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LogMeIn will be showing how smartphone manufacturers and mobile services providers can use LogMeIn Rescue+Mobile to provide on-demand, remote customer support for Android-based smartphones and mobile devices at Mobile World Congress (MWC).

LogMeIn Rescue+Mobile is a secure, web-based remote support tool used by IT and service provider organizations worldwide to provide customer care for smartphones, desktops, laptops, and other computing devices. With LogMeIn Rescue+Mobile, support technicians can see and control an end-user's device to quickly configure, diagnose, repair or train the customer how to use their smartphone or computer. LogMeIn Rescue+Mobile works on mobile devices running Windows

Mobile, Symbian, BlackBerry and now Android, as well as Windows-based PCs and Macs.

"The growth in smartphone technology adoption will put a significant strain on support organisations as high-level operating systems accommodate ever more advanced applications," Stephen Drake, programme vice president, Mobility & Telecom, IDC. "Enhanced remote support capabilities should be on the short list for every major carrier offering these devices in order to reduce support cost and improve customer satisfaction."

Service providers that use LogMeIn Rescue+Mobile to support their smartphone customer base have, on average, experienced a more than 35 percent boost in customer satisfaction scores with a 25 percent increase in first-call resolution and reduced average call handle times. In fact, 97 percent of mobile end-users who

experience a LogMeIn Rescue+Mobile session report a preference for remote control based help. As a result, mobile end-users who receive this enhanced support experience are more likely to recommend their service provider to a friend or family member and less likely to switch carriers.

"Results from our service provider customers show that Rescue+Mobile can help turn a frustrated and potentially dissatisfied smartphone user into a delighted one," said Richard Redding, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile for LogMeIn, Inc. "We believe service providers supporting Android-based devices will benefit by offering an enhanced, remote support experience for their high-value customers."

A demonstration of LogMeIn Rescue for Android will be available at the booth #1G31 during Mobile World Congress, February 16-19, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.

Aepona, a supplier of telecom service layer products and solutions to Telcos globally, has announced that it has been chosen by TDC, the provider of communications solutions in Denmark, for the supply of a new Network as a Service (NaaS) Enabler platform.

Aepona's Telecom Web Services solution, part of the company's Universal Service Platform, will be deployed to provide streamlined third party access to TDC's core network resources, supporting mission-critical, transaction-intensive applications such as Televoting and M-Payments, and to provide a long-term architecture for the multi-service Web/Telco 2.0 applications envisaged for the near future.

"TDC's strategy is to leverage 3rd party applications to the maximum extent in order to drive data traffic, increase revenues, and enhance customer loyalty", said Flemming Hynkemejer, CTO of TDC's Nordic Mobile operations. "To do this with high cost efficiency whilst maintaining a positive customer experience, a new platform was required that provided a single point of control, simplified partner access to our network resources, and extremely high throughput and reliability for the demanding environment in which we operate."

To realize this new platform, TDC went through a rigorous evaluation process involving both IT-centric and Telco-centric vendors. "In the end, we decided that the solution from Aepona was the best and most appropriate. The company has the required combination of a fully productized solution, Telco-grade credibility and market vision to meet our needs, both today and for the future," continued Mr Hynkemejer.

"We are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract by TDC", said Al Snyder, CEO of Aepona. "With this project, TDC have demonstrated that they are a European pioneer of the NaaS (Network as a Service) business model that is set to become the major trend for telecoms operators globally over the coming years. Aepona has been investing heavily in the convergence of Web 2.0 and Telecoms, and it is extremely gratifying to receive such a strong endorsement for our strategy and product capabilities from a leading visionary operator such as TDC".

Aepona will be demonstrating its Universal Service Platform together with several  Web/Telco 2.0 applications at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Feb 16-19 - Hall 2, Stand 2F08.

TDC Mobile A/S, said to be Denmark's largest mobile operator, and NEC have announced today that they are working together on the potential roll-out of the NEC Femtocell solution in late 2009. The scope of engagement includes a user trial involving several Femtocell Access Points deployed in consumer locations and connected to TDC's commercial core network system.

The Femtocell roll-out will offer TDC customers a small low-power plug-and-play consumer device (Femtocell Access Point) that will enable the provision of localised 3G coverage and dedicated capacity in their home while using their broadband connection as a backhaul.

NEC is among the first providers to offer a complete solution which includes the Femtocell access point for direct subscriber use, together with the Femtocell gateway and the Femtocell access point management and provisioning systems.

Flemming Hynkemejer, CTO of TDC Mobile A/S says, "We look forward to evaluating the results of the Femtocell trial. Femtocell technology promises to provide our customers with a number of advantages, primarily improved 3G coverage and capacity indoors. This will give them an even better experience and access to more services. This is TDC's first Femtocell trial in Denmark and we are excited to be leading the field."

Hynkemejer continues, "NEC has a great deal of experience in rolling out similar international Femtocell trials, making them the obvious partner for us."

Fredrik Tumegård, CEO of NEC Scandinavia AB says, "We are very pleased that TDC has chosen us for its Femtocell trials. Femtocell is a very interesting area in which we see great potential for many operators, especially with regards to relieving the pressure on the 3G networks. It will facilitate the delivery of new services and features to customers, producing new revenue streams. Moreover, the technology is of great advantage to the end-user who will benefit from perfect reception for both voice calls and data traffic in their own homes. This technology is set to change the way we use our mobile handsets."

Telmap, a specialist in mobile location solutions, has announced the next generation in MOND (Mobile Optimized Navigation Data), a patented technology from Telmap. MOND2, the next generation of MOND, introduces a methodology that allows for a seamless and data optimized experience in mobile navigation that remains independent of the network.

Telmap says it has analysed in excess of one billion journeys made using Telmap's routing and navigation services - information that has allowed Telmap to introduce a technology which will optimise mapping information for purposes of mobile navigation across a wide range of low to high end mobile devices.

"The MOND2 technology boasts our latest innovations which firmly put mobile navigation ahead of anything currently available on the market, but technology is only half the challenge", said Telmap's CEO Oren Nissim. "As an industry, it is our responsibility to make sure we don't just 'copy and paste' the PND solution to mobile, but leverage the unique facets of mobility in handheld devices and develop an experience and service that fits that mould. Our focus is to create a more personalised location experience that can guide the user to any destination in the most efficient manner over any number of modes of transport - not just by car."

Syniverse Technologies has today announced a revolutionary portfolio of business intelligence solutions that enables mobile operators to optimise roaming services based on a real-time view of subscriber roaming behavior and network performance. Syniverse RoamWise forecasting tool is the first solution to be launched from the portfolio.

According to Syniverse, while traditional operator-to-consumer communication relies on outdated methods to understand user behavior, the analytics-driven framework of RoamWise takes into consideration specific history and preferences. As a result, operators are able to truly understand and predict subscribers' usage patterns. By fine tuning subscriber segmentation and forecasting future user behavior, operators then have the opportunity to protect and maximise their customer base.

RoamWise examines GSM roaming activity in three ways: It enables operators to analyse historical data, manage and optimise ongoing roaming activity in near real time, and predict future roaming traffic.

This end-to-end, comprehensive forecasting tool simplifies the management of roaming information and increases the efficiency of operator roaming departments by bringing together data from across diverse networks. The tool centralises the analysis of historical and real-time roaming data, and builds a comprehensive picture of future roaming trends so that business decisions can be made rapidly and effectively.

"This innovative solution not only increases roaming efficiency, it also helps operators maximise future roaming revenues and subscriber stickiness," said Tony Holcombe, President and CEO, Syniverse. "By using proven forecasting and optimisation algorithms through a unified dashboard, RoamWise is unlike any other tool in the industry."

RoamWise is the only solution available today that precisely provides monitoring and forecasting of all functions that impact operators' roaming revenues, including how traffic is routed and what tariffs are applied. Currently up to 33 functions can be viewed on a single unified dashboard screen, and additional customisable options will be available in the future.

Syniverse also will be introducing three additional business intelligence solutions that provide a number of operator benefits, including optimisation of network performance and an improved user experience for mobile subscribers. Designed to be deployed individually or together, the tools in this new suite of solutions can be bundled with the portfolio's innovative business rules engine for maximum performance.

RoamAdvisory will enable operators to proactively send tariff information and roaming rates to subscribers worldwide on their devices the moment the subscriber enters a new market. This solution will improve the subscriber experience of roaming worldwide, and is being designed to enable operators in Europe to conform to new E.U. roaming regulations by the July 1, 2010, deadline.

RoamMonitor will be an advanced alerting and rating service to enable operators to keep tabs on their roaming subscribers and ensure subscribers are aware of the costs associated with mobile data roaming. RoamMonitor will collect data usage from the home operator's network in near real time, and allow both operators and their subscribers to set spending and/or usage thresholds based on pre-established policies.

Enhanced Visibility Servicesl proactively alert operators of signaling and testing data based on roaming usage, positioning them to optimise associated revenues. This extension of our current Visibility Services solution will offer continuous testing and network monitoring services to ensure a consistently high quality of service for subscribers.

"Syniverse business intelligence solutions are designed to provide operators with powerful information they can use to make critical operating decisions," Holcombe said. "In these tools we have combined our 20-plus years of roaming experience with leading-edge business intelligence innovations. The result is a set means for operators to simplify the complexities of roaming data, all while delivering a positive user experience and realising associated customer growth and retention."

QuickPlay Media, a provider of mobile TV and video solutions, today revealed the findings of its latest quarterly consumer consumption analysis.  The results-aggregate usage statistics from 15 representative QuickPlay-enabled services over the fourth quarter of 2008- are said to demonstrate that mobile users continue to show 'tremendous interest' in streaming and downloading mobile TV and video content.

The findings, compiled from 1st October through 31st December, 2008, revealed that the number of streams viewed in the fourth quarter of 2008 more than doubled from the previous quarter.  Downloads also experienced momentum over this timeframe, with the average number of downloads per user increasing by approximately 50 per cent.

The growth in consumption of streams can be largely attributed to the launch of popular new services, in particular YouTube content available on Telus Mobility.  A decline in streams per user, which occurred over this same period, can be linked to the growing adoption of live TV services that tend to generate longer views but fewer streams.

Video Streams

 *   Total live TV and video streams viewed grew 118% from Q3 to Q4 2008, compared with a 27% increase from Q2 to Q3
 *   Total streams per user dropped slightly to 17.4 in Q4 from 19.3 in Q3
 *   Average stream duration in Q4 2008 was slightly longer at two minutes and 48 seconds when compared to two minutes and 47 seconds in Q3


Video Downloads

 *   Average download per user experienced its best quarter of 2008 with an average of 6 per user vs. 4.1 per user in Q3
 *   Total video downloads showed an increase of 73% from Q3 to Q4 vs. 87% from Q2 to Q3

In addition to the figures above, consumers continued to show preferences in the types of content they stream and download, says QuickPlay.  Popular live TV streaming genres were news, music video, most-watched television programs and weather, while video streaming favourites included music and movie previews.  For downloads, music, sports and comedy represented some of the top categories.

"The positive results show mobile entertainment continues to be one of the bright spots in the current economy," said Wayne Purboo, president and CEO, QuickPlay Media.  "Consumers remain willing to pay for high-quality entertainment services.  In 2009, we expect to see mobile operators continuing to focus on mobile data services as it gives them an effective way to protect ARPU by delivering added value to their cost-conscious subscribers.  For mobile TV and video services, this should result in increased promotional activity and more attractive pricing options that stimulate service trial and adoption."

"While the downturn is expected to have a negative impact on wireless content and entertainment spending, we do anticipate that the industry will still experience growth-- but at a slower pace," said Lewis Ward, research manager, wireless communications research at IDC.  "To remain profitable, providers will not only increase their efforts to collaborate with technology partners to deliver engaging data, but they will also adjust their pricing and business models to encourage consumer take up."

Open Mobile OS company Azingo today announced that Vodafone has selected Azingo as a partner to develop applications for mobile phones based on the LiMo platform.

"We are excited to partner with Azingo to develop cutting edge applications for our mobile phones based on the LiMo platform," said Guido Arnone, Director of Terminals Technology at Vodafone. "We're looking forward to working with Azingo's agile development teams to develop and deliver innovative communications solutions for our customers."

Both Azingo and Vodafone are core members of the LiMo Foundation, a dedicated consortium of mobile industry leaders working together within an open and transparent governance model -- with shared leadership and shared decision making -- to deliver an open and globally consistent handset
software platform based upon Mobile Linux for use by the whole mobile industry.

"We are pleased that we were selected by Vodafone to develop innovative, customized applications for LiMo platform based mobile phones," said Mahesh Veerina, President and CEO of Azingo. "Together with Vodafone, we're committed to delivering a range of exciting, appealing experiences for
mobile phone users."

A new study by Juniper Research has indicated that the mobile money transfer market will be particularly vulnerable to the effects of the global recession.  The rapidly changing economic downturn is forecast to have an immediate impact on the gross value of mobile money transfers, with the market in the worst case scenario reaching $73bn by 2011. This is some 50% less than previously forecast, although strong growth overall is still expected in the long term, says Juniper.

The Juniper Research report determined that the short term impact of the recession is likely to be felt most severely in this market owing to the effect of job losses in the migrant worker population.   

Report author Howard Wilcox pointed out: "We are still in the early stages of the recession but we are already observing significant layoffs which will affect a market where the growth is fuelled by migrant workers sending remittances home to families. Workers from countries such as India, the Philippines and Mexico are likely to be hit in this way because of the sheer numbers working abroad as expatriates. However, we still see this market long term as a significant growth opportunity."

The Juniper report determined that all the mobile commerce market segments are still set to grow significantly over the next five years driven by a range of factors including user demand, but they will all be affected to a greater or lesser extent by the recession. The report includes a top level assessment of the impact of the global economic situation resulting from the credit crunch on the main mobile commerce market segments.

Starhome, a provider of roaming services, is predicting that solutions which stimulate roaming traffic and add new data subscribers will be in high demand in 2009. The solutions will increase individual mobile operators' revenues by up to 40 percent, and operators offering this solution can increase their data roaming usage by an average of 35-45 percent, claims Starhome.

The prediction is said to be based on discussions with 30 leading operators, with Starhome concluding that a strategic shift to an emphasis on mobile roaming data is already underway.

Industry leaders are claimed to support Starhome's vision, with Marc Furrer, the Head of Roaming and Interworking at Swisscom, stating that solutions offering flat rates and/or bundles for mobile data roaming will be the "hot solutions for 2009."

An explosion in mobile roaming data usage is predicted for the immediate future. "Demand for internet access is booming and mobile customers are increasingly focusing on sophisticated handsets and of course the internet," said Maurizio Martucci, Director of Marketing for Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM Italy). "Our customers want to access the Web's rich content for many reasons, regardless of whether they are home or abroad."

In addition to the predicted upsurge in usage, mobile operators are focusing on mobile roaming data due to expected governmental regulations of the new technology, especially in Europe.

Starhome expects the transition for mobile operators to more effective management of mobile roaming data to be fairly straight forward, since the major pieces are already in place. The shares of sales for Advanced/Open OS global handsets are predicted to increase every year until 2012 and feature phones are also proliferating.

"The explosion of the iPhone onto the mobile scene has triggered a massive increase in mobile data usage, both domestically and in the roaming market," said Furrer. "Many iPhone roamers don't understand that roaming rates are significantly higher, and they experience ‘bill shock' when they return home. Transparency and simple pricing schemes are a must for today's operators."

"The mobile operators who succeed in 2009 will deploy Roaming Control solutions that provide a bundle of services to satisfy all of the users' data, voice and messaging roaming needs, while helping the operators comply with all relevant regulations," said Amit Daniel, Vice President of Marketing for Starhome. Operators who deploy such a solution will be able to provide flat fees and packages, and notifications with prices, to the end users.

Global IP Solutions (GIPS), a specialist in IP multimedia processing solutions, has announced plans to demonstrate mobile IP communications at Mobile World Congress. Ongoing demonstrations will be held throughout the conference, including a real-time Mobile video application from Movial, allowing users to conduct high-quality Mobile video calls. Using GIPS VideoEngine, mobile application developers can utilize video processing technology on a mobile platform.

"Next generation mobile applications like mobile video calling are growing rapidly, as worldwide mobile subscriptions are expected to reach 5.5 billion subscribers by 2013," said Joyce Kim, Global IP Solutions' Chief Marketing Officer.  "The high quality and ease of use that today's 3G smart phones offer make real-time IP communications a valuable tool for consumers and businesses to stay connected anywhere, anytime."

Kim continued, "With consumers and businesses striving to save on travel expenses, coupled with the advancements in IP processing and compression technologies, now is the ideal time for increased adoption of applications like mobile video calling.  We are pleased to be leading this charge with some of the biggest names in the mobile industry to make real-time IP communications a reality."

Bharti Telesoft, a provider of integrated VAS solutions for mobile operators in emerging markets, will be showcasing its integrated VAS portfolio at Mobile World Congress. The company has also been nominated for the GSMA Global Mobile Awards in the Best Mobile Money category for its mobiquity mBanking solution.

Commenting on being a part of the event Manoranjan Mohapatra, CEO, Bharti Telesoft commented, "The GSMA Mobile World Congress combines the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry. It is a prestigious event that brings together prominent leaders and personalities from the entire mobile industry, including mobile operators, equipment vendors, Internet and entertainment professionals. We are excited to be a part of this leading event in the telecom industry calendar and especially pleased to have been nominated for a GSMA Award in recognition of our mobiquity solution.

"This year we will be focusing on our solutions that enable operators to extend services to new segments and enhance their portfolio cost-effectively - and underlining our experience in delivering managed services that further support operators in their endeavors to improve revenues and reduce costs," continued Mohapatra.

According to a new report from Juniper Research, smartphones are expected to account for a growing proportion of mobile phones sold each year, potentially sustaining the performance of key brands such as Nokia at a time of economic uncertainty.The report forecasts that, between 2008 and 2013, annual sales of smartphones will rise by 95% to over 300 million.

Underpinning this forecast, says Juniper, is the finding that a rising demand for complex Web 2.0-centric applications is broadening user appeal and expanding the overall market for ‘Smart' devices. This key trend is not being lost on handset manufacturers, large and small alike, as they increasingly rely on sales of high-end devices to mass market users, says Juniper. With this change in focus, smartphones will increasingly become the basis for the next generation of mobile devices.

According to Smartphone report author Andrew Kitson: "The process of evolving mobile phones into Internet-centric, highly personalised mobile computers is well underway. Changes in the design and form of mobile devices, such as the inclusion of large touch-based displays, have been taken to their limits. Looking ahead, the shape and form of next-generation devices will most likely be led by software and content, rather than hardware, as vendors such as Nokia strive to make their devices highly personalised and rooted firmly in the online environment. "

Other findings include

  • By 2013, around 23% of all new mobile phones will be smartphones, up from 13% in 2008
  • Overall, mobile device shipments grew by a nominal 5-6% at best in 2008, but key vendors are projecting a decline of up to 10% or more in 2009
  • As margins on handsets fall, vendors like Nokia and Sony Ericsson are increasingly diversifying into the service provision arena as a means of bolstering earnings - solutions such as music libraries and location-based social networking present significant opportunities in the future

Telmap, a specialist in mobile location solutions, has today announced the introduction of Telmap Active Interface - a new Graphical User Interface (GUI) engine that works across all mobile operating systems currently available on the market.  The development, which is claimed to be the first of its kind, sees Telmap using a Lightweight User Interface Toolkit (LWUIT) from Sun Microsystems as the base technology for the GUI's core elements. This in turn offers users a cross platform GUI engine.

All future product developments from Telmap will use this new GUI engine as standard. This consistent high standard is said to ensure easy porting of graphic elements amongst different platforms, allowing also weaker mobile platforms to still provide rich user experience.

"Operators are fast acknowledging the importance of a consistency in user experience across all devices and services they offer", said Oren Nissim, CEO of Telmap.  "Telmap recognised the importance of developing such a framework that will easily allow porting of graphic components across multiple mobile platforms in a standardised manner. Essentially Telmap aims to raise the bar in mobile user experience with an appreciation of those specific requirements needed for location based applications. 

According to Telmap, users will have a 'high quality and advance experience' from the animation and animated transition screens to the on-map transparent floating menus.  Users will also see a configurable screen layout for menus, tabs and dropdown lists as well as a cleaner, more flexible font effects and screen transitions. The overall effect will create a cleaner, sharper offering for users, says the company.

Telmap's service is already available to consumers globally and is available in Europe (Orange FT Group, Vodafone, SFR, The Carphone Warehouse and O2), in North America (AOL MapQuest, Sprint, ATT), and in Africa (Vodacom).

AdMob, the mobile advertising marketplace, has announced that it has launched its first advertising unit for Android applications, enabling developers to monetise their applications on the new device platform. The first developers to leverage AdMob's new Android ad unit in their applications include AccuWeather, Jirbo, and TapJoy.

AdMob's new Android ad unit will also allow brand and performance advertisers to reach the rapidly growing base of consumers engaging with applications on their Android devices. Advertisers will be able to use these ad units to drive customer actions, such as going to the Android Market to download an application.

"Android's open platform enables developers to build rich mobile applications that provide a great experience for users," said Ali Diab, Vice President of Product Management for AdMob. "We are already seeing strong interest in developing applications for Android-based devices, similar to what we saw with the iPhone last summer, and are very excited to take the lead in helping developers monetise their applications on this fast-growing device platform."

AdMob already serves ads on mobile Web sites on the Android platform and says it received more than 27 million requests in December 2008. 
 
"We've partnered with AdMob to monetise our mobile services for several years now and continue to get great results working with them on our mobile Web site and in our iPhone application," said David Mitchell, Director, Wireless Services, AccuWeather. "We are excited to extend this successful relationship with AdMob and start monetising our new Android application."