Tue, Oct
0 New Articles

Optimised network gaming, real-time communications and security framework for plug and play deployment of global games services

3GSM World Congress
Ideaworks3D Ltd., a leading provider of advanced mobile gaming technology and content, today launched Airplay 2.0, a connected rich gaming SDK and end-to-end service solution for publishers, network operators and device manufacturers, on the Series 60 Platform. Series 60 is the world's leading smartphone platform, with millions of devices in the market already generating significant demand for high quality mobile gaming experiences.

Airplay 2.0 is a major upgrade to the wireless industry's only commercially proven, turnkey solution for the global provisioning of rich multiplayer mobile games. Airplay's unique architecture dramatically simplifies the development of revenue generating connected games, and offers unprecedented power and flexibility in game provisioning, billing and administration.
Airplay 2.0 will be demonstrated for attendees of the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes February 23rd-26th, 2004.
While the feature-rich Airplay SDK offers developers the option of authoring their connected game for both Symbian OS and Java (J2ME), it has now been optimised for Series 60 smartphones. The Series 60 smartphone architecture provides users with all the basic and advanced cellular phone functions in a compact device characterised by a large color screen, rich communications and enhanced applications.
"Ideaworks3D is particularly pleased to offer Airplay 2.0 first on the Series 60 Platform, which offers numerous advantages to developers, and a rapidly growing market base that is proving very attractive to major game publishers," said Adrian Sack, CEO, Ideaworks3D. "Game publishers and service providers now have access to a globally proven end-to-end solution for rapid and cost effective deployment of connected mobile games.
"Connected gaming represents a radical shift in mobile gaming, evolving from a solitary play experience to new and compelling multiplayer gaming that offers the industry opportunities for driving higher data revenue while delighting mobile gamers," he added.
According to Lee Epting, Vice President of Forum Nokia, Nokia's global developer community, "The launch of Airplay 2.0 is a key component in the infrastructure supporting mobile multiplayer gaming and will allow large numbers of developers to unleash the creative possibilities in this new entertainment category. We're excited that Ideaworks3D has chosen to support the growing community of developers targeting the large installed base of Series 60 devices."
Nokia created the Series 60 Platform and licenses it to leading cell phone vendors Panasonic, Samsung, Sendo and Siemens, who together with Nokia make up nearly two-thirds of global cell phone sales. Series 60 devices feature large, high- resolution screens with up to 65,000 colors, at least 4MB of memory, and support thousands of software titles.
In 2003, Nokia licensed Airplay 1.0 from Ideaworks3D to power the launch catalogue of titles for the N-Gage Arena, the world's first globally available multiplayer wireless gaming service. The N-Gage Arena today delivers the most advanced and compelling wireless gaming experience available on a mobile phone. Ideaworks3D recently received a BAFTA award nomination from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts recognising this outstanding technical achievement.

3GSM World Congress
First Hop, a leader in mobile middleware, and SFR (France) today announced that SFR has chosen First Hop Wireless Broker for the delivery of application and content messaging services.

SFR is the second largest operator in France with over 14 million subscribers. SFR uses First Hop Wireless Broker to power its value-added messaging business. Today the most commonly used services include applications such as infotainment, news, and gaming. First Hop Wireless Broker products, Message Router and Service Manager, are already in production use at SFR.
"We were searching the market for messaging middleware flexibility, high performance, and service provisioning capabilities that could take our business to the next level", said the SFR project manager. "We selected First Hop Wireless Broker to enhance the quality of our messaging services since it not only fulfilled our general selection criteria, but also came with the trust factor of well-known, production-proven customer references.
"We had very limited time available for adapting and deploying the First Hop solution into our network and existing messaging infrastructure. We were impressed with the speed and professionalism with which the First Hop staff implemented the project, on specification and on time".
SFR is the latest mobile operator to join First Hop’s impressive list of references for First Hop Wireless Broker. The product is already licensed to over 30 mobile networks across the world. The positive development of First Hop has not gone unnoticed in the industry - a few weeks ago, the company won the Finnish Software Industry 2004 Award for International Breakthrough.
"We are truly delighted that SFR has chosen First Hop technology for its fast-growing value added messaging services." states Timo T Laaksonen, CEO of First Hop. "This contract also marks our entry into the French market with First Hop Wireless Broker. We look forward to working in close collaboration with SFR, supporting their significant business growth with quality products and reliable services," adds Laaksonen.

Agree to deploy a variety of Push-to-Talk enabled Mobile Phones on the market

ModeLabs, a provider of vertical application devices and turn-key service solutions for operators, and Open-Plug, an innovative provider of embedded software frameworks for the mobile phone industry, have entered into an agreement to provide a range of wireless terminals supporting Push-to-Talk (P2T). The two companies decided to combine their intellectual property and technology to address the growing need for network operators to rapidly deploy turn-key value-added solutions.

Under the agreement, operator specific implementations of P2T based terminals will be developed and sold under operator’s brand name or ModeLabs own brand.  ModeLabs’ solutions address the operator’s need for new service deployment, from the business evaluation phase to market deployment including handset specification, engineering and supply channel management.
The offering is based on Open-Plug’s Linux-FlexibleWare which enables easy and rapid integration and deployment of customised terminals on the market. In addition, Open-Plug’s technology enables field-upgrades of any part of the terminal software.
“ModeLabs is addressing a real market need by helping operators to quickly deploy customised value-added services like P2T with a complete solution including terminals,” said Eric Baissus, CEO of Open-Plug. He added, “Network operators are demanding more responsiveness from the wireless terminal industry.  We are proud to be part of ModeLabs and the unique market proposition that it offers.  The FlexibleWare technology benefits in terms of market responsiveness and flexibility for customisation are maximised”.
“The mobile terminal industry has tremendous bottlenecks in the rapid supply of phones supporting new services like P2T.  ModeLabs objective is to overcome them and provide operators with a complete solution, including a phone offering tailored to their needs” said Henri-Nicolas Olivier, of ModeLabs, “Time to market, customisation flexibility, service deployment and maintenance/evolution through Over-The-Air updates are key differentiators for us, Open-Plug’s Linux FlexibleWareTM offering provides these features in an easy to deploy, safe and non-intrusive way”.

External Links


France Telecom announced today the launch of “MMS Exchange”, an interworking service that enables mobile operators to roll out international data services easily and quickly. With MMS Exchange, mobile carriers will allow subscribers to send multimedia messages without barriers, a key factor in building customer loyalty and enhancing ARPU. In addition to managing an efficient technical interface, France Telecom will also negotiate MMS interworking agreements for operators. France Telecom’s platform is now ready for trials with mobile operators.

“Our service lets mobile operators plug into networks quickly and help improve end-user experience of GPRS. Successful network interworking is one of the basic requirements for multimedia mobile to really take off,” said Patrice Girard-Donnat, VP Voice & Mobile Product Management at France Telecom Networks & Carriers. 

Designed by France Telecom R&D experts, the solution will manage both outbound and inbound MMS traffic. Thanks to a simple and efficient mechanism, customers will be able to exchange their interworking MMS traffic with their partners of choice, including operators that are not France Telecom MMS Exchange customers. This brings flexibility to the deployment of operators’ MMS interworking agreements. The MMS Exchange service is based on France Telecom’s SS7 and GRX services, recognized as market leaders in terms of capilarity and coverage.

External Links

France Telecom Wholesale Solutions

Mobilaris and Ericsson deliver their Location Based Solution Services (LBS) solution to ZAO Sonic Duo (MegaFon-Moscow), operating in the Moscow area for Russian nationwide mobile network MegaFon.

Mobilaris, the Swedish mobile Internet positioning specialists, today announced that it has, in partnership with Ericsson, the leading telecom solutions providersupplier, been selected by MegaFon-Moscow, Russia, to deliver a mobile Internet serviceservice layer platform for deployment of location-based mobile services.
Ericsson and Mobilaris won this contract as a result of the tender on LBS solution. In accordance with the agreement signed by three parties, Ericsson delivers to MegaFon-Moscow its LBS solution based on a combination of hardware and software, and Mobilaris supplies its middleware platform for the integration of applications into the operator’s network.
Location-based services are forecasted by many analysts to be one of the most important sources of revenue for the operators. Location information is one of the key enablers for different new services in 3G networks.
MegaFon-Moscow, as one of the leading LBS operators in the world, has a history of launching many commercially successful applications combined with innovative marketing campaigns. As part of MegaFon-Moscow’s LBS evolution, the market leading LBS Middleware Pacific Ocean™ from Mobilaris is being installed.
Location-based services are forecasted by many analysts to be one of the most important sources of revenue for the operators. Location information is one of the most important enablers for different new services in 3G networks.
”Mobilaris and Ericsson have proven to deliverdelivered LBS to the other markets  with great success and MegaFon-Moscow is convinced that these companies will bring valuable experience and support to the roll-out of LBS in the Russian market today and tomorrow” - says Leonid Denisov General Director at MegaFon-Moscow. 
Mobilaris' core business is to enable operators to create, launch, manage and market mobile services in a faster, safer and more cost efficient way than ever before, by providing a secure investment in the Pacific Ocean™* Service Management Platform. The platform bridges end-user services (Voice Controlled, SMS, MMS, WAP, and Web) and Ericsson’s LBS solution, integrated into the operator’s network. 
MegaFon-Moscow will, as part of the delivery, receive a complete toolkit for developing new location-based services with an innovative "plug and play" structure, allowing mobile services to be launched in weeks rather than months. MegaFon-Moscow is now able to allow third party service providers to offer its customers location-based-services in a secure way.
"Operators investing in Pacific Ocean™* gain the advantage of significantly lower internal costs for development and resource allocation," said Björn Westerholm, Mobilaris' CEO. "The agreement with MegaFon-Moscow is further evidence that Mobilaris is a world leader in LBS” he added.
“We are proud of this first LBS solution supply to Russia,”- said Eddie Ahman, President of  Ericsson Russia. – I believe that Ericsson’s innovative solutions will support our partner – MegaFon-Moscow – to successfully implement many more useful services.”

External Links


Small, flexible in-fill solution for 3G

NEC UK’s 3G Systems division is extending its leadership in the provision of 3G infrastructure with the launch of a ‘Micro Node B’ basestation. Based on NEC’s proven 3G infrastructure technology, the NB-341 will offer a flexible and cost effective in-fill solution to deliver enhanced coverage and capacity for 3G network operators worldwide.

NEC has already claimed its position as the world’s leading expert in the provision and optimisation of 3G network infrastructure and terminals. In the UK, NEC has led the supply of 3G radio infrastructure required by 3, helping to enable the operator to reach over 70% population coverage for its video mobile services in one of the fastest network rollouts in European telecoms history.
The 3GPP-compliant NB-341 has been developed by NEC’s world-class R&D teams in Japan. It is small and lightweight yet robust, and can be located on roof-tops, in buildings, railway tunnels or even underground systems to deliver additional coverage and capacity precisely where it is needed.
Small and flexible enough to be wall or pole-mounted, the product can be quickly and easily installed in almost any environment. It is equipped with low-noise convection cooling and has exceptionally low maintenance needs, meaning that it can operate in areas that require silence or where maintenance tasks are difficult to perform.
“Once the first-phase of network roll-out is complete, operators turn their attention to fine-tuning and optimisation,” explains Jeremy Sheehan, Head of Commercial & Sales, 3G Mobile Systems, NEC UK. “The ability to deploy new sites quickly and cost-effectively will be crucial in extending the reach and capacity of 3G. The NB-341 has been designed to meet this need.”
The NB-341 will be sold as part of the portfolio of products marketed by the NEC and Siemens Information and Communication Mobile (Siemens mobile) partnership. NEC and Siemens have developed an unrivalled track record in implementing 3G network solutions worldwide, including the delivery of Europe’s first commercial 3G network for 3 in the UK and Italy.

External Links


The number of chargeable person-to-person text messages sent last month has once again increased on previous figures, with messages sent on New Year’s Day topping 111 million. It is also the first time that Virgin Mobile figures have been included in the MDA’s monthly figures. The total for January is 2.2 billion, an increase of 0.6 billion on January 2003. The average daily total of messages sent in January is 71 million, that’s compared to 53 million in January 2003. In the past the figures consisted of messages sent from four UK GSM networks Orange, O2, T-Mobile and Vodafone, but this month’s total includes text messages sent using the Virgin Mobile service.

Steven Day, corporate affairs director of Virgin Mobile commented:  "We are very pleased to now be included in the MDA’s texting figures, as it demonstrates Virgin Mobile’s growing role as a major player in the field of mobile telecommunications. We are looking forward to a long association with MDA and a continual increase in the popularity of messaging services."

The figures for January appear to confirm the MDA’s forecast of continued growth of text messaging in 2004. It predicts messages sent will reach 23 billion for 2004, equating to 63 million messages per day. That’s compared to an average of 55 million for 2003.  The MDA will continue to monitor the situation with a monthly statistics review  - every month the MDA will post the numbers on its website www.text.it

In releasing today’s figures Mike Short, Chairman of the MDA commented:  "We are delighted to have Virgin Mobile on-board. We can now provide a more comprehensive picture of the growth of text messaging. The latest round of figures confirm what we’ve already forecast, that text messaging usage will continue to grow in 2004 with operators and service providers offering customers greater choice in mobility, ease of use, colour screens, higher speed devices and of course more functionality, coupled with an ever increasing range of services.  With significant choice and competition in messaging services the use of text is also evolving into picture messaging, WAP and instant messaging as people explore the full range of mobile messaging services available to them." 

New takes you inside the smartphone ecosystem

The Series 60 community, headed by Nokia, has opened a new website offering a quick way of finding out what is happening with the Series 60 Platform. As the world's leading smartphone platform, the Series 60 Platform has much to offer operators, enterprises and application developers.

Launched and created by Nokia and the Series 60 licensees, Panasonic, Sendo, Samsung and Siemens, the site serves as the main portal for a wide variety of Series 60 Platform information for all key stakeholders. The website includes six main sections: Terminal Manufacturers, Operators, Enterprises, Product Creation Community, Developers and Devices.

The site is an important new channel for Series 60 licensee content, such as product information, news and documents. It will give visibility on the achievements of Series 60 community member, which consists of licensees, competence centers, contractors and semiconductor vendors.

Developers who are creating applications for Series 60 can find a set of business and technical overviews. In addition, the site has links to the Series 60 licensees' developer sites for relevant tools and software developer kits (SDKs).

Series 60 is currently the leading smart phone platform in the world. It is licensed by some of the foremost mobile phone manufacturers including Panasonic, Nokia, Samsung, Sendo and Siemens. The success of the platform among the licensees ensures a large Series 60 device base and a diverse product portfolio. The licensees, together with operators and developers, drive innovation into the platform exploiting their vast experience and expertise in the mobile communication industry. This relentless innovation assures the solid competitiveness of the Series 60 Platform.

External Links

Series 60

Nokia has been confirmed as the sole supplier of T-Mobile's 3G WCDMAradio access network in the Netherlands. The deal is part of an international frame agreement under which T-Mobile International, one of the leading mobile communication operators worldwide, has chosen Nokia as a major infrastructure supplier for its 3G WCDMA networks in Europe.

Deliveries have already begun and the network is expected to be operational during second half 2004, potentially serving more thantwo million subscribers with advanced mobile multimedia services.

Under the agreement Nokia is supplying 3G radio-access equipment, andNokia NetActä network and service management system as well as anextensive range of services including Installation, Commissioning,Integration, Project Management and Care Services.

"We are happy to extend our long and successful business relationship with T-Mobile Netherlands from 2G to also include 3G products and services and to support T-Mobile Netherlands in further growing their market share in the competitive Netherlands mobile market," says Robin Lindahl, Vice President and General Manager, Nokia T-Mobile
Customer Business Team.

"This year will see widespread commercial 3G launches. WCDMA 3G brings real efficiency in delivering capacity hungry multimedia  services at the lowest cost and we believe it will be the main radio access platform when operators invest in their multimedia networks,"
he adds.

External Links


TeliaSonera has signed a roaming agreement for wireless fidelity broadband (WiFi) with Orange - the largest WiFi provider in France. The company offers WiFi at over 1,000 locations, called hotspots, in France. This is another step on TeliaSonera's path as the leader within WiFi roaming with the largest number of roaming agreements in Europe

The agreement with Orange in France means that TeliaSonera´s HomeRun customers in Finland and Sweden now have access to mobile broadband connections at over 3 000 locations in Europe in addition to the 450 Swedish and 250 Finnish hotspots. The roaming cooperation complies with the GSM Association's WLAN Roaming Guidelines, IR.61.

TeliaSonera Sweden and Finland already have  roaming agreements for WiFi with several leading hotspot operators. Today, TeliaSonera´s HomeRun customers has access to 3 500 hot spots including roaming agreements in 16 countries. The company continues to unify the roaming agreements of the Profit Centres with the aim of providing equal roaming opportunities for all HomeRun customers. The two-way roaming agreements mean that also the other operators' customers can use HomeRun hotspots in Sweden and Finland to connect to their own operator's network.

With HomeRun, business travelers and other mobile users can connect to the Internet or their own company's intranet when they are on the move. HomeRun is available at airports, hotels, conference and sports facilities, restaurants, cafes and offices.

External Links

Orange France

Vodafone has announced that it has signed a partner network agreement with CYTA in Cyprus.  CYTA, whose mobile division is branded Cytamobile, becomes the thirteenth Vodafone Partner Network and the latest member of Vodafone’s global mobile community.

Under the agreement, Cytamobile will completely re-brand to Cytamobile-Vodafone, and will market Vodafone’s international mobile services within Cyprus, using the existing Vodafone service names, enabling Vodafone to further expand its global services footprint and to leverage the Vodafone brand.  The companies will also co-operate in developing services to international and domestic customers.

Cytamobile-Vodafone customers will be able to enjoy the benefits of Vodafone’s international services across the Vodafone global footprint, while Vodafone and its partners’ customers will have seamless access to Vodafone’s international mobile services while travelling in Cyprus. 

Peter Bamford, Chief Marketing Officer, Vodafone, said, "Vodafone’s Partner Network strategy is going from strength to strength, bringing benefits to both the local operators and Vodafone. The relationship between Vodafone and Cytamobile will make life easier, and offer better value, for our customers in the region." 

Nicos Timotheou, General Manager, CYTA said, "With this agreement, Cytamobile, which is the local operator, becomes a member of the largest mobile communications network. This is very important for a local company of a small country. The agreement with Vodafone will allow us to enrich the product offering to our customers and further support our vision to become the best competitive enterprise in Cyprus."

Following today’s announcement, Vodafone’s portfolio of global services, supported by its global brand, will be available in a total of 13 Partner Network countries.

External Links


Video messaging between video and non-video-supported handsets contributes to superior user experience; Service Creation Environment (SCE) greatly improves operator experience

Comverse, a unit of Comverse Technology, Inc, and the world’s leading supplier of software and systems enabling network-based multimedia enhanced communication services, today announced the availability of Comverse Multimedia Messaging Center (MMSC) Version 2.7, featuring an enhanced user experience and improved operator functionality.

Superior User Experience: Comverse MMSC 2.7 delivers streaming video with advanced content adaptation and conversion to legacy formats, allowing some recipients without video-enabled handsets to view video messages. A recipient with a non-video handset will be able to view MMS video clips presented via animated GIF with synchronized audio. The content adaptation capabilities of Comverse MMS 2.7 ensure that end users get the best presentation their handsets can yield for any given content.

Enhanced Operator Experience: Comverse MMSC 2.7 introduces the Service Creation Environment (SCE), a set of tools that deploys, configures and expands MMS service in a "flexible, fast and friendly" manner, leveraging the benefits of the eXtensible Messaging Framework (XMF) based architecture. Operator benefits include faster time-to-market when deploying new MMS services, without the need to involve their vendor in code-rewrite projects.

"Comverse MMSC 2.7 improves the MMS experience for everyone: users and operators," said Amit Mattatia, VP and General Manger of the MMS Division at Comverse. "SCE makes it easier, quicker and less costly for the operator to deploy and expand enhanced MMS services. Operators can now alter and re-configure the MMSC to incorporate new services within hours, using a friendly graphical user interface (GUI). Users benefit from compelling new services, as well as from the confidence that video messages will get through even to friends and family without video-capable handsets, which should contribute to increased MMS acceptance and usage."

Company positioned for major 2004 activities

AM-BEO LTD., a leading provider of advanced roaming, rating, charging and revenue settlement products, has announced several key organizational and corporate changes.

Following successful implementations of its Rate-Rec products across Europe and in the United States, AM-BEO has aligned its product offerings to best serve the growing demand for data, content and advanced telecommunications services. In support of this demand, AM-BEO will be continuing to expand its product and solution offerings and delivery footprint globally during 2004 from its headquarters in Galway, Ireland.
To facilitate this strategy, AM-BEO has announced that Michael Murphy, currently executive vice president, has been appointed president and CEO of the company. In his new role he will oversee operations for AM-BEO worldwide. Murphy has extensive industry and senior management experience within telecommunications service providers along with product companies and systems integrators. Prior to joining AM-BEO, Murphy was a partner at Andersen Business Consulting, and through acquisition, joined Bearing Point as a managing director in their telecommunications practice. Previously, he was vice president and senior manager at AMS and held several senior positions with US WEST (Qwest).
AM-BEO additionally announced several key executive promotions. Eoin Leahy, currently the company's CTO, will expand his current responsibilities to oversee all product and solution development. He will focus on enhancements to the existing products and the development of new, value-added services, which will be announced later this quarter. Stephen Murphy, vice president of Professional Services, will take on the added responsibility for all software development and engineering, training and customer service. Sinead Donnellan, vice president of Finance, will take on the additional responsibilities for Human Resources, Legal, and Corporate Administration globally.
John Brady, the previous president and CEO of AM-BEO, led the company from its inception through 2003, including numerous awards, customer wins and rounds of funding. Brady will be stepping down to pursue other opportunities while remaining a shareholder in the company.

Alcatel has announced that the UMTS radio and core network it has been deploying for tele.ring, an innovative GSM/GPRS and UMTS mobile operator in Austria, has allowed tele.ring to launch its UMTS commercial service in nine cities of Austria including Vienna, Innsbruck and Graz, corresponding to approximately 30% of the Austrian population.

Based on Alcatel's multi-standard Evolium infrastructure, tele.ring's UMTS deployment started in May 2003. Following this deployment, tele.ring's UMTS commercial service started at the end of 2003.

Alcatel had already supplied tele.ring with its Evolium solution for its GSM/GPRS commercial service. Leveraging the natively multi-standard Evolium design, introducing the UMTS capability in tele.ring's network was carried out as an upgrade of selected coverage areas of the operator's existing GSM/GPRS  network, along with the necessary network densification required by the 3G-specific traffic patterns and usage models.

Building upon Evolium's multi-standard capabilities, tele.ring is therefore one of the first truly multi-standard commercial networks in the world, offering GSM, GPRS and UMTS on the same infrastructure technology.
Furthermore, Alcatel has already shipped standard base station equipment with UMTS "plug & play" capabilities to over 50 networks worldwide, making UMTS possible in a cost-effective manner.

To ensure that its subscribers can enjoy seamless service access, whatever the  access  technology used, tele.ring  proposes a packaged subscription scheme for GSM/GPRS and  UMTS access. Thanks to Alcatel's user-centric solution,  tele.ring's coverage also allows for smooth handovers between GSM/GPRS cells and UMTS cells.

"Since the start of its activity, tele.ring has an innovative approach to answering the needs of the Austrian population. Alcatel's technology precisely meets our strategy to provide our customers with high quality services in a cost effective  manner," declared Michael Krammer, chief executive officer of tele.ring. "Thanks to Alcatel's dedicated expert team and multi-standard solutions, we are ready to start new and useful services at best prices to comply with future demand of our customers."

Jean-Charles Doineau, research director at Ovum, added: "This news comes as a good illustration of Alcatel's strategy. They have been the first vendor to market truly multi-standard infrastructure, which is an approach towards which the industry may converge."

"Austria is a highly sophisticated and competitive market, a real test-bed for the introduction of successful multimedia services in Europe." stated Marc Rouanne, chief operating officer of Alcatel's mobile activities. "As the single supplier of all tele.ring's GSM/GPRS/UMTS network, Alcatel is fully committed to the success of tele.ring's unique technology- agnostic approach. tele.ring is definitely a perfect illustration of Alcatel's capability to provide mobile operators with end-to-end and multi-standard network solutions allowing innovative multimedia services."

Alcatel's UMTS solutions are a reality today, with more than 20 UMTS pilot networks delivered in Europe and in Asia. Evolium SAS, the Alcatel-Fujitsu joint venture, delivers a mobile infrastructure that is 3GPP-compliant, field-proven, future-safe and capitalizes on Japanese 3G technical and field experience.