Westminster City Council to link network of hotspots

The Council is set to revolutionise the way it does business through the use of  wireless technology. A pilot in Soho will lead to Westminster becoming a place where businesses and residents can benefit from leading-edge technology, delivering a new standard of service across the City. From Soho, the council plans to extend the wireless scheme to create wireless 'hotspots' across Westminster, and then link these to form a City-wide network.

The pilot currently allows CCTV cameras and noise monitoring equipment to be operated over a wireless network, meaning that the system is flexible enough to respond to new outbreaks of criminal activity and new cameras and equipment can be installed at extremely short notice and very low cost - but the potential of the project goes much further. Already, the pilot allows council officers to link to the council's network from the street, meaning that they can resolve problems and access information immediately. The technology could soon be applied to the entire range of council services, at a fraction of the  sual cost and offering the most flexible public services of any local authority.

The pilot scheme in Soho is being supported by a group of global leaders in the field of information technology, including Intel, Cisco Systems and Telindus. These firms are lending their latest technology to the project and helping facilitate The Wireless City. Intel has worked closely with the Council in an advisory capacity on the definition, development and roll-out of this pioneering initiative.

Cllr Simon Milton, Leader of Westminster Council, said: "The concept of the Wireless City is potentially one of the most exciting developments in Westminster's history. It will allow us to offer opportunity to our residents through community education schemes on our housing estates and integrated social service provision across the city. We will be better able to reduce the threat and the fear of crime through a flexible approach to community safety, cleansing and CCTV - reacting to events and developments as they happen. It will also help us maintain low taxes through the savings that the scheme can offer.

"The pilot scheme is already delivering benefits to the Council and the police in our  fight against drug crime in central London. Arrests have already been made. As we continue to prove the scheme and roll it out to communities across the City we can share real-time information with all our officers, with other public service providers and with our residents and businesses. Westminster is set to become a community united by cutting edge technology and sharing in the benefits of progress."

Andrew Allison, Director of Mobility, Intel UK and Ireland, commented: "Intel is delighted to have been involved from the start in this ambitious project to pioneer the adoption of mobile technology to create one of the world's most advanced wireless cities. With the launch of Intel Centrino mobile technology last year, Intel has been instrumental in the acceleration of hotspot deployment across the world, creating great freedom and flexibility for business people to keep in touch with customers without having to be in the office. By sharing this business and technology expertise with the council, we have helped Westminster define the initiative, speed its implementation and maximise return on investment.  We are very excited by the vision of Westminster; it's a vision of e-government at its best."

Simon Culmer, operation director for Public Sector, Cisco Systems UK & Ireland, said: "Cisco was delighted to have an opportunity to collaborate with Westminster City Council on this project and our joint efforts have shown the potential of what secure wireless technology can deliver. This work has provided the foundation for a very exciting project that has fundamental implications for public service delivery and city security for Westminster, and more broadly across London. We look forward to working closely with Westminster City Council to help fully realise this potential over the coming months."

Mark Bouldin, Telindus Surveillance Solutions Manager, said:
"Telindus consistently examines how leading-edge technology can improve efficiencies for our customers' businesses. The advantage of having CCTV cameras on a wireless network is the ease of deployment. They can be installed at a lower cost anytime, any place, and anywhere. This provides greater flexibility because the cameras can be readily moved in response to the council's needs. The information is then transmitted onto the council's data network and can be accessed from any location -  even a police car located around the corner from the camera."

External Links

Intel
Telindus

Frame agreement covers Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Nokia has signed a frame agreement with TeliaSonera for the modernization and upgrade of its existing GSM/GPRS/EDGE Nokia network in the Nordic countries.  Deliveries have already begun and the network upgrade will serve approximately eight million TeliaSonera subscribers in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

"This contract with Nokia will enable us to attain our target of synergy benefits across the TeliaSonera group and grow our business as we evolve to more advanced mobile services," says Lars-Gunnar Johansson, Group Vice President, Corporate Networks & Technology, TeliaSonera.

"We are happy to further strengthen our excellent relationship with TeliaSonera by enabling it to upgrade its networks in order to offer its customers the most advanced mobile multimedia media services and improved user experience," says Jan Lindgren, Vice President, Networks, Nokia.

Under the agreement, Nokia  is supplying its complete GSM, GPRS and EDGE systems.  In addition, it will provide installation and an extensive range of care services including emergency support to maintain the competitiveness of the solution. The services will be provided using Nokia NetAct(TM), the only fully-featured, multi-vendor, multi-technology operations support system on a single platform.

TeliaSonera is the leading telecommunications company in the Nordic and Baltic regions. At the end of December 2003 TeliaSonera had 11,957,000 mobile customers (37,610,000 incl associated companies) and 8,061,000 fixed customers (9,160,000 incl associated companies) and 1,631,000 internet customers (1,691,000 incl associated companies).

External Links

Nokia
TeliaSonera

New offices in Paris, Gothenburg and Madrid

Smartner, the European leader in mobile email and office solutions, today announced further expansion into Europe and forming of Smartner offices to Paris France, Gothenburg Sweden and Madrid Spain. Thomas Chauchard has been appointed as Executive Vice President Business Development to drive Smartner’s European operations further.

Chauchard brings 18 years of sales and operations management experience in high technology, primarily in leading software organisations to Smartner. Prior to joining Smartner, Chauchard was the managing director at iPIN for the EMEA operating territory with offices in Paris, London and Munich. He was responsible for all business operations in this region, which included sales, event marketing and professional services.

“I am very happy to have Thomas joining us and the new offices guarantee that we are where we have to be; close to our European customers”, said Paul Hedman, CEO Smartner. “Thomas Chauchard will help driving Smartner's ongoing international business expansion, with responsibility for international sales and business development. His extensive knowledge of the vertical markets will be invaluable as Smartner continues to build on its leadership position and takes the mobile email and office solutions market to the next level.”

Smartner’s mobile email solution, Smartner Duality extends access to Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes to mobile devices. It pushes new emails automatically to mobile professionals without any user interaction, and provides them with complete control over their desktop functions while away from their office, with all actions mirrored simultaneously on their desktop. The Smartner Duality solution can be affordably deployed in environments ranging from only one to thousands of users, thanks to an extremely easy installation process, data traffic management, and the support for a range of most popular mobile devices available, including the new Microsoft and Symbian phones. The solution is available as Smartner Duality through Smartner reseller channels, and also trough European operators as a white-labeled solution.

"The market opportunity for Smartner Duality worldwide is phenomenal. Smartner has already secured its place as the European market leader and I look forward to growing this position in the international marketplace," said Thomas Chauchard, Executive Vice President Business Development, Smartner.

External Links

Smartner

Measurement system ensures call and session quality are monitored throughout

QUALITA, a new measurement and analysis tool being launched by AIRCOM International addresses many of the quality issues faced by 3G, GPRS and GSM operators. With their emphases now on retaining existing subscribers, especially the high value ones, and preventing churn, the need is for end-to-end measurement of network quality and the analysis of any under-performance.

3G services are adding further impetus to the measurement of end-to-end quality as the complexity of measuring QoS is greater in IP networks. To offer the guaranteed high service levels demanded by applications such as 'real-time' video, quality parameters such as delay, packet loss and throughput have to be continuously monitored for each service type; relying on the 'best effort' QoS of the Internet is not an option.

QUALITA achieves this by measuring performance not just at the network and service levels, but also at the subscriber level where a new metric, Quality of Experience (QoE), allows operators to determine the exact experience of the user at the terminal level. The user judges performance in terms of  service availability and accessibility together with speed and excellence of communications.

Apart from QoE the system measures the Quality of Service at the service level and Key Quality Indicators at the network level providing end-to-end measurement of the quality of calls across the complete network for each service type, subscriber group, terminal model and network location; or a combination of them.

QUALITA works by analysing Call Detail Records( CDRs) for quality indicators such as reliability; delay; and peak and mean throughputs together with specific 3G indicators such as conversational and streaming. QoE indicators include location updates and roaming plus success with call, sessions, services, content and SMS, as well as networks and VAS availability.

An effective and unique method devised by AIRCOM for quantifying quality-based on subscriber groups, locations, services and terminal types ranging from Q1 (best) to Q6 (worst) offers a quick and comprehensive method of understanding the degree of degradation that customers experience for a certain service in a particular location for a particular terminal type.

Operators also benefit from the use of QUALITA's CDR database to extract valuable marketing information about subscriber behaviour, usage patterns and service usage together with reports comparing quality offered to users by locations, services, terminals or subscriber groups. 'Top 10' reports highlight best performing terminals, areas and services with high call usage, services and locations with best quality; and subscriber groups with highest call usage.

External Links

Aircom International

During January 2004 the total number of WAP page impressions viewed in the UK reached 1.2 billion, according to figures announced today by the Mobile Data Association (MDA).

This shows an increase of almost 200 million on December and provides the highest monthly figure yet recorded. The total, from GSM Network operators O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone, takes the daily average to 38 million, more than doubling the 17 million pages viewed on an average day during January 2003.

MDA Chairman, Mike Short, commented: ‘The fact that ringtone and games downloads regularly contribute to the rising number of WAP PI’s viewed in the UK each month has been well documented by the MDA. Increasingly, mobile operators are partnering with companies in the news and sports arenas to provide more compelling content and improved ease of navigation around mobile internet sites. They are also focussing on a much wider audience, and users interested in services such as flight and train timetables can expect to see more content available to them on their mobile phones as these partnerships develop.”

The MDA continues to publish a monthly ‘Top 10 Chart’ of the most popular ringtones downloaded across the four UK Network Operators, with January’s chart as follows:
1. Shut Up - Black-Eyed Peas
2. Hey Ya! - Outkkast
3. Mad World - Gary Jules
4. Changes - Kelly and Ozzy Osborne
5. Milkshake - Kelis
6. Somebody to Love - Boogie Pimps
7. Where is the Love - Black-Eyed Peas feat. Justin Timberlake
8. I’m Still in Love - Sean Paul
9. Feeling Fine - Ultrabeat
10.Take Me to the Clouds Above - LMC

External Links

Mobile Data Association
MDA WAP initiative

ComArch closed 2003 fiscal year vaulting its sales to the record level reaching $65 million USD, marking 30% increase on the previous year and generated the net income $2.3 million - 110% higher than in 2002. The results prove the significant position of ComArch on the domestic market as well as stronger position of ComArch OSS&BSS technology on the global telecommunications scene.

“We are very excited about the 2003 results of our company. They indicate the strengthening of our position on the Polish market as the leading IT systems integrator in all the vertical markets. We also see the growing importance of revenues coming from the international markets resulting from our intense presence in OSS and BSS sector. Our three-year strategy of building our export sales is now starting to bring profits," says Rafa∏ Chwast, ComArch CFO and Vice President”

Year 2003 was a very important period as far as the export sales are concerned. ComArch signed milestone contracts for the implementation of its OSS&BSS systems at O2 Germany, Department of Information Services, The State of Washington and with the leading Ukrainian mobile carrier UMC, all of which belong to Tier One operators. In 2003 ComArch also saw 20% rise in the number of people employed which means almost 1100 people working for ComArch in all of the offices all over the world, most of which are highly experienced IT specialists and business consultants.

ComArch strategic plans for 2004 are: consolidation of ComArch capital Group, reinforcement of the company’s position as systems’ integrator on the Polish market, business growth in main vertical markets in Poland: public administration, finance and banking, and trade and industry, heavy investments in the new software development centre, intensification of international activities in the telecommunications and OSS&BSS market and opening of new offices. ComArch is planning dynamic growth in 2004.

External Links

ComArch

First mobile contract win for Alcatel in Ireland

Alcatel today announced that it has supplied Meteor Mobile Communications, one of the main Irish mobile operators, with its Evolium industry-leading mobile network solution to support the operator’s General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) network across Ireland. The contract foresees the complete provision and installation of the core network.
 
The deployment of the GPRS network will provide Meteor’s users with access to a wide range of enhanced mobile services and high-speed Internet capabilities over Meteor’s existing GSM network. Other advantages include an ‘always on’ connection to Internet and email services, high-speed of data transfer and increased value, as users will only have to pay for what they use. Customers will be able to see these benefits at the beginning of 2004.

Discussing the contract, Liam Hamilton, Technical Director at Meteor Mobile Communications, commented, “This project was implemented in our network in keeping within our initial timeframe and without any disruption to our normal services or traffic thanks to Alcatel’s highly efficient network solution and services. This new network will enable us to deliver enhanced mobile services to our customers.”

Marc Rouanne, Chief Operating Officer of Alcatel's mobile communications activities added,  “This win highlights Alcatel’s ability in competing for new business against incumbent and niche players in the local market.  The key reason why Alcatel gained the contract was because of our capability and flexibility to offer a cost-effective solution to Meteor and to fully satisfy their specific requirements. We will continue the successful partnership that already is in place with this operator.”

Meteor already relies on the Alcatel 5070 Signaling Server as well as on the Alcatel 1300 Convergent Network Management Center (CMC) for its mobile number portability (MNP) functionality, enabling mobile subscribers to keep the same telephone number when changing telephone operators.

External Links

Alcatel
Meteor Mobile Communictations

Dilithium Networks, the leading supplier of 3G multimedia solutions and NetCentrex, the leading enabler of converged voice-video-data networks, announced today a partnership to support end-to-end solutions enabling new 3G video enhanced services including mobile to fixed-network conversational video services, and 3G video multi-conferencing applications. 

The Dilithium-NetCentrex partnership agreement brings together best-of-breed products and technologies including the Dilithium Networks’ DTG 2000 gateway and a range of core infrastructure solutions from NetCentrex including Softswitch and media servers, to the rapidly developing 3G market and offers universal access to a wide range of access terminals. It will enable service providers to build next-generation converged voice-video networks and create revenue-generating services, including video portal, video mail, and video telephony.

Lee Ellison, Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing of Dilithium Networks stated “We are excited to combine our solution with NetCentrex Residential and Enterprise solutions. Mobile Operators require a robust, feature rich platforms to enable the video services application that include both class 4 and class 5 functions.” 

“Dilithium Networks is recognized as a leader in 3G video-telephony solutions. Our expertise in deploying VoIP networks and voice/video next generation solutions, combined with Dilithium Networks’ unique technology will provide a proven high-end platform which offers the scalability needed by the mobile network and fixed network operators deploying services across converged networks”, comments Pierre-Yves Le Berre, Business Development Vice-President of NetCentrex.

Dilithium DTG 2000
The DTG 2000 is a carrier class, multimedia gateway supports a variety of voice and video protocols, and features smart end-points capability processing to provide transcoding tailored to end-points such as mobile phones, PDAs, IP terminals etc. The DTG 2000 incorporates Dilithium Networks' Unicoding technology which enables fast, efficient transcoding while significantly reducing the time delay and compute resources required to transcode between any two media standards. Delay is an important and perceptible element of voice and video quality and low delays are essential for a pleasant user experience.


External Links

Dilithium Networks
NetCentrex

TeliaSonera and the Republic of Latvia have today agreed to withdraw their respective claims and thereby settle the dispute between them around Lattelekom. The dispute has been the subject of ICC arbitration proceedings since 2000.

Following the settlement, TeliaSonera and the Latvian government have agreed to jointly form a working group to explore various long-term ownership options for the future of the two Latvian telecommunications companies Lattelekom and Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT).

TeliaSonera will, according to the settlement, pay the Republic of Latvia LVL 1 million (SEK 14 million) in recognition of the Republic of Latvia's costs associated with the arbitration dispute. The parties will also examine the means by which an additional contribution will be made to the Republic of Latvia upon the successful conclusion of discussions with TeliaSonera regarding a transaction involving either or both of the companies Lattelekom and LMT.

"I am very pleased that we have now ended the dispute, which has been damaging not only for the operations of Lattelekom but also for LMT," says Kenneth Karlberg, President of TeliaSonera Norway, Denmark and the Baltic countries. "The agreement sets the stage for a new spirit of cooperation between TeliaSonera and Latvia, and it is our ambition to resolve ownership issues in the working group that is established."

The arbitration dispute arose following the Republic of Latvia's decision to terminate Lattelekom's exclusive rights to fixed line telecommunications 10 years earlier than agreed in the original privatisation agreement. Latvia, in turn, claimed among other things that Lattelekom's network had not been digitalized as promised.

External Links

TeliaSonera

Radio Frequency Investigation Ltd (RFI) has launched its
'over the air' audio testing services for testing the latest mobile
handsets.

Based on its Rohde & Schwarz CMU 200 test platform this
addition further enhances the scope of RFI's test capability.  The testing capability offered will help manufacturers meet the latest specifications laid down by the GCF and PTCRB, the European and US Standards bodies. For those manufacturers wanting total confidence in acoustical properties a number of additional test cases are also available providing the scope for audio testing above and beyond that laid down in the specifications.

Launched on a dedicated test site, testing has become simpler since manufacturers will no longer have to supply handsets that previously were modified specifically for this testing to be carried out.

This new testing capability is part of RFI's ongoing investment plans for 2004 including new 3G test platforms, a new EMC test facility and the creation of a brand new laboratory.

External Links

Radio Frequency Investigation

Global consulting and systems integration firm becomes preferred partner

Cramer, the leader in telecoms inventory management software, today announced a strengthening of its relationship with LogicaCMG, a major international force in IT services and
wireless telecoms.  LogicaCMG has achieved certification as a Cramer Accredited Partner, a newly created elite category within Cramer's partner program.

The accreditation means LogicaCMG becomes a preferred delivery channel for Cramer software.  In return, LogicaCMG is providing a strategic commitment to develop Cramer skills and jointly pursue new business opportunities, building on existing successes in Europe with BT, KPN Mobile, and Slovak
Telecom, and in the U.S. with Monet Mobile Networks.  LogicaCMG will also establish Cramer centers of expertise at sites in the UK, India, Netherlands and Eastern Europe.

"Our association with Cramer over the past two years has proven to be an effective partnership in addressing the increasingly complex needs of our customers," said Wim Rimmelzwaan, Group Alliance Director, LogicaCMG. "We
have made the extra commitment to become a Cramer Accredited Partner because we see growing demand for Cramer software and skills in the Global telecoms
industry, which LogicaCMG and Cramer are together well placed to satisfy."

"We are thrilled to welcome LogicaCMG as one of Cramer's first elite partners," said Cramer CEO Jerry Crook.  "Cramer is committed to building effective partnerships with the world's leading systems integration and consulting firms.  The new Accredited Partner category reflects both the substantial, direct experience that our partners already have and fresh long
term commitment to working with Cramer."

External Links

Cramer Systems
Logicacmg.

Racal Instruments Wireless Solutions (RIWS), an Aeroflex  company, today announced the launch of its 6401 Release 5 Layer 1 Test System, an industry first.

Handsets and base stations designed to meet Release 5 specifications require significant functionality upgrades to incorporate new technologies such as High Speed Downlink Packet Data Access (HSDPA). 

The ability to test Release 5 represents a major 3G milestone for developers of this technology. The benefits of HSDPA technology are predicted to include a more responsive
service for end users, increased base station capacity and ultimately increased profitability for operators. The launch of the 6401 Release 5 Layer 1 Test System will enable handset designers and manufacturers to accelerate their development process and reduce the time to market for products incorporating Release 5 features.

Aimed primarily at DSP and baseband developers, the system also provides extensive RF test capability.  The system breaks new ground and is unrivalled in terms of the levels of capability, interfacing and flexibility it brings to developers, allowing it to be used to test initial software simulations on through to completed hardware. RIWS has been demonstrating the system in recent months to major mobile manufacturers and is the first test equipment vendor to be able to deliver this capability to the marketplace.  RIWS attributes this lead
over the competition to its approach in developing 'future-proof' platforms capable of considerable change in functionality together with a proven track record of leadership in high speed data testing. The portfolio includes solutions used in the development of CDMA2000 1X EVDV handsets that use many of the same techniques used in HSDPA. 

Beyond Layer 1 the test system can be used for UE testing throughout the product development lifecycle including Layer 2 and 3 protocol development and conformance testing, dual standard (GSM-UMTS) intersystem handover development and conformance testing, RRM pre- and full conformance testing, and RF pre- and full conformance testing.

External Links

RIWS

NEC supplies two new handsets, Motorola one.

3, the UK's first video mobile network, has announced that from this week, it will be exclusively selling three new video mobiles; the NEC e616, the Motorola A925 and the NEC e313.

 

The three new video mobiles double the range of handsets available with 3's popular range of VideoTalk price plans.

 

Each of the handsets in the new portfolio support the full range of 3's leading video mobile services including person-to-person video calling, streaming and downloading of video footage, such as the exclusive Barclaycard Premiership highlights, clips from the latest movies, comedy sketches and breaking news.

 

NEC e616

The NEC e616 is 3's most advanced clamshell video mobile to date. The dual-mode handset blends elegant design with the leading video mobile services and technology. The handset supports Bluetooth, has a built-in MP3 player, a card slot for a Sony MemoryStick DuoTM and features JAVATM technology for the latest games and applications.

 

The handset, which is exclusive to the 3 network, will be priced at £199.99 in 3 shops and 3Points in Superdrug and is only available with 3's market leading VideoTalk price plans on pay monthly.

 

Motorola A925

The Motorola A925 is one of the world's most advanced video mobiles and smart phones. With a black and brushed chrome finish, the A925 combines a number of communication tools in one easy-to-use device.

 

Operating on a Symbian platform the A925's main features include a fully functional PDA, a high quality 65,536 colour touch screen for wide-screen video playback, expandable memory of up to 128Mb, speakerphone, email client, built-in still and video camera and Bluetooth for wireless talk and connectivity. The A925 is also only available on pay monthly with 3, in 3 shops and 3Points in Superdrug.

 

NEC e313

The NEC e313 is the slimmest and lightest dual-mode video mobile to be launched by 3. A powerful handset with a 'candy bar' design, the NEC e313 is the fifth dual-mode device NEC has delivered to 3. It is designed to showcase the extensive range of video mobile services available exclusively to 3 customers.

The e313 will be available on both pay monthly with 3 and ThreePay. On ThreePay it will be priced at £99.99 in 3 stores and 3Points in Superdrug. 

Gareth Jones, Chief Operating Officer of 3 said: "3 is here to challenge the status quo in the mobile market in the UK. We're bringing the mobile consumer not just market leading price plans, but also market leading handsets. I believe that with these handsets and 3's unbeatable great value price plans, we are challenging the incumbent network operators in the UK, what a great way to celebrate our first anniversary."

Marc Allera, Sales Director of 3 said: "For the first two months of this year we focused on the Motorola A835 and it is currently the best selling contract handset in three of our main retail partners. By adding a further three handsets to the range it can only be good news for customers and retailers alike. While others may not have video mobiles that are ready, 3 will now have a portfolio of five handsets available."

The e616, the A925 and the e313 will complement the Motorola A835, currently the number one selling handset for 3. All handset models will be available across the UK, through over 3,200 shops that stock 3 products and services.

All three handsets have an in-built camera or cameras, can capture video clips or still pictures; they support a range of messaging including email, MMS (Multimedia Messaging Services) and text messages. The e616 and the e313 are both dual mode (2.5G/3G) and the Motorola A835 is tri-band.

External Links

3 UK

Antenna developer Antenova has just unveiled its quadband QUADNOVA antenna for cellular handsets, smartphones and PDA applications.

The QUADNOVA covers the AMPS 800, GSM 900, DCS 1800 and PCS 1900 bands and is suitable for Asia, European and American (CDMA/TDMA 800 and 1900) handsets, smartphones and PDA applications. With a volume of less than 3.5cc, this antenna is the smallest quadband in the World and offers over 50% average terminal radiation efficiency over all four bands. The QUADNOVA is a hybrid solution with a combination of ceramic and PIFA (Planar Inverted F Antenna) technology and can be customised to suit individual customer requirements.  The QUADNOVA has superb detuning characteristics thanks to the properties of Antenova's HDA (High Dielectric Antenna) technology and because of this, components can be placed close to the antenna and will have less interference than conventional technology.

As handsets get smaller and the functionality gets greater there is real pressure on handset designers to fit more components into an ever reducing space.  Because of the small size of Antenova's antenna it can fit into all sizes of mobile phones, offering the ability to just use one component for all models (including dualband and triband models), and thus reducing tooling costs and cutting development costs significantly.

"A conventional quadband antenna with similar performance will need about twice the volume, making the QUADNOVA the smallest and highest performing solution in its class", says Greg McCray, CEO of Antenova.

Antenova also unveiled its 3G TRINOVA antenna covering the GSM 900, GCS 1800, PCS 1900, WCDMA 2100 and UMTS(3G) bands.  Antenova can also offer GPS and BluetoothTM variations.

External Links

Antenova