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Increasing adoption of messaging and content services, aided by increased availability of 2G and 3G-based mobile networks, is expected to push operator-billed data revenues in the mobile markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China (collectively referred to as the BRIC economies) from $26.2 billion in 2008 to more than $48.3 billion by 2013, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

The research highlights broader expectations that these four markets will be among the six largest economies in the world by 2050, by which time their mutual interdependence and trading abilities will have significantly shielded them from weakening economic conditions elsewhere in the world. They will be matched in size only by the United States and by Mexico.

According to report author Andrew Kitson, "As fixed-line telephony and broadband availability via traditional forms of access remains low in comparison with other important economies, these countries are expected to turn to the mobile phone for much of their future communications, banking, entertainment, commerce and lifestyle needs. Indeed, in countries such as India, low-cost multi-functional mobile handsets will become an essential part of everyday life for millions of people otherwise beyond the geographic and economic reach of basic fixed-line infrastructure. This, in turn, will help continue to drive economic growth. Mobile data will therefore be central to this unfolding story."

For operators, the key change in the next five years will be the launch of commercial 3G services (currently available only on a regional basis in Russia and Brazil) as well as migrating low-cost prepaid users to higher-value postpaid offerings wherever they can. However, with billions of dollars set to be spent on establishing these next-generation networks, the fundamental question facing players will be whether they can turn a profit from markets that will still have very low GDP per capita levels by 2050.

Other findings include
  • The BRIC mobile user base is expected to rise from 1.209 billion in 2008 to 1.644 billion in 2013
  • Total operator-billed voice revenues for the region are expected to peak in 2010 at $117.1 billion and will decline thereafter
  • China will record the highest operator billed data revenues of all four markets throughout the forecast period, well ahead of its closest rivals, Brazil and India

The report provides coverage and forecasts for the four individual BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China) as well as for the grouping as a whole.  It also includes overviews for more than 25 key market players, including Brasil Telecom, VIVO, Claro, TIM Brasil, Svyazinvest, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), VimpelCom, MegaFon, Tele2 Russia, SMARTS, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar, Reliance Communications, Tata Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom.

Nujira has opened a new Centre of Excellence for efficient RF transmitter design in cellular and broadcast applications based on its Coolteq modules. The Centre, located near Bath, is led by Simon Whittle, who has more than 25 years experience of base station and high performance transmitter development. He will be supported by a team of specialist engineers offering RF systems, RF power amplifier, DSP and FPGA design skills.

"Improving the efficiency of RF transmission is seen as critical by mobile networks and broadcasters alike, as they seek to manage their operating costs going forward as well as to achieve their Corporate Social Responsibility  goals," said Tim Haynes, CEO, Nujira.  "Simon Whittle and
his team are available to work with customers on a consultancy basis to address project-specific design challenges. There is a pool of RF systems, digital pre distortion and Digital/Analog IC design expertise in the Bristol area, and our new office harnesses this to help our customers bring to
market the most efficient possible RF transmitter design achievable within their project parameters."

Nujira's CoolTeq power modulator modules are said to halve the power consumption of Class AB RF amplifiers in systems with high peak average ratio signals. The modules use High Accuracy Tracking (HAT), a technology for improving the efficiency of RF power amplifiers.

Simon Whittle joins Nujira from PowerWave Technologies where he was Product Manager for Digital Radios, managing the design and production transfer of high power UMTS and WiMAX digital transceiver products for major OEMs. He was a founding director of Toracomm Ltd, acquired by Powerwave in 2001, which provided RF and signal processing design consultancy services to clients including Nokia, Lucent, TTPCom and IPWireless. Simon has an Honours Degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

Global IP Solutions, a provider of IP multimedia processing solutions, has announced its VideoEngine Mobile on the Windows Mobile platform, which enables peer-to-peer video calling and multi-point video conferencing on mobile phones.

Using GIPS VideoEngine Mobile, wireless carriers, application developers and mobile handset manufacturers can provide high-quality video calls, even under adverse network conditions. The company has partnered with Marvell Technology to ensure its media processing software provides the most advanced mobile phone features on the Marvell chipset and to highly optimize it for the XScale PXA310 devices including the Hewlett-Packard iPAQ series, Samsung's SGH-i780 and Gigabyte's GSmart MS808.

"Mobile VoIP is increasingly becoming an important service for users who seek to maximize the value received from mobile phones," said William Stofega, Research Manager at IDC's VOIP Services Program. "With video calling the mobile operators can now deliver the full benefits and innovations of IP communication, allowing them to offer more value-added services to customers while increasing their revenue streams."

According to a recent report from NSR, a research firm specializing in satellite and wireless technology and applications, mobile TV and mobile video services are projected to grow almost ten-fold to 566 million users by 2013.

"Today's mobile phone users demand the best in quality and rich functionality, which is why there is an enormous opportunity for application developers and wireless carriers to offer real-time video calls to the masses," said Emerick Woods, GIPS' Chief Executive Officer.  "Our expertise in enabling IP communications will allow mobile phone users the highest quality video calling experience possible."

GIPS leverages its industry-leading real-time communications capabilities to manage network effects and hardware limitations to provide a superior mobile video call experience, while addressing the most complex voice and video-related issues in IP communications, such as packet loss and lip synchronization.

Future releases of VideoEngine Mobile will also support other popular mobile platforms including Symbian and Apple's iPhone, as well as additional hardware platforms for Windows Mobile.

Aeroflex has launched an LTE version of its TM500 multi-handset (multi-UE) test mobile designed to enable infrastructure equipment vendors accelerate the pace of their LTE development projects.  At the same time Aeroflex has announced that it has won a contract to supply a major European infrastructure equipment vendor with the TM500 LTE Multi-UE test mobile.
 
Up to 32 LTE handset UEs are provided in one multi-UE test mobile, which simplifies complex tasks such as functional network testing with multiple UEs and performance measurement of resource scheduling algorithms. An LTE cell can be loaded with multiple UEs using a repeatable time profile in a controlled test environment.  All 3GPP UE categories will be supported with maximum aggregate data rates of up to 75Mbps on the uplink and 300Mbps on the downlink.
 
After network infrastructure functional testing has been completed with a single handset (UE), the next step is to test with a second UE, then a third and so on. More often than not, multiple UEs do not function as expected against the network compared to a single UE.  System diagnosis is complicated when independent UEs are used, as each UE attempts to interact with the network separately. A tool such as the multi-UE is required which can repeatedly generate a test scenario involving a user-defined number of UEs.
 
The TM500 LTE Multi-UE provides the ability to operate multiple UEs on the same test platform using a single point of control. In addition to functional multi-UE testing, the use of the same test platform enables specific tests that require UE co-ordination for which it is not practicable to use independent handsets. Such tests include contention between UEs attempting to access the network together and the ability to check a network's response if multiple UEs behave unexpectedly or abnormally together. However, each UE still provides 3GPP LTE functionality with its own independent software stack to ensure that it is representative of an LTE handset.
 
Handset configuration and measurement capabilities are also included to provide Infrastructure Engineers with the low level UE access and internal UE visibility they require to properly test and debug the eNode-B (LTE basestation) and network. The performance measurement capabilities of the TM500 LTE Multi-UE can be used to measure, optimise and demonstrate functionality such as the resource scheduler performance of the eNode‑B.
 
In addition to its use for functional and performance testing, TM500 Multi-UE test mobiles can also be upgraded to support hundreds of UEs for load and stress testing in conjunction with third party capacity test products.
 
"The multi-UE test capability now being offered on the TM500 LTE will fundamentally help infrastructure equipment vendors accelerate their LTE development by facilitating the engineering transition from one to multiple UE through to performance and capacity testing" said Nick Carter, Product Manager for the Aeroflex TM500 LTE Multi-UE.

BuzzCity, a provider of global wireless communities and consumer services, today announced the Q3 2008 myGamma Global Mobile Advertising Index, which is said to demonstrate the growing use of the mobile internet and ensuing advertiser interest. BuzzCity says it reports continued growth in Indonesia, which remains in top position despite network irregularities, as well as significant growth in Kenya, USA and Bangladesh.

BuzzCity also reports record growth for demand of its service in Libya, which will surprise both the global mobile community and digital advertising industries. Only six months ago Libya sat in 93rd position.  It is likely this growth is directly linked with changes in mobile operator business models offering affordable and understandable mobile data packages, which typically results in a significant increase in user levels and a consequent increase in brands keen to advertise on BuzzCity's advertising network.


UK brands have also shown an increased interest in buying mobile advertising space, with BuzzCity having served 48 million paid ad banners to UK users during Q3 2008.  This is a 96% increase on ad banners served in Q2 2008 and puts the UK into 16th position in the index, having moved up two places in respect to Q2 2008.

myGamma Global Mobile Advertising Index

The following statistics shows paid ad banner figures for the third quarter of 2008, alongside a comparison with those of Q2 2008:

1. Indonesia: 1.8 billion (up 47%)

2.  India: 660 million (down 1%)

3.  South Africa: 540 million (down 7%)

4.  Kenya: 299 million (up 91%)

5.  USA: 261 million (up 37%)

6.  Bangladesh: 134 million (up 71%)

7.  Tanzania: 114 million (up 30%)

8.  Libya: 103 million (up 1640%)

9.  Romania: 103 million (up 43%)

10.  Egypt: 98 million (up 76%)


BuzzCity's myGamma social network service on mobiles operates on an ad-supported model as a primary source of revenue. Advertisements are served on myGamma and on more than 2,000 publisher sites globally. BuzzCity tracks the growth of the network and by extension, the growth of the mobile internet in more than 200 countries around the world.

The company recently announced it has secured USD$10 million growth capital financing by new investor Naspers, a South Africa based integrated multinational media company. South Africa has consistently featured in the top five countries of the myGamma Global Mobile Advertising Index, with the number of paid ad banners having increased five-fold since 2007. To date the myGamma advertising network has served 12 billion paid advertising banners in 2008, with 1.5 billion served in South Africa alone.

KF Lai, CEO of BuzzCity, commented on the news: "Increased mobile penetration and reduced mobile data charges invariably sees more consumer activity on the mobile internet. More and more advertisers and publishers are keen to reach this growing base of consumers who may be difficult to reach via more traditional media outlets. For example, around 40% of South Africa's population has access to the mobile web whereas less than 10% access the web via a PC. This means that many big brands, such as banks and real estate agents, are willing to spend up to 70 per cent of their budget on mobile advertising.  

"There is a significant segment of the global consumer market whose primary access point to the web is via mobile. Brands that fail to recognise the growing potential of advertising via the mobile channel will lose out to more innovative competitors who are leading the field when it comes to interactive D2C marketing techniques."

GPS to fuel growth 

The number of mobile subscribers downloading navigation routes using their mobile handsets is expected to grow from 16 million users in 2008 to reach 70 million users in 2014, according to a new research report by Berg Insight t. Revenues from subscriptions and advertisements are expected to reach €597 million by 2014 from €177 million in 2008, a CAGR of 22.4 percent.

The growing adoption will be driven mainly by the introduction of GPS-technology in smartphone handsets and bundling of navigation applications with mobile devices or service plans. Following the introduction of the first GPS enabled handset in Europe in 2007, there has been a massive increase in the number of models available from Nokia and other manufacturers. Increasing volumes have paved the way for widespread adoption of mobile navigation services in Europe. Meanwhile the US market has continued to grow to a level of 6 million active subscribers to mobile navigation services in Q2-2008. The anticipated launch of GPS enabled handsets by the GSM operators AT&T and T-Mobile USA are expected to drive further growth in 2009.
 
André Malm, telecom analyst, Berg Insight says, “The mobile industry is now starting to reap the benefits from the introduction of GPS enabled handsets. However, most mobile navigation users only use the service during a free trial period. The key challenge will be to convert these test-users into paying subscribers.”
 

Personalisation is the key

Major brands are looking to invest heavily in mobile marketing over the next five years according to an independent survey of large brands in the financial services, retail and manufacturing sectors commissioned by O2. Despite the economic slowdown, brands do not believe that this will jeopardise mobility spending and the percentage of budgets spent on mobile marketing and communications is set to increase almost 150% by 2013.

Whilst online advertising is currently more popular than mobile internet marketing, two thirds of businesses state that mobile marketing campaigns generate a higher response rate than traditional methods due to the more personal ways they can reach their customers. The majority of marketing directors (60%) favour mobile marketing thanks to its highly targeted nature, particularly those in the financial services sector. Interestingly, 88 % of marketing directors anticipate behavioural targeting to be an important capability by 2010 enabling them to gain valuable customer insights.

However, half of those yet to deploy a mobile marketing campaign are concerned that their customers will view the text messages as spam. This misconception is confirmed by 46% of respondents, who stated they would only use mobile marketing if they were able to target their campaigns specifically, even though other users believe that mobile marketing has the ability to provide more targeting possibilities than any other advertising platform.  The most popular use of mobile marketing is for information services campaigns across the retail (60%) and financial services sectors (54%), while 40% use mobile marketing to send booking confirmations, to deliver appointment updates and to confirm items in stock. 

Other popular uses of mobile marketing highlighted in the report include: 

  • text to win competitions (28%)
  • text to call back campaigns (24%)
  • text to email campaigns (24%).

Of all mobile marketing solutions, SMS marketing is proving to be the most popular with almost a third of businesses surveyed using text messages to reach their existing or potential customers. Significantly, brands are not only using SMS, MMS and mobile barcoding techniques to communicate with their customers but almost half of those questioned (44%) use mobile for internal communication campaigns, with the method used by nearly all of those in the manufacturing sector (98%). Although brand experience of mobile marketing is increasingly positive, concerns about integration remain high for IT directors, with many (43%) expecting difficulty integrating SMS marketing within their current IT infrastructure. However, of all brands currently deploying mobile marketing campaigns, 95% have experienced very little or no integration problems. 

Simon Dean, Head of Mobile Media, O2 UK, said, “As SMS continues to grow, there has never been a better time for brands to engage with their customers via mobile. In today’s economic climate, mobile is proving to be a cost effective, targeted way for businesses to interact with exactly the people they want, from sending a text reminder to alert a customer to an overdrawn bank account to confirming a delivery via SMS.”  “In fact, one in ten of those we surveyed already think mobile marketing has saved their business at least £1 million when compared to other marketing solutions. With more consumers than ever browsing the web through their mobile handsets, there is a significant and largely untapped audience for brands to target their customers directly.”

 O2 commissioned Vanson Bourne in May 2008 to survey IT directors and marketing directors in 100 leading brands about their current and future plans for mobile marketing.  

Sony Ericsson today announced that the new 8.1 megapixel Cyber-shot C905 phone will come preloaded with Mobile Commerce's ‘NearMe' application. Mobile Commerce is the UK provider of location-based services (LBS) and mobile content integration, and ‘NearMe' will also be available to download onto the GPS enabled C702 Cyber-shot and W760 Walkman handsets.
            
'NearMe' is a local search service that provides users with detailed information on local businesses, amenities, venues and events, all based on current location using the GPS capabilities of the user's handset.
 
The application, which is provided free to the user by Sony Ericsson, includes UK wide content such as cinema, club and gig listings; over 11,000 recommended venues for eating and drinking in; as well as over 1.9 million business search listings and fully optimised Multimap mapping - all of which is enhanced on an ongoing basis so the information is always up to the minute. Full addresses and phone numbers are also included with each recommendation and listing.
 
Users can also select locations from pre-stored favourites or search for any location in the UK. Basic information provided includes, name, address and phone number and, where relevant, more detailed information such as film reviews, costs and show times. Finally, once you know where you want to go, there is a map to show you where it is.
 
David Hilton Head of Marketing, Sony Ericsson UK & Ireland, said: "Creating a Java application with best of breed content was a key objective to showcase our GPS handsets to our prime target market. Following an extensive market search we selected Mobile Commerce as our application partner and we are delighted with the ‘NearMe' application and have already defined a roadmap of enhancements to bring even more functionality and choice to our customers."
 
"We are delighted to be working with Sony Ericsson, who are known as an innovative global brand," added Steve Page, CEO of Mobile Commerce. "To be recognised by them as a leader in our field is an even greater incentive to develop and deliver an exciting application which shows the full capability of their latest handsets. I believe that with ‘NearMe' we have achieved this, using our technological knowledge and our expertise in aggregating content from numerous best of breed suppliers."

Kineto Wireless, specialist and supplier of FMC solutions for mobile operators, announced today that it has raised an additional $15.5 million in funding, including a strategic investment from Motorola as part of a broader commercial relationship with the company's Home & Networks Mobility business. Kineto's existing investors Oak Investment Partners, Sutter Hill Ventures, Venrock, Seapoint Ventures and InterDigital also participated in the funding.

Kineto's FMC solutions enable mobile operators to extend voice, data and IMS services over broadband access networks, using the Internet to lower service delivery costs while improving mobile coverage and performance.  Kineto's FMC solutions are said to be currently enabling mobile operators around the world to deliver a number of new revenue-generating FMC services, including dual-mode handsets, femtocells, terminal adaptors and softmobile clients.

"Continued strong growth in UMA-based dual-mode handset and terminal adaptor deployments, combined with tremendous operator interest in femtocells, is highlighting the FMC imperative for mobile operators globally," said Rick Gilbert, president and CEO of Kineto Wireless.  "We are delighted to have the support of a leader in the mobile industry such as Motorola as we continue to capitalise on our leadership position in the FMC market."

Motorola's Alan Lefkof, corporate vice president and general manager, Broadband Solutions Group, added, "Motorola has been a key contributor along with Kineto and other industry players in developing the technology standard for femtocells, and we look forward to building on the work we have begun with Kineto in order to implement this technology and enable operators to economically deploy femtocell solutions."

The increasing availability of mobile handsets capable of receiving free-to-air analogue and digital terrestrial TV signals will adversely impact the prospects for dedicated mobile broadcast TV networks, according to a new report from Juniper Research.
 
While the report says that more than 330m mobile users worldwide will own broadcast TV-enabled handsets by 2013, less than 14% will opt for mobile pay TV services. Although mobile broadcast TV will generate global annual end-user revenues of $2.7 billion by 2013, this level is markedly lower than previously forecast.
 
According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, "The development of terrestrial TV-capable receivers with comparatively low power consumption, and the availability of these receivers in mass market handsets, throws into question the business case for the deployment of a dedicated network in many markets."
 
The report notes that operator decisions to offer DVB-T handsets in Germany has effectively closed the door for DVB-H in Germany, and argues that the strong take-up of analogue TV handsets in China - and of one-seg handsets in Japan - indicates that free-to-air services will continue to predominate.
 
However, the report also notes that this trend in turn has created a further opportunity for streamed TV services.
 
Holden continued: "There will always be a market for some form of premium TV service on the mobile handset, and with broadcast TV in many markets likely to consist simply of the free-to-air terrestrial signals, the gap in the market is likely to be filled by streamed video-on-demand services over the 3G network."
 
Juniper Research assesses the current and future status of the mobile TV market based on interviews, case studies and analysis from representatives of some of the leading organisations in the growing mobile TV industry.
 
Other findings from the report include:
 
 -  In terms of end-user revenues, the US will be the largest single
    market for mobile broadcast TV services in 2013, followed by South Korea
    and China.
 -  MediaFLO services are likely to be deployed in parts of Asia and in
    the UK by the end of 2010.
 -  Adoption levels for streamed TV packages are higher than previously
    envisaged, reflecting the reduction in anticipated deployment of dedicated
    mobile broadcast TV networks.

Mobile TeleSystems OJSC, said to be the largest mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS, has announced the launch of a test zone of its UMTS (3G) network in Uzbekistan and technical readiness for commercial launch in late 2008.
 
Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, became the first city in the region where MTS launched its next-generation network. The company plans to cover the entire city and to announce the commercial launch by the end of the year. Additional cities will be launched in 2009, including Samarkand, Bukhara, and Andijan.

Huawei Technologies was selected by MTS to provide 3G equipment, as well as technical support and employee training.

"MTS is the leading mobile operator in Uzbekistan and plays a key role in the development of the country's telecommunications market. With the launch of our 3G network, we will bring the most innovative mobile products and services to our subscribers along with the high quality of customer service," said Mr. Bekhzod Akhmedov, Head of MTS Uzbekistan. "Given the low penetration level of fixed internet connections, we see great prospects for growth by delivering mobile broadband solutions through our 3G network."

Development of UMTS networks is a cornerstone of MTS' strategy to provide mobile broadband in the CIS. As these markets demonstrate relatively low levels of fixed-line penetration and historic underinvestment in infrastructure, MTS says it views its networks as an ideal vehicle to meet the growing broadband Internet needs of its subscribers through attractive data products and services.

MTS launched its first 3G network in Russia in May 2008 and plans to launch the network in Armenia in early 2009. MTS is currently operating a CDMA-450 network in Ukraine to provide high-speed data access for its clients.

Atos Origin, an international IT services company, and InfoGin, a specialist in web-to-mobile content and functionality adaptation solutions, have implemented a web-to-mobile content adaptation solution for Telefónica de España Mobile Business, the largest wireless operator in Spain.

As the prime contractor, Atos Origin was in charge of providing complete project management services and responsible for overall integration of InfoGin's Intelligent Mobile Platform.

"We are very happy with the outcome of this collaboration, it has enabled us to provide end-to-end services to Telefónica's end users and guarantee the highest quality of service requirements," said Miguel Bravo, Telefonica Executive Key Account Manager, Atos Origin. "The partnership builds on Atos Origin's long track record of successful deployment and management of enhanced critical revenue services at Telefónica."

"We are delighted that Telefónica has joined the list of global tier-1 operators in Europe, through its strategic move to provide mobile users with the best real Internet experience," said Eran Wyler, CEO & Founder of InfoGin. "This will inevitably drive a significant increase in user uptake of these new services over the coming years."

Independent mobile agency RingRing Media, today announced the launch of ‘I'AM', said to be the mobile industry's first mobile advertising network optimisation platform which connects publishers to the largest possible pool of advertisers.

I'AM is said to integrate with a broad range of local and global mobile ad networks (including Admob, Millenial Media, Adshandy, Mkhoj and BuzzCity), automatically routing traffic to the most relevant ad network which is achieving the highest revenue for that particular user, handset and demographic.

Typically mobile publishers appoint an ad network to serve ads into their mobile site. I contrast, I'AM is said to dynamically segment and route traffic to the highest yielding ad network to provide publishers with 100 per cent fill rates.

Harry Dewhirst, Co-Founder of RingRing Media, commented: "Our vision of mobile advertising 2.0 is dynamically selecting from a pool of ads the most targeted and highest revenue generating ad for a specific user.

"With the launch of I'AM I believe we have fulfilled this vision, creating a platform which creates a win-win situation for ad network, advertiser, publisher and user alike. "

Christophe Hocquet, CEO of mobile social networking site Moblr commented: "Having previously worked with Google's Mobile AdSense, our new partnership with RingRing Media's I'AM platform has transformed mobile advertising from a hobby to a viable business prospect for Moblr, helping us to turn our mobile inventory into money at a much faster pace than with any other individual ad provider."

Dexterra, a provider of software to automate and manage mobile workforces, has today announced the close of 21.5 million USD in funding. New Enterprise Associates led the round with additional investment from the company's existing investors Canaan Partners, Intel Capital, Mesirow Financial, Motorola Ventures and Sigma Partners.  

The round of funding will support the advancement of Dexterra's mobile business platform and applications, partner and wireless carrier ecosystem and future opportunity in one of the fastest-expanding segments in the enterprise software market.  Dexterra's has experienced double digit percent growth year-over-year.

"With this additional round of financing we aim to continue driving the direction of the mobile enterprise software market and reinforce our position as the leading provider of mobile business platform and applications," said Michael Liebow, chief executive officer, Dexterra.  "Reinvestment in the company from the existing investors demonstrates their continuing support in our team, technology, business vision and the overall market opportunity for advanced mobile business software that help organisations maximise their enterprise application investments through mobility."

"Today's challenging economic environment makes deciding which companies to invest in more difficult than ever," said Scott Sandell, general partner at New Enterprise Associates.  "We've been closely watching the growth of enterprise mobility and Dexterra is well positioned as a market leader.  We are impressed by Dexterra's revenue traction in both enterprise and carrier markets, strong suite of products targeted at growing markets and unwavering dedication to product excellence and customer success."