Harris Interactive Europe six-country survey explores consumer interest/attitudes towards 3G amid pressures on the industry to deliver; reveals four lessons to 3G industry/marketers

European mobile users have dealt a massive blow to the prospects of early mass 3G adoption just months ahead of the widespread launch of 3G services across Europe. Yet there are signs that by following a few simple lessons, the 3G industry can put itself back on track for success.

These are the findings from the latest HI Europe Poll of attitudes towards 3G, conducted online in six key European markets (Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium) among almost 10,000 mobile users.

The survey results among mobile users showed an apparent lack of interest in 3G:

49% agree that 3G is of no interest and that current mobile phone technology completely satisfies their needs (20% disagree)

One of the reasons for this could be that many mobile users want no more than a good voice service while 3G's key advances relate to mobile data:

44% agree that, looking ahead, they can't see themselves using mobile phones for much more than making voice calls (35% disagree)

Recently, though, some operators have started to manage the early hype over 3G by acknowledging the continued importance of mobile voice to future growth.

Another reason for the low interest could be a lack of clarity over 3G's benefits:

52% agree that the mobile industry has completely failed to explain what 3G is all about and why it is worth having (11% disagree)

49% agree that mobile phone retailer staff are poor at explaining new technology (14% disagree)

While retailers are unlikely to be responsible for this perceived lack of clarity in communications, given their involvement later on in the lifecycle (i.e., once products come to market), these findings suggest that retailers represent a potential bottleneck in the process.

On the issue of pricing, there is widespread cynicism, deserved or not, that the industry will overcharge for 3G:

55% agree that 3G operators will overprice 3G to help recoup the huge investment costs on licenses and infrastructure (10% disagree)

All of this evidence underlines the uphill struggle the industry faces in making 3G a success. With billions of Euros invested, mobile operators are under severe pressure to deliver the goods.

Particularly in the light of previous industry failures, such as the WAP launch that resulted in disillusioned consumers, the HI Europe survey gauged consumer reactions related to premature launches:

51% agree that operators who promote 3G services while the service is unreliable will severely damage their reputation (10% disagree)

51% agree that operators who promote 3G services without being able to meet handset demand will severely damage their reputation (9% disagree)

Lessons for the industry
Surinder Siama, associate director within HI Europe's technology practice and author of the study, believes that the findings lead to four important lessons for the 3G industry, particularly for mobile operators but also relevant to handset manufacturers, retailers and content/applications providers:

A targeted approach, such as offering 3G data cards to road warriors, is more likely to bear fruit than the scattergun approach of operator 3 which has, ironically, had to rely on traditional mobile drivers such as price rather than 3G features such as video telephony, to attract many of its punters.

Don't forget voice: The industry has bought into the self-fulfilling prophecy that mobile data is the future and mobile voice passé. But data still represents a small part of mobile spend and the emerging success of Wi-Fi limits the appeal of 3G mobile data. Continued investment in innovative voice solutions, such as Nextel's highly successful Push to Talk product, which will soon launch in Europe through Orange, makes sense.

Communicate benefits, not just features: Steer clear of communicating 3G as a technology revolution (the mistake made with WAP), and instead focus on services and applications that offer genuine quality, productivity or lifestyle improvements.

Get it right: There is nothing worse than buying into a heavily promoted service only to find it unreliable. Yet anecdotal evidence suggests that 3G coverage is patchy and, as our study shows, the market is unlikely to be sympathetic to premature launches.

Market Differences
There are some notable attitudinal differences among mobile users by country:

Great Britain is the most anti-3G, somewhat surprising given it is home to arguably the world's greatest 3G proponent (Vodafone).

The French (57%) are more likely than others to criticise mobile retailer staff for poorly explaining new technology.

At the other extreme is Belgium, notably less critical of 3G. Despite this, Belgians are no more interested in 3G than average-a full 52% say "3G is of no interest to me, current mobile phone technology provides everything I want."

The Germans are the most open to mobile data since fewer (32%) agree that "looking ahead, I can't see myself using mobile phones for much more than making voice calls."

Spaniards (71%) are much more likely to believe that the industry has failed to clearly explain 3G.

Virgin Mobile has announced that it will adopt an 'opt-in' policy around new forms of content on its mobile phones.

Virgin Mobile has been heavily involved with the recently published pan-operator Joint Code of Practice for New Forms of Content, a self-regulatory code, which has been developed in order to establish guidelines around the safe and appropriate access to content on mobile phones by the end of 2004.

Virgin Mobile has taken this position in order to ensure that only those customers who have proven that they are over 18 may gain access to age-restricted experiences. This is to ensure that customers under 18 do not gain access to inappropriate services.

John Conlon, Virgin Mobile's head of adult services, said: "We want our customers to have access to as wide and as rich a range of content experiences on their mobile phone as possible, but we believe that it is important to protect our young customers from adult content. Therefore we have chosen to apply an 'opt-in' policy to ensure that those under 18 may only gain access to suitable content.

Stephen Timms MP, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, said: "Virgin Mobile's 'opt-in' policy is an excellent example of the mobile phone industry addressing concerns about access to inappropriate material via mobile phones.  Today's move will help protect children and give parents peace of mind, as well as preventing other users from receiving unsolicited material that they do not wish to receive.

"We welcomed the industry's Code of Practice published earlier this year, and are pleased with the continuing efforts of the mobile phone industry to address these issues through self-regulation."

Award-winning mobile email solution now available for business professionals in Italy

Smartner, the European leader in mobile email and office solutions, today announced that it will offer Always-on Mail, a mobile email solution for business users in Italy. Always-on Mail is based on Smartner Duality, a carrier-grade technology platform scalable to serve customers of even the largest mobile operators. The solution is immediately available throughout Italy under an agreement signed by Smartner and Vodafone Italy.

Always-on Mail extends access to Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes to the Vodafone Qtek 2020 PDA. It automatically pushes new emails to the device, without any user interaction, and provides users with complete control over their desktop functions while away from their office. Users can access their email and calendar in real-time, with all actions mirrored simultaneously on their desktop.
 
Companies of any size can enjoy the benefits of Always-on Mail, as the unique technology powering Smartner Always-on Mail enables the solution to be affordably deployed in environments ranging from only a few to thousands of users.
 
"We are very proud to bring an open-standards push email solution to Italy. Our cooperation with Vodafone enables business users in one of Europe’s largest and most dynamic markets to enjoy the ultimate mobile email experience, one that is easy-to–use, secure, reliable and affordable," said Jussi Räisänen, Vice President, South Europe, Smartner. "The Always-on Mail is a truly global solution to email access."

Now enterprises have a locator product solution with a growth path to other wireless LBS applications

Telcontar, a leading supplier of software and related services for Location-Based Services (LBS), has announced that it has released its all-new Mobile Location Server - Enterprise Edition.  The Mobile Location Server - Enterprise Edition is designed for use by large enterprises with hundreds of physical locations and the need to provide location information, maps and driving directions from their web site.  The Mobile Location Server - Enterprise Edition is a complete solution, including Telcontar’s Drill Down Server and all required map data, data services, integration services and training. The Mobile Location Server - Enterprise Edition also supports a myriad of Telcontar or third-party applications that leverage the same Drill Down Server platform and can enable other applications such as Mobile Resource Management, CRM or asset tracking.

"In some product categories, more than 25 percent of all consumer purchases start with research on the internet, and that percentage promises to grow further over time," commented David Wood, Senior VP Marketing for Telcontar.  "Large enterprises with many physical locations, such as retail, restaurant or hospitality chains and manufacturers who need to enable consumers to find products and services, are beginning to invest more heavily in enhancing the product or storefront locator services available on their web sites. Telcontar, as the leading provider of spatial platform software worldwide, has the expertise, products and resources to offer superior value and one stop shopping to our customers and the initial market acceptance has been very encouraging."
 
The Telcontar Mobile Location Server – Enterprise Edition is designed to be attractive to enterprises that already purchase high volume locator services from AOL/Mapquest, Vicinity/Microsoft, or other existing ASP location offerings. The product includes a Vicinity "look alike" Web service interface and integration assistance to ensure rapid and low risk conversion, offering buyers reduced cost of ownership, tighter integration with and control over their customer database, improved responsiveness and functionality and a long term growth path to other enterprise location-based services that promise to further improve ROI. 
 
Important product features include a customizable map look and feel, display of multiple locations of various types simultaneously, searching near a point, route or polygon, and the ability to output customized maps in multiple raster or vector image formats.  Business and management reports, batch or manual geocoding, reverse geocoding, and the ability to provide routing with user customizable direction styles are also standard.

Companies enable secure mobile java web services delivery via BlackBerry

CTIA WIRELESS 2004

Sun Microsystems, Inc., the creator and leading advocate of Java technology, today announced that it is working with Research In Motion(RIM) to extend mobile Java Web services technology to the more than one million customers currently using BlackBerry. Sun and RIM will enable the end-to-end secure delivery of enterprise data via BlackBerry based on Sun's Java Enterprise System, Java technology for mobile devices, and Web Services technologies.


"Web Services will enable IT departments to fully and securely extend their existing applications and systems to BlackBerry users," said David Yach, Senior Vice President of Software at Research In Motion. "Together with Sun Microsystems, we are leveraging the power of Java Web services and BlackBerry to enable secure electronic business using wireless."

"There is an immediate need for today's companies to connect corporate networks to mobile devices to increase productivity, value-chain efficiency, sales and, most importantly, help to establish and strengthen personalized customer relationships," said Alan Brenner, Vice President of Consumer and Mobile Systems Group at Sun Microsystems. "Our alliance with a leading mobile enterprise solution provider like RIM demonstrates the potential of Java technology to help enterprises massively improve productivity and customer loyalty with BlackBerry."

The Sun-RIM relationship is expected to greatly expand mobile data services in networked applications and extend their reach into enterprise markets. Sun will work closely with RIM to help developers, software vendors and solution providers to simplify the development and deployment of mobile enterprise applications based on Web services with Java technology.

The Java technology and Web services platform (JSR 172) is poised to propel a new generation of networked data services for mobile devices. This latest addition to the J2ME platform is WS-I compliant and allows mobile devices to access Web services using XML and SOAP protocols. It is interoperable and available through Java technology for Smartphones HotSpot Implementation (HI) and the award-winning J2ME Wireless Toolkit.

Comverse, a unit of Comverse Technology, Inc. and the world's leading supplier of software and systems enabling network-based multimedia enhanced communication services, today announced availability and operational deployment of Comverse MMS A2P Expeditor, a dedicated high-capacity delivery solution for high-volume application-to-person (A2P) multimedia messaging services (MMS).

Multimedia applications generate heavy traffic through the mass distribution of content and messages. Through its specialized architecture and robust scalable design, the highly efficient processing and delivery capabilities of Comverse MMS A2P Expeditor enables heavy A2P traffic loads to be properly handled and safely delivered in an optimized manner. Time-sensitive content is expedited to a large number of subscribers at once, taking care of the heavy volume, traffic bursts and event-based peaks associated with mass MMS push applications.

Already deployed and operational, Comverse MMS A2P Expeditor can be installed in the service provider network as a standalone A2P MMS solution, or smoothly integrated side-by-side with an existing third-party lower-capacity MMSC. It can also be upgraded at a later stage to a high-capacity Comverse MMSC handling both A2P and P2P (person-to-person) messaging, thus maximizing customers' investment protection and extending the benefits of superior content handling capabilities to all subscribers.

"Application-generated multimedia messaging differentiates the operator, introduces subscribers to the world of MMS, encourages MMS usage, and is designed to generate revenues with compelling services such as breaking news and alerts in sports, finance, traffic and politics, as well as marketing, promotions and games," said Amit Mattatia, VP and General Manager of the MMS Division at Comverse. "Drawing from our expertise in building the high-capacity Comverse MMSC, we have introduced Comverse MMS A2P Expeditor as a cost-effective way for operators to leverage their existing equipment while deriving full advantage from new and highly attractive application-to-person multimedia services."

Siemens selects Ubiquity’s SIP Application Server for developing multimedia services

CTIA Wireless 2004

The Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group (Siemens mobile) and Ubiquity have announced a strategic partnership for the integration of the Ubiquity SIP Application Server (Session Initiation Protocol) into IMS@vantage, Siemens’ IP (Internet Protocol) Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). IMS is a platform that may be used by operators to quickly develop and deploy multimedia services for 2.5G and 3G mobile networks. With Ubiquity’s application server, Siemens is now able to offer operators and open application manufacturers (OAMs) a software environment for designing multimedia and telephony services on the basis of SIP, the standard for networks of the future. Several mobile communication operators are already testing Siemens’ first services based on the SIP Application Server and IMS@vantage, such as Push-to-Talk-over-Cellular (PoC), infotainment and telephone conferencing.


"The partnership between Siemens mobile and Ubiquity promises great synergies as a good illustration of telco vendors leveraging standards-based approaches to bring new services to operators," said Ken Rehbehn, Principal Analyst at Current Analysis. "At the end of the day, it’s about increasing average revenue per user (ARPU) by deriving new revenue streams from value-added services. This end-to-end solution from Siemens mobile and Ubiquity for 2.5G and 3G networks helps operators lay a foundation for high-quality data services."

IMS is the new standardized multimedia switching technology for packet-oriented networks and various access technologies, such as UMTS, EDGE, GPRS, and W-LAN.  The benefits for the user: Voice and data can be transmitted over the air simultaneously and in any combination. For example, a user can start a game during a mobile phone call and talk about it with the person they are calling. "We believe that the SIP standard will play a major role for transporting real-time multimedia service content in the IMS on 2.5G and 3G networks," explained Christoph Caselitz, President of Networks at Siemens mobile. "Ubiquity’s SIP Application Server meets our needs for an open environment for developing standards-based applications and fits seamlessly into IMS@vantage."

The Ubiquity SIP Application server opens up a series of value-added services, for example interactive Voice-over-IP applications like PoC, infotainment, conference calls and information whether subscribers are on or off the network. This software environment helps mobile network operators develop voice and data services quickly and cost-effectively and bring them to market early.

"We are proud of the critical role our technology is playing in Siemens IMS@vantage," said Ian McLaren, President and Chief Executive Officer at Ubiquity. "We look forward to providing the technology that will continue to shape today’s mobile networks, enabling mobile operators to enjoy a best-of-breed solution that couples Siemens mobile’s comprehensive portfolio for 3G and IP based networks with Ubiquity’s leading-edge programmable application creation environment."

NetTest, a leading worldwide provider of testing, monitoring and management solutions for advanced and converged networks, has announced that Golden Telecom in Ukraine has awarded a contract to NetTest for the delivery of a nationwide MasterQuest network and service monitoring system.

With focus on optimisation of network and service performance, the MasterQuest system will empower Golden Telecom with efficient monitoring of the call quality experienced by its subscribers. Powerful Key Performance Indicators support early identification of potential performance problems, and advanced troubleshooting applications will help Golden Telecom pinpointing and isolating error sources in its own network and in traffic connections to other operators' networks.

"High quality of service and efficient network performance monitoring is critical to our success in the rapidly expanding telecommunications market in Ukraine" says Yuri Chujkov, director of business development, Golden Telecom. "Advanced fraud detection applications in the MasterQuest system from NetTest will also help us protect our revenue stream and profitability.

"Our mission is to help our customers optimising their network and making them more profitable" says Jørgen Weber, vice president and head of the Systems Business Unit at NetTest. "We are proud to enter into this partnership with Golden Telecom, which demonstrates our successful strategy and focus on our customers' business performance".

Rapid deployment is under way in close co-operation with Golden Telecom, and the MasterQuest system will include applications for monitoring of both the fixed and the mobile network of Golden Telecom.

CTIA Wireless 2004

• Single Solution Drives Wireless Data Across Virtually All Customer Segments
• Optimizes Customer Experience While Increasing ARPU For Wireless Operators

Intellisync Corporation, a leading provider of synchronisation and mobilisation software formerly known as Pumatech, today announced Intellisync Mobile Suite for Wireless Operators. Featuring the same robust functionality found in Intellisync's award-winning enterprise suite of products, Intellisync Mobile Suite for Wireless Operators offers a single solution for virtually all customer segments – mobile professionals, small- to medium-sized businesses and enterprises.

Intellisync Mobile Suite for Wireless Operators offers true network-based push email and PIM synchronization, file access and security for a broad set of wireless devices including Microsoft Windows Mobile for Pocket PC and Smartphone, Palm OS, Symbian OS, and wireless tablet PCs or laptops. The solution is optimised for performance over a broad array of wireless network technologies including CDMA, GSM/GPRS, EV-DO, EDGE and WiFi networks.
Offered as a service by wireless operators, the software is available in several deployment models:
• Individual Monitor: For individual users, a small client on the user's PC monitors the email and PIM data in Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes and pushes the information to mobile devices. Different from a redirector, the PC Monitor acts as an agent to enable two-way synchronization of email and PIM data, as well as access to files.
• Workgroup Monitor: The same small client that monitors a single user's mailbox can monitor groups of users from any PC in the office. Individual users can now turn off their own PC or take their laptops with them and still have wireless email and PIM access - all without IT involvement. 
• Hosted Enterprise: Offers a server-based ASP model to extend corporate email and PIM data to multiple device types via a trusted connection to groupware applications behind the firewall, such as Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Domino. Multiple companies can be served by a single hosted server and the included administrative controls.
• Hosted POP/IMAP: Provides significant email usability for individuals with POP or IMAP email accounts, including push, full over-the-air reconciliation, delete propagation and smart forwarding. With this solution, wireless operators can give small office/home office users with POP or IMAP email accounts the same numerous benefits of a full groupware server. This option can also be offered in conjunction with any of the other deployment models.
• Behind-the-firewall: Provides wireless operators the option to give control to their enterprise customers with a behind-the-firewall installation of the email, file or systems management servers. Custom authentication is available to ensure users are subscribers of a specific network, thereby adding services not previously available to enterprise clients.
In his report "How Mobile Operators in Europe Can Boost Profits", Nick Jones, vice president of Gartner, states, "Encouraging messaging not only brings in revenue from the data transfer, it also triggers follow-on voice calls. Profits will come from stimulating greater use of services, not from getting more customers."
Intellisync Mobile Suite for Wireless Operators was designed to enable operators to increase average revenue per user (ARPU) for their services. In all deployment models, users are offered wireless access to both corporate and personal (POP/IMAP) email from their wireless devices. The email solution offers push sync of email with subfolders, calendar, meeting requests, contacts, notes, tasks, attachments, and global address list (GAL)/distribution lists when available. Files are available for viewing on devices and users are provided back-up and restore features. A single, consistent end-user client supports all users regardless of deployment model, making it easy for wireless operators to migrate individual users to enterprise-supported deployments. 
Intellisync Mobile Suite for Wireless Operators can be integrated into wireless operator billing and provisioning systems, and offers custom authentication and branding options. 
"Our new Intellisync Mobile Suite for Wireless Operators software provides carriers with a single solution for meeting the wireless data needs of potential customers - from mobile professionals to small- to medium-sized businesses to enterprises," explained Intellisync Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Clyde Foster. "With our product, we believe wireless operators get the best of both worlds - an easy-to-deploy solution that can increase adoption and usage of wireless data plans, while also providing their customers with up-to-the-minute email and PIM data plus easy file access."
Intellisync Mobile Suite for Wireless Operators complements the Company's full product line for wireless operators that also includes Intellisync SyncML Server, providing over-the-air synchronization of PIM data to SyncML-compliant devices, and Intellisync VPN, a solution that delivers wireless application enablement by allowing connectivity between mobile users and enterprises through a VPN switch in the operator network.

CTIA 2004 
TCS provides platform for multiple revenue-generating services

TeleCommunication Systems, Inc, a global leader in wireless data technology, today announced its latest Wireless Messaging Gateway (WMG) platform. The WMG allows carriers to easily deploy a variety of proven interoperable applications (e.g., Mobile Spam Block, 3GPortal, mmsHub, mmsMail, and smsExpress, which can be customized to meet specific requirements.

The WMG feature packs (e.g., 3G-multi-media messaging portal, Single Sign-On (SSO) capability, and thin client handset applications) are targeted at carriers interested in evolving messaging to 3G and offer a valuable group of modular, customizable, interoperable features on a highly available, geo-diverse application server platform. The WMG as an application server provides the cornerstone for building value-added service applications. "The feature pack hits the carrier sweet spot for sustaining revenue growth in the wireless data arena," says Tim Lorello, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for TCS.  "These applications are consistent with TCS’ vision of providing integrated messaging and location solutions that facilitate delivery of third party services to mixed handset technologies."

WMG application modules include:
Mobile Spam Block is the mobile industry’s leading anti-spam software with TCS serving approximately forty percent of the market among U.S. carriers.  Mobile Spam Block enhances the TCS messaging firewall. It provides the user with full control to prevent a wide variety of spam and to designate senders or messages as spam (black list) or safe (white list).  The user can control these settings from the web or their cell phone. Mobile Spam Block is complete with carrier and subscriber anti-spam, blocking, and message filtering.  A set of features prevents unwanted, unsolicited messages from being sent to mobile subscribers from the Internet, email server, or another mobile handset. The subscriber can choose which messages to see or block, and the carrier can set throttles to control the pace at which certain sources can send messages.

The 3GPortal using the WMG provides the subscriber with a centralized access point for website registration, authentication, self-provisioning and profile management, enabling a consistent user experience across disparate messaging types. The portal performs key message processing and provides an interactive subscriber screen that showcases the carrier’s products and services.  Seamless user authentication is enabled through the SSO application using a load-balanced web services architecture. Underlying HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) redirect technologies allow seamless login and authentication to third-party content providers. A Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)-based messaging Application Programming Interface (API) enables value-added service providers to exploit two-way messaging.  Secure user sessions are supported via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) transactions. 

The mmsHub is a 3G extension of the TCS WMG platform. It provides carriers with enhanced control and management of content. The tool includes robust protocol conversion and filtering rules as well as "store and forward" messaging routing. TCS’ mmsHub allows carriers to support, distribute, and convert the MMS messages entering its network and deliver the formatted message to the mobile device, email servers, roaming partner networks, and ISPs. The WMG supports SMS, EMS and MMS routing, which enables efficient, dynamic filtering and consistent message delivery to the carrier’s subscribers via a single messaging domain. 

 TCS’ mmsMail offers carrier-branded configurable outbound email templates to facilitate delivery of consistent multi-media content to all major email servers. TCS mmsMail drives 3G usage by enabling smooth two-way MMS messaging between mobile devices and email clients. TCS’ mmsMail performs core message processing and then applies configurable out-bound message templates to facilitate HyperText Markup Language (HTML) formatting of MMS messages routed to any e-mail server.

TCS’ smsExpress allows carriers to off-load bulk or mobile originated SMS traffic to the WMG platform to increase the surge capacity of existing Short Message Service Centers (SMSCs) to accommodate "bursts" of traffic.  smsExpress is a cost-effective solution that enables carriers to easily increase capacity and improve delivery success rates by reducing retry attempts commonly associated with overloaded systems. 

WMG is a modular, robust, and resilient multimedia-messaging gateway that enables subscribers to make reliable connections. The WMG forms the basis for messaging functions and applications and is technology and vendor neutral. The WMG’s best-in-class messaging architecture provides geographically distributed load balancing and true active/active geo-diverse databases. TCS’ WMG is currently deployed in fifty-two installations globally.

TCS will be demonstrating the WMG Applications during the Conference in Atlanta from March 22 through March 24, 2004 at the TCS booth # 1529 in Hall B2.

CTIA Wireless 2004

Plazmic, a subsidiary of Research In Motion (RIM) today introduced the Plazmic Content Developer's Kit v.3.7 for the BlackBerry wireless platform. The Plazmic Content Developer's Kit will provide a suite of tools that allow content developers to easily create interactive and animated content to enhance applications for BlackBerry Wireless Handhelds. Demonstrations will be shown at the CTIA Wireless show in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center (RIM booth #3225).

"The Plazmic Content Developer's Kit for BlackBerry will provide developers with the ability to create rich and interactive graphics," said Julian Paas, Director, Content Planning at Plazmic. "With the Plazmic Content Developer's Kit, developers will be provided with the powerful tools needed for creating rich, browser-based content to enhance their applications for BlackBerry."

"RIM has based BlackBerry on open standards such as Java to enable developers to easily create additional applications that leverage the power of the BlackBerry wireless platform," said Mike Lazaridis, President and co-CEO, at Research In Motion. "With the Plazmic Content Developer's Kit, developers will have advanced tools that enable them to create rich content with optimized wireless performance."

The Plazmic Content Developer's Kit for BlackBerry will include a fully integrated content development environment and advanced simulation tools that significantly ease the content creation process for RIM's award-winning BlackBerry platform. Developers, graphic artists, and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) will be able to use this suite of tools to simplify the authoring of rich wireless content and web-based applications that leverage the high-resolution screens of color BlackBerry handhelds[SJH1].

The Plazmic Content Developer's Kit will generate content in SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), the W3C XML-based standard for rich media content.

Solution provides advanced real-time charging capabilities for mobile data services

P-Cube Inc., the originator of programmable IP Service Control Platforms, announced that it has integrated its Encharge offering with the Dynamic Charging Platform (DCP) from Intec Telecom Systems to provide a converged and extensible real-time billing solution for mobile carriers.  P-Cube's Encharge in combination with Intec DCP offers mobile carriers the ability to deliver high-value mobile data services and content-based applications on all network types, including GSM/GPRS, CDMA, 1xRTT, UMTS and WLANs, further expanding mobile operators' service offerings and converging with their existing voice prepaid and postpaid billing systems.

P-Cube's Encharge enables mobile operators to do real-time analysis and control, and policy-based charging ensuring that carriers can not only block, redirect or shape traffic for new content-based services but also instantly create new services and billing profiles which accelerate revenue recognition. The solution permits prepaid and postpaid billing for entire suites of mobile applications.  Utilising P-Cube's patented and comprehensive Layer 7 deep packet inspection capability further enables carriers to identify any mobile service running across their transport including Push-to-Talk and Multi-media streaming offerings.

"P-Cube and Intec recognise that mobile operators that can quickly respond to business and customer demand for the latest content-based services will thrive in this competitive environment," said John Aalbers, director, next-generation solutions business at Intec Telecom Systems.  "There are two things that set the P-Cube and Intec solution apart from other solutions available to our customers today: the adherence to and promotion of B2B interface standards like Parlay and the ability of the joint solution to transparently and rapidly integrate into existing core networks without disruption."

P-Cube's programmable network element enhances wire-line and mobile networks with an application-aware service control point that enables the network to identify, classify, guarantee performance and charge for limitless content services.  Leveraging this exclusive wire-speed, stateful architecture operators can profitably deliver an array of data services customised to individual subscriber needs.

Aalbers added, "Providing OSS solutions to Tier One customers means teamwork. Fitting into the bigger picture without causing more problems than you solve is key. The work we have jointly performed to pre-integrate Encharge and Intec DCP reduces the risk and effort required to deploy a comprehensive, real-time network to BSS solution for next generation services."

The combined Intec and P-Cube solution utilises OSA Parlay over CORBA to ensure compliance with industry standards.  Intec's DCP provides a complete carrier-class solution for wireless services enabling service providers to deploy differentiated mobile data services.  P-Cube's Encharge supports over 600 protocols including: HTTP, POP3, SMTP, FTP, MMS, WAP, SIP and many peer-to-peer protocols and is fully extensible to incorporate new and emerging protocols.

"By establishing granular, application-level control within a network, flexible provisioning and transaction-based billing becomes possible," said Vikash Varma, president worldwide sales and field operations of P-Cube. "This is a vital function for the success of market-driven mobile services and is a key requirement for our joint customers."

The combined solution works in unison with existing infrastructure. Acting as an effective service control point, it enables operators to launch compelling services and more quickly deploy them to more users while simultaneously controlling access to services in real-time on a per-subscriber and per-service basis.  The offer minimises revenue leakage and generates accurate end-customer charging for content and mobile services in real-time.  This converged offering extends the functionality of existing prepaid and postpaid voice systems further leveraging infrastructure investments and reducing capital and operational expenditures.

CTIA Wireless 2004

LG Electronics and Nokia today announced a licensing agreement for the Series 60 Platform. Series 60, licensed by Nokia to mobile device manufacturers, is a mobile device software platform for advanced smart phones optimized for the Symbian operating system (OS). LG Electronics joins as the newest member of the Series 60 licensee community that is made up of world-leading manufacturers, including Lenovo, Panasonic, Nokia, Samsung, Siemens and Sendo.

LG Electronics, a top provider of mobile devices, will license the Series 60 Platform as source code. The source code enables licensees to further develop and differentiate the software for Series 60-based products while maintaining the underlying application interoperability.
 
"We are anticipating the unique features and functionalities that the Series 60 Platform will bring to our product portfolio and look forward to working in the Series 60 community. Our target is to build ubiquitous mobile devices that will best serve our customers. Series 60 on top of the Symbian OS will provide us with a compatible platform for our smart phones throughout our CDMA, GSM/GPRS and WCDMA portfolio," said Yong E. Shin, Vice President, UMTS Handset Laboratory in LG Electronics.
 
"LG Electronics has an outstanding record of making appealing and advanced mobile devices for all major markets and network protocols," said Antti Vasara, Vice President, Technology Marketing and Sales, Nokia. "LG Electronics' decision to license the Series 60 Platform further strengthens the platform's position as the most competitive handset software on the market. We look forward to collaborating with LG Electronics in the Series 60 community," he continued.
 
The Series 60 Platform encompasses the software, user interface (UI) and applications necessary to create a smart phone. Optimized for the Symbian OS, the Series 60 Platform strives to enable significant creativity and differentiation by licensees. In addition, the common software platform ensures interoperability and application compatibility between the different licensees' smart phones.
 
The success of the Series 60 platform among its licensees has led to a large Series 60 device base and a diverse product portfolio. The licensees, together with operators and developers, drive innovation into the platform by exploiting their vast experience and expertise in the mobile communication industry. This relentless innovation enhances the competitiveness of the Series 60 Platform.

T-Mobile has simplified its public WLAN 'HotSpot' service, offering a standardised pricing structure across all five of its European markets.

WLAN users in the UK, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands can access the service more conveniently than ever, using the new 'HotSpot subscription' tariff, available from today, and the existing 'HotSpot Pass'.

In line with T-Mobile's strategy of simple, seamless communications, detailed at the 3GSM Congress in Cannes last month, customers across Europe can now pay for HotSpot services in 15-minute blocks, or in time bundles of 1, 3 or 24 hours. The new pricing structure provides simple, convenient access to HotSpot services for all users, whether at home or abroad.

WLAN roaming is now available across six T-Mobile markets, including the USA, with the HotSpot Subscription. Roaming with this tariff is seamless - there is no need to use a different username or password when travelling between participating markets.

Martin Witt, Executive Vice President WLAN at T-Mobile, commented: "HotSpot users across Europe can now access wireless, broadband internet services at attractive rates. Customers can surf the internet, browse their company intranet, or quickly read their e-mails, in more HotSpot locations than ever before."

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