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ActiveMedia and Flytxt power m-vouchering for "Orange Wednesdays" launch

Flytxt, the leading mobile technology provider, today announced that it has chosen ActiveMedia Technology, designers of real time m-voucher authentication technology, as its preferred supplier for the roll out of the first nationwide m-voucher promotion. Flytxt is working with ActiveMedia within the overall ‘Orange Wednesdays’ project– a groundbreaking ‘two-for-one’ ticket promotion delivered to Orange customers’ mobile phones. 

ActiveMedia is supplying real-time m-voucher authentication technology, which will be installed in over 450 cinemas nationwide – almost the entire cinema industry. The m-voucher terminals are part of a broader mobile vouchering application managed by Flytxt. ActiveMedia was chosen as Flytxt’s preferred supplier due to the existing relationship between the two companies, flexibility in delivering redemption solutions and because ActiveMedia’s RAPOS terminals were the most suitable for the ‘Orange Wednesdays’ project. 

Flytxt is providing the overall technical solution for the ‘Orange Wednesdays’ project and has integrated the RAPOS application within the overall backend technology operations.  Flytxt worked with Orange’s marketing and sponsorship team to develop the concept and business case behind ‘Orange Wednesdays’ and has project managed the entire promotion as lead consultant and technology provider.  Orange customers can text to the short code 241 to receive a mobile voucher entitling them to two cinema tickets for the price of one, which can then be redeemed at terminals in cinemas nationwide.

Ramesh Kumar, Managing Director, ActiveMedia Technology added: “This is a really exciting project for us.  We’ve conducted many similar campaigns since our launch in 2001, but an initiative of this magnitude represents a powerful endorsement of the potential for m-voucher technology.  Working with Flytxt, our RAPOS offering makes operations flexible and seamless, ensuring Orange can target its customers with a totally unique offering.  We look forward to developing our relationship with Flytxt for the benefit of Orange and other customers in the future.”

“ActiveMedia’s experience in the deployment of mobile coupons, tickets and m-CRM solutions led us to choose them for the ‘Orange Wednesdays’ project.” said Flytxt Chairman, Lars Becker. “Our solution will deliver m-vouchering capability to Orange and its customers across the UK for the next three years, and this length of contract is testament to the flexibility and scalability of our offering.”

‘Orange Wednesdays’ is part of a broader campaign for the mobile operator to strengthen its links with the UK film industry and to deliver exclusive products or services that will benefit its customers. Orange has sponsored the British Academy Film Awards since 1998 and became the title owner in 2000.  Orange has also sponsored the highest profile strand of the BFI London Film Festival for the last two years.

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The network, covering Europe's third largest country, will be the
world's largest shared TETRA public safety network.

A consortium, led by Saab and including Nokia and Swedia, has won a contract from the Swedish government to build a professional mobile radio network for the shared use of all Swedish public safety organizations. The consortium will provide and operate a single nationwide TETRA-based network that will replace the large number of separate systems currently in use by the Swedish authorities.

The Swedish government has allocated some 250 million euros for the for the "Radio communication for effective public safety" project (known by its Swedish acronym RAKEL).  Nokia will provide its complete TETRA system, while Saab AB will carry out system integration and Swedia Networks will provide operation and system maintenance.

Nokia TETRA System will provide uniform and seamless network-wide services as well as uncompromised security.  The network will have nationwide coverage, and it will be implemented in phases during 2004-2009 starting in southern Sweden, followed by the Stockholm and Gothenburg regions.

"The Swedish authority network will be the largest shared TETRA network in the world in terms of geography, and winning this deal has decidedly been a major achievement for the consortium," says Matti Peltola, Vice President, Professional Mobile Radio, Networks, Nokia.
"We are confident that our Nordic consortium is also the best choice for the citizens of Sweden.  The Nokia TETRA system will enable seamless communication between the Swedish authorities, and help them in their great responsibility to the Swedish people."

Deliveries of the Nokia TETRA system, including digital TETRA
exchanges, TETRA base stations, network management system, and dispatcher workstations will begin during 2004.

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Nokia Tetra

Device flaws and poor customer service highlight testing and support needs

Intuwave, the mobile software specialist, has conducted focus groups of business Smartphone users that highlighted concern with Smartphone quality and customer service. These findings follow quantitative research published by Intuwave in February, 2004 that showed that only 40% of IT managers had confidence in Smartphones as a business tool. Results point to core ‘hygiene’ factors not being addressed by device manufacturers and mobile network operators which are hitting the industry’s bottom line through increased product returns, lower service adoption and increased support costs.

Andrew Wyatt, vice president of strategic marketing at Intuwave, said, “These are not just ‘nice to haves’: inadequately tested devices lead to product returns or - worst case scenario - product recalls that are costly and embarrassing while poorly set up phones are a key reason why operator support costs are set to escalate. Smartphones are growing in complexity and taking on many of the functions traditionally associated with the PC, so the industry needs a way of applying mature, automated testing procedures and the remote ‘diagnose and fix’ tools associated with the PC world to mobile devices. If this isn’t achieved, then the entire industry will simply haemorrhage money as Smartphones are adopted in greater numbers."

Key problems encountered by members of the focus group included core data services - such as MMS - not working properly, the complexity of setting up services and poor quality of support. One HR manager commented, “Feedback has been mixed; as a tool Smartphones are very useful but the set up has caused more than a few headaches." This is not the response that the industry needs if its plans to increase business usage of the advanced data service functionality offered by Smartphones are to be realised.

Wyatt continued, “Business users are a mobile operators’ most profitable and least price-sensitive market segment and a logical consumer of the advanced data services that are now available. However, if services don’t work out of the box as they should then people simply won’t use them. Addressing testing and customer and service issues will therefore not only cut costs but increase revenues.”

Profile one: Suzy, 25, PR manager in the IT industry; Smartphone - Nokia 6600: "When I got my new Smartphone I wanted to use MMS immediately, but it required four calls to my operator to set up GPRS properly. Even then, whilst I could send MMS messages, my handset couldn't receive them. After several calls to my operator, and a visit to the local retail store, I gave up and exchanged my device for a new one only to find the MMS functionality still wasn't working properly! In the end, someone from my operator's customer support centre had to contact the device manufacturer and track my messages through the network. Then one day, with no explanation, I got 17 MMS messages in one go - all the pictures my friends and colleagues had been trying to send me over the past few weeks. MMS works fine now, but at one point I nearly threw my phone out of the window in frustration - I don’t even want to begin to get email working on my phone if I have to go through all that again!"

Profile two: Andrew, 45, marketing director in the IT industry; Smartphone - Orange SPV200: “Following the ban on using a mobile when driving, I actually bought a Smartphone as a consequence of upgrading to a Bluetooth phone that would let me use a Bluetooth headset. Overall my expectations have been exceeded primarily because it's great to be able to connect to the Internet whenever I want through the browser on my phone. I make frequent use of online train time tables when travelling as well as showing my friends in the pub where I'd been on holiday by going to a webcam of the area! However, it has not been so straightforward - it took the customer services nearly a month to diagnose a problem I had with my original phone's contact function, and in the end I just got another handset and £10 refund. My feeling is that it is first and foremost still a telephone, and needs to be as reliable as a phone. While I can imagine living without a PDA, I certainly can't live without a phone!"

Profile three: Liz, 42, HR manager in the IT industry: "With the increasing need for employees to work from home and whilst on the move providing my staff with mobile devices is a must. We have already deployed devices throughout the company but Smartphones are definitely beginning to creep in - having text, voice, email and internet access all on one device is much easier to handle for all parties involved. A few employees are using the Nokia 6600 as a test and there have been a few problems. Quite rightly, the operators won't give them the right to deploy MMS etc without the company's consent but I have wasted time as a go-between. Feedback has been mixed; as a tool Smartphones are very useful but the set up has caused more than a few headaches."

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Emerging broadband wireless access technologies such as WiMAX and 802.20 will blur divisions between fixed and mobile broadband services. Future BWA providers will be able to offer a single subscription including broadband access in the home and high speed mobile data services on the move, according to a new report from wireless experts Senza-Fili Consulting and BWCS.

WiFi, WiMAX and 802.20: The Disruptive Potential of Wireless Broadband  concludes that new 802-based BWA technologies have the potential to create new broadband services that transcend existing business models for DSL, cable and 3G. While this vision is at least five years away, report author Monica Paolini warns that service providers need to start positioning themselves today to take advantage of it.

She said: “While there is still some work to do on standards and interoperability, there is growing vendor momentum behind BWA technologies and WiMAX in particular. Service providers need to start making decisions now about technologies and market strategies so they are ready to ride the BWA wave when products become available.”

Technologies such as 802.16 and 802.20 offer the potential to deliver both fully mobile broadband internet access (at speeds of up to 250kph) and fixed broadband services. These could be offered over the same infrastructure as separate services or as a combined broadband subscription. Paolini said: “Wireless broadband services that combine fixed and mobile access will be tied to the subscriber, rather than a location (home or office), with the subscriber free to use service anywhere within the coverage area.”

While the mobile variants of 802-based BWA have the most disruptive potential, the first WiMAX products to appear will be designed for portability only. Based on the soon-to-be-ratified 802.16RevD standard, these will be designed for delivering broadband access to homes, offices and public WiFi hotspots. Service providers in the US, UK and South Korea are already carrying out trials of pre-WiMAX and pre-802.20 technologies for delivering broadband services in rural and metropolitan areas. 

Paolini said: “BWA has had a few false dawns already but this time round we have more robust, cheaper technologies and standards-based contenders like WiMAX which have broad industry support. This threatens to have a huge impact on the economics and market potential of BWA services.”

The new study forecasts that there will be 10 million BWA subscribers in the US alone by 2008. Of these the majority (49%) will be mobile business users.

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Sanjiv Ahuja takes over ceo job

Orange SA today announces that Sol Trujillo is stepping down as Chief Executive Officer. The Orange Board of Directors, meeting today in Paris, agreed to adopt the recommendation of the Orange Nominations Committee in appointing Sanjiv Ahuja, currently Orange COO, as Sol Trujillo's successor.

Over the past year Sol has overseen successfully, and ahead of schedule, the implementation of a major programme of organisational and management change across the Orange group. During this same period Orange has delivered ahead of its financial commitments. Sol is now returning to the United States where he will pursue a range of business interests. Sol will be maintaining his links with the Group as a special adviser to Thierry Breton, Chairman of France Telecom SA and Orange.

The nomination of Sanjiv Ahuja as Orange CEO is one of a number of senior appointments announced today at the highest operational level of the France Telecom Group. These changes to the France Telecom Group's organisational structure and the Group's Executive Committee are the subject of a separate communication that can be accessed on the Group's website www.francetelecom.com

France Telecom Chairman, Thierry Breton said: ''Sol has done an outstanding job at Orange, implementing with great effectiveness a common strategic vision and identifying a successor in Sanjiv who is perfectly equipped to guide the business into the future. Sol has moved Orange from the federation of companies that resulted from years of rapid expansion to the unified organisation we have today. The team he assembled has taken the Orange brand and vision to the next level, creating a stronger business that is more focused on its customers, clearer in its thinking and more efficient in delivering results.

''I would personally like to take this opportunity to thank Sol for all he has done for Orange and all our shareholders. I look forward to benefiting from his continued counsel from his position as a special adviser to the Group.''

Since his appointment in February 2003, Sol Trujillo and his team have overseen a major transformation in the organisation, operations and the financial results of Orange. Some highlights of this period include:

- Building a truly international and experienced senior management team capable of leading and driving the business forward;

- The definition of a new Orange Group strategy with the objective of creating 'One Orange', improving its management and operational structures and reintegrating the Company within France Telecom, all the time focusing Orange on a predominantly European footprint and establishing new financial targets;

- The strengthening of the Orange leadership position and an increase in average revenue per user in the company's core markets in the UK and France. This has also seen a total customer increase of 10.8% during 2003 to 49.1million

- An increase in overall revenues of 9% to EUR 17.9 billion and a 32% increase in EBITDA to EUR 6.2 billion in 2003 on a pro forma basis.

These achievements have contributed in differentiating Orange in the marketplace and have been instrumental in delivering an exceptional financial performance.

Sol Trujillo said: ''This has been a period of challenge, of achievement and one that I have enjoyed to the full. I am proud that we have been able to bring together a team that is making a great business stronger, giving it the structures and organisation it lacked, injecting new blood and providing renewed purpose and direction. Having achieved the goals we set with Thierry when I joined as CEO, the moment has come to pass the baton to Sanjiv who will now lead Orange to what I'm sure will be new levels of success.''

A key element of Sol Trujillo's mission while reorganising the business, delivering results and revitalising the brand has been to ensure the development of leadership and continuity. This is evidenced by the selection of his successor and the establishment of a management structure to facilitate a close working relationship between Orange and the rest of the France Telecom Group.

Sanjiv Ahuja will be joined on the France Telecom Executive Committee by John Allwood, Head of Orange UK operations and Didier Quillot, Head of Orange France operations. Didier will have responsibility for branding and marketing for the entire Group.

Following his appointment Sanjiv Ahuja, the new Orange CEO, commented: ''Our appreciation goes to Sol for drawing together the team that has brought Orange into the 21st century. He also has my personal thanks for the role he has played as coach and mentor during the many years we have known one another.

''Over the past year Orange has grown up as a business. Fresh ideas are now supported by the processes and disciplines required as we move Orange successfully to the next stage of its growth. I am excited by the opportunity we now have together with France Telecom to build the world's foremost integrated telecommunications service provider.

''Just as Orange defined the first age of mobile telephony, it is Orange again that is moving to roll back the frontiers of next generation personal communications. Our people are back concentrating on what they do best; taking the latest technology and making it simple, making it personal and making it relevant to each and every one of our customers".

As previously announced, following the conclusion of France Telecom's Offer to Orange minorities expected to occur in April, Orange will retain its own Board and will continue the development of its stated strategy and brand identity.

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Uses Actix for testing and improvement

Actix, the global provider of wireless performance engineering solutions, has today announced that Finnet, a Finnish telecommunications group, has selected Actix’ wireless performance engineering solutions to benchmark its wireless networks against competitors and optimize its GSM and GPRS networks by analyzing drive test data.

Finnet selected Actix’ software because of its vendor independence in supporting different network measurement tools, extensive out-of-the-box functionality, and the ability to ‘drill down’ into drive test data to identify and understand how to fix problems and enhance network performance.
Finnet also choose Actix to provide its wireless performance engineering solutions because Actix solutions support all major wireless network technologies worldwide. Through this support, Finnet is assured that other Actix solutions could be seamlessly deployed to support network technologies such as EDGE, if the company choose to launch services based on new technology in the future. Engineers at Finnet also use Actix’ solutions to
generate reports to advise Finnet management.

Actix solutions are entirely vendor independent and enable operators to analyze raw wireless network data from a mix of network technologies, systems and data collection solutions in fine detail. This gives a complete picture of vital wireless functions and the quality of service delivery from the subscriber’s perspective; it also enables engineers to ‘drill down’ to the root cause of any deficiencies.

The solutions are highly flexible, enabling analysis to be tailored to support different tasks such as candidate site coverage evaluation, troubleshooting of areas with poor call quality and distant servers, and comparison of uplink and downlink performance.

Based on Actix’ vendor-independent, standards-based  platform, the solutions provide advanced mapping, charting and reporting features, as well as powerful data analysis for all aspects of performance engineering. Presentation of data is simplified, allowing engineers to easily quantify and troubleshoot network performance - standard templates for the analysis of drive test data are built in to the software and can be readily customized by the user for specific tasks.

Jukka Jokisalo, Development Manager, Radio Networks, Finnet Networks Ltd, said, “Actix’ performance engineering solutions enable us to benchmark our networks against competitors, as well as improve and troubleshoot our own by analyzing large amounts of drive test data. Actix also assists us to feature-proof our operations by supporting a very wide range of network technologies. If we deploy other network technology in the future, we can be sure that Actix will have a solution that will fit seamless in with our performance engineering requirements.”

Duncan Vardy, Head of Product Management, Actix said, “Wireless operators are under pressure to rapidly deploy new revenue generating services while at the same time delivering an optimized subscriber experience. By using Actix solutions, Finnet has been able to deliver on both of these business critical challenges quickly and efficiently." He added: "Finnet is the latest in a growing number of wireless operators to adopt Actix solutions as a fundamental part of their service roll-out and optimization."

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Enables greater silicon choice for handset manufacturers

TTPCom, the world’s leading independent supplier of digital
wireless technology, today announces its involvement
in the creation and development of the DigRF interface
standard for EDGE, Classes 1 to 12.

The DigRF standard defines a physical interface
between the baseband and radio ICs (Integrated
Circuits) within cellular terminals, enabling any
combination of supporting chipsets.

This new standard will increase competition in the
market by enabling handset manufactures to select the
most appropriate GSM, GPRS or EDGE baseband and radio
combination, whether that is based on cost or advanced
features, without undertaking significant integration

Andrew Fogg, Senior Research and Development Engineer
at TTPCom and Chairman of the Digital Interface
Working Group comments, "The DigRF standard gives
terminal designers a wider choice of chipset
combinations by ensuring compatibility between
baseband and RF ICs.  The standard intentionally
confines itself to the interface between the chips and
so places very few constraints on the internal design
of the ICs, leaving manufacturers free to innovate and
define efficient solutions."

TTPCom is heavily involved in the Digital Interface
Working Group alongside other industry leaders
including Agere Systems, Infineon Technologies,
Motorola, Philips, Renesas, RF Micro-Devices, Silicon
Laboratories, Sony Semiconductors and Devices Europe
and Skyworks.

Version 1.12 of the DigRF standard covers GSM, GPRS
and EDGE and is available for download from
http://www.digrf.com. The Digital Interface Working
Group has started work on the 3G version of the
Interface Standard, which will be released in Spring

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As required by regulator

Telekom Austria’s mobile subsidiary mobilkom austria and T-Mobile Austria reached an agreement with regard to the sale of a UMTS frequency package (2x5 MHz). mobilkom austria held a total of 4 frequency packages amounting to 19.8 MHz (FDD) following the acquisition of the Austrian subsidiary of Telefonica Moviles.

In compliance with the requirements of the Austrian Regulatory Authority RTR, mobilkom austria has disposed of one of its packages. Thus, mobilkom austria is the first European operator that has successfully completed a UMTS frequency transaction.

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Telekom Austria

Not many further details as yet

Tapio Hintikka has informed that he with immediate effect resigns as member and chairman of the board of directors of TeliaSonera AB.

Tapio Hintikka has been chairman of TeliaSonera since the combination between Telia and Sonera in December 2002. He was previously the chairman of Sonera.

The board of TeliaSonera will hold an extra meeting to elect a new chairman. Until then the vice chairman of TeliaSonera Carl Bennet, will hold the position as chairman.

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Although the last three years have seen an overall downturn in total BSS sales, one sector is bucking the trend.  Next-generation services require real-time, or at least near real-time, billing capabilities.  Operators are going to have to address real-time billing - but they are more likely to do this by adding a module or adjunct system, or by upgrading their mediation systems. The days of mega end-to-end deals are numbered.

Chorleywood's latest report, GLOBAL TRENDS IN TELECOMS BSS AND BCC MARKET FORECASTS reviews the BSS market and looks ahead to what might happen in this sector over the next five years. The report demonstrates the foothold that vendors, in particular CSG Systems, have gained by acquisition.

"CSG is the company to watch - it has grown hugely by  acquisition to get a worldwide cross sector base.  Its installed base is one of the highest in terms of announced sales in 2003," comments Ann Swallow, Chorleywood Markets Manager and author of the report.

"But TelesensKSCL also grew like that 4 years ago, and it suffered partly because the cost of its acquisitions in a declining market" cautions Ann Swallow.

Purchasing cycles are now longer than ever before impacting vendor revenues. Operators have gradually moved from a 3-4 year lifecycle in the telecom boom years for BCC systems to a current eight year lifecycle. Market share is dominated by a few global players suggesting further consolidation and acquisition among the remaining BSS vendors.

Current market leaders are:
- BCC: SchlumbergerSema (mostly now divested to LHS), CSG Systems and Convergys
- CRM: Amdocs and Siebel
- Mediation: Comptel and Ericsson

Mediation contract announcements show a rising trend over the last three years, in contrast to decline in the other two BSS sectors studied in the report.

Uniquely, the GLOBAL TRENDS report records operators'  satisfaction with key installation-related and  operation-related elements of their BSS. The cycle of purchase and sale of both BCC systems and vendors appears to have distracted some vendors from attending to the ongoing needs of some of their customers. There appears to be a correlation between rapid expansion and change of ownership and user dissatisfaction.

With 3G set for widespread launch in 2004 across Europe, operators are already thinking about the post 3G world and what comes next. According to a new report from mobile industry analysts, ARC Group, the technologies making the largest immediate impact on the post 3G world will be the upgrades to 3.5G and integration of WLAN into wide area networks.

Buoyed by a resurgence in infrastructure spending, industry attention is now focussing on the potential of HSDPA in particular to extend 3G capabilities on the road to an all-IP network and wireless/wireline convergence. Indeed, all the major vendors are now shipping HSDPA-enabled W-CDMA infrastructure and following the lead of NTT DoCoMo, which is planning on launching HSDPA services as early as 2005, all the key players are planning trials for the end of the year.

Against this background, ARC Group forecasts that 3.5G subscribers (including HSDPA, TDD and proprietary technologies like Flash OFDM) will reach 9.1 million subscribers by 2008.

In the run-up to 4G – which is not expected until 2010 at the earliest – operators will look for ways to enhance network performance through  evolutionary upgrades in the same way EDGE and 1xRTT have been used in the 2G world. HSDPA is expected to become the most popular of 3.5G technologies due to its support from major vendors like Nokia. HSDPA uses adaptive modulation and a new shared downlink transport channel type to achieve a two-fold increase in air interface capacity and a five-fold increase in data speeds in the downlink direction.

With the advent of WLAN enabled PDA’s and smartphones, there is likely to be more competition from PWLAN providers for broadband mobile revenues. However, rather than compete head on, PWLAN will be subsumed into the network mix, supplementing the 3G/3.5G network for data intensive applications. Despite this, mobile subscribers using PWLAN services over their mobile device will only make up around 50 million users by 2008, less than 20% of total 3G subscribers.

Chris White, Telecoms Consultant at ARC comments: "Too much attention  has been paid to how PWLAN will compete with 3G rather than looking at the benefits of combining both network technologies. Further integration of WLAN into the mobile network mix is one of the vital stepping stones to 4G. The so-called access pyramid model, where multiple networks coexist allowing users to seamlessly switch between the most appropriate network for the device and situation, will not substitute the need for a 4G network. At the heart of everything will be the core network, be it 3G or 4G, which will be supplemented by PAN and WLAN offerings and by network upgrades in the medium-term."

Announcement provides immediate route to market for European mobile content and service providers looking to leverage 150 million US mobile users

Netsize, the global leader for mobile business and entertainment solutions, has announced the launch of its two-way premium SMS offering for the United States. The announcement, made at this week's CTIA Wireless show in the US, opens up the North American market to UK mobile content and service providers looking to leverage the country's 150 million mobile users.

The Premium SMS market in the United States is still relatively new. Common short codes were launched in October 2003, and Premium SMS, currently the only efficient means of micro-payment in the US, recently became available on the networks of all tier one operators (AT&T, Cingular, Nextel, Sprint PCS, T-Mobile and Verizon).

"The US is an avid consumer of infotainment across all media channels," explains Stanislas Chesnais, Chairman of Netsize Group. "And now that mobile penetration rates are quickly reaching a level comparable to Europe, this represents an enormous opportunity for companies who have the right mix of technical know-how and compelling mobile content."

Industry analysts have estimated that whilst the European Premium SMS market will be worth over $4 billion by 2006, this could be eclipsed by a potential $4.5 billion in the US, driven by mobile marketing, downloads and television interaction.

Using the Netsize Multimedia Vending Machine (a carrier-grade content management platform that offers content providers an immediate route to market, managing the hosting, delivery and billing of content) the announcement means that Netsize can now offer a single point of access to a global network of 500 million billable mobile consumers.

This international framework is complemented by a local presence in 18 countries (including the United States) that allows Netsize to customize its solutions for specific markets in order to take into account differences in language, culture, regulations, currencies and technologies.

Orange today launched its first dedicated IT reseller channel partner programme in the UK aimed at delivering on the needs of the medium business market.  The mobile operator is expanding its channel programme to include IT resellers and systems integrators through a concerted recruitment drive, as demand for mobile solutions such as telemetry, email and field force automation continues to grow.

The channel programme team will ensure that IT resellers have easy access to Orange products and services, as well as providing training, product and marketing support to ensure that customers receive excellent customer service. IT resellers will benefit from a flexible approach from Orange that will enable them to deliver their customers with both simple and bespoke mobile solutions. 

Sam Sandercock, head of channel sales, Orange, said, "Companies often have long-standing relationships with particular IT suppliers, and would like to buy mobility solutions from one place rather than having to approach multiple suppliers.  With this programme, our aim is to ensure that Orange is accessible to all companies seeking mobile solutions, no matter what purchasing route they choose."

Criteria for appointing Orange resellers will include: proven experience in deployment of IT solutions to customers, financial stability, a strong customer base, ability to provide technical support to customers and a clear focus on mobility. Orange will also be looking for specialised telemetry resellers to work with this rapidly expanding customer market.  Detailed information on how to qualify for the programme can be found at www.orange.co.uk/channelpartner. 

Orange products will complement existing fixed solutions offered by IT resellers and will enable them to realise additional revenue channels from the growing mobile and wireless space.  Resellers will be able to offer wireless capabilities to their existing customer base, selling the products as either simple access solutions - with repeatable sales providing immediate business advantage, or combine them into more complex bespoke solutions tailored to the individual customer's need.

The Orange reseller product portfolio will consist of products and applications ranging from vehicle tracking, database access, mobile email, field force enablement, remote monitoring and control, and business text messaging.  They will also have early access to new data devices and technologies such as 3G.  A full list of available products can be viewed at www.orange.co.uk/channelpartner.

Next phase of O2 Active launched with additional functionality provided by SurfKitchen's SurfKit Mobile solution

SurfKitchen, the leading provider of access management technology for mobile data services, today announced its crucial role in extending O2 Active, made available to O2 Germany's mobile subscribers from today. O2 Active includes an innovative, full-colour mobile offline client application. This offers mobile users simple access to key services like ringtones, games or even O2's mms2postcard service. In combination with the new UMTS O2 Active online portal the client provides a much better user experience for online data and multimedia services directly from a mobile device.

The launch of these O2 Active features means that for the first time, users can view services on the handset itself without having to go online. Once the desired content is found, the customer can connect directly to the information with just one click. O2 UK's successful launch of the next phase of O2 Active in February 2004 demonstrated that SurfKit Mobile significantly improves the customer experience, making the process of locating and accessing premium data services simpler, more intuitive and more cost-effective.

SurfKit Mobile is the first solution that enables an operator to remotely customise and control information on the user's handset, as its user interface can be managed and updated over the air. This is done by a straightforward, cost-effective platform, which is always present on the subscriber's phone. This provides the capability for O2 Germany to brand and customise the mobile desktop to extend and build its identity.

Lutz Schuler, Senior Vice President Product Management & Strategy, O2 Germany said: "The combination of the SurfKitchen offline client application in combination with our UMTS O2 Active online portal offers "best of both worlds" - offline and online - for mobile data usage. It is an important step in stimulating further adoption of data services in Germany by improving the subscriber's ease of use - SurfKitchen's innovative platform does this very effectively."

Philip Letts, CEO of SurfKitchen, said: "The frustrating aspect of data services for many mobile operators is that they have the high-value content available, but it is not easy enough for the end-user to access and consume that content. Our technology bridges this gap by allowing operators to reach into a device and improve the user's experience. I strongly believe this will drive greater usage of data services and ultimately higher average revenue per user for the operator. Loyalty can also be built and churn reduced through pro-active customer care and increased user personalisation."