Accuris Networks, a specialist in fixed-mobile convergence and telecoms software, has announced that it has entered into a partnership agreement with HelloSoft, the provider of VoIP technologies for wireline and wireless devices. The agreement enables Accuris Networks to support the use of consumer and enterprise smartphone handsets on its AccuROAM FMC platform.

Accuris Networks' approach to Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) - GSM to WiFi roaming is based on proven roaming principles.  AccuROAM preserves the user identity and experience including voice, data, SMS and all supplementary services, while roaming seamlessly between GSM and WiFi.

Commenting on the partnership, Aidan Dillon CEO of Accuris Networks stated: "I believe 2008 to be a defining year for Mobile Operators as it marks the much-anticipated arrival of dual mode Cellular / WiFi handsets. These handsets will play a significant part in making FMC a reality and will enable mobile operators to offer their business and consumer subscribers an all service proposition accessible over IP and cellular networks. It is critical for operators that at the heart of their FMC offering they use a reliable and intuitive handset client, and they deploy a proven, robust platform that supports true roaming between GSM and WiFi.  With Accuris Networks and HelloSoft the operator will be choosing the optimum FMC solution available on the market today." 

According to Ron Victor, HelloSoft's General Manager of Marketing and Business Development: "At HelloSoft, we look to work with best-of-breed partners, to deliver complete, compelling solutions to the converged market.  We are delighted with the successful interoperability testing with Accuris Networks AccuROAM platform and we look forward to working with them and their operator customers to provide new revenue generating FMC propositions to the market."

Vyke, the mobile Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service provider, has announces that it has launched its commercial mobile Voice over Internet Protocol service from any of The Cloud's 9,500+ UK and European hotspots and metropolitan area networks.

The move is said to bring free access to Vyke's mobile VoIP service to the millions of individuals that enter into The Cloud hotspots each day. To use Vyke's mobile VoIP service from a The Cloud wireless network, Vyke users need only to connect to Vyke as normal from their mobile phone, no separate The Cloud account or signup is necessary.

The launch will be supported by a mass marketing programme, due to also commence today, initially focussing on central London and featuring 200 black cabs bearing the Vyke logo and message.

Kjetil Bøhn, CEO of Vyke, said, "We are very excited about this service launch due to its extraordinarily compelling value proposition. While we have previously built mobile VoIP usage based on WiFi access within the user's home or office, this is the first time that Vyke is providing large scale, free access to our services from such a significant number of locations and areas. New and existing Vyke users will be able to benefit from Vyke's market leading quality and rates from very broad areas such as London City, Canary Wharf and the City of Manchester, all while out and on the move."

Streamezzo, provider of rich media software solutions and platforms for mobile devices, has announced that SFR, the leading 3G mobile operator in France, has partnered with Streamezzo to provide the software infrastructure for Vodafone live! 2.0 - its newly designed rich media portal interface.

Vodafone live! 2.0 is a next generation interactive portal service offering subscribers an access to Vodafone Live! - the well-known WAP-based portal service offered to SFR via an optimized rich media interface.  Vodafone Live! 2.0 offers dramatically improved levels of interactivity, with an intuitive interface for streamlined navigation. Vodafone Live! 2.0 offers simplified access to most content and a level of simplicity and interactivity on par with PC operating systems.

The Vodafone live! 2.0 service offers subscribers access to a large array of multimedia services, and especially allows to watch TV, to download and listen to music, to read general and sports news, to access chats and blogs services, to download games and offers personal customization capabilities. SFR's primary goal in developing the service was to leverage the intuitive, yet advanced rich media features enabled by Streamezzo's platform to encourage increased utilization of an extensive array of exciting new services designed for mobile devices.

"The entire mobile industry continues to wrestle with competing standards or a lack of standards, and the subscriber bears the brunt of the pain from these issues," said Pierre-Emmanuel Struyven, CMO for Streamezzo.  "Our goal is to eliminate these inconsistencies with an end-to-end software suite that brings PC-like functionality and simplicity to the mobile phone in such as way that the technical issues and complexities are completely transparent to the user.  We have worked hard to bring this philosophy and this seamless functionality to SFR's Vodafone live! subscribers."

Sonofon, a leading mobile operator in Denmark, is upgrading its existing WCDMA 3G network with High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) technology from Nokia Siemens Networks. With HSDPA, data can be transmitted through the mobile network at real broadband speeds. The initial upgrade at Sonofon will support up to 3.6 mega bits per second peak rates.

The HSDPA enhancement will not only enable Sonofon to market their mobile data service more cost efficiently but also offer a true mobile broadband solution including high-speed mobility and coverage. The HSDPA launch will be a logical expansion of Sonofons existing service offering and is easily implemented on top of Sonofon's existing 3G network from Nokia Siemens Networks.

As part of the installation, Nokia Siemens Networks will also provide software- and emergency support and hardware services and the network will be supported by the multi-technology, multi-vendor NetAct TM network and service management system, which will be upgraded to support HSDPA..For additional coverage expansions Sonofon will deploy Nokia Siemens Networks highly acclaimed Flexi WCDMA-Base Station that will ensure the network offers high levels of reliability and performance to Sonofon's customers.

 "Nokia Siemens Networks and Sonofon have shared a very long relationship. The major advantage for us in selecting the HSDPA solution from Nokia Siemens Networks was the ease at which our network could provide greater speed. The solution does not require any hardware upgrades but a simple software that enables this functionality." said Jesper Hansen - Director of Operations, Sonofon.

"As industry leaders, the HSDPA solution we are delivering to Sonofon will allow them to use their existing 3G network more effectively, offer high speed mobile broadband and provide a strong technology base for future enhancements of HSDPA. In addition, our solution will also help reduce costs and improve Sonofon's time to market." said Finn Erik Hermansen from Nokia Siemens Networks.

Sonofon will initially launch HSDPA services in the four major cities of Copenhagen, Aarhus, Aalborg and Odense- where subscribers will be able to enjoy data transmission speeds of 0.5 - 1.5 Mbps already from day one. The deliveries have already begun and initial coverage was secured within few weeks from first installation.

Telit Wireless Solutions, a specialist in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, is presenting its latest products and services at stand 1G31, hall 1 at Mobile World Congress 2008 in Barcelona. In addition to the over-the-air software update service (FOTA), the trade fair highlights will also include a wide range of module innovations.

Telit will showcase the UC864 UMTS/HSPDA modules with 7.2 Mbits/s, the GE863-PRO3, the world's only dual CPU M2M module with additional ARM9 processor, and the GE863-SIM with integrated SIM card at the trade fair. Live demos by device manufacturers from different industries will give trade fair visitors the opportunity to find out for themselves about M2M applications.

Telit is exhibiting for the fifth time at the Mobile World Congress. "3GSM is one of the most important global trade fairs for Telit and is therefore an excellent platform for demonstrating our latest products and M2M applications," explains Dominikus Hierl, President Telit Wireless Solutions.


Firmware over the air update

Telit is presenting its new FOTA service (firmware over the air) enabling Telit customers to update the software of the integrated M2M modules as required. FOTA makes M2M much more stable and above all more secure. For example, it enables customers to respond quickly to changes in mobile networks. If Telit performs optimisations to its module software, these can be transferred immediately to the Telit modules of the customer applications via the remote software update. Even if users create their own module-independent software update for their application, they can install this using FOTA.


FOTA servers for Telit customers

The basis for this service is a special FOTA server which handles the software updates. Customers conclude a service agreement for this purpose and register their Telit modules on the server. The modules are then automatically supplied with software updates. "Users benefit primarily from the fact that they do not have to configure any servers of their own. This saves them considerable expense," explains Dominikus Hierl. At 3GSM, customers have the chance to experience a live demo showing how a software package is transferred and updated using FOTA.


UC864-E for high transfer rates

In addition, Telit will also present the latest generation of M2M modules including the UC864-E UMTS/HSPDA module which will be available worldwide from January 2008. The UC864-E enables extremely fast data transfer up to 7.2 Mbit/s at 2100 MHz making it one of the most powerful M2M modules worldwide. The EDGE and GSM/GPRS quad-band-compatible module has the same form factor and identical mechanical and software interfaces to the other products in the GSM/GPRS-based GC864 series and the CDMA 1xRTT-based CC864-DUAL series. Telit will also present the UC864-K which has the special licenses required for the Korean market. The UC864-G with worldwide tri-band frequency coverage in the UMTS band will also be featured. It combines slightly modified external dimensions with optimum mechanical compatibility. Users can integrate Telit's UC modules into existing GC and CC-based GSM/GPRS and CDMA designs with minimum integration and adaptation requirements. Trade fair visitors can see a live demonstration of how the module works at the Telit stand.


GE863-PRO3 high-performance module

A further focus will be the latest modules in the GE863 series, the GE863-SIM and the GE863-PRO3. The GE863-PRO3 is currently one of the key products in the Telit module portfolio. It is going on the market at the end of 2007. As well as the module processor, the GSM/GPRS quad-band module also has an additional powerful ARM9 processor from Atmel. It gives software applications complete access to the CPU, while the GPRS processor takes care of time-critical communication tasks. The module supports Python and C++ programming languages. With the GE863-PRO³, the user's own involvement in the development of a complex M2M application is significantly reduced. At the trade fair stand, visitors can find out about the various possible applications, features and interfaces of the module and the software tools.


M2M up close

Visitors can also learn more about the diverse applications of M2M first hand from five important Telit customers each presenting their applications on small presentation islands. The co-exhibitors include the automated meter reading specialist ASL (Great Britain), Xirgo (USA) and CROW (Israel) for the security industry. The French company Masternaut will also present its fleet management applications. Services for Electronic Manufacturing (SEM) from Italy will be demonstrating a small tracking and tracing device and its applications in the B2B and consumer sector. "The live demonstrations of our customers give trade fair visitors the opportunity to experience first hand the practical applications and therefore the benefits of the M2M devices," says Alexander Bufalino, VP Global Marketing, Telit Wireless Solutions.

Ericsson has been selected by leading operator 3 to develop and host its award-winning mobile music service, 3Music, in Sweden and Denmark.

Under the agreement Ericsson will have end-to-end responsibility for 3's world-leading music service, including systems integration, operations and development of new features. The service will give more than 885,000 Danish and Swedish customers seamless access to music-related content from a variety of international and local record labels directly via their mobile devices.

The superior experience also includes ring tones, wallpapers and downloads and streaming of full-length audio, video and play lists, with the option to access the service via either mobile or web portals via Dual Delivery. Ericsson will take over the responsibility for the music service as from the first quarter of 2008.

Peder Ramel, CEO at 3 Scandinavia, says: "Ericsson's hosted solution is the next step in the development of our award-winning service. It allows us to focus on our customers and provide them with world-class content cost-effectively."

Mikael Bäckström, President Ericsson Nordic and Baltics, says: "Ericsson's mobile music solution is designed to make it easier for operators to offer attractive content to their customers and hosting allows launch of new services quickly and cost-effectively. We are excited about partnering with 3 who is a very innovative player in the service and multimedia area. This contract takes our successful relationship to a new level.

Nokia Siemens Networks has introduced the Communication Key, a USB device with SIM authentication that lets subscribers take VoIP and other rich communications on the road.

The Communication Key is a USB device with built-in SIM authentication that allows PC users to engage in not only voice calls, but also video sharing and other rich communications with the same ease and convenience as making mobile phone calls. It helps a mobile operator reinforce its role as the preferred service provider in the face of growing competition from new Internet players. The Communication Key will be available in Q3 2008.

"The tiny SIM card represents a huge business opportunity for mobile and converged operators," says Juergen Walter, head of Service Core and Applications, Nokia Siemens Networks. "It is a tangible - and valuable - token of their relationship with their customers. The identity, phone number and account data of individual subscribers are all tied to the SIM card, which means that it can be a crucial tool for offering innovative services based on built-in identity and trust."

The Communication Key leverages this powerful link to subscribers - with the support of Nokia Siemens Networks' unique core network solution - to enable a rich and easy VoIP service that can broaden an operator's horizons for services by expanding the VoIP experience across domains.

Because authentication and billing with the Communication Key is based on a user's SIM card, logging onto the service is fast, intuitive and secure, and payment is streamlined as part of the user's mobile phone bill. SIM authentication also means that Communication Key users can be reached by their normal mobile telephone number. This gives subscribers the option of answering incoming calls on their mobiles or PCs, according to their preferences or current access - both their mobile and PC can ring simultaneously if so desired.

As the Communication Key is completely portable and self-contained, users can plug it into Internet-connected PCs anywhere, for example at Internet cafés away from home while on holiday. They can then make calls totally independent of the local mobile network coverage, an attractive option in regions where coverage or roaming fees are challenging. This gives operators a way to offer richer services that adds traffic on top of the normal mobile usage.

Central to the Communication Key's functionality is the Nokia Siemens Networks Communication Suite PC client, which gives secure and simple access for business users and consumers to engage in Internet-based communications, such as VoIP calls, Instant Messaging, or Video sharing using PCs with broadband connections. Because the Communication Suite PC client can also employ authentication methods other than SIM-based, it can be offered by any network operator, whether fixed or mobile, who wants to add VoIP to their service offering.

With the Communication Key, mobile operators can leverage their relationship with subscribers in order to expand service coverage, open up new revenue streams and increase their overall service usage. SIM-based authentication can also pave the way to even more innovative business models where subscribers can, for example, use the Communication Key as a "citizen certificate" for official identification or to charge purchases made over the Internet to their mobile account.

The solution uses Nokia Siemens Networks' unique core network architecture, based on IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) or mobile softswitching, to authenticate, connect and charge for the calls made with the Communication Key.

The mobile entertainment industry is throwing away up to 10% of its gross revenue due to inconsistent and inaccurate content sales reporting, according to research from the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF).  The findings were unveiled today as part of MEF's global Content Sales Reporting Initiative.
 
93% of industry members surveyed across the mobile ecosystem believe accurate content sales reporting is critical to the long-term success of the industry. Currently different reporting styles are a key issue affecting business across the value chain, from operators to service and content providers. One in two respondents said they receive up to 50 different types of reports, and this confusion is exacerbated by the fact that there is no clear reporting line within the value chain.
 
Further to this, 42% said their reports are not accurate. Most respondents cited loss of revenue, wasted resources and reduced investment in mobile content as common results from poor content reporting.
 
To combat these issues, MEF is working with key industry stakeholders to create a best practice guidelines for content sales reporting that can be adopted within the industry.  The initiative hopes to address specific issues around timeliness, relevance, accuracy and consistency of reports.
 
The challenge will be finding some common ground between all the different parties involved and their individual needs.  For example, when asked how often they would like to receive reports, 37% of respondents said they want real time statistics, 15% want daily and 22% wanted weekly and monthly. 

"These results show how acutely the industry is affected by the lack of reporting guidelines. It is clear that we need to pull together to resolve the issues and implement best reporting practices, and MEF's best practice guidelines will lead the way. Standardised reporting will give us an extremely accurate and clear picture of how content is delivered and used, which will benefit all the players in the value chain," said Jason Wells, Senior Vice President, Mobile Entertainment at Sony Pictures Television International.
 
Suhail Bhat, Policy and Initiatives Director for MEF said: "It is clear this consultation has only scratched the surface, but it is a major step in uncovering the depth of this issue and how it directly affects revenues across the board.  The mobile entertainment market is now a huge global force with revenues exceeding $25billion yearly - our systems and processes need to reflect this in order to take the industry to the next level."
 
As part of this global initiative, MEF surveyed their members and people from the wider industry about their views on sales reporting.   The results will be used to inform MEF's Content Sales Reporting Best Practice Guidelines, due to be released in Q1 of 2008.

Ericsson and TDF have signed an agreement for the supply of a MINI-LINK microwave transmission solution, providing a platform for flexible, scalable and cost-effective wireless transmission.

Ericsson's microwave transmission solution will enable TDF to offer a wide range of services and to meet the demand in France for network capacity driven by TV broadcasting, broadband wireless networks and the uptake of new data services. The agreement includes the new MINI-LINK TN that allows optimization on both network and site operations, resulting in a more cost efficient network.

Michel Combes, Chairman and CEO of TDF, says: "We have chosen Ericsson because their transmission solution offers flexibility for capacity and support for the necessary voice and data traffic."

Ericsson's MINI-LINK solution will provide TDF with efficient traffic aggregation, easy capacity expansion, and improved service quality and network control.  It supports a variety of optional features, enabled by Soft Keys, and offers great flexibility in transmission networks for broadband applications. The agreement also includes telecom services with a complete set of deployment, integration and support services.

Guy Roussel, President, Ericsson France, says: "This new agreement takes our relationship with TDF to a new level and confirms our position as a leading microwave transmission solutions provider in France."

Mobile Devices, a leading provider of technology for telematics, fleet management and navigation applications, has announced the completion of its first round of private investment. The company has raised a total of €3.1 million from Innovacom, the sole financial investor in this private placement.

Mobile Devices enables any company involved in telematics (navigation, driver information and fleet management), to develop, deploy and operate value-added services to their customers. The full line of embedded devices from tracking devices to high end navigation and messaging terminals, the open platform embedded in every terminal, the administration solutions, and the powerful and user friendly development environment help solutions providers quickly bring new products  to the market. Mobile Devices also provides a comprehensive catalogue of ready-to-use applications.
 
"We are delighted to have received this level of financing and are proud to have closed our first round of private equity with Innovacom who are fully confident in the future of our technology," said Aaron Solomon, President and CEO of Mobile Devices Ingénieurie. "Mobile Devices has an aggressive product roadmap which will extend the capabilities of its product offerings. This investment will support the continuous development of our technology and the establishment of an international sales network."
 
Jacques Meheut, Innovacom's General Partner and a Member of the Board of Directors commented, "We were attracted to Mobile Devices Ingénieurie because its technology addresses key changes to the way services will be designed and made available to vehicle users. These new innovations are necessary to meet  a growing demand in location-based services. We believe this is going to be a large and important market and Mobile Devices is in a unique position".
 
Mobile Devices recently launched the Dreevo, the only Open Connected Navigation device  currently available on the market that enables tracking, messaging and navigation in one unique application.

Ukrainian operator life:) is said to be the world's first mobile operator to launch post-paid and prepaid billing on a single, truly convergent billing system with Orga Systems' OPSC Gold.

"Astelit is one of the leading operators in Eastern Europe.  We have outstanding growth rates and an ambitions strategic approach.  Therefore we require a strong partner that understands and supports our business.  Orga Systems is this partner." says Oguz Memiguven, CTO, Astelit life:) "With their OPSC Gold convergent product suite, Orga Systems has enabled us to successfully launch new, next generation services with a very aggressive time to market.  At the same time their system has enabled us to reduce operator costs significantly.  This important milestone is just one on the path to a successful future in our highly competitive markets."

By harnessing the power of real-time billing, OPSC Gold allows life:) to rapidly roll-out new revenue-generating services to its entire subscriber base, whether post-paid, prepaid or hybrid forms, and permits fast time-to-market marketing campaigns.

OPSC Gold is a carrier-class convergent real-time billing system that enables true convergence by providing a single point of rating, charging and billing regardless of the payment method or service.

The new system will support the next stage of exciting growth for life:) which is recognized as one of Europe's most cutting-edge mobile operators attracting 7.6 million subscribers in just two and a half years.

In addition, OPSC Gold lowers total cost of ownership by consolidating systems and processes into a single platform. Its extensive billing and credit management functionality will help protect against revenue leakage.

E-Plus, Germany's third-largest mobile communications provider, has chosen the Optimux-34 multiservice PDH fiber multiplexer from RAD Data Communications to guarantee no-gaps indoor network coverage in public buildings. The E Plus Group is said to be the only mobile communication provider that supports mobile phone use in Hamburg's subway stations.

Because walls and reinforced concrete get in the way, mobile communications only works properly indoors if a special infrastructure is set up within the buildings in which coverage is required. 'Microcells' are installed at busy facilities such as trade show halls, airport terminals and sports stadiums. Each discrete section of a building ­ a floor of a shopping mall, for example ­ requires one or more dedicated mobile communication antennas.

To hook these indoor antennas up to the network, the E Plus Group rents existing optical cables from the building operator. The problem is that mobile communications equipment usually has digital E1 interfaces instead of optical interfaces. This is where RAD's multiservice Optimux-34 PDH optical multiplexer converts E1 circuits into optical signals and fans an E3 out onto E1 lines. Installed equipment can now pick up the E3 coax cable from the radio relay system on the roof and carry mobile traffic into the building over fiber optic infrastructure. Inside the building, a chain of Optimux multiplexers forms a cascaded optical access network and lets the E1 coax interfaces "talk" to the mobile antennas.

"It is our privilege to provide E Plus with a future-proof solution in the shape of the Optimux-34, which supports traditional technologies while delivering the flexibility and manageability that today's customers expect," says Badre Bounouar, Pre-sales Consultant at Pan Dacom Direkt, a RAD distribution partner.

A 10/1000 BaseT Ethernet user port is also available. The main link can use either coaxial E3 or a variety of optical interfaces. The latter are based on small, modular optical transceivers known as small form-factor pluggable (SFP) modules, which are very easy to replace if the need arises. Equipment can thus be adapted flexibly to on-site conditions such as the optical route, wavelength and attenuation factor. A plug-and-play design guarantees extremely simple installation.

"We chose the Optimux-34 from RAD because it is compact and comparatively inexpensive," explains Dr. Hans-Jurgen Schrewe, Director of Planning and Engineering at the E-Plus Group. "We were particularly impressed by the tremendous flexibility provided by the SFP modules."

"The E Plus project demonstrates that our Optimux product line provides very flexible solutions for connecting optical cables to a PDH infrastructure," states Amit Katz, Product Line Manager at RAD Data Communications. "PDH technology is utilized in mobile communications applications around the globe, and indoor network coverage is a critical issue," he concludes. "This particular installation may indeed set a trend."

Cubic Telecom, doing business as MAXroam (www.maxroam.com), and Global Roaming, doing business as CelTrek (www.celtrek.com), have today announced a strategic alliance combining their marketing reach and technical know-how into a single partnership.

The partnership will allow both companies to offer extended geographic coverage and data roaming on their existing products. This is a substantial step forward for both companies in their goal to provide a single global communication platform that brings an end to the monopolistic behavior of the large cellular operators.

Pat Phelan said "I am delighted that Global Roaming has decided to partner with Cubic and I look forward to a world where anyone can call anyone at anytime without worrying about the cost."

Florian Seroussi, CEO of Global Roaming Inc. said: "This alliance gives us an opportunity to get a footprint in Europe in order to spread our ambition of offering low-cost roaming to consumers everywhere."

Through the partnership both companies are currently actively engaged in joint proposals to large US and European enterprises and announcements on these are imminent.

Subex, a global provider of Operations Support Systems (OSS) solutions for telecom operators , has announced it has dropped the Azure from its name.

Subash Menon, Founder Chairman, Managing Director & CEO, Subex said, "We adopted the name Subex Azure primarily to highlight the acquisition and subsequent integration of UK firm Azure in June 2006. This was in line with our strategy to leverage the recall and positioning of Azure in the market. The company has now fully benefited from that strategy and since then proceeded to acquire Canadian firm Syndesis. Now it's time to reposition Subex, the mother brand, as the primary brand."

The new name is the culmination of acquisitions to date, incorporating all assets and brand equity into a unified brand. It is also a reflection of the company's global consolidation and continuous product innovation.

Sanjeev Gadre, Vice President - Marketing, Subex Ltd said, "The stylised 'X' in the new Subex logo stands for the `X' factor that sets Subex apart in its domain. The colours purple and yellow are warm and reiterate Subex's vigour and passion. The usage of the lowercase type is representative of the company's youthful dynamism. The straight and thick lines are evocative of the strength with which the company leads the industry."