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u-blox, the Swiss provider of GPS technology, today announced the launch of a miniature GPS module designed for high volume, mass-market applications that require fast, accurate positioning at a low cost.

The NEO-5Q is said to be a versatile, stand-alone GPS module that combines an extensive array of features with flexible connectivity options in a miniature 12 x 16 x 2.4 mm package. Its ROM-based architecture does not require a costly external Flash EPROM, making the NEO-5Q ideal for high-volume consumer products with strict cost and size constraints.

Based on u-blox' fifth generation positioning engine, u-blox 5, the module boasts an acquisition performance of one second and an engine with 50 channels and over one million correlators capable of simultaneously tracking GPS and GALILEO signals.

"The NEO-5Q' compact and versatile architecture was specifically designed to fit the stringent requirements of handheld applications," said Thomas Seiler, u-blox CEO. "It brings all the benefits of the u-blox 5 positioning engine to our smallest form factor, offering customers high performance at low cost, a dream combination for compact, battery-operated products," added Mr. Seiler.

The NEO-5Q GPS module features u-blox' new KickStart ultra-fast weak signal acquisition technology that boosts acquisition performance, ensuring fast positioning regardless of signal positions and antenna size.

"To keep product sizes small, consumer device manufacturers strive to integrate compact components, including the antenna. Small antennas, in turn, often result in deteriorated GPS performance, causing the slow, inaccurate positioning typical of many handheld consumer products operating in difficult signal environments such as busy urban areas. The NEO-5Q with KickStart enables device manufacturers to keep product sizes small without compromising on GPS performance," explains Thomas Nigg, Vice President Product Marketing at u-blox.

The module's Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) enables an external serial E2PROM to store unlimited start-up configuration settings, providing an innovative alternative to the traditional boot-time configuration pins. Additionally, the module's ease of integration enables fast times-to-market for a wide range of consumer and industrial applications.

Private Mobile Networks, the UK provider of private GSM network technology, today announced that Kemira Water has successfully integrated a private mobile network with its SCADA (Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition) control system at its Bradford facility.  The solution ensures rapid notification of plant alarm conditions to appropriate onsite staff, irrespective of their location, via a text message to their mobile phone.

Since the private network does not carry public traffic, messages are delivered virtually instantaneously.  Furthermore, there are no charges, either for text messages or for internal phone calls between staff using standard mobile phones.  Dave Goult, Operations Manager commented, "PMN came and gave us an impressive demonstration of their capabilities onsite.  Although we had some initial teething problems, these were ironed out.  The solution has delivered on its promise and allowed us to achieve our goal."

Kemira Water operates four production lines at its Bradford facility, manufacturing polymers used in municipal and industrial water treatment processes.  The production lines are, essentially, fully automated and run by a SCADA (Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition) industrial control system.  The system raises various alarm states should operator intervention be required.  In the event of a serious issue occurring, the control system is quite capable of shutting down a production line automatically.

As the production lines look after themselves most of the time, the company sought a more flexible approach to deploying the staff responsible for responding to any alarm states, freeing them from the confines of the control room to carry out other duties on-site. Naturally, health and safety issues are paramount and any solution had to conform to stringent requirements.

Kemira Bradford's Operations Manager, Dave Goult, had previously investigated using their existing mobile network operator to carry the text messages.  However, this proved expensive, at up to £800 per month, and the sometimes long delay between an alarm being raised by the control system and being received by personnel on the mobile meant the solution was initially deemed unacceptable.

A private mobile network was installed with sufficient BTS (base transceiver station) units to provide full coverage of the site.  The PMN solution integrates with the SCADA control system to receive and transmit text messages via SMS and with the company's normal telephone system, enabling external calls to be made from a mobile phone at the company's landline tariff when on site.  Staff are required to reply to alarm messages within a defined time period, otherwise the alarm notification is cascaded down a predefined list of staff until a response is received.

Motorola has announced that its WiMAX WAP 25400 base station has achieved the WiMAX Forum Certified seal of approval by passing required interoperability and conformance tests as outlined by the WiMAX Forum. The achievement, announced by the WiMAX Forum at its Global Congress event in Amsterdam, places Motorola among the first companies to have its 2.5GHz WiMAX products earn this new stamp of approval for completing tests necessary to insure operational and feature compliance for 2.5 GHz certification.

Through its certification program, the WiMAX Forum provides operators with the assurance the products that have passed rigorous testing will have the ability to interoperate with other vendors' WiMAX access points and devices that have passed the same certification process. This is an important step by the WiMAX Forum toward enhancing the ecosystem and advancing the widespread adoption of the WiMAX 802.16e standard around the world.

"Motorola was one of the early advocates for WiMAX 802.16e because we knew the technology has the bandwidth to cost effectively deliver the multimedia experiences people want, when, where and how they want it, at a fraction of the cost of 3G technologies," said Fred Wright, senior vice president, cellular networks and WiMAX, Motorola Home & Networks Mobility. "Today, we have a leadership position in the number of contracts for commercial systems worldwide and in being among the first to have an access point for 2.5 GHz designated as WiMAX Forum Certified."

"The WiMAX Forum would like to thank Motorola and the other member companies that have worked so hard to achieve today's milestone and enabling the Forum to continue to reach critical objectives with the ongoing certification of Mobile WiMAX equipment," said Ron Resnick, president of the WiMAX Forum, during a press conference at the WiMAX Forum Global Congress in Amsterdam. "Motorola has played an important role in WiMAX Forum's success of driving market momentum by enabling us to move closer to delivering on our plan to certify more than 100 Mobile WiMAX products in 2008. Our six independent WiMAX Forum certification labs are on now online to manage the anticipated increase of products to be submitted for certification."

Motorola's WiMAX WAP 25400 with the WMX2.5 software was certified at the WiMAX Forum's certification testing laboratory, AT4 wireless, in Malaga, Spain. The WiMAX WAP 25400 is among a portfolio of access points and devices designed by Motorola to meet a variety of operators' needs for fixed, nomadic and full mobility WiMAX service.

Juniper Research has forecast that 41.5bn mobile financial service transactions will be made by the end of 2011.  According to Juniper, the key drivers for these transactions will be the high speed of adoption by consumers of new mobile finance facilities - particularly those currently without access to any form of banking.  Bespoke payment applications for remittance purposes will also be popular but issues around legislation must still be overcome.

The new study reports that the desire from all sections of the MFS (Mobile Financial Services) ecosystem to deliver intelligent applications and services has created an atmosphere that is both creative and pragmatic. It also found that there is a strong desire from the MFS sector for cooperation in order to create non silo services that work together.

The Great Unbanked

The new research identified two exciting sectors:
-    The millions of mobile phone users in developing countries who do not currently hold bank accounts or credit cards and would like access to accessible banking services at the right price.
-    The millions of mobile phone users in developed countries who cannot currently access financial services due to age i.e. 13-18 year olds.

Legislation issues
The report forecasts that in-between 2007 and 2011, we will see an additional 517m global mobile phone users of MFS, although the report does warn that a number of issues still need to be overcome.  One issue particularly for new entrants is that of legislation.

Most developed world economies have strict rules and regulation governing the financial industry, to protect both the consumer and the retailer.  It can be a costly exercise, in both time and money, to design and implement an alternative MFS payment scheme that adheres to such regulation, particularly the case with mobile fund transfers and remittances potentially offering an easy route to money laundering around the world.

Other key report findings are said to  include:
-    612m mobile phone users generating over $587bn worth of financial transactions by 2011
-    Annual global mobile banking transactions will rise from 2.7bn in 2007 to 37bn by 2011
-    The Far East & China region forecast to embrace mobile finance the most, with over 250m total mobile phone users to use MFS by 2011

Juniper Research illustrates the current and near-future status of the mobile financial services market with market forecasts, interviews, case studies and analysis from representatives of some of the leading organisations in the burgeoning mobile financial services industry.

Telcordia, a specialist in the development of IP, wireline and mobile telecommunication software and services, and Gantek Technologies, a provider of information and communication technologies in Turkey and the surrounding region, have announced that the Telcordia Number Portability Clearinghouse and Telcordia Number Management System have been selected by Avea and Vodafone to facilitate number porting in Turkey. Number portability ordinance is in effect in Turkey, and the selection of Telcordia and Gantek to provide number portability will enable service providers in the region to turn a regulatory requirement into a fair and competitive environment.

In early 2007, Turkey announced plans to implement number portability for the country's service providers. Avea and Vodafone issued a request for proposal (RFP) and selected Gantek, which leverages the Telcordia Number Portability Clearinghouse and Telcordia Number Management System as the main application software. Avea and Vodafone then donated the solution to Turkey's telecommunications regulator to expedite the rollout of number portability in the region. The Gantek-Telcordia team was selected based on Gantek's in-depth experience in the telecommunications sector and Telcordia's proven number portability implementations expertise, customer base and readiness to offer a comprehensive number portability central database solution. It was also critical that the team be able to meet and adapt to Turkey's unique needs and market conditions, which included the ability to complete system implementation and testing in just 120 days, which has already been accomplished.

"We understand the local culture and unique operating environment in Turkey," said Selda Bagdat Bahadir, General Manager, Gantek. "Matching our expertise with Telcordia, which has the deepest and broadest knowledge base in communications, is a winning combination that will ensure a smooth number portability implementation within the pre-defined timeframe."

Avea and Vodafone's selection highlight the strength of the Telcordia and Gantek relationship, which was created to benefit Turkey's regulator and service providers by providing convenient, local access to Telcordia's number portability solutions.

"Service providers worldwide recognize Telcordia's ability to help them use numbering and interconnection to evolve their businesses in an increasingly competitive market," said Richard Jacowleff, President, Interconnection Solutions, Telcordia. "Having the right partner is one of the most critical factors to success. Gantek understands service providers' business, anticipates and addresses their needs and, like Telcordia, has the technical expertise necessary to execute complicated deployments quickly and correctly. With the addition of this selection in Turkey, Telcordia number portability solutions have now been selected by 12 countries, serving more than 600 million subscribers, reinforcing our position as the worldwide leader in number portability."

Agilent Technologies has announced that Sequans, a provider of Mobile WiMAX silicon and reference designs, has awarded Agilent a contract for Mobile WiMAX Protocol Conformance Test (PCT). Sequans will use Agilent's N6430A Mobile WiMAX PCT system to perform pre-certification testing on its mobile station and base station reference designs.
    
"To be selected by Sequans is a great endorsement of Agilent's N6430A PCT system," said C. J. Meurell, European Operations general manager of Agilent's WiMAX and WLAN one-box-tester products.
    
Agilent's N6430A PCT solution delivers a comprehensive suite of test solutions for 802.16-2004/Cor2 D3/802.16e-2005 Mobile WiMAX PCT and development testing, from a scripting interface to a fully functional radio bearer based on the Agilent E6651A platform. The N6430A supports a significant and growing number of validated WiMAX PCT test cases. The Agilent E6651A portfolio of solutions supports multiple R&D testing needs in addition to PCT, including base-station emulation, RF parametric measurements and Radiated Performance Testing.
    
Sequans is a leading supplier of chipsets for the Mobile WiMAX IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard, as well as for the fixed WiMAX IEEE 802.16-2004 standard. Sequans' Mobile WiMAX mobile station chip, the SQN1130 Wave 2-ready MIMO chip, delivers more than 30 Mbps throughput while drawing less than 280 mW of power. Its Mobile WiMAX base station chip, the SQN2130, can be used to build any size base station -- femto, pico, micro or multisector macro, due to its high-throughput, yet low-cost design.
    
"Selecting Agilent's N6430A PCT system was an easy choice for us," said Bernard Aboussouan, Sequans vice president of Marketing & Business Development. "The Agilent system is the most flexible and comprehensive WiMAX PCT test solution available today."

Despite the fact that no LTE (Long Term Evolution) network is expected to be commercial before 2010, a new study from ABI Research forecasts that by 2013, there will be more than 32 million subscribers using LTE networks. Three of the largest mobile operators - China Mobile, Vodafone and Verizon Wireless - have announced plans to adopt LTE.

Asia-Pacific countries will account for the largest regional share. "ABI Research anticipates about 12 million Asia-Pacific LTE network subscribers in 2013, " says senior analyst Nadine Manjaro. "The remainder will be split about 60-40% between Western Europe and North America."

LTE commitments from NTT DoCoMo and KDDI in Japan will further boost adoption.

The long wait for the Chinese government to issue 3G licenses may become a factor driving LTE in that country: "It wouldn't surprise me to see some operators skip over 3G and go straight to LTE," says Manjaro. "Although China's own TD-SCDMA 3G technology will be deployed on a small scale during the Olympics, I can't see operators spending billions to implement that or any other 3G technology if they will just have to upgrade within a year or two."

Since LTE deployment involves new hardware and software, a number of industry sectors stand to benefit. Before 2010, it will be vendors of the test equipment used to ensure network interoperability and performance. Next will come vendors of the required network infrastructure equipment itself.

Finally, it will be device manufacturers. Because LTE is primarily about data, not voice, its first phase will see devices such as USB dongles for computers: ABI Research estimates 53 million to ship by 2013. Because LTE will compete directly with cable and DSL services, in-home modems will also see volume shipments, as will Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and Ultra-Mobile PCs (UMPCs). Manjaro calls the device market "a huge opportunity."

Conmio, a provider of software solutions for mobile content services, has today announced that it is working with Finland's 'fastest growing' mobile operator DNA to provide mobile Internet services for DNA's subscribers. Delivered jointly by Conmio and TietoEnator, the dna Tasku service is built on Conmio ManaGate, a content management and publishing solution that automates mobile publishing of media content.

dna Tasku provides for DNA subscribers a context aware mobile Internet service, which the user can easily personalize according to their liking. The service is usable by all Internet enabled mobile phones.

Available at wap.dnafinland.fi, dna Tasku offers users rich mobile content such as music, images and news. Conmio ManaGate matches and optimizes the content to suit every mobile device. ManaGate is designed to integrate with all editorial, publishing and business systems and applications, weaving the mobile channel into existing business processes. No software tailoring is required. In addition, users are able to personalize the service according to their own needs by selecting what content they wish to view and use.

"We wanted to build a system that is both a platform and device independent as well as easy to use, and would fit seamlessly with our existing technologies. Not forgetting, for example, the capabilities to foster new business by supporting mobile advertising. Our customers have long been asking for a mobile web service, and we wanted to provide them a solution that is based on their and not the technology's needs. Therefore Conmio's ManaGate was the best solution for us," said Ms Heidi Lagerström, Product Manager, Value-added Services, DNA.

"The mobile Internet is now a reality, and the competition for users is heating up. Speed and ease of use are the key. Content must be easily deliverable to any mobile device and users must be able to access it and personalize it without difficulty to ensure a smooth, personal user experience," commented Mr Tero Hämäläinen, CEO, Conmio.

"The mobile Internet and mobile advertising are important strategic areas for TietoEnator's Digital Media business. We focus on new solutions and services in this area, and it is important for us to find the right solutions and to collaborate with innovative partners," said Mr Hannu Arvelo, Director, Digital Media, TietoEnator.

New research from Tariff Consultancy is said to reveal that mobile operators' calling plans increase in "super size" and "unlimited" bundles of texts and minutes. Operators are trying to steer away from prepaid putting the emphasis on 30-day contracts and automatic top ups driving price competition. By comparison so far data plan bundling has been more limited and present the new battleground for mobile operators looking for growth.

In a report entitled Mobile Pricing Trends and Service Innovation published by Tariff Consultancy, the market for prepaid, postpaid and so-called hybrid contracts are evaluated from mobile operators across the globe.

The report offers detailed pricing adopted by mobile operators in both emerging and developed markets for new services such as Messaging, Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM), Mobile TV, Mobile Music, Mobile Gaming and more.

Bundling and flat rate data services are gaining ground. The trend towards inclusive and unlimited offers is becoming unstoppable. The bundles of minutes and texts are becoming larger, with Italian operator Wind offering 4,000 on-net texts a month for a Euro 2 per month fee. In the UK T-Mobile's SIM-Only Solo price plans offers up to 500 texts and 1,800 voice minutes to all networks for a 35 GBP(purchased online)  per month fee.

"Mobile operators are increasingly using all inclusive flat rate deals to attract users onto a form of contract," says Margrit Sessions, Managing Director of Tariff Consultancy Ltd. "The bundling of core minutes and texts is starting to reach its limit, so providers will have to resort to other means to differentiate their service and gain new customers".

There is also evidence that mobile operators are becoming more selective in how they position their services. Operators moving towards community pricing and plans such as SingTel's RedPAC (Parent And Child) offering allows minutes to be pooled among family members.

Fixed line and mobile providers are starting to integrate their services. Starhub in Singapore offers its Cable TV gaming service over the mobile so that those users can seamlessly transfer their online gaming experience from PC to the mobile at any time.

In new markets such as CEE and Russia, 3G providers are discovering that once a flat rate tariff structure for data is adopted - even at the equivalent of USD 100 per month - there is a ready market for Mobile Broadband, among users who use VoIP and who are underserved by existing fixed networks.

Although mobile operators are increasingly promoting flat rate data services worldwide, in reality there is usually a defined data allowance which when exceeded results in a high per MB charge rate. The can mislead consumers about how much they will really be charged in practice. Given consumers uncertainty about the real cost and need of these flat rate tariff plans operators are revising their pricing strategies and are offering a cut-price daily or per hour usage rate to stimulate user adoption.

"We believe that the next stage in mobile operator evolution will be those who are able to make Mobile Broadband a convenient, available and easy-to-use service", says Margrit Sessions. "This time around mobile operators have the opportunity to provide a varied service portfolio which is geared to the user needs of individual groups, rather than provide pure price discounting".  

Telekom Austria Group's mobile subsidiary, mobilkom austria, has presented its 'comprehensive' mobile TV portfolio, A1 TV PLUS, which combines UMTS streaming with DVB-H technology. It follows the launch of Austria's DVB-H network a week ago after mobilkom austria signed a cooperation agreement with Media Broadcast, the owner of the DVB-H licence in Austria.

Starting from June 13, 2008 a comprehensive portfolio of mobile TV services will be commercially available jointly with the DVB-H capable mobile handset Nokia N77. It will encompass 22 TV channels, 15 via DVB-H and 7 via UMTS streaming, as well as 5 radio channels. The mobile handset Nokia N77 will cost EUR 49 including the subscription to the "A1 Komplett" mobile package. Those customers who acquire this handset by August 14, 2008 will be able to enjoy the new DVB-H mobile TV channels free of charge until year-end 2008. Starting from August 15, 2008 A1 TV PLUS will be available for EUR 9 per month. Some of the DVB-H mobile TV channels can also be viewed outside the DVB-H coverage area via UMTS-streaming.

Moreover, A1 customers can also enjoy mobile TV on the basis of the LG HB620 UMTS mobile phone via the DVB-T technology. This mobile TV service encompasses 6 channels and is free of charge. The handset is also equipped with a 2 Mega-pixel camera and costs EUR 99 including the "A1 Komplett" package. With the Huawei E510 HSPA modem, this mobile TV offering can also be viewed on Laptops and PCs.

Hannes Ametsreiter, CMO Telekom Austria AG and mobilkom austria said: "Our customers can now choose between a wide range of mobile TV offerings based on different technologies, comprising a free-of-charge DVB-T basic package with 6 channels, which can be viewed also on PCs and laptops via a HSPA modem, and a full mobile TV offering with 22 TV channels and 5 radio programs via a combination of DVB-H and UMTS streaming for a very attractive price. For our customers it is not the underlying technology of significant importance but the price, the number of channels available and the mobile handset supporting mobile TV services. Thus, we have succeeded in creating a transparent mobile TV portfolio by providing each target group with an adequate offering tailored-made to their different needs."

NXP Semiconductors, the independent semiconductor company founded by Philips, today announced the 'world's fastest' high-bandwidth cellular soft modem - Nexperia Cellular System Solution PNX6910. Powered by NXP's Embedded Vector Processor (EVP), a 'powerful Digital Signal Processing core', the PNX6910 is claimed to be capable of achieving data transfer rates of 150 Mbits downlink and 50 Mbits uplink, and supports multi-mode LTE/HSPA/UMTS/EDGE/GPRS/GSM capability.

Consumers will benefit from an enhanced user experience as next-generation mobile devices deliver ultra-fast Internet browsing, streaming video services, multi-player gaming and even full length HD films. In fact, NXP's Nexperia Cellular System Solution PNX6910 is capable of downloading an entire HD movie in less than 7 minutes - over twenty times faster than today's HSPA Cat 8 devices at 7.2 Mbs. The PNX6910 is also optimized for a wide range of consumer electronics beyond mobile phones, bringing broadband connectivity to digital still and video cameras, next generation laptops, Internet tablets and ultra-mobile PCs.

"Multimedia content sharing and Web 2.0 services will be the drivers for next-generation handsets and a new breed of connected consumer electronics," according to Dan Rabinovitsj, senior VP & GM of cellular business at NXP Semiconductors. "The PNX6910 will provide consumers with the data services and experiences they are used to from the Internet, while they are on-the-go."

NXP has selected the first implementation of a multi-mode baseband processor to address the LTE market, which is expected to gain rapid acceptance due to its wide support in the mobile industry and the ubiquity of GSM standards worldwide. "The PNX6910 will enable OEMs to develop their next-generation products quickly during the critical ramp-up phase of the technology, enabling faster time-to-market and better performance," remarked Rabinovitsj.

The PNX6910 will allow cellular phone and Consumer Electronics manufacturers to participate in the LTE market from the very start, with a reference design that can connect a wide variety of handheld products via cellular services to the internet. The soft modem approach reduces chip design effort by 1.5 to 2 years due to parallel design phases. This approach incorporates multi-mode functionality on a single RF chip and a single baseband chip, which will help device manufacturers deliver ultra-small form-factors capable of very high speeds. Meanwhile, power efficiency is assured through the use of advanced system architectures and process technologies beating the historical power curve prediction.

LTE represents the exciting future of next-generation broadband mobility for consumers, building on the success story of GSM - widely deployed all over the world. The PNX6910's software programmable vector processor enables multi-mode capability and supports the entire GSM family of standards, including LTE TDD for China, which paves the way for truly global roaming.

Nexperia Cellular System Solution PNX6910 will be available to early access customers in the second quarter of 2009.

Nokia has announced the launch of the Nokia Advertising Alliance, which, it's claimed, will simplify mobile advertising for brand advertisers. 

According to Nokia, the program brings together leading mobile marketing solutions, including couponing, location-based targeting, image recognition, and other emerging technologies, to offer advertisers a simple way to increase consumer engagement.Brands can work with Nokia to combine the reach of mobile advertising on the Nokia Media Network with the latest mobile technologies for more effective campaigns.

"Mobile is maturing into an effective advertising medium, however, the fragmentation of certain technologies makes it hard for some programs to scale," said Brian Bos, Senior Vice President, Convergence Director at MindShare-Team Detroit.  "We applaud Nokia's efforts to streamline this evolving market and make it easier to manage our clients' mobile advertising investment."

"To realise truly integrated advertising, it's imperative that major brands can make use of a range of mobile services.  The Advertising Alliance brings together the most innovative technologies in the market, and brings trust to brands who want to use them," said Scott Heron, Director of Digital Services at Wunderman.

Members of the Alliance are integrated with the Nokia Media Network allowing brands to plan, execute and measure mobile advertising campaigns through a single Nokia interface. A range of companies have been initially certified as Members of the Alliance, including i-movo, Mobile Acuity, Mobiqa, and uLocate, with many additional members in testing.  Leading brands from the automotive to entertainment industries have built campaigns using the Nokia Advertising Alliance.

"Succeeding in mobile requires much more than a banner ad alone. Brands have the opportunity to deliver immersive, highly engaging experiences to consumers.  The Alliance gives brands access to a range of novel mobile ad experiences from one trusted vendor," said Mike Baker, VP and Head of Nokia Interactive Advertising.

Nokia Interactive Advertising includes:

- The Nokia Media Network which gives reach to millions of mobile consumers through advertising on more than 100 blue-chip mobile publishers, operator partners and Nokia properties.
- Nokia Interactive Solutions that creates end-to-end, high performance mobile campaigns for brands from banner ads, mobile internet sites and location finders to mobile coupons, click-to-call and other advanced mobile mechanics.

Symbian, the specialist in open operating systems for mobile phones, has signed a licensing agreement with Scalado for its mobile imaging software affording Symbian OS 'state of the art' image handling capabilities.

Scalado's solution for Symbian OS will 'significantly improve' Symbian's imaging performance for higher megapixel images. It will deliver faster rendering, scaling and rotation and superior image editing features - with the added benefit of reduced memory consumption. Importantly, Scalado's patented Random Access JPEG technology allows imaging operations to occur while the image is in compressed form, greatly reducing RAM consumption.

Retroactive to Symbian OS v9.3 and v9.4, the three year licence ensures benefits for end-users and handset manufacturers alike and is free of any additional royalties. End users will enjoy higher usability while handset manufacturers will see a cut in hardware costs. Under the terms of the deal, Symbian and Scalado will create a joint team of highly skilled imaging and camera engineers to enhance and extend Symbian's camera and imaging offering.

Mats Jacobson, CEO of Scalado, commented; "Consumers today expect mobile phone cameras to perform just as well as digital still cameras. Building on our existing long and fruitful partnership, this new initiative sees Symbian and Scalado working together to ensure that the leading mobile OS will deliver the beauty of high quality and high speed image handling with full connectivity and sharing options to consumers."

Jørgen Behrens, Executive Vice-President, Marketing, Symbian, commented; "This licensing agreement will benefit both handset vendors and end-users - reducing cost and memory consumption in handset development and offering advanced image handling capabilities in high megapixel camera devices to end-users. It's another great demonstration of our commitment to offering the best mobile technology possible in Symbian OS and to helping the mobile industry succeed."

Germany's Mobile 3.0 is offering high-quality broadcasts of television and radio channels to users on the move, having launched a test service based on a mobile television solution from Nokia Siemens Networks.

The service, initially available in four German cities - Hamburg, Hanover, Frankfurt and Munich - includes nine TV channels (ARD, ZDF, Deutschland 24, RTL, VOX, SAT 1, Pro 7, N-TV and N24) and three radio stations (bigMUSIC, MyFun Radio, and 90elf). It will help gather information on actual demand, expected consumption patterns, coverage and reception conditions in order to fine-tune the broadcasts and identify commercial services to be launched in the future, once Mobile 3.0 receives all the remaining licenses.

During the test, Nokia Siemens Networks is fully hosting, operating and integrating its mobile TV solution, which is based on the Digital Video Broadcasting for Handheld (DVB-H) standard. The platform processes the content and provides the data stream to the broadcast network operator, while Nokia is supplying end-user terminals.

"Mobile TV in DVB-H standard is becoming reality in Germany," said Dr. Rudi Gröger, President of Mobile 3.0. "With the Nokia Siemens Networks complete solution and their services we have been able to launch this service in a very short time."

To achieve optimum results, Nokia Siemens Networks has been working closely with Mobile 3.0 to meet various challenges - in connectivity, efficiency, quality assurance and revenue generation. The DVB-H solution includes a broad range of services like system design, installation and integration. Nokia Siemens Networks also will host the system in its European hosting center and will be responsible for operation and maintenance.

"With our end-to-end capabilities for DVB-H solutions and our service capabilities to provide a fully managed and hosted system, we will support Mobile 3.0 to drive DVB-H in Germany," said Hartmut Müller-Leitloff, head of Nokia Siemens Networks business operations in Central Europe.