Ericsson and Napster together with Italian operator, Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM), are to offer Napster Mobile, a music service co-developed by Ericsson and Napster.

Napster Mobile is a premium music service offering an array of features and personalized content, including ringtones, artist images, wallpaper and access to Napster Mobile's catalog of more than 5 million songs. Napster Mobile also offers dual-delivery for simultaneous downloads to a subscriber's PC and mobile phone, a unique feature that provides users the convenience of downloading songs directly to their phones with a high-fidelity copy of the song available to download on their PCs.

Under the agreement, Ericsson's responsibilities include systems integration, operation, maintenance and content management of Napster Mobile for TIM. The service is available now.

"We are proud to be the first in Italy to offer the world-class music service Napster Mobile", said Riccardo Jelmini, Mobile VAS Marketing Manager, Telecom Italia. "Ericsson's solution allows us a quick, cost-efficient and simple way to launch this service, which gives our customers easy access to first-rate, feature-rich music services and will also expand our subscriber base".

"Entering the Italian market is an exciting milestone", said Brad Duea, president of Napster. "By partnering with Ericsson we can offer a superior music experience and make our extensive catalog available to Italian consumers for the first time".

"The marriage of Napster's innovative music service and Ericsson's technological leadership and operational expertise helps operators bring attractive new services to market easily and cost-effectively", said Cesare Avenia, President, Ericsson Italy.

Napster Mobile is linked to the Sony Ericsson Walkman series mobile phones via its music recognition application. Some models also offer a soft-key on the display for convenient access to Napster Mobile.

CSR and Motorola have announced that they intend to create an open industry forum to evaluate and foster enhanced Global Positioning System (EGPS) technologies. 

When used on a mobile device, EGPS technologies augment GPS to provide timely and accurate position information in demanding environments. The EGPS Forum is expected to advocate improvement to location technologies in mobile devices and is committed to meeting consumer and regulatory needs for precise and consistent levels of location information.

Current commercialised location technologies meet the basic needs of consumers and minimum regulatory requirements for widespread use in mobile phones ­ however, high value commercial services require location technologies that provide prompt, consistent and reliable position information, even indoors, within the limited power budget of a portable device.  Emergency services also require accurate indoor positioning.  The intended goal of the EGPS Forum will be to ensure that technologies which enhance GPS are put in place to meet these advanced requirements.

The EGPS Forum will be open to a broad array of participants from the telecommunications industry including handset manufacturers, location technology companies, network infrastructure providers and mobile network carriers. Initial activities of the Forum will focus on evaluating hybrid technologies that enhance GPS by combining satellite measurements with timing measurements taken from cellular networks and on establishing the underlying infrastructure to ensure full interoperability of this technology.

CSR¹s Location Business Unit Vice President, Stuart Strickland commented, "CSR is committed to delivering embedded location technologies that meet the needs of consumers and portable device makers." Strickland continued, "By working as part of the EGPS Forum with industry leaders such as Motorola, we expect to be able to extract the full potential out of our own enhanced GPS technologies."

"Motorola has been bringing innovative location based technologies to our mobile devices for years," Kevin Cole, Vice President, Device Technology Engineering, Mobile Devices business, Motorola. "As interest in mobile location services accelerates in 2008, we look forward to working with CSR and other industry leaders to drive this technology forward."

CSR and Motorola expect the procedure for EGPS field trials and performance testing to be in place in the first half of 2008.

Anritsu, the provider of testing, monitoring and management solutions for advanced and converged networks, has announced that Bitè Lithuania, one of the biggest international telecommunications groups in the Baltic region, has accepted the delivery of a MasterClaw network and service monitoring system for Bitè's GSM/GPRS/UMTS networks in Lithuania and Latvia. The solution includes solution areas such as troubleshooting, network and service quality monitoring as well as partner monitoring of IP services, roaming and interconnect traffic.

The MasterClaw implementation includes collection and reporting of powerful Key Performance Indicators to assist Bitè to better monitor and analyze the increasing amount of data traffic in their GSM/GPRS/UMTS networks, and centralized troubleshooting applications enabling proactive identification and isolation of potential network or service problems across the various mobile 2G, 2.5G and 3G network technologies .

"Customer satisfaction and high service quality are the cornerstones in our strategy to become the best Baltic wireless operator. We have deployed Anritsu's MasterClaw system to get a systematic understanding of the service quality offered to our customers on the Bitè networks in Lithuania and Latvia. The solution also enables us to seamlessly troubleshoot detected network anomalies in our GSM/GPRS/UMTS network" said Ricardas Brazenas, Technical  Director, Bitè Group. "We initially trialled the MasterClaw solution during the first half of 2007; based on the experiences from this trial, we have through close partnership with Anritsu defined the final solution that meets our needs."

"Equipment vendor independent monitoring of the network and service performance is critical to ensure high end-to-end service quality for Bitè Lithuania's subscribers" said Emanuela Speranza, VP Sales EMEA, Anritsu. "With MasterClaw, we will also help Bitè Lithuania with traffic analysis and performance statistics on roaming traffic to other operators and third party content providers to ensure maximum return of investment for Bitè by optimizing the value chain management, while securing the service experienced by Bite's end users."

Ubiquisys, the developer of intelligent femto 3G access points, has today announced new femtocell systems for businesses based on its established residential product.  The ZoneGate E2 modular femtocell system for SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) will be released later in 2008, whilst the SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) version is available to mobile operators now.

Many SOHO operations and SMEs suffer from poor mobile coverage and high tariffs, and until now there has been no affordable solution available using employees' existing mobile phones.

The Ubiquisys ZoneGate E2 system enables Mobile Network Operators to fill this gap for SOHOs and SMEs.  Small companies will effectively have their own private 3G network to provide indoor coverage.  Employees' regular 3G handsets and datacards will automatically switch to a low-cost tariff as they arrive in the office, and they will enjoy a dependable, maximum speed mobile internet experience.  For many small companies the convenience of a single phone combined with low-cost calls will eliminate the need for a standard fixed-line phone.

The ZoneGate E2 is a modular femtocell system - it is easy to install, either on its own or in a formation to cover any shape of office. Irrespective of the deployment formation, the femtocells dynamically adapt the coverage between them, and automatically manage handover as employees move around the office whilst on a call.  The system connects to the mobile operator's core network through the existing broadband connection.

"Femtocells have long been thought of as a consumer device that provides better quality lower cost mobile coverage in the home - this is no longer the case.  Mobile operators can now extend these innovative services to businesses as well." said Will Franks, CTO Ubiquisys. "The ZoneGate E2 modular femtocell system will provide employees in small companies with a major productivity advantage - one device, a low-cost office tariff, and maximum speed mobile internet."

Simdesk Technologies has announced it will launch its SimMobile next-generation mobile services platform at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 11 - 14. SimMobile is for mobile operators and their hosting providers, broadband service providers and handset manufacturers around the world to deliver mobile services to subscribers by making affordable mobile services available across applications, platforms and devices.

The SimMobile launch is claimed to represent Simdesk's new strategic focus on the mobile market based on its years of delivering on-demand computing services to SMBs, telcos and governments around the world. SimMobile is specifically designed to help mobile operators generate new services revenue, strengthen subscriber relationships and gain a competitive edge over the ad-based portal solutions.

SimMobile is a powerful and affordable alternative to Exchange, BES and Domino deployments designed to reach underserved market segments, including SMB (small-medium business) as well as sophisticated consumers (prosumers).  A brandable product, SimMobile is a complete end-to-end solution that enables Simdesk customers and partners to deliver high-value mobile services, featuring its S-Drive,  a network file system, push e-mail, shared calendaring, contacts and notes, and virtual printing - all delivered to any mass-market handset or smart phone.
SimMobile makes any phone a smart phone without the associated high handset costs.

"For the last several years, mobile services like push e-mail and PIM have been a luxury afforded primarily by executives in the large enterprise, representing a very small percentage of global mobile users," said Lou Waters, president of Simdesk Technologies. "As device penetration continues to soar and mobile operators look to increase ARPU and reduce churn, there's a huge opportunity to deliver affordable mobile services to the high volume of subscribers who can't afford or don't want to pay for expensive traditional mobile services and devices.Because of SimMobile's disruptively low deployment costs, mobile operators can provide the services their subscribers' desire, simultaneously achieving strategic growth objectives and realizing greater profit margins."

Comverse, a supplier of software and systems enabling network-based multimedia enhanced communication and billing services, has announced that Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), the largest mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS, went live with the Comverse Real-Time Billing Solution to serve MTS' subscriber base.

"Upon evaluation of the Comverse Real-Time Billing Solution, it made good business sense to deploy a comprehensive system that fulfils our billing needs while strengthening our marketing strategies," said Mikhail Shamolin, vice president and director at MTS Russia. "Now that we've completed a smooth migration to the Comverse system, we're ready to meet all requirements for future growth while delivering the highest level of services to our subscribers."

The Comverse Real-Time Billing (RTB) Solution serves as a real-time marketing engine for mobile operators by offering advanced personalisation capabilities, à la carte service plan customisation, and usage-driven automated marketing promotions to enable operators to increase revenues, profitability and subscriber loyalty. The solution provides operators with the ability to quickly create and launch service offerings to both broad and targeted market segments while simultaneously providing end-user empowerment through self-directed offers.

 "Our wealth of expertise and extensive track record position us well for this expansive billing deployment in Russia with MTS, the country's largest mobile operator," said Benny Einhorn, president of Comverse EMEA. "This particular deployment in MTS speaks well to the growing awareness by operators of the advantages of leveraging sophisticated marketing capabilities to realise revenue potential by using the advanced Comverse Real-Time Billing." 

United Mobile, the low-cost roaming mobile operator, has announced it has completed a US$15 million round of equity funding led by Accel Partners and Grazia Equity, who join angel investors Morten Lund, an initial investor in Skype, Thomas Geitner, the former global CTO of Vodafone, and Robert Zacconi, CEO of

United Mobile provides international travellers with a single, global SIM card that offers both voice and data roaming. Using a network of 300 companies in 140 countries, the Swiss-based company transparently negotiates cheapest rate for outgoing calls and provides free incoming calls in more than 80 countries.

"The business potential for United Mobile is quite large," said Kaj Relander, General Partner at Accel Partners, who is joining the United Mobile board of directors. "United has the ability to significantly reduce the phone bills of both business and leisure travellers by offering cheaper phone calls abroad, and open up international roaming to millions of prepaid customers worldwide."

Accel Partners has a history of excellence and innovation in the venture capital business over 20 years. The firm is dedicated to partnering with outstanding management teams to build world-class Internet, software and networking companies. Accel has a history of backing category-defining companies, which include Facebook, Foundry, Macromedia, Veritas, and Real Networks.

"We are pleased to have the support of a investor with the track record of Accel Partners join us in building United Mobile," commented United Mobile's CEO Charles Fränkl, former CEO of AOL Germany and Vodafone Information Systems. Sven Donhuysen, primary shareholder and President of United Mobile, added, "Accel Partners brings a strong portfolio of world-class internet and mobile companies for United to partner with. We look forward to working closely with Accel to launch revolutionary, new, seamless products in the coming months."

International roaming is an oft discussed topic in the European Union. The European Commission regulated roaming tariffs in the EU last autumn, a decision being challenged by the UK operators. United Mobile's rates are roughly half that of the incumbent EU mobile operators, and significantly lower for EU customers travelling to other geographies.

RadioFrame Networks, the specialist in small footprint, low cost wireless base stations, has announced that its software-controlled S-Series picocell solution will be deployed by Orange from the start of 2008.

RadioFrame's S-Series product will power Orange's recently announced Onsite Coverage service and is expected to be the first mobile solution to be widely deployed specifically for enhanced coverage to smaller remote and inaccessible business locations in Europe.

RadioFrame and Orange have been trialing the service with customers since mid-2007 with positive results. Expected to be more cost efficient to deploy, Orange's Onsite Coverage service adds to the existing Orange product portfolio and will improve coverage to mobile customers of all sizes. Most importantly, coverage enhancements will result in mobile coverage in even the most difficult to cover areas such as those challenged by hilly terrain, concrete, steel or offices that are below ground level. The solution can also boost existing capacity in urban areas with dense phone usage such as shopping centers or large office blocks.

"For several years now, RadioFrame has been developing breakthrough technology for wireless network operators that improves service quality and reduces time to market and network deployment costs," said RadioFrame Networks Chief Executive Officer Jeff Brown. "We are mindful that as we develop interesting technology, however, it only matters when the solutions are deployed commercially. For a wireless network operator of Orange's size and reputation to begin commercial deployment of our technology is a significant milestone for RadioFrame and an indication of the bright prospects of the indoor coverage solution industry as a whole."

"As mobile adoption in the business market continues to grow, workers who move from location to location or even those who sit at their desks, need more access to mobile coverage in the hardest-to-reach places," says Philippe Bernard, Executive Vice President,Orange Business Solutions. "For example, a distribution depot in a rural or mountainous location may need to give staff mobile telephones so they can keep in touch when they are working anywhere on site, or a city-based trading company may need to provide mobile coverage to their basement offices ensuring employees don't miss vital sales calls when away from their desks."

Orange's Onsite Coverage service is a scalable offering of miniature base stations that can provide full mobile coverage for up to 50 mobile users, boosting coverage within a 50 meter radius. Base stations can also be linked together to support more users or a higher volume of calls. Regardless of whether someone is calling from outside their building or within their office using Onsite Coverage, all call charges and services remain unchanged because it is simply an extension of the Orange network. Depending on their needs and requirements, businesses will pay a monthly rental fee for the enhanced indoor coverage.

Nokia Siemens Networks is supplying T-2 Slovenia, the country's leading IPTV and Internet service alternative provider, with a high-speed mobile network that will allow the operator to offer new 'top-quality' multimedia and data services.

The deal marks the first commercial implementation in Europe of a pioneering Internet High Speed Packet Access (I-HSPA) flat architecture solution from Nokia Siemens Networks.

Also, with the current project, T-2 entered the mobile telecommunication market with a plan to expand its present customer base and attract new users.

Nokia Siemens Networks will set up a complete 3G network based on Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) technology, with a full range of solutions that allow data transfers at very high speeds in both directions - to the user and from the user.

The project is already in a "friendly user phase," with about 1,000 subscribers taking part in the trial.

Included in the deal is the MSC Server mobile softswitching solution with VoIP server functionality, as well as the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), which will enable T2 Slovenia to introduce new IP-based voice and multimedia services. The contract also covers planning and implementation services, a top-of-the-class network and service management system as well as the actual operation of the network by Nokia Siemens Networks.

The system features the Internet Protocol-based solution called Internet-HSPA, the new technological milestone pioneered by Nokia Siemens Networks and designed for heavy data and rich multimedia usage over the wireless network. Thanks to its simplified flat architecture, the new network is ready to offer the end user a full mobility of data services, improved multimedia, gaming, web browsing and email service experience.

"We at T-2 have been firmly committed to delivering top quality IP-based services to our customers," said Matevz Turk, T-2 CEO. "Thanks to Nokia Siemens Networks and their innovative flat-architecture network solutions we are able to move into a new field and offer new outstanding mobile services to our subscribers".

"We are very proud to announce the first commercial implementation of Nokia Siemens Networks Internet HSPA solution in Europe," said Hans-Jürgen Bill, Head of the West South Europe region at Nokia Siemens Networks. "This landmark project with T-2 Slovenia is another proof of our leading position among telecommunications solution and infrastructure vendors for the mobile market in Slovenia as well as all of Europe."

Actix, a specialist in Network Status Management (NSM) for mobile operators, has today announced the introduction of Actix Viewpoint, a web-based solution for the management and distribution of network performance engineering information.  Actix Viewpoint is said to have been designed to deliver operational efficiency and consistency to managing, analyzing and reporting network performance engineering data.

For carriers operating complex wireless networks, access to performance engineering information can be complicated and time consuming, typically forcing engineers to access multiple, disparate systems, which lack automation, visibility and integration.

Actix Viewpoint integrates multiple management systems, such as troubleshooting, network optimization, coverage reporting and application performance, to provide a single point of access with unified views of real-time and historical performance engineering information across the entire network.  Accessible from anywhere within the enterprise, Viewpoint provides information that has been collected, processed and managed automatically by a central system, for use by engineering and corporate functions, easing the handling and management of large volumes of time-sensitive network test data.

"Actix Viewpoint is designed to fulfill two core benefits: improving the efficiency and reducing the operational expenditure involved in engineering the network. Automatic processing releases engineers' time to focus on value-adding tasks, while making actionable information available sooner," said Richard Kateley, Director of NSM Product Development.

"Viewpoint's web-based user interface provides a common portal for engineers and technical teams, while also delivering real-time management information to non-technical business areas, such as marketing, business development and the C-suite. A dashboard-like view of high-level information about the network ensures timely access to relevant information on which to make commercial decisions. Typically such people would have to wade through a printed report to find any useful information, and now they can literally access the entire history of their network on a handheld PDA via the web in near real-time,"
continues Kateley.

Viewpoint can be used for a wide variety of status audit and reporting applications and includes the following features:

* Automatic Server-based Data Pre-Processing
* Centralized Storage of Network Performance Data
* Integration with Network Configuration Data Sources
* Enterprise-wide Access to Shared Performance Engineering

Actix will be demonstrating Viewpoint publicly for the first time at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, 11-14 February 2008.

Spin3, a leading provider of advanced mobile gambling solutions powered by Microgaming, the online gaming software provider, has announced that it is supplying 32Red, the online gambling specialist, with a complete mobile casino offering, allowing the company to reach a new audience and tap into the lucrative mobile gambling market.

32Red Plc operates the award winning online casino as well as one of the UK's favourite poker rooms at Moving into the mobile gambling market is a logical strategic step for the company, who will be able to capitalise on the booming mobile entertainment market. 

32Red will be using Microgaming's market leading GameWire system, a suite of award-winning, graphics-rich casino games including Blackjack, Roulette, and the famous Tomb Raider Video Slot, to create an exciting extension to their brand.  GameWire can be tailored to suit the business requirements of any casino operator, mobile service providers and virtually any enterprise to launch their own fully operational mobile casino, creating a very rewarding additional revenue stream.

Ed Ware, CEO of 32Red says: "The deal with Spin3 and Microgaming means that we can extend our product base and enter a new and exciting field.  This was an obvious move for us as we were already seeing demand from our users to play on the move. As such, we are keen to offer our players the flexibility of playing our trusted brand either online or on the go.

"32Red's brand is built on the quality of our games and security that users can trust - Spin3 and Microgaming were the best possible partners for this project as they match us on both scores."  

Matti Zinder, Head of Spin3 says: "32Red is a huge player in the UK gambling market and its move into mobile gambling is a big boost for the industry.  With Spin3 it's incredibly easy to add mobile gambling to your existing offering, adding an extra revenue stream and access to a new audience.  We expect other gambling organisations to follow suit as they realize the profits to be made by moving into this space."

GameWire has an exciting user interface, and full, easy-to-navigate Java menu system.  End users will be able to download the mobile casino application for free and deposit money by debit or credit card to start betting. 

Martin Dawes Systems, a provider of billing, customer care and revenue assurance solutions, has today announced its appointment as a supplier to UK mobile operator O2 of billing systems for O2 business, corporate and SME subscribers.

This follows the successful implementation of an upgraded billing system based on the company's dise3G solution.  Martin Dawes Systems will work with O2 on developing new software features and functionality to continue to deliver improvements in billing & CRM functionality.

Dewi Thomas, Managing Director, Martin Dawes Systems said: "This confirmation of the strategic nature of our relationship cements the close ties between our two organizations and highlights O2's ongoing commitment to the highest standards of service for its valued business customers.  Now that we have successfully concluded the implementation, the system will help O2 maintain their deserved reputation for service quality excellence, as well as deliver the flexibility needed to support new service innovations."

"O2 (UK) will benefit from how we develop and enhance the platform as an integrated end-to-end solution for managing and growing customer revenue," Thomas added.

The recently completed project involved the implementation of the latest version of dise3G software for use by over 2000 end-users in customer care, sales and marketing among other areas.  O2 UK had previously operated a very early "green screen" version of the dise software.

The new GUI system transforms how the software is used in the business.  For example, dise3G provides the flexibility to support a wider variety of marketing initiatives including price promotions and service bundling.  Customer care and marketing end-users benefit from an interface that makes it much easier to interpret a customer's relationship with O2. 

By replacing the older system with dise3G, O2 also can choose to utilise newly-developed capabilities for managing convergent services, and explore more self-service account management options.  The new system is much more scalable and resilient, running in a single environment and therefore delivering further operational efficiencies to O2.

Ericsson has signed a frame agreement with Swisscom to expand and upgrade its WCDMA/HSPA network to enable high-speed mobile broadband coverage across 90 percent of Switzerland.

Ericsson will provide an HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) solution that will upgrade the operator's network to enable peak speeds of up to 7.2Mbps on the downlink - the maximum speed that commercial HSPA subscriber devices currently allow. The agreement also expands on Swisscom's initial HSPA launch in February 2006, making uplink speeds of up to 1.4Mbps available across 90 percent of the country.

The contract will underpin the widespread availability of mobile broadband services across Switzerland and support subscriber access to a host of innovative services. The service was announced by Swisscom in November 2007. Rollout has started and is due for completion in the second quarter of 2008.

Patrice Haldemann, Network & IT, Head of Operations Swisscom says: "Ericsson's solution allows us to boost network capacity and extend our leadership in mobile broadband availability across the country, offering customers seamless access to our range of broadband services."

Richard Batistier, Account Manager at Ericsson says: "This contract marks an important milestone in our long-standing partnership with Swisscom and will extend high-speed mobile broadband throughout the country, supporting access from almost any device and nearly any location."

Livetime V1.3 has been launched commercially by Metricell. Livetime is a software platform which is said to have been specifically designed for wireless operators and MVNO's to deliver intelligent analysis and reporting to target increased operator revenues and profitability. The product is said to put the very latest data warehouse and data mining technology on the desktops of financial analysts and commercial managers across any organization, delivering essential business intelligence. The product has been designed and developed by Steve Mockford and Philip Caiger, the co-founders of Aircom International.


Commercial areas targeted by Livetime include: Increase Subscriber Revenues; ROI Analysis and Optimisation, Maximise Customer Retention; Campaign Management; and Maximise Each Marketing Opportunity. New Livetime functionality includes an extended business solution library, full subscriber facts and measures, GIS display and targeted prepaid subscriber user analysis.