Intec, the provider of business and operations support systems (BSS/OSS), has announced  that it has signed and implemented a group license and services agreement for its Intec Interconnect intercarrier billing solution with several VimpelCom subsidiaries. Valued at nearly US$2 million dollars, the new contract will enable Russia¹s major mobile operator to roll out Intec Interconnect throughout the CIS, with subsidiaries going live with the system by the end of this year in Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Armenia.

The agreement is an extension of a long-term customer relationship between Intec and VimpelCom, which has been a user of Intec¹s billing solutions since 2003. Intec Interconnect is the the world¹s leading and most advanced intercarrier settlement system with over 250 customers.  It is presently deployed by VimpelCom to support its high-volume domestic traffic as well as its expanding long distance and International license business.

"Our services and licenses deal with Intec is a very significant business decision for VimpelCom as it enables us to maximise our revenue streams from our complex intercarrier agreements in regions with very strong levels of growth," said Andrey Batalov, Head of IT Development in Russian regions and CIS, VimpelCom. "Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and Armenia in particular are countries with large numbers of mobile customers and strategic plans for market expansion.  With relatively low cost we can use the services and licenses agreement to roll out Intec Interconnect quickly and seamlessly and with minimal risk, thereby enabling us to generate a substantial income from these operations on day one and ultimately giving us the competitive edge we need to remain a market leader in these regions."

The Intec Interconnect system is renowned for its flexibility and can support all billing and settlement models. This capability will enable the subsidiaries to handle every kind of traffic, from simple voice to the most advanced content and data services, in one integrated, platform. Once the Intec Interconnect systems go live in Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and Armenia, VimpelCom will continue expansion by rolling out the solution in Tajikistan as well in 2008.

"We are extremely pleased with our new agreement with VimpelCom and we are confident that this will strengthen our existing relationship with the operator," said Gary Burch, VP of sales for Intec in EMEA. "Eastern Europe is a very important region for us in terms of long-term growth and this deal further enforces our position as the leading BSS/OSS provider in the area. To ensure that we remain competitive in Russia and the CIS we will work closely with VimpelCom and its subsidiaries to ensure that Intec Interconnect is running smoothly from the moment it goes live on the network and that income is maximised quickly from our intercarrier billing system. VimpelCom's companies can also rely on Intec's local support team in Moscow for further support. Intec¹s area specialists will be always be on hand to assist with any new billing challenges that may arise as the region¹s various mobile sectors explore new opportunities for growth."

Ericsson has said that it has successfully performed interoperability tests for its Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS) solution with the leading chipset vendors. The move is said to set the stage for the widespread adoption of MBMS and the availability of MBMS terminals.

MBMS is a scalable, flexible solution that allows operators to broadcast different forms of content in different parts of the mobile network. It helps operators to cost-effectively and quickly launch end-user multimedia services such as entertainment and emergency alert broadcast information services of traffic, weather and news.

MBMS leverages existing network infrastructure to facilitate broadcasting of multimedia services such as mobile TV. It allows an unlimited number of users to use the service concurrently, stimulates the development of new mobile mass-media services and is a cornerstone of mass-market mobile TV penetration.

The interoperability tests were conducted with several leading platform vendors, among them Ericsson Mobile Platforms and Qualcomm. Commercial rollout of Ericsson's MBMS in the 3G networks will start with early launch systems in March 2008 followed by full deployment in September 2008.

Ulf Ewaldsson, Vice President and Head of Product Area Radio at Ericsson, says: "With the large part of handsets based on these vendors' chipsets, together with the proven interoperability of Ericsson mobile networks, both operator uptake of MBMS and the availability of MBMS terminals are secured. This means that MBMS functionality will become a natural and standardized functionality in tomorrow's mobile systems and terminals.

"Operators are increasingly seeking new opportunities to harness their existing infrastructure and partner with content providers to offer end users cutting-edge multimedia services. MBMS will enable the commercialization and deployment of multimedia services for the mass market, allowing operators to tap new revenue streams and meet the future demands," Ewaldsson said.

As the popularity of mobile messaging services continue to grow, research specialist Gartner is forecasting 2.3 trillion messages will be sent across major markets worldwide in 2008, a 19.6 percent increase from the 2007 total of 1.9 trillion messages. Mobile messaging revenue across major markets will grow 15.7 percent in 2008 to $60.2 billion, up from $52 billion in 2007.
 
Although mobile messaging traffic volumes will continue to show strong growth in many markets, operator margins on messaging services have become progressively thinner as a result of competition and market saturation. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for short message service (SMS) revenue in major markets worldwide from 2002-2006 was 29.8 percent. From 2007-2011, the CAGR for SMS revenue is forecast to be 9.9 percent.
 
"In many markets, there has been strong pressure on operator margins for text messaging services and this has been driven by often intense competition between carriers," said Nick Ingelbrecht, research director for Gartner. "At the same time, consumers have grown accustomed to large or unlimited bundles of inclusive SMS as part of their basic cellular service package. Carriers should plan for a future of much reduced margins on messaging services. They should develop messaging platforms, services portfolios and pricing plans that support the broader objectives of customer acquisition and retention, rather than short-term margin enhancements."
 
Asia/Pacific and Japan are the biggest consumers of mobile messaging. Gartner predicts 1.5 trillion messages will be sent in 2007, and the number will grow to 1.7 trillion in 2008. Volumes of short messages and picture messages will increase, but growth rates are expected to slow in line with the saturation of mobile connections. Volumes of photo messaging will start to stall in the next few years as users increasingly share photos through mobile communities and social network portals rather than sending them directly to one another.
 
Gartner estimates 189 billion mobile messages will be sent in 2007 in North America, and this is forecast to reach 301 billion in 2008. "The market is being driven by increased penetration of users, more frequent usage of peer-to-peer messaging, and unlimited and bucketed messaging plans," said Tole Hart, research director at Gartner. "There has also been some uptake of mobile e-mail via POP3 mailboxes and mobile IM service, but it's very small compared with the uptake of SMS. These services are used primarily as an extension to a PC. However, the market is seeing a number of consumers using BlackBerry and Palm Treo devices to access address books, phone numbers and e-mail."
 
Mobile messaging usage has increased in all Western European countries, and the growth in the number of messages sent is projected to continue until 2010. A total of 202 billion mobile messages will be sent in 2007 in Western Europe, and this is forecast to reach 215 billion in 2008. "However, due to competitive price cutting, an expected increase in international charging regulations and more unlimited bundles, the revenue generated from peer-to-peer messaging is tending to flatten and is even showing some decline from 2007 (this trend is affected by exchange rate variations)," said Stephanie Pittet, principal research analyst at Gartner. "Africa is expected to see sustained healthy growth and the low price of SMS compared with voice calls makes it an ideal service in countries where people have low buying power."
 
Mobile consumer e-mail has become more common, especially in the wake of higher smartphone adoption, improved usability and ease of configuration. Mobile IM will become a mass-market application similar to mobile e-mail in developed markets, initially being adopted by PC-based IM users, who are now able to access their service on their mobile phones, due to partnerships between the operators and the IM providers.
 
"To sustain growth over the next few years, carriers should look to social-networking applications to drive traffic, working where possible with popular established social-networking sites," said Mr. Ingelbrecht. "Mobile search and advertising also offer attractive potential drivers for SMS traffic, although most carriers appear poorly placed to support the end-to-end campaign management and reporting requirements of media buyers and advertisers."
 

Mobile operator 3 is announcing the launch this week of its 3 Skypephone handset in Sweden, Denmark and Austria. This follows the introduction of the handset in the UK, Ireland, Australia, Hong Kong and Italy and means free mobile to mobile international Skype calls are available to 3 customers across eight countries.

The handset enables free calls to and from computer users of Skype and free mobile to mobile Skype calls. The 3 Skypephone is a fully-featured 3G Internet phone with free internet calling built-in.  In addition to Skype calls the phone makes conventional calls and can be used to access 3's broad range of internet services.

Kevin Russell, CEO 3 UK, comments: "The 3 Skypephone has brought the worlds of home and mobile broadband together. Our customers are now able to enjoy the same Skype experience at home as on the move. The rollout across our international business underlines our commitment to offer innovative services that challenge the status quo." 

Openwave Systems, a specialist in software enabling revenue-generating personalized services which converge the mobile and broadband experience, has today announced the Openwave OpenWeb and Secure Content Management (SCM) solutions have been selected by Vodafone Spain. Part of Openwave's next generation service management portfolio, these solutions will enable Vodafone Spain to provide its subscribers with rich, device-formatted content from websites to any mobile device.

"Openwave is committed to working with operators to create the best possible Internet experience on mobile devices, and unlock new service and merchandising opportunities that rapidly drive usage, adoption and new revenues," said Hari Haran, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations, Openwave. "Our OpenWeb and security solutions are building on our unparalleled mobile access gateway expertise, market leadership and strong relationship with Vodafone."
 
Openwave OpenWeb is an open Internet browsing solution designed to enable operators to offer consumers a broader range of content choices by delivering full Internet web pages in a user friendly and intelligent format to any mobile data enabled device. OpenWeb ensures that the most relevant sections of the website are delivered in the first or second segmented deck so that users receive the most important data from the website faster their mobile device.
 
Openwave SCM (Secure Content Management) delivers a multi-protocol, multi-service defense across messaging, browsing and downloads against the rapidly growing variety of threats to mobile services.
 
Openwave OpenWeb and SCM are part of Openwave's suite of next generation service management solutions, which are designed to support the dramatic increase in http-based traffic, and act as middleware to enable the delivery of new applications and new services, including merchandising and advertising opportunities.

Serbia's first mobile operator Telenor d.o.o. has signed a frame contract with Nokia Siemens Networks to build a nationwide 3G radio network as the operator moves to offer high-quality mobile broadband services across the country.

The new advanced radio network, using Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) technology, will allow data to be transmitted at real broadband speeds in both directions - to the user and from the user - thanks to the High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) enhancement. The HSPA will allow Telenor subscribers in Serbia to enjoy mobile Internet as well as rich data and multimedia services with very fast communication speeds, while higher throughput and increased network capacity will enable the operator to expand its service offerings.

Under the agreement, Nokia Siemens Networks will build a WCDMA network across Serbia within four years and it will provide Telenor with a broad range of supplementary services. The deliveries have already begun and the first parts of the new network will start operation in the first quarter of 2008.

"This contract will firmly establish Telenor as a leader in technology for this region. Our wish is to bring as many Serbian households as possible closer to the standards of modern and advanced societies," said Telenor CEO Stein-Erik Vellan.

"We are very pleased to expand and continue our good cooperation with Telenor in Serbia," said Finn Erik Hermansen from Nokia Siemens Networks. "We are fully prepared and committed to support Telenor in meeting the market needs to provide a state-of-the-art 3G mobile broadband solution with a network of high speed, capacity and quality."

The contract strengthens the partnership between the Telenor Group and Nokia Siemens Networks, following the agreement to upgrade Telenor Nordic's WCDMA network with High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) earlier this year.

Sicap, a specialist in Device Management and over-the-air SIM management, has announced today that its Device and SIM platforms now interact to trigger automatic SIM updates, uniting device capabilities and service profiles.

Interoperability between Device and SIM operations means that when a customer changes his device, the automatic detection feature of the Device Management Center (DMC) checks its capabilities and subsequently triggers a message via OTA-SIM to update the subscriber SIM with the new service options. The whole sequence is handled seamlessly for the customer and in real time, so that new personalized features become immediately available.  The potential for converged services is claimed to be huge. DMC is already running on affiliate networks of virtually every major mobile operator group. Designed and built in-house on a sustainable framework, a single database can be shared for both Device and SIM platforms, with updates synchronized on the same hardware.

Operators can leverage the SIM to provide user-friendly and device-compatible service options. New self-care aids such as the dynamic SIM toolkit menu are made available through the IMEI tracking applet in a solution jointly developed by Sicap and Giesecke & Devrient, (G&D), the world's second largest SIM card manufacturer. Markus Moser, Head of International Sales Systems and Services at G&D said "For end-users, perhaps the most visible of benefits is the ability to customize phone menus using options such as choice of language or filter settings to block unsolicited information".

The enhanced backup and restore ability of the converged platforms constitutes an additional benefit. Mobile users store address book details for instance either on the SIM, on the device, or split between the two. Merging Device and SIM platform capabilities enables synchronization of SIM and device address books, thereby guaranteeing a complete backup and restore solution in case of loss. Users can also download configurations or applications to both their device and their SIM from the same Web page.

For operators, gaining and maintaining control over subscriber services via the SIM has never been so important. The recent trend of service branding on handset vendor portals has opened up competition for customer attention. Sicap software is totally vendor-independent and works on any SIM card on the market.

Active membership of the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA DM) ensures that Sicap software roadmaps are able to meet and exceed technological challenges. In the near future, the OMA release of application management standards on devices will open up new opportunities for Sicap's converged offer. Application management for instance will be carried out on both the SIM and the device. In terms of marketing opportunities, the current trend to invest in Near Field Communication (NFC) based applications is one that will be largely helped by simultaneous Device and SIM application management.

According to Sicap Director of Product Marketing Achim Korber who is heading the platform convergence drive, "Combining Device Management with SIM Management is the way ahead. We believe that seamless service updates will be the guarantee that customers get the maximum that their device can offer".

Vodafone Germany is the first operator to put Ericsson's new Base Transceiver Station (BTS) Power Savings feature in place. The feature, which is commercially available, is claimed to significantly reduce energy consumption in mobile networks and therefore makes an important contribution to cutting carbon-dioxide emissions.

During periods of low network traffic, the feature effectively puts those parts of the network that are not being used in standby mode - overcoming the traditional practice of having radio equipment continually turned on, which can result in energy being wasted.

Depending on the network traffic pattern, this innovation can save between 10 and 20 percent of the energy per BTS when a base station is in use, while still providing the same services and quality to end users.

The feature is compatible with all Ericsson GSM radio base stations introduced since 1995.

Vodafone Germany will install the energy-saving software upgrade across its base stations by the end of 2007. This initiative is part of the operator's strategy to cut energy consumption in its mobile networks. Installing this software is expected to reduce energy usage and corresponding carbon-dioxide emissions.

Ulf Ewaldsson, Vice President and head of Ericsson's radio network business, says: "Reducing energy consumption is a key area where the telecommunications industry can make a positive contribution to international efforts to respond to climate change. At the same time, reducing power consumption also reduces operational expenditures for operators, so it is a win-win."

Hartmut Kremling, Chief Technology Officer of Vodafone Germany, says: "Our initiative with Ericsson shows that Vodafone takes its responsibility for the environment seriously. We have a leading role in this field in the telecoms sector."

If deployed across the 1 million GSM Ericsson base stations globally, the power-saving feature could mean a collective energy saving of 10-20 percent in the radio access networks, which could result in a reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions of 1 million tons. This highlights that sustainability and cost reductions can go hand in hand, says Ericsson.

Ericsson's BTS Power Savings feature is the latest in a series of energy optimization developments that Ericsson is driving to help reduce total cost of ownership, while at the same time improving the environmental performance of mobile network growth worldwide. In 2006, Ericsson reduced the power consumption of its latest generation of WCDMA base stations by 35 percent and has pioneered the introduction of alternative energies, such as biofuel and solar power, to make mobile telephony economically and environmentally sustainable in emerging markets.

Wapple has launched a competition to design the most innovative mobile website using its web-based development tools. The winner will get free Mobile Internet site hosting for a year worth £2,000; an unlocked Nokia N95 8GB multimedia handset worth £500 plus a Nintendo Wii with any choice of game worth £200. Three runners up will also win a Nintendo Wii. The competition is free to enter and runs from 20 December to Midnight GMT on 28 February.

"The mobile Internet is fast becoming an essential marketing tool but it there is still a lot of confusion about what makes a good mobile website," said Anne Thomas, business development director at Wapple. "Wapple makes it possible for anyone to quickly design a highly functional, professional mobile website that is instantly optimized for any mobile phone or device. But unlike other development tools, Wapple doesn't force users into fixed structures or layouts and gives them the freedom to implement their own creative ideas. Entrants certainly don't need in-depth design or technical knowledge to win and we are looking forward to seeing what people come up with."

To enter the competition simply go to http://wapple.net/winregister for the competition package and get started. Along with entry to the competition and the live site, Wapple is providing a free Wapple Partner Package until the end of the competition that enables users to design up to ten sites for their clients or for themselves.

Sites will be judged by an in-house team and winners will be announced on 10th March 2008.

Looking back over 2007, Bango has reported strong commercial gains for UK operators that moved to open up the mobile web, with Vodafone UK rising to first place in the value of off-portal content sales.  Measured across its total base of content providers, Bango saw traffic grow fastest on networks where steps were taken to encourage more browsing off-portal and payout rates increased to content providers.

Key drivers in opening up the mobile web include putting a search box onto the operator portal for off-portal content searching; introducing flat rate data charges to encourage more mobile web browsing; and providing higher price points and high payout rates which encourage content providers to run promotions on these networks as they receive a better return on their marketing investment.

Vodafone has benefited from being among the first to offer a clean, consumer friendly WAP billing interface.  It also supports the move from a portal model to a more open search based model by placing a search box prominently on the Vodafone live! home page. The payout rates are among the highest of all the UK operators.

"2007 was a good year for all UK networks but by moving decisively to support off-portal content sales, Vodafone leapt to the top of the league in value of transactions," commented Ray Anderson, CEO of Bango. "We foresee the UK operators battling to offer even better payout rates, approaching that of credit cards."

Compared to Premium SMS where content providers market through the web or in print, today's content providers are choosing to market more efficiently to users who are already actively browsing the mobile web.  Using mobile advertising and search marketing, content providers buy traffic on specific networks and can choose users with certain handsets.

The mobile web gives content providers other important benefits.  For example, offers can be targeted to users with Bango identifying between new or repeat customers; marketing campaigns can be tracked to calculate the return on investment and there's more repeat business within the browse and buy WAP flow.

"More businesses are now launching a mobile web presence so they can engage directly with their consumers anytime and from anywhere," added Anderson.  "Through a common integration point, Bango makes it easy for them to drive traffic to a mobile website, understand who the visitors are, track marketing campaigns and collect payment for digital content world-wide."

Telit Wireless Solutions, the specialist in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, has announced the integration of Telefónica's Smart M2M platform application programming interface (API) into its M2M communications modules. As a result, the users of Telit's modules can now enjoy the value-added services of the platform of Spainish telecoms operator.

The platform, the differentiated solution for data transmission between machines, facilitates the integration of M2M applications with the mobile network, significantly reducing installation time and meeting customers' needs in terms of security, speed and availability.

Telit's customers will have access to all the value-added services of Telefónica's Smart M2M platform, along with the operator's data transmission and service lines. Some of the applications developed from Telefónica's M2M platform permit, for example, remote temperature measurement, the localisation of persons, vehicles or animals, the sending of alarms, the remote update of software, the installation of backup lines, remote control of actions or the issue of warnings when the presence of persons is detected in facilities.

"The value-added services of Telefónica's Smart M2M platform will have a direct impact on the service quality we offer our customers. The integration of the platform's API into Telit's modules demonstrates the benefits of our collaboration with Telefónica, which has been in force for over a year now," says Carlos Pérez, Telit's Regional Sales Director France, Spain and Portugal. "The commitment of Telefónica, a leading player in the global telecoms market, to create new services and support the development of innovative applications is of great importance to us since it perfectly fits with Telit's strategy of offering its customers the most advanced M2M technology in the world."

The collaboration between Telit and Telefónica started in February this year when the two companies signed a strategic alliance, opening the doors of their R&D&I centres to optimise the development of future services and products. The first practical outcome of their collaboration was Telit's UMTS/HSDPA module, unveiled at the last 3GSM conference.

Telit's modules are constantly updated to incorporate the latest technical innovations in order to meet the market's increasingly complex demands. One example is the integration of GSM/GRPS/GPS technologies, which is increasingly being applied to improve productivity in every industrial sector. Telit Communications was the first company to offer products which combine GSM/GPRS and GPS technologies in a minimum space, thereby reducing costs as well as time for integration and for the production of the end device. The integration of Telefónica's Smart M2M platform represents another step in this policy of developing cheaper and more efficient solutions for customers.

Cubic Telecom has launched MAXroam, a new mobile roaming product which is claimed to allow anyone to reduce their mobile phone bill by as much as 80 per cent while traveling abroad. MAXroam is the 'world's first' universal SIM and is being launched to consumers in the UK and Ireland through Maplin's network of high street stores, as well as via the Maplin product directory and online.

MAXroam was launched to offer consumers the best country-to-country phone rates anywhere. The service dramatically reduces costs for both the callers and the recipients of roaming phone calls, by using local, in-country numbers, effectively making all global calls local calls.

The MAXroam SIM can be used in any standard GSM mobile phone, and there is nothing to download and no applications to install. Customers are given a local number in their home country and another local number in the country they are traveling to. You can either forward your calls or leave a message telling your callers you are traveling, informing them of your new number. MAXroam can currently be used in over 160 countries around the world.

The deal with Maplin will make the MAXroam SIM available on the high street and means that anyone who regularly travels abroad - for business or pleasure - can now purchase the money-saving SIM.

Once purchased the SIM is easy to register and users can add as many as 50 different numbers to the SIM - choosing local numbers from a choice of more than 40 countries, or creating additional numbers for you to give to different groups of friends or business colleagues - all for a small monthly fee. The phone is then used on a 'pay as you go' basis, with credit top-ups easily added through users's account page on the MAXroam website.

"The launch of MAXroam is putting an end to one of the most extortionate practices in the telco industry - roaming charges. From today, customers in the UK and Ireland can benefit from affordable international calls while traveling abroad" said Cubic CEO and co-founder Pat Phelan.

"We are living in a world where more and more people need to make phone calls across borders. Our mantra is 'all global calls should be local calls', and we have built a product that can do that. MAXroam benefits both holidaymakers and business travellers alike, both of whom can now make or receive calls abroad confident in the knowledge that their calls are only being charged at rates comparable to local rates," Phelan added. 

PageOne, the UK provider of wireless messaging solutions to the public and enterprise sectors, has claimed that it has enhanced its relationship with healthcare software company Adastra, by supplying their NHS customers with it's latest messaging technology. Adastra already offers its customers PageOne's paging system and, following PageOne's ability to integrate both paging and text messaging in one cost-effective service, have upgraded their service to encompass messaging.

Adastra provides a specialist call management, data distribution and clinical recording system used by more than 95% of the UK's unscheduled primary health care operational hubs and will be using PageOne's services in two key areas. The first, the Despatching module, enables staff to send live cases to clinicians working away from the main centre. Case details can be sent to the clinician's computer, while selected case information, such as the patient's name and address, can simultaneously be sent to a pager or mobile phone. PageOne's 'message acknowledgement' feature alerts dispatchers of receipt, and in turn updates the customer's Adastra system.

The second area, the Appointments Scheduler, enables Adastra's customers to book appointments for patients and sends them a reminder, together with directions to treatment centres. Adastra customers have a dedicated area on PageOne's web site which allows them simplified sign up for the fast and efficient central service provided by PageOne.

"Collaboration with PageOne means that Adastra has a partner which has a unique understanding of what we do, and can facilitate the provision of suitable services," says Simon Wren, Head of Marketing at Adastra. "It is a three-way mutually beneficial agreement: customers benefit from negotiated special rates and effective communication technology; PageOne is able to target a mature, well understood market and Adastra is able to direct customers to a single source which simplifies our development and is essential to our on-going success."

Outblaze, the online service platform providing white label email, collaboration, security and social media services, has today announced that it is powering the email, sychronisation and webmail components of pfingo, a new all-in-one mobile internet and communications service that allows subscribers access to the latest features from anywhere in the world.

Pfingo, short for "phone, fingers, Internet on the go" is an integrated application that gives mobile & PC users easy access to online communication and information services independent of location or service provider. Pfingo provides users with email (on mobile, PC and webmail), instant messaging, mobile VoIP service, contacts sychronisation, news feeds and 400 MB storage space per user - as well as many premium options.

The pfingo launch follows the successful public trial kicked off in April 2007 where more than 30,000 users worldwide signed up and installed the pfingo client onto their mobile phone and/or PC. This overwhelming response amounted to 15 times more users than projected for the trial and, now live, the growth continues.

"We are excited about the pfingoMAIL product designed and created in co-operation with Outblaze, the clear leader in web 2.0 global communication services.  The number of sign-ups we continue to enjoy demonstrates our ambition to provide users with a first class service to converge all their communication needs - ultimately creating a new kind of global Internet community," said Mr. Chan Kin Hung, head of advanced multimedia services at StarHub, Singapore's second largest info-communications company.

Thousands of businesses, portals, service providers and academic institutions worldwide rely on Outblaze for messaging, spam protection and advanced Web 2.0 services that are tailored to meet the specific needs of their customers.  Outblaze was selected to power the email, sychronisation and webmail components of pfingo for its scalable and robust webmail features and its end-to-end service, ensuring the service remains current going forward.   Outblaze's flexibility and reliability are two other key reasons the company was chosen as the central contact sychronisation engine and store for all the user services, such as pfingoACTIVE and pfingoTALK.

"StarHub's plans for pfingo are tremendous, creating a fully converged communication experience which is largely device agnostic," comments Richard Bye, VP of Sales and Corporate Development at Outblaze "We are pleased to be their partner for this first of its kind service."

The Outblaze system also integrates sychronised contact management with Outlook and enables users to consolidate a number of email accounts so real-time push email can be sent to mobile phones easily and inexpensively.