Radioplan, a leading supplier of 3G radio network simulation, optimisation, and measurement analysis solutions, has been selected to supply radio network optimisation tools and services to four new customers in EMEA and Japan.

Following extensive technical trials and evaluations of a wide range of tools, Radioplan’s WiNeS optimisation platform and consulting services were chosen to support demanding pre-launch optimisation projects by both 3G vendors and 3G mobile operator clients.
 
Johannes Huebner, Radioplan’s Executive Manager, commented "Naturally we are delighted Radioplan’s tools have proven to be of the technical quality and commercial maturity required to perform such mission critical tasks. I am particularly pleased that our unique approaches to solving network optimisation problems, which include proprietary processing methods and support of the end-to-end workflow, were decisive factors."
 
Founded in 2000, Radioplan has doubled in size year-on-year through organic growth, and the company now supports customers in more than 15 countries across the globe from its Dresden base. The WiNeS product range allows 3G operators to re-engineer the radio environment in a targeted manner by enabling fast and flexible scenario modelling, helping operators examine and support the network quality goals underpinning their business.
 
"By cutting the time it takes to optimise a particular network scenario to a few minutes, rather than days, Radioplan’s solutions allow our customers to examine a wide range of scenarios in just hours, allowing them to consider the trade-offs inherent in a 3G network design and understand the capabilities of existing infrastructure before they make expensive, unnecessary changes" said Dietrich Hunold, Radioplan’s Technical Director.
 
In addition to fast, field-proven optimisation mechanisms, Radioplan’s WiNeS software platform features integrated support for a wide range of commercially available measurement acquisition systems and network planning tools, including the latest Atollä API from Forskä, allowing tuning of pathloss data using drive test results and discovery of logical network errors. WiNeS also provides an extended optimisation suite, including 2G/3G site selection, cost constraint management, fully-featured graphical, temporal and statistical analysis, and interfaces to vendor-specific RRM algorithms. Several vendor-specific RRM libraries are already supported, allowing extremely precise prediction and optimisation of 3G network behaviour.

After a long and competitive tendering process, Orange today confirmed that Freever has been awarded the contract to deliver community services on a group-wide basis across its European operations.

Freever will deploy a totally interoperable turnkey solution using SMS, WAP and MMS platforms. The growth and popularity of chat services has meant that this kind of solution is becoming increasingly in demand amongst international mobile telephony operators who are seeking partners that are able to deploy and adapt their products and services across multiple markets.

Freever’s proprietary range of community services enables users to take part in public forums as well as SMS, MMS, WAP and Voice chat rooms. These services provide members with an opportunity to meet new friends and express themselves in a fun, dynamic and secure environment which is supervised and moderated around the clock, 24/7. Freever’s specialist editorial teams stimulate debate through a range of programmes including theme-based shows, games and interviews with top film, music and sporting celebrities.

Freever, which has positioned itself at the forefront of technological innovation, is investing heavily in researching and developing new products and new functionality. Over the past 12 months, members of Freever’s mobile communities will have seen their service enhanced with the deployment of more user-friendly and intuitive WAP portals, the introduction of colour WAP, MMS, global positioning technologies and video streaming.

Currently, Freever’s communities consist of over 2 million members across Britain, France, Belgium, Italy, Ireland, Germany and Spain.

New versions of tools and SDKs support Java-based open source IDE

Nokia has updated a broad array of its tools and software developer's kits (SDKs) to support Eclipse, the popular Java-based open source Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Support for the Eclipse platform is included in new versions of the Nokia Developer's Suite for J2ME, version 2.2, and the Nokia Mobile Server Services SDK. In addition, users can now integrate any MIDP Nokia platform SDK into the Eclipse environment. All of these Nokia tools and SDKs are now available free of charge to members of Forum Nokia PRO, the advanced developer program offered by Nokia's developer relations group, Forum Nokia. They will be made available to the general Forum Nokia community next month at www.forum.nokia.com.

An open platform for Java development, Eclipse by itself is a powerful IDE offering a wide array of Java development tools. The main strength of the Eclipse platform, however, is the simplicity of integrating additional tools into the Eclipse IDE as plug-ins. This provides the developer with the broadest possible range of advanced tools covering all aspects of Java development. Many of the Eclipse add-on tools are available as freeware, making Eclipse a very cost effective development environment.
 
Although only available to the open source community for less than three years, Eclipse has become the most popular IDE among North American Java developers, according to the latest statistics from market research firm Evans Data Corp. Among global wireless developers, Eclipse is one of the top three most-used Java IDEs.
 
"Eclipse is the fastest-growing environment for Java developers today," said Heikki Koivu, head of Developer Platform Tools, Nokia. "The size and strength of the Eclipse community made the decision to support Eclipse in our developer software very clear-cut and compelling. Ultimately, this support will attract more developers to building mobile applications and services, creating a stronger marketplace overall."
 
The Nokia tools and SDKs now supporting Eclipse give developers a complete set of software to begin creating mobile applications. The Nokia Developer's Suite (NDS) for J2ME provides developers with utilities for creating and deploying MIDP 1.0 and MIDP 2.0 applications and can be used as either a stand-alone tool or an integrated plug-in to Borland JBuilder, IBM WebSphere, Sun ONE Studio and, now, Eclipse. NDS for J2ME is the most downloaded Java related tool at Forum Nokia, averaging approximately 20,000 downloads per month.  The applications, once written, can be deployed to any Nokia developer platform SDK with MIDP, such as Series 40, Series 60, Series 80 or Series 90. These developer platforms provide common parameters and APIs across groups of handsets, creating volume opportunities for applications with minimal customization.

Nokia's Mobile Server Services SDK completes the picture.  A suite of server-based Java components, each with support for Eclipse now built in, Mobile Server Services SDK enables the development of server-side mobile messaging, location and presence solutions. Each of the components consists of a Java library to be used in the application and a development time emulator enabling the developer to test the applications without access to mobile infrastructure.
 
The Eclipse IDE offers additional benefits stemming from the versatility of environments that it supports. Because Eclipse is written in Java, it can be run from many different host operating systems, allowing tools developers to more easily support different hosts. Eclipse has already been deployed on a range of development workstations, including Linux, Windows-based and other systems. In addition, Eclipse is available to anyone free of charge, presenting obvious cost advantages over competing development platforms.
 
Eclipse is managed by The Eclipse Foundation, a non-profit corporation formed to advance the creation, evolution, promotion, and support of the Eclipse Platform and to cultivate both an open source community and an ecosystem of complementary products, capabilities, and services.

Telekom Austria’s mobile subsidiary, mobilkom austria, has today launched jointly with Vodafone Germany the first cross-border interoperable service for purchasing train tickets via mobile handsets.

Working with ÖBB, the Austrian Federal Railways, and CityNightLine, a German subsidiary of the German Railway, mobilkom austria and Vodafone Germany have made m-commerce transactions across countries a reality.

Hannes Ametsreiter, mobilkom austria’s Management Board Member and Chief Officer for Marketing, Sales and Customer Service said: "With this world’s first mobilkom austria and Vodafone Germany are opening up a new dimension in m-commerce."

One of the fundamental problems in m-commerce has been to offer seamless services across different countries because of the difficulties in unifying different billing systems. Through the close cooperation of mobilkom austria with Vodafone Deutschland, the ÖBB and CityNightLine, transnational m-commerce transactions have now become reality: tickets for trips from Austria to Germany or the other way around can be booked and also purchased via mobile phone. This first interoperable service in the world will not only increase take-up of mobilkom austria's m-ticket application, but will also pave the way for further major, cross-border m-commerce projects. 

Dirk Hemmerden, Director Business Unit Vodafone live! said: "Once again, Vodafone Germany and mobilkom austria are jointly taking on a technological and innovative pioneering role in mobile communications, which is hard to match internationally." 

Mobile train tickets are easy to obtain by text-messaging the desired destination to mobilkom austria’s text message ticketing service number +43 664 660 6000 for Austrian customers and to the Vodafone’s short-code 2600 for German customers or via the mobile Vodafone live! portal.

All mobile phone users in Austria can have access to the mobile payment service paybox (www.paybox.at), which enables customers of all Austrian network operators to pay with any mobile phone (irrespective of whether this is by prepaid card, contract or company phone). German Vodafone customers can pay via credit card.

elata, Europe’s leading content and service delivery software vendor, has today announced the launch of the elata liberty device and content dependency system. The device management solution is a new software product that enables mobile operators to manage the growing number of complex, feature-rich devices on their network. It allows operators to unlock the revenue potential of these devices by offering subscribers access to a wider range of compatible mobile applications and content that their handsets would not otherwise support.

Device and content dependency is a new concept within the wireless device management market. As increasingly sophisticated mobile devices are launched it is crucial that operators can automatically recognise the run-time capabilities of the device to deliver enabling device-resident applications.  These applications fall into three categories: operational management of the device; extending access to new services and customisation of the on-device brand experience. elata liberty has been developed to address the device and content dependency challenges facing mobile operators.

For example, when a subscriber selects a video clip to download from their unique content catalogue, elata liberty will detect if the device has the appropriate video player and suitable firmware version to support it, and will automatically deliver and install the player along with the video clip.  Should a firmware upgrade be required, elata liberty will trigger this action in a partner's over-the-air (OTA) platform, such as Bitfone's mProve.  Operators will benefit from increased revenue potential by providing subscribers with access to content their device would not previously support and will add a layer of extensible management over the devices operating environment.

"With the number of device shipments jumping 40% in Q1 2004 compared to Q1 in 20031  there is a growing requirement to maximise device revenue potential as well as minimise operational support costs.  As 3G services are launched and feature-rich devices proliferate, there will be a much greater emphasis on customising and controlling the user experience to give users access to a range of services that may require additional handset applications or interface extensions. Operators will also need the appropriate software to support the operational maintenance of these devices on their network," said Matt Hooper, VP Marketing and Strategic Alliances at elata.

elata is also working with leading players in the device management market such as Bitfone, SmartTrust and WDSGlobal to create a complete, end-to-end device management solution.  elata liberty drives the real-time recognition of device capabilities and device content dependency management; Bitfones mProve manages device firmware upgrades; the SmartTrust Device Management solution handles over-the-air settings and SIM configuration; and WDSGlobal provides a device-specific knowledge base and operational customer support.  By working together to deliver a best-of-breed solution, a holistic platform is finally available for mobile operators looking to implement a device management strategy in support of new data services and the 3G environment.

"Experience has shown us that many users of devices are not aware of the full functionality that exists on their handset or how to enable new services. The problem is growing as devices become more complex and the operational maintenance of these devices grows increasingly difficult for mobile operators," explained Lars-Erik Sellin, Chief Technology Officer at SmartTrust. "By offering a clear device management solution that meets the key business drivers of mobile operators, opportunities are created for both revenue generation and operational cost control."

Gene Wang, CEO at Bitfone Corporation added: "With so many devices, software applications and network protocols in use today, the only way to deliver complete OTA software maintenance for mobile phones is through integrated solutions and adherence to standards.  Bitfone is driving initiatives within standards groups, such as the OMA, and embracing technology partners, such as elata and WDSGlobal, to define and commercialize standards-based solutions that will provide seamless device management for operators.  In this way, Bitfone is helping to extend firmware over-the-air (FOTA) deployments from just bug-fixing to enabling a dynamic, customer-driven mobile experience." 

Device offers industry-leading combination of low LO drive, low power consumption and wideband RF operation from 400 to 3500 MHz

Agilent Technologies has today introduced a high linearity, low LO (local oscillator) power E-pHEMT (enhancement mode pseudomorphic high electron mobility transistor) MMIC (microwave monolithic integrated circuit) mixer designed to meet the critical performance requirements of BTS (3G base station) radio cards and other point-to-point and point-to-multipoint microwave radio link applications.

The IAM-92516, from Agilent's Semiconductor Products Group, combines high linearity with the industry's lowest LO drive requirement, low power consumption and widest operating frequency range. It operates with RF and LO frequency inputs from 400 to 3500 MHz. IF output extends from DC to 300 MHz.

In addition to being used as a frequency up/down converter, this device can also serve as a high-performance modulator for microwave transmitters, a demodulator for receivers and a general-purpose resistive FET mixer for other high linearity applications.

The IAM-92516 operates from a single 3.3 VDC to 5 VDC supply, consuming only 26 mA typical at 5 volts. It provides greater than 27 dBm third-order input intercept point (IP3), 9 dBm output power, 1 dB gain compression, 6 dB conversion loss and 12.5 dB noise figure (all typical). LO to IF, LO to RF and RF to IF isolation are each greater than 30 dB. In a typical application (1.91 GHz input frequency, 1.7 GHz local oscillator and output of 210 MHz), the mixer can handle an RF input as high as 10 dBm without distortion, with a LO power input of only -3 dBm.

The IAM-92516 is supplied in a 3.0 x 3.0 x 0.75 mm lead-free and halogen-free 16-pin LPCC (leadless plastic chip carrier). The LO port is matched to 50 ohms and can be driven differentially or single-ended; the IF port is matched to 200 ohms and fully differential. The RF port requires an external matching network for optimum input return loss and IP3 performance.

The launch of the first integrated e-mail and SMS text messaging product to be fully certified by Microsoft is set to save British businesses £millions in landline to mobile call charges and generate a new revenue stream for dealers and resellers.

The new software package, called OutlookSMS, allows users to send and receive mobile phone text messages directly from e-mail packages including Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express.
 
As well as accreditation from Microsoft, product developer Mediaburst is also an IBM Partnerworld partner and the company has developed a version of the software for Lotus Notes. The company has already started shipping the solution for Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes and the version for Outlook Express will be available from July.
 
The vast majority of UK businesses use both e-mail and mobile phones and until now there has been no convergence between the products apart from costly high-end solutions. OutlookSMS provides an affordable and accessible solution for all businesses regardless of size.
 
Mediaburst has already signed up a number of dealers and resellers including Axxent and Brigantia and it is actively recruiting additional dealers to sell the product.
 
The potential of the product has been recognised by mobile phone network O2 who has partnered with Mediaburst to tailor a version of OutlookSMS for the O2 customer base.
 
Each dealer signing up with Mediaburst will be provided with a bespoke marketing and advertising campaign to help them sell the product to customers. As well as making a margin on the product, resellers will benefit from a recurring revenue stream derived from the billing of messages.
 
In addition to integrated messaging, OutlookSMS also features a mobile phone location solution which allows users to display the location of a handset to within 20m on a digital map on a PC within 30 seconds. This will offer organisations from the Health Service to estate agents an affordable and simple solution to address the problem of keeping track of lone workers and management of field based personnel.
 
The handset location module has massive potential for businesses with large field based workforces and will allow them to locate and re-route staff when they are needed to address urgent customer calls thereby saving time and wasted fuel associated with personnel having to make unnecessary detours. OutlookSMS provides a reliable location solution for the price of two text messages compared to costly satellite (GPS) based tracking systems.
 
The product features comprehensive opt-in technology which requires the mobile phone user to give consent to have their handset located and this ensures personal privacy is not breached. Once mobile phone owners have opted in and agreed to have their handsets located, they can opt out at any point in the future.
 
As Mediaburst Director Jeremy Bygrave points out, “The vast majority of UK businesses already have e-mail and mobile phones and OutlookSMS is the missing link that converges the two technologies. We believe it will give dealers and resellers a real reason to talk to their customer bases and also to generate a recurring revenue.”
 
“British businesses currently spend more than £1billion every year on land-line to mobile calls and the average call duration is 3 minutes. At least 60% of these calls are to pass on simple messages which could easily be conveyed by SMS.
 
“We believe OutlookSMS has the potential to reduce this call traffic and insodoing save UK businesses in excess of £160M per annum.”
 
Despite the fact that text messaging has become a facet of everyday life with more than 20 billion messages sent every year in the UK, SMS has not been adopted as a mainstream business communications protocol because until now there has not been the recognition of its potential or the means to realise it.
 
Integration with e-mail means SMS messaging capability is available in the software package in which most business users spend a significant amount of their working day.
 
“This is an application that will help businesses save time and money on both their phone bills and also on the management of field based personnel. We believe users will see an immediate return on investment from this product. This powerful proposition means the product represents an excellent revenue opportunity for resellers.
 
“OutlookSMS is fully accredited by Microsoft and is powered by Cisco. It integrates seamlessly with most common e-mail packages currently used by businesses. This means sending a text from a PC will be as easy as sending an e-mail and it will make SMS a reliable business communications tool which will give users full traceability of message receipt and delivery.
 
“Our product converges the PC and the mobile phone. Unlike many similar products on the market which promise SMS and e-mail integration our product actually delivers on the promise with a truly converged solution,” Jeremy Bygrave adds

External Links

Mediaburst

Vodafone Ireland, Ireland's leading mobile operator, has launched the BlackBerry wireless solution for corporate users, featuring the BlackBerry 7230 Wireless Handheld.

his is the first BlackBerry offering available to Vodafone customers in Ireland. The BlackBerry 7230 provides integrated support for phone, email, intranet, Internet, SMS and organizer applications. The BlackBerry 7230 also features a high-resolution color screen and customized user-interface using Vodafone Live iconography which customers will find easy to use.

BlackBerry from Vodafone is initially being aimed to the corporate business market with BlackBerry Enterprise Server. BlackBerry Enterprise Server software tightly integrates with Microsoft Exchange or IBM Lotus Domino and works with existing enterprise systems to enable secure, push-based, wireless access to email and other corporate data.

Chris Handley, Data Product Marketing Manager, Vodafone Ireland said, "The launch of BlackBerry from Vodafone is exciting news for Vodafone Ireland. Over recent years we have significantly increased our voice and data offering to business customers. The addition of BlackBerry to our portfolio of products is good news for both Vodafone Ireland and our customers."

Vodafone Ireland plans to extend its BlackBerry offering over the coming months and plans to launch BlackBerry Web Client for individuals and the SME and SOHO business markets this autumn. BlackBerry Web Client features an Internet-based email interface that allows users to access multiple existing corporate and/or personal email accounts (including Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino and popular ISP email accounts) from a single BlackBerry handheld.

External Links

Research In Motion
Vodafone Ireland

Agreement enables Ireland's largest wireless Internet service provider to introduce SIM authentication

The open WeRoam roaming platform with around 10.000 Wi-Fi hotspot locations worldwide and Bitbuzz, a leading independent wireless Internet service provider in Ireland, have agreed to work together closely on introducing the pioneering SIM authentication solution into the Irish wireless public Internet access market. This cooperation agreement means that international WeRoam customers will be able to access Bitbuzz's WLAN hotspots in hotels, bars, coffee shops and other public areas easily and safely by using a SIM card and PIN code. The process of purchasing pre-paid cards will no longer be necessary, for these WeRoam customers.

To develop the patent-pending SIM authentication technology, WeRoam combined its many years of know-how in GSM roaming and clearing with the unique characteristics of WLAN technology. WeRoam's customers have fast, easy and secure access to wireless Internet services from thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots across the world and all they need for authentication is their personal 4-digit PIN number and a SIM card. They will be conveniently charged to their monthly mobile phone invoice.

Bitbuzz operates Wi-Fi hotspots across Ireland at well known locations such as "The Market Bar", "The Mespil Hotel", "The Kylemore Cafe" and "Fitzpatrick Castle" and can now, thanks to its cooperation agreement with WeRoam, expand its authentication methods to include the future-oriented SIM technology as the first WISP in Ireland to do so.

Sony Ericsson and Vodafone have today announced the launch of the F500i camera phone, exclusively available on Vodafone live!, Vodafone's industry leading multi media consumer service. Featuring a large colour screen, integrated still and video camera and support for music ringtones, the F500i offers consumers even greater opportunities to enjoy high quality games as well as an extensive range of services available on Vodafone live!. The F500i will be sold across Vodafone live! markets, from the middle of July.

The F500i is designed specifically to help Vodafone meet the needs of consumers who increasingly want to get more out of multimedia services. Vodafone live! brings together an extensive range of services including colour picture messaging, the best in colour gaming, the largest catalogue of realistic music ringtones, alerts and information in colour and with pictures, immediate links to additional exciting content such as picture and text messaging, music, sport and news, all from an easy-to-use picture menu, available any time, any where.
 
"The Sony Ericsson F500i is the latest exciting addition to our range of Vodafone exclusive handsets allowing customers easy access to Vodafone live! services," said Guy Laurence, Vodafone's Global Marketing Director of Products and Services. "With the growing popularity of high quality, easy-to-use camera phones and the continued high interest in games, the F500i is well positioned to appeal to a broad range of consumers keen to combine the excitement of gaming on their handset with a host of features, allowing them even more ways to keep in touch with their friends and family". 

"We are very excited about expanding our collaboration with Vodafone and bringing the F500i to the market, as we share their passion for compelling mobile entertainment services," says Jan Wäreby, Corporate Executive Vice President and Head of Sales & Marketing at Sony Ericsson. "Our focus on easy-to-use camera phones has been well appreciated by consumers around the world and with the F500i, we also offer a great gaming experience to Vodafone live! users."

US-based start-up expands distribution reach to Europe, gains strong management and premium titles

Digital Chocolate, a developer of innovative software for mobile phones founded by software gaming pioneer, Trip Hawkins, today announced it has acquired Sumea, a leading European developer and publisher of high-quality games for mobile phones.

The acquisition provides Digital Chocolate with relationships with some of the world's largest wireless carriers, international distribution channels, and a catalog of leading games for mobile phones. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Digital Chocolate applications will be available through major U.S. wireless carriers later this summer.

Digital Chocolate develops and publishes innovative applications for mobile phones, including games, lifestyle and social networking applications. The company's CEO and founder, Trip Hawkins, has a notable history in gaming software, having founded and built the seminal games company Electronic Arts.  Founded in December 2003, Digital Chocolate is backed by Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield & Byers and Sequoia Capital, as well as individual investors, including Bob Pittman, former COO of AOL/Time Warner and founder of MTV.

Sumea was originally founded in 1999 and focuses on creating high quality, innovative and technically superior games for major wireless platforms. Sumea is based in Helsinki, Finland and has some of the world's leading wireless carriers as customers and partners, including Vodafone, O2, Orange, AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, and Cingular Wireless. Sumea's Mafia Wars and Racing Fever games are among the leading games on some of the industry's most prominent carriers.

"Acquiring Sumea provides Digital Chocolate with strong, established partnerships with major global carriers, broad geographic distribution and an entire catalog of top-rated games," said Trip Hawkins, CEO of Digital Chocolate.

"Our mission is to enhance the everyday experience for the millions of people on the world's most ubiquitous computing platform. Sumea's 24 titles, great carrier relationships and industry leadership get us closer to that goal," he continued.

"Sumea brings a highly talented management team that has built a profitable and innovative company. They've developed and launched some of the most popular games in the world," said Mark Jacobstein, president and COO of Digital Chocolate. "Digital Chocolate will be global and mobile, and now we're set to launch in Europe with one of the best organizations on the continent."

The merged entity will have relationships with over 110 distribution partners in more than 53 countries on five continents. Digital Chocolate plans to retain the Sumea brand for existing Sumea titles and expand the distribution of those titles in the U.S., as well as leverage the existing Sumea channels internationally to support upcoming Digital Chocolate applications.

"At Sumea we are very excited about working with Digital Chocolate and industry veterans like Trip Hawkins toward a common, immediate goal of developing and publishing high quality games that change the way people think about and use their mobile phones." said Ilkka Paananen, CEO of Sumea.
"This merger will also offer increased access to new financial and development resources that will bring greater value to Sumea's current customers."

TomTom MOBILE enables pocket-sized navigation for smartphones

TomTom, Europe's leading personal and in-car navigation solution provider, today revealed it is bringing navigation solutions for smartphones to market. TomTom MOBILE, which was first demonstrated at CeBIT in March 2004, will be launched across Europe for Series 60 and Microsoft Smartphone handsets in late Summer 2004.

"By extending navigation technology into the smartphone arena, TomTom furthers its mission to bring leading-edge navigation solutions to a wider consumer audience." said Harold Goddijn, TomTom's chief executive officer. "As consumer interest in-car navigation grows, TomTom MOBILE enables smartphone users to turn their phones into a personal companion that will safely get them from A to B stress free."

Smartphones are powerful mobile devices with next-generation features, such as e-mail and large colour screens, as well as more information capability than traditional mobile phones. The increased processing power and memory size of smartphones enables them to bring new experiences to mobile phone users. TomTom MOBILE will support popular smartphones from companies such as Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and HTC.

TomTom MOBILE will feature TomTom's award winning navigation software pre-installed on MMC cards, requiring no installation or configuration. The solution will also offer wireless portability for effortless in-car fitting using the smallest and lightest GPS receiver on the market (Bluetooth-enabled with rechargeable battery).

TomTom MOBILE's on-screen and voice instructions mean that the driver never needs to worry about taking their eyes off the road or worry about touching the phone to enter information. 3D mapping, turn-by-turn voice instructions, night and day settings, automatic re-routing, customisable points of interest (POI), postcode look-up and excellent street number coverage all add up to an impeccable navigation experience. Naturally, TomTom MOBILE offers continued visual instruction during voice calls.

Drivers will also have the option to receive traffic information via GPRS. Real-time alerts will be sent straight to the driver and offer an on-screen, bird's eye view of any traffic incidents or general traffic jams for any given journey.

The product has the backing of mobile operators and handset manufacturers who are keen to increase customer take up of the latest mobile phone technology.

"We are proud and excited to offer our solutions on the leading Symbian OS and Microsoft platforms and look forward to continuing this collaboration into the future," continued Goddijn.

TomTom MOBILE will be on sale in late summer in UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and the Nordics.

Wyless plc, the Data Network Operator, has announced that it will partner with Sequoia Technology Ltd., a leading UK supplier of Wireless Technology, who will offer Wyless services as part of its portfolio.

As a wireless technology distributor, Sequoia Technology will complement its existing supply of wireless modules and modems with the unique services and capabilities of the Wyless data network. By providing capabilities such as fixed IP addressing, peer to peer connectivity and connection management the Wyless network enhances the development and usage of mobile applications based on GPRS. By combining this capability with their experience and product portfolio Sequoia is able to provide clients with complete mobile solutions.
 
Nick Lidington, Managing Director of Sequoia Technology, explained the advantages of the cooperation as follows: "By offering the advanced services provided by the Wyless Network, we are able to make it easier for our customers to develop, deploy and manage mobile solutions. Furthermore, by simplifying and expanding our own capability we make it possible for integrators and developers to bring more compelling mobile solutions to their customers in a faster and easier manner".
 
One of the many unique features of the Wyless dedicated GPRS network, is the ability to assign a fixed IP address to each SIM, which is the same no matter how many times it reconnects to the network.
 
The IP address can be public or private and is accessible via the Wyless data centre. WyLess also provides Peer to Peer connectivity (True M2M), server to device, device to server connectivity and optional encryption and acceleration of transmissions.
 
Wyless CEO, Karl Ahmed said, "The addition of Sequoia Technology Limited as a partner is another important step in delivering our network management capability to the integrators and developers whose customers can benefit from its enhancements.  Sequoia’s experience in the development of mobile solutions with their clients allow them to take full advantage of the Wyless capability.  I’m looking forward to a very successful partnership."

In the latest white paper from Northstream, one of the world's leading independent mobile analysts, Push-to-talk solutions for circuit switched networks are compared to solutions for packet switched networks. The estimation shows that PoC (Push-to-talk over Cellular) over GPRS is at least five times more efficient than Push-to-talk solutions over circuit switched networks from a radio resource consumption point of view. Furthermore, EGPRS shows to be 14 times more efficient.

When this is translated into cost for a sample case, dimensioned according to prevalent rules, a circuit switched solution proves to be over six times more expensive than PoC over GPRS.

PoC is a Push-to-talk solution for packet switched networks specified by OMA (Open Mobile Alliance). Even though there is support for a standardised solution, proprietary pre-standards solutions (both circuit switched and packet switched) are not ruled out by the operators at this point in time.

Both circuit switched Push-to-talk and PoC based solutions offer acceptable speech quality. A circuit switched Push-to-talk solution has the same speech quality as provided by GSM systems. PoC solutions offer somewhat lower quality in the common case, using the AMR half rate coding, but does on the other hand offer the possibility to trade resource consumption for quality.

PoC provides a faster session set-up and is from this aspect a better alternative than a circuit switched solution.

Northstream sees clear advantages with Push-to-talk solutions based on the evolving OMA specifications since these will enable:
• Interoperability between terminals and networks
• Interoperability between operators
• Native PoC client support in terminals
• Synergies in terminals and networks with other future IMS based services
• The possibility to use performance boosters such as SIGCOMP for SIP signaling and Header Compression mechanisms for RTP frames carrying speech samples

There are many attractive aspects of push-to-talk, and if positioned and priced correctly it is likely to create traffic and revenue growth. Also addressed in the report is the scepticism regarding the feasibility of providing Push-to-talk over the European GPRS networks. Northstream has studied whether the network infrastructure provided by GSM/GPRS radio technology, can meet the requirements generated by Push-to-talk services and has concluded that these can meet the Push-to-talk requirements if tuned correctly.

"We believe Push-to-talk from a business perspective has a great potential, and our studies show that it is feasible to implement it over GPRS and as packet radio networks evolve the service will improve even further from an end-user point of view," says Bo Åström, Technical advisor at Northstream. He concludes that "a standardised solution is essential to make Push-to-talk a mass market service".

To obtain a free copy of the report, visit www.northstream.se