Get the message through

Echovox, a pioneer in the delivery and monetisation of mobile content, applications and services, today launched its Smart Retry Engine™ (SRE) to bring genuine innovation and quality to the mobile content aggregation market. Aimed at companies supplying popular mobile content including ringtones, wallpaper and other entertainment and content applications, SRE takes aggregation services to the next level by significantly improving the delivery of premium SMS.

SRE ‘intelligently retries’ to send messages that fail to deliver on the first attempt. Tests prove that it can successfully re-deliver 40% of messages that were previously aborted and improve first time message delivery rates by 15%, thereby increasing revenues by an equivalent proportion. SRE runs over ICON™ (Inter-Carrier Open Network), Echovox’s proprietary physical infrastructure – a sophisticated solution that connects directly to more than 40 Mobile Network Operators across Europe.

Echovox estimates that there are 1,071[1] reasons why mobile message delivery may fail, from network/gateway failure to a user’s lack of credit, or because the user is out of coverage for an extended period. So it’s no wonder that an increasing proportion of messages are not getting through – each one translating into lost revenue for the provider. Echovox has developed specific ways to address each of these causes, which it has integrated into its SRE solution.

With SRE, mobile content companies may have solved the issue of getting their messages through, however they still face the increasingly cumbersome issue of regulations. Echovox’s Automatic Compliance Engine™ (ACE) is the perfect complement to SRE. It enables companies to design their application regardless of restrictions, and regulate and throttle traffic automatically according to their own tailored policies. ACE helps companies safeguard their bottom line and business model.

David Marcus, Founder & CEO Echovox, commented: “Content aggregation has become a commodity market, where true quality of service loses out to price and volume. Yet every message undelivered is essentially a message unbilled, meaning lost revenue for content providers and operators alike. SRE is the culmination of a massive R&D effort at Echovox, and takes a new, more qualitative approach to content aggregation.

“The results speak for themselves,” he continues. “In a highly undifferentiated industry, the Smart Retry Engine is well ahead of its competitors, thanks to its ability to enable much higher rates of successful message delivery, alongside the automatic regional legislative and regulatory compliance provided by ACE.  We have already had significant interest from existing customers and new prospects alike.”

Wandrille Pruvot, Marketing Director at Mediaplazza commented: “We chose Echovox to carry our international Premium SMS traffic earlier this year and the Smart Retry Engine has allowed us to provide a much higher percentage of delivered and billed messages for our customers. This unique feature combined with a first class and high availability infrastructure has significantly boosted our Premium SMS revenues compared with our previous provider.”

SRE is the latest solution in the Echovox portfolio to take advantage of its proprietary ICON™ (Inter-Carrier Open Network) infrastructure. Focused on premium mobile content delivery, ICON™ is the most sophisticated and reliable infrastructure in the mobile data market. It was built bottom-up to deliver Premium SMS and MMS content with extremely high-throughput and availability levels, and is already used by global groups such as Reuters, M6, RTL Group, Nestlé and Edipresse and most of the leading ringtones and wallpaper providers.

A new company is poised to make a big impact in the world of radio communications. Launched at the Mobitex Association (MA) Conference in New York, USA, Mobile Expertise Ltd is a UK company formed out of the sale of the Maxon radio business last December.

Mobile Expertise designs and manufactures RF radio communications devices and its product portfolio comprises PMR/TWR, Mobitex and data modems, and GSM/CDMA devices. It has a strong pan-European distribution base and offers an exceptional OEM capacity and solution based products.

Robert Johnson, Mobile Expertise Sales Director, said, ‘The MA Conference is the ideal event to launch our new company and a chance to demonstrate our commitment to the Mobitex community. We’ve set ourselves tough goals to achieve product excellence, superior service and value for money. By investing in research and development and post sales support, Mobile Expertise will design, manufacture and support its own new products and offer exceptional OEM capability.’

Mobile Expertise launched two new products at the MA Conference: the ME-D400, a 10 Watt Mobitex device targeted at vehicle use, and the ME-D200, a general purpose 5 Watt VHF/UHF ffsk/gmsk modem. These join the existing range of products from Mobile Expertise, which include GSM and CDMA handsets, GPRS modems and PMR/TWR devices.

Atchik and Realtime tie the knot

Atchik and Realtime today announce their merger, and the birth of a new  in mobile messaging services. The new entity, Atchik-Realtime, benefits from the complementary expertise of each of the companies, and paves the way for the creation of an unchallenged leader in the mobile services market.

Created in 1999, Atchik is a French company, which has established itself as an expert in the mobile applications sector. Atchik provides its white-label mobile services to telecom operators and Internet Service Providers, in 30 countries throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. This range of services consists of chat forums, dating, games, information, as well as photo and video applications, strengthened by state-of-the-art moderation and service management.
 
Also created in 1999, Realtime is a Danish company, specialising in mobile services and portals. As a provider of value-added mobile services, Realtime offers mobile operators, media groups and Internet Service Providers, white-label chat and dating services, Java games, content as well as turnkey portals. Such portals are available on WAP and SIM browsing, making a unique user-friendly solution. More than 100 million subscribers today have access to Realtime's services throughout Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

The two companies have a shared history. In 1999 their respective founders, at the time all working in Denmark, raised the idea to set up a company together. This project didn't bear fruit, and it was separately that over the last 6 years each of the companies established themselves, experiencing steady growth and development. Now, at a time when the global market of mobile services is consolidating, the two companies have decided through this merger to pool their respective expertise, and follow a joint growth strategy at an international level. This gives birth to a key player in the mobile messaging market:  Atchik-Realtime.

Backed by their historical investors: Innovacom, IRDI, SOCRI, FCPI-CIC Innovation for Atchik, and GemVentures and TDC Innovation for Realtime, the new entity has the financial strength and the necessary expertise to become a world leader.

"We welcome the merger of Atchik and Realtime, two companies with proven track records of high growth, with the strength to operate at an international level. The new Atchik-Realtime already has the required expertise to become a world leader: a proven & committed management team, experienced employees, and a portfolio of prestigious customers in over 50 countries" says Guan Hwang, Principal, Gemventures.

24 operators gang up on FMC product requirements

Fixed-Mobile Convergence takes centre stage with the announcement that 24 leading telecommunications operators are members of the Fixed-Mobile Convergence Alliance (FMCA).

New to the FMCA are France Telecom, Telecom Italia, eircom, TeliaSonera, TDC Mobile and Optus, with an additional member who will be formally announced in September. FMCA membership now represents approximately 500 million customers who are set to benefit from the development of Convergence services.

With the FMCA as the solid foundation for sharing Convergence learning and experiences, FMCA members have already begun to launch Convergence services.  BT launched the world's first seamless Convergence service - BT Fusion - in June 2005.  Korea Telecom's OnePhone service has attracted over 100,000 customers within months of its commercial launch.

As additional FMCA Members prepare to trial or launch Convergence services, they can rely on knowledge generated by the FMCA's six key Workstreams with input from well over 100 dedicated telecommunications professionals, in technical and commercial disciplines. The FMCA Workstreams are focused on Product Requirement Definitions, Handset Requirements, the strategic engagement of Standards Development  Organisations, Market Research, the development of Value Propositions, the Customer Experience and the identification of Emerging Applications in Convergence.

The FMCA's Handset Requirements Working Group continues to secure handset vendor commitment and is forecasting over 20 Convergence enabled dual mode Wi-Fi Cellular handsets due to be launched in 2006 by tier 1 handset vendors such as Motorola, Nokia and Samsung. 

The FMCA's Technical Working Group today publishes Release 1.0 of the FMCA Product Requirement Definitions. These are detailed technical papers centred on the key Convergence Technologies (Bluetooth CTP, Wi-Fi UMA and Wi-Fi SIP) that take the identified technical specifications to the level of detail required to produce a Convergence product.

"This substantial increase in FMCA membership, the support of the tier 1 handset vendors and the FMCA's cooperative delivery of its product requirements is driving the rapid transition of Convergence to the mainstream of telecoms", states Ryan Jarvis, Chairman of the FMCA and Chiefof Convergence Products at BT.  As part of the phased evolution of its Product Requirement Definitions, the FMCA has engaged with leading Standards Development and Certification
Organisations. Release 1.0 of the FMCA Product requirements Definitions reflects input from the Wi-Fi Alliance which has been actively focused on the certification of Convergence products.

The FMCA has also engaged with 3GPPTM and ETSI-TISPAN to align the FMCA Product Requirement Definitions with these organisations' standards and certification programmes. Release 2 of the FMCA's Product Requirement Definitions is scheduled for March 2006. It should be noted that the FMCA is not a Standards Development Organisation. Its focus is on the
productisation of Convergence technologies. The FMCA Product Requirement Definitions, Release 1.0, can be downloaded
from FMCA's website. (see link below)

External Links

FMCA

Andrew Corporation has expanded its Geometrix® mobile location system product line with the acquisition of certain assets of Nortel’s wireless location business.

Andrew intends to integrate Nortel’s mobile location products, services, and associated research and development resources into its Geometrix business, part of Andrew’s Network Solutions Group.  The transaction includes the hiring by Andrew of approximately 40 employees located at Nortel’s R&D center in Wollongong, Australia. The products of Nortel’s wireless location business that Andrew has acquired include serving mobile location center (SMLC), stand-alone SMLC, and gateway mobile location center (GMLC) systems, which process and calculate the position of mobile devices. 

Andrew will manufacture and market the mobile location center products worldwide to Nortel customers who use GSM (global system for mobile communications) and UMTS (universal mobile telecommunications system) wireless network technology.  Andrew also will provide warranty and maintenance support for Nortel’s installed base of SMLC and GMLC products. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Andrew’s Geometrix provides an extensive selection of mobile-locating technologies in one system, giving wireless operators unprecedented flexibility to offer services that meet the needs of their businesses and subscribers,” said Terry Garner, group president, Andrew Network Solutions.  “With the addition of Nortel’s employees and products, Geometrix is ideal for operators everywhere in the world who need a versatile, cost-effective way to introduce and support location-based services for a variety of applications.”

Convergent billing specialist, Cerillion Technologies, today announced it has signed a contract to provide a new mediation solution to support Manx Telecom’s launch of High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) technology.  At the same time, Manx Telecom will also benefit by upgrading to the latest version of the Cerillion CRM and billing solution.

The first phase of the project will see Cerillion Mediator used to support the rollout of new HSDPA services only.  Whilst in further phases this will be extended to provide fully convergent mediation for all fixed and mobile services.  By upgrading to the latest version of the Cerillion CRM Plus and Revenue Manager products, Manx Telecom will also benefit from many enhanced features including improvements in the areas of product packaging and marketing plans, and streamlined customer service capabilities.

Mike Dee, Director of Finance at Manx Telecom said: “Whilst planning the rollout of HSDPA services it was critical to prepare our back office systems for the launch. We have been using the Cerillion billing software with great success for several years now and by implementing their new mediation system we will have all the necessary tools in place. Cerillion provide us with a truly convergent solution for all our fixed and mobile services, and the upgrade of the core CRM and billing software will also help our marketing campaigns and enable us to provide an even better level of service to our customers.”

“With projects such as the first live UMTS network back in 2001, Manx Telecom have proven themselves a pioneer of the telecom industry”, commented Louis Hall, CEO of Cerillion Technologies. “We are excited to be involved in their rollout of HSDPA, underlining our commitment to supporting new technology and to the long-term relationship between Cerillion and Manx Telecom.”

Nokia and Austrian mobile operator mobilkom austria have signed an agreement for the delivery of a Push-to-Talk over Cellular (PoC) network solution. The deal includes the provision of PoC services, with Nokia to operate the PoC platform. The service is commercially available for mobilkom austria customers in Austria.
 

With push to talk, people can use their mobile phones like walkie-talkies, communicating with a selected group or with individuals at the push of a button. Both business and private users can benefit from this simple, direct communication. Push to talk is especially suited for cases where users need to communicate occasionally but repeatedly with the same group or individual.
 
"mobilkom austria is the innovation leader in Central and Southeast Europe. We introduced push to talk as it adds value for specific customer segments. We have selected Nokia as the partner for push to talk as it offers the strongest pre-OMA (Open Mobile Alliance) solution," said Dr. Boris Nemsic, CEO mobilkom austria and COO Wireless Telekom Austria.
 
"We are pleased that mobilkom austria group has selected Nokia as the provider of the push to talk service," said Henrik Sund, VP, Managed Services, Nokia Networks. "Nokia is transforming itself into a service-driven company and this agreement with hosting and operations of the PoC platform confirms that we are a strong partner in this field."

Kodiak Networks, the leading provider of advanced wireless voice systems, today announced a global handset licensing and marketing agreement with Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications. A series of GSM handsets will be powered with Kodiak Networks advanced wireless system technology, which enables a suite of premium, instant voice services applications, including push-to-talk (PTT).

The terms of the licensing agreement include joint marketing and distribution of handsets with the Kodiak client software to multiple wireless operators throughout the world. The Kodiak handset client offers customers innovative applications including Kodiak Instant Calling™ – PTT, Kodiak Instant Availability™ – real-time presence updates, Kodiak Voice Bridge™ – instant group conferencing and Kodiak Voice Notes™ – instant voice messaging.

“With the Sony Ericsson licensing and marketing agreement, Kodiak continues to gain momentum with the major handset vendors in the industry,” said John Jackson, senior analyst for Yankee Group. “Kodiak’s flexible implementation gives GSM and CDMA carriers rapid access to a large and increasing range of PTT-enabled devices, therefore providing end users with a wide variety of handset choices.”

“We look forward to working with Sony Ericsson to expand global distribution of Kodiak-enabled devices to wireless operators around the world,” said Timothy Hall, vice president of strategic alliances, Kodiak Networks. “The market for GSM handsets with differentiated features continues to grow at a rapid pace. We believe this partnership will help meet this demand while introducing an expanded set of advanced wireless applications to new groups of business professionals and consumers.”

Ericsson has been awarded a contract by Belgian operator BASE for the upgrade of the existing radio access network with EDGE technology. The contract has a total value of about USD 37 million (SEK 280 million) and will provide nationwide coverage by summer 2006.

Ericsson will be the sole supplier for a nationwide upgrade of BASE Mobile GSM network with EDGE technology.

Under the agreement, Ericsson will deliver all hardware, software and related services, such as implementation, project management, support, testing and training (turnkey project).

Jef Keustermans, President of Ericsson Market Unit Northern Europe, says "We are pleased that BASE has chosen Ericsson for its EDGE upgrade. This technology will support BASE in building a firm position on the mobile data services market in Belgium".

Thorsten Dirks, Head of ICT at BASE, says: "With our decision for EDGE we can add extra capacity to data communications, allowing our customers seamless access to new, highly advanced broadband services throughout the country."

The contract will mean that BASE can offer national coverage from day one. BASE had announced earlier this year that it would implement EDGE as part of a portfolio of services towards the Belgian end-user.

The regional network operator, developer of the UK's largest WiMAX-class broadband network, appoints new Board members

Telabria, the award-winning UK regional network operator, has secured a first round of funding in excess of £1m ($1.8m) from private and institutional sources.  The funding will be used to develop the company's WiMAX-class wireless broadband network
delivering data and voice services to residential and business customers in South East England.  "Telabria has a rapid growth plan," said Charles Blount, Chief Financial Officer.  "This round will allow us to expand our wireless network services and develop our products to meet increasing demand."  The company plans to raise further funds in the coming months.

An early member of the WiMAX Forum, an industry body promoting wireless broadband technology, Telabria announced plans in November 2004 to deploy wide area WiMAX-based networks to provide business-class wireless broadband
services for data and voice. Since that time, Telabria has been constructing a high-capacity backbone of fiber and licensed band microwave links that currently encompasses over 1,300 square kilometers, making it one of the largest WiMAX-class network deployments in Europe. Telabria also
develops and manufactures wireless mesh radio equipment for metropolitan Wi-Fi networks, and public transportation applications providing Wi-Fi access over cellular 3G networks.

One of the participants in Telabria's initial round is Faroese Telecom (FT), the national carrier of the Faroe Islands.  FT delivers nationwide fixed and mobile GRPS/EDGE telephony and DSL broadband services, as well as digital terrestrial television (DTT).  More recently, FT acquired a national 3.5GHz
spectrum for delivery of WiMAX-class wireless broadband services.  "Our investment in Telabria reflects our belief that WiMAX has a significant role to play in the future of telecommunications," said Trondur Djurhuus, VP & Chief Development Officer of Faroese Telecom.  "We believe Telabria is very well positioned to take full advantage of WiMAX in deploying next-generation broadband services in the UK and we look forward to working with the company closely to make it a success."

As a result of the investment round, the company has appointed Trondur Djurhuus and Hans Christian Iversen to the Board; Mr. Iversen is a partner at Roland Berger, the  London-based strategy consultants, with considerable
experience in large-scale telecom, technology and media company management.

MyJotter launches speech to text serviec

UK based telecoms messaging specialist MyJotter.com today announced the launch of its new voice-to-text solution.  The service, available now to UK mobile users, enables callers to dictate voicemail messages which are then transcribed to text by a team of professional audio typists and sent to the destination of the caller’s choice - either via SMS or email - 24 hours per day.

“In a few moments MyJotter literally turns talk into text,” confirms David Cosserat, CEO, MyJotter.  “This is invaluable if you need to write a note or draft a document, for example between meetings, while in an airport, or when driving.”

Callers use a dedicated MyJotter premium rate telephone number to relay anything from a short memo to a full sales call report.  Transcribed text can then either be sent to a colleague or friend or back to the caller’s own email address for further editing later. 

“One of the great benefits of the service is that is allows people to make use of down-time so cost effectively,” continues Cosserat.  “It takes very little time to leave a voicemail and so a message that takes 10 seconds to dictate would cost just 17p – not to mention the time saved typing!”

Registration to the service is easy and free on www.myjotter.com.   In addition, the website allows users to import colleagues’ and friends’ email and phone details so messages can be sent to a chosen recipient by simply stating the contact’s name and delivery method (SMS or email) at the start of the voicemail.  By default, if recipient details are not supplied, the transcribed text will be emailed to the caller’s own email address.

In addition to the UK premium rate billing model MyJotter offers per-transcribed-word monthly billing to corporates based in the UK, US and Canada.  MyJotter plans to introduce further, pre-paid account facilities later this year that will then be progressively rolled out to additional countries around the world.

“Although the concept of voice-to-text is not new,” concludes Cosserat, “we believe the take-up for mainstream use of such a service will be substantial.  In a world when every second is becoming more precious, to be able take advantage of down-time in such an effective way is a particularly compelling proposition.”

To try MyJotter’s voice-to-text messaging service click the link below.

External Links

MyJotter

DA Group (DA), developer of character content for web and mobile, has struck a deal with Momentum, a Scandinavian-based content provider that operates through an extensive network of retailers across most European countries under their HOOHA brand.

The HOOHA brand and powerful retail distribution network will sell DA’s full range of Yomego video downloads, wallpapers and messaging solutions directly to the consumer.

The deal for DA’s rich emotive content follows a string of new contracts with content companies in the UK, Europe, the Far East and Australia, including Jamster, PNC, UK and Response Media.

Mike Antliff, CEO of DA Group plc, said,

“I am hugely encouraged by the number of new contracts for Yomego we are currently winning. The quality of our character content is having an impact on all the content providers we meet and gives them something very distinctive in their own portfolios.

“For us, however, the real endorsement is the number of companies wanting to promote Yomego and use it within their own marketing campaigns. This will help drive usage as well as ensure that our brand gets very positive exposure.”

As the Barclays Premiership kicks off this weekend, 3 has announced over 270,000 registrations for its football service including video highlights, text alerts, club news and video goal alerts.

Gareth Jones, 3’s COO commented: “3 leads the market with the most innovative and entertaining services on mobile and 3’s football offering is no exception. 270,000 fans have already signed up for our football alerts in time for the new season, that’s 3 times the capacity of the new Wembley Stadium.”

3 offers fans the very best of football on mobile with manager interviews, video previews and analysis, UEFA Champions League highlights and content from Soccer AM, Sky Sports and Football 365.

Every Saturday throughout the Barclays Premiership season, 3’s customers can watch video highlights of all the afternoon’s matches at 5:15, with all other matches available just five minutes after the whistle. On 3, you can even sign-up for club news and score alerts sent straight to your inbox.

At peak times last season, more fans were following football on 3 than walking through the turnstiles at Premiership clubs.

New name for merged CSA Wireless and MAT-Jaybeam

Following the acquisition of CSA Wireless by MAT-Jaybeam in April 2005 and the creation of a major market share leader in the design and production of base station antennas for the wireless industry, MAT-Jaybeam and CSA Wireless today announced the new name for the combined Company - JAYBEAM Wireless.

JAYBEAM Wireless will continue to focus fully on the antenna market, making it one of the largest antenna focused companies in the world. Jaybeam Wireless has a full product line of Base station (mobile wireless), Repeater, Omni, Yagi, Log periodic, PMR, Tetra, Marine, WLAN, In-building and HF antennas via the merged companies.

Jim Hartman, CEO, JAYBEAM Wireless, said “With the new JAYBEAM Wireless name and organisation in place, we look forward to providing our customers with an improved product
offering, customer service and flexibility, that will allow us to meet and exceed the requirements of an increasingly competitive market place. Our mission is to provide technically superior wireless antennas with the industries’ shortest lead times, the best customer service and the most competitive prices for our established, new and future customers. With the combined strengths of our merged companies and five locations around the world, we are in a substantially stronger position to better serve our customers and compete in this marketplace.”

JAYBEAM Wireless designs and supplies Cellular Base Station antennas for Network Operators world-wide from single to multiband antennas for 800 to 2100MHz, with Remote Electrical Tilt and Manual Adjustable Tilt solutions, together with low visual solutions and Microcell products.

In addition, JAYBEAM Wireless also supplies Tetra and PMR Base Station and Mobile Antennas, SHF and Radio Access Antennas, Marine Antennas and Military products including HF & MF antennas and portable Tactical Masts. JAYBEAM Wireless has operations in Amboise, France, Rochester and  Wellingborough, UK and Hickory, NC, USA, serving the European, African, Middle and Far East and the Americas
wireless infrastructure markets.

In addition, the company has an operation located in Sterling, Virginia, USA that provides HF antennas to the military market in the Americas. This location will continue to operate as C & S
Antennas serving the military communications marketplace.
The origins of the Company began in the 1940’s with Jaybeam and CSA Wireless producing broadcast and military antennas. MAT Equipment origins began in the 1970’s with Marine and
PMR antennas. MAT-Jaybeam was formed with the acquisition of MAT-Equipment in 1987 and Jaybeam Ltd. in 1991. In the 1980’s all of the companies moved into the wireless mobility
antenna market, using the heritage of demanding military applications to develop a reputation for excellent field reliability.