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Swanbay Mobile has launched an 'advanced' mobile video application for the Symbian platform, which is claimed to offer Symbian Smartphone users outstanding video quality combined with a simplified user experience.

The application provides full screen video streaming over 3G or WiFi networks, which is said to be made possible through the use of a proprietary video codec that optimises data compression and video quality.

Swanbay says it spent two years developing the Smartphone software, to provide a full media player with integrated browsing. This enables users to navigate the mobile internet and view mobile video all within a single application.

The mobile video application is a white-labeled product that supports customer branding.

Swanbay's first implementation of the product is on the Symbian s60 3rd edition platform which includes the recently launched Nokia N96 handset as well as the popular N95 and N95 8GB.

Mike Kennett, Director of Product Development at Swanbay, said: "We set out to develop a world-class Smartphone video application, and I genuinely think we have achieved that. The application offers the user an amazing video experience on a 3G network through a simple user interface and fantastic video quality."

Swanbay are a mobile video services company enabling broadcasters, Network Operators, content and brand owners to extend their products and services to global audiences, via a cutting-edge mobile video delivery technology.

New research has forecast that over 400 million mobile subscribers worldwide will use their mobile phones for ticketing by 2013. However, the study concluded that trials and pilots are not being implemented into full mobile ticketing services as quickly as expected for several reasons including bar code reading issues, lack of reader infrastructure and availability of Near Field Communications handsets.

The Juniper Research report found that the leading sector will be transport, followed by entertainment and then sporting events. The Far East and China region is leading the market, driven by adoption in Japan particularly amongst rail travellers. In addition airlines are beginning to offer mobile ticket purchasing. Outside the transport segment, the report identified a number of ground-breaking trials and services, such as by cinema chains in India which buys 37% of all movie tickets sold worldwide. In addition a number of football and baseball teams are beginning to offer mobile options for ticket purchase and delivery; however, many venues still require a printed ticket to gain entry.  

Juniper report author Howard Wilcox pointed out: "Mobile ticketing offers exciting new opportunities for ticket issuers to achieve increased sales including targeted last-minute sales campaigns. For example, tickets for the sporting event or movie happening ‘tomorrow' or ‘tonight' could be marketed directly to known fans."

However, Wilcox warned that whilst NFC mobile user trial results such as O2 in London and BART in San Francisco have been encouraging, market traction will be determined by the availability of NFC phones and the speed of installation of NFC readers.

TapRoot Systems, a developer of software solutions for the smartphone market, has announced that its "always-with-you" WalkingHotSpot internet connectivity solution is now available to purchase directly from www.walkinghotspot.com. 
 
With a one-time software download to a Wi-Fi enabled smartphone, WalkingHotSpot is said to transform Windows Mobile 6 and S60 3G/Wi-Fi smartphones into "walking" hotspots. Users can securely retrieve e-mails, as well as browse the Internet, on Wi-Fi enabled devices such as laptops and MP3 players.  Wireless subscribers can forget about data cards, cables, dongles and multiple service/hotspot plans, because WalkingHotSpot allows the option of consolidating connectivity subscriptions and expenses into one economical solution.
 
The WalkingHotSpot team is touring Europe this week to introduce this award-winning application. "WalkingHotSpot was launched as a beta-trial earlier this year, and Europe has proven to be one of our top markets," comments Bob Bicksler, CEO of TapRoot Systems. "Combining the proliferation of smartphones in Europe with the mature 3G infrastructure makes a strong user scenario for WalkingHotSpot. We see Europe as a significant market for this application. With WalkingHotSpot, users can feel confident they have a reliable, secure, inexpensive and readily-available internet connection wherever and whenever they need it," Bicksler continues.

Cicero Networks, a provider of communications solutions for fixed mobile convergence and Symbian, the specialist in open operating systems for mobile phones, have today announced a proof-of-concept for voice mobility across multiple networks on FreeWay-Symbian's IP communications architecture on Symbian OS.

Cicero, an active member of the Symbian Partner Network, and Symbian have collaborated to enable Voice Call Continuity (VCC) using the FreeWay communications architecture and CiceroVCC engine. The solution provides seamless in-call handover to enable roaming between circuit switched networks and all-IP based IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) networks including Long Term Evolution (LTE) and WiMAX.

As users move through mobile networks today, calls move seamlessly between cells and the user is unaware that this is happening. As all-IP networks are deployed in the future, mobile phones will need to move seamlessly not only between cells but also between network technologies, and VCC is the technology that will allow them to do this. With VCC, users will remain unaware of network switching during phone calls allowing operators to deploy all-IP networks in a staged manner, by having calls switch seamlessly between all-IP networks and traditional circuit switched (CS) networks.

"As mobile service providers deploy next generation IP-based voice networks, being able to support the old and new is critical", said Jonathan Webb, Principal Product Manager, Symbian "Our collaboration with Cicero demonstrates FreeWay's flexibility in enabling voice mobility across multiple network technologies. This is an important step in future network service delivery development."

"The combination of Symbian FreeWay and CiceroVCC provides handset manufacturers with an easy route to making Symbian mobile phones VCC compliant." said Ross Brennan, CEO Cicero Networks. "Cicero recognises that native voice bearer mobility is a critical requirement for future service delivery".

Palringo, the instant messaging applications for mobile phones, has added live location information to the latest version of its application - Palringo Local.

Said to be accurate to the suburb or even street-level in a city, and to the closest named town in rural areas, Palringo users can opt to display their location alongside their status, for fun, personal, social, business or any other purpose.

Palringo Local goes live today for Microsoft Windows Mobile users, and will be delivered as an automatic update for existing users.  Roll-out will follow for other popular mobile device operating systems - including Symbian OS-based phones, Java, BlackBerry and iPhone - completing before the end of 2008.  Palringo Local for desktop/laptop editions of the Microsoft Windows operating system also goes live from today and will be automatically updated. .

Kerry Ritz, Palringo's CEO, said: "Since the dawn of the mobile phone era, we've all listened into or been part of mobile phone conversations in which the two parties have asked each other where they are - or, with SMS, spent a message establishing those facts.  Now, people won't need to do that; provided someone wishes to 'show' the basic instinct to 'know', even if it doesn't matter, is satisfied."

"But there are also quite practical reasons for showing your location: if you're part of a group all meeting in one place, like a sports team; or you want to know where your delivery drivers are without investing in expensive systems.  Whatever your reason to show your location, now you can," he explained.

Anyone using Palringo Local must specifically opt in to display their location; users can opt in and out at will.  Even opted-in, users retain control over which contacts can see their location.  Location may also be set manually.

The popular instant messaging services with which Palringo integrates are: AOL Instant Messenger, Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, Gadu-Gadu, ICQ, Jabber and Windows Live.  People can also use Palringo to contact their friends using iChat, Apple's IM application.

Mobile Streams, a global mobile content enabler, has announced the launch of the 'first' solely advertising-funded mobile internet site which provides a range of regularly updated mobile content free of charge to users.

"We think that ad-funded mobile content is an important part of the future mobile marketing and advertising business and have therefore developed technology to support ad-funding into our Vuesia technology platform so that  it can easily be deployed on new sites and services operated by ourselves as well as third party media companies who want to rapidly develop and deploy ad-funded mobile sites," commented Simon Buckingham, CEO of Mobile Streams.

To test the features, Mobile Streams says it has chosen to initially target the savvy adult market by making hundreds of video clips available on the free site Prontube.mobi as consumers are familiar with the concept of advertising based internet sites and the options available through the site banners, links, animated features and buttons.

The site is generated by Mobile Streams' proprietary technology platform, Vuesia. In addition to full, device specific, rendering of the portal's content, Vuesia has the ability to talk to multiple ad vending servers at any one time. Glenn de Smidt, Chief Technology Officer at Mobile Streams added: "Our ad serving technology sets us apart from the competition with our advanced capability to plug several ad servers into Vuesia at once."

Movidia, a mobile video processor company, announced today that it has secured over US$14 million in Series A funding. Investments from an international syndicate led by Celtic House Venture Partners and Capital-E and including Emertec Gestion, AIB Seed Capital Fund and Enterprise Ireland will help the fabless semiconductor and software company to bring to market its mobile video processor technology. Movidia's first product, said to be already proven in silicon, is set to launch in early 2009.

Movidia's low power video processor will, for the first time, enable powerful User Generated Content (UGC) video production functions for mobile phones and other consumer electronics products. Movidia's technology is calimed to allow cell phone manufacturers to provide highly differentiated products and services to meet the growing global demand for mobile social networking. Users will be able to do complex in-clip editing to add post-production effects such as slow motion and super resolution zoom to their own video content in real time and on the move without the need for a PC.

Movidia was founded by an experienced management team from the semiconductor industry including CEO Sean Mitchell, CTO David Moloney and COO Paul Costigan. The company's R&D and sales teams are located in Dublin, Hong Kong and Romania.

Movidia's CEO and co-founder, Sean Mitchell, commented, "The confidence shown by our investors in supporting Movidia highlights the value of our unique technology and, in light of current uncertainties in financial markets, provides strong validation of our fabless business model, market strategy and product plans." Mitchell continued, "Mobile social networking capabilities will be an important differentiator for next generation mobile handsets and Movidia's semiconductor products will provide handset manufacturers with unique video post-production capabilities that are now in demand by today's consumers."

Movidia's Board of Directors will be expanded as a result of the investment with seasoned semiconductor industry investors Roger Maggs and Brian Antonen of Celtic House, Rudi Severijns of Capital-E and Jean-Philippe Gendre of Emertec Gestion all joining the Board.

A device that offers consumers an alternative to a smartphone or mini-PC has today been launched by IMOVIO. The iKIT is a Pocket Mobile Companion that at 95mm by 65mm and only 15.5mm high is said to be as portable as a mobile phone, and is a WiFi and  HSDPA enabled device with a full QWERTY/AZERTY keyboard, an 8GB SD card slot and a 2.8 inch QVGA display, making it a fully functional communicating and browsing device and a viable substitute for a laptop.

The iKIT is a dedicated chat, email and internet accessory and unlike smartphones it is fully optimised for that purpose. The clamshell design provides users with a full keyboard and landscape screen that don't have to be compromised for voice calls. Dedicated hotkeys for all of the applications, including a music and video player and webcam, coupled with the elegant design mean that iKIT is the ultimate, portable multimedia device.

The suggested retail price of approximately £99 or €130, combined with the functionality, is said to make the iKIT a very attractive device for a youth audience, as well as appealing to travelers who need a quick and easy-to-use messaging alternative. By buying the iKIT, consumers will be able to save up to £500 on an iPhone or mini-PC and with potential operator subsidies the savings may be even greater, says the company.

"Many consumers can't afford the latest smartphone or mini-PC gadget, while others simply can't use or just don't like the existing form factors. This means that large groups of people still don't fully utilise mobile data," said Dr Jack Torobin, CEO of IMOVIO. "These users, mainly women and teens, still want to have the ability to send emails, browse the web and update their on-line profiles whilst they are out and about."

"We designed the iKIT to be an alternative to a smartphone or mini-PC," said Nigel Newby-House, Head of Design at IMOVIO. "It's a beautifully designed mobile device that provides all the multi-media and messaging capabilities a mobile consumer needs. But at a much better price."

For mobile and broadband providers, the iKIT is claimed to be the perfect device to complement their existing range and can be offered to consumers as an add-on device to go with the existing choice of phones, laptops or HSDPA cards. Alternatively, the iKIT can be used to increase customer retention or reduce churn by offering it as a subsidised device for users signing up or renewing broadband or mobile data packages.

Dr. Torobin continued, "the iKIT will allow operators to target the demographics that are currently not well served for mobile data. And as an HSDPA enabled device, it offers a great entry level product for operators to increase usage of their high-speed networks."

 

Webwag, a publisher of Internet and mobile widgets, has announced the launch of Webwag Mobile 2.0, the new version of its mobile widget engine, which will be commercialised in both versions directly to consumers and as a white label.

Webwag Mobile 2.0 aims at the convergence of the Web and the mobile Internet, and is said to have been designed to be practical and easy to use, with users needing to register only once from their mobile phone or on the Web.

Easier, more user-friendly, more intuitive, enabling hundreds of widgets and RSS-feeds, synchronized with Webwag's web page, Webwag Mobile 2.0 features a tutorial meant to guide the mobile Internet users in their selection of the services they are interested in. The most relevant widgets are then automatically added to the preselected listed interests of the user.

Opera Mobile 9.5 has introduced Opera Widgets, enabling one-click web content access. The release is said to marks the second Opera Mobile 9.5 beta for Windows Mobile and the 'first-ever' beta for UIQ-based phones. A developer version of S60 Widget manager is also available within the Opera Widgets SDK.

T-Mobile has already taken Opera Mobile with Widgets for its web n'walk initiative, as previously announced on September 18, 2008. Like T-Mobile, other operators can now incorporate Opera Widgets into their customer offering. This means that customer-selected Web content can be accessed from a list of icons on the home-screen. Widgets can also serve as a means of customer communication, as automatic notifications are now easier to instantly deliver to subscribers.

"Opera has built its second Opera Mobile 9.5 beta based on user-generated feedback following its first public release earlier this year," said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. "In addition to Opera Widgets, this new test version promises to be a smoother ride than the previous version, as we have improved page loading times and increased our focus on end-user productivity."

Several Opera Widgets are now pre-installed in the Opera Mobile 9.5 beta builds. Additionally, Opera offers downloadable widgets at http://widgets.opera.com.

Opera always encourages more user-generated widgets and therefore recently updated its Opera Widget Software Development Kit (SDK). This SDK will enable developers to quickly and easily create widgets using standards-based Web technology. The Opera Widgets SDK now includes two new features:

  • Opera Dragonfly debugging tool - Develop faster with this tool for debugging JavaScript, inspecting Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and the Document Object Model (DOM). Find your errors and get your widget right.
  • Widget manager for on-device testing - Widget managers for S60, UIQ and Windows Mobile are included with in the SDK for testing widgets directly on the mobile phone.

Opera is launching the updated SDK with a developer competition called the "X-Widget Challenge". Opera is offering $10.000 in cash prizes for the best cross-device widget submissions. Read more about the competition from http://my.opera.com/widgets.

"Opera has kept developer needs at the heart of this beta release," said Håkon Wium Lie, Chief Technology Officer, Opera Software. "All great developers need great tools to work with. Opera is an industry leader in making the Web a developer-friendly place by constantly innovating within the confines of Web standards. We will continue to create with developers in mind, as we intend to continue to grow our developer toolkit with each consecutive release."

 

Alcatel-Lucent has announced the global availability of a high-speed packet access (HSPA) version of its OmniAccess 3500 Nonstop Laptop Guardian, designed to protect and recover stolen laptops and data. Previously available on CDMA-based 3G networks, the enhancement is said to expand the product's reach to next-generation, high-speed 3G GSM/HSPA networks, providing a critical solution to mitigate the threat of compromising confidential data through the loss or theft of employee laptops.

Invented by Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, the always on laptop security and management system for the mobile workforce leverages 3G (CDMA/W-CDMA/GSM) networks, allowing enterprises to overcome the "mobile blind spot." The mobile blind spot is defined as a condition where enterprises have no visibility or control over the location, use or configuration of employee laptops, increasing the risk of government fines, company reputation and hampering day-to-day operations of organizations. With this technology, enterprises have 24/7 access to employee laptops - enabling them to automatically enforce policies for compliance and deliver software patches and upgrades to their increasingly mobile workforce even if the laptop is turned off.

In a recent study(1) of 255 executive level IT, security and compliance decision makers in the U.S. and Germany, 45 percent of respondents admit they have to deal with mobile blind spots. Additionally, 76 percent of respondents believe it is necessary to protect a lost or stolen laptop with more than encryption alone - such as having the ability to locate the device using GPS and remotely revoking access to data. Of particular note, 50 percent of companies state they would switch their wireless service to a provider with a security solution that protects lost or stolen laptops used remotely, provides auto virtual private network capabilities and allows IT to manage laptops even when they're turned off.

"The security of data on company and government laptops is a genuine concern for executives and agency leaders around the globe. The recent study shows nearly three out of four IT security managers have had to help their company deal with the consequences of a lost or stolen company laptop," explained Tom Burns, head of Alcatel-Lucent enterprise activities. "The Alcatel-Lucent Nonstop Laptop Guardian is an important part of our overall security portfolio - providing companies and government agencies with the means to protect valuable information and personal data beyond the walls of their enterprise while at the same time enabling more flexibility and efficiency for those who need real time, anywhere access to that data."

SingTel of Singapore, Magyar Telekom of Hungary, and broadband carrier IIJ of Japan have announced they plan to offer the OA3500 NLG as a value-added service over their high-speed HSPA mobile data communications network. Currently Sprint offers the CDMA version of the solution to its North American customers.

In addition, the Municipality of Budapest will begin trials of the product through KFKI/Magyar Telekom. The local government agency plans to use the security and management solution to secure citizen information stored on agency employees' laptops.

"Security is a key concern for CIOs. To enable our customers to be more productive on the move and yet enjoy peace of mind, SingTel, in collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent, is pleased to launch this innovative wireless security solution to meet enterprises' needs. This service will empower executives to be truly mobile without compromising sensitive company information," said Bill Chang, Executive Vice President of Business for SingTel.

Access, a global provider of software technologies to the mobile and beyond-PC markets, has extended its Access family of Linux platforms to include Access Linux Platform 3.0 and the new Access Linux Platform mini, a mobile Linux platform targeted at price-sensitive and emerging markets.

In a presentation to key constituents at its annual Access Day event, Tomihisa Kamada, Access CTO, executive vice president and co-founder, gave a preview demonstration of Access Linux Platform 3.0, the next generation of the company's flagship mobile Linux platform, which provides an advanced UI and LiMo compatibility essential to major carriers worldwide. The demonstration showcased highly detailed visuals, smooth transitions and animations, and an intuitive and
engaging user experience.

Additionally, Access introduced Access Linux Platform mini, the newest member of the Access family of mobile Linux solutions. Access Linux Platform mini is a compact, commercial-grade Linux platform designed for mobile and next-generation Internet-enabled devices. Access Linux Platform mini features a scalable and customizable platform that includes a comprehensive application suite suitable for devices ranging from feature phones and low-end smartphones to Internet-enabled, beyond-PC devices, such as portable navigation devices, portable media players and set-top boxes.

Access Linux Platform mini is well-suited for the more stringent cost and performance requirements of mobile and Internet-enabled devices in emerging markets. The product's market-proven technology has already been commercially deployed in China and Taiwan on devices from manufacturers such as global leader Haier and Shanghai Novarobo Technology.

"Access Linux Platform mini provides carriers with the opportunity to seriously contemplate unlocking data ARPU (average revenue per user) potential in all segments of their subscriber base -- not just smartphone users -- in a cost effective, proven and scalable way," said Stuart Carlaw, vice president and research director, Mobile Wireless, ABI Research. "This development will be critical in enabling the expansion of the next phase of mobile user experience for the majority of today's mobile phone users, including those in emerging markets."

Access Linux Platform mini includes a complete set of middleware and customizable applications, an optional Linux kernel enhanced by Access and development kit. Access also provides customers and partners with technical and professional services to help enhance their competitiveness in the global
market, including product customization, localization, integration and QA services.

Ericsson has announced that it is collaborating with Intel to bring HSPA mobile data solutions to Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), thereby extending its 3G mobile broadband technology from notebooks to a range of pocketable devices with various purposes.

The Ericsson HSPA data solution is targeted at Intel's Moorestown platform and is scheduled for release in the 2009/10 timeframe. Based on the Intel Atom processor, Moorestown is Intel's next-generation MID platform which will include HSPA as one of its wireless technologies.

Pocketable MIDs can deliver a truly mobile internet experience, and are expected to facilitate a range of uses including entertainment and media, connected GPS navigation, online gaming, social networking, data communication, and productivity. With ubiquitous broadband connectivity, mobile users will be able to enjoy these experiences any time, anywhere.

Johan Wibergh, Senior Vice President and head of Business Unit Networks at Ericsson, says: "Ericsson continues to create one Internet and one experience for the consumer, regardless of location or device, fixed or wireless. We see great potential in embedding mobile broadband in MIDs, creating new markets in the industry.

We are very excited to work with Intel to bring together the telecom and computing industries and extend the mobile broadband ecosystem."

"The Internet, with all of its richness, versatility and personalization, will forever change how we think about mobile computing," said Anand Chandrasekher, Intel Senior Vice President and General Manager for the company's Ultra Mobility Group. "The high performance, low power and compatibility of Intel® architecture, coupled with Ericsson's 3G mobile technologies, represents one of the ways to accelerate the global adoption of a new breed of Mobile Internet Devices that provide people with more powerful, always connected Internet-based experiences."

The 3G technology is built on Ericsson's latest generation of HSPA chipsets in small, thin modules, enabling MID manufacturers to produce very attractive end-user devices. Ericsson is optimizing its module for Intel's next-generation Moorestown platform and Moblin-based Linux operating systems. The module will work on both WCDMA/HSPA and GSM/EDGE networks worldwide.

Syniverse Technologies, a provider of technology and business solutions for the global telecommunications industry, announced today it has launched a comprehensive roaming hub to help mobile operators solve the business and technical complexities of wireless roaming. Enabling operators to quickly deliver ubiquitous voice and data services wherever their subscribers may roam, the Syniverse Roaming Hub features a comprehensive suite of roaming services, including data clearing, financial clearing and award-winning fraud protection.
 
"Our more than 20 years of global interoperability experience clearly shows that Syniverse is well positioned to cater to the diverse roaming needs of operators around the world," said Tony Holcombe, President and CEO, Syniverse. "Moreover, through strategic partnerships with established players in the market, the Syniverse Roaming Hub will expand on our ability to provide seamless connectivity and a full range of roaming services to the wireless marketplace."
 
Holcombe said the Syniverse Roaming Hub, which is designed to replace today's inefficient bilateral agreement business model, will provide mobile operators with a means to economically expand their roaming footprint, quickly launch new services and cost effectively manage roaming partner relationships. Some of the hub components include Syniverse Data Clearing House (DCH), Financial Clearing House (FCH), signaling, agreement management, RAEX, operational support services and the company's award-winning Syniverse DataNet NRTRDE solution.