Reports mobile telecommunications turnover increase of 15% to £31.7 billion, but a loss, after goodwill amortisation of £15.2 billion, for the financial year of £9.0 billion.

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Clixsmart lies beneath Vodafone live! portal

ChangingWorlds, provider of the leading ClixSmart Intelligent Portal Platform for mobile operators, today announced the signing of a major contract with Swisscom Mobile, the number one mobile operator in Switzerland with a 65% market share and over 3.7 million subscribers. Swisscom Mobile has chosen ChangingWorlds' ClixSmart Intelligent Portal Platform, to deliver intelligent, personalized mobile information services to its Vodafone live! customers in Switzerland.

With the ClixSmart Intelligent Portal Platform, Swisscom Mobile will implement ChangingWorlds patented intelligent navigation system over Vodafone live! to make it easier for its customers to access the mobile content and services most relevant to them. ChangingWorlds' intelligent navigation helps users to locate content on a mobile portal more efficiently, by effectively restructuring the portal in response to their access patterns. Sites and services accessed regularly by a user are actively promoted to higher positions within the portal and, over time, the structure of the portal will adapt to the usage patterns of each individual user.

The ClixSmart Intelligent Portal Platform also delivers sophisticated colour portal management functionality to Swisscom Mobile. This enables Swisscom Mobile's portal editors to rapidly update and publish to the Vodafone live! mobile portal. With ClixSmart, Swisscom Mobile can now efficiently maintain its leading edge, feature rich Vodafone live! portal and benefit from a reduction in administration overhead and increased quality and productivity levels. The contract with Swisscom Mobile also includes the provision of ClixSmart Update Manager to provide the ability to automatically monitor and manage multiple portal updates.

Moreover, ClixSmart caters for Swisscom Mobile's multi-lingual requirements. Due to Switzerland's geographical location and cultural diversity, language varies from area to area. It is therefore vitally important that Swisscom Mobile's Vodafone live! caters for all local languages. ClixSmart delivers the Swisscom Mobile Vodafone live! portal in four languages: German, French, Italian and English. The ClixSmart Intelligent Portal Platform enables multi-lingual portals to be built and deployed rapidly, and (when used in conjunction with ClixSmart Navigator), allows operators to configure the personalization parameters of the portal and of individual menu items. All Switzerland's languages are supported and it is possible to switch between languages when creating menus, content pages and links.

Also speaking today, Luke Conroy, CEO of ChangingWorlds said, "This deployment of the ClixSmart Intelligent Portal Platform will enable Swisscom Mobile to grow data revenues from its customer base. While it is a strong requirement for mobile operators to aggregate content and brand it, it is essential that it be made readily available to the end-user in an intelligent, personalized and relevant manner. ClixSmart ultimately leads to a 'sticky' mobile portal that will enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty resulting in greater mobile data usage and revenues for the operator. We are delighted to work with the most progressive and innovative operator in Switzerland and to help Swisscom Mobile to continue to deliver innovative services to its customers."

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Swisscom Mobile

Webraska the power behind the phone

Orange, the UK’s most popular mobile phone service, is pleased to announce that its customers can now use SMS messages to locate businesses or services, with the launch of the Orange "Find Nearest" service, powered by Webraska Mobile Technologies.

Webraska, the pioneering provider of GPS wireless navigation applications and location-based services (LBS) solutions, has developed the 2 WAY SMS service to provide Orange customers with an easy-to-use text-based interface to the Orange "Find Nearest" Service.  This complements the existing WAP "Find Nearest" service, launched last year.

Accessing the service is simple; Orange subscribers just need to send a one-word request via SMS to the Orange short code 300 i.e. ‘PUB’.   Each search is priced at 20p.

“Although much of the hype surrounding the wireless data services has focused on WAP and Java applications, the potential of premium SMS-based services has often been under-estimated” said Jonathan Klinger, VP Marketing at Webraska.  “SMS-services are great for three main reasons: they're easy-to-use, the total available market is huge and people will pay for them". 

Darren Coleman, product manager data products, Orange UK commented “We’re pleased to be working with Webraska to deliver our Find Nearest service.   Webraska’s flexibility and technological superiority has been core to the success of this project.”

Powered by Webraska’s SmartZone Geospatial Platform the Orange Find Nearest service works by mapping a mobile phone’s location by cell ID technology.   Webraska’s software then cross-references this location against a comprehensive database of businesses and services.  The Find Nearest service returns the closest match to the search criteria entered.

Orange customers can also text ‘N’ for the next nearest search result, or text ‘L’ to receive a longer list of results.  For each search, the service returns the businesses name, address and telephone number. Customers can also get directions for the cost of an additional search.

The Orange "Find Nearest" service also offers the subscribers the ability to locate themselves if lost!  Upon texting ‘ME’ to 300, the service texts back the user’s location.

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Vodafone and Sony Music Entertainment today announced the world’s largest single mobile operator/music company content distribution agreement. The deal calls for music content from hundreds of Sony Music artists to be provided to Vodafone and its Partners’ customers around the world.

"Vodafone live! is making the mobile a personalised entertainment device that customers are using to access services such as music on the move," said Guy Laurence, Global Marketing Director at Vodafone Global Products and Content Services. 

"Vodafone has always offered its customers a rich catalogue of ringtones and music content, and this latest agreement with Sony Music Entertainment is key in establishing Vodafone as the home of mobile music content globally as we enter the enhanced multimedia world of Vodafone live! with 3G services."

Under the terms of the agreement, Sony Music Entertainment will initially* provide Vodafone with a wide range of content encompassing global and local artists, which will include real music ringtones, polyphonic ringtones, artist images, video streaming and short video downloads.  International Sony Music artists including AC/DC, Anastacia, Incubus, Nas, Sertab, Jessica Simpson and Train will have their content featured on Vodafone live!

"With the range and depth of its services, Vodafone is a key strategic partner for Sony Music Entertainment as we build on our leadership role in the mobile arena," commented Thomas Gewecke, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Sony Music Digital Services.  "Working closely with Vodafone, we’ll be able to extend the range of our artists and their music, which will enable them to enjoy even closer relationships with their fans around the world."

In addition to the global music content which will be distributed across multiple markets, the companies intend to feature a series of special National Artist Showcases that will include, among others; Delta Goodrem in Australia, Big Brovaz in the UK, and Paola & Chiara in Italy. The Artist Showcase concept - first introduced through Vodafone live! - has quickly become recognised as an effective and innovative way to link artists to audiences by providing fans with their favorite music 24/7, then maximising the experience with additional customised content relating to a specific artist.

*Sony Music Entertainment content will initially be available in 15 countries, with additional territories being introduced at a later date.

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ZAPP gets apped up

QUALCOMM Incorporated, pioneer and world leader of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) digital wireless technology, congratulates Zapp on its launch of downloadable wireless products and services based on QUALCOMMs BREW system.

The Zapp BREW-based Zapp Me service enables users to access enhanced wireless data applications and services  such as e-mail, games, ringtones, and other personal and business applications  and download them directly to their wireless device. As Romanias only fully integrated voice and high-speed data mobile communications operator, Zapp is the first CDMA450 operator to launch BREW-based services in Europe. The Zapp Me service is initially available on the color screen Zapp Series Z710i handset.

QUALCOMM is pleased to work with Zapp in bringing BREW-based services to Romania, said Johan Lodenius, senior vice president of European business relations and operations, QUALCOMM Internet Services. This launch demonstrates Zapps commitment to delivering its subscribers options beyond traditional voice features by introducing a diverse suite of compelling, feature-rich data service offerings.

Zapp is proud to be the first CDMA450 operator to introduce BREW-based services to the market, said Cuneyt Turktan, president of the board of directors, Zapp. Zapp subscribers will now benefit from an enhanced user experience that allows them to choose from a wide array of communication, customization, information and entertainment options. Zapp Me enables us to provide our clients with the necessary instruments to help them become more efficient and better informed. QUALCOMMs BREW solution positions Zapp as a technological leader and a cutting-edge mobile service provider.

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Pre-integrates Man Machine Inteface (MMI) from e-SIM

Sasken, a leading provider of telecommunications software solutions, has today announced that it has signed an agreement with e-SIM, a leading provider of Man Machine Interface (MMI) solutions for wireless platforms, to offer pre-integrated and market tested MMI bundled with Sasken's mobile software solutions.

Sasken's mobile software solutions include 2G, 2.5G, 3G wireless protocol stacks, and a portfolio of wireless applications, including Strawberra, its world-renowned multimedia technology. These solutions have achieved the
highest standards of industry compliance and have been deployed in a number of world leading wireless devices.

The recent inclusion of e-SIM's MMI solution complements Sasken's suite of wireless applications by removing the need for handset manufacturers to develop solutions in-house, thus enhancing their ability to focus on core areas and reduce time to market.

The combined solution allows Sasken's customers to use the integrated MMI reference design, development and customisation tools to quickly create customised man machine interfaces. This enables manufacturers to bring not only state-of-the-art customised phones to market faster, but also, create multiple targeted handset versions ranging from the low-end to the high-end.

In addition, Sasken provides the handset manufacturers with access to rapid response times and specialist, targeted technology expertise to ensure timely delivery for its customers.

 "Sasken's unrivalled wireless design expertise and understanding, coupled with its wide range of experience in wireless terminal software development, makes the company an ideal choice as a partner," said Dr Kamran Kordi, Director of Product Management for Mobile Platform Solutions. "Sasken's mobile software solutions are modular, portable and yet designed to allow rapid optimisation on different hardware platforms. As such, we are committed to ensuring that our expertise in wireless stack, application development, testing and handset integration provides a valuable resource for handset manufacturers who sign up with us," added Dr. Kordi.

Sasken brings a range of services to handset manufacturers that enable them to focus on their core capabilities of handset development. Sasken's specialised services and capabilities, particularly in testing application components and fully integrated products, help handset developers to reduce
development time and improve efficiency.

"E-SIM's MMI complements Sasken's solution by providing an excellent environment to develop innovative Man Machine Interface (MMI) that would fit customer requirements rapidly. This provides a strong competitive advantage to our customers," concluded Dr Kordi.

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ComArch, an OSS/BSS vendor and systems integrator, opened the new fiscal year with sales growing to 17 mln USD which is 83% growth against the previous year. The net income reached nearly 1 mln USD which is a significant improvement on the Q1 2003 results. ComArch financial results are due to the positive performance of subsidiaries in the USA, Germany and Middle East and the strengthening of ComArch position as global supplier of OSS & BSS technologies.

The financial results are grossly exceeding the prognoses of ComArch Board of Directors and make the ambitious ComArch revenue and profits growth plan for the whole 2004 realistic and feasible. The results go in line with ComArch growing sales on the global telecommunications markets.

In the first quarter 2004 ComArch have been selected by the leading telecommunications carriers in France, Finland, Montenegro, Iran and Lithuania to provide the components of ComArch TYTAN Billing and Customer Care Platform and ComArch InsightNet Network Management Platform. The value of the contracts amounts to over 6,5 mln USD. ComArch new clients include both fixed line and mobile telecommunications carriers as well as ISP's operators. Next contracts are currently being negotiated.

Polish companies belonging to ComArch Group also boost their financial results among them ComArch-CDN providing Enterprise Resource Planning software to the enterprise sector and internet portal that specializes in communication and information services and provides services for the internet societies. Interia is planning the launch of new generation broadband services in the near future.

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GRIC Communications, Inc. announced today that it has changed its company name to GoRemote Internet Communications, Inc., a descriptive new name for a recognized global leader in managed remote access solutions for enterprises.

“Our new name more effectively communicates our business focus. In short, we make it simple, secure and cost-effective for enterprises and their mobile and remote employees to go remote,” said Bharat Davé, CEO and President of GoRemote.

GoRemote provides the industry’s most comprehensive managed remote access solution. The company offers the only “Total Remote Solution” across all mobile and remote environments (mobile, teleworker, and branch offices) from a single provider with centralized, policy-based security and real-time management.

Leading enterprises in pharmaceuticals, financial services and insurance, retail, and other industries are using GoRemote’s solutions to dramatically reduce the costs, risks, and complexity of remote access while boosting productivity of mobile and remote workers.

Gartner, Inc., the world’s leading technology research and advisory firm, has positioned GoRemote in the Leaders Quadrant in Gartner’s Managed Remote Access Magic Quadrant for the first half of 2004. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant positions vendors in a particular market based on their vision and ability to execute that vision. According to Gartner, leaders are vendors who are performing well today, have a clear vision of market direction, and are actively building competencies to sustain their leadership position in the market.

“For the Everywhere Enterprise”

Along with the new name, GoRemote is unveiling today a new logo and a new theme: “For the everywhere enterprise.‘” The theme refers to GoRemote’s target market: enterprises with employees working everywhere – in remote sites such as branch offices, retail sites and home offices, as well as from “mobile offices” in hotel rooms, airports, cafes convention centres, and elsewhere.

Thousands of enterprises across the globe are “everywhere enterprises” – they have shifted employees and resources from main corporate headquarters to remote offices to reduce costs, improve productivity, and ensure business continuity. More than 93% of all enterprises have remote employees, according to a study conduced in 2003 by Research Concepts LLC for Network World, a leading trade publication. At the same time, more employees than ever are taking advantage of mobile devices like personal digital assistants (PDAs) and laptops and ubiquitous access including Wi-Fi to “go mobile.” International Data Corporation (IDC), a leading analyst firm, estimated in 2002 that the global remote workforce would grow from approximately 110 million employees to 162 million by 2006.

As more employees go remote, enterprises are facing escalating security risks, rising costs, and increasing management and support headaches. However, to remain competitive in the global economy, enterprises increasingly must provide their remote workers with secure, reliable, and ubiquitous remote access. GoRemote’s unique “Total Remote Solution” solves this challenge for enterprises, by pulling all the pieces together that enterprises need into a simple, secure, and cost-effective solution.

New Name Completes Successful Repositioning

GoRemote’s new corporate name completes its successful strategic repositioning process from the service provider to the enterprise market. Since the company’s founding in 1994 through 2002, it focused primarily on providing global roaming services for ISPs and telcos.

Starting in 2003, the company shifted its focus to the large and growing enterprise market for secure remote access solutions while continuing to leverage its service provider relationships. In December 2003, the company acquired Axcelerant, Inc., a leading provider of managed broadband VPN solutions for branch office and teleworker/home office environments.

As evidence of the company’s increasing momentum in the enterprise market, the company recently announced that it acquired in the first quarter of 2004 over 40 new enterprise and value-added reseller (VAR) accounts, increased enterprise and VAR revenues on a combined basis as a percentage of total revenues to 42%, and generated 25% of its revenues from broadband services. At the end of the first quarter of 2004, the company had more than 200 direct enterprise customers.

Enthusiastic Support

GoRemote customers, partners, industry analysts and many others are applauding the company’s new name.

“This is a great move. The name GoRemote is much more descriptive and effective than GRIC. We have hundreds of employees who go remote each day using the GoRemote solution and will respond very positively to the name GoRemote,” said David Rossien, CIO of Adventis, a GoRemote enterprise customer. Adventis is a leading strategy and management consultancy to the global information industries.

“GoRemote – the new name perfectly complements their proven solutions for the enterprise. The new name will enhance our joint efforts to further grow our businesses with enterprises that demand remote access and mobility solutions which enable them to compete and profit in the constantly changing global marketplace,” declared Michael Bray, director of the Mobility Practice at Getronics North America. Getronics is a GoRemote enterprise partner and one of the world's leading providers of vendor independent Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions and services.

“GoRemote has evolved from its roots as a roaming services company for ISPs and telcos to its position today as a leading provider of comprehensive managed remote access solutions for global enterprises. By changing its corporate name, GoRemote is making it very clear that its strategic positioning and value proposition have evolved. This is a smart decision and one that, coupled with an increased marketing investment, will further enhance its enterprise market position,” said Mark Winther, Group Vice President of Worldwide Telecommunications, International Data Corporation.

Market Research Backs Name Change

measure awareness and perceptions of GRIC and to test the GoRemote name.

“In summary, the research clearly indicated that GRIC was an ineffective corporate name,” said Rob Fuggetta, GoRemote Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing. “Overall, awareness of the name GRIC was low among enterprise decision-makers. This finding, which was not surprising given our historic focus on the service provider market, meant that we were not changing a name that was well established in our target market. Among people who knew the GRIC name, they associated it with roaming services for ISPs and telcos, which clearly is not our strategic focus,” Fuggetta added.

The research also revealed other weaknesses with the name GRIC. “People were confused by the name and thought it was harsh-sounding and unappealing. Yet another problem with the name was that people frequently mispronounced the name, especially people outside North America,” Fuggetta said. 

 “On the other hand, the name GoRemote tested very well among our target market of enterprise IT decision makers and among enterprise partners. People thought it was appealing, easy to pronounce and remember. Several branding experts we consulted with also stated that it is much easier and more-cost effective to build recognition of a name like GoRemote that’s descriptive of our business than one that is not. This is an important consideration for companies that must build brand recognition with limited marketing resources,” he pointed out.

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T4 gives service providers a common platform across Symbian, Microsoft and Java to promote new products

Trigenix, the mobile interface company, today announced shipment to customers of T4, the latest evolution of Trigenix technology. T4 is now available for commercial rollout and provides the first practical format for defining handset user interfaces and service stores spanning across all mainstream mobile phones - Symbian, Microsoft and Java - without the need for reformatting. T4 represents a major breakthrough for mobile service providers, freeing them to promote new revenue-generating products in a consistent way across different phones from different manufacturers without expensive and time-consuming changes to the UI design.

Based on the highly successful Trigenix User Interface (UI) solution already in use with operators such as T-Mobile and TMN, T4 now supports Windows Mobile, Java MIDP 1.0 & 2.0 devices and Symbian OS phones. With T4, service providers will be able to deploy revenue-generating own-brand user interfaces and rich content-based themes across 50% of handsets shipping by the end of 2004. The UI and service store builder in T4 is designed to enable service providers to introduce new services to subscribers over the air to the UI, driving up data revenues and improving the overall user experience.

Along with partners Symbian (for Series 60 phones) and Sun Microsystems (for Java), Trigenix has now also established a partnership with Microsoft. Senior Marketing Manager Mobile Devices Division Microsoft, Anne-Marie Duffy explained "Trigenix's availability on Windows Mobile-based Smartphones is an important step in meeting Mobile Operator cross-platform customisation requirements as devices with Windows Mobile software increasingly move into the mainstream. We are pleased to be supporting our partner, Trigenix in this initiative."

"Naturally we are pleased to have the backing of such a large player in the marketplace," said Steve Ives, CEO of Trigenix. "This is the year when the operators will roll out customised user interfaces to seek to improve upon the up-to 10% revenue increases observed by Vodafone on certain Vodafone Live! handsets. Existing solutions require significant reformatting of the onboard user interface content when you move between platforms, because of differing capabilities in these platforms, whereas Trigenix lets an operator or 3rd party create these user interfaces once, and deploy everywhere - across a host standard platforms emerging in the marketplace. T4 therefore significantly streamlines the process of deploying a new user interface across a large fraction of the subscriber base."

In critical areas such as messaging, T4 offers a number of benefits over and above what is provided on a standard open platform handset. These include the ability to provide users with "wizards" which can guide them through the complex MMS creation process, create custom messaging interfaces that simplify text & image transfer and promote extra services from within the messaging environment. Aside from the T4 handset client and UI builder shipments, a new Trigbuilder server solution is also now shipping which includes another first - a Trigpublisher for production-scale delivery of content to handset UIs.

Agreement includes acquisition of Nokia’s Multimedia Application Gateway product

724 Solutions, a leading provider of next-generation IP-based network and data services, today announced an agreement with Nokia to acquire the Nokia Multimedia Application Gateway (AGW) product and a separate OEM agreement under which Nokia will continue to offer the product to its existing and future customers.   

Effective immediately, 724 Solutions will transition the development and support of the product to its Toronto development center.  The Multimedia Application Gateway joins 724 Solutions’ X-treme Mobility Suite and, in addition to distribution through Nokia, will be available to 724 Solutions’ mobile operator customers through direct and other partner channels. 
The Multimedia Application Gateway is a leading multimedia service platform that extends the reach of MMS through five services, including legacy support for non-compatible MMS terminals, providing connectivity between e-mail and MMS users, receiving voice messages on MMS terminals, composing multimedia messages and storing and forwarding MMS messages from a personal album application. The Nokia Multimedia Application Gateway is part of Nokia's MMS solution, which is deployed in close to 70 mobile networks globally. The majority of Nokia's MMS deployments include the AGW product.
"Our focus is to deliver platforms and applications to mobile network operators that give them the capabilities to grow their mobile data revenues," said John Sims, CEO of 724 Solutions.  "The AGW is positioned within the key growth sector of MMS messaging and as such we believe that it will provide excellent growth opportunities for our customers and we are very pleased to be working with Nokia in this important area," said Sims. 
"Our goal is to make sure we continue to offer the market’s most competitive MMS infrastructure solution to our present and future mobile operator customers. Through the expertise 724 Solutions has in the service platform business, we will continue to offer a product that represents the state-of-the-art technology and know-how on the market," said Bo Lönnqvist, General Manager, Messaging Product Line, Networks, Nokia. "Divesting Nokia Multimedia Application Gateway, an element of our MMS solution, to 724 Solutions will allow us to further develop and expand messaging solutions that fall into Nokia’s core competence, thereby giving more added value to our operator customers also in the long term," said Lönnqvist.

Integrated hardware/software solution responds to rapidly growing smartphone market

Philips Electronics has joined the Symbian Platinum Program. With Philips joining the program, mobile phone manufacturers can benefit from seamlessly integrated multimedia applications for their smartphone offerings. As a result, mobile phone manufacturers can bring complete and easily upgradeable mobile multimedia solutions rapidly to market.

Joining the Symbian Platinum Program is part of Philips' commitment to mobile multimedia. Philips delivers hardware and software options that improve quality while limiting power consumption and extending battery life of mobile phones. Philips' Nexperia solutions provide a portfolio of re-programmable and ready to integrate system and IC solutions for mobile-based multimedia applications. Its offering ranges from solutions that support mobile multimedia features such as audio, video, imaging and connectivity applications, colour (touch) screens, built-in cameras, organizer functions, and Internet access.

"By working closely with smartphone OS market leader Symbian, we will be able to provide our customers in Asia with integrated, sophisticated Nexperia Mobile solutions for the smartphone market," said Mario Rivas, executive vice president, business unit mobile communications, Philips Semiconductors. "As Philips is a leading provider of multimedia processors for mobile phones produced in Asia and globally, this agreement will enable Philips to further realise its vision of the connected consumer."

Symbian develops and licenses Symbian OS, the global industry standard operating system for smartphones to the world's leading handset manufacturers. Symbian OS accounts for more than 85 per cent of annual mobile phone sales worldwide, according to Gartner's Mobile Terminal Market Shares: Worldwide, 3Q03 report of December 2003.

"The smartphone business is rapidly growing and Symbian OS is at the heart of it," commented Ian Weston, vice-president, partner support, Symbian. "Philips' expertise in media processing and connectivity will bring added value and further technology developments to the Symbian OS ecosystem."

Philips Nexperia solutions offer customers in Asia flexibility through extensive software IP libraries, which allow software upgrades to future-proof product designs and to provide a fast, low-risk and cost effective route to market. Built on proven know-how in SoC design, the Nexperia Mobile combines quality and high performance, thanks to Philips' expertise in media processing and connectivity including USB On-The-Go and Bluetooth.

The Grand Final of Eurovision-2004 Song Contest takes place in Istanbul on May 15. The Russian audience can watch the contest live broadcast on Channel One Russia.

This year Russians have an opportunity to vote online for their favorite performers by making telephone calls or sending SMS. Channel One Russia has selected official partners for vote arrangement – leading Russian telecom operator Rostelecom and leading provider of interactive TV services Soyuztelecom.

Soyuztelecom voting service is based on CBOSS proprietary CBOSSvote hardware/software solution.  Soyuztelecom is a customer of CBOSS Association.

CBOSSvote enables online interaction with wide audience via marketing researches, polls, free and paid contests, trivia games, betting, etc. CBOSSvote receives participants’ answers to predefined questions, saves the information on calls to the database and aggregates it for further analysis.

To participate in a voting or contest, the subscriber can call or send an SMS or USSD message to a dedicated number and receive the vote subject and multiple-choice questions. If the subscriber knows the vote subject and possible answers, he/she can post an answer. Voting can be also arranged on a web site.

Several TV channels have already enjoyed the advantages of CBOSSvote to arrange interactive voting in "Stars Factory" project (Channel One Russia), "One of Two" (MuzTV), etc.

Leading mobile operator in Central and Eastern Europe, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has awarded the Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group (Siemens mobile) to extend its GSM networks in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. In total, the business volume for these networks extensions by Siemens mobile will be over USD 200 Million in 2004.

Under the terms of the agreement, Siemens mobile will expand and upgrade the switching subsystems in various regional MTS networks in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Furthermore, the company will extend the GSM radio networks with further base stations and the intelligent network platform with new services. Facing the continued growth in the subscriber base of MTS (5 percent growth in March 2004) the expansion of the networks will make it possible to meet the fast growing requirements of the more than 20 million MTS customers for voice and data services until end of 2004.

"The quality of our network is based on the high quality of Siemens, one of the most reliable world manufacturers of telecommunications equipment. The new agreements will develop our many years of partnership in the future," explained MTS President and CEO Vassily Sidorov.

"The new contracts underline Siemens’ leading role in the Russian mobile infrastructure market. We are very pleased to support MTS to substantially increase its possibilities and subscriber base in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine," said Karl-Christoph Caselitz, President of Networks at Siemens mobile. "Many years of our strategic partnership with this leading mobile operator in Russia, Central and Eastern Europe prove once again the reliability and the high quality of the equipment supplied by Siemens."

Devices work in both 1900 MHz and 2010 MHz IMT-2000 frequency bands, with 2.5 GHz tri-band devices in development

IPWireless has started shipping dual-band devices that allow users to roam across UMTS TDD networks in both 1900 MHz and 2010 MHz frequency bands, the company announced today. IPWireless is shipping the UMTS TDD modems now while equipment makers licensing the company’s UMTS TDD-based technology develop additional dual-band devices.

Part of the ITU’s IMT-2000 designation, the 1900 and 2010 unpaired spectrum bands are allocated for UMTS TDD in most countries worldwide that have allocated 3G frequencies. More than 120 mobile operators across Europe and Asia have UMTS TDD spectrum in one of these two bands. By offering devices that can seamlessly work in either band, IPWireless enables operators to offer roaming services, including in countries that have not traditionally had access to the benefits of GSM roaming. A subscriber with a dual-band UMTS TDD PC Card in their laptop would be able to not only get broadband access anywhere in their home market, but in any country where TDD is deployed in these bands.

This architecture also allows IPWireless licensing partners to build devices for a larger global market and increased economies of scale.  The first dual-band TDD devices were shipped in April to SonaeCom in Portugal, who recently announced a trial in Lisbon using their frequency in the 1900 MHz TDD band. Devices are also being shipped to operators across Europe, Australia, and to Japan.

IPWireless is also currently developing tri-band devices that would allow users to roam over networks in the 1900 MHz, 2010 MHz, and 2500 MHz bands. By incorporating the 2.5 GHz frequency, which includes MMDS spectrum in the United States and has been allocated as the UMTS expansion band in Europe, global roaming can be extended to nearly ubiquitous worldwide coverage.  Many operators that have already deployed IPWireless UMTS TDD systems have done so in the 2.5 GHz band and new tri-band devices would allow their subscribers to roam beyond their home network. In addition, GSM/UMTS operators deploying in the current TDD bands – 1900 or 2010MHz – can seamlessly add additional capacity in the UMTS extension band once it is allocated. 

"To truly be a mobile technology, a technology needs to provide a subscriber with access not only anytime and anywhere in their home market, but also enable global roaming.  This development allows operators and licensing partners to truly leverage being part of a global standard," said Chris Gilbert, chief executive officer, IPWireless. "I look forward to the day when I never have to think about how to get my laptop connected – even while traveling."

UMTS TDD, a global standard that can be used by operators and manufacturers worldwide, has emerged as the leading standard for mobile broadband, with deployments in several countries around the world including Australia, Germany, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, and the United States.  The commercially proven Mobile Broadband system includes a complete network infrastructure, pocket-sized wireless desktop modems, and PC cards (PCMCIA) for laptops and PDAs.  In addition, major equipment makers are developing a variety of network management and end user devices, including mobile voice over IP handsets and Compact Flash cards, with IPWireless-licensed UMTS TDD chipsets embedded.