The NEC e228 video mobile is exclusively available on the 3 network with 3’s great value pay-as-you-go tariff, ThreePay. The NEC e228 is NEC’s sixth addition to 3’s handset portfolio and is now on sale in over 7,000 outlets across the UK.

The NEC e228 is designed to a high specification in performance, size and style and offers 3’s exciting video services, including person-to-person video calling, at unbeatable value.
The bar-design measures 129x53x21.5mm and weighs just 125g. It has two high-resolution cameras and a powerful speakerphone for hands-free video and voice-calling. It also has a high quality, 65,536 full-colour screen which is great for watching 3’s full-length music videos from BMG and football action from the Barclays Premiership.
The handset also offers email, an MP3 player, 19MB of internal memory and a memory card slot for a Sony MemoryStickTM Duo to store an extra 128MB of content. Additional features include vibrate alert, calendar function, calculator with currency converter and headset.
Gareth Jones, COO, 3 commented: “3 is shaking up the status quo in the UK mobile market by offering great value video mobiles and exciting mobile content. 3 is redefining what customers can expect to get for their money. It’s no surprise that the predecessor to the NEC e228 has been the UK’s best-selling pre-pay handset*. We expect the NEC e228, with its slimline design and high resolution camera, to be just as popular.”
Tony Hutson, Director, NEC UK said: “As the excellence of 3’s 3G experience gains increased traction in the UK, so its products and services continue to appeal to a wider and wider audience. We have been committed to working with 3 to ensure that its portfolio of handsets meets and exceeds customer demands for performance and functionality, and the launch of the e228 is the latest step in bringing the benefits of 3G to more mobile users than ever before – delivering an affordable and accessible device.”
ThreePay, 3’s ground-breaking pay-as-you-go tariff, offers pre-pay customers the same great value as contract tariffs. ThreePay video mobiles like the NEC e228 can be purchased in stores such as Argos, Superdrug and other high-street names like Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U. Top-up vouchers can be purchased in over 60,000 outlets, wherever you see the industry “top-up” sign.

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3 UK

Following the successful launch of Vodafone's 3G Mobile Connect Card for business customers in April this year and the completion of initial trials for its 3G consumer service, Vodafone UK is offering selected customers the opportunity to shape a significant stage of its roll out of 3G services. Several thousand customers will be offered the opportunity to experience Vodafone live! 3G in the company's largest trial to date for a new product or service, ahead of full commercial launch later this year.

Vodafone live!, the industry-leading, multi-media consumer service, is being enhanced by 3G technology in a series of phases. Specially targeted Vodafone live! customers in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow will be able to experience the benefits of Vodafone live! 3G, during this trial.

Vodafone live! 3G will bring customers improved quality, sound, pictures and videos, as well as increased speed when downloading games and ringtones.  They will also be able to access a select range of new services such as video calling, video downloads (sport, news, music and general entertainment) and the streaming of live events to their handset, as well as existing services such as video messaging. The initial trial handsets will be the Samsung Z105, shortly followed by the Sony Ericsson Z1010.

Customer feedback will provide Vodafone with invaluable data for its full launch service. Vodafone live! 3G will be enhanced later this year, when there will be a wider selection of handsets available, together with an even more extensive range of content.

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Opera Telecom, the fastest growing international provider of premium rate mobile services, has today announced its acquisition of Aria Mobile Telecoms, the Dublin-based mobile technology infrastructure specialist. This follows the company's recent announcement that it has acquired MMS technology provider, Brainstorm.

Aria Mobile Telecoms was formed in 2003 in a joint venture between Opera Telecom and Diva Consulting. Recent negotiations have resulted in Opera Telecom taking 100% ownership of the organisation, re-branding the business as Opera Telecom Technologies Limited. The company will continue to trade out of its Dublin offices.
Opera Telecom Technologies Limited will offer the complete mobile technology infrastructure package - from IVR software and database management to billing and delivery, website administration and content - to media companies worldwide.  The company's Gateway product is a fully featured Messaging Management system that is built to support high volumes of SMS traffic. Its main deployment is in Central and South America and will give the Opera Telecom Group a strong foothold into the Latin American market.
Gary Corbett, Managing Director of the Opera Telecom Group, comments, "The acquisition of Aria extends our unique proposition to media organisations as they no longer need to enter into local agreements with content suppliers, infrastructure and technology providers and website designers or country-specific regulatory organisations to satisfy royalty responsibilities - the acquisition of Aria means that Opera will fulfil all of these requirements on an international basis." 
He continues, "Our original stake in Aria allowed us to rapidly expand our customer base in Europe, US and Asia-Pacific. Latin America is now a major growth market for us, with an estimated total of 123 million mobile users, compared with only 89 million fixed line customers [Source: Research and Markets Ltd]. With this figure increasing rapidly and with such a strong sales proposition, now is the optimum time to be entering the market."
Opera Telecom Group recently announced its year end financial results, reporting a record turnover of £90.4m with £5.4m profit and demonstrating the company's continued success over the past 12 months at a time when many competitors have issued profit warnings and lost market share. Over the next 18 months Opera Telecom will be considering acquisitions and partnerships with other key players in the market to ensure this success continues.
Corbett concludes, "By having such advanced technology platforms we are able to guarantee superior performance of high volume mobile marketing campaigns. There really isn't anyone that has such an extensive offering in the market, nor one that performs so reliably and consistently to make sure that every message reaches its intended recipient."

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Opera Telecom

"Welcome. My name is Rita and I'm going to help you configure your mailbox." Rita is the personal assistant who will help Videomail users to configure their new message mailbox.

TMN has just launched Videomail, one more innovative 3rd generation service supported on video calls. It is unique in Portugal and one of the first of its kind to be launched in the world.

A little over three months ago TMN revolutionised mobile telecommunications with sight and sound in real time, when it launched the first i9 3G product, one of the first in the world to make video calls possible. One month later it launched the first video answering service. The launch today of a pioneering service such as Videomail will strengthen the attitude of the leading mobile phone operator in Portugal: permanent innovation geared to customers' expectations and needs.

With TMN Videomail, any user of the video-call service can now leave video messages in the mailbox of customers who do not answer a video-call. The concept is similar to that of voicemail for voice calls, but Videomail allows people to receive and record video-calls in the mailbox. In other words, TMN customers can record any video they want their interlocutors to see and hear when leaving a video-message.

Rita is the personal assistant who will help Videomail users to configure their new message box. Rita interacts with the client or with whoever makes a video-call in a simple and objective manner to help them use the service.

Messages left following an unanswered voice call are also recorded in the same message box and in the same way as traditional voice-mail.

Consulting one's Videomail box is free until 31 December in Portugal when using an i9 3G. The promotional tariffs for video-calls are also extended to the end of the year: 5 cents per minute in the TMN network and 39 cents per minute for the other Portuguese mobile networks.

At the same time as this launch TMN places on the market a new i9 3G mobile phone. The Samsung Z 105 costs 499.90 euros (VAT included) and is available in all TMN shops, with an additional discount at this moment of 10 euros when exchanged for another mobile phone.

Openwave Systems,  the leading provider of open software products and services for the communications  industry,  today  announced  a  collaboration with SAGEM, a major  international  player in telecommunications manufacturing to deliver
the  SG321i,  one  of the first i-mode compliant phones to be produced by a European  manufacturer,  to  Bouygues  Telecom,  a  French  mobile operator acknowledged  for its policy of innovation. The phone will use the Openwave Mail  Client for i-mode and Openwave Mobile Browser Version 7 (V7 Browser), the flagship application from Openwave Phone Suite Version 7.

The  popular  i-mode  service,  created  by  Japan's  NTT DoCoMo, Inc, has already  been  launched  in  a  number of countries throughout Europe, each 'with  unique  content.  As NTT DoCoMo continues to roll out its service in Europe  and  other  regions,  operators and handset manufacturers intend to
develop   and   integrate  i-mode  compliant  phones  with  their  existing standards. Openwave client software delivers market leading implementations of both i-mode and Open Mobile Alliance standards.

"We   appreciate   Openwave's   devoted  effort  and  cooperation  for  the development of the i-mode browser and messaging client for the SAGEM i-mode handset,"  commented  Mr.  Shig  Sando,  Managing  Director,  i-mode Global
Business,  NTT  DoCoMo,  Inc.   "We  are confident of the success in global i-mode as we continue our cooperative relationship, and it is our intention to strengthen our relationship for the global expansion of i-mode."

SAGEM  was  one  of the first European manufacturers to act on NTT DoCoMo's call  to  develop  i-mode  phones  outside  of  Japan. With Openwave client software,  SAGEM  has  created  a  consistent and unique user-interface for their  i-mode  phone while leveraging the investments that they are already
making in phone software and applications.

"The i-mode SG321i is an invaluable asset for SAGEM's GSM product portfolio since  it is not only our first product based on i-mode technology but also the  very  first slide phone that we launch and we are happy to have worked on it with Openwave," said Thierry Buffenoir, Managing Director of SAGEM’s Mobile Phones Division.

"We're  proud  to  be a part of SAGEM's market building momentum for i-mode phones  in  Europe," said Don Listwin, chief executive officer at Openwave. "We  are partnering to deliver phones that work on any network and platform
and dramatically improve the user experience."

"We  are delighted to be working with SAGEM and Openwave, and welcome their work  in  the  i-mode marketplace," said Benoît Louvet, Multimedia / i-mode Director at Bouygues Telecom.  "With the rapid growth of i-mode services in
France  and  in  Europe, Bouygues Telecom is pleased to see Openwave take a leading  role,  combining  their multimedia heritage with innovation in the implementation of i-mode to help us deliver an improved user experience."

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Alcatel announced today the signing of a contract with Mobile TeleSystems, the largest mobile operator in Russia and Ukraine, for the deployment of an MTS EDGE (Enhanced Data rate for GSM Evolution) network over the city of Samara, one city with over one million inhabitants in the Federation of Russia.

Under the term of this contract, Alcatel will enable the EDGE capability of the GSM/GPRS radio and mobile core network it has already supplied to MTS in Samara, using the multi-standard capability of its industry leading Evolium solution. The EDGE technology, natively embedded in Alcatel Evolium radio access solution already installed at the MTS network, will be activated thanks to a simple software activation. Delivery of the solution is scheduled for completion by the third quarter of 2004.

The Alcatel’s solution will enable MTS to provide its customers in the Povolzhie region with new broadband mobile applications and services such as MMS, high-speed access to the Internet and electronic messaging service, or fast downloading of large volume of data. The commercial launch of the EDGE network is scheduled for fourth quarter of  2004. 

Vassily Sidorov, President and CEO of MTS, commented: “One of the mobile operators’ priorities today is to deliver the most advanced applications and services to the end-users while ensuring costs control.  Thanks to the flexibility of Alcatel’s future-safe solution, we will be able to deploy a major technology in order to offer our customers the latest broadband services in a fast and economic manner”. 

Marc Rouanne, chief operating officer of Alcatel’s mobile activities, added: “We are glad to partner with MTS on the deployment of a leading EDGE network. Our close cooperation in the past few years allowed us to get to this stage. This project demonstrates how we can help our customers to provide their subscribers with user-centric broadband services, on the fast growing Russian mobile market as well as in other growing countries where Alcatel’s mobile solutions are enjoying a leadership position.”

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Mobile operator Uralsvyazinform awards order for GSM technology and signs letter of intent worth 40 million euros for future network expansion

The fourth largest Russian mobile provider and leading operator in the Urals, OAO Uralsvyazinform (USI), has commissioned Siemens mobile, the mobile communication group at Siemens, to expand its GSM network. The order covers delivery and installation of GSM technology in the city of Yekaterinburg, the Sverdlovsk region and the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District, and is worth 13.5 million euros. In addition, Siemens and USI have signed a letter of intent which sees network expansion in the Urals covering a total volume of around 40 million euros for the next two years.

By the end of August 2004, Siemens will expand the existing GSM network of the Russian mobile provider Uralsvyazinform in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District. This encompasses the delivery of more than 100 base stations as well as switches for up to 500,000 subscribers.

In Yekaterinburg, and the Sverdlovsk region, where USI acquired a new GSM 900/1800 license in December 2003, Siemens will supply 170 EDGE-capable base stations, switching systems with high-performance processors for 500,000 subscribers, a central network management system, and network planning software. The network will go into commercial operation by fall 2004.

"The launch of the GSM network in the Sverdlovsk region is a key project for USI in 2004. The Sverdlovsk region is the main region of our company’s activities and we thus plan to offer, as early as the fall, high-quality mobile services at reasonable prices to its 4.5 million inhabitants. The equipment and software from Siemens will allow USI to provide its future subscribers in the Sverdlovsk region with competitive communication services based on state-of-the-art mobile technologies", explained Vladimir I. Rybakin, Head of Uralsvyazinform. USI, together with six other regional network operators in Russia, belongs to the telecommunications company Svyazinvest, a majority state-run company, and is at present the clear market leader in the Urals with 1.6 million mobile subscribers.

"We are pleased with this order to be growing into one of Uralsvyazinform's biggest suppliers", said Christoph Caselitz, Head of the Networks Division at Siemens mobile. "Our task is now to intensify our collaboration with Uralsvyazinform through excellent performance, and ensure that the letter of intent is followed successively by further concrete orders."

Uralsvyazinform is the biggest operator of telecommunications services and the leading internet provider in the Urals region. The company is active in eight subjects of the Russian Federation covering a territory of 1.9 million square km and a population of 15.5 million (the Kurgan, Perm, Sverdlovsk, Tyumen and Tschelyabinsk regions, and the Komi-Perm, Khanty-Mansijsk and Jamal-Nenentsk Autonomous Districts). As of 1 August 2004 the company now serves 3.2 million subscribers of fixed networks and 1.6 million subscribers of mobile networks, occupying 90 percent on the local market for telecom services, 76 percent for long-distance communications, 45 percent for mobile communications, and 41 percent for internet services. In 2003, OAO "Uralsvyazinform" achieved earnings of 22 billion rubles and net income of 1.2 billion rubles. The capitalization of the company is 1.2 billion USD.

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Siemens Mobile

Beating opertors off with a stick...

For some time now, Video Mobile has been predicted as the next big success story of the mobile world. It seems now that the wait might be over. Mobix Interactive, the specialist Video Mobile company reported today that it has had to increase its production capability three fold in the last three months to cope with demand from mobile operators for its services.

The London based company which already provides services to Vodafone, 3, T-Mobile and Orange has most recently secured a lucrative deal with O2 to provide its entire Video Mobile service for the next three years.
These agreements are just the start of a significant increase in demand from prospective and existing operator clients who need to launch new video services or improve their existing ones ahead of the traditional end of year rush.
For Mobile Operators, Video Mobile has become the must-have service and is the key component of their 3G services which many are now in the advanced stages of launching.
“Its not just the mobile operators either” says Matt Heiman, Chief Commercial Officer. “The whole Video Mobile market has just exploded. We have just signed deals with two major handset manufacturers and are in discussions with a specialist mobile retailer as well.”
Mobix Interactive has come a long way in a very short time and now less than eighteen months after its incarnation is servicing the demands of the world’s leading mobile phone operators in their quest for high quality video content.
The company, which is run by former Orange Director of Imagineering, Lance Stevens with serial entrepreneurs Matt Heiman and Robert Gilham, is now in an enviable position developing video from over 20 content providers within its portfolio and providing commercial live services to mobile networks all around the world.
Mobix is unique in its creative and technical positioning and is unrivalled in its ability to create compelling high quality Video Mobile content from a wide range of formats. This can then be delivered simultaneously across handsets from all manufacturers spanning all 2.5 and 3G mobile networks.
CEO Lance Stevens puts Mobix’s success down to its ability to deliver.  “In a short space of time we have developed a reputation for reliability and flexibility. Our content partners know they can trust us with their assets and that we, in turn will protect their interests”.
With over 80% of mobile phones sold in Europe now video capable and a predicted market of 10 Million by the end of the year, Mobix doesn’t see any signs of the rush abating. It seems that Video Mobile has really arrived and Mobix with it.

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Mobix Interactive

Controllers help to test and improve GPRS Mobile Traffic Shaper

CellGlide, the leading provider of telco-grade mobile traffic shaping solutions for GPRS, EDGE and UMTS mobile networks, has announced it has used Adax signalling controllers to help test and improve its GPRS Mobile Traffic Shaper (MTS).

The company built a low cost SGSN platform, which incorporates the Adax ACT4-PCI and HDC-PCI Combo MTP2 cards, to simulate different mobile network deployments in the lab.  The cards provided a cost-effective signalling interface and robust testing reference for the platform and were quickly and easily integrated with the existing GPRS and SS7 stacks.  This enabled CellGlide to reduce the cost and time taken to develop the SGSN simulator and its MTS product.

The CellGlide GPRS MTS is a core data-network product, so its development and testing would normally require a complex multi-million dollar captive lab environment.  The Adax-based SGSN simulator platform could be easily scaled and/or replicated to create complex mobile network deployment configurations.  This allowed CellGlide to conduct sophisticated testing in-house, removing the high cost and inconvenience of using external testing facilities to develop their MTS product.

“We were looking for a robust signalling platform that could be easily integrated with our GPRS and SS7 stacks,” said Dr. Aharon Satt, Chief Technology Officer at CellGlide.  “The Adax products offered a solid testing reference platform with an attractive price-per-port.  This low-cost easy-integration testing infrastructure enabled us to quickly build an extensive captive environment, which in turn helped reduce product development time.”

The ACT4-PCI card is a four port, high density, channelled HDLC board that provides a cost-effective solution for Next Generation Networks and traffic monitoring applications.  The card can handle multiple protocols including X.25, Frame Relay, LAPB, LAPD, HDLC and LAPV5, providing up to 1,024 DS0s and increasing call capacity in a single system.

The HDC-PCI Combo card is a high density, multiple protocol, channelled controller for wireless, wireline and converging PSTN/IP network platforms.  It offers support for both traditional SS7 and SIGTRAN protocols for SS7 over IP, making it the ideal product for Signalling Gateways and Media Gateway Controllers, in addition to SGSNs, GGSNs, MSC and BSS nodes in GPRS networks.

m-Test Professional enables automated testing of mobile phone software to reduce time to market – optimise cost of testing and minimise the risk of product recalls

Intuwave, the mobile software specialist, and Mercury, a leader in Business Technology Optimisation (BTO), are working together to improve time to market, minimise the cost of testing operations and reduce the risk of brand damage associated with the recall of mobile phones due to software quality.

This problem is addressed by m-Test Professional - the first application specifically designed to address the growing complexity associated with the testing of Smartphones.

In conjunction with Mercury's QuickTest Professional functional test automation software, m-Test enables an almost infinite number of Smartphone operations to be physically run simultaneously on multiple phones without user intervention. Intuwave and Mercury are currently jointly running pilot implementations with two major device manufacturers and an ISV.

Andrew Wyatt, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Intuwave, said, "In the past, the shortcomings of manual testing and expensive home grown cumbersome testing robots and tools resulted in product recalls that cost companies tens of millions of dollars and incalculable damage to the value of their brand. With today's Smartphones requiring between 50,000 and 500,000 individual tests to be carried out to ensure they are fully market-ready, this problem is only going to get worse. By automating the testing of mobile software, m-Test - for the first time - allows handset manufacturers, mobile operators and independent software vendors to ensure that the devices and the applications running on them work out of the box."

m-Test links to Intuwave's technology included in the core operating system of every Symbian-based device to enable the PC to take control of a connected Smartphone. It can then be used to automate the testing not only of Smartphones but also third party applications, network services enabling mobile operators to verify and certify that handsets will work in their distinctively positioned and added-value environments. As a result of Intuwave's relationship with Mercury, m-Test enables the integration of existing comprehensive, stable and mature PC testing tools into the Smartphone environment.

Revenues from mobile ticketing applications will help turn the global mobile commerce market into an $88bn industry by 2009, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

Digital goods such as mobile entertainment (ringtones, games, wallpaper, gambling and so on) will continue to be the largest application for buying and selling via the mobile phone but ticket purchases will also emerge as a major application area by 2007 with revenues totalling $39bn by 2009.
The report reveals that train and bus travel, cinemas and theatres, as well as car parking, will be key ticketing application areas. Mobile users have already started to show interest in ticketing particularly in Europe and Japan.

The report also reveals that:
•Mobile entertainment transactions will be worth $48bn by 2009.
•Retail Point of Sale (POS) mobile transactions will be slow and be worth only $299m by 2009.
•RFID and Infra Red technologies are likely to have major influence on future developments of mobile as a payment device.
•The development of global standards will continue to be slow due to too many industry bodies concentrating on vested interests.

Report author Marc Ambasna-Jones said: "Mobile ticketing has the potential to be a huge application. The very nature of buying and selling tickets is high volume and low cost. This will make it easier for consumers to try it at least once because it is low risk. The aim is to make it more convenient than cash and there is willing among operators and merchants to make it happen but it will take time."
"Globally the m-commerce market will be fragmented mainly drawn up by continental boundaries. Each region is developing at a different pace and with different technologies in mind. There is no one global standard but this will both help and hinder m-commerce. A focus on local needs will probably help the technology develop more quickly but eventually we will be faced with a roaming problem between regions."

T-Mobile has introduced its latest mobile multimedia offering: News Express, an innovative mobile newspaper service, which is delivered directly to your handset.

News Express is made up of four channels: news, sports, weather and entertainment, which are refreshed automatically, twice a day. Each of the two daily editions contains a series of articles covering national and international news and sports updates, showbiz gossip, as well as comprehensive national weather information with three day advanced forecasts for all major cities. Reports are accompanied by relevant full-colour pictures, such as snapshots of stars & starlets, key moments of major sports events, and detailed weather maps. In addition, breaking news alerts are sent ad hoc throughout the week allowing News Express subscribers to have the latest news updates at their fingertips. All reports and breaking news contain links to further information on specific topics, which can easily be accessed via t-zones.

An interactive mobile multimedia experience
News Express is the first European service to use Macromedia’s Flash Lite 1.1 technology allowing News Express subscribers instant access to news anytime, anywhere, as well as easy navigation throughout all available stories. News updates are delivered automatically in the background of the application via relevant software that is either pre-installed or downloaded via t-zones. The customer will therefore be able to read information off-line with no need to connect and no waiting times. An easy to use graphical interface allows News Express subscribers to simply click on an icon to go directly to the latest information, bringing the power of a rich multimedia newspaper experience to the mobile phone.

“News Express is one of the cornerstones of our mobile multimedia product offerings. The service is as easy to read as a newspaper, offers a rich news experience with a slick interactive feel, and our customers can trial it free of charge until the end of October,” comments Sandy Munro, Marketing Director of T-Mobile UK. “Moving forward, we plan on expanding News Express with additional news and magazine content, including mobile versions of popular newspapers, tabloids and lifestyle magazines, effectively creating a mobile news stand.”

Pricing & Availability
Starting this week, News Express is available for download to all T-Mobile UK customers with Nokia 3650, Nokia 6600, Nokia 7610 and Sony Ericsson P900 handsets. Further handsets capable of supporting News Express will be added from September, all of which will come with pre-installed software (no download necessary), enabling customers to trial and use the service ‘out of the box’.

As an introductory offer, News Express will be free of charge to all UK customers until the end of October. After this promotional period, News Express is expected to cost £6.00 per month (minimum one-month subscription), which is less than 10 Pence per edition.

Zed and Eurosport have formed a partnership to develop and sell mobile services for major sporting events across Europe.

The partnership began with Euro 2004, Zed and Eurosport offered a range of exciting mobile services for all the International matches throughout the Euro 2004 tournament. Services will initially include ring tones, logos, games and alerts on major sporting events. The partnership is initially in place in the UK and Germany.

The partnership between Zed and Eurosport marks another significant step towards greater co-operation between Zed and media partners as Zed's Head of Partnerships, Antti-Jussi Suominen explained:

"The partnership again confirms the fact that TV and mobile services complement one another very well. This is one of our most exciting media partnerships to date and we are really pleased to be able to join forces with Europe's leading sports channel and offer our joint mobile services to their demanding audience."

Arjan Hoekstra, director of business development at Eurosport says, "The strategic importance of mobile services continues to grow. Through our cooperation with Zed, we've targeted this field for further expansion. We see the mobile phone as a channel having increasing significance on our business model in the future and this partnership
underlines our determination to offer Eurosport customers sports services regardless of platform or technology. Zed's experience in this area helps us to offer our viewers the right services with the right technology in the background."

The worldwide market for handheld devices experienced a slight sequential gain in the second quarter of 2004 but, despite strong shipments from top 5 vendors palmOne and Medion, was unable to post a year-over-year increase. According to IDC’s Worldwide Handheld QView, device shipments increased 3.2% sequentially and dropped 2.2% year-over-year in 2004 to 2.2 million units.