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With many Norwegian internet banking users currently relying on security calculators to log in to their internet banking accounts. EDB, working in collaboration with Norwegian technology company Encap, is now launching a new solution for secure log-in using a mobile phone. The new solution may replace about 3 millions security calculators currently in use in Norway.

"We have recognized that Norwegian banking customers need a secure but simple way to access their internet bank without having to rely on a security code calculator. We have now found a solution that will simplify their everyday use of internet banking", explains Wiljar Nesse of EDB.

 An increasing number of Norwegian banks currently use the BankID system for logging in to their internet banks. BankID uses what is known as two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication uses "something you know" and "something you have" (often termed KNOW and HAVE factors). In practical terms, this normally means using a password and entering a code generated by a security instrument. Until now, banks have only been able to offer their customers security calculators or scratch card codes. These provide a high level of security, but do mean that the customer has to have the relevant security instrument to hand when carrying out authentication.

Norwegian banks are very actively involved in launching a number of new services that require authentication. Examples of this include Mobile Banking and the 3-D Secure security protocol to authenticate card transactions carried out over the internet. These services are in demand by customers, who need to be able to use them wherever they are.

EDB is offering two-factor authentication based on using a mobile handset. The solution is simple to use, and authentication can be carried out from most models of mobile telephones sold in Norway over the last three years. The solution delivers secure authentication using a mobile, which is something that customers will in practice always have available wherever they are. The Norwegian technology company Encap developed the solution, which is now being made available for Norwegian banks in collaboration with EDB. The solution uses the mobile handset's Java platform, and therefore operates regardless of which mobile operator the banking customer uses.
 
Each bank will make its own decision on whether to offer authentication from mobile telephones, and will also decide whether to offer this as an alternative to current solutions or whether it should replace them. One possibility is that internet banking users will be given the choice of which HAVE instrument they wish to use.

Airwide Solutions, a mobile messaging specialist, has today revealed the results of an independent study conducted by comScore M:Metrics on the use of mobile messaging across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The results are claimed to prove that despite warnings of turmoil throughout the global economy, growth in mobile messaging shows no signs of slowing. The study shows that the number of people sending text messages (SMS) across the EU is growing 3.3% year on year, a figure only beaten by MMS which is growing by 9.2%.

According to the research, the UK is faring particularly well with over 25 million text messages sent each day. Growth is driven in particular by people who earn over £30,000 as those sending SMS messages every day is increasing 16.9% year on year. However, the growth in mobile messaging by those earning less than £30,000 is also doing well with almost 4% annual growth of those sending SMS everyday.

France is seeing the second biggest increase with 8.1% more people sending text messages this year than the same period last year. Interestingly the French have also been the most keen to embrace picture messaging with 15.2% more people sending MMS than in 2007 (the biggest increase across Europe).

However, it is not only Europe which is seeing a continued growth in SMS and MMS. Airwide is predicting a worldwide growth in mobile messaging over the next few years, particularly in less economically developed and newly industrialised regions such Asia and Africa where fixed lines are expensive and difficult to set up. It is in these regions, where mobile phones are being used not only as a communications tool but also as a driver for social change, making communications easier, cheaper and much less time-consuming.

In the Western World growth will be fuelled by a combination of mobile operators introducing a greater number of personalised services such as out-of-office, auto-forward and storage/back-up capabilities along with a continued uptake in mobile marketing and advertising - a development which in 2009 will see the introduction of location based mobile advertising.

Jay Seaton, Chief Marketing Office at Airwide Solutions commented: "Whilst an increase in mobile messaging traffic is certainly good news for the industry, it also underlines the need to ensure that an operator's underlying infrastructure is efficient and equipped to support the increase in traffic volumes over the years ahead. With most people now relying on their text and picture messages being delivered instantaneously, mobile operators cannot afford for their infrastructure to become congested. As the volume of messaging increases, they also need to be able to protect their networks and subscribers from potential security threats such as mobile fraud, spam and viruses."

The board of the GSMA, the global body for the mobile industry, has elected Alexander Izosimov, the Group Chief Executive Officer of VimpelCom, as its new Chairman for a two-year term. As Chairman, he will help oversee the strategic direction of the GSMA, which represents more than 750 mobile operators worldwide. Bill Hague, Executive Vice President of AT&T, was elected as Deputy Chairman.
 
Speaking for the board, Rob Conway, CEO and board member, said: "With the election of Mr. Izosimov, we will continue to have the excellence in the chairman's role that was well established by outgoing chair, Craig Ehrlich," a board member of Hutchison Mobile Communications, who had served for seven years with distinction as GSMA Chairman. Mr. Ehrlich will remain on the board.
 
Mr. Conway added: "With his exceptional telecom experience, and understanding of leading international businesses, Mr. Izosimov will enable us to build on that foundation, providing the commercial, strategic and technical insights that will prepare our industry for an era of mass-market mobile broadband services and an increasingly rich mobile lifestyle for its billions of customers."
 
Mr. Izosimov said: "The GSMA board, with its wealth of expertise, intellect and business acumen, is well placed to steer the mobile community through the opportunities and challenges presented by the global economic slowdown, the rise of investment stifling regulation, the release of new spectrum and the convergence of mobile and Internet services. I am looking forward to working with the CEO and the board to ensure that the GSMA remains at the vanguard of our industry."
 
Jon Fredrick Baksaas, the CEO of Telenor,  Dato' Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim, Managing Director, President and Group CEO of TM International, and Eduardo Barnetche Girard, Head of International Roaming & International Long Distance at America Moviles, have joined the new 26-member GSMA board, which now includes the CEOs of 14 leading mobile operator groups and represents 69% of global mobile users.

Schaffner EMC, a leading provider of EMI/RFI components and solutions for power quality, and Digi-Key Corporation, an industry leader known for the breadth and availability of its product line, announced today that the companies have entered into a global agreement for the distribution of Schaffner's full line of EMC and power quality products, such as chokes, filters, pulse transformers, and feedthrough components.

Schaffner products, now available on Digi-Key's websites, will be featured in future print catalogs.

Alexander Hagemann, CEO of Schaffner EMC, said, "We needed a distribution partner that matched the requirements of our growing worldwide customer base. Digi-Key's commitment to servicing its international customers, along with its highly efficient internal processes, enables us to quickly integrate our product line into its network and start delivering products to customers around the globe."

Mark Larson, Digi-Key president and COO, noted, "Although our selection of electronic components is extensive, Schaffner's reputation for quality and its EMI/RFI components make this company unique. Designers throughout the automotive, medical, consumer, telecom and other industries we target will benefit from the Schaffner products we now offer."

Vodafone and Last.fm have today announced a collaboration which will bring the Last.fm music experience to Vodafone customers.
 
From today, Vodafone customers throughout Europe and India, Australia and New Zealand will be able to access Last.fm's social networking music features via their mobiles.  The new mobile application includes Last.fm's scrobbling functionality that tracks what users listen to in real-time and builds them an online music profile based on their listening habits.
 
Last.fm is a music entertainment platform, with an active community of over 25 million users in more than 200 countries. Through its Scrobbler system, Last.fm builds a profile of each user's music taste by tracking what they listen to in real-time via their computer and now from their mobile. Last.fm can then use this information to intelligently recommend new music to each user based on their music preferences.
 
Customers who are new to Last.fm can register from their mobile and check out what their friends are listening to.  In addition, customers in Germany will be able to click through directly to the Vodafone Music Store to sample and buy any music recommended by Last.fm.
 
Javier Foncillas, Head of Branded Content at Vodafone Group, says: "Music continues to be a major passion for our customers and that's why Vodafone consistently delivers a superior music experience in a number of different ways to ensure people get the music they want, how and when they want it. With Last.fm, Vodafone continues to pioneer social networking on mobiles, delivering a new, relevant and unique music experience, to millions of customers, across our high speed, reliable network."
 
Martin Stiksel, Last.fm co-founder, says: "It's really exciting to be launching our scrobbling mobile phone application with Vodafone. We're working hard to ensure that the Last.fm experience is available everywhere, from your desktop through hardware to phones, and this is another big step towards that goal."

Telekom Austria Group has announced that the Supervisory Board has appointed Hannes Ametsreiter as a new Board member of the Telekom Austria Group and as new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Fixed Net subsidiary, Telekom Austria TA AG. In addition, the Supervisory Board appointed Walter Goldenits as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Fixed Net subsidiary.

Both Hannes Ametsreiter and Walter Goldenits will assume their new positions on January 1, 2009 for a term of five years. Hannes Ametsreiter will maintain his current assignment as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of mobilkom austria AG in addition to his new CEO function for the Fixed Net subsidiary. Furthermore, the Supervisory Board appointed Hans Tschuden, the Chief Financial Officer, as Vice Chairman of the Management Board of the Telekom Austria Group.

Ametsreiter said about his new position: "The ongoing restructuring measures and our strengthened market approach demonstrate our commitment to reversing the trend in the Fixed Net segment. Based on our unique position in fixed net and mobile communication we are able to succeed in both markets. The positive development over the last year proves that we are on the right track." 

Ametsreiter started his career at Procter & Gamble as international brand assistant manager. In 1996 he began his career in the telecommunications industry by joining the product management of mobilkom austria. Since January 2001 he has been the CMO of mobilkom austria, taking on the additional responsibility for Customer Service in 2002.  Between July 2005 and July 2006 he was CMO of Mobiltel in Bulgaria. In 2007 he was appointed as CMO of the Fixed Net subsidiary. Ametsreiter is also a member of the Board of Directors of Vipnet, Vip mobile, M-Tel, Si.mobil, VELCOM, Paybox Austria, A1 BANK and Omnimedia.
 
The new CTO Goldenits said: "In the last months we have reorganised the technical departments to provide the foundation for the next big step of the Next Generation Networks (NGN) project. Our role as technology platform is to generate and market customer convenience and this is the benchmark against which we want to measure our success. The Fixed Net segment has great potential from a technological perspective, which will enable us to provide our residential and business customers with top products and to differentiate ourselves from our competitors."
 
Goldenits started his career as project manager at Landis&Gyr. In 1998 he joined mobilkom austria AG, where he first developed the billing systems and was then appointed Head of the IT department in 2003. In 2006 Goldenits began to reorganise mobilkom austria IT as a service centre for parts of the mobilkom austria group, and from 2007 to 2008 he took over the position of CTO of Si.mobil. Since September 2008 Goldenits has been responsible for the reorganisation and realignment of the technical departments of Telekom Austria TA AG. 

Taptu, the pure-play mobile search engine, has secured £6.45m in series B funding from its existing investors 3i and Sofinnova investments and has appointed Andreas Bernstrom to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO). Bernstrom will be part of Taptu's senior management team, responsible for managing the company's commercial growth and formalising Taptu's mobile advertising position, worldwide.

The funding was secured in recognition of the success that Taptu has already achieved both here and in the United States, and to accelerate Taptu's continued growth over the next 12 months.

Bernstrom has over 10 years experience driving growth in digital marketing companies. Previously COO at TradeDoubler, a leading Internet marketing company, Bernstrom expanded and grew the company in 19 markets, managing over 550 staff, and was responsible for driving the product development, marketing, sales and distribution strategies for its search, affiliate and technology products. Before working at TradeDoubler, he worked at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch.

Bernstrom said: "With significant funding achieved, in a market where investment is hard to come by, we are poised to become an attractive proposition for marketers and advertisers looking to capitalise on the explosion in mobile web usage - Gartner reveals that mobile data revenues overtook voice revenues for the first time in 2008 and that mobile search will be worth USD 12 Billion by 2013.  We are best placed to offer marketers the most engaging environment in which to reach consumers with carefully targeted, relevant advertising."

Steves Ives CEO and founder of Taptu said: "Taptu has had a stellar year, having won numerous awards including Best Mobile Search provider 2008 at the MEA awards and now achieving Series B funding from our investors Its great timing to bring Andreas on Board.  He brings with him valuable experience that will help us drive Taptu forward as a business and will play an important part in developing our business presence overseas as well as maintaining momentum in the UK."

Oliver Sichel, Partner at Sofinnova Investments says: "With the ever-increasing adoption of the mobile internet, thanks to improved networks and new multimedia handsets, Sofinnova is extremely pleased and proud to continue to support Taptu. We have seen dramatic improvements in the Taptu service and huge growth in users over the last 12 months. Andreas Bernstrom brings with him tremendous experience in helping companies achieve sustained growth."

Astellia, a specialist in optimization systems for the Quality of Service (QoS) and performance of mobile networks, has enhanced its 2G/3G "Handset Profiling" solution. The application helps operators troubleshoot quality-threatening problems due to low performing handsets and choose the best terminals to trigger enhanced mobile voice and data services usage.

According to Astellia, with the increasing number of mobile handsets and the swift development of multimedia contents launched onto the market, it is becoming increasingly important for operators to measure individual performance and ensure that terminals are optimized for high-quality voice calls, streamline web browsing, fast email access and video streaming.

The Astellia Handset Profiling application is currently used by the marketing and procurement teams of many operators worldwide to benchmark mobile handsets and choose the best performing terminals.

"It plays a crucial role in delivering the best Quality of Experience (QoE) to subscribers, increasing service usage and revenues", says Pierre-Yves Pasco, Product Manager, Handset Profiling, at Astellia. "It also gives operators greater negotiation power in dealing with handset manufacturers."

Network operations take full advantage of the application for in-depth troubleshooting purposes and, using Handset Profiling, engineers can rapidly diagnose problems and identify whether the root cause is linked to a low-performing network, handset or application.

Handset Profiling, now available for both 2G and 3G, is based on the Astellia monitoring solution. Non intrusive, it provides a clear picture of how voice and data services are perceived from real handsets' and users' perspective from any point on the network. This contributes to reduce need for active testing and emulating hundreds of handsets. Through a web interface, operators' teams can easily access reliable and precise key performance indicators such as call success rate, download time, speed and throughput for Internet, Wap and MMS.

Airwide Solutions, a provider of mobile messaging and mobile internet infrastructure, applications and solutions, has today announced enhanced MMS functionality for the AirGate MMS messaging gateway. The enhanced MMS Direct Delivery functionality is said to be designed to help operators grow their MMS business by enabling them to support high-value performance intensive MMS applications, participate in mobile marketing and support the convergence of mobile with internet with social networking.   
 
As a result of increasing demand for A2P and P2A MMS applications like goal alerts and mobile marketing, Airwide says it has enhanced the MMS functionality of its AirGate offering to provide a low-cost way for operators to support this demand while improving performance and QoS for all forms of MMS messaging. 

The enhancements extend the connectivity and service management facets of the product with A2P MMS delivery, said to provide a cost-effective solution to the growing need for separately scalable A2P MMS capacity. Together with the campaign and reporting capabilities of AirGate, Airwide's messaging gateway is now claimed to enable a variety of new A2P MMS business opportunities ranging from mobile marketing campaigns to content services to social networking and user generated content. 
 
According to Airwide, the advantages of using AirGate MMS for the direct delivery to handsets of application-oriented MMS messages include reducing costs by avoiding the expensive legacy licensing and hardware costs associated with conventional MMSCs and providing a superior user experience by segregating application traffic from person to person MMS traffic. The enhanced feature set meets customer and industry demand by providing separately scalable components. Enabling the MMS direct-delivery capability of the AirGate gateway is also said to provide an easy and cost-effective way to support application-oriented MMS traffic for operators. AirGate's functionality for VASP management and service delivery, combined with campaign and reporting capabilities, provides a solution for supporting high impact mobile marketing activities.
 
"With high performance bulk messaging as provided by AirGate MMS, cost per message is reduced, offering an attractive way for operators to provide subscribers with interesting, useful and economical services in difficult financial times," said Chris Lennartz, vice president of product marketing. "Additionally, this component architectural approach extends Airwide's commitment to allowing operators to buy only the capacity they need when they need it. Since A2P traffic is separated from P2P traffic, each can be scaled independently of each other. This, for example, avoids the need to purchase excess P2P capacity in preparation for a spike in A2P traffic, while ensuring that all multimedia messages in a campaign or alert are received in the required time frame and with the required quality of service."

Soonr, a specialist in mobile cloud services, has today announced that TeliaSonera Denmark is launching Sky Files, a new iPhone application that uses cloud computing to keep business people in touch with their documents on the go.

With Sky Files, TeliaSonera in Denmark has become the first mobile operator to offer the Soonr iPhone application under its own brand. Additional partners in the United States and Europe are expected to offer the Soonr service in early 2009.

Just as mobile phones let you send and receive emails while on the go, Soonr now makes documents completely mobile. iPhone users get a clear view of all their documents along with the ability to collaborate and share, and even print right from their iPhones. All capabilities are available, even when host computers are sleeping or powered off. As a bonus, since Soonr continuously and securely backs up your documents to your "personal cloud," they are safe from computer failure or loss.

"Soonr on the iPhone adds the missing piece of the mobile jigsaw," commented Patrick McVeigh, Soonr's CEO.  "It links the two devices you need to work effectively - your computer and your mobile phone. In partnering with us to launch this service, TeliaSonera has raised the bar for what the iPhone can deliver to business."

The TDF Group has announced the selection of NEC as supplier of DVB-T and DVB-H Broadcast Transmission equipment in France and in European affiliates of the TDF Group. The new generation of NEC Transmitters (either air-cooled or liquid-cooled, with power ranging from 30 W to 12 kW) will serve TDF's strategies to enhance the geographical coverage of Digital Terrestrial TV (DVB-T standard) and to ensure rapid network deployment for Personal TV on Mobile (DVB-H standard). 

"Further to our previous customer references in Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, we are simply delighted that such a pan-European player as TDF Group has selected the efficient and reliable NEC solutions , through a Global Tender process," said Michel Lignon, President and CEO of NEC France. "This is a significant enlargement of European footprint for NEC Broadcast domain over the next 3 years, and a coherent diversification from NEC France's Telecom infrastructure activities."
 
"We have some great expectations regarding the agreement with NEC. Our main concern is to bring our customers the best technical solutions. We hope that we will build with NEC a strong partnership in order to give them entire satisfaction." says Patrick Babin, Chief Executive Officer of TDF Group. 

NEC is said to actively taking part in the successful network deployment of Personal TV on Mobile in Japan, where 40 million handsets offering the "One-Seg" service have been sold during the last 2 years, by the three Japanese mobile carriers, broadcasting eight TV channels on Mobile Handsets.
 
The TDF Group is also said to be pursuing the development of DVB-H in Europe, through trials in France and Germany, and actual roll-out in Finland and in Austria.   

Mformation Technologies, a specialist in advanced mobile device management (MDM) software, has today announced that they have entered a strategic partnership with Nokia to ensure that all Nokia S60 3rd Edition devices can be supported and managed by the Mformation Service Manager platform.

"The relationship with Mformation reinforces Nokia's business mobility strategy, which is to partner with leading enterprise vendors and create compelling business solutions that support the world's leading device portfolio. Providing seamless interoperability with Mformation's device management platform ensures that all of our enterprise-focused devices, and many others that are prevalent in business, can be managed by the MDM solution," said Ilari Nurmi, Vice President at Nokia.

"We have a broad strategic relationship with Nokia that includes interoperability testing of Nokia devices with the Mformation server, as well as R&D activities and the development of detailed interoperability requirements. Nokia is the leading global device manufacturer; it is critical that our advanced MDM platform can provide seamless management for Nokia's devices as they are deployed by our mobile operator customers around the world," said Matt Bancroft, Vice President, Product Management of Mformation.

Mformation and Nokia have established interoperability agreements that cover commercially proven, standards-based management of mobile devices, as well as mobile device security and mobile application management. Nokia has been conducting remote OMA DM interoperability testing as part of Mformation's Device Self-Certification Programme for several months. Device Self-Certification provides Nokia with remote access to Mformation's platform, on which they remotely test the device management capabilities of their devices before submitting them to mobile operators for acceptance. Mformation's Device Self-Certification Programme enables device vendors to test and certify their devices against industry standards and operator requirements early in the development cycle, delivering a huge benefit to both device vendors and operators by significantly reducing time-to-market and development costs.

Mformation and Nokia are extending their joint interoperability testing beyond OMA DM and FOTA to support Nokia applications, which include: Mail for Exchange, Nokia VPN Client, Nokia Encryption, Nokia Call Connect for Cisco and Alcatel/Lucent. The applications can be remotely deployed to Nokia devices today using the OMA DM SCOMO standard and the Mformation extension to the OMA DM standards. Mformation provides enhanced management of these applications by enabling configuration and control throughout their lifecycle. Using Mformation's advanced mobile device management software, applications can be remotely configured and personalized, and also can receive policy updates remotely as required by operators and enterprises.

Mobile TeleSystems, said to be the largest mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS, has announces the appointment of Mikhail Gerchuk as the new Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of the company. Cynthia Gordon, the former CCO, will now serve as the Global Brand Chief. 

As the CCO of MTS, Mr. Gerchuk will be responsible for the development and implementation of the Company's marketing, sales and customer service strategies, as well as realization of overall revenue targets. He will report directly to the CEO.

Mr. Gerchuk joined MTS' marketing team in 2007 as the Group Marketing Director. Since then, he has been responsible for overseeing the development, launch and promotion of marketing campaigns for all countries of operation. Coupled with his achievements in growing the subscriber base and raising revenues across the region, Mr. Gerchuk has brought to MTS a wealth of marketing experience at some of the most renowned international brands that include over five years at the Vodafone Group. Mr. Gerchuk received his MBA from INSEAD.

Ms. Gordon will serve as Global Brand Chief. Ms. Gordon will be responsible for the global management and positioning of the MTS brand and international outreach, including the development of the Company's partnership with Vodafone and building relationships with other leading international companies.
                      
Ms. Gordon has supervised MTS' marketing strategy over the last two years, reaffirming the Company's leading positions in Russia and the CIS and creating the strongest brand in the region. As a testament to Ms. Gordon's leadership, MTS became the first and only Russian company to be named as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Brands, an annual ranking published by the Financial Times and Millward Brown.

"As one of the brightest and most talented managers in Russia, Mikhail is the right person to lead our marketing and sales teams. He combines deep knowledge of MTS, expertise in the Russian market and experience with one of the leading international telecommunications brands," said Mr. Mikhail Shamolin, President and CEO of MTS. "We are grateful to Cynthia that she decided to remain with MTS in her new capacity as the Global Brand Chief. She has demonstrated her passion for the brand and the Company over the years as the CCO, and we are looking forward to her continued contribution."

IDC's EMEA Quarterly Network Tracker is said to show a quarter-over-quarter increase of 4% of network equipment spending to reach $3.8 billion in the third quarter of 2008, and a decline of 5% compared to the same period in 2007. However, when excluding residential equipment, the networking market shows a more positive picture, with 8% quarterly growth and a decline of 1% compared to the same period last year.
 
"Although the economic climate has not fully hit the networking market, growth is definitely lower compared to 2007 and we expect 4Q08 and 2009 to be more difficult for networking vendors as customer deals are postponed," said Evelien Wiggers, research manager for European Enterprise Communications Infrastructure at IDC. "We believe, however, that the fundamentals for network growth continue to be strong and that the networking market continues to see growth albeit at a much slower rate than before the economic crisis."
 
Among other key findings are the following:
·         Demand for enterprise WLAN equipment was most stable, with revenue growth of 8% QoQ and the same growth YoY. Ethernet switch revenue grew 10% QoQ but only 1% YoY. Router revenue increased 5% QoQ but declined 4% YoY.
·         The share of revenue coming from the residential market declined from 20% in 2Q08 to 17% in 3Q08. A maturing market primarily caused this decline, and together with declining sales prices this continues to put pressure on the residential networking market.
·         Cisco remains the largest networking vendor with a market share of 55% of the total networking market (total of routers, switches, WLAN) an increase of two percentage points compared to 2Q08. Juniper continues to be the second largest player with a share of 4.7% and Alcatel-Lucent holds third position with 4.5%, followed by HP Procurve, which has a market share of 4.4%.
 
IDC's study, EMEA Network Equipment Update, 3Q08 (IDC #I76Q, November 2008), presents the highlights of IDC's EMEA Quarterly Networks Tracker, 3Q08. The EMEA Networks Tracker provides in-depth information on quarterly shipments and revenues for routers, Ethernet switches, and WLAN for 23 countries in the EMEA region.