AirNgine MMS push server and message router installed to enhance MMS service offering

Taral Networks, provider of messaging infrastructure to mobile telecoms operators and service providers, today announced that Vodafone Netherlands has licensed Taral Networks’ AirNgine solutions for delivery of application-to-person multi-media messages.

Specifically, Vodafone Netherlands utilizes Taral Networks’ AirNgine MMS Push Server (MPS) version 2.1 to ensure timely bulk delivery of "perishable" application-to-person (A2P) MMS, and employs AirNgine MMS Message Router (MMR) version 1.1 to balance A2P and person-to-person (P2P) messaging. This combination of AirNgine products enables Vodafone Netherlands to deliver high-capacity event-based MMS, ensuring the messages are fully valued by their subscribers. Both licensed AirNgine solutions are fully installed and operational.

"The ability for subscribers to receive event-based MMS within minutes of the action taking place is key for operators to generate revenue for A2P MMS," said Vinit Nijhawan, president and CEO of Taral Networks. "Because traditional MMS delivery infrastructure was designed for P2P messaging, it is not equipped to provide the messaging throughput required for timely delivery of bulk A2P MMS. Our AirNgine product line was able to resolve that throughput issue for Vodafone Netherlands, enabling the company to further enhance its Vodafone Live Alert services."

Widest choice of input methods, added memory and ideal e-mail platform make the new P910 a must for mobile business professionals

Sony Ericsson has today launched the P910 smartphone, offering consumers a top combination of phone, PDA, e-mail and web browsing on the move. The P910 has the widest variety of input methods including keyboard, natural handwriting and T9, so that users can choose the most convenient way to access the phone's many functions. Triple band GSM/GPRS coverage gives a global level of freedom to use one of the smartest mobile communications tools around.

The P910 makes handling e-mails and web browsing on a breeze thanks to the wide choice of input methods. For example, the new thumb keyboard on the inside of the flip is particularly useful for writing longer e-mails; the five-way Jog Dial is ideal for navigating the phone's functions or browsing the web; whereas the natural handwriting with stylus on the large colour touchscreen and software keyboard are valuable tools for short SMS messages, taking notes, or adding a new contact or meeting.

Gaining access to e-mail services and handling messages is hassle-free, enabling users to make the most of the extensive e-mail services the P910 supports.  The P910 can just as easily be part of a secure corporate IT network, or used by individuals to receive their private e-mail. Sony Ericsson is collaborating with a wide range of e-mail providers, which makes the P910 the perfect e-mail platform, as in addition to Smartner it also supports IBM, Extended Systems, Visto, RIM BlackBerry, Seven and IntelliSync.

New capabilities such as web browsing, e-mailing, PDA and a range of entertainment options puts more demand than ever on the phone's available user memory. Sony Ericsson has taken this into account and expanded the internal memory from 16MB to 64MB and included a 32MB Memory Stick Duo in the box. The P910 supports up to 1GB Memory Stick Duo Pro, creating almost endless possibilities to store and share images, video, music and business data.

The P910 is based on Symbian OS v7.0, the world's most popular operating system for smartphones, and the successful UIQ user interface which is based on Symbian OS. As a result P910 offers the widest possible selection of applications on any smartphone available today.

Gerry Drew to head up Spanish operations as Opera Telecom’s international expansion continues and record growth is announced

Opera Telecom, the fastest growing international provider of premium-rate mobile services, has appointed former O2 Commercial Director, Gerry Drew, as Managing Director of its Spanish operations and as Head of Special Projects within Opera Telecom UK.

Drew’s appointment is part of Opera Telecom’s rapid recruitment drive to grow the company and expand into new and emerging mobile markets across the world.  Since its foundation in November 2000, the company has developed operations in the UK, Ireland, USA, Poland, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine. Drew will build on this international success within the Spanish mobile services industry, which has grown phenomenally over the past 18 months, and he will be responsible for establishing Opera Telecom’s presence in Spain. 
 
Opera Telecom is predicting rapid international business growth at a time when many of its competitors are experiencing a downturn in revenues. The company achieved a 100% increase in profits and turnover in the year ending May 2004, with revenues at £90.4 million and profits at £5.4 million, and further business expansion is planned during the next 12 months. 
 
Commenting on his appointment, Drew says, "Premium-rate mobile services have taken Europe by storm over the last three years and increasing numbers of companies are augmenting mobile technologies into their marketing programmes to raise brand awareness and generate revenue. Using our own switching infrastructure, Opera Telecom is able to direct all traffic to the UK operations centre, meaning it can offer customers cheaper rates and better margins than they would receive in the local markets. This gives us a strong competitive advantage as we embark on the Spanish mobile market."
 
Drew continues, "This is therefore an exciting time to be joining the company. There are more than 38 million mobile users in Spain and this figure continues to grow month-by-month, as does the volume of fixed line SMS messages, which has grown over 800% since the beginning of the year [Source: 160 Characters.org]. These figures undoubtedly make Spain a growth market for Opera Telecom, and I look forward to growing and developing that side of the business over the coming years."
 
Prior to joining Opera Telecom, Drew was Commercial Director for the online division of O2, managing three teams - one of which was the SMS Broker start-up responsible for winning high-profile, interactive broadcast business, including I’m a Celebrity, Pop Idol and Big Brother. Before this, he was Sales Director for World Online, the UK division of Europe’s largest and fastest growing Internet Services Provider.

Azure, the telecoms revenue assurance company, has today announced the appointment of Jason Lane-Sellers as its new fraud product marketing manager. He brings over eight years of experience specialising in combating telecoms fraud.

Jason joins Azure from Neural Technologies, where he had a role as a fraud and revenue assurance consultant, providing it with a knowledgebase that could be used to improve its sales, marketing, product development and customer interaction experience.

Previous to that, Jason worked for Vodafone UK, where he was responsible for a variety of fraud issues from management and prevention to training, education and liaison. He has also worked for fixed, indirect access and switch-less resale providers, with responsibilities covering fraud billing and revenue assurance.

Jason is also involved heavily with fraud issues outside of his employment. He has served as a director for TUFF (Telecommunications UK Fraud Forum) and is currently sitting on the Emerging Technologies Committee of the CFCA (Communications Fraud Control Association) who are a worldwide body promoting fraud and risk awareness.

Additionally, Jason is a regular member of the GSM Association Fraud Forum where he is a consistent contributor and has aided the development of the GSMA fraud professional training courses. Jason is also a member of the Services Fraud and Risk Assessment (SFRA) committee and the professional certification board and regularly speaks at industry events on the issues of fraud, revenue assurance and risk management.

John Cronin, CEO of Azure, said:  "We are delighted that Jason has joined us. He is one of the principal contributors to fraud issues in the industry and his wealth of experience and knowledge will no doubt be a great asset to Azure. Jason’s appointment is part of Azure’s commitment to being number one in the revenue assurance space."

Azure’s revenue assurance portfolio includes Interconnect Billing, Fraud Management, Mediation Software, Event Integrity and Route Optimisation.

Selects Axalto to Launch First 128 USIM cards in the UK – Axalto Usimera 128 cards support the operator’s 3G services and enable services update over-the-air

Axalto today announced it has commenced volume deliveries of its Usimera 128 Java SIM/USIM card to leading operator 3 UK – the UK’s first video mobile network – to provide the best platform for new value-added services. Axalto commenced delivery of the cards to 3 in July.

This new generation of USIM ecards best platform means 3’s customers can store up to double the amount of information as compared to existing SIM/USIM cards in the market. With Usimera 128, Axalto enables 3 to new value-added services and maximize over-the-air card management and increase the portfolio of applications and services that 3UK can provide to its customers. Axalto today announced that it has commenced volume deliveries of its Usimera 128 Java SIM/USIM card to 3.

David Cooper, Chief Technical Officer, 3 UK said: "3 is setting the agenda with video mobile services and offering customers great value price plans. The launch of these advanced 128k USIM card incorporating the latest 3GPP and Java interoperability standards demonstrates that 3 is leading this market.After supporting our 2003 group launch with their 64 Usimera platform, Axalto offered the expertise and the commitment to allow 3 UK’s migration onto the larger and more advanced 128k USIM platform implementing the latest 3GPP and Java interoperability standards.

"Of all the necessary criteria, the added value provided by proximity and local program management with vertical focus and global reach has been key to the success of the overall implementation. Axalto has met all the requirements of a highly competitive mobile operator in today’s marketplace".

Nokia has signed a turnkey deal worth EUR 125 million with Ukrainian operator DCC/Astelit to build and operate its GSM/EDGE radio network. With this frame agreement DCC/Astelit, which is majority owned by Turkcell, becomes a new customer for Nokia.  In a deal expected to last two years, deliveries of the Nokia base station subsystem (BSS) will start immediately.

"Nokia is well known as the leader in the telecommunication world. DCC/Astelit has chosen Nokia as a partner to build its GSM network in Ukraine, based first of all on our trust in the company's name and our recognition of the quality of its equipment," said Valeriy Grigorievich Stepanenko, Chairman of the Supervision Board,  CJSC  "Digital Cellular Communication of Ukraine".
 
"We are proud to provide DCC/Astelit with a GSM/EDGE BSS solution to quickly achieve high quality network coverage in Ukraine. There is a large untapped market to be addressed in this country, one of the fastest growing markets of the region, and we look forward to working with DCC/Astelit for quick and smooth rollout towards successful service launch," says Jaakko Myllymäki, Vice President, Networks, Nokia.
 
Under the agreement Nokia will supply its complete GSM/EDGE base station subsystem, which can be smoothly upgraded to 3G WCDMA. In addition Nokia will provide turnkey implementation of the network, including site acquisition, civil works, network planning, implementation and project management for fast quality ramp-up of the solution.
 
Nokia is also providing its operations start-up package to support DCC/Astelit in starting and developing its operations competencies and procedures for the network for the first six months. Nokia Care services, including software maintenance, emergency support and hardware services as well as training will help keep the network running at peak performance.

External Links

DCC
Nokia

Platinum sponsor of World Congress

Sepura is proud to announce that it is this year's Platinum Sponsor of the TETRA World Congress (TWC) which will take place in Vienna from Monday 22nd to Thursday 25th November 2004.

The TWC is the world’s largest TETRA conference and exhibition. It is the annual meeting place for the international TETRA community and is attended by delegates from more than 200 organisations in 50 countries from all sectors of the industry. The aim of the TWC is to provide detailed analysis of the current TETRA market and technology, as well as providing an insight as to how this will develop in the future.
 
This year Sepura is the sole Platinum Sponsor of the TWC, the highest possible sponsorship level at this event.  Graham Matthews, Sepura’s Managing Director, comments: "We are delighted to be Platinum Sponsors of the TWC 2004, a key event in the TETRA calendar.  The Platinum sponsorship is a reflection of Sepura’s international success. Furthermore, it reinforces our position as a leading supplier of TETRA radios worldwide."

External Links

Sepura

Mobileway, the global leader in mobile messaging, marketing and entertainment, announced today that Romanian GSM operators are connected to its Global Hub. Mobileway’s customers will now be able to offer their contents and applications (ring tones, images, information, marketing campaigns, etc.) to 7 million Romanian mobile phone users.

Bernadette Lyons, Mobileway Managing Director UK, said: "Our strategy is to offer a maximum of direct connections with Premium billing capabilities to mobile operators world-wide. These new connections add to the 150 Mobileway manages today. The launch of services into Romania was in response to a strong demand from our customers."
 
Mobileway will be able to offer its clients two types of services:
 
-          SMS direct connections to 7 million Romanian mobile subscribers
-          SMS Premium billing capabilities for a wide variety of content through short codes
 
Mobileway is expecting traffic of 500 000 SMS per month in the first two months increasing to 2 million SMS messages per month over the next six months.

External Links

Mobileway

Amdocs and Vodafone today announced that they have signed a long-term global framework agreement. The strategic agreement positions Amdocs as a global billing solutions provider for Vodafone worldwide.

Since Amdocs' first deployment at Vodafone UK in 1995, the two companies have cultivated a strategic relationship, successfully collaborating on numerous voice and data billing, CRM and mediation projects with Vodafone Group companies around the globe. The new global framework agreement specifies service levels, pricing and a legal framework for all future projects between Amdocs and Vodafone companies worldwide.  The agreement is a significant milestone in the relationship between the two companies.  It is also a testament to Vodafone's commitment towards the consolidation of its worldwide business operations.

"In selecting its global information technology partners, Vodafone requires that they have proven global delivery capabilities and a high-quality solutions portfolio," said Thomas Geitner, Chief Technology Officer at Vodafone Group. "Vodafone's relationship with Amdocs will continue to develop and play a role in helping us maintain our position as the global provider of choice for service excellence and innovation."

"Amdocs superior technology, combined with implementation and services capabilities and integrated customer management vision, will help Vodafone achieve operational and cost efficiencies, while supporting introduction of emerging services and enhancing system scalability," said Eli Gelman, Executive Vice President of Amdocs Management Limited. "With a streamlined integrated customer management approach, Vodafone will be able to further differentiate its brand, and grow stronger, more profitable customer relationships."

External Links

Amdocs
Vodafone

Vodafone and Square Enix have today announced their joint collaboration for the launch of new mobile content on Vodafone live! Best known for the world-renowned FINAL FANTASY video game series, and marking its entry into the mobile gaming market in Europe, Square Enix is committed to bringing new and exciting games to the growing mobile gaming audience and is doing so first with Vodafone.

The initial titles available for download on Vodafone live! will be Aleste and Actraiser, both of which will debut in Vodafone Germany in July. The games will then be rolled out across other Vodafone live! European regions over the Summer, including UK, Spain, and Italy. A mobile version of Drakengard, released this May on PlayStation 2, is also planned for release during the summer.

"The addition of Square Enix's quality games titles to the Vodafone live! portfolio is a real win for our European customers. This agreement marks just the start of an exciting new relationship with Square Enix, with more classic titles to come," said Tim Harrison, Head of Games, Vodafone Group Services Limited.

"Our relationship with Vodafone in Europe allows us to offer mobile gamers the highest-quality original content Square Enix is famous for," said Yoichi Wada, president of Square Enix. "Going forward, we will work hard to continue releasing ground-breaking entertainment through the industry-leading Vodafone live! multimedia offering."

In Aleste, the mobile version of the 80s home console classic, you become the pilot of an ultra-advanced attack craft, codenamed Aleste. Your mission sees you fearlessly flying through enemy-packed stages, collecting weapon power-ups on your way to the explosive end-of-level boss battles. Each level ramps up the challenge and will keep you coming back for more adrenaline-soaked arcade action!

Actraiser challenges you to fight your way past centaurs, goblins, trolls and a menagerie of other mythical creatures in this side-scrolling action game. Armed with your mighty blade and plenty of determination, you must cleanse the landscape of hordes of evil monsters! Based on the classic Super Nintendo game of the same name, Actraiser brings classic console gaming to your mobile phone.

Drakengard, Square Enix's new Action-RPG, was launched In Europe on the PlayStation 2 on May 21st, 2004. The mobile version of this brilliant console game sees you battling across four different locations, fighting Empire forces on the ground and in the air! Each level combines fantastic sword-slashing action and dragon-riding combat; the fight-back against the Empire starts here!

TeliaSonera, the leading telecommunications group in the Nordic-Baltic region, has signed an agreement with France Telecom to acquire its Danish subsidiary, Orange A/S, with 605,000 mobile customers in Denmark. Combined with Telia Mobile Denmark, a new powerful alternative will be available for Danish telecommunications customers.

"By combining Telia Mobile Denmark and Orange Denmark, we are creating a true and powerful contender to the two dominating players in the Danish market. Combined we will have critical mass and operational scale, sufficient to become the first choice provider of mobile services in Denmark. This combination will benefit the Danish mobile customers," comments Anders Igel, President and CEO of TeliaSonera and continues, "In particular, the increased size will improve our ability to meet the demands of the business customer segments, but it will also enable us to continue improving our successful consumer service offer."

TeliaSonera currently operates mobile and fixed line communications as well as cable TV business in Denmark. With the acquisition, TeliaSonera is executing its strategy to increase its mobile customer base in Denmark. Anders Igel continues: "The transaction confirms TeliaSonera's long-term commitment to the Danish market and it strengthens our Nordic footprint in a way that will increase our overall competitiveness in pan-Nordic offerings."

The plan is to begin integrating the mobile operations of TeliaSonera in Denmark and Orange A/S as soon as the necessary approvals for the transaction are obtained. Until then, integration planning will be lead by a steering group, chaired by Kenneth Karlberg, President TeliaSonera Norway, Denmark and the Baltic countries, and comprising Jesper Brockner, Vice President, TeliaSonera Denmark, Richard Moat, CEO, Orange A/S, and Kjell-Ove Blom, Senior Business Advisor, TeliaSonera, as integration project leader.

Initially, no changes will be made in the existing customer relationships. The existing products and services of both organizations will continue to be delivered under separate existing brands until at least spring 2005. No significant organizational overlaps are expected pertaining to entities with direct customer contacts, such as customer services and the 22 Orange shops.

Integration planning will include decisions on branding, customer migration, new service portfolio, premises, personnel, handling of the overlapping GSM networks and UMTS licenses. Personnel overlaps are expected mainly within management, administration, network operations and product and services development. Confirmation of this is expected to be made in the beginning of 2005.

Employees in Telia Stofa and Telia Networks will not be affected directly by the integration.

The Societé des Autoroutes Paris-Rhin-Rhône (SAPRR) has selected Nokia TETRA as its radio communication solution.

The Societé des Autoroutes Paris-Rhin-Rhône, which operates motorways across central eastern France, has signed a contract for the Nokia TETRA system to replace its current analogue systems. The digital Nokia TETRA system brings full secure professional mobile radio (PMR) coverage for the motorways managed and operated by SAPRR, including the prestigious Paris-Lyon route.
 
Under the contract, Nokia will supply its complete TETRA system featuring the Nokia TETRA Neat architecture, tailored for a motorways type of network.  Deliveries and implementation have already begun.
 
"Our motorways span more than 2,200 kilometres and serve more than 135 million vehicles per year. Therefore, we need a secure system that will enable us to provide reliable, high-quality PMR services over a large area," says Valéry Chalimon, Motorway Traffic and Maintenance Manager, SAPRR.
 
"In addition, the system must enable a smooth integration of special motorways applications. Nokia TETRA System perfectly answered our needs," he adds.
 
"It is during exceptional circumstances, such as a big accident or extremely bad weather, that the SAPRR people must be able to rely on their radio communication system," says Benoit Loth, Senior Account Manager, Networks, Nokia. "Reliability of radio communications is a key element for them, and Nokia TETRA System has been designed for just this kind of challenge".
 
The Société des Autoroutes Paris-Rhin-Rhône has also created a subsidiary company, ALTECH-RPN (Limonest, France) which is committed for the engineering, the operation and the maintenance of the TETRA network.
 

Telia is discontinuing per-minute charges for mobile telephony - 24/7. The new price offer is in effect starting today, Wednesday, for calls to four million numbers in Telia's mobile network. Customers can subscribe to the offer through August 31, 2004 and the rates are in effect through August 31, 2005.

The offer is available to customers who have one of the subscriptions Telia Mobil 50 or Telia Mobil 100. The offer allows customers to make mobile calls to other Telia mobile phones without any per-minute charges, 24/7, for a monthly fee of SEK 50. There is a flat fee of SEK 0.50 per call.

"Free calling minutes for a flat monthly fee is a clear trend in the Swedish mobile market right now," says Marie Ehrling, President of TeliaSonera Sweden. "I believe that our offer is attractive and competitive. Customers initially have 50 or 100 free minutes for calls to over ten million numbers within Telia's fixed and mobile networks. Customers can then supplement this with an unlimited number of free minutes to four million numbers in Telia's mobile network. We are starting with an offer for 12 months and expect that we will continue to extend it."

The subscriptions Telia Mobil 50 and Telia Mobil 100 enable customers to make calls for 50 or 100 minutes per month for a flat monthly fee of SEK 90 and SEK 170, respectively. The free minutes apply 24/7 to over ten million numbers in Telia's fixed and mobile networks in Sweden. Customers who choose to add this offer to their subscriptions pay a supplement for a total fee of SEK 140 or SEK 220, respectively, per month.

Wireless service provider T-Mobile International plans deployment of an intelligent packet core networking solution from Nortel Networks

Under a new agreement, Nortel Networks will provide a solution designed to make it possible for T-Mobile to implement flexible billing options for subscribers based on the content they have accessed, time spent downloading, or volume of data downloaded. These capabilities create new business opportunities for offering ‘content-aware’ services for contract and pre-paid subscribers. T-Mobile plans to use these billing features for personalized mobile data services initially across the United Kingdom, with the potential to expand across other T-Mobile European networks.

In addition to enabling content-based billing, the Nortel Networks solution will deliver an optimized IP (Internet Protocol)-based architecture that will greatly simplify network design and help drive reduced operating costs. This has traditionally required a complicated mix of routers, load balancers, firewalls and switches.

"This decision aligns closely with T-Mobile's One Network vision of offering ubiquitous customer experiences across Europe," said Dr Wolfgang Ptacek, executive director and head of International Division Service Development at T-Mobile International. "We are leveraging our investments in Nortel Networks GPRS and UMTS packet core to deliver new billing and services options. By consolidating these services in the wireless packet core infrastructure, we will be able to accelerate the time-to-market for new services while greatly reducing the operational complexity."

"This is another example of Nortel Networks driving innovation in the wireless industry," said Vivian Hudson, president and general manager, GSM/GPRS/EDGE, Nortel Networks. "Our solution brings the full potential of IP technology to the wireless core network, which translates into a much more cost-effective way to deliver 'content-aware' services. Nortel Networks brings unmatched synergies based on our broad telecommunications experience. The T-Mobile packet core network will combine our expertise in wireless with our heritage in carrier data networking."

The Nortel Networks solution for T-Mobile will provide 'on-board' intelligent packet inspection residing within the GGSN, which simplifies the traditional architecture for offering content-based services, and can significantly reduce capital and operating costs for 'packet-sniffing' hardware.

This packet core network agreement is incremental to previous GPRS and UMTS core contract awards by T-Mobile International to Nortel Networks. Nortel Networks has been a supplier of GPRS and 3G networking gear for T-Mobile International's Pan-European network since 2002, and currently supplies 3G core networking equipment in Germany, the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, The Netherlands and Austria.