Visto Mobile gives network operators integrated solution for delivering personal, business or global enterprise email on all popular mobile phones

Breakthrough mobile messaging solutions provider Visto Corporation today announced its new integrated platform allowing mobile network operators to provide push-based mobile email/PIM solutions aimed at individual, small business or corporate customers.

Visto Mobile unlocks the market by providing operators with a single common architecture to integrate a range of push email/PIM services on a host of different handsets, from most simple phones to the most capable smart phones. Visto Mobile provides the real-time platform operators want, in order to provide a wide range of mobile mail solutions to their subscribers. The platform includes Visto Mobile Personal Edition, providing personal email/PIM to subscribers; and Visto Mobile Enterprise Server, an enterprise class solution for companies using Microsoft Exchange or IBM Lotus Domino servers.

Visto Mobile provides an always-connected solution for immediate delivery of email to the mobile device over 2.5G and 3G networks including GPRS, CDMA/1xRTT, CDMA 2000 and WCDMA.

"The Visto Mobile platform provides a powerful tool to mobile operators," said Paolo Pescatore, senior analyst for IDC's European Wireless and Mobile Communications Service. "Visto's strategy of providing broad device support, personal and corporate email/PIM, with real-time, push email delivery, makes them the one to watch. It's shown impressive growth having nearly 200,000 paid subscribers among ten wireless operators worldwide."

With this new release, Visto has also improved upon product usability and performance on popular mobile devices including Sony Ericsson's P900, P800, palmOne's Treo600, Nokia 6600, and SPV e-200 and J2ME-based devices. Other enhancements include scalability and performance; reporting and customer support tools and 'class of service' provisioning features that help mobile operators create service packages targeted at specific customer segments.

Visto Mobile is integrated within a Network Operating Centre (NOC) that can either be located within the operator's network, or can be independently hosted by Visto. Hosting the Visto Mobile Access Platform on the NOC provides a single point of integration for the operator's authentication, provisioning and billing systems.

With recently secured funding totaling more than US$65 million, and over 200,000 paid subscribers with ten different mobile operators worldwide; Visto is an acknowledged leader in developing and introducing multiple mobile email solutions. The company owns nine patents relating to mobile email/PIM, and is the mobile email client of choice for both PalmSource and Microsoft.

This new platform follows on the company's acquisition of Seattle's ViAir last year, and incorporated ViAir's technology onto the Visto Mobile Personal Edition and Visto Mobile Enterprise Server mobile email/PIM clients.

"Visto continues to set the pace for introducing mobile email/PIM solutions to market," said Brian Bogosian, chairman, president and CEO of Visto Corporation. "The heart of our proposition is that with the Visto Mobile platform, operators can offer customers individual, POP3, or corporate email/PIM accounts. What's more, they can use handsets from Sony Ericsson, Nokia, palmOne, or many others, and run the service over Windows Mobile, Symbian OS, PalmSource, or J2ME operating platforms."

"We provide control and flexibility for the operator, and choice in the hands of the customer. Our focused team of developers and the broad scope of our patents will allow us to continue to push the mobile mail serviceboundaries," Bogosian added.

Visto has already begun implementing its next generation push architecture aimed at improving user experience and optimizing data usage. Visto also plans further developments to advance and expand the range of add-on services operators will be able to offer. For example, the company plans to upgrade the Visto Mobile platform to enable operators to seamlessly introduce add-on services for current handsets. Visto Mobile platform is being integrated into the company's existing operator services in the USA, Asia Pacific and Europe.

New approach employs terminal identification rather than data encryption to protect copyrighted content from unauthorised use, storage and distribution

P-Cube Inc., the first to provide programmable IP service control platforms for wireline and mobile network operators (MNOs), has announced its enhanced mobile service application, Encharge version 2.1, which utilises the company's application and subscriber aware platform architecture to enable mobile operators to protect copyrighted content from unauthorised use, storage and distribution.  Unlike digital rights management (DRM) technologies that encrypt data, P-Cube's content protection uses terminal identification, which allows mobile operators to identify an authorised device-type and permit or block content based on the device's profile.  The technology is a critical component to service providers' strategy of managing illicit distribution of data which most often occurs when advanced users utilise the Internet to access mobile content servers via workstations, laptops and PDAs.

Mobile phone personalisation with content such as ring tones, animated screensavers, music, gaming or even video clips is a high-margin, non-voice revenue stream for MNOs and content providers, driving the take-up of more advanced premium data services.  However, the use of more general purpose hardware like PDAs, mobile connected laptops or workstations with unlimited storage in this environment means users can easily access, download, copy and distribute vast amounts of premium content without limitation.  P-Cube's subscriber- aware, IP-based network technology addresses the problem by helping confine usage to a subset of well-known terminal- types, making content protection manageable.

P-Cube's Service Control technology is comprised of a programmable network element that sits inline with data traffic and creates an intelligent overlay enabling the network to identify, classify, guarantee performance and charge for content-based services. Using Encharge v2.1, mobile operators can control access to their designated content servers based on a subscription plan and device type, which enables the operators to determine if an unauthorised device is attempting to download valuable content.

"Mobile content data is a very lucrative asset for wireless providers. It's imperative that providers protect their assets while simultaneously packaging, delivering and charging for services that permit subscribers to personalise content," said Yuval Shahar, president and chief executive officer of P-Cube.  "Our technology-agnostic services layer allows mobile operators to identify individual subscribers and control access to services based on their subscriber profile and device type further demonstrating the importance of service control in IP networks."

In addition to content protection, the Encharge service application provides mobile carriers with the ability to increase revenues by adding prepaid and postpaid content-based services to their mobile offerings. By integrating with existing operational and business support systems and converging the voice and data prepaid-postpaid environment, operators eliminate redundant systems and receive immediate cost savings.  Encharge's real-time analysis and policy-based charging ensures carriers can block, redirect or shape content-based services while comprehensive Layer 7 deep packet inspection enables the identification of all mobile services including Push-to-Talk and multimedia offers.

Encharge 2.1 is generally available and shipping to customers today.

mBlox announces the latest product enhancement to its Premium SMS service in the United Kingdom, called Premium Transaction Tracking (PTT). PTT delivers the ability to report operator error codes in broader, ubiquitous terms. PTT is designed to simplify the complex and changing transaction status info operators provide as well as deliver practical information which clients can utilise to reduce the number of failed messages and maintain their databases.

The benefits of mBlox's Premium Transaction Tracking extend to both mBlox's clients and the operators. The major benefits from our clients' perspective are increased revenue and lower costs. Equipped with insight into why messages have failed, clients can set up their applications to: increase the success billing ratio; minimise unnecessary message retries; reduce redundant system load; maintain current subscriber data. Overall, better insight not only saves companies time and money but enables companies to better manage mobile messaging campaigns. From the operators' perspective, more efficient message delivery means lower levels of non-billable traffic. 

Andrew Bud, Executive Chair of mBlox, commented, "We are very pleased with the value Premium Transaction Tracking will offer clients. As a pure-play aggregator mBlox is focused on removing the complexities inherent in message transport. Premium Transaction Tracking is an example of how mBlox's focus on details and service provides bottom-line value to clients."

Stephen Wood, Product Development Manager at mBlox, said "mBlox perceived a clear need by content and application service providers to have discrete, detailed information in order to better metric their campaign performance.  PTT gives companies unprecedented insight into their messaging campaigns and enables them to clean up their databases, retry messages according to an appropriate schedule, and most importantly, immediately increase their success billing ratio."

LogicaCMG today announced that it has won a multi million Euro contract with HTmobile of Croatia to supply enhanced interactive messaging services. The LogicaCMG solution will be based on the company's all-IP Next Generation messaging solution.

The LogicaCMG architecture enables HTmobile to share common management, provisioning and network interfaces across different service bearers to ensure optimum cost efficiency of its messaging infrastructure by maintaining low operational costs and capital expenditure. This architecture also provides the flexibility, features and framework components for HTmobile to evolve its service portfolio to include richer and more interactive messaging services, such as SMS voting and polling. The solution allows for unparalleled capacity growth while ensuring zero downtime for revenue generating messaging services. 

The Interactive Messaging Server gives subscribers fast access via one code (e.g. *100#) to a series of interactive menus, where they can easily select premium content or self-care menus. This enables HTmobile to offer self-care applications to their customers, while at the same time increasing Average Revenue Per User by making it easier for subscribers to access premium SMS content.

Georg Muendl, CMO, HTmobile, said: "We have a strong, ongoing relationship with LogicaCMG and it was the obvious choice when we decided to implement a Next Generation messaging platform. LogicaCMG's technical expertise and support will be vital as we roll out enhanced messaging services to our customers whilst maintaining the high levels of service that they expect. These new services will enable us to grow our customer base and drive new revenues for our business."

Jasper Weijman, Vice President of Sales EMEA, LogicaCMG's Global Telecoms, said: "Our work with HTmobile demonstrates our ability to work with operators to provide proven next generation messaging solutions. This is another win for us within the Deutsche Telekom group and confirms LogicaCMG's position as one of the key suppliers of high performance messaging platforms to this group."

LogicaCMG is the global leader in telecom messaging and payments, delivering two out of every three text messages and supplying next generation messaging and billing solutions to 250 of the world's top operators in over 70 countries. These solutions serve more than 500 million active mobile phone subscribers. LogicaCMG also delivers one out of every four multimedia messaging systems, with commercially deployed MMS solutions serving over 85 million subscribers around the world.

LogicaCMG offers a unique all-IP messaging architecture, which combines advanced messaging services such as SMS and MMS with state of the art voice messaging services based on LogicaCMG's uOne. The Next Generation Messaging architecture provides network operators with a cost-effective solution in every phase of market development whilst preparing their networks to accommodate future service demands.

3GSM and TD-SCDMA operators and vendors to benefit globally

The GSM Association and the TD-SCDMA Forum today signed an agreement to co-ordinate the development of the two 3G standards. Through closer co-operation, the two organisations will promote interoperability and international roaming between the two technologies and so maximise economies of scale for the benefit of end-users, operators and manufacturers.

The GSM Association is the global trade association representing more than 630 GSM and 3GSM mobile operators world-wide, while TD-SCDMA Forum was established in China to promote the development and commercialisation of TD-SCDMA.

Chosen by 98% of operators who have been allocated radio spectrum in the 2GHz band identified by the International Telecommunications Union for 3G, 3GSM exploits "paired" spectrum, with users speaking or transmitting data on one radio channel and hearing responses or receiving data on a second radio channel. By contrast, TD-SCDMA transmits and receives data in different time-slots on "unpaired" radio channels. 

Both 3GSM and TD-SCDMA can be deployed on GSM core networks and both technologies are now being standardised by 3GPP, a partnership of standards bodies representing China, Korea, Japan, the United States and Europe. "TD-SCDMA and 3GSM are compatible technologies, a factor recognised in the
decision to standardise TD-SCDMA through the 3GPP," said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSM Association and Member of the Board. "The synergies mean opportunities for TD-SCDMA to complement 3GSM not just within in China, but on a global basis."

Professor Joe McGeehan has been awarded the CBE for pioneering innovation in mobile communications.

Professor McGeehan is the managing director of Toshiba Research Europe's Bristol UK-based Telecommunications Research Laboratory. He is also a director of the internationally recognised Centre for Communications Research at the University of Bristol.

At Toshiba, Professor McGeehan is responsible for managing research into 3G, 4G and 5G terminals, including algorithms, Digital Signal Processing, protocols and software.

Professor McGeehan has published more than 200 papers in the field of mobile communication systems, RF engineering, microwave theory and techniques, radio-wave propagation, signal processing and plasma physics.

His research into Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA) during the early 1990's formed the basis of today's 3G cellular standard. He also led the development of speech scrambling technology which is used today by all the UK's police forces for secure mobile radio transmissions. This technology won the Prince of Wales Award for Innovation (1992).

"I am very honoured to receive this award in recognition of the strategic importance of the link between industry and Higher Education in the field of mobile communications," said Professor McGeehan. "At a time of rapid change and development in the mobile communications field I have been extremely fortunate to have made a contribution in a number of key research areas.  In this respect, I have been supported by many talented individuals without whose help such advances would have not have been possible."

Professor McGeehan is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (FIEE) and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng).

Factual and fun answers delivered by AQA to mobile phones within minutes. So if you want to know England's football score or how Henman is doing at Wimbledon, text AQA on 63336 for an answer

IssueBits Ltd, the company behind the AQA service, has announced that AQA is now available on all major phone networks in the UK, reaching a potential audience of over 45 million people.

AQA, which stands for Any Question Answered, is a text message (sms) question and answer service. Since the selected network launch of the service in April, mobile phone users across the UK have been inundating AQA with practical, impractical and genuinely bizarre questions looking for facts and fun. T-Mobile mobile phone network subscribers can now join O2, Orange and Vodafone subscribers in the UK to get answers from AQA by texting their questions to 63336.

With Euro 2004 kicked off and Wimbledon just around the corner, the AQA service has been helping people stuck in pubs with those all important questions..."Who's going to be in the final?", "Which country failed to score a goal in the last Euro championships?" or "Whose round is it next?"

Examples of questions received over the last few days include:

Q     When are England playing their next games?
A     England games are 17/6 vs Switzerland at 5pm and 21/6 vs Croatia at 7.45pm. AQA predicts an England final rematch vs France 4/7 at 7.45pm

Q.     Is the Pope a footballer?
A.     In his youth, Pope John Paul II regularly played football for his school and university sides (as goalkeeper).

Q.     What's the furthest Tim has got?
A.     Tim Henman has never won a grand slam event. He reached the semi-final match in the Paris Open only to lose against Coria 3-6 6-4 6-0 7-5.

Q.     How many times did Billy Jean King win Wimbledon?
A.     Billy Jean King won the Wimbledon Ladies Championship six times: in 1966 (beating Bueno), 67(Jones), 68 (Tegart), 73 (Evert) and 72 and 75(Goolagong)

Anyone with a mobile phone can ask AQA a question - any time of the day or night - by simply texting the question to 63336. It costs £1 per question sent plus a standard text charge to use AQA. The answer will be delivered within minutes in a single text message.

Contemporary clamshells, a megapixel 3G WCDMA smartphone and stylish mid-range phones

Mid-range clamshells and products for new growth markets took center-stage today, as Nokia revealed the latest additions to its product portfolio at the annual Nokia Connection conference. Held simultaneously in Singapore and Helsinki, the conference also witnessed the launch of the world's smallest 3G GSM/WCDMA phone.

Chairman and CEO Jorma Ollila launched the products, including three clamshell phones and a 3G WCDMA smartphone aimed at bringing 3G to the broader market.  Introducing the products, he said, "We have now sharpened our product portfolio in key areas, bringing new phones to the market in the mid-range, and adding more clamshells to our offering." Nokia's ongoing commitment to growth markets was also evident, with the launch of two new color-screen phones tailored for these areas.
 
Nokia's newest 3G phone, the Nokia 6630 featured prominently at the conference, combining the benefits of 3G, EDGE and Series 60, the world's leading smartphone platform.  The Nokia 6630 boosts personal information management in 3G WCDMA networks with secure access to corporate Intranet and email at mobile broadband speeds.  Uniquely, the Nokia 6630 is the first dual-mode, tri-band handset designed to work on 3G (WCDMA), EDGE and 2G networks in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Combined with the power of customization enabled by Series 60, operators will be able to deploy successful services across different networks and across the world.

Nokia also launched the Nokia 6260 phone, a high-performance business phone designed for mobile professionals.  It offers the latest mobile technology features and applications, including push to talk, email, Bluetooth connectivity and a VGA camera in an innovative fold design.  The tri-band Nokia 6260 smartphone is based on the Symbian operating system and Series 60, the world's leading smartphone platform.  As for the design: it is more than just a clamshell, it's a fold with a twist!

In the mid-range, the Nokia 6170 is an attractive, clamshell camera phone that combines modern, stainless steel design with a feature set that emphasizes quality of life.  The strength of this phone is its flexible messaging options: e-mail, instant messaging, MMS and push to talk all in one handset. Push to talk brings GSM subscribers a totally new way of using mobile phone for one-on-one and group communications. Several operators around the world are likely to launch push to talk services this year, introducing an enticing option for operators, business users and consumers.
 
The remaining two phones announced today enhance Nokia's product offering towards mobile subscribers in growing markets.  The Nokia 2650 is an affordable, small and stylish clamshell phone with a color display and balanced functionality. It is Nokia's first color display phone in the entry category.  The Nokia 2600 is a classically designed and easy-to-use phone which is ideal for small business owners and professionals.  Of particular interest is the spreadsheet application for bookkeeping and customizable converter. Together, the Nokia 2600 and Nokia 2650 bring color displays to new price points. Color is now reaching entry-level phones.

In addition to the phones, Nokia launched a foldable keyboard with wireless Bluetooth connection.  It serves an an extension to Series 60 phones like the Nokia 6260 and Nokia 6630, enabling easy text input to phone applications, including e-mail. The wireless keyboard is compatible with Series 60 phones with Bluetooth support, and is addressed towards business users.

In summarizing the new releases, Ollila also touched on Nokia's plans to strengthen the focus on R&D and renew its product portfolio: "Earlier this year we said we would renew our product portfolio by introducing a range of new products. This has not changed. During the spring, we have conducted a thorough analysis of our roadmaps; we have reviewed the timings and pruned our portfolio, adding some new products and accelerating others - and during this process, we have even killed some product plans.  As a result of this work, I feel that we will have a much sharper and competitive product range to meet the expectations of both consumers and operators. All in all, we expect to launch a total of approximately 35 products globally this year."

Good mobile coverage, remote access to the intranet and e-mail to their mobile phone - this is what Swedish employees feel are most important to increase their availability during summer. These are some of the findings in Telia's most recent survey, which polled 3,640 employees of Swedish companies.

The survey, conducted in May this year, also indicated that 70 percent of those who were polled feel their company should invest in additional IT and telecom solutions to increase their possibilities to work outside the office.

"This is a clear trend - more and more people want to be able to work outside their workplace because it makes working easier and more efficient, but also because it gives them more time to spend with their families and friends if they work, for example, from their vacation home a few days a week this summer," says Erik Heilborn, head of the Business Segment at TeliaSonera Sweden.

Good network coverage for their mobile phone was the most important thing for increasing availability this summer, answered 57 percent of the people in the survey, followed by remote access to the company intranet (42%), e-mail to their mobile phone (40%) and broadband at home (37%).

Four out of ten in the survey believe there would be no technical problems working remotely. Thirty percent want more support when they connect by broadband or their mobile phone, and 22 percent want more help in accessing their company's intranet.

Thirty-two percent prefer to receive this type of assistance through clear instructions on the Internet and 28 percent want support by telephone. Almost half of the respondents, 46 percent, said they get the help they need from their respective companies. 

End-to-end solution from Nokia: Nokia IMS, SIP Software Development Kit for application development and downloadable SIP clients available

Person-to-person mobile communications is about to become richer, more dynamic and versatile, as services such as real time video sharing, content sharing, push to talk, interactive applications and games are becoming available for mobile subscribers.

During the Nokia Connection press events in Helsinki and Singapore today, Nokia announced the availability of the industry's first end-to-end solution for SIP based applications. The 3GPP compliant Nokia IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), the key enabling technology for IP multimedia services, is now available for commercial deployments. Combined with the SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) software development kit from Forum Nokia and terminals supporting downloadable SIP clients, Nokia can offer a complete end-to-end solution for richer, dynamic IP multimedia communications.
 
"With the Nokia IMS, operators can launch a range of new attractive multimedia services and applications. We have been thoroughly testing our technology with leading operators since 2001, and our customers are now preparing for commercial deployment of lead services," says Juha Äkräs, Senior Vice President, Core Networks, Networks, Nokia. "In the future, IP multimedia communications will become mainstream, supporting richer, more dynamic person-to-person communications."
 
Launched in Spring 2003, the Nokia IMS provides the platform for introducing SIP-based applications as a serious network service. After an extensive testing period with operator customers, the Nokia IMS is now shipping, and live tests are ongoing in several major European networks.
 
IMS delivers a connectivity mechanism that enables terminals and other SIP capable devices to establish IP sessions between each other. These connections form the basis for a wide range of multimedia communication services and interactive applications. IP multimedia services can be accessed over any IP connection, such as GPRS and WCDMA networks, broadband home connections or WLAN hotspots.
 
In addition to sharing, gaming and other interactive applications, Push to talk over Cellular, the voice service for one-on-one and one-to-group communications, will work over IMS. Several operators in Asia-Pacific and Europe are currently preparing push to talk launches with Nokia.
 
For Nokia's operator customers, the Nokia IMS means new revenue opportunities both in 2G and 3G networks. IMS is specified in 3GPP Release 5, providing a clear standard for interoperability.
 
The Nokia IMS uses SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) to establish IP connections between terminals. To enable the developer community to innovate and introduce new IP multimedia services, the SIP Plug-in for the Series 60 SDK for Symbian OS will be available from Forum Nokia (www.forum.nokia.com). The SIP Plug-in provides tools and documentation for developing and testing SIP-enabled applications for Series 60 Developer Platform 2.0 devices.  Lead developers participating in Nokia's early access program will soon make their first IP multimedia applications available, bringing real applications to market to support the technology rollout.
 
Several Nokia terminals support downloadable SIP clients and applications, including the Nokia 6600, Nokia 6620 and Nokia 7610, as well as new Nokia 6260 and Nokia 6630, introduced during the Nokia Connection 2004 press event today.

General Catalyst Partners, eFund LLC, and Bessemer Venture Partners back leader in mobile entertainment

MFORMA Group Inc., a leading global provider of wireless entertainment, announced today that it has raised $44 million in its first institutional round of financing co-led by General Catalyst Partners, eFund LLC, and Bessemer Venture Partners. MFORMA will use the new capital to extend its global distribution network, already one of the largest in the world. Prior to this investment, MFORMA had grown organically to cash flow positive and attained a world-leading position by providing wireless carriers with everything needed to successfully deliver mobile entertainment products to their subscribers. MFORMA provides distribution technology, managed services, and a comprehensive catalog of entertainment content to more than 60 of the world’s leading wireless operators.

"The market for mobile entertainment is the fastest growing market in the world and the demand for our products by mobile users is growing exponentially," said Daniel Kranzler, MFORMA CEO. "This demand, combined with the surge in availability of multimedia terminals, has created unprecedented market conditions both in the U.S. and internationally. MFORMA is consolidating the best companies in the industry and meeting this demand as the single source provider for wireless carriers around the world, delivering content and distribution technology that works across all networks, billing systems, handsets, operating systems, and regions of the world. We are pleased to have the support of our outstanding investors and the financial resources that allow us to scale and take full advantage of the global opportunity."

MFORMA was founded in 2001 and established itself first in the U.S., then Europe, and more recently, Asia through a process of mergers and acquisitions.  MFORMA last month announced the establishment of MFORMA Korea, through its acquisition of MobileGame Korea, a leading mobile games developer and partner with whom it has been collaborating for two years. Through this acquisition MFORMA gained a team of world-class developers, direct distribution in Korea, and a respected local presence in Asia. MFORMA Group Inc. today comprises MFORMA Americas, MFORMA Europe, and MFORMA Korea.

According to a report by mobile industry analyst ARC Group, the global market for mobile entertainment services will reach $27 billion and have 2.5 billion users by 2008, while sales of Java-enabled handsets tripled in 2003 to reach 95.5 million units, up from 32 million in 2002. Shipments of devices embedded with Qualcomms BREW platform reached 11.6 million in 2003, up from 3.5 million in 2002.

"The mobile entertainment industry came of age in 2003 due to the arrival of Java handsets in the mass market and the emergence of operators as a content channel," said Stuart OBrien of the Mobile Games Analyst newsletter. "Significant revenues are being generated through the value chain, driven by content downloads and information services."

"General Catalyst has continued to search far and wide for connectivity platforms that deliver compelling products and services to solve real pain points in the marketplace and transform industries," said John Simon, managing director, General Catalyst Partners.  "MFORMA is unique because it is led by a talented, driven management team that recognized early-on the growth opportunities in the wireless content market.  That team continues to execute on a successful strategy by developing and acquiring a wide breadth of content types and product lines to position the company for international leadership." 

"Bessemer has been studying the mobile entertainment space for over a year and has concluded that MFORMA is ideally placed for success," noted Ron Elwell, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners Massachusetts office. "With its presence on three continents, MFORMA has unparalleled experience in working with carriers around the world. We believe the company is poised to meet the demand of the rapidly growing worldwide mobile entertainment market."

Following an agreement between General Wireless and Telia, Sweden’s largest mobile operator, Telia corporate subscribers can now send SMS messages from their MS-Outlook and from any Windows-based PC. This new service is based on General Wireless’ eSMS Executive solution.

General Wireless eSMS Executive technology opens up new ways for today's 1 billion mobile subscribers and 500 million PC users to communicate by converging the technologies of email programs and SMS into two-way eSMS. This new groundbreaking solution enables mobile operators worldwide to provide a user-friendly service to mobile subscribers, driving SMS traffic.

Downloadable free of charge from www.telia.se/smsidatorn, the new service allows Telia corporate mobile subscribers to send SMS to any mobile phone directly from their MS-Outlook and from any Windows-based PC using established contact lists for both individuals and groups. Customers pay for sent SMS messages via their monthly phone bill.

"SMS has long been a preferred communication method among young mobile phone users. Today, short messaging is increasingly being integrated in corporate communication solutions. We are very pleased that the Nordic region’s largest mobile operator has chosen our eSMS technology for its new service", said Anders Hardebring, CEO at General Wireless.

End2End, Europe's leading managed service provider for mobile data services, and SONOFON, the second largest mobile operator in Denmark, today announced the launch of a mblogging service for Danish MMS users.

Blogging has become one of the most popular means of collaboration on the Internet, enabling users to create and share personal diaries online. Mobile blogging, or mblogging, enables users to upload pictures, text, video, and sound via mobile phones using MMS.

With the launch of SONOFON's mblogging service, SONOFON subscribers are now able to create their own personal mblogs by uploading pictures taken with camera phones using MMS. Users can add text to their photos via the Internet, and will soon also be able to edit text using mobile phones. Visitors can view mblogs on the Internet, and SONOFON subscribers can additionally send mblog pictures as MMS messages or use them to create and send postcards.

SONOFON's mblogging service is delivered as a turnkey Managed Service Solution by End2End and can be accessed by all of SONOFON's post-pay MMS users.

"Blogging has taken the Internet by storm and we expect mblogging to be very attractive to our MMS users," said Morten Krarup Hansen, Head of Product & Market Strategy, Telenor Nordic Mobile. "SONOFON's existing MMS services are delivered through End2End's Managed Service Solutions, and we are working closely with End2End to continuously enhance our MMS proposition."

"We launched MMS in co-operation with SONOFON in December 2001 and have since been working closely to develop the Danish market for advanced mobile data services," said Soren Ravn, CEO, End2End. "We expect that mblogging will accelerate the adoption and usage of MMS messaging and improve user retention, as well as increase the popularity of camera phones."

GCF approval obtained for 26 3GPP test cases

Spirent Communications announced Global Certification Forum (GCF) approval for a total of 26 test cases for the Spirent U-ATS UMTS Automatic Test System. This approval makes Spirent’s U-ATS system a leader in the number of GCF-approved test cases for RF conformance testing of 3G WCDMA terminals to the industry standard 3G Partnership Project (3GPP) TS 34.121. It also demonstrates Spirent’s dedication to helping achieve the much-anticipated certification process for 3G terminals and speed the commercial deployment of 3G-enabled applications and services. 

GCF certification is expected to boost industry confidence in the performance and reliability of new 3G mobile devices. Spirent’s U-ATS System was commercially launched in October of 2002. In 2003 Spirent gained GCF certification of nine 3GPP test cases. In the past year, this number has grown to a total of 26, resulting in a 280 per cent increase in approved test cases.

"Responding to industry requests, Spirent has implemented an aggressive plan to have a large number of test cases independently validated and to gain GCF approval in a relatively short timeframe," states Richard Catmur, European wireless business development director for Spirent Communications’ Wireless group. "U-ATS has evolved as an impressive platform on which to carry out lab testing of 3G terminal performance, both to the letter of the standards and against the widest range of real-world performance challenges."

Spirent’s U-ATS is a comprehensive, fully-automated test system that runs industry-standard 3GPP test cases for formal RF conformance testing. It includes Spirent’s market-leading physical layer performance analysis tools to ensure that UEs are tested under representative real-world conditions. The system is driven from Spirent’s TestDrive UMTS test executive software for seamless test configuration and execution without any requirement for scripting or programming. 

U-ATS forms a complete range of solutions suitable for all phases of W-CDMA terminal design, development and deployment, demonstrating Spirent’s commitment to sustain and enhance its leading role in accelerating the global roll-out of next-generation wireless services.

Spirent will expand the U-ATS system’s test coverage later this year to include Radio Resource Management (RRM) tests from 3GPP TS 34.121 on the same platform. Spirent has also recently announced new FLEX System configurations for the system. These flexible, scalable system configurations address a wide range of applications and budgets. FLEX Systems enable customisation of industry-standard test cases and the creation of user-defined tests for focused testing during development, integration and design verification of 3G W-CDMA terminals.   

Spirent’s wireless test solutions aid in all phases of mobile device development and deployment for the world’s leading chipset, mobile and infrastructure manufacturers and mobile network operators.  Spirent’s extensive CDMA experience has led to it being considered by the industry the ‘one-stop-shop’ for CDMA handset performance and certification testing. Among its accomplishments, Spirent has introduced the first and only integrated solution available to test location-capable CDMA phones, a critical element of assisting manufacturers in meeting the U.S. FCC E911 requirements. Spirent has now leveraged its success in mobile performance and certification testing to bring comprehensive performance analysis to the WCDMA market.