NMS Communications announced today that SFR, the number one private mobile operator in France, with voice quality systems from NMS installed in its network, has outperformed its key competitors in an annual quality of service survey of mobile telephone operators conducted in France by that country's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ART).

The survey, which evaluates the quality of service under a variety of common conditions of mobile telephone usage, found SFR to provide the best quality mobile communications to users in France's 12 largest metropolitan areas while aboard
high-speed commuter trains and while commuting by car along France's major motorways.

The 7th annual ART survey has been conducted in France since 1997, and is designed to evaluate the quality of service of mobile telephone networks in metropolitan France as experienced by customers of the three incumbent operators: Orange SA, SFR, and Bouygues Telecom. Calls were tested in the most common user conditions, including: on foot (indoors and outdoors), in cars as passengers (in cities and on
motorways), and in trains (both suburban trains and high-speed "Train a Grande Vitesse", or TGVs). SFR led the competition by a wide margin in the survey results for the two places in which voice quality is of most importance to a mobile user--in a car and on a train.
Not coincidentally, SFR has installed in its network voice quality systems from NMS, the leading provider of technologies and solutions for enhanced services and efficient networks. NMS voice quality systems feature Studio Sound(R), the industry's most advanced and comprehensive voice enhancement technology. Studio Sound delivers noise compensation, noise reduction, and automatic gain control for consistently clear calls, even in the noisiest environments, like those evaluated in the ART survey.

A study released in August 2004 by J. D. Power and Associates
cites voice quality as significantly impacting customer usage of and satisfaction with wireless services. According to J.D. Power's 2004 Wireless Call Quality Performance Study(SM) of typical wireless user calling patterns, such as those measured in the ART survey, three of the top four problem areas impacting overall call quality experience the most are static and interference, voice distortion, and echoes--all of which can be addressed using Studio Sound voice quality technology. By investing in the voice quality improvements offered by
Studio Sound, SFR has done just this, and the ART survey proves the positive impact of Studio Sound on SFR's network and its subscribers is clear and measurable.

"The results of this year's ART audit do not surprise us one bit," said Clarke Ryan, VP and General Manager, NMS. "The entire value proposition behind our Studio Sound technology is to improve communications in noisy environments where wireless telephones are most commonly used. Any operator can experience the same quality results as SFR brings its customers by employing our voice quality systems powered by Studio Sound. The results really do speak for themselves."

"Overall call quality performance varies based on where a call is placed or received. In order to provide the best possible call quality experience, carriers need to manage their network to reflect their specific customers' usage patterns," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power, in a press release. "With an increasingly competitive environment and changing industry landscape, carriers that offer superior network quality will increase their likelihood of attracting new customers and will retain more of their existing base."

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NMS Communications voice quality

PaymentsPlus chosen by Orange as the engine for new Simpay-compatible micro-payment service

Valista, the leading provider of payments software enabling the purchase of premium services, today announced that Orange, working with France Telecom's w-HA, has chosen its payments technology to provide connectivity to Simpay. w-HA will operate the service for Orange while Valista will provide the technology based on PaymentsPlus, its installed platform. Simpay, founded by Orange, Telefónica Móviles, T-Mobile and Vodafone, will focus on enabling interoperable micro-payments over mobile and fixed Internet channels.  The founding members of Simpay represent more than 280 million wireless subscribers worldwide.

Thanks to this connection with Simpay, Orange users will be able to purchase digital goods and services over mobile and fixed Internet from all content providers participating in the Simpay scheme, including those acquired by other Simpay members.  Simpay forecasts that, thanks to the openness of its platform, it will enable over EUR1billion of extra transactions for the mobile phone industry by 2007.

Orange already successfully uses the services of w-HA - powered by Valista PaymentsPlus technology- for the monetization of the content provided through the Orange portal and other third party services like Orange Gallery in France. It is rolling it out throughout the Orange European markets. The addition of Simpay connectivity will further boost the diversity of content and will allow seamless cross-operator and cross-border transactions.

"The secret to successful m-Commerce lies in enabling our customers to access an immense variety of content or services relevant to their individual needs," comments Richard Brennan, Executive Vice-President, Global Brand, Marketing and Products at Orange. "Our mission is to deliver that freedom in the field of mobile payments, and our arrangement with Valista and w-HA to provide the connection to the Simpay scheme is fundamental to achieving this mission. After a thorough selection process, we are satisfied that Valista will assist in making simple, easy micro-payment purchases a reality, to our specifications and timelines."

"This is a significant breakthrough for the mobile payments market," said Raomal Perera, CEO of Valista. "Valista's global experience and expertise in payments technology will enable us to support Simpay's mission, helping to make m-payments a reality for millions of users around the world. We are delighted to be working with an innovative operator like Orange and we look forward to working with the expanding Simpay community long into the future."

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The mobile communication group at Siemens together with Openwave Systems has supplied a 3G/UMTS Video Mailbox System and a Video Termination Gateway for the largest mobile operator in Portugal, TMN.

Siemens mobile has already installed radio and core infrastructure components of the 3G/UMTS network and supplied 3G/UMTS terminals as well as advanced charging and multimedia solutions for TMN and now allows this mobile operator to offer new advanced video services to its 3G/UMTS subscribers.

Starting mid of August 2004 customers of TMN will enjoy next generation video answering service capabilities just as they are used to with traditional voicemail services. The subscribers will be able to record personalized video and audio greetings and retrieve recorded video messages from missed callers with their video enabled handsets such as the Siemens U15.

With the help of a 3G/UMTS Video Termination Gateway installed within TMN’s mobile network users are now also able to retrieve video messages over a web interface on a standard multimedia PC. Furthermore, the 3G/UMTS Video Termination Gateway allows real-time video communication between 3G/UMTS mobile terminals and fixed network terminals such as web cam-equipped PCs, 3G-324M video terminals, and PSTN video phones.

Openwave, a Siemens long-standing partner, provides the voice and video messaging solution that is the basis for the Video Mail System. This solution is an all-IP content based management and Mx infrastructure designed around the Voice XML standard.

Fernando Rodrigues, general manager of corporate business at TMN, said: "We are very pleased to further strengthen our relationship with Openwave and Siemens with this groundbreaking deployment. TMN has a history of leading the mobile market in Portugal with attractive, advanced services. This deployment will enable us not only to launch a new and appealing 3G service but also to benefit from the reliability and efficiency of a single platform for multiple messaging services."

"With approximately five million users TMN holds a very strong GSM market position in Portugal," said Christoph Caselitz, President of Networks within Siemens mobile. "With the installation of an innovative 3G/UMTS video service we are confident to support TMN also to extend their leading position in the 3G/UMTS market field." Siemens is the number one worldwide in terms of network launches. One out of every two 3G/UMTS networks in commercial service throughout the world today comes from Siemens and its technology partner NEC.

Said Rich Wong, general manager of messaging, Openwave: "We’re delighted to be working with Siemens and TMN to introduce a crucial 3G application to a key European market for the first time, and to deliver one of the industry’s first truly integrated messaging deployments. With years of experience at the forefront of IP messaging, Openwave was the first company to build a voice and video messaging platform based on the flexible Voice XML standard. We remain committed to making products that help our customers deliver innovative and easy to use services as simply and cost-effectively as possible."

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Microsoft "serrenders" Sendo shares

Microsoft and Sendo today jointly announced that a settlement has been reached in the litigation between the two companies, both in respect of the Claim and the Counterclaim. Although the monetary component and terms of the settlement are confidential, Microsoft will surrender its shareholding in Sendo. In reaching this settlement, all parties deny any and all liability. The terms of the settlement are otherwise confidential.

Robert Pocknell, Sendo's Group General Counsel, stated that the settlement reinforces Sendo's commitment to the protection of its intellectual property.  "With this action behind us, the company can now focus on its future development and growth."

Tom Burt, Microsoft's corporate vice president and deputy general counsel said that, having reached this agreement, "We're pleased with this resolution and look forward to continuing to collaborate with phone manufacturers to bring innovative products to mobile customers."

This settlement resolves all claims in this litigation, both in the United States and in the United Kingdom.

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Trimble introduced today a new ultra-low power miniature Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver—the Lassen iQ module for mobile devices. With major advancements in performance, sensitivity and power consumption, the Lassen iQ module enables system integrators to easily add GPS capability to mobile devices at a very economical price.

The Lassen iQ module will be showcased next week at the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston.

The 12-channel Lassen iQ module is fully compatible with Trimble’s popular Lassen SQ module. In addition, the Lassen iQ module features two GPS signal sensitivity modes: Standard and Enhanced. With Enhanced mode enabled, the module automatically switches to higher sensitivity when satellite signals are weak. The module also supports Trimble Standard Interface Protocol (TSIP) download of critical startup information for fast acquisition. This aided GPS (A-GPS) startup provides hot start performance for each power-up, making it ideal for today’s mobile applications.

Adding new functionality and finding ways to reduce power and size for mobile, battery-powered applications are key in today’s wireless world. Trimble’s Lassen iQ is a power saving module that even in continuous operation requires less than 90 milliwatts at 3.3 VDC. The Lassen iQ’s ultra-low power gives developers flexibility to achieve significant reductions in power consumption when adding GPS capability. And with the Lassen iQ module’s postage-stamp size (~26mm x 26mm x 6mm), integrators can easily fit GPS functionality into a variety of mobile products.

The Lassen iQ is a high-performance GPS module. It incorporates Trimble’s patented FirstGPS“ technology along with a powerful microprocessor in a small form factor for a complete position velocity and time (PVT) solution. The highly integrated module is a small board containing a GPS hardware core based on Trimble’s Colossus“ RF ASIC and IO-S digital signal processor (DSP) design and a 32-bit RISC CPU. The module offers onboard data storage in flash memory for complete processing capability.

The Lassen iQ module is compatible with active 3.3 VDC antennas; Trimble provides three models depending on the application—an ultra-compact embedded antenna, a compact unpackaged antenna or a compact packaged antenna with a magnetic mount for moveable installation.

Development kits include: the Lassen iQ GPS module mounted on an interface board in a durable metal enclosure, a magnetic mount antenna, an ultra-compact embedded antenna, an AC/DC power adapter, a serial interface cable, a cigarette lighter adapter, a reference manual, and GPS toolkit software for communication with the GPS module.

The Lassen iQ GPS module and developers kit is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2004 through Trimble’s worldwide sales organization.

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Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Siemens and Sony Ericsson today announced their co-operation in the Mobile Broadcast Services work, started under Open Mobile Alliance, OMA. The charter of the work is to specify the enablers needed to bring broadcast services to mobile devices and to open up the market for new exciting mobile services and terminals.

A likely spearhead service of mobile broadcast is mobile phone TV, a way to receive TV-like content to your mobile phone delivered over a mobile broadcast network. In general, mobile broadcast will enable cost efficient mobile mass delivery of any multimedia content. This is believed strongly to increase the consumption of media content using mobile devices. This is expected to drive the demand of new type of broadcast enabled smart phones with colour displays, local memory and applications to consume TV-like and other multimedia content.
"Content is King", says Steffen Ring of Motorola PCS, Chief Technology Office, "but Mobility is Queen. And we have come together to make this Royal Marriage happen."
"NEC developed the world's first working prototype of a mobile phone capable of receiving terrestrial digital TV broadcasting last year," says Masaaki Ohara, Senior Manager of NEC Mobile Terminals Division. "Driving Mobile Broadcast is essential for enabling end-users to enjoy various attractive services through our mobile phones. NEC hopes to contribute to driving these activities through participating in this charter."
"Mobile TV is one of the most fascinating new services with high consumer demand. A mobile device capable of both receiving broadcasted content and of communicating over the cellular network opens up the possibilities for innovative and exciting new services. The services can easily be accessed by consumers with these new types of devices. Nokia is happy to be one of the drivers of this development, and will introduce a mobile broadcast solution based on IPDC over DVB-H to the market," said Seppo Sutela, General Manager, IPDC, Nokia.
Jens-Thomas Pietralla, Chief Marketing Officer and Member of the Board of Mobile Phones, Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group explained, "The mobile phone industry is changing rapidly. A mobile phone has already become a fashion accessory, a miniature office, a gaming machine, and an eclectic entertainment device. And with growing network bandwidth converging with cheaper, more advanced handset technology, consumers have every right to start getting excited about the arrival of richer mobile broadcast content. That's why Siemens mobile is thrilled to get involved with this charter - we will be a major part of delivering the devices that will play awesome content on the move."
Mats Lindoff, CTO of Sony Ericsson, says: "The ability to watch TV like content in a mobile phone is a natural next step of the advanced mobile multimedia services which are increasignly popular with consumers, and Sony Ericsson will be part of driving this evolution".
Mobile phone TV services are being introduced on the Japanese market while in Europe the market for commercial mobile broadcast services is envisaged to start to open up towards the end of 2005.

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ntl’s Broadcast division and O2 have announced the UK’s first usability trial of multi-channel television to mobile phones, beginning in spring 2005.  From nine broadcast transmitters covering 120 square km around Oxford, the trial will see 500 O2 customers provided with a multimedia mobile phone with a built-in digital TV receiver.  This will allow the participants to receive a line-up of 16 TV channels comprising music, sports, news, comedy, soaps, documentary, drama, cartoons and specialist channels including interactive gaming and shopping.  The trial will test consumer demand for mobile TV services, and the perceived value of specific types of content and likely viewing habits that could shape an eventual service proposition.

To carry out the trial in the UK, ntl has joined forces with O2 and leading industry players Sony Semiconductor & Electronic Solutions (SES) and Nokia, both of whom were instrumental in the development of the DVB-H standard and will make available their prototype DVB-H receiver devices.  Nokia will also supply the complete service system as well as the necessary eCommerce modules and interfaces, enabling full-scale testing of the technical and commercial concept.

The Oxford trial is the first of its kind in the UK and unique in being focused on commercial aspects of mobile TV.  ntl will develop the TV channel portfolio, making use of its extensive broadcast customer base, and will design, build and operate the transmission network.  O2 will contribute its experience in content delivery and mobile video, enabling O2 customers in the UK to be the first to preview future mobile services of this type.

The trial will use the DVB-H broadcast transmission standard for handheld devices – specially designed for low power consumption and robust reception – which is an efficient ‘one-to-many’ method of delivering content in a way that complements the functionality of third-generation networks currently being rolled-out by mobile operators.

Terry Howard, head of media business development in ntl’s Broadcast division, said: “This is a commercial trial to test the business case for a mobile TV service in the UK.  We’ve performed extensive market research about consumer demand and viewing habits and it looks very positive but these results need to be validated in a trial environment in conjunction with key players in the industry.  With our significant broadcasting assets, close relationships with content companies and track record of technology innovation, we’re ideally positioned to pull this together and we expect the results of the trial to help us shape any future national service deployment.  Mobile TV provides a new channel to market for existing media players seeking increased viewership and additional potential revenues.  For mobile operators it provides a value-enhanced service and increased ARPU.”

Dave Williams, O2’s Chief Technology Officer, adds: “This trial will allow O2 to evaluate
DVB-H as a potential low-cost delivery mechanism for mobile TV services to complement our planned 3G based mobile music and video services.  As a leading mobile operator in this field, O2 is able to add significant value to the mobile TV proposition, enhancing DVB-H based services whilst also stimulating usage of 3G data services.”

Mark Hopgood, Head of DTV Marketing, Sony SES, adds: “We are delighted to be part of this trial which we view as an important part of our extensive testing programme.”

Seppo Sutela, General Manager IPDC Organization in Nokia, sees the Oxford trial as a logical continuation of European DVB-H development:  “We find the Oxford trial extremely interesting and the UK a market of great potential for our global DVB-H activity.”

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Solution enables subscribers to send and update mobile settings over-the-air

Nokia is delivering its device management solution to O2 in Germany. Based on the Nokia Terminal Management Server (NTMS), the solution will enable O2 customers to send and update the settings on their mobile devices over-the-air.

With the Nokia solution O2 Germany will be able to send and update configuration settings for MMS, WAP Portal, E-Mail, for example, to all its' customers very comfortably. This can be done selectively to customer groups, and also customer specific settings such as corporate customers. This will ensure that all O2 customers have correct settings in their phones, so that they can use all data services with ease.
"We are very pleased to choose Nokia as our partner in device management. Nokia showed great commitment and responsiveness to O2 requirements. We believe that with Nokia's flexible and future-proof end-to-end solution we can further improve our customer satisfaction through easy and automated device configuring, which will at the same time accelerate new services launch and take-up. This has an immediate positive effect both to our operating costs and revenue income," says Charly Rohrsen, Chief Technical Officer, O2 Germany.
"We are pleased to extend our current collaboration with O2 Germany, by providing a device management solution which is fully customised to O2's operational needs. Device management has become a business critical function for end user service experience. As this contract shows, Nokia is well positioned to address operators' needs in this area not only via providing leading-edge technology, but by its experienced service personnel," says Jyrki Holmala, Vice President and General Manager, Operations Solutions, Networks, Nokia.
Nokia is providing the complete solution which consists of the Nokia Terminal Management Server, solution integration services including systems integration and customization, and care services for the customized solution.
NTMS enables automatic over-the-air provisioning of mobile phones using Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) standardized technologies. In addition to OMA Client Provisioning and OMA Device Management open interfaces, it supports the most common device management technologies enabling operators to manage devices from different manufacturers using one device management solution. NTMS eliminates the need for end users to manage settings of new advanced services, thereby enabling rapid mobile services take-off. This means increased revenues and reduced customer care costs for operators.
As Nokia helps operators to get more from mobile networks and services, it can draw on its over 15-year track record of deploying and operating networks and its extensive practical experience of implementing mobile services for the operators. Nokia has contracted operating services for 21 operators globally, in addition to providing turnkey implementations for a total of 26 operators. The NetAct (TM) framework, the unique Nokia network and service management system, has been delivered to over 300 customers worldwide

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Having secured over a third of the UK’s wireless handheld market with the Xda II, O2 today announced its intention to introduce the Xda IIs. This new device will include new enhancements to the integrated PDA and mobile handset, whilst retaining the core functions of the original Xda II platform that have proved so popular with both consumer and business customers.  The Xda IIs will be available in the UK and Ireland on 1st November 2004 and Germany by the end of the year.

Aimed primarily at the professional user, the Windows Mobile based Xda lls offers a number of new features over the original XdaII. The biggest addition is a 39-key, slide-out QWERTY keyboard for added usability. This user-friendly addition enables customers to use the device more easily for applications such as email, contacts, calendar, texting and editing using well known Microsoft Office tools. The new device will also include BlackBerry Connect from early 2005.

The Xda IIs also boasts a 25% increase in battery life over the original Xda II, as well as enhanced WLAN capabilities and quad band connectivity, all of which will be of particular benefit to those customers frequently out of the office or those that travel regularly.

Laurence Alexander, Director of Products and Devices at O2 UK said, “The Xda series has been extremely successful and having gained top reviews across the industry, it is now recognised as a leader in its field.

By combining a high specification product, cutting-edge functionality, quality features, contemporary design and competitive pricing and packages, we have no doubt that this new device will continue to win new customers and ultimately market share. It demonstrates our commitment in leading in the mobile data space and offering the best customer experience through technological innovation.”

Early next year, O2 will also be launching the Xda IIi a Windows Mobile based device that runs on the latest Windows 2003 2nd edition software and is faster than the Xda II due to its advanced Intel PXA270 processor, which runs at 520MHz. The device also upgrades from a 0.3Mp to 1.3 Mp camera, which gives significantly higher quality pictures. This makes it a preferable option for those who regularly use the camera function and want a device with a slightly faster performance.

Launched in November 2003, more than 100,000 Xda ll devices have been sold by O2 in the UK, Germany, Ireland and throughout Asia Pacific.  Sales continue to show steady growth with the device gaining approximately 20% market share overall across the countries in which O2 operates in just six months since its launch.

The Xda II has proved a popular choice for both consumers and corporate customers alike. O2 recently announced that the Xda II achieved over a third of the wireless handheld market in the UK and this is set to grow with the continued uptake of mobile technology from companies such as Cantor Index, London Borough of Lewisham and the Sadie Frost fashion label Frost French.

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Inspired by the glamour and elegance of the lavish 1920s, Nokia introduces a new fashion collection of three mobile phones, launched today at the Totally Fashion event in Shanghai. Pushing the boundaries of traditional mobile phone design, the collection, which features the Nokia 7280, Nokia 7270 and Nokia 7260, blends old world art deco styling with an edgy, modern day twist. Core style influences such as flow and movement, colour, geometry, detailing and graphics were the inspiration and creative energy behind the collection.

Nokia 7280: Lean, Sublime Lines
The sleek and sexy Nokia 7280 offers a completely new mobile phone design, foregoing the traditional keypad for a discreet keyless dial. A fine lacquer-inspired high-gloss finish, complemented by leather and mirror accents, add sophistication and style making this device as much a work of art as an advanced piece of technology.
Perfect to whip out at cocktails, the Nokia 7280 is geared to attract attention and become the talking point at any high glamour soiree. Its VGA camera can snap the latest and greatest while the active slide means calls can be answered or ended with a flick of a wrist.
The handset's chic strap and carrying pouch keep this hot accessory close at all times. Using the Nokia Collector, you can transfer your favourite photos, ringtones, wallpapers, music and videos from the Nokia 7280 to and from your Mac. For a fashionable handsfree experience, style mavens can plug in the Nokia Wireless Image Headset, also introduced today. Truly, the Nokia 7280 is the fantasy phone for the fashion-conscious.
Nokia 7270: Detailed Deco
The boldly stylish Nokia 7270 draws its design inspiration from the Garbo-esque glamour of the 1920s. Encased in an etched stainless steel housing, this fold design accents your wardrobe with a matching textile wrap, carrying strap and pouch to reflect your personal style and mood.
Whether shopping in New York, Paris or Shanghai, a second opinion is merely clicks away thanks to the Nokia 7270's VGA camera. Converting clothes or shoe sizes is a snap with the clever Converter application. Tune out in style with the FM radio and fashion headset or tap away on games like Chic Pinball.
Nokia 7260: Flamboyant Fashion
Materials, graphics and colour palette set the Nokia 7260 apart.  Featuring chrome and steel accents, this Art-Deco-meets-Industrial-Design concept is certain to be a favourite of fashion-minded crowd. To stand out in a crowd, consumers can enhance the style of their Nokia 7260 with daring accessories, like stylish straps and carrying pouches.
Jetsetters can easily call home with the Nokia 7260's tri-band capabilities, or send celebrity sightings using the VGA camera. The Nokia 7260 allows users to step out in style every day.

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Company to Exit Handset Business and Scale Operations
to Achieve Breakeven during 2005

Wavecom SA today announced plans to further restructure the organization as it focuses on accelerating growth in its vertical markets business, which includes automotive, machine-to-machine (M2M), and consumer products such as wireless local loop phones, mobile computers and wireless PDAs.  This restructuring will include the exit from the handset market, as well as the termination of semiconductor development.  The company’s new structure, which is to be put in place immediately, will result in significant additional headcount reductions, primarily from the closure of the Personal Communication Devices (PCD) business unit and the semiconductor design group, as well as reductions of support functions in Asia and France.

Wavecom’s CEO, Ron Black, along with the Board of Directors and the senior management team, made the strategic decision to refocus the company’s business entirely on vertical markets both because of the company’s strong position in several of these markets and its inability to find a partner for its handset business in a timely manner.
Commenting on the announcement, Black said, “Over my first three weeks on the job, I have visited customers and partners around the world, all of which asked us to move quickly to focus the company and regain profitability.  We believe this restructuring, our significant position in several of the vertical markets, and long history of technology innovation in both GSM-based and CDMA-based standards, will enable us to achieve this goal.  In fact, we are targeting to achieve breakeven during in the second half of 2005 with a quarterly revenue run rate of €40 million and a gross margin of 33% to 35%.  Longer-term, we also believe the unique requirements of the various vertical markets offer exciting opportunities for new products and services that will fuel future profitable growth.” 
With more than eight years of experience in the vertical markets, Wavecom has a leadership position in the automotive and M2M sub-segments, and is a pioneer in both wireless PDAs and wireless local loop products.  Over the medium-term, the company  believes that the non-handset wireless market will more than double from 2004 to 2006, with global shipments around  40 million units by 2006.

From an organization standpoint, the company’s restructuring will focus on better serving customers  and driving revenue growth in three geographic regions:  the Americas, Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).  Leading the Americas region will be Pierre Piver, formerly head of the Vertical Applications Business Unit; the APAC region will be led by Didier Dutronc, formerly head of the Personal Communication Device Business Unit; and continuing to lead the EMEA sales team will be Franck Souguir  In connection with the reorganization, Wavecom’s Chief Financial Officer, Deborah Choate, has decided to resign in order to pursue a new business opportunity.  Ms. Choate, who joined the company as CFO in 1998, played a key role in bringing the company public in 1999 and during her six-year tenure has provided invaluable support to the company’s management team and the investor community.  She will be succeeded by Chantal Bourgeat, previously Director of Finance and Administration at Wavecom S.A.  Following the restructuring, the company expects its global workforce will not exceed 300, compared to 860 at December 31, 2003.  Headcount reductions are expected to be concluded by the end of 2004. The amount of charges to be incurred in connection with the headcount reduction is estimated to be a maximum of  €17 million, the bulk of which is expected to be expensed in the fourth quarter of 2004.

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OurPictures, the first consumer digital photo network designed for easy photo sharing, announced today at DEMOmobile 2004 a multi-year partnership with Cognima, the UK based effortless mobile services company, to create OurPictures Mobile, an all-new photo sharing solution targeting camera phone consumers.

OurPictures Mobile integrates the wireless interface from Cognima Snap(tm) and the photo sharing network from OurPictures to produce a seamless single click photo sharing experience from the mobile phone to the PC desktop and beyond.  Once a picture is snapped with a camera phone, a single click will transfer the image to friends and family, as well as the sender's PC desktop, without losing any of the photo quality. Members can also configure the service to automatically upload new images to OurPictures without any clicks at all.

"Cognima's photo upload system is the key to making OurPictures Mobile as easy to use as a point and shoot camera and is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Cognima Snap service," said John Paul, CEO of OurPictures. "Together, we tackled the problem of getting photos from camera phones to a PC -- and ultimately other devices -- and distilled it down to just a single click," he added.

"OurPictures delivers an elegant solution based on a common vision: the more automatic we make the process of sharing photos for the consumer, the more likely that this service will reach critical mass," said CEO of Cognima, Simon East. "We think our collaboration will have incredible implications for the role of photography in people's lives and the volume of pictures shared, since mobile phones are something you always have with you and OurPictures Mobile is so easy to use."

Camera phones are becoming ubiquitous, with some models available to U.S. consumers for as little as $35 with mobile plans. With one megapixel phones entering the US market - and two and three megapixel phones prevalent in Asia - high-quality camera phone images are now available. Within two years, photos from mobile handset cameras will become the mainstream source of new photos of vacations, friends and family. According to InfoTrends, worldwide camera phones sales will hit 150 million in 2004 resulting in an additional 29 billion digital images captured. By 2008 sales growth is expected to experience a compound annual growth rate of 55% and will reach 656 million units.

As the first industry-wide solution to enable automatic uploads of photos and video clips from a camera phone to a PC in just one click, OurPictures Mobile(tm) will be available commercially in October 2004 throughout North America and the UK on supported phones for $1.99 per month.

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Comptel Corporation, leading convergent mediation and provisioning software vendor, has today introduced its new Comptel EventLink mediation product release to further enhance operator’s usage information management, usability and revenue recovery

The new feature rich, multi-vendor mediation platform version is available for customers during third quarter 2004. Comptel EventLink 5 is part of Comptel’s Operations Support Systems (OSS) product family including solutions for pre- and post-paid usage charging as well as subscriber and service activation and real-time rating. With the regular introduction of major product releases Comptel’s objective is to strengthen it’s leading position by being always a step ahead of competition.

“Thanks to working with our many active customers, we have been able to reach a new level of sophistication in mediation systems. This release brings a wealth of architectural and functional improvements that help our customers to conduct their business more efficiently,” said Katri Sahlman, Senior Vice President, Products and Solutions, Comptel Corporation. “The changes and enhancements were introduced according to the customers needs from various mobile, fixed and cable operators worldwide. As examples needs are varying from the high-level overview of rejected usage records to the flexible method of distributing the solution to several new hosts.

Since the efficiency in all operations is extremely important for today’s telecom operators, smoother day-to-day operation became one of the main themes in Comptel EventLink 5”.

From the business perspective, the mediation software’s added value for the customers lies in the optimisation of day-to-day service usage collection, enrichment, delivery and charging costs.  Comptel EventLink 5 provides the required flexibility for supporting the operators business in a changing environment.

For all customers, Comptel EventLink 5 offers a feature rich, multi-vendor mediation platform with swift installation. With over 200 off-the-shelf interfaces a fast integration to any vendor’s network or OSS/BSS is possible. The future proof mediation solution does not require unfounded upfront investments as it scales flexibly. Resource consumption is optimised for small and mid-frame as well as large systems. When an operator expands, Comptel EventLink 5 is adaptable to any new service or network. This provides remarkable savings in operational costs.

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Testing in The Hague to verify FLASH-OFDM for Mobile Broadband IP Services

Flarion Technologies, the architect of the FLASH-OFDM mobile broadband system, today announced that T-Mobile International, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, has deployed a trial of Flarion's system for mobile broadband services in The Hague, the Netherlands.

A network of RadioRouters has been installed and the first group of friendly users is already using the network. T-Mobile has been testing FLASH-OFDM as a mobile broadband data solution for Europe and the USA since 2003 and will now collect data on usage, and customer behaviour.

"T-Mobile is constantly investigating and screening new mobile broadband technologies," said Dr. Hans-Eckhard Krüger, Executive VP, Systems Engineering, T-Mobile International. "As a leader in existing wireless broadband technologies like 3G and WiFi, we are eager to learn more about future technologies."

Users will experience a mobile data service of around 1Mbps capable of bursting to 3.2Mbps in the downlink and 300-500kbps in the uplink, bursting to 900kbps. Since FLASH-OFDM is an IP based radio technology with sub 50ms latency, existing enterprise applications will be fully transparent.

"T-Mobile is a leading visionary for the industry and a strong partner for Flarion," said Ray Dolan, chairman and CEO of Flarion Technologies. "T-Mobile's diligent testing is helping to make Flarion's system more robust and user friendly, as commercialisation of mobile broadband becomes a global reality."

Flarion's technology is currently in market and technology trials with operators which include Nextel Communications (USA), Vodafone KK (Japan), Telstra (Australia), and the city of Washington D.C. (USA) for public safety and security communication.

With Flarion's IP friendly FLASH-OFDM technology, mobile operators can seamlessly connect enterprise customers to corporate LANs and consumers to the Internet with the speed and low packet latency that exceed stringent wired network requirements, with mobile broadband and cellular coverage. With FLASH-OFDM, users do not need to make any modifications to user settings, applications, protocols, content or devices to experience mobile broadband with cellular coverage.

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