SDC supplies Java based DRM

Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology from Secure Digital Container AG (SDC) is powering the first integrated digital music player and mobile phone, launched by O2 Germany in June 2004.

The new Siemens SX1 Music is the first ever handset with the ability to download DRM protected, full-length music tracks over the air and directly on to the device without the need for a separate music player.

The integrated mobile music device has long been the 'holy grail' of the mobile phone industry - however, to date, standards issues have prevented this, with mobile download according to OMA (Open Mobile Alliance) standards anticipated only in 2005. Siemens, using SDC's Java DRM technology, has now made the integrated mobile music phone a reality today. The mid-range Symbian phone is available from O2 Germany now, priced €149.95. O2 is expected to launch the device in the UK and Ireland by August 2004.

The Siemens SX1 Music has been developed as a multi media phone with special features for mobile music download, and is the first device ever to integrate SDC's Java DRM package into the handset. The handset has a pre-installed music player with all the functionality needed for full-length music download, which will provide consumers with an "out-of-the-box" experience.

The handset was jointly developed by SDC and Siemens and is easy to navigate, with a unique keypad arrangement enabling a large 65K colour high-resolution. In addition to the music player, the SX1 also hosts a stereo plug for a pair of headphones, which results in high music quality.

With the launch of the SX1 handset, O2 Germany customers can now progressively download their choice of track directly to their handset, storing about 120 songs at any time on the SX1's replaceable 128 MB memory board (expandable up to 1GB). Users can also transfer their tracks to a PC. SDC's DRM technology protects the license of each individual track, avoiding any need for duplicate payment.

The new device marks the first delivery from O2's Active Music Download roadmap, announced at CeBIT 2004 in Germany. SDC's Java DRM is powering the evolution of the entire roadmap in Germany, the UK and Ireland, protecting the rights of both customers and the music labels throughout the download process.

 "With the SX1 Music, O2, Siemens and SDC are demonstrating the first evolution of the future mobile music business," said Michael Bornhäusser, CEO of SDC. "Our technology has essentially removed the technical constraints for mobile music handset development, making this 'holy grail' a reality. SDC is planning, alongside varied customers and partners, to launch more than 10 GPRS mobile music phones, and the first 3G mobile music device, within the next 4 months. This is a major step forwards for mobile music delivery - we're delighted to have been able to help O2 and Siemens deliver mobile music to their customers today."

Java DRM is the only mobile DRM solution currently on the market to receive the endorsement of major content players including BMG, EMI, Warner Music, Sony Music and Universal. SDC's unique, Java-and Symbian based technology architecture means that no client installation for the DRM is required, facilitating simple, fully-fledged DRM security and easy upgradeability to any mobile or fixed device.

External Links

O2 Germany

Video highlights from TWI's Interactive Division

For the first time, tennis fans will be able to catch the on and off-court action from Wimbledon on video mobile phones. With the start of the tournament on Monday June 21st, customers of video mobile network 3 will be able to watch news, interviews and match footage featuring all the stars of the 2004 championships on their handsets

The daily service for Wimbledon will include three news bulletins, four key interviews and an end of play highlights package featuring the best of the day's play. Customers will also be able to watch profiles of the leading players in this year's tournament, including Tim Henman and Andy Roddick. The video highlights are being provided by TWI's Interactive division in conjunction with The All England Lawn Tennis Club.

Along with a video review of last year's tournament, an archive of 'Golden Highlights' footage from previous tournaments is also available to download, including the classic McEnroe v Borg final, Boris Becker's first win aged 17 and the two Williams sisters' finals encounter in the ladies' singles.

The Wimbledon service from 3 also includes a text alerts option, which will offer updates on men's and ladies' singles results and will highlight availability of new video clips of the action. 

The Wimbledon Championships service is available through 'Today on 3', the UK's first live video mobile news and entertainment channel.

Each news and interview video clip will cost 25p and the end of day highlights package costs 50p.  Video clip alerts are free of charge.

Rob McCowen, AELTC Marketing Director: "One of the Club's objectives has always been to bring the excitement of Wimbledon to as wide an audience of fans as possible, be it on TV, radio, the internet and now video mobile.  We are delighted that, for the first time, thanks to our association with 3, fans will now be able to watch Wimbledon highlights on their mobile phones. "

Graeme Oxby, 3's Marketing Director said: "With this service, 3 customers can experience all the excitement of Britain's favourite summer event through their video mobiles. Keep up to date on how Tim is progressing with the latest news, results and video alerts. 3 is committed to providing the leading mobile sports service and the launch of our service for Wimbledon 2004 underlines that commitment. With this announcement, for the first time, customers will be able to watch the highlights from SW19 on video mobile."

Todd McCormack, CEO, TWIi: "We are pleased to be facilitating the Club's delivery of all the highlights of the fortnight to 3 customers so they can enjoy the Wimbledon Championships.  TWIi looks forward to working with 3 on this innovative and compelling service.  As one of the leaders in delivering new media services to the world of sport and entertainment, we are well positioned to leverage our experience to deliver the video features to 3's customers in a standard consistent with Wimbledon's stature." 

The Wimbledon service is also included in a new and expanded 'sports add-on' from 3, which combines video news and match highlights with a comprehensive text alert, fixtures and live scores service. 

For £5 a month, the add-on offers unlimited access to Britain's largest mobile sports portfolio, including video from Sky Sports news, next season's Premiership and UEFA Champions League football, and this year's Open Golf Championship in Troon.

External Links

3 UK

Eurêka  - Wavecom and Owasys have got it

Wavecom and Owasys Advanced Wireless Devices are delighted to have been awarded, at the last Eurêka Ministerial Conference in Paris on 18 June 2004, the  Eurêka  label for their project of mobile remote assistance terminals. This label rewards the innovative solutions developed jointly by the two European companies: a set of mobile remote assistance terminals intended for the elderly or people with physical or mental disabilities.

The importance of remote assistance services was demonstrated during the heat wave last summer, which raised European awareness of the need for surveillance and monitoring of elderly people due to their isolation. Remote assistance services are today mainly available in the home, whereas people who need remote services would also benefit from them when away from home.

The wireless terminals developed by Wavecom and Owasys are unique in the market, and enable improvement in the quality of life for these people by offering:

·        rapid access to an assistance and control centre

·        an easy-to-use dedicated button for emergency calls

·        user localisation using GPS positioning

·        remote checking of the physiological state of the user, with this data being sent directly to a medical centre or a doctor

·        increased stand-by and communication time

·        superior hearing quality due to high-volume sound

The project includes the development of a family of terminals of which the first product is the Owasys112C, based on Wavecom's WISMO Quik Q2406 wireless module.

"Eurêka encourages cooperation between European companies, a source of technological innovations which can, as in this case, improve the quality of life for people," says Pierre Piver, Vice President of Wavecom's Vertical Applications business unit. "We are proud to receive the Eurêka label, which recognizes not only the innovative aspect, but also the economic viability and the social value of the project."

"Our first user-adapted telephone, the "talking telephone" intended for the blind and visually-impaired, was developed jointly with Wavecom, and launched in 2003. Its success shows that there is a real demand in the market for products customized for users who have specific needs," adds Fernando Aguirre, Marketing and Sales Director of Owasys. "More than 100,000 people are users of home teleassistance services in Spain only, and we are confident that this new mobile teleassistance terminal will appeal to a wide range of users."

External Links


France Telecom and Motorola today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the joint development of Seamless Mobility Solutions. This collaboration aims at developing and deploying new and innovative, integrated services, using a wide range of wireless access networks and technologies, for the home, office, car and on the move.

The MoU includes:
 The establishment of joint research and development teams,
 The sharing of R&D funding,
 And the principle of sharing intellectual property resulting from today’s announcement

For France Telecom, this collaboration with Motorola is a clear demonstration of France Telecom’s strategy to develop new and innovative integrated services for its customers independently from the access network they are using. This project will allow customers access to communication services through the Internet, Interactive TV as well as fixed or mobile lines. It marks the commitment taken by France Telecom to join forces with industry leaders in order to leverage resources and expertise, and to offer the best services to its end customers.

For Motorola, the announcement marks a significant step towards the realization of its vision for seamless mobility through next generation networks, devices and applications based on its innovative heritage, extensive R&D investments and understanding of both service provider and end-user needs.

In today’s market context, both companies are convinced of the need to develop new types of relationships between telecommunications operators and equipment vendors in order to cope with the challenges of increasing competition and the convergence of the Telecom, IT and Multimedia industries.

External Links

France Telecom

New forecast projects mobile data revenues will doubleto $50 billion over next five years

Mobile data will generate all mobile revenue growth in Western Europe until 2008, according to the Yankee Group's new EMEA Wireless/Mobile Data Forecast. Released today at the Yankee Group's Wireless Leadership Forum in London, the forecast projects mobile voice revenues stagnating at around $124 billion, while data revenues will more than double over five years to approximately $50 billion. Fueling this data market growth will be quadruple revenue growth in wireless entertainment revenues as well as a doubling of enterprise data users.

"Data is what it's all about for Western European wireless carriers," said Declan Lonergan, director, Wireless/Mobile Europe. "Voice markets are saturated and voice ARPU is declining. Data ARPU, however, will more than double over 5 years, representing 29% of total ARPU. This is significant both in terms of absolute numbers, and the applications behind the numbers as well. Entertainment revenue will be key to long-term growth and video, music and games will be growing at an impressive rate compared with more nascent data applications such as messaging, which will have begun to stagnate by 2008."

The Yankee Group EMEA Wireless/Mobile Data Forecast, a 5-year prospective view of key indicators for the EMEA wireless data application markets, including total market, messaging, entertainment, information, M-commerce, enterprise and value-added voice segments. The forecast includes metrics for the total region plus regional European segments, as well as country specific metrics for 16 major
national markets.

Almost half of teen subscribers want camera and MP3 on next device

Camera phones are likely to continue to drive upgrades in the European mobile device market in the next year, according to a new study by Telephia, the leading provider of marketing and service quality intelligence to the global mobile industry. There also appears to be substantial customer demand for several additional emerging entertainment applications, including music/MP3, the capability to view/download video, and integrated TV.

The Telephia European Device Report, based on a survey of 27,000 mobile device users in six major Western European countries, reveals that currently 11 percent of European subscribers regularly use the camera feature on their phone, with another 27 percent interested in having it on their next device. Teenage subscribers (ages 15-17) lead the marketplace in camera adoption and interest, with 16 percent using camera and 47 percent desiring it on their next phone.
Teen subscribers also exhibit considerable interest in several up-and-coming mobile entertainment applications. Almost half of teen users want the music/MP3 feature on their next phone (45 percent). That is more than double the percentage of all Europeans (19 percent). Teen subscribers were also enthusiastic about video viewing/downloading (3 percent use; 28 percent desire) and integrated TV (1 percent use; 27 percent desire).
"The success of camera phones in Europe has generated desire for more sophisticated entertainment applications and produced an important inflection point, at which entertainment has joined messaging as a key utility of mobile devices," said Mick Mullagh, president and chief executive officer of Telephia. "The challenge for device manufacturers is to extend demand beyond the current youth base and build awareness in new segments and geographies."
Telephia observed sizeable differences in demand across the six countries surveyed. Spain had the greatest percentage of subscribers who don't currently use camera but desire it on their next phone (34 percent). Spain also exhibited the most untapped interest in music/MP3 (27 percent). Italy had the highest level of interest in integrated TV (17 percent).

The Amdocs PRM product will enable O2 Ireland to cost-efficiently capitalise on growing partner-based content opportunities, while ensuring enhanced partner and customer satisfaction

Amdocs, the world's leading provider of billing and CRM products and services for true integrated customer management, today announced that O2 Ireland, a leading mobile provider and market innovator, and a wholly owned subsidiary of mmO2, has chosen the Amdocs Partner Relationship Management (PRM) product for superior partner billing and revenue settlement capabilities. Amdocs PRM will enable O2 Ireland to support multiple partnerships with increased operational efficiency. It will also allow O2 Ireland to promote new revenue streams from innovative partner-based content offerings and realise profitable growth. This project follows previous successful Amdocs implementations at O2 Ireland for convergent GSM and GPRS billing.

"We required a proven and scalable solution that would enable us to achieve maximum benefit from our growing content business and ensure we have an attractive platform for partners," commented Oliver Coughlan, Technology Director, O2 Ireland "We chose Amdocs PRM for its unmatched functionality, including advanced partner self-care capabilities for greater partner satisfaction. Amdocs PRM will seamlessly integrate into our existing Amdocs billing platform, driving further operational efficiencies."

Amdocs PRM automates and centralises partner-billing processes. It simplifies auditing procedures, eliminates error risk, and significantly reduces handling time and costs associated with manual processing. Pre-configured for quick deployment, Amdocs PRM will enable O2 Ireland to accelerate the introduction of new content partnerships and business models, and achieve a rapid return on investment and incremental profitability. 

"Partnering to deliver value-added content services is proving to be an effective way for service providers to grow revenue and retain their best customers," said Michael Couture, vice president of marketing at Amdocs. "Amdocs is providing market leaders like O2 Ireland with solutions that enable them to strengthen their role in the emerging content value-chain, while growing stronger, more profitable customer relationships."

Visto Mobile gives network operators integrated solution for delivering personal, business or global enterprise email on all popular mobile phones

Breakthrough mobile messaging solutions provider Visto Corporation today announced its new integrated platform allowing mobile network operators to provide push-based mobile email/PIM solutions aimed at individual, small business or corporate customers.

Visto Mobile unlocks the market by providing operators with a single common architecture to integrate a range of push email/PIM services on a host of different handsets, from most simple phones to the most capable smart phones. Visto Mobile provides the real-time platform operators want, in order to provide a wide range of mobile mail solutions to their subscribers. The platform includes Visto Mobile Personal Edition, providing personal email/PIM to subscribers; and Visto Mobile Enterprise Server, an enterprise class solution for companies using Microsoft Exchange or IBM Lotus Domino servers.

Visto Mobile provides an always-connected solution for immediate delivery of email to the mobile device over 2.5G and 3G networks including GPRS, CDMA/1xRTT, CDMA 2000 and WCDMA.

"The Visto Mobile platform provides a powerful tool to mobile operators," said Paolo Pescatore, senior analyst for IDC's European Wireless and Mobile Communications Service. "Visto's strategy of providing broad device support, personal and corporate email/PIM, with real-time, push email delivery, makes them the one to watch. It's shown impressive growth having nearly 200,000 paid subscribers among ten wireless operators worldwide."

With this new release, Visto has also improved upon product usability and performance on popular mobile devices including Sony Ericsson's P900, P800, palmOne's Treo600, Nokia 6600, and SPV e-200 and J2ME-based devices. Other enhancements include scalability and performance; reporting and customer support tools and 'class of service' provisioning features that help mobile operators create service packages targeted at specific customer segments.

Visto Mobile is integrated within a Network Operating Centre (NOC) that can either be located within the operator's network, or can be independently hosted by Visto. Hosting the Visto Mobile Access Platform on the NOC provides a single point of integration for the operator's authentication, provisioning and billing systems.

With recently secured funding totaling more than US$65 million, and over 200,000 paid subscribers with ten different mobile operators worldwide; Visto is an acknowledged leader in developing and introducing multiple mobile email solutions. The company owns nine patents relating to mobile email/PIM, and is the mobile email client of choice for both PalmSource and Microsoft.

This new platform follows on the company's acquisition of Seattle's ViAir last year, and incorporated ViAir's technology onto the Visto Mobile Personal Edition and Visto Mobile Enterprise Server mobile email/PIM clients.

"Visto continues to set the pace for introducing mobile email/PIM solutions to market," said Brian Bogosian, chairman, president and CEO of Visto Corporation. "The heart of our proposition is that with the Visto Mobile platform, operators can offer customers individual, POP3, or corporate email/PIM accounts. What's more, they can use handsets from Sony Ericsson, Nokia, palmOne, or many others, and run the service over Windows Mobile, Symbian OS, PalmSource, or J2ME operating platforms."

"We provide control and flexibility for the operator, and choice in the hands of the customer. Our focused team of developers and the broad scope of our patents will allow us to continue to push the mobile mail serviceboundaries," Bogosian added.

Visto has already begun implementing its next generation push architecture aimed at improving user experience and optimizing data usage. Visto also plans further developments to advance and expand the range of add-on services operators will be able to offer. For example, the company plans to upgrade the Visto Mobile platform to enable operators to seamlessly introduce add-on services for current handsets. Visto Mobile platform is being integrated into the company's existing operator services in the USA, Asia Pacific and Europe.

New approach employs terminal identification rather than data encryption to protect copyrighted content from unauthorised use, storage and distribution

P-Cube Inc., the first to provide programmable IP service control platforms for wireline and mobile network operators (MNOs), has announced its enhanced mobile service application, Encharge version 2.1, which utilises the company's application and subscriber aware platform architecture to enable mobile operators to protect copyrighted content from unauthorised use, storage and distribution.  Unlike digital rights management (DRM) technologies that encrypt data, P-Cube's content protection uses terminal identification, which allows mobile operators to identify an authorised device-type and permit or block content based on the device's profile.  The technology is a critical component to service providers' strategy of managing illicit distribution of data which most often occurs when advanced users utilise the Internet to access mobile content servers via workstations, laptops and PDAs.

Mobile phone personalisation with content such as ring tones, animated screensavers, music, gaming or even video clips is a high-margin, non-voice revenue stream for MNOs and content providers, driving the take-up of more advanced premium data services.  However, the use of more general purpose hardware like PDAs, mobile connected laptops or workstations with unlimited storage in this environment means users can easily access, download, copy and distribute vast amounts of premium content without limitation.  P-Cube's subscriber- aware, IP-based network technology addresses the problem by helping confine usage to a subset of well-known terminal- types, making content protection manageable.

P-Cube's Service Control technology is comprised of a programmable network element that sits inline with data traffic and creates an intelligent overlay enabling the network to identify, classify, guarantee performance and charge for content-based services. Using Encharge v2.1, mobile operators can control access to their designated content servers based on a subscription plan and device type, which enables the operators to determine if an unauthorised device is attempting to download valuable content.

"Mobile content data is a very lucrative asset for wireless providers. It's imperative that providers protect their assets while simultaneously packaging, delivering and charging for services that permit subscribers to personalise content," said Yuval Shahar, president and chief executive officer of P-Cube.  "Our technology-agnostic services layer allows mobile operators to identify individual subscribers and control access to services based on their subscriber profile and device type further demonstrating the importance of service control in IP networks."

In addition to content protection, the Encharge service application provides mobile carriers with the ability to increase revenues by adding prepaid and postpaid content-based services to their mobile offerings. By integrating with existing operational and business support systems and converging the voice and data prepaid-postpaid environment, operators eliminate redundant systems and receive immediate cost savings.  Encharge's real-time analysis and policy-based charging ensures carriers can block, redirect or shape content-based services while comprehensive Layer 7 deep packet inspection enables the identification of all mobile services including Push-to-Talk and multimedia offers.

Encharge 2.1 is generally available and shipping to customers today.

mBlox announces the latest product enhancement to its Premium SMS service in the United Kingdom, called Premium Transaction Tracking (PTT). PTT delivers the ability to report operator error codes in broader, ubiquitous terms. PTT is designed to simplify the complex and changing transaction status info operators provide as well as deliver practical information which clients can utilise to reduce the number of failed messages and maintain their databases.

The benefits of mBlox's Premium Transaction Tracking extend to both mBlox's clients and the operators. The major benefits from our clients' perspective are increased revenue and lower costs. Equipped with insight into why messages have failed, clients can set up their applications to: increase the success billing ratio; minimise unnecessary message retries; reduce redundant system load; maintain current subscriber data. Overall, better insight not only saves companies time and money but enables companies to better manage mobile messaging campaigns. From the operators' perspective, more efficient message delivery means lower levels of non-billable traffic. 

Andrew Bud, Executive Chair of mBlox, commented, "We are very pleased with the value Premium Transaction Tracking will offer clients. As a pure-play aggregator mBlox is focused on removing the complexities inherent in message transport. Premium Transaction Tracking is an example of how mBlox's focus on details and service provides bottom-line value to clients."

Stephen Wood, Product Development Manager at mBlox, said "mBlox perceived a clear need by content and application service providers to have discrete, detailed information in order to better metric their campaign performance.  PTT gives companies unprecedented insight into their messaging campaigns and enables them to clean up their databases, retry messages according to an appropriate schedule, and most importantly, immediately increase their success billing ratio."

LogicaCMG today announced that it has won a multi million Euro contract with HTmobile of Croatia to supply enhanced interactive messaging services. The LogicaCMG solution will be based on the company's all-IP Next Generation messaging solution.

The LogicaCMG architecture enables HTmobile to share common management, provisioning and network interfaces across different service bearers to ensure optimum cost efficiency of its messaging infrastructure by maintaining low operational costs and capital expenditure. This architecture also provides the flexibility, features and framework components for HTmobile to evolve its service portfolio to include richer and more interactive messaging services, such as SMS voting and polling. The solution allows for unparalleled capacity growth while ensuring zero downtime for revenue generating messaging services. 

The Interactive Messaging Server gives subscribers fast access via one code (e.g. *100#) to a series of interactive menus, where they can easily select premium content or self-care menus. This enables HTmobile to offer self-care applications to their customers, while at the same time increasing Average Revenue Per User by making it easier for subscribers to access premium SMS content.

Georg Muendl, CMO, HTmobile, said: "We have a strong, ongoing relationship with LogicaCMG and it was the obvious choice when we decided to implement a Next Generation messaging platform. LogicaCMG's technical expertise and support will be vital as we roll out enhanced messaging services to our customers whilst maintaining the high levels of service that they expect. These new services will enable us to grow our customer base and drive new revenues for our business."

Jasper Weijman, Vice President of Sales EMEA, LogicaCMG's Global Telecoms, said: "Our work with HTmobile demonstrates our ability to work with operators to provide proven next generation messaging solutions. This is another win for us within the Deutsche Telekom group and confirms LogicaCMG's position as one of the key suppliers of high performance messaging platforms to this group."

LogicaCMG is the global leader in telecom messaging and payments, delivering two out of every three text messages and supplying next generation messaging and billing solutions to 250 of the world's top operators in over 70 countries. These solutions serve more than 500 million active mobile phone subscribers. LogicaCMG also delivers one out of every four multimedia messaging systems, with commercially deployed MMS solutions serving over 85 million subscribers around the world.

LogicaCMG offers a unique all-IP messaging architecture, which combines advanced messaging services such as SMS and MMS with state of the art voice messaging services based on LogicaCMG's uOne. The Next Generation Messaging architecture provides network operators with a cost-effective solution in every phase of market development whilst preparing their networks to accommodate future service demands.

3GSM and TD-SCDMA operators and vendors to benefit globally

The GSM Association and the TD-SCDMA Forum today signed an agreement to co-ordinate the development of the two 3G standards. Through closer co-operation, the two organisations will promote interoperability and international roaming between the two technologies and so maximise economies of scale for the benefit of end-users, operators and manufacturers.

The GSM Association is the global trade association representing more than 630 GSM and 3GSM mobile operators world-wide, while TD-SCDMA Forum was established in China to promote the development and commercialisation of TD-SCDMA.

Chosen by 98% of operators who have been allocated radio spectrum in the 2GHz band identified by the International Telecommunications Union for 3G, 3GSM exploits "paired" spectrum, with users speaking or transmitting data on one radio channel and hearing responses or receiving data on a second radio channel. By contrast, TD-SCDMA transmits and receives data in different time-slots on "unpaired" radio channels. 

Both 3GSM and TD-SCDMA can be deployed on GSM core networks and both technologies are now being standardised by 3GPP, a partnership of standards bodies representing China, Korea, Japan, the United States and Europe. "TD-SCDMA and 3GSM are compatible technologies, a factor recognised in the
decision to standardise TD-SCDMA through the 3GPP," said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSM Association and Member of the Board. "The synergies mean opportunities for TD-SCDMA to complement 3GSM not just within in China, but on a global basis."

Professor Joe McGeehan has been awarded the CBE for pioneering innovation in mobile communications.

Professor McGeehan is the managing director of Toshiba Research Europe's Bristol UK-based Telecommunications Research Laboratory. He is also a director of the internationally recognised Centre for Communications Research at the University of Bristol.

At Toshiba, Professor McGeehan is responsible for managing research into 3G, 4G and 5G terminals, including algorithms, Digital Signal Processing, protocols and software.

Professor McGeehan has published more than 200 papers in the field of mobile communication systems, RF engineering, microwave theory and techniques, radio-wave propagation, signal processing and plasma physics.

His research into Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA) during the early 1990's formed the basis of today's 3G cellular standard. He also led the development of speech scrambling technology which is used today by all the UK's police forces for secure mobile radio transmissions. This technology won the Prince of Wales Award for Innovation (1992).

"I am very honoured to receive this award in recognition of the strategic importance of the link between industry and Higher Education in the field of mobile communications," said Professor McGeehan. "At a time of rapid change and development in the mobile communications field I have been extremely fortunate to have made a contribution in a number of key research areas.  In this respect, I have been supported by many talented individuals without whose help such advances would have not have been possible."

Professor McGeehan is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (FIEE) and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng).

Factual and fun answers delivered by AQA to mobile phones within minutes. So if you want to know England's football score or how Henman is doing at Wimbledon, text AQA on 63336 for an answer

IssueBits Ltd, the company behind the AQA service, has announced that AQA is now available on all major phone networks in the UK, reaching a potential audience of over 45 million people.

AQA, which stands for Any Question Answered, is a text message (sms) question and answer service. Since the selected network launch of the service in April, mobile phone users across the UK have been inundating AQA with practical, impractical and genuinely bizarre questions looking for facts and fun. T-Mobile mobile phone network subscribers can now join O2, Orange and Vodafone subscribers in the UK to get answers from AQA by texting their questions to 63336.

With Euro 2004 kicked off and Wimbledon just around the corner, the AQA service has been helping people stuck in pubs with those all important questions..."Who's going to be in the final?", "Which country failed to score a goal in the last Euro championships?" or "Whose round is it next?"

Examples of questions received over the last few days include:

Q     When are England playing their next games?
A     England games are 17/6 vs Switzerland at 5pm and 21/6 vs Croatia at 7.45pm. AQA predicts an England final rematch vs France 4/7 at 7.45pm

Q.     Is the Pope a footballer?
A.     In his youth, Pope John Paul II regularly played football for his school and university sides (as goalkeeper).

Q.     What's the furthest Tim has got?
A.     Tim Henman has never won a grand slam event. He reached the semi-final match in the Paris Open only to lose against Coria 3-6 6-4 6-0 7-5.

Q.     How many times did Billy Jean King win Wimbledon?
A.     Billy Jean King won the Wimbledon Ladies Championship six times: in 1966 (beating Bueno), 67(Jones), 68 (Tegart), 73 (Evert) and 72 and 75(Goolagong)

Anyone with a mobile phone can ask AQA a question - any time of the day or night - by simply texting the question to 63336. It costs £1 per question sent plus a standard text charge to use AQA. The answer will be delivered within minutes in a single text message.