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Rohde & Schwarz has launched the R&S TSMW, a universal mobile radio scanner that features two integrated receivers and includes WiMAX functionality. The two receivers are claimed to allow considerably faster operation than solutions that use mobile phones with test functionality. At the same time, the scanner delivers accurate results across the entire high measurement bandwidth because individual blocks can be filtered out by using adaptive preselection. This allows network operators to perform drive tests for setting up and optimizing WiMAX networks. The R&S TSMW's platform concept makes it suitable for all technologies with bandwidths up to 20 MHz. It can be expanded for current and future standards via software options.

Now that the standardization and development of its base station and mobile station technology has been completed, WiMAX IEEE 802.16e is ready for network setup. To make setup faster and easier, Rohde & Schwarz is offering network operators the R&S TSMW, a universal mobile radio scanner with WiMAX functionality and a frequency range of 30 MHz to 6 GHz. The instrument is suitable for both mobile and stationary applications and detects signals with a sensitivity that is considerably below the noise level (noise figure of 7 dB at 3.5 GHz). This makes it possible not only to check neighborhood information for a base station but also to locate interference signals from other base stations. Since technicians can see exactly what is happening on the air interface, they can easily detect malfunctions. For this purpose, all preamble-based operating parameters, including received signal strength indication (RSSI) and carrier-to-interference-and-noise ratio (CINR), can be analyzed.

With its high measurement bandwidth of 20 MHz per receiver, the R&S TSMW covers all WiMAX bandwidths as well as those of other standards, which helps ensure future-proof operation. To attain optimal values for dynamic range and measurement accuracy across the entire bandwidth, the scanner features adaptive preselection. This allows users to filter out individual blocks in the case of high intermodulation suppression and analyze them in detail. Even weak signals can be measured in this way.

In addition, the R&S TSMW can simultaneously scan and demodulate on different frequencies - and on as many carriers as desired. Switchover times between the carriers are less than 5 ms. Thanks to the two integrated receivers, several WiMAX signals can be measured in parallel, fully eliminating switchover times. This results in a very high measurement speed.

An integrated GPS allows the measurement results to be linked to the measurement sites and displayed on a map during mobile operation. A Gigabit/Ethernet interface enables users to call up measurement data either locally or remotely on the PC via an IP-based access. When equipped with the R&S TSMW-K1 option, the R&S TSMW also offers high flexibility when evaluating data: The instrument features an I/Q interface that outputs raw signals that users can evaluate with MATLAB software. This is advantageous for measurements on standards that are still being developed: Channel measurements for 3GPP LTE are a good example, concludes R&S.

Telekom Austria Group has announced its financial results for the first half 2008 and the second quarter ending June 30, 2008.

During the first half 2008, revenues grew by 7.7% to EUR  2,535.8 million primarily due to the consolidation of Velcom in Belarus and to higher contributions from the other international operations. EBITDA grew by 2.7% to EUR 967.7 million from EUR 942.4 million as a result of an EBITDA growth in the international operations and the consolidation of Velcom which more than offset a lower contribution from the Fixed Net segment. EBITDA includes exceptional costs in the amount of EUR 19.7 million.

Operating income decreased by 4.9% from EUR 410.2 million to EUR 389.9 million due to higher depreciation and amortization charges. Net income declined by 18.6% to EUR  226.0 million due to higher interest expenses mainly as a result of the acquisition of Velcom.

Capital expenditures for tangible and intangible assets decreased by 7.0% to EUR 350.3 million due to lower capital expenditures in both segments. Net debt remained stable at EUR  4,402.1 million at the end of June 2008 compared to the end of December 2007 despite the payment of the dividend.

Quarterly comparison:
Revenues increased by 5.6% to EUR 1,276.2 million in 2Q 08 as higher revenues from international operations including the consolidation of Velcom overcompensated for lower revenues from the Fixed Net segment and lower roaming revenues.

Roaming revenues were impacted by a seasonal effect in 2Q 08 as the roaming intensive Easter holidays were in 1Q 08, whereas in 2007 they were in the second quarter. This seasonality amplified the effect of lower roaming prices and resulted in lower roaming revenues.

EBITDA grew by 0.6% to EUR 469.1 million as the consolidation of Velcom and higher contributions from the established international operations offset lower contributions from the Austrian operations, which included exceptional costs in the amount of EUR 7.7 million, as well as start-up costs in the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia.

Operating income declined by 11.8% to EUR 174.7 million due to higher depreciation and amortization charges. Net income decreased by 26.3% to EUR  96.3 million during 2Q 08 mainly due to higher interest expenses following the acquisition of Velcom. As a consequence earnings per share declined by 24.9% to EUR 0.22.

Capital expenditures for tangible and intangible assets decreased by 8.9% to EUR 190.7 million mainly due to lower investments in Austria and in the Republic of Serbia despite the consolidation of Velcom.

Nuance Communications has announced a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held SNAPin, a provider of mobile device and server self-service technology. With the resources of Nuance and SNAPin, the combined organization says it aims to provide mobile customer care solutions that 'transform the way mobile operators and enterprises interact with consumers in real-time on mobile devices'.

"The integration of Nuance's mobile solutions and enterprise speech solutions allows Nuance to sharply reduce the costs of customer care and improve the quality of customer experience for mobile operators and large enterprises," said Steve Chambers, president of the Mobile and Consumer Services Division at Nuance. "Leveraging the proliferation of mobile devices worldwide, Nuance's solutions, combined with powerful technology from SNAPin, enable Nuance to deliver the economies of Web-based self-service to the growing expanse of mobile consumers."

According to Nuance, by combining SNAPin's key intellectual property, mobile expertise and established device and operator relationships with Nuance's robust capabilities in customer care and handset solutions and longstanding mobile and enterprise relationships, the company is positioned to deliver 'superior' mobile care solutions and fulfill a significant global opportunity that has captured the interest of the world's largest mobile operators.

As an example, says Nuance, Vodafone is using SNAPin's software to provide its customers with the ability to automatically resolve common requests - diagnose and repair configuration problems, make account inquiries and solve problems - directly on their mobile phone. "Delivering a superior customer experience at all touch points for our subscriber is key to how we acquire and retain loyal customers," said Adam Spence, group self service development manager for Vodafone Group. "We are excited by the joining of Nuance and SNAPin as it reinforces our strategy to offer our customers the most innovative and powerful mobile self-service experience across all of our established and emerging markets."

Nuance expects the acquisition in fiscal 2009 to add between $29 million and $32 million in non-GAAP revenue; $19 million and $22 million in GAAP revenue after adjusting revenue lost to purchase accounting; non-GAAP earnings between $0.01 and $0.02; and a GAAP loss between $(0.05) and $(0.06) including amortization and stock-based compensation. SNAPin solutions are delivered through the handset in a revenue model based on the value of transactions or calls served on the handset. Nuance has experienced rapid growth in its mobile business for the last several years and now anticipates combined mobile revenues in Fiscal Year 2009 between $260 and $275 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, consideration for the transaction is approximately $180 million in Nuance common stock. SNAPin's shareholders will be eligible for additional earn-out consideration based upon the achievement of certain financial and operational milestones. The transaction is expected to close in October 2008, subject to customary closing conditions and approvals, and is expected to be accretive in fiscal 2009.

STMicroelectronics and Ericsson have announced an agreement to merge Ericsson Mobile Platforms and ST-NXP Wireless into a joint venture. According to the duo, the 50/50 joint venture will have the industry's strongest product offering in semiconductors and platforms for mobile applications and will be an important supplier to Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG and Sharp. The fabless joint venture will employ almost 8,000 people with pro-forma 2007 sales of USD 3.6 b.  ST is expected to exercise its option to buy NXP's 20 percent of ST-NXP Wireless before the closing of this transaction.

In the joint venture, ST contributes its multimedia and connectivity solutions as well as a complete 2G/EDGE platform and 3G offering, including customer relationships with Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson. Ericsson contributes its 3G and LTE platform technology as well as customer relationships with Sony Ericsson, LG and Sharp.

In a business where scale matters, the complementary product portfolios contributed by the parent companies will deliver significant scale and synergies by leveraging and expanding the existing strategic cooperation between Ericsson Mobile Platforms and ST-NXP Wireless, says the duo.

"By combining the complementary strengths and product offerings of Ericsson and ST in platforms and semiconductors the joint venture is well positioned to become a world leader," said Carl-Henric Svanberg, President and CEO of Ericsson. "The industry continues to develop at a swift pace and customers see benefits from our broad offering. This partnership is a perfect fit and secures a complete offering, as well as the necessary scale for technology leadership."

"ST is taking another bold step. By combining two industry-leading operations, we will create a world leader in mobile platforms and semiconductor solutions with even stronger capabilities to create customer value and continue to deliver rapid innovation," said Carlo Bozotti, President and CEO of ST. "In April, we announced a plan to join wireless resources with NXP to strengthen our wireless business and enhance our leadership position in a sector which we have targeted for strong organic and external growth and substantial expansion of financial returns. Now, we've expanded our ambitions and will be even better positioned to meet our opportunities."

Frans van Houten, CEO of NXP, said: "We understand the desire of ST to call our 20 percent stake in order to expand the ST-NXP Wireless joint venture with Ericsson. We support this next step that Ericsson and ST are taking to create the global leader in wireless semiconductors. To help ensure the success of the joint venture going forward all NXP's supply and support agreements will continue as planned. The additional proceeds of the 20 percent stake will enable NXP to further build leadership positions through innovation and investment in NXP's core businesses."

Synchronica, a provider of mobile email and synchronization solutions, has today announced that it is acquiring consumer mobile email specialist AxisMobile for US$4.9 million in new Synchronica shares. Synchronica also stated that it has raised additional funds of US$10million, from new and existing institutional investors, which brings the total funding secured in 2008 to US$18 million. The company says that the additional funds will be used to accelerate product integration and fuel the growth of the combined business in emerging markets such as China, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

The AxisMobile acquisition is said to be aimed at making Synchronica the leading player in mass market mobile email and synchronization middleware for mobile operators and service providers. The addition of AxisMobile's complementary technology, customer base and routes to market, combined with the injection of $10 million of additional funds, is planned to enable Synchronica to provide mass-market mobile email solutions that work on more than three billion mobile phones in the market today.

AxisMobile's consumer mobile email platform is said to complement Synchronica's Mobile Gateway software by adding ‘email to SMS' and ‘email to MMS' gateways as well as a client-less solution for WAP/xHTML browser access. AxisMobile's patented Optimizer email transcoding gateway further adds the ability to display a large variety of attachments such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint presentations on standard feature phone handsets that would otherwise be unable to support such functionality.

The AxisMobile acquisition is also aimed at enlarging Synchronica's footprint in emerging markets, by adding a sales force and key customer contracts in the relatively untapped areas of Eastern Europe, CIS and Russia, to Synchronica's existing sales presence in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Currently AxisMobile has eight live customer installations with major mobile operators, predominantly in CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) and China. Customers include: MTS (the largest mobile operator in Russia and CIS with 84 million customers), Megafon (a Russian mobile network operator with 34 million customers across 88 regions of the Russian federation including its Moscow subsidiary Sonic Duo), T-Mobile, IXI Mobile (consumer backends for US, Switzerland, Turkey, Uruguay), E-Plus (Germany´s third largest mobile network operator with 13.6 million customers), as well as a major Chinese bank. AxisMobile has also secured contract wins with a leading Ukrainian mobile network operator, a further leading tier one Russian mobile network operator and a leading Swiss mobile network operator.

Commenting on the acquisition, Synchronica CEO Carsten Brinkschulte said: "The fundraising and the acquisition of AxisMobile is a dramatic acceleration for Synchronica and I believe that it will build value for our shareholders. We aim to build a world leader in the market of consumer mobile email and synchronization solutions, and this acquisition is a key milestone that will improve our competitive positioning and accelerate our commercial growth. It will increase our ability to sell to customers, particularly to those in emerging economies, where we see the largest potential growth for mobile email and synchronization. With the fundraising and the acquisition of AxisMobile, Synchronica now has sufficient mass and funding to take advantage of the outstanding opportunity to exploit the commercial potential of mass-market mobile email. The next few years will be an exciting time for us all here at Synchronica and for our customers around the globe. We look forward with increased confidence from this inflection point."

Shai Schiller, Executive Chairman of AxisMobile, adds: "This is the start of an exciting new era for AxisMobile and our customers. There are real synergies between Synchronica's products and target markets and our own, so it makes great commercial sense to combine forces. Both companies are committed to open standards and to developing products that work on even the most basic of handsets - a must given that the market for mass market mobile email is being fuelled by demand from the developing world. We are confident that the combined might of our two companies will prove to be greater than the sum of its parts."

AdaptiveMobile, a security provider of mobile subscriber protection for enterprises and individuals, has today said that mobile operators need to carefully consider their international mobile broadband strategies.

The advice, says the company, follows the European Union's threat to impose legal measures to make operators cut the amount they charge their mobile broadband customers for roaming on overseas networks, which has made some operators consider banning all customers from downloading data through their mobile broadband service while abroad to avoid getting involved in a high profile legal wrangle.

AdaptiveMobile argues that operators taking a simplistic view to blocking subscribers' mobile broadband usage while abroad run the risk of losing the significant revenues promised by mobile broadband subscribers willing to pay for a high-quality roaming service.

Gareth Maclachlan, COO of AdaptiveMobile, comments: "Whilst operators understandably don't want to be perceived as trying to unfairly glean excess revenues from unwitting subscribers while abroad, taking a ‘one size fits all' approach blocking their usage while abroad will result in them losing very significant revenues, at a time when you would expect them to be looking to maximise their 3G network investments. Even though there is the suggestion that subscribers would be able to lift the block, for a high proportion, this would be too disruptive and operators would never maximise their average revenue per user (ARPU).

"Operators need to take better control of their network assets, so that they can offer a bespoke service to each user on a case-by-case basis. In this way, they can not only control subscribers' mobile broadband usage in the UK and abroad, but also the type of content that is being delivered over their network to the user, in terms of blocking spam and viruses, and in the case of vulnerable users, inappropriate or intimidating messages and imagery. They should also make steps to better protect roaming users from unnecessary data usage, such as application and operating system updates, which can be upto 500Mb in size and in many cases are downloaded without user knowledge.

"In a competitive European market, where operators are increasingly trying to differentiate their service and the many millions of corporate subscribers are becoming increasingly international, operators surely have no choice but to ensure they maximise all mobile broadband revenue opportunities whilst offering subscribers the best possible service."

In its UK Communications Market Report 2008, communications regulator Ofcom has identified a rapid increase in the use of mobile broadband in the UK.

According to Ofcom, following the launch of marketing campaigns for mobile broadband devices which enable consumers to access the internet on the move, there has been a surge in take-up with around 2 million adults in the UK saying that they had used a data card, USB modem or dongle to access the internet in March 2008.

The driver of this has been the sale of dongles, says Ofcom - small devices plugged into the USB port of laptops enabling internet access via a mobile network. Between February and June 2008, the number of dongle sales to consumers nearly doubled from 69,000 to 133,000 a month. During this five month period, there were 511,000 new mobile broadband connections in the UK.

Three-quarters of all mobile broadband users say that they access the internet via their dongle while at home and two-thirds of mobile broadband users say that they use both dongles and their landline to connect to the internet.

Ofcom also states that more than one in ten mobile phone users have accessed the internet on their mobile phone with the number of 3G mobile connections growing by 60 per cent in 2007 to reach 12.5 million subscribers - an increase of 4.7 million in 12 months.

A new analysis by Juniper Research is forecasting that Service Provider revenues, derived from mobile money transfer services and remittances, will exceed $5bn globally by 2013 - based on the commissions and charges that they will acquire from the gross value of money transactions made, both domestically within countries and internationally. 

In the third report in its Mobile Payments Series, Juniper says it found that there is a significant opportunity for the providers and vendors of mobile money transfer services as the market takes off, beginning as soon as 2010. The study explores how mobile money transfer will transform the ability of the ‘underbanked' population and migrant workers to make remittances, using their mobile phones as mobile wallets.

Report author Howard Wilcox provided some insight into this new market: "New services and trials are being announced almost every day. Judging from the response from users so far to services like M-PESA and SmartMoney, prospects for these services are excellent, both in developing and developed countries. For many people it has been costly and difficult for them to transfer money via existing services even to friends and family: using mobile phones solves the problem."

Highlights from the report include:

  • Global annual gross transaction value (including the remittance itself) will grow over 10 times between 2009 and 2013
  • The opportunity for companies providing these new services is forecast to exceed $5bn by 2013. 
  •  The top 3 regions (W. Europe, Africa and Middle East and Far East & China) will represent over 60% of the global mobile money transfer gross transaction value by 2013.

The report provides six year regional forecasts of mobile money transfers and remittances, providing data on subscriber take-up, transaction sizes and volumes for both national (domestic) and international transactions. Crucially, the report identifies the incremental ARPU opportunity for mobile network operators, arising from these new services. The report also offers detailed case studies from companies pioneering in this market. Juniper Research interviewed 14 key vendors and operators active in this market.

Penetration of all mobile device management (MDM) technologies in handsets is growing strongly globally, according to global advisory and consulting firm Ovum's latest quarterly report.

According to Ovum, growing support for advanced mobile device management technologies in mobile handsets promises to give the mobile service provider a much increased degree of control over the device fleet. Key applications of MDM include remote configuration, defect fixing, diagnostics and software management.

The results of Ovum's study are the outcome of a comprehensive survey of mobile handsets launched globally over the past four years, feeding into a repository of nearly 900 handsets from all major manufacturers and listing their key characteristics, including support for FOTA, OMA CP and OMA DM, plus their date of launch and regional availability.

Results show that between 4Q06 and 4Q07, global shipments grew by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 83% (for firmware over-the-air update), 51% (for OMA client provisioning) and 159% (for OMA device management).

Ovum has tracked penetration of three key MDM technologies throughout 2007: OMA client provisioning (OMA CP), OMA device management (OMA DM) and firmware over-the-air (FOTA) update.  The study reveals that in 4Q07 OMA DM was supported in nearly one-third of all handsets now shipping worldwide.

Adam Leach, lead principal analyst at Ovum and author of the report said: "It is crucial for service providers to understand the penetration of key enabling technologies in order to decide whether and when they should be scaling up the use of MDM in their businesses. What is clear is that we are now at a critical point in terms of adoption of this key technology. Service providers looking to offer device management services based on OMA DM should find they have a good choice of handsets across a range of price points."

Ovum forecasts continued strong growth for all MDM technologies globally; by the end of 2008 Ovum expects OMA DM and FOTA, will reach 44% and 57% respectively, of global shipments.By the end of 2009 they will be an established part of the handset technology landscape, with penetration in over half the installed base of handsets and in 84% and 69% respectively, of new mobile phone shipments.

"Firmware updating is by no means the only application of OMA DM that service providers are interested in. OMA DM is already being used for more sophisticated types of device configuration than OMA CP is capable of, such as continuous provisioning in conjunction with automatic detection. It is handling client provisioning for new value-added services being offered by operators, and supporting important commercial functionality such as preferred roaming lists," says Leach.

As the OMA finalises more standardised management objects, such as those for software updating and diagnostics, the relevance of OMA DM will continue to grow for all service providers, says Ovum.

BTC Mobile, said to be the fastest developing company in the Bulgarian telecoms market, has implemented Neural Technologies' Minotaur solution to enable it to tackle fraud on its network.

BTC Mobile is part of the larger BTC Group, Bulgaria's main telecommunications provider, and has over a million mobile subscribers.  A fraud review carried out by the operator in 2006 highlighted several areas of concern, the most pressing of which was bypass fraud.  Bypass fraud is the illegal routing of calls in order to avoid paying interconnection fees.  Legitimate operators negotiate interconnection agreements between each other that define the routes and the cost to terminate calls on their network; routing calls in a manner that avoids these agreed interconnection points is bypass fraud.  The advent of Voice over IP (VoIP) has made bypass easier and more common and large telcos are losing significant revenues to VoIP routing.

Based on the review, BTC Mobile entered into a tender process to find an external fraud system to protect its profits and reputation.  Neural Technologies' Minotaur solution came top of the list.  "We selected MinotaurTM based upon its proven track record and its flexibility in accommodating new fraud trends and service offerings.  We have not been disappointed; to date we are identifying in excess of 80% of bypass fraud on our network and expect to see this figure rise in the near future.  Fraudsters should be aware that BTC Mobile has got tough on fraud and is no longer an easy target!", stated Mihail Radulov, the operator's Fraud & Revenue Assurance Manager.

Luke Taylor, Commercial Director of Neural Technologies (Nt), said, "We are delighted to be working with the fraud management team at BTC Mobile.  Their proactive and professional approach to combating network fraud, coupled with the capability of Minotaur and Nt's dedicated support, is already delivering outstanding results and is set to provide them with an early return on investment".

Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) has secured an exclusive 12 month contract with Shelter, the leading housing and homeless charity in the UK.  Activity will begin with CRM and mobile internet activity, powered by MIDAS, to increase loyalty and retention of direct debit donors.  The campaign launches on Wednesday 20th August.

Shelter has identified mobile as 'a new opportunity for conversing with their younger supporter demographic.  Many charities encounter problems with users canceling direct debits after signing up online, on the street and through other channels:  The integration of mobile into the mix is designed to change this.

MIG has created a CRM approach that enables Shelter to thank their donors monthly via SMS, and include in the text a snapshot of the work that their continuing donations contribute to.  These SMS messages contain URLs to pages within a new mobile internet site, designed and built by MIG, called Shelter extra.

Shelter extra hosts a raft of fresh and regularly updated content including downloads, Shelter celebrity supporter updates, competitions, information on how to get involved in Shelter events, such as the London Marathon, as well as campaign and volunteering information.

David Jackson, Direct Marketing Manager at Shelter said, "By engaging users with the content and important work that Shelter does in the UK, donors will be reminded that their direct debit payments are more than just a note on a bank account statement, and that they are contributing to the fight against homelessness and poor housing around the UK.  We have every confidence that the expertise MIG bring to the table will make a key difference in increasing donor retention."

"MIG's CRM approach chimed perfectly with our need to retain monthly donors.  By launching a ‘light touch' communications channel we are able to reinforce their decision to support Shelter with good news about where their money goes in helping homeless and badly housed people.

Tim Dunn, Head of Marketing Services, MIG said "Text and WAP usage is massive in Shelter's demographic, so we expect to report great results in usage of the service, and ultimately in increasing overall revenues for the cause."

Neverfail, a software company providing continuous availability and disaster recovery solutions, today announced that it has been accepted into O2's Accelerator Programme in the UK. Together with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, Neverfail's protection solution is said to offer O2 customers the ability to access business critical information and remain in touch with key contacts via a BlackBerry smartphone at any time.

Neverfail for BlackBerry Enterprise Server environments is said to provide end-to-end protection for a company's email and wireless applications by proactively monitoring the health of those environments at all times.  If any problems are detected, Neverfail takes a variety of pre-emptive or corrective actions to solve them, and also offers customers the option to automate a full system failover, if appropriate.

"Through our partnership with Neverfail, we are thrilled to offer a robust continuous availability solution to our customers running BlackBerry Enterprise Server, ensuring an exceptional user experience," said Illona McMullan, Business Applications Manager at O2. "O2 was the first carrier to bring BlackBerry smartphones to the UK market. With the inclusion of Neverfail into our Accelerator Programme, we are continuing our commitment of offering our BlackBerry customers strategic business protection for their mobility platform."

"Email and data downtime is a fact of life should any part of the mobility infrastructure fail, Neverfail has developed a solution to protect the mobility infrastructure from end-to-end," said Richard Ruddlesden, EMEA Channel Director at Neverfail. "We look forward to providing uninterrupted access to mobile applications and keeping O2's customers constantly productive regardless of data centre failures."

Sony BMG Music Entertainment UK and O2 have announced the launch of the first operator-supported major label mobile music store.

The store, called My Play, will be available exclusively through O2 Active and is powered by Momac's multimedia publishing platform GoMedia. It brings together the full suite of mobile music products in the shape of videos, full track audio and realtones onto one store. Designed to help bring consumers closer to their favoured artists, the simple user interface will see consumers accessing the store simply by clicking on artist microsites as their gateway into the store. Purchases from the store will be chart eligible from launch.

"This is the first joint venture retail partnership between a major label and an operator and is further testament to O2's strategy to work with the best partners to create products and services that will enhance the customer experience, " said Sally Cowdry, Marketing Director, O2 UK. "Joining forces with such a leader in the music space will bring our customers an in-depth music service with the most popular artists available straight to their mobile."

Ged Doherty, Chairman of Sony BMG Music Entertainment UK, says: "It's never been more important to think of ways in which best to bring the artist and consumer closer together. The exciting thing about this service is that its artist micro-sites do exactly that, and being mobile, it enables the connection to happen immediately. We're delighted to be working with O2 on this new service, they are a company who have demonstrated a fantastic commitment to music over a sustained period of time."

The store is live from August 7th with videos priced fully inclusive at £1.50, tones at £3.50 and full music tracks at 99p. Artist micro-sites will rotate in line with Sony BMG's release schedule. The store itself is powered by the Momac publishing platform GoMedia which will manage and deliver the raft of content and services. Momac already have a proven track record with both O2 and Sony BMG.

MobileAware, a provider of Mobile Customer and Employee Self Service solutions, has announced an undisclosed additional round of funding led by existing investors Nauta Capital and Cross Atlantic Capital Partners. MobileAware also announced that Todd Shingler, a 17-year wireless industry veteran, has taken over as Chief Executive Officer following closure of the March investment round. As a result of the latest investment, Mr. Dominic Endicott of Nauta Capital, Mr. Paul Sutton of Cross Atlantic Capital, and former CEO Mr. Kevin McKloskey have joined the company's board of directors.

Founded in 1999, MobileAware specialises in delivering Mobile Customer and Employee Self-Service solutions to customers across a range of sectors, with a particular emphasis on the telecommunications, travel, transportation, utility and emergency services industries.  Built on its patented Mobile Interaction Server, ExpressQ, and SmartIP products, MobileAware's Mobile Self-Service solutions are deployed to over 100 customers globally, nearly half of whom are Fortune Global 2000 companies.  This latest round of funding will be used to fund the further expansion of MobileAware's Mobile Self-Service solution offerings.

"With proven product technology, an experienced management team, and years of experience in deploying successful Mobile Self-Service solutions, MobileAware brings a unique value proposition to the market," commented Dominic Endicott, Director at Nauta Capital. "We are excited to continue our involvement with MobileAware as they continue to grow and execute their go-to-market strategy."

"We are delighted to receive the continued support and confidence of Nauta Capital and Cross Atlantic Capital Partners," commented Todd Shingler, CEO at MobileAware. "This investment reaffirms the clear business value we deliver to our customers and will drive an exciting new phase of expansion as we bring to market a number of new Mobile Self-Service Solutions. The strategic advice that Dominic, Paul, and Kevin will add as members of the board based on their vast expertise in the telecommunications and software industries will be invaluable to our continued success."

Shingler joined MobileAware in March 2003 as Vice President of Products and subsequently led Sales and Business Development in the Americas.  Prior to joining MobileAware, he spent 12 years in various roles within Nortel Networks' wireless organization in the USA, Germany and France.