Shattering the mobile usability barrier, Action Engine Corporation, the mobile application platform provider, has today announced plans to bring its breakthrough Action Engine Mobile Application Platform and Brand-n-Go Mobile Applications Pack to Java-enabled mobile phones.

With Java support, the same intuitive, responsive, and personalised Action Engine user experience people have enjoyed on Windows Mobile and Symbian devices will be possible on the millions of phones and devices running the Java platform.

Available in September, the Java version of Action Engine Mobile Application Platform will let wireless subscribers access news, weather, sports scores, driving directions, Amazon shopping, eBay bidding and more on their Java phone using 80% fewer keystrokes and getting results 20x faster than with the phone’s browser.

With the Action Engine Mobile Application Platform, Java phones will be able to remember a subscriber’s most recent requests, learn their preferences and usage patterns, and then tailor and refine the phone’s operation to better meet a subscriber’s needs.  More frequently used services are put in a prominent position on the user’s phone deck, increasing repeat usage and in turn growing ARPU for operators.

Ted Wugofski, chief technology officer of Action Engine, added, “By expanding our addressable market base through support for Java devices, we can offer mobile operators the ability to give millions of frustrated data services users a better alternative for accessing content wirelessly. Our Java release will set a new standard for what subscribers should expect when using data services on their mobile devices.”

The Java version of the Action Engine Mobile Application Platform is being built using the Java MIDP 2.0 specification. When completed, the Java version of the Action Engine Mobile Application Platform will be small enough in size to be provisioned over-the-air to a mobile device. The Java release will also maintain the favourite features that Action Engine has become known for, including integration between Action Engine Mobile Application Platform applications, as well as with the phone’s email, contacts, calendar, dialer, and SMS/MMS functions. Only integrated Action Engine application suites meet the subscriber’s demand for multi-function user-friendly mobile applications.

HP today announced that Optimus, a leading mobile operator in Portugal, has selected the HP Fraud Management Solution (HP FMS) to combat traditional voice-based fraud, as well as new forms of fraud that are emerging with the arrival of converged voice and data services. 

The HP FMS will also be used by Novis, Optimus' sister company that delivers fixed-line services in Portugal.

Optimus provides more than 2.1 million subscribers, about 20 percent of the Portugal market, with a full range of GPRS-based mobile services.  In June 2004, Optimus began providing higher speed 3G mobile services based on the UMTS standard.

Network and service providers continue to scrutinise operating costs and pay increased attention to telecom fraud. As perpetrators infiltrate networks and steal services, fraud losses worldwide are estimated to be between $35 billion and $40 billion USD.(1) In response, Optimus is deploying HP FMS Version 9 to detect fraud more quickly and to reduce the revenue losses associated with it.

Designed to combat these losses, the highly scalable HP FMS is able to monitor every single call and data exchange, allowing operators to catch fraud while it occurs. It also enables operators to detect unbilled calls, which represent uncollected revenue.  Additionally, HP FMS can help reduce operational costs in internal fraud management organisations.

"HP presented us with the most comprehensive and widely deployed fraud management solutions in the world," said Artur Loureiro, chief information officer, Optimus.  "In addition, we found the quick implementation time as well as the reduced risk and cost-effectiveness with which HP FMS can be deployed to be very compelling." 

HP FMS also allows Optimus and other carriers to address the new opportunities for fraud that have arisen with the convergence of voice and data services. New content-rich communications services that involve data are potentially lucrative sources of revenue, but they also present significant fraud risks for operators, particularly when valuable content is integrated into the service from a third-party content provider. HP FMS enables Optimus to offer these services without incurring the substantial profitability risks and liabilities related to stolen content and value-added services.

"HP was the right partner for Optimus because of its knowledge of the fraud business - and the key features in its solution, especially the flexibility and the ability to detect fraud in data services," said José Carlos Sobreira Martins, director, Fraud Management, Optimus.

HP provides fraud protection for more than 250 million subscribers with nearly 70 service providers in 34 countries as well as for numerous large, multinational telecommunications enterprises around the world. Optimus will deploy the solution to more than 2 million subscribers this year.

"With the advent of data services - and the inevitable new forms of fraud - the stakes have become significantly higher for service providers," said Marco Limena, vice president, Network and Service Provider Solutions, HP. "They need a trusted partner that understands global fraud in all its forms. HP has more than 12 years experience in this area, and our FMS solution is a mature product that continues to evolve to ensure that our customers are staying ahead of increasingly sophisticated fraudsters."

(1) Source: CFCA (Communications Fraud Control Association), March 2003.

Nokia and Austrian operator mobilkom austria have signed an agreement for the renewal and expansion of mobilkom austria's GSM network in several regions of Austria.  The deal also includes an upgrade to EDGE.  In the scope of the contract, Nokia provides EDGE technology equipment and a range of services including BSC implementations and network optimisation support. 

Under this extension of an existing agreement, Nokia supplies mobilkom austria with EDGE to provide broadband connectivity complementary to UMTS.  Deliveries have already begun, and EDGE-based wireless broadband services have just been launched in Austria.  Mobilkom austria is the only operator in Austria offering EDGE and is in a unique position to offer high data rates in the whole country. 
 
"With the implementation of EDGE, in addition to UMTS, we are the first in Austria to offer coverage for high-speed data services.  We have chosen Nokia as a partner for implementing EDGE as we are convinced by the long-standing business relationship and the maturity of Nokia's technical solutions," says Boris Nemsic, CEO mobilkom austria and COO Wireless Telekom Austria. 
 
"By introducing EDGE, in addition to UMTS, mobilkom austria is on the forefront of service quality.  We are proud to have been selected by the Austrian market leader to take this step together," says Jaakko Myllymäki, Head of Sub-Area Central and Eastern Europe, Networks, Nokia. 
 
Nokia has been one of mobilkom austria's suppliers of GSM network equipment since 1997. 

Support from existing investors, will be used for new market growth and customer support.

Celerica Ltd., a premier provider of capacity distribution solutions for mobile carriers, announced today the successful completion of its latest fundraising round in March of this year that will yield $8M in new capital resources. The funds were invested by Pitango VC, Charles River Ventures, Star Ventures and Platinum Ventures, all of whom are existing investors.

The investment will be used to strengthen Celerica’s business in existing markets and build the necessary infrastructure for new market growth. Additionally, the funds will add new field support for Celerica’s customer base.

"We are finding that the market is open to the concept of Distributed Cell Site Architecture," explained Isaac Hillel, Managing Director of Pitango Venture Capital. “Operators are looking for innovative solutions to make more of their BTS assets and redistribute their capacity more efficiently. Celerica is starting to install systems in 3G deployments of first tier operators. “

Pini Sabach, Celerica’s CEO, sees the success of the round as a vote of confidence: “Clearly, this indicates that our investors are pleased with our solution and the interest it has sparked in the global mobile networks market. We intend to leverage this capital to extend our penetration in existing and new markets and to increase our customer support presence in the field.”

External Links

Celerica

Telsis has supplied advanced programmable protocol converters to Vodafone Netherlands for connecting large company PBXs directly to the mobile network.

Aimed at corporates with a high volume of inter-site telephone traffic, Vodafone's Corporate Net service delivers mobile and fixed integration, plus internal short-dialling for both mobile and fixed numbers, all at an on-net tariff.

The deployment of Telsis intelligent protocol converters widens the range of PBX types and signalling schemes supported by Corporate Net and will enable the roll-out of new functionality including advanced call handling and the playing of audio announcements to phone users.

The Telsis platform offers carrier-grade robustness as well as a development and support lifetime extending beyond 2010. One of a family of purpose-built intelligent telephony platforms from Telsis, the Ocean iPC can support up to 256 E1 links in a single cabinet. It is fully carrier-grade with all critical elements
duplicated and hot-swappable. The platform supports variable grading to maximise switch resources for typical call volumes and one-to-one mapping of E1 links between the PBX and network switch for high traffic volumes.

Ocean iPCs are already widely used by many other mobile and fixed network operators including BT, Jersey Telecom and Kingston Communications.

BlueDot enables mid to large size corporates to cut the cost of making international calls from mobile phones

CellClear has today announced it is to cut corporate international mobile charges by up to 90% following launch of BlueDot. The solution is the first Mobile Least Cost Routing (MLCR) product to be launched in the UK.

CellClear’s BlueDot solution is an innovative mobile product which enables corporate users to significantly reduce spend on international mobile call costs. Installed on a Symbian or Java capable mobile telephone, BlueDot is activated when used by a business professional roaming overseas or making an international call from the UK. The software is configured to automatically find the cheapest available route for both receiving and making international calls on mobiles.

As international calls from and to mobile phones can represent a huge part of an organisations telecoms bill, BlueDot can reduce this by as much as 90%.

Speaking about the deal, Iago Bellis, Commercial Director, CellClear said: “UK businesses have been held to ransom for too long by the huge costs of international mobile call charges. For an international business, the cost of such mobile calls can account for a significant part of its annual telephony spend.

“The BlueDot software enables businesses to manage and control these costs, whilst bringing international mobile telephony in line with the rest of the corporate network.”

BlueDot software runs seamlessly on a Java or Symbian capable mobile telephone. Users can identify that BlueDot is running by viewing the small BlueDot symbol which is displayed on the mobile handset.

In some cases CellClear will supply free Symbian handsets with the BlueDot software pre-installed.

BlueDot automatically routes any international calls to the selected least cost route. For the end user, the calling procedure is no different from when currently dialling an international number.

Adding Nokia's TETRA business its Tetrapol platform

EADS announced today that it is in advanced negotiations to acquire the Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) business of Nokia to enhance the company's position in homeland security systems and mission critical secure wireless communications solutions. The move would create a highly competitive global player in this growing market, with over 130 customers in 56 countries.
 

Nokia's PMR business, including TETRA infrastructure and terminals, currently comprises of 325 employees who would be transferred to EADS.
 
"This move enhances EADS' position in the global homeland security sector Together, Nokia's TETRA and our TETRAPOL technologies create an excellent foundation for next generation solutions for mission-critical communications," said Stefan Zoller, CEO of EADS Defence and Communications Systems (DCS). "We see a global market potential in this field, of over € 10 billion within the next five years. By having the main technology platforms in our portfolio, we will be able to offer our customers innovative solutions, and serve their evolving needs."
 
"Our current customers would gain both from future development of TETRA technology, and terminals, as well as the Large System Integrator's expertise of EADS", stated Matti Peltola, Vice President, Professional Mobile Radio, Networks, Nokia. "We are convinced of the benefits this move brings to our customers."
 
"This acquisition would give us the strength to enter new business in all markets including North America. Customers will benefit from our extensive product and service portfolio, global footprint, and leading R&D capabilities," said Michel Josserand, Senior Vice President, Head of EADS DCS Professional Mobile Radio. "As EADS would continue to develop both TETRA and TETRAPOL technologies, our customers would gain from superior solutions today and in the future."
 
The closing of the acquisition is expected before the end of 2005, subject to receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals.

Tele2, the alternative pan-European telecoms company, has launched the first worldwide free TV station available on 3G mobile phones, via its own TV channel Tango.TV (TTV).

The development centre located in Luxembourg is in charge of applying the convergence strategy and has also created an Internet radio, Sunshine Radio Luxembourg, also available on 3G phones.

The streams are available to any customer from the new wap portal T.TVMobile (wap.ttv.lu).

Lars-Johan Jarnheimer, CEO of Tele2 said, “With the launch of this TV over 3G service, Tele2 is showing that it is at the leading edge of mobile technological developments. We look forward to monitoring the development of this service in Luxembourg to learn about customer behaviour, which we can apply later to our other mobile markets.”

All our messaging products are belong to IMS

airwide solutions announces that all of its messaging products are now enabled to operate in both IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) and pre-IMS environments. With this announcement, airwide solutions continue its tradition of innovation by enabling the evolution from existing messaging infrastructures to 3G and IMS configured networks.

All of airwide solutions products offer IP-based connection interfaces via SIGTRAN (Signaling Transport). airwide solutions now builds the bridge between 2G/2.5G messaging environments and IMS through the use of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol). 

airwide solutions was the first company to deploy SIGTRAN enabled Short Message Service Centre (SMSCs), working with Telstra in 2003. Since then, airwide solutions has been helping its customers attain entirely new levels of throughput and cost efficiency from their messaging infrastructure using IP-based connectivity.

By combining existing voice, video, data and messaging services over a common IP infrastructure, IMS will bring the full potential of Internet technology to mobile users. This capability opens up new and innovative peer-to-peer and community services such as video telephony, chat or multimedia conferencing. It also improves service mobility by offering consistent service over various network access. 

With IMS network integration, airwide solution's products will be able to provide a new range of interactive mobile messaging applications.  Subscribers will be able to easily send mobile messages in the most appropriate and cost effective means.  They will also be able to mix message types in a single session.  IMS will improve mobile operators revenues by facilitating the introduction of new services that end users are willing to use and pay for.

"More and more of our customers are looking at IMS as a means to differentiate their service offerings and to increase their revenues," said Vincent Kadar, CTO, airwide solutions. "We are currently working with mobile operators to ease their migration to an IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) architecture and to ensure that they can take advantage of the benefits of IMS/3G deployments without cannibalising their existing 2/2.5G revenues."

External Links

Airwide

Nortel and LG Electronics have announced plans to work together to jointly develop and market WiMAX products.

This follows the January 2005 announcement of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nortel and LG Electronics to establish a joint venture for providing high quality, leading edge telecommunications equipment and networking solutions to Korea and other markets globally.

The companies' global WiMAX strategy, announced today at CTIA Wireless 2005, the world’s largest wireless tradeshow, marries the power of Nortel’s carrier packet networking and OFDM/MIMO (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing/Multiple In, Multiple Out) leadership with LG Electronics’ mobile telecommunications and digital convergence expertise.

"This leverages the combined strengths of Nortel and LG Electronics to provide end-to-end solutions and investment in innovative technologies that will position our customers for greater success,” said Dave Murashige, vice president, Carrier Networks, Nortel. “We are focused on the continuing evolution of wireless broadband and its increasing role in communications networks."

“Nortel’s and LG Electronics’ strengths will combine powerfully to deliver the future WiMAX vision,” said Jae Ryung Lee, executive vice president, Networks, LG Electronics. “With the advent of 802.16e, mobility solutions for broadband wireless will become possible, and Nortel is an acknowledged leader in networking
technologies that will be married with WiMAX access to enable that vision.”

Nortel and LG will develop WiMAX solutions based on the 802.16e standard and the WiMAX networking specification, currently under development within the WiMAX Forum. The companies are planning customer WiMAX 802.16e trials in the second half of 2006.

Nortel believes that the combination of OFDM and MIMO can be realized in 802.16e and WiMAX. These technologies provide greater spectrum efficiency, which is needed to scale wireless broadband systems for large numbers of users and high data throughputs. Nortel has invested in advanced development of OFDM
and MIMO for the past six years and has demonstrated the benefits and commercial feasibility of these technologies to more than 100 customers.

IEEE 802.16e is a point-to-multipoint broadband wireless access standard that will support fixed, nomadic and mobile wireless broadband connectivity without requiring direct line-of-sight access to a base station. In a mobile deployment, WiMAX-based solutions can deliver wireless broadband data with cost-effective macrocellular deployments.

External Links

LG
Nortel

Delivers dynamic offer management solution for wireless premium services

Valista  has today announced Valista OffersPlus Wireless. Valista OffersPlus Wireless allows mobile operators to rapidly build and deploy sophisticated promotions from third-party suppliers and then sell bundled services to subscribers. 

Valista OffersPlus Wireless provides mobile operators with the ability to add new revenue streams, attract new subscribers and strengthen existing customer relationships by offering innovative premium services and loyalty programmes, which can be introduced quickly to the market.

"Consumers are using their phones more and more as a gateway to purchase goods," said Paul Hughes, director of billing and payment application strategies at Yankee Group.  "Moving forward it will be critical that mobile operators have the technical ability to quickly deploy new premium services and reward high-value customers.  Valista OffersPlus Wireless provides mobile operators with a strong foundation for the introduction of a broad range of bundled offerings which can become additional revenue sources."
 
Valista OffersPlus Wireless allows mobile operators to create packaged bundles of services or promotional offerings with discounted or free introductory subscription periods.  First-time or low-use customers can pay for services individually, while higher-use customers save by purchasing bundles (packages of content) and subscriptions.  Valista OffersPlus Wireless enables mobile operators reduce their time-to-market for third-party offers, while broadening the operators' customer base through support of various access channels (mobile / web), payment methods (credit / debit card, stored value accounts, operator bill or loyalty) and ways to buy services such as pay-per-use or subscription models.

Valista OffersPlus allows operators to reward loyal customers, either long term or frequent shoppers, by offering incentives, discounts and free services.  Customers can accumulate loyalty points through multiple downloads of content and services while using the points as a form of payment for their next purchase.  Through OffersPlus Wireless, operators can determine customers buying patterns to promote and sell packaged offerings of services and content tailored to the individual customer.  Furthermore, mobile operators can create appealing packaged bundles of services or promotional offerings with discounted or free introductory subscription periods with or without commitments, in order to capture new customers or entice existing customers to upgrade.

"Our OffersPlus Wireless promotional and loyalty features were designed to help mobile operators to introduce a wider range of innovative and appealing packages of premium services to generate additional revenue and reduce customer churn," said Raomal Perera, chief executive officer of Valista. "Valista OffersPlus has enabled America Online to bring premium services to market in record time and now OffersPlus Wireless gives mobile operators the same ability."

Valista OffersPlus Wireless is designed to accelerate commerce in premium services (music, games, movie clips, information services) by enabling providers to easily package their products and services in a variety of targeted consumer 'offers.'  Valista OffersPlus Wireless includes configurable time-limited and time-and-event-limited, individual or bundled product offers.  OffersPlus manages the end-to-end business process for all participants in the value chain: the merchants, service provider and the consumer. It controls user access and consumption, and manages the automatic charging according to the charge period and recurrence rules and settles with each of the merchants and the service provider involved.  Examples of time-limited offers include a user monthly subscription of £2.50 for downloading games, or an mp3 bundle consisting of up to 10 mp3s for £5 a month.  An example of a time-and event-limited offer might involve monthly access to a gaming site plus ten game tokens or monthly access to a pop star's members' site plus the right to download any five MP3s.

External Links

Valista

Nokia signs deal with Civil Protection and Transmission Dept

Nokia has won the contract to supply the radio communication network for the Civil Protection and Transmission Department of the Turin Municipality. The system will be the first significant implementation of its kind in Italy, and it will provide the staff of Turin Municipality with seamless, highly reliable Nokia TETRA voice and data services. 

The network will vastly improve the communications of the municipal staff in Turin, providing not only better coverage and functionality, but also enabling better cooperation.  Its first users will be the Municipality of Turin and other local organisations who will enjoy improved secure coverage by winter 2005.   Later, the coverage of the network will be extended to the whole of Turin metropolitan area, and further to the whole province of Torino, which totals about 3 million inhabitants.
 
The system will be put into operation at the beginning of 2005, and will initially serve around 6,000 users, with the number of users increasing up to 15,000 once it has been implemented in full.
 
"We are proud to be the first in Italy to deploy Nokia TETRA technology and provide the Turin Municipality with a radio communication network that represents a completely new generation, compared to the outdated analogue radio systems currently in use," says Dr. Sergio Zaccaria, Director of the Civil Protection and Transmission Department of the Turin Municipality.
 
"People who are responsible for the safety of others demand extreme reliability and security from radio communications. For them, Nokia TETRA system provides free mobility without compromising security. Nokia's synergies between mainstream and mission critical technologies can be harnessed to address the e-Government requirements in an ideal way.  What's more, Nokia is unique in its capability to implement and bring into operation TETRA networks of all sizes, always ensuring highest-quality of performance," says Massimo Gotti, Managing Director, Nokia Italia.
 
"We are happy to say that the TETRA standard and the Nokia TETRA system are widely acknowledged in Italy today," says Marco Santonocito, TETRA Business Manager, Nokia Networks, Italy. "Nokia can implement TETRA systems of all sizes, always ensuring top-quality performance. The project is unique, in that it is the first significant TETRA network implementation in our country".
 
Under the terms of the contract, Nokia will provide Turin Municipality with digital TETRA professional mobile radio solutions, including Nokia DXTip exchanges, Nokia TETRA base stations, Nokia DWS dispatcher workstations, and Nokia NetActTM centralised network management system for the new operating centre of the Municipal Police. Nokia will also provide integration training, and care services, setting up of the terminals, and turn-key delivery of the system. The Alpitel company - a member of a temporary association of companies together with Nokia - will provide the implementation services for the project.

External Links

Nokia TETRA

Users offered Zi Corp's Qix service discovery engine

Virgin Mobile UK and Zi Corporation today announced the first consumer trial of Zi’s newly launched Qix technology. Qix (pronounced “quicks”) is an innovative mobile service discovery engine that combines predictive text and content indexing to enable rapid discovery of contacts, features and services on a mobile smart phone.

Qix provides for the first time an intuitive, fast search index for a mobile user, in the same way that an internet search engine like Google or Yahoo helps web surfers find what they are looking for. Qix will be bundled with Virgin Mobile’s Nokia 6630 handsets during spring 2005.  The trial will compare service usage and ARPU between subscribers with and without Qix-powered smart phones. 

Qix significantly reduces the number of key presses needed to use a phone, thereby enhancing the user experience for the subscriber and simultaneously driving service usage and adoption resulting in greater Average Revenue per User (ARPU).  Over time, Qix’s interactive memory remembers new user data, including new URL bookmarks and called numbers for future presentation. It also tracks frequently used personal selections over time and then presents them with priority over other information, providing easy access to favourite items of the user.

Graeme Hutchinson, Sales & Marketing Director at Virgin Mobile, said: “One of the biggest challenges we face is to entice customers to start using the plethora of features and service on their phones, and to use them frequently. We believe that the Qix technology will make all mobile services easier to find and use.”

“As the first completely intuitive service discovery engine, this carrier trial with Virgin Mobile is an important milestone for Qix and a key opportunity to gather first-hand consumer feedback on our product,” said Glen Morgan, senior vice president of global sales and marketing for Zi.  “In order to create the ideal customer experience, Zi invested in significant focus group testing when we developed Qix.  We are confident that this trial will reinforce our findings and belief that Qix will drive service adoption and subscriber ARPU.” 

The trial will utilize the Symbian OS version of Qix.

External Links

Qix product info