iTouch is delighted to announce that it has today completed the acquisition of Jippii, the Finnish mobile services provider, announced on 21 July 2004, for an initial consideration of €12.0m in cash.

The acquisition of Jippii has given iTouch access into Russia, one of the fastest growing markets in Premium SMS services, worth $100m in 2003. The Jippii brand is one of the leaders in the region with 16 operator network relationships and access to a significant number of Russian mobile users.  Since the announcement, the Group has successfully launched the direct channel model in the region. Jippii also has a strong relationship with MTV in Russia and is one of the major sponsors, alongside Panasonic, of the MTV Awards ceremony which will take place on 16 October. Jippii will be facilitating the mobile voting services for the event.

In addition to the Russian opportunity, the Jippii transaction has taken iTouch connectivity to 92 network operators giving access to over 400m mobile users in 25 countries worldwide securing iTouch’s position as one of the market leaders in the distribution of mobile content.

Wayne Pitout, CEO of iTouch plc, commented: "Our immediate intention is to launch our direct channel model in key Jippii territories like Russia, Switzerland and Belgium. We will then focus our attention on the other 11 new territories that Jippii brings to the table and are excited about driving our model into new developing markets like the Baltic territories and the Ukraine. "

While 2003 was a transition year for cellular base stations, 2004 is the one where reality will catch up with the vision, according to In-Stat/MDR

The high-tech market research firm reports that carriers worldwide have started to execute aggressively on plans that had been delayed for years, and customers have even started to show some sign of excitement. In 2004, In-Stat/MDR forecasts that worldwide cellular base station revenue will be down 14.4% from 2003 due partly to price pressures and an increase in spectrum efficiency. However, during this period, the actual number of base stations is forecasted to increase slightly, from 329,483 in 2003, to 333,876 in 2004.

Overall, the trend in new base station deployments from 2003 to 2008 is generally down, although In-Stat/MDR believes that there will be a small upswing in 2008, as more demand for data services starts to emerge. As base station technology becomes more efficient, the worldwide need for new base stations decreases. In addition, many modern base stations simply don't need to be replaced. They have operated, and will continue to operate for many years. Rather, much of the new base station demand is related to the need for greater capacity to handle an ever-increasing amount of subscribers, in addition to added capacity to handle the growing demand for cellular data services.

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

By 2008, W-CDMA will represent 23.1% of deployed base stations, worldwide. And while GSM will represent 61.5%, this is a very impressive showing for W-CDMA, which will have gained wide-scale acceptance in a relatively short period of time.

While there are over 15 million 3G subscribers worldwide, this still only represents 1 subscriber in 100. However this is a good start. In the US, Sprint, Verizon and AT&T Wireless have all started to deploy their 3G services, although, in somewhat limited locations, to start.

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Instat Report

Analyst group argues mobile operators will benefit, but there is still room for optimism in the fixed line market

The volume of fixed-line voice traffic has been decreasing for the past couple of years as usage of mobile minutes continues to gather pace. The cost savings gained from discarding fixed lines, combined with declining mobile price premiums, are driving further fixed-mobile substitution in the voice market, argues analyst group Frost and Sullivan.

The rapidly falling mobile premium has, in particular, been instrumental in narrowing the price gap between mobile and fixed minutes.

In 2003, the price premium for mobile usage was 100 per cent or double the price of fixed-line services, but this is expected to decline to 42 per cent in 2007.

"The subscriber saturation in the mobile voice market is compelling service providers to follow aggressive price policies that would allow them to shift a significant portion of the local and international fixed minutes onto their network," says Frost & Sullivan's Research Analyst Jan ten Sythoff.

In 2007, 49 per cent of revenues are expected to come from the mobile network -- an increase from 38 per cent in 2000.

The total value of substituted minutes is estimated to increase from £0.9 billion in 2003 to £1.36 billion in 2007.

Pricing is becoming more complex as mobile service providers move from per minute billing toward bundled minutes and location-based billing.

They are also hoping that the shift from prepay to contract packages will materialise to allow them to lock in value and strengthen customer relationships.

Though both options are popular, new subscribers are likely to favour prepay packages.

Intensifying competition from new entrants and mobile virtual network operators is exerting further downward pressure on mobile minute prices.

Though falling prices are likely to attract marginal subscribers and stabilise the average revenue per user, service providers also need to take adequate precautions against price erosion.

For now, declining prices -- combined with the increasing fixed-line rentals -- are driving the mobile-only option.

With fixed-line rentals reaching almost 60 per cent of the total bill value, customers tend to prefer mobile voice services.

"Though the fixed-line operators' voice business is under pressure as their minutes decline, they are fighting back by targeting some of the same areas as their mobile competitors, such as flat-fee bundles through implementation of wholesale line rentals," says Mr ten Sythoff.

Apart from pricing issues, fixed-line operators are finding it increasingly challenging to combat the improved coverage and capacity of mobile services and the enhanced functionality of personalised and easy-to-handle handsets.

In addition, the roll-out of 3G networks is also spurring the fixed-mobile substitution.

The emergence of wireless broadband has caused a significant decline in the number of households with two fixed lines and is also downsizing the market coverage of fixed minutes.

As digital subscriber lines (DSL) become operable for both voice and Internet, households with two fixed lines are expected to decrease by 40 per cent from 1.2 million in 2003 to 0.72 million in 2007. 

However, fixed-line operators are still hopeful since there is little evidence of a trend toward complete substitution -- where users surrender their landline phones altogether.

Intensifying competition among fixed-line operators and deregulation in the voice market are also creating affordable services to attract and retain customers.

Since mobile international calls are five times more expensive than the fixed options, there is likely to be limited substitution of fixed international minutes.

Additionally, an increasing percentage of pensioner households -- currently a quarter of the total households -- tend to favour the fixed-voice services due to the ease-of-use and convenience it provides.

With most of the fixed-mobile substitution occurring in the consumer market, fixed-line operators are expected to retain their share in the business segment, where end-users prefer free and low-cost internal calls.

Business lines are forecast to decline by just over 2 per cent between 2003 and 2007 as opposed to the 5 per cent projection for the consumer segment.

The overall scene in the voice market, therefore, favours the mutual co-existence of both fixed and mobile services.

Moreover, the increasing proliferation of complementary voice over IP and non-voice communications such as email, instant messaging and video telephony initiate the integration of mobile capabilities such as push-to-talk and ring tones into fixed lines.

"Rather than competing and eating into each others shares, a synergy between fixed and mobile markets seems to offer a perfect fit," notes Mr ten Sythoff. "There is a lot of opportunity for video calls on fixed lines, as well as the convergence of other services such as sending an SMS from mobile to a fixed line and vice versa."

Not as big as Asia but a definite opportunity

The outlook is good for the European ringback tones market, according to Ovum the analyst and consulting company. Not as big as Asia but operators should go for it as it represents a valuable addition to the existing portfolio of personalisation services.

Ovum's recent research into the mobile music industry shows that a healthy growth can be expected for this particular form of phone personalisation over the next five years. Ovum forecasts that revenues will remain small this year around US$16 million in Western Europe to reach a respectable US$721 million in 2008. That is around 30% of total global revenues from
ringback tones.

While operators will still be involved in complex business models with their partners, they won't be facing competition from third parties. Only network owners are able to offer this service. As yet, there is little to differentiate the European service offerings with most operators offer a basic subscription service at launch - with the exception of Telefonica which only charges per event.

"Differentiation will be difficult to achieve but this is one area where service providers will be able to take advantage of exclusive deals. For example, promotion of a new track by a top music group. There will also be opportunities to bundle the exclusive promotion with other personalisation applications such as mastertones and software skins," comments Michele
Mackenzie, Senior Analyst and Service Manager for the
WirelessMultimedia@Ovum advisory service

In South Korea, SKT's ColoRing service achieved 30% penetration in its first year of launch, and it currently generates around $8 million per month. Likewise, more than 100,000 Globe Telecom subscribers signed up in the first
week when the operator launched in the Philippines earlier this year.  However, it should be remembered that not all of the services have experienced the same high rates of success. For example, NTT DoCoMo and M1 Singapore's ringback tones services have not done so well and we have identified a number of factors may have contributed to this:
* the ringback tone service is difficult to explain and market. It is not immediately obvious to the user how it works and is often confused with functionality on the handset to assign different ringtones to different callers for the benefit of the called party.
* management of the service is complex. In addition to the complexity of implementing the solution in the network service, service providers still need to manage their content providers, negotiate and manage licensing terms and conditions for the content and ensure that there is constant flow of new dynamic content.
* Tastes and preferences. There may be cultural differences to take into account across markets. A service that appeals to the Korean market might not necessarily appeal to the UK market for example.

The European players

T-Mobile was first off the starting blocks in Europe, launching its Caller Tunes service in December 2003. There were no spectacular announcements within the first few weeks of launch, suggesting that it was taking longer to catch on in the UK market. At the end of June 2004 T-Mobile announced that it had achieved 500,000 subscribers across the UK, Germany
and the Czech Republic. While this figure is much lower than some of the Asian operators' reports, it does show a healthy uptake of the new service and represents a valuable addition to an operator's portfolio of personalisation services.

Since T-Mobile's launch we have seen a wave of other launches by Vodafone Germany, Telefonica Spain and Tele2 Sweden. Many other operators are proposing to launch before the end of the year.

External Links

Ovum

Precisa to embed Sarantel GPS antenna in new GSM/GPS combination mobile phone

Sarantel, a leading innovator in the design and manufacture of miniature antennas for portable and mobile wireless devices, has been chosen by Precisa to supply its global positioning system (GPS) antenna.  Precisa, a leading Swiss company specialising in wireless technologies and measuring instruments, has integrated Sarantel’s GeoHelix GPS antenna into the Secufone, a mobile phone with a personal alarm and service button.  The Secufone is aimed at a cross-section of the community including care associations, nursing homes, the elderly and the infirm.  In addition, the Secufone offers a number of solutions for security applications. This innovative new GPS/GSM device will enable care organisations to provide people with an easy-to-use mobile phone that has a simple to use and operable alarm system.  The Secufone will also be targeted at rescue organisations and security firms who rely on the superior GPS quality that Sarantel antennas offer.

With its GPS/GSM functionality and personal alarm system, the Secufone is an easy-to-use tri-band mobile phone.  By pressing the red alarm button, users of the Secufone are connected to an associated call-centre.  A hands-free speech connection is then available so the user can explain their situation; the call-centre can take the appropriate action to arrange assistance.  The Sarantel antenna enables the call centre to pinpoint the user to within 5 metres of their location. 

The Secufone has an interactive full colour screen, which can be easily operated with the very light touch of a finger, plus it only uses four large buttons.  Produced in Switzerland, the Secufone will be available for sale in Europe and the US from August 2004 in leading telecoms shops.

Secufone opted for the Sarantel antenna because of its unparalleled performance and accurate positioning.  Precisa’s CEO Rudolf Huber said: “The GPS functionality of the Secufone, is a key feature of the mobile phone.  The Sarantel antenna offers excellent GPS reception in difficult and harsh environments and is the only GPS antenna on the market we found that integrated with a GSM mobile phone without loss of performance.”

David Wither, Chief Executive at Sarantel said: “There is huge potential for GPS in GSM mobile products and this is why we are seeing extraordinarily high demand for our products at the moment.  By choosing to embed our GeoHelix antenna to work in a multiple antenna system, Precisa has created a versatile mobile phone with guaranteed GPS/GSM functionality that inexperienced users will be able to use easily.” 

Sarantel’s success with Precisa was supported by Secos, a distributor for telecommunications modules and devices for industrial application and the M2M market and a key partner of Sarantel’s in Switzerland.

External Links

Sarantel
Precisa

InfoSpace’s media content catalogue and expertise to deliver ringtones, graphics and games.

InfoSpace Mobile, a leading provider of mobile content, data infrastructure, tools and applications and a business of InfoSpace, Inc. (NASDAQ: INSP), today announced it has been selected to provide media downloads for Virgin Mobile UK. This new data service by Virgin Mobile U.K. offers on-demand, entertaining, multimedia mobile content to subscribers.

"We are impressed by InfoSpace Mobile's ability to reliably deliver a media catalogue targeted specifically to our customer's interests," said Nick White, Head of Value Added Services, Virgin Mobile. "When combined with InfoSpace's compelling data infrastructure and content promotions expertise, InfoSpace is an ideal partner for Virgin Mobile’s content service."

InfoSpace Mobile’s storefront will initially provide consumers monophonic and polyphonic ringtones, graphics, wallpaper and games. The company will soon augment its offering with TruTones including songs, artist voice recordings and sound effects, as well as promotional marketing programs featuring artists and other specialised content. In addition to the media downloads component, InfoSpace Mobile is providing the underlying technology for the entire Virgin Mobile Bites mobile entertainment service. In this role, InfoSpace will host and manage the delivery of all content across Virgin Mobile’s Bites Web and WAP storefronts, as well as the entire portfolio of messaging services across SMS and MMS. Furthermore, InfoSpace will employ its state-of-the-art image transcoding and handset optimisation capability for the initiative.

"A positive user experience is paramount to Virgin Mobile Bites," said Kendra VanderMeulen, executive vice president, InfoSpace Mobile. "We have developed a comprehensive certification process for handset-based applications to ensure that all of the content offered on the service is properly rendered, so subscribers buy the best content for any given handset model."

External Links

InfoSpace Mobile
Virgin Mobile

Tiger Telematics' eagerly anticipated handheld multi-entertainment device, the Gizmondo, will come complete with the industry's most advanced on-board non-volatile memory chip, mDiskOnChip G3 from M-Systems

Launched in March 2004, mDiskOnChip G3 provides low cost, next-generation flash storage for embedded systems, without compromising reliability and performance. It leverages M-Systems' field-proven technologies developed for mobile phones and PDAs to deliver the most reliable multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash-based data and code storage with boot functionality. mDiskOnChip G3 is optimised for seamless integration in embedded systems with support for all major CPU architectures, such as ARM, and all operating systems,
including Microsoft Windows CE .NET.

The Microsoft Windows CE.NET-powered Gizmondo boasts a 2.8-inch TFT colour screen with a Samsung ARM9 400MHz processor and incorporates a 64-bit graphics accelerator. Planned to hit markets in Europe and North America late
this year and during 2005, Gizmondo provides cutting-edge gaming, multimedia messaging, an MP3 music player, MPEG4 movie playing capability, a digital camera and a GPRS network link to allow wide-area network gaming. It also contains a GPS chip for location-based services and is equipped with
Bluetooth for use in multi-player gaming. Nestled within Gizmondo is M-Systems' 64MB flash disk, providing the necessary on-board storage for the variety of software applications.

"I am sure that customers will appreciate the overall user experience achieved through the impressive combination of the latest technologies that is found within Gizmondo," said Francois Kaplan, general manager of M-Systems Europe. "I am pleased to see our new mDiskOnChip G3 product contribute to the high-performance, small size and long battery life of this exciting multi-entertainer."

mDiskOnChip G3 is based on the same technologies that catapulted Mobile DiskOnChip G3 to success, making it the choice of the top mobile phone and PDA manufacturers. Among these technologies are x2 technology and TrueFFS
software. x2 technology was developed by M-Systems to overcome the reliability and performance degradation of highly cost-effective MLC NAND technology, which stores twice the amount of data per cell than the standard, single bit, NAND flash. TrueFFS, an industry-standard for flash management,
maximises the lifetime of flash silicon, guarantees data reliability and contributes to the ease of integration of DiskOnChip products.

"DiskOnChip's ease of integration has helped us to decrease our time to market. Like Microsoft's operating system and Samsung's processor, M-Systems' flash disk is helping us to deliver an amazing amount of high-performance functionality, which should also help us to capture some of the enormous
handheld gaming market," said Steve Carroll, CTO at Gizmondo.

Gizmondo will be priced between US$300 and US$400 and is set to first launch in the United Kingdom later this year.

External Links

M-Systems

Radioplan, the leading independent vendor of 3G radio network optimisation and simulation solutions, today announced the world's first commercial simulation and optimisation toolset for WCDMA's High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA).

As part of the newly released feature set of WiNeS 3.1, the latest version of Radioplan's widely used 3G optimisation solution, HSDPA simulation and optimisation capabilities put the WiNeS toolset at the forefront of current technology.
 
"We are happy that Radioplan is able to continually lead the way in the field of network optimisation", said Dietrich Hunold, Radioplan's Technical Director. "Our innovations are primarily driven by customer feedback on future needs, and that means we are ready to serve those needs in a timely fashion, ensuring that commercial objectives can be achieved".

Radioplan's WiNeS optimisation solution, which is currently in commercial use both within operator groups and major vendors, is also used as part of several professional services projects currently supplied directly to mobile operators by Radioplan. This broad experience has allowed Radioplan's engineers to understand the challenges facing network engineers in practical environments.
 
“Practical thinking and customer focus is at the heart of everything we do at Radioplan,” said Hunold, “and exposure to the real problems of the end user feeds naturally into our development process, ensuring that the WiNeS toolset addresses highly complex tasks in an easy-to-use fashion".

WiNeS 3.1 also includes the latest versions of several vendor specific RRM algorithms, import and export capabilities for both Motorola's Netplan and Xenicom's Odyssey planning tools, advanced support for neighbour list optimisation, support for a variety of languages, and many additional analysis functions.

External Links

Radioplan

MegaFon, Russia’s third largest mobile operator, has selected the mobile communication group at Siemens AG (Siemens mobile) as a supplier in expanding its GSM network. The framework agreement encompasses the delivery and installation of GSM switch and base station technology as well as intelligent Networks for the MegaFon subsidiaries in the country’s Volga- and Ural regions. The contract is valued at 60 million Euros.

The implementation of the framework agreement will enable MegaFon to enhance its network capacities in its license territories of Ural and Volga. In addition, the installation of the intelligent Networks will create the foundation for attractive services and flexible charging systems for both prepaid and postpaid customers. By the end of 2004, MegaFon expects to cover more than eleven million subscribers under the GSM mobile communication standard.
 
"MegaFon attaches special importance to supporting a high standard of quality in its mobile network. The Siemens equipment delivered under the contract is designed to improve the MegaFon networks in the country’s Volga- and Ural regions, in order to increase our subscribers’ convenience" said MegaFon Vice Chief Executive Officer, Alexey Nichiporenko.
 
In 2003, alone, the number of mobile subscribers in Russia doubled from 18 to 36 million. "The dynamics and enormous growth of the Russian mobile communications market necessitate a highly capable and reliable infrastructure, along with innovative services for subscribers. We are pleased that MegaFon has again selected Siemens to partner with it in connection with this ambitious project," said Christoph Caselitz, President of the Networks Division at Siemens mobile. This contract marks the fifth year of collaboration between Siemens and MegaFon in the field of mobile technology.
 
Thus far, approximately 36 percent of Russia’s 145 million inhabitants are registered mobile subscribers. Siemens is the country’s number one supplier in mobile phones, digital cordless phones and mobile infrastructure. This new contract from MegaFon will enable Siemens to further strengthen its role as the leading provider of mobile technology in Russia. 

External Links

Siemens Mobile

UbiNetics, the world leader in WCDMA and HSDPA terminal and test and measurement technology, has announced the availability of a new addition to its HSDPA test product range.

Available as an extension to the UbiNetics TM500 HSDPA Test Mobile, the new ‘Multi-UE’ option will allow infrastructure manufacturers and operators to stress-test early HSDPA networks before commercial roll-out. The Multi-UE option allows a single TM500 to concurrently emulate up to 32 individual mobiles, each with an individually-programmable channel model to provide representative RF conditions. Several TM500s can be connected together to simulate over 100 mobiles in one HSDPA cell. Users can assess the performance of the critical scheduler algorithms within the Node B, which will dictate the overall system performance.

 “HSDPA optimises the use of available power and bandwidth by varying the transmission to mobile phones depending on individual channel conditions. Overall performance is critically reliant on networks making fast and accurate decisions on which mobile to serve at any particular time, based on channel quality metrics returned by the mobiles,” said Philip Windred, Senior Vice President for test and measurement products at UbiNetics. “Our TM500 Multi-UE test solution will allow users to evaluate and optimise the scheduler function within the network, and thereby contribute to the success of HSDPA.”

This new option builds on the success of the TM500, already proven as the world’s leading HSDPA network test solution, in use with all major WCDMA infrastructure manufacturers. Further evolutions of the TM500 product line are planned to support new functionality as WCDMA systems continue to evolve.

External Links

Ubinetics

(aq), one of the UK’s fastest growing mobile messaging
providers, today announced that it is one the first companies to offer automated online SMS messaging services to landline telephones, via its award winning portal, www.sms2email.com.  This new service will enable (aq) customers to send SMS to BT landlines, with messages received as either written text or
converted into speech. 

The move follows BT’s announcement of its service allowing conversion of SMS to speech for fixed-line handsets.  In the past, landlines required an SMS-enabled handset to allow them to receive written text messages, limiting take-up of the
service. The new speech conversion service makes SMS more socially inclusive and paves the way for market expansion.  However, only those SMS providers using high quality UK primary network connections are able to message to BT
lines directly, with many ‘low cost’ providers not yet offering this functionality. 

According to Dr Adam Beaumont, managing director of (aq):  “We are delighted to be amongst the first to offer fixed-line SMS and our customers will find their campaign reach is significantly extended through the ability to target landlines.  This new capability has the potential to impact internal and
external communications for the majority of UK businesses.”

He continued: “The ability to send fixed-line SMS has always been there, but now it has a user-friendly interface in the form of speech conversion which makes it a viable and economical alternative to fixed-line voice calls. People without mobile phones, the blind and the partially sighted will be able to
benefit from SMS in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.”

(aq) has enabled fixed-line SMS for all its existing premium UK accounts and is also offering free customer trials.  Messages are routed through (aq)’s bespoke gateway enabling users to send over 200 SMS per second, typically arriving at their destination in less than 10 seconds.  Prices start from less than 6 pence per message for bulk c oporate users, for messages to both UK fixed-line and mobile telephones. 

External Links

(aq) portal

Apertio, a provider of mobile network infrastructure software, has secured $2.9 million from European technology venture capital firm Add Partners, extending a Series A financing round it announced last December.

Add Partners joins previous investors DVC Deutsche Venture Capital, Motorola, the Tokarz Investments LLC and Eden Ventures. Apertio has the only next-generation carrier-grade Home Location Register (HLR) and open subscriber profile database deployed today in a Tier 1 operator. With demand increasing for HLR end of life replacements (due within the next several years at practically all major mobile carrier networks) as well as by expanding 2G and 3G networks in Asia and the Americas, Apertio is on an aggressive global drive to secure market leadership.

“We’ve always sought partners for Apertio who understand the industry and who demonstrate solid commitment to our business and to our vision to create a globally competitive company,” says Paul Magelli, CEO and a founder of Apertio. “Our partnership with Add is as much about funding our faster-than-expected growth as it is about ensuring that we can maximise our potential to dominate the global market for mobile infrastructure software.”

“We have no doubt that with its market-proven technology Apertio is well ahead of any potential competitor in the multi-billion dollar market for HLR and other software-based mobile infrastructure solutions”, said Niko von Huetz, Investment Director at Add Partners.
Add Partners’ Investment Director Niko von Huetz will join the Board of Directors of Apertio.

External Links

Apertio

Wants to add to network performance and applications suite

Tekelec today announced it has entered into a definitive
agreement to acquire privately held telecommunications solution provider, Steleus Group, Inc. Tekelec, a leading global supplier of telecommunications products for next-generation fixed, mobile and packet networks, is purchasing the company to advance its network and service performance management capabilities, enhance its applications portfolio and extend the company's global reach.

Steleus is a real-time performance management company that
supplies network-related intelligence to telecom operators. Tekelec will purchase 100 percent of Steleus' outstanding stock for approximately $56 million, consisting of approximately $29 million of cash and $27 million of Tekelec's stock. The acquisition is expected to close in Tekelec's fiscal fourth quarter, pending regulatory and contractual requirements.
  
As strategic partners, Tekelec and Steleus have collaborated on commercial deployments with tier one, two and three operators. The company and its personnel and products will form the cornerstone of Tekelec's new Communications Software Solutions business unit, which also will include existing Tekelec applications, and will be led by Rick Mace, current president, CEO and Chairman of the Board of
Steleus.

According to Fred Lax, Tekelec president and CEO, "Steleus has proven that its software-centric approach reduces time to market for new services and speeds the migration to next-generation networks, while lowering the risk, because operators can monitor the quality of new services immediately. Consequently, operators are able to achieve higher average revenue per user, increase profitability and reduce customer churn. Tekelec has enjoyed a successful partnership with
Steleus, delivering value-added solutions to premier operators around the globe, and we have already begun aligning our product roadmaps as part of this relationship.
  
"As a leading developer of General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions, Steleus reinforces Tekelec's commitment to offering a wide range of applications to further enhance and differentiate the company's next-gen switching and signaling product offerings. Steleus supplies key business intelligence applications with which operators can ensure quality of service, detect fraud and analyze customer behavior and service usage.
  
"With robust real-time monitoring and management capabilities for legacy and next-generation networks, Steleus strengthens our ongoing commitment to supplying value-added applications, providing our customers with critical network, service and customer-related information to drive decision-making, application delivery and enhance the subscriber experience with proactive customer care. Ultimately,with these unparalleled capabilities, operators realize substantial cost savings.
  
"With a customer base of 100 operators in over 35 countries and operations in the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific, Steleus further enables our global expansion," Lax concluded.
  
After closing, on a GAAP basis, Tekelec expects the transaction to reduce its Q4 2004 EPS by approximately $0.01 - $0.02, excluding any potential in-process research and development charge. Tekelec expects the 2004 earnings reduction to include amortization of acquired intangibles and the amortization of deferred compensation totaling approximately $1.0 million, pretax. For 2005, on a GAAP basis, Tekelec expects the transaction to be approximately $0.01 - $0.02 accretive to
its EPS. Tekelec expects 2005 expenses to include amortization of acquired intangibles and the amortization of deferred compensation totaling approximately $2.0 million, pretax.

External Links

Tekelec
Steleus

Solution will mean more accurate and timely electricity measurement

The energy sector is adopting mobile technology as a means of reducing wastage within the industry. BGlobal Metering, the UK’s leading advanced metering provider, has selected Orange to enable it to automate its metered data collection for industrial and commercial energy customers through to small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). BGlobal Metering has developed a telemetry-based end-to-end metering offering, smartMETER that relies on mobile phone SIM card technology to collect and transmit data on electricity consumption.

Energy suppliers have traditionally relied on staff taking millions of manual meter readings. More importantly, the lack of timely and precise electricity readings has resulted in significant cash flow and financial planning issues within the industry. smartMETER will enable energy providers to produce more accurate electricity readings and bills, eliminating one of the biggest criticisms of the industry, that customers are charged for predicted electricity consumption, as opposed to actual usage.

 

The SIMs, provided by Orange, are programmed to collect and transmit data at any time and at any interval over the Orange GSM network. Tapping into a sector that runs an estimated 42 million meters across the UK, BGlobal Metering’s smartMETER service sends consumption data to its centralised data centre, leading to many benefits and cost savings.

Commenting on the selection of Orange as its network partner, Peter Kennedy, Managing Director, BGlobal Metering, said: “Technological and cost constraints have meant that advanced metering has simply not been feasible for SME Energy customers. Orange has a proven track record in providing telemetry solutions to business customers and has offered us a flexible, robust and simple solution that maps our projected development. We will be able to leverage their GSM network and this will ensure that we can roll out this telemetry solution across the UK.”

Telemetry or machine-to-machine (M2M), is a growth market; Frost and Sullivan suggests that as many as 13 billion devices across Europe have the potential to communicate. A wide range of vertical market sectors are driving uptake, including transport, vending, utilities, home security, and commercial equipment (such as photocopiers and franking machines). 

On the impact telemetry could make on the energy sector, Mike Newnham vice president, business solutions, Orange UK, added: “M2M does not need to be complicated or costly and it has massive potential in the energy sector. As in BGlobal Metering’s case, it’s a very simple solution used to improve business performance through more accurate and timely data collection, retrieval and aggregation. This has an add-on effect in helping businesses improve billing processes and manage energy costs. Ultimately, BGlobal Metering is showing how mobile technology can be used to help all businesses become much more effective and efficient.”

BGlobal Metering is at different stages of contractual negotiations with four UK electricity suppliers and is currently working with another three. As a result they have formally placed a forward order for over 60,000 meters with EDMI (the meter manufacturer) as announced to the Singapore Stock Exchange in July 2004. There are currently over 2 million meters in the SME and Industrial & Commercial segment of the UK electricity market.

External Links

Orange