strongest year-over-year increase among the top 5 vendors with a rise of 24.8%. This increase, based on the strength of an array of devices hitting the entire spectrum of price points, enabled HP to maintain its market share position of 25.7%.

Caught in the middle of a strategy shift to a streamlined set of products and a focus on improved PIM and other core handheld applications, Sony's market share dropped to single digits on a sequential drop of 57.2% and year-over-year drop of 49.6%.

Riding the benefit of a fiscal year-end sales push in January as well as Dell's direct sales model, Dell experienced a 1.1% sequential decline in shipments, the lowest drop among the top 5 vendors. Seasonality did take its toll, however, as the company only increased 2.2% year-over-year, bringing its market share up 4.7% to 7%.

Despite a relatively lackluster first quarter with a year-over-year shipment decrease of 34.1% and a sequential decrease of 48.4%, Toshiba reentered the top 5 vendor list
this quarter. Toshiba, a constant member of the top 5 vendors since Q302, was knocked out of the top 5 vendor list last quarter by newcomer Medion's strong sales. Medion did not, however, repeat last quarter's performance.

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The mobile alliance formed by Orange,Telefonica Maviles, TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile) and T-Mobile will henceforth be known as FreeMove.

FreeMove's operators have 170 million customers between them in Europe, and have combined to offer their customers the same services on partner networks as they do on the "home" network.
There is also a secondary aim, which is to combine purchasing power for handsets and services from equipment providers. This will drive down prices, but also drive service adoption by ensuring a harmonised approach, the alliance's founders hope.
Mobile Europe spoke to Nikesh Aurora, chief marketing officer of T-Mobile, about the aims of the alliance. Aurora said the alliance can work on three different levels.
"The way we look at it, it allows us to leverage our scale, so if we are all together on a certain key topic we can  drive standardisation. We can also drive the acceptance of new products and services and bring our scale to that. It will also allow us to provide a 'home away from home' service to our customers."
Aurora said that certain services would only be possible "if we are all together." On the last of these points, the virtual home environment, Aurora said, "Customers will know wherever they are in a Freemove country they will be able to get their service as they experience it at home but supplied by their local partner."
Freemove hopes to increase voice roaming traffic between the partner networks by10% year on year. It also wants to double GPRS roaming traffic. A key to this will be the appeal of FreeMove to multinational corporates. Corporations with multiple locations will be offered one point of contact for their mobile roaming services across the partnership.
Pricing would also be "transparent" and "harmonised" across the partnership, Aurora said.
Aurora said the partnership had already combined to buy six million handsets, at a 10% cost saving. At the moment Siemens and Motorola have preferred supplier status on providing the features and services the alliance is looking for, but Aurora said Freemove is talking to others, particularly in the area of 3G handsets.
Aurora was keen to say that the alliance is different from previous operator alliances such as Concert. The chief difference is that the operators have not moved their responsibility for the alliance outwith their existing operations.

M-Systems' Fortress Security Division, a cryptographic and data encryption specialist, and Emblaze Semiconductor, a provider of mobile multimedia application processors, are cooperating to develop embedded security solutions for the mobile market.

Emblaze will integrate M-Systems' SuperMAP cryptographic co-processors, software protocols and application program interfaces into its  semiconductor products.
"As the capabilities of handsets become more complex, so do the security needs. Content providers want to secure rights preventing copying and illegal usage, m-commerce requires secure transactions and network wireless access requires VPN-like connections.  Additionally, the carriers are looking to secure expensive handsets from theft and code manipulations," said Uzi Breier, CEO, Emblaze Semiconductor.
"Our collaboration with M-Systems on a highly secure handset architecture provides the device security, DRM and secure connections to meet these strong market demands while keeping power consumption low and preserving high multimedia performance."
M-Systems' SuperMAP family of coprocessors implements public key cryptography such as RSA and Elliptic Curve, as well as conventional symmetrical data encryption and data hashing algorithms. m-commerce. 
The newest generation of SuperMAP is designed to secure content and communication within baseband and application chipsets for the consumer, mobile and cellular markets. SuperMAP supports initiatives such as digital rights management, content protection for removable media), secure sockets layer, wireless transport layer security, and soon IP security and Java mobile information device profile  2.0.
"We are excited that Emblaze has chosen our coprocessors together with the protocol & API layers to assist them in developing secure products and welcome this partnership to illustrate our value within the mobile market," said Dan Dariel, manager of M-Systems' Fortress Security Division.

Customers of Jersey Telecom will be amongst the first mobile phone users to benefit from advanced SMS Routing technology from Telsis that enables SMS messages to be delivered immediately to their destinations.

Traditional SMS networks use a store-and-forward architecture, in which messages are held at an SMSC (Short Message Service Centre) before delivery. Nowadays, handsets are almost always switched on and available to receive messages, so the need for storage is greatly reduced.
The Telsis SMS Router delivers each message instantly if the destination is available; if not, it is placed in the SMSC for storage and later delivery.
"Typically, up to 80% of messages are delivered at the first attempt" said Jerry Rabasté, director of technology and planning at Jersey Telecom. "This solution from Telsis enables us to provide a higher quality of service for our customers, whilst at the same time making more efficient use of our infrastructure, as well as giving us plenty of capacity for growth.  It's a win, win, win situation."
The Direct Delivery application runs on Telsis SMS Routers. These were already in place to protect the network and to enable Jersey Telecom to act as a hub for offshore SMS service providers.
"Now we have ensured the security of our network, we are looking to enhance the quality of service and to provide our customers with more intelligent SMS applications.  The flexibility of the Telsis SMS Router gives us the ideal platform," added Rabasté.

Macalla Software is supplying the technology to launch the first mobile phone operated service for voucherless prepaid cash sales in Europe. The service is scheduled to go live in Romania in May with mobile operator Connex.

The Macalla Mobile Top-Up Ver. 4.0 based system will allow Connex offer prepaid mobile phone recharge for cash through an extended network of dealers and agents. It uses the agents' mobile phones as the Point of Sale (POS) terminal for the recharge transactions and removes the need for scratch cards, vouchers, traditional POS devices or landlines to operate the service. The service will be provided via a network of multiple dealers and over 5,000 agents, including many new types of agent.