Support from existing investors, will be used for new market growth and customer support.

Celerica Ltd., a premier provider of capacity distribution solutions for mobile carriers, announced today the successful completion of its latest fundraising round in March of this year that will yield $8M in new capital resources. The funds were invested by Pitango VC, Charles River Ventures, Star Ventures and Platinum Ventures, all of whom are existing investors.

The investment will be used to strengthen Celerica’s business in existing markets and build the necessary infrastructure for new market growth. Additionally, the funds will add new field support for Celerica’s customer base.

"We are finding that the market is open to the concept of Distributed Cell Site Architecture," explained Isaac Hillel, Managing Director of Pitango Venture Capital. “Operators are looking for innovative solutions to make more of their BTS assets and redistribute their capacity more efficiently. Celerica is starting to install systems in 3G deployments of first tier operators. “

Pini Sabach, Celerica’s CEO, sees the success of the round as a vote of confidence: “Clearly, this indicates that our investors are pleased with our solution and the interest it has sparked in the global mobile networks market. We intend to leverage this capital to extend our penetration in existing and new markets and to increase our customer support presence in the field.”

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Telsis has supplied advanced programmable protocol converters to Vodafone Netherlands for connecting large company PBXs directly to the mobile network.

Aimed at corporates with a high volume of inter-site telephone traffic, Vodafone's Corporate Net service delivers mobile and fixed integration, plus internal short-dialling for both mobile and fixed numbers, all at an on-net tariff.

The deployment of Telsis intelligent protocol converters widens the range of PBX types and signalling schemes supported by Corporate Net and will enable the roll-out of new functionality including advanced call handling and the playing of audio announcements to phone users.

The Telsis platform offers carrier-grade robustness as well as a development and support lifetime extending beyond 2010. One of a family of purpose-built intelligent telephony platforms from Telsis, the Ocean iPC can support up to 256 E1 links in a single cabinet. It is fully carrier-grade with all critical elements
duplicated and hot-swappable. The platform supports variable grading to maximise switch resources for typical call volumes and one-to-one mapping of E1 links between the PBX and network switch for high traffic volumes.

Ocean iPCs are already widely used by many other mobile and fixed network operators including BT, Jersey Telecom and Kingston Communications.

BlueDot enables mid to large size corporates to cut the cost of making international calls from mobile phones

CellClear has today announced it is to cut corporate international mobile charges by up to 90% following launch of BlueDot. The solution is the first Mobile Least Cost Routing (MLCR) product to be launched in the UK.

CellClear’s BlueDot solution is an innovative mobile product which enables corporate users to significantly reduce spend on international mobile call costs. Installed on a Symbian or Java capable mobile telephone, BlueDot is activated when used by a business professional roaming overseas or making an international call from the UK. The software is configured to automatically find the cheapest available route for both receiving and making international calls on mobiles.

As international calls from and to mobile phones can represent a huge part of an organisations telecoms bill, BlueDot can reduce this by as much as 90%.

Speaking about the deal, Iago Bellis, Commercial Director, CellClear said: “UK businesses have been held to ransom for too long by the huge costs of international mobile call charges. For an international business, the cost of such mobile calls can account for a significant part of its annual telephony spend.

“The BlueDot software enables businesses to manage and control these costs, whilst bringing international mobile telephony in line with the rest of the corporate network.”

BlueDot software runs seamlessly on a Java or Symbian capable mobile telephone. Users can identify that BlueDot is running by viewing the small BlueDot symbol which is displayed on the mobile handset.

In some cases CellClear will supply free Symbian handsets with the BlueDot software pre-installed.

BlueDot automatically routes any international calls to the selected least cost route. For the end user, the calling procedure is no different from when currently dialling an international number.

Adding Nokia's TETRA business its Tetrapol platform

EADS announced today that it is in advanced negotiations to acquire the Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) business of Nokia to enhance the company's position in homeland security systems and mission critical secure wireless communications solutions. The move would create a highly competitive global player in this growing market, with over 130 customers in 56 countries.
 

Nokia's PMR business, including TETRA infrastructure and terminals, currently comprises of 325 employees who would be transferred to EADS.
 
"This move enhances EADS' position in the global homeland security sector Together, Nokia's TETRA and our TETRAPOL technologies create an excellent foundation for next generation solutions for mission-critical communications," said Stefan Zoller, CEO of EADS Defence and Communications Systems (DCS). "We see a global market potential in this field, of over € 10 billion within the next five years. By having the main technology platforms in our portfolio, we will be able to offer our customers innovative solutions, and serve their evolving needs."
 
"Our current customers would gain both from future development of TETRA technology, and terminals, as well as the Large System Integrator's expertise of EADS", stated Matti Peltola, Vice President, Professional Mobile Radio, Networks, Nokia. "We are convinced of the benefits this move brings to our customers."
 
"This acquisition would give us the strength to enter new business in all markets including North America. Customers will benefit from our extensive product and service portfolio, global footprint, and leading R&D capabilities," said Michel Josserand, Senior Vice President, Head of EADS DCS Professional Mobile Radio. "As EADS would continue to develop both TETRA and TETRAPOL technologies, our customers would gain from superior solutions today and in the future."
 
The closing of the acquisition is expected before the end of 2005, subject to receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals.

Tele2, the alternative pan-European telecoms company, has launched the first worldwide free TV station available on 3G mobile phones, via its own TV channel Tango.TV (TTV).

The development centre located in Luxembourg is in charge of applying the convergence strategy and has also created an Internet radio, Sunshine Radio Luxembourg, also available on 3G phones.

The streams are available to any customer from the new wap portal T.TVMobile (wap.ttv.lu).

Lars-Johan Jarnheimer, CEO of Tele2 said, “With the launch of this TV over 3G service, Tele2 is showing that it is at the leading edge of mobile technological developments. We look forward to monitoring the development of this service in Luxembourg to learn about customer behaviour, which we can apply later to our other mobile markets.”

RIM pays its way to be able to continue to produce mobile email device

A legal threat hanging over the BlackBerry email device has been lifted, after the device's maker paid a $450million settlement.

NTP, a privately-held American company, had taken the manufacturer, Research in Motion, to court, arguing RIM had infringed its patents.

Two US courts sided with NTP, and a Federal appeals court upheld its claims, although it stayed an injunction that would have prevented RIM from selling the Blackberry device in the United States.

NTP and RIM have now reached an agreement that RIM will pay $450million in return for the rights to continue to produce its products.

That will include BlackBerries resold through carriers and its Blackberry client, which is built into other mobile devices.

"NTP will grant RIM and its customers an unfettered right to continue its BlackBerry-related wireless business without further interference from NTP or its patents," RIM said in a statement.

Although the Court action only covered the US, the legal action had threatened RIM's rapidly growing global footprint.

The two companies are thrashing out the final details of the settlement over the next two weeks.

NTP's actions are not the only legal challenge in the growing market for mobile email.

Visto, a Californian company which provides push-email solutions for corporates, currently has two cases running against its rivals Seven Networks and Smartner.

NTP's patents derive from work carried out by its founder Thomas Campana at AT&T as long ago as the 1980s.

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Visto files claims, from our sister publication Communications News

UK code targeted at operators globally

The Mobile Entertainment Forum has CTIA in New Orleans to make a global launch of a code of practice for use by operators and content partners. The code has been in use in the UK since January 2005, where its introduction was spearheaded by Vodafone.

As a result of the UK initiative, where the mobile premium services market was worth around $800m in 2004, mobile operators have shut out several suppliers with unacceptable practices and consumer concern over subscription services has dramatically declined, the MEF said.

This new code of practice is recommended to MEF’s 70 members world-wide, who represent many of the world’s major carriers, content providers, service providers and technology vendors. The MEF and its US chapter, MEF Americas, have consulted on this project to ensure that the global code of practice takes account of the lessons learned from the UK experience and that the code is applicable to the booming mobile subscription services market in the USA.

Andrew Bud, head of the MEF Regulatory Initiative, said of the UK experience, “In the UK there was great uncertainty about what was best practice and what was unacceptable in the promotion and delivery of subscription services, which disturbed some consumers. We also had a few rogue providers using the offer of free ringtones to trick people into signing up to subscription services and making it difficult or impossible for consumers to escape from the service and its cost.”

"Our first priority is our subscribers' continued trust and confidence," said Jeremy Flynn, Head of 3rd Party Content for Vodafone UK, who led the operators' initiative. "We are confident that the new rules will fully protect them, whilst encouraging further growth in the mobile content industry. The UK mobile operators are all fully committed to these rules, and we appreciated the support of the Mobile Entertainment Forum in getting this work done well and fast."

“The UK industry launched its code of conduct during January this year; just two months later the rogues are gone and consumers and operators are much happier. We are certain that the results of our global consultation and practical market experience will make this code an asset to operators and content providers throughout the world by helping them build consumer confidence,” Bud added.

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All our messaging products are belong to IMS

airwide solutions announces that all of its messaging products are now enabled to operate in both IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) and pre-IMS environments. With this announcement, airwide solutions continue its tradition of innovation by enabling the evolution from existing messaging infrastructures to 3G and IMS configured networks.

All of airwide solutions products offer IP-based connection interfaces via SIGTRAN (Signaling Transport). airwide solutions now builds the bridge between 2G/2.5G messaging environments and IMS through the use of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol). 

airwide solutions was the first company to deploy SIGTRAN enabled Short Message Service Centre (SMSCs), working with Telstra in 2003. Since then, airwide solutions has been helping its customers attain entirely new levels of throughput and cost efficiency from their messaging infrastructure using IP-based connectivity.

By combining existing voice, video, data and messaging services over a common IP infrastructure, IMS will bring the full potential of Internet technology to mobile users. This capability opens up new and innovative peer-to-peer and community services such as video telephony, chat or multimedia conferencing. It also improves service mobility by offering consistent service over various network access. 

With IMS network integration, airwide solution's products will be able to provide a new range of interactive mobile messaging applications.  Subscribers will be able to easily send mobile messages in the most appropriate and cost effective means.  They will also be able to mix message types in a single session.  IMS will improve mobile operators revenues by facilitating the introduction of new services that end users are willing to use and pay for.

"More and more of our customers are looking at IMS as a means to differentiate their service offerings and to increase their revenues," said Vincent Kadar, CTO, airwide solutions. "We are currently working with mobile operators to ease their migration to an IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) architecture and to ensure that they can take advantage of the benefits of IMS/3G deployments without cannibalising their existing 2/2.5G revenues."

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Airwide

Nortel and LG Electronics have announced plans to work together to jointly develop and market WiMAX products.

This follows the January 2005 announcement of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nortel and LG Electronics to establish a joint venture for providing high quality, leading edge telecommunications equipment and networking solutions to Korea and other markets globally.

The companies' global WiMAX strategy, announced today at CTIA Wireless 2005, the world’s largest wireless tradeshow, marries the power of Nortel’s carrier packet networking and OFDM/MIMO (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing/Multiple In, Multiple Out) leadership with LG Electronics’ mobile telecommunications and digital convergence expertise.

"This leverages the combined strengths of Nortel and LG Electronics to provide end-to-end solutions and investment in innovative technologies that will position our customers for greater success,” said Dave Murashige, vice president, Carrier Networks, Nortel. “We are focused on the continuing evolution of wireless broadband and its increasing role in communications networks."

“Nortel’s and LG Electronics’ strengths will combine powerfully to deliver the future WiMAX vision,” said Jae Ryung Lee, executive vice president, Networks, LG Electronics. “With the advent of 802.16e, mobility solutions for broadband wireless will become possible, and Nortel is an acknowledged leader in networking
technologies that will be married with WiMAX access to enable that vision.”

Nortel and LG will develop WiMAX solutions based on the 802.16e standard and the WiMAX networking specification, currently under development within the WiMAX Forum. The companies are planning customer WiMAX 802.16e trials in the second half of 2006.

Nortel believes that the combination of OFDM and MIMO can be realized in 802.16e and WiMAX. These technologies provide greater spectrum efficiency, which is needed to scale wireless broadband systems for large numbers of users and high data throughputs. Nortel has invested in advanced development of OFDM
and MIMO for the past six years and has demonstrated the benefits and commercial feasibility of these technologies to more than 100 customers.

IEEE 802.16e is a point-to-multipoint broadband wireless access standard that will support fixed, nomadic and mobile wireless broadband connectivity without requiring direct line-of-sight access to a base station. In a mobile deployment, WiMAX-based solutions can deliver wireless broadband data with cost-effective macrocellular deployments.

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