Orga Systems, the specialist in convergent real-time billing, has announced that Georgian mobile operator Geocell has selected Orga Systems' Media Control Point (MCP) real-time data charging solution. 
 
The convergent charging platform MCP enables mobile operators to provide high value data services for pre-paid and postpaid users within a short time to market. This on the one hand helps to increase revenue. The real-time charging capabilities on the other hand help to eliminate revenue leakage for all SMS, data and content services.
 
Pre-integrated with the OPSC Real-time Billing System, MCP enables operators to manage all charging-relevant transactions of IP-billing in real-time and guarantees flexible pricing models and advanced IP session management.
 
Orga Systems' MCP is a carrier-class solution based on the DIAMETER charging protocol that delivers a real-time charging and mediation platform for both messaging (SMS/MMS) and "always on" IP (GPRS/EDGE/HSDPA) data sessions.

Bridgewater Systems has announced its proven AAA (Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting) Service Controller is fully compliant with the WiMAX Forum's NWG Stage 3 Release 1.0.0 specification, supporting a broad range of functions including EAP authentication methods and mobile IP and key derivation required for mobile WiMAX.

By being agnostic to various access technologies as well as vendor-specific solutions, the Bridgewater Systems AAA Service Controller is able to support a wide array of access networks and vendor equipment types on a single platform.  This concurrent support enables operators to gain a unified subscriber view with a common subscriber policy and profile repository serving all access networks - an important consideration for service providers who are extending their networks with other technology alternatives such as WiMAX.
 
In addition to extensive mobile WiMAX support such as mobile IP, the AAA Service Controller features dual protocol support for RADIUS and Diameter, as well as broad supplemental authentication protocols such as EAP, EAP-TLS and EAP-TTLS.  It provides a future proof solution by enabling a smooth migration path from fixed to mobile WiMAX deployments.
 
As a principal member of the WiMAX Forum, Bridgewater is actively involved in contributing to the development of WiMAX standards, in particular the WiMAX Forum's NWG Stage 3 Release 1.0.0 specification as it relates to authentication, accounting, and policy management.

Airspan Networks, a provider of WiMAX and Wi-Fi based broadband wireless access networks, has announced the availability of its Wave 2 MIMO Mobile WiMAX software, which will be used for its existing HiperMAX base station.

HiperMAX, with the new MIMO software, will begin undergoing validation trials with one of Airspan's major Mobile WiMAX customers in the fourth quarter of 2007 and is expected to be commercially available in the first half of 2008. The HiperMAX base station is designed to deliver class leading operational range and capacity and fully supports all MIMO modes of operation when used with a Wave 2 MIMO client device.

Paul Senior, Airspan's chief technical officer said, "We are very pleased to announce this software-only upgrade to the HiperMAX platform. We believe that this product is the most flexible and forward looking in the industry. With HiperMAX already supporting an advanced version of Fixed WIMAX, this new upgrade allows our customers to seamlessly add Wave 2 MIMO Mobile WiMAX."

In addition, Airspan also announced the development of high power Dual Channel Radio Transceivers for the 2.5-2.69 GHz WiMAX frequency band. These new dual channel radios will operate at up to +40dBm and support channel bandwidths up to 20 MHz. These new transceivers will be available for trials in the second quarter of 2008 with mass commercial deployment expected in the third quarter of next year.

Paul Senior continued, "2.5-2.69 GHz is the WiMAX Forum's flagship certification profile that has mandatory support for MIMO. These new, high power, dual channel radios will support 5 and 10 MHz operations and in the future will also support 20 MHz profiles without any hardware change. This is another demonstration of Airspan's ‘software only upgrade' philosophy that we believe minimizes a carrier's capital outlay and ongoing operational expense."

Xiam Technologies today announced its agreement with Vodafone Ireland to manage the technical and commercial inventory of its Mobile Advertising proposition as part of Vodafone's recently released Mobile Internet portal.

Xiam will use its MPOS (My Personal Offers System) technology to serve ads on Vodafone's  new Mobile Internet portal. Xiam will also provide extensive ad management, reporting and campaign management to advertisers.

With Xiam, advertisers can present interactive advertisements on Vodafone's Mobile Internet portal such as animated click through banners which can bring users to the advertisers mobile site or purchase content and services directly.

Chris Handley, Head of Mobile Internet and Content at Vodafone Ireland, comments "At Vodafone we see mobile advertising as a significant opportunity to augment revenues whilst improving the portal offering and Xiam's proven commercial and technical know-how will bring the best to the channel for both advertisers and subscribers. We are delighted to announce Xiam as our partner for the advertising channel."

Colm Healy, CEO at Xiam comments, "We are really excited about bringing our MPOS technology to Vodafone Mobile Internet. Its ability to reliably track ads and combine real-time responses with data such as usage history, purchase history or credit rating to target ads more precisely will be a real driver of the channel for both Vodafone and advertisers.
Feeding this data back into campaigns leads to higher response rates and allows advertisers to maximise return on investment."

Launch advertisers to appear on the portal include a mix of international and domestic brands including Xbox, Pepsi, SonyBMG, Halifax, Warner Bros., Irish Rail, Daft.ie, Carzone.ie, and RTE.

Vodafone have launched a new flat rate data tariff as well as a revamped portal design to make it easier for their users to find content. For advertisers, mobile provides much higher response rates than traditional media particularly with youth segments who are increasingly deserting traditional advertising media in favour of new media.

Seeker Wireless, the zone detection technology provider, and HP, have today announced that their joint Fixed Mobile Substitution (FMS) solution has been deployed to deliver virtual fixed-line services via mobile phones in Eastern Europe. 

The solution is said to have been deployed by one of the largest mobile operators in Eastern Europe and is providing consumers and businesses with "fixed-like" telephony services in the home or office via mobile phones.

The solution eliminates the need for cables and outlets in the wall, enabling subscribers to benefit from fast and easy access to telephone services, which also include a range of value added services such as SMS.

SeekerZone from Seeker Wireless has been created for the growing FMS market and is designed to encourage subscribers to use mobile phones instead of traditional fixed-line phones, by introducing special price plans for users based on their location. SeekerZone detection technology is based on the SIM card and enables mobile operators to roll out "fixed-like" services to all areas covered by their mobile networks.

Unlike first generation HomeZone solutions, based on older Cell-ID technologies, SeekerZone can deliver 99.5% in-zone reliability with a zone size that varies from 100 metres to 500 metres in most environments, significantly reducing potential revenue leakage.   
HP was the System Integrator for the solution based on SeekerZone. HP managed the overall project delivery and ensured the timely launch of the service. As part of the delivery, HP also provided the Intelligent Network platform, enabling real-time, accurate billing, as well as managing the smooth integration of SeekerZone(tm) into the operator network.

Colin I'Anson at HP says: "Fixed Mobile Substitution is an important part of mobile operator strategy as it enables operators to expand their business and drive revenue. We partnered with Seeker Wireless because of their innovative approach to zone detection and their ability to make FMS truly profitable for operators."

Dr Chris Drane, Chief Executive Officer at Seeker Wireless says: "FMS services are particularly significant in emerging markets where traditional fixed-line infrastructure is less prevalent. In these markets, FMS solutions like SeekerZone enable mobile operators to leapfrog traditional fixed-line services to capture additional usage and revenue. The innovative technology behind SeekerZone ensures that mobile operators maximise revenues from FMS services by delivering high in-zone reliability and tight zones around the home or office."

More than 100 million handsets with touch screens will be shipped in 2008, according to a new study from ABI Research. Increasing numbers of handsets with touch screens have started to appear in the market, including the Apple iPhone, the LG Prada, the HTC Touch, and the Ultra-Smart F700 from Samsung, as well as the P990, M600, and W950 handsets from Sony Ericsson. Touch screens and touch pads are gaining popularity and becoming more common on handsets, while helping to make the handsets more intuitive, pleasant, and efficient to use.

According to ABI Research industry analyst Shailendra Pandey, "Handsets with intuitive user interfaces allow quick and easy access to various applications and services and can result in higher ARPUs for mobile operators by generating greater usage of their value-added services. Mobile operators are therefore keen to promote and market handsets with good UI on their networks." In the past, many smartphones and high-end handsets with a good number of attractive features have been commercial failures, simply because their user interfaces have been too complex and difficult for convenient use.

ABI Research expects that more than 500 million handsets shipped in 2012 will sport a touch-based user interface. "A good handset UI is important not just to meet and exceed users' expectations," notes Pandey, "but also to support fast and flexible design changes, operator customizations, and late software distribution, while maintaining low demands on the hardware."

Axel Technologies, a provider of multimedia middleware for mobile devices, and Siano Mobile Silicon, a supplier of semiconductor solutions for Mobile Digital TV (MDTV), have announced a platform for DVB-H terminals - with a 'record-fast' channel switching time of less than 2 seconds. The platform will be demonstrated in a mobile phone at the Informa DVB-H conference in London, September 26-27.

 

The companies feature a comprehensive, highly optimized DVB-H solution, compliant with the MBRAI 2.0 specifications, based on Siano's SMS1010 integrated mobile TV receiver chip, and Axel's Salmonstream DVB-H middleware. Among other features, the joint offering is claimed to obtain the industry's fastest channel switching time of 2 seconds.

The solution is targeting DVB-H enabled cellular phones, smartphones, laptops, PDAs, pocket TVs, PMPs and GPS systems.

DVB-H is already commercially deployed in Italy and is expected to be further deployed in additional countries within the next 9-12 months, including Germany, France, The Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine, and more.

"The combination of Salmonstream, Axel's leading DVB-H middleware and the SMS1010, Siano's integrated receiver chip has enabled us to offer a fully optimized DVB-H solution, which achieves an unprecedented channel switching time," said Petri Kalske, CEO of Axel. "We are working very closely with Siano to provide our customers cutting edge technology, that will result with the most enjoyable and innovative user experience for DVB-H consumers."

"By integrating the fastest DVB-H receiver in the market with the most compact, efficient DVB-H middleware, we were able to obtain the industry's fastest channel switching time," said Alon Ironi, CEO, Siano Mobile Silicon. "At the same time, we have provided evidence that the commonly believed myth about DVB-H being slower than FLO is no longer relevant, and proved, that the two technologies are practically equivalent."

"Towards the major DVB-H launches expected in the first half of 2008, Siano and its partners are focused on perfecting the DVB-H offering so as to enable our customers to introduce devices that people love to use," added Ironi. "The idea of mobile TV is to take the experience of watching TV at the living room - out to the street, and onto the end user's palm. This means crystal-clear, multiple-channel, real-time audio and video experience packaged into an easy-to-use application - and this is exactly what Axel and Siano offer."

IPWireless, a subsidiary of NextWave Wireless, has today announced that it has opened a new development centre in Aalborg, Denmark, to meet the growing European operator demand for TDtv -- a mobile TV technology developed by IPWireless that uses existing 3G spectrum to deliver high-definition, multi-channel mobile TV, digital radio, and other multimedia services at the lowest possible cost.  The Aalborg facility will focus on developing TDtv terminal designs, MBSFN protocol stacks design, unicast/multicast integration as well as advanced development projects based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless technology.

The Aalborg TDtv development centre will support the commercial deployment of TDtv technology across Western Europe. The team has extensive background in telecom software development and 3GPP software for W-CDMA implementations.  IPWireless expects the center to employ over 40 engineers by the end of the year.

The centre will be led by Henrik Dalsgaard, a telecommunications technology expert with over 20 years experience in the wireless communications industry.  Mr. Dalsgaard previously directed a major research and development facility at Nokia, and was one of the founders of the wireless start-up WirTek.

"TDtv technology provides operators the ability to profitably deliver advanced, multi-channel, high-definition mobile TV services to their customers.  It's a proven technology that is now ready for full commercial deployment," said Dr. Bill Jones, chief executive officer and co-founder of IPWireless.  "The exceptional engineering team at Aalborg will play a crucial role in accelerating the rollout of TDtv in Europe." 

"We are very excited to see an innovative company like IPWireless make an investment in Aalborg," said Mr. Jesper Jespersen, managing director of NOVI, Aalborg Science Park.

"We are privileged to have a wealth of highly experienced engineering talent in the Aalborg area," added Jon Thorgaard, deputy head of Invest in Denmark, a department of the Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "40 companies and more than 3,000 wireless communications professionals live and work here."

The Mobile Marketing Association, which represents more than 450 companies across the mobile marketing ecosystem, has today announced the release of its Mobile Advertising Guidelines tailored specifically for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. The guidelines are designed to foster the uptake of mobile advertising by global brands as well as enhance and protect the customer's experience.

The guidelines make it easier for marketers to develop mobile advertising campaigns while ensuring the campaigns are delivered consistently on the majority of mobile devices ensuring a positive and consistent consumer experience.

"As marketers embrace the power of mobile advertising to create and deliver engaging campaigns, so must the ecosystem demonstrate the strength, quality and potential of mobile." said Laura Marriott, President, Mobile Marketing Association.   "The MMA EMEA Mobile Advertising Guidelines launch is a landmark event in our mission to establish a consistent approach for mobile marketing. The guidelines will play a critical role in ensuring all players in the ecosystem see mobile advertising as a natural option for brand communication as a means to deliver targeted, meaningful and rewarding connections with consumers."

The guidelines provide important information including how to purchase and use Mobile Web advertising, how to use Mobile Web Banner advertising, recommended aspect ratios and banner dimensions, maximum file sizes, file formats and other technical specifications.

The GSM Association, which represents more than 700 mobile operators worldwide, and the dotMobi Advisory Group (MAG), both support the new guidelines.  "These guidelines have broad support among mobile operators, enabling advertisers to quickly create compelling campaigns for the mobile medium that will be effective across many different networks and geographies." said Bill Gajda, Chief Commercial Officer of the GSMA. "Our collaboration with the MMA will help bring economies of scale to this nascent and exciting new market, enabling it to reach its full potential to the benefit of all players in the ecosystem."

"The Mobile Internet is fast emerging as a mainstream information, entertainment and transaction source for people on the move. It is vital that the industry has a frame of reference for effectively implementing such initiatives," said Richard Saggers, MMA EMEA Chairman and Head of Mobile Advertising, Vodafone Group "The EMEA Mobile Advertising Guidelines reinforce the MMA's commitment to providing industry specific guidelines on both a regional and global level. The guidelines are key to driving the development of the mobile advertising industry forward in the EMEA region."

"The MMA's leadership in launching these guidelines will help to create a global guideline for mobile advertising, enable brands to quickly deploy their initiatives and enhance the consumer experience," said Michael Bayle, GM, Global Monetisation, Connected Life, Yahoo!. "As an active contributor to their development, Yahoo! supports the guidelines and is immediately adopting them as the global standard in the 19 markets where we support mobile advertising."

"It is our overall goal to ensure that as the mobile advertising market develops worldwide, consumers not only experience a positive mobile advertising experience but are also treated equitably by all in the value chain." concludes Laura Marriott, president of the Mobile Marketing Association.

The EMEA guideline development is led by the MMA's EMEA Mobile Advertising Committee, chaired by David Barker, Enpocket and Markus Münkler, Vodafone Group Services GmbH.  The committee is comprised of mobile operators, content providers, agencies, brands and technology enablers from the following member companies:  Action Engine, AdMob Inc,.AKQA Mobile, Alcatel-Lucent, Amobee Media Systems, Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) e.V., Buongiorno, Dynetic Mobile Solutions, Inc., Enpocket, Inc., Ericsson AB, Greystripe Incorporated, Incentivated Limited, M:Metrics, Microsoft (MSN and Windows Live), Mobile, Dreams Factory, SL, Mobile Enterprise Ltd, Mobile One2One, MOBILERA, Mobixell Networks (Europe) Ltd, MoviDream, mTLD Top Level Domain, LLC (.mobi), Net Think Iberia, Nokia Corporation, Openwave, Orange UK, Out There Media Holding GmbH, Qualcomm, Rhythm NewMedia, ScreenTonic, Sports.comm Ltd, Telenor Nordic Mobile, Tempos 21, The Coca-Cola Company, The Weather Channel, Interactive, T-Mobile UK, Turkcell Iletisimi Hizmetleri A.S,.Universal McCann, Vodafone Group Services Ltd., Yahoo!

The MMA EMEA Mobile Advertising Guidelines can be downloaded from http://www.mmaglobal.com/emeamobileadvertising.pdf

Blyk, the new mobile network for 16- to 24-year-olds that announced the launch of its UK service yesterday, is operating  the First Hop Wireless Broker suite.

Blyk is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that links young people with brands of their choice and gives them free text messages and talk time every month. It operates the First Hop Wireless Broker suite including the Ad-Gateway that enables targeted, personalised ad insertion using messaging, multimedia push, and browsing services.

First Hop has had a significant role in building its unique service delivery platform designed to deliver a free mobile phone service for young consumers in return for their interaction with relevant brand advertising. First Hop's experience in building service delivery platforms to over 60 mobile operators worldwide enabled it to offer Blyk a robust campaign management and ad-insertion solution.

Pekka Ala-Pietilä, CEO for Blyk said: "We have spent the last year developing a unique, robust advertising content engine, and whilst the technology we are using is incredibly advanced, the main premise of Blyk is driven by three basic principles - ease of use, interaction, and relevance of communication."

Kaj Hagros, VP Marketing & Business Development at First Hop commented: "We are thrilled to see Blyk's disruptive concept reaching this stage. Everyone will eye its success very carefully and we believe Blyk will launch the industry into a whole new era of profoundly personalised and targeted services. Mobile operators have not fully exploited the true potential of their subscriber data, let alone this advertising model. We are excited to see Blyk lead the way", he added.

First Hop believes mobile devices have the potential to become the preferred digital marketing channel, with promotion and advertising being targeted at a single user level. Advertisers will fund the air time knowing they will reach their desired target segments with a precision that could never be attained in mass marketing or direct campaigns.

 Redknee Solutions, a provider of infrastructure software that monetizes and personalizes services and content for mobile operators, announced that its Unstructured Supplementary Services Data (USSD) Gateway and Self-Care Application Suite has been selected by VivaCell, a subsidiary of Mobile TeleSystems OJSC, and the leading mobile operator in Armenia. VivaCell selected the robust USSD Solution in early July 2007, to meet prepaid and postpaid subscriber demands for flexible applications and services.

Ralph Yirikian, VivaCell General Manager, commented: "With the highly competitive landscape of mobile communications in Armenia, it is critical that we provide a differentiated offering to gain and retain subscribers, and grow our market leadership presence.
We needed a flexible and powerful turnkey solution that would easily integrate with our existing systems, and allow us to readily add additional USSD services as needed to broaden our solution portfolio. The Redknee USSD was the optimal solution that provided the features and scalability we require, and the professional response and follow up we received from Redknee was head and shoulders above the other vendors we evaluated."

VivaCell selected the Redknee USSD Gateway to allow seamless integration with its existing USSD services, and to simplify the introduction of additional services through the open API. The USSD Portal provides a unified and interactive interface that is supported by all GSM handsets without the need for special SIM cards or custom modifications.

Redknee will enable VivaCell to reduce missed call network usage, or "beeping", as VivaCell subscribers will now have the ability to send instant CallMe requests, such as in cases when they have extended their own allotted prepaid minutes, which enables additional potential revenue from low ARPU(Average Revenue Per User)  subscribers by having other parties initiate calls. Redknee helps VivaCell facilitate financial transactions that are simple, safe and fast including CreditMe, Transfer Funds, and Balance Inquiry, allowing more subscriber flexibility and reducing customer service representative queries for the operator. The USSD suite provides a unified platform that supports both prepaid and postpaid subscribers, and it facilitates multi-language support based on subscriber preference, allowing the operator to serve a broader base with more options.

Lucas Skoczkowski, CEO at Redknee, added: "Clearly, value-added services differentiate mobile operators, particularly in competitive emerging markets, and Redknee enables these operators with the ability to integrate new service options quickly and gain competitive edge.  By selecting the Redknee solution, operators like VivaCell will gain market advantage through the ability to offer a wide variety of differentiated services to their subscriber base. We are very pleased to be selected by VivaCell, and increase the Redknee presence in the Eastern European market."

Infineon Technologies has announced that it has signed an agreement with Motorola to develop a new multi-mode, single-chip 3G radio frequency (RF) transceiver based on Infineon's SMARTi UE chip.

The RF transceiver is a core component in a mobile phone or other mobile cellular device; its primary function is to send and receive digital data over the air. As consumers continue to demand more multimedia functionality from their mobile devices, the RF plays a key role in delivering the data speed and signalling needed to support mobile content and services.

Motorola selected Infineon to develop the new RF chip which will address this growing market for 3G services by offering maximum HSDPA and HSUPA performance, efficient power consumption and slim design.

"We are pleased to enter into this strategic relationship with Motorola to create an advanced 3G RF solution based on our leading SMARTi UE chip. The new chip will effectively reduce size and footprint for next generation 3G devices and offer best in class radio performance at market leading system cost," commented Stefan Wolff, Vice President and General Manager of Infineon's RF Engine Business Unit.

"Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM)-based technologies will be domi-nant for the early forecast period, accounting for just under 70 per cent of all produc-tion in 2006. However, the market is rapidly switching over to 3G-based technologies of various types", explained Alan Brown, Research Director at Gartner. "The main 3G variant is WCDMA (including HSPA and LTE), and this will be produced in high vol-umes worldwide in 2010, representing 56 per cent of total production."

Terms of the development agreement were not disclosed.

Actix, the specialist in systems that enhance mobile network customer experience while reducing the total cost of ownership, has today announced the completion of the merger of Actix Limited and Radioplan GmbH, a Dresden-based provider of automated network optimization software with customers in Europe, USA and Asia. The merger sees Radioplan become Actix GmbH and fully completes the Actix automatic optimization suite.

Radioplan was acquired by Actix in February 2006, and the combined products and services provide mobile operators and their network equipment vendors with a solution for performance optimization that 'will enable significant cost reduction in the deployment and operation of today's 3G networks'.

"Minimizing the total cost of running a radio access network is a hot topic for mobile operators, and is driving the trend towards network sharing that we are seeing in several maturing markets. But figuring out how to go about a shared network implementation is a highly complex task, with multiple overlapping technologies and requirements, that demands an accurate, reliable solution." said Chris Larmour, Chief Marketing Officer, Actix. "Mobile operators are increasingly turning to automatic network optimisation techniques provided by Actix to deliver the improved operational efficiency a shared network can offer, while also significantly enhancing customer experience and earnings potential.
By combining the Actix and Radioplan research teams, we have created a strong development and engineering team that can meet this demand and continue to provide an industry leading suite of optimisation systems."

Actix already has relationships with over 200 operators globally, working with companies such as Verizon, O2, T-Mobile and Cingular, and Actix' Radioplan system is the most popular automated mobile network optimization solution in use today.

Trutap, the free mobile service that allows users to stay connected to their social lives, has announced it has raised $6.5 million in a follow-on Series A funding led by entities affiliated with the Tudor Group. This brings total company financing to $13 million.

Trutap's latest funding comes on the heels of its Beta launch at TechCrunch40, in San Francisco.  The funding will be used for further service development, team strengthening and marketing activities across key regions.

Doug Richard, Co-Founder and CEO of Trutap commented, "We are passionate about building our free service and offering, an easy way for people to stay connected to their social lives. Aimed at 18-24 year olds, trutap is the first service to combine all the elements of a young person's social life into one. We see huge market demand in our service and this new infusion of capital will enable us to continue broadening our services and accelerate our leadership position in the industry."

Josh Dhaliwal, CEO of Wireless World Forum, commented on the market opportunity by saying: "Social networks will grow by 150% in 2007. We believe the long term continued growth lies in mobilizing those relationships. We predict 2008 to be the breakthrough year not only for mobile social networks but also for mobile social networks in Europe and North America as mass use has so far only been limited to Asia. There are 45 million mobile social network users in Asia, globally this figure will be 178 million by 2010. Mobilizing social networks is not about trying to replicate the full Myspace, Bebo or Facebook experience on mobile - but allowing the consumer to remain connected whilst unconnected."