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Huawei, the provider of next generation telecommunications network solutions for operators, has today announced the successful commercial launch of High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) network services across southern Italy for Telecom Italia. The network, which is billed to be the fastest in Italy, enables uplink speeds of 1.92Mbps and downlink speeds of 7.2Mbps.

Huawei completed the upgrade and expansion of Telecom Italia's network in record time.  The new network covers many tourist regions, including Sicily and Calabria. Huawei deployed its new generation Green HSPA Node Bs, understanding that it was of particular importance to the operator that the infrastructure should be environmentally sustainable and not detract from the beauty of the region's natural landscape.

Huawei's Green HSPA Node Bs feature fourth-generation power amplifier technology, which greatly cuts power consumption and increases coverage efficiency. Moreover, the new network is IP-ready, meaning that Telecom Italia can take full advantage of its existing IP resources, and ensure minimal long-term ownership costs.

According to Telecom Italia, the speed and efficiency with which Huawei has completed this project is very satisfying. The new network will allow Telecom Italia to speed the transition of its subscribers to the latest mobile services and reinforce its position as a provider of first-class user experiences.

"We appreciate Telecom Italia's trust in Huawei," commented Qiao Xiaoping, managing director of Huawei Technologies Italy.  "We are confident that the success of this project will lead to further opportunities to assist Telecom Italia with its growth - and in turn bring the best in next-generation mobile communications to consumers."

Actix, a specialist in Network Status Management (NSM) solutions for mobile operators, today announced the introduction of Actix Insight, a next generation system designed to automatically identify, collate and diagnose common radio access network (RAN) problems. Insight has been designed to improve the efficiency of RAN engineering and troubleshooting by providing advanced performance diagnostics and intelligently prioritizing that information for presentation via a single user interface.

For many carriers, RAN engineering currently consists of numerous systems, including mini-tools, spreadsheets and databases, each providing their own task list. Actix Insight was developed to replace and automate many of these processes, and has been shown to provide a six-fold increase in performance engineering productivity.

As carriers increasingly turn towards the best practices provided by NSM technologies - which extend the principles of OSS into the radio subsystem, to bring scale and coordination advantages to highly fragmented processes and departments - they require more automated, systematic approaches to integrate and manage existing infrastructures. Actix Insight, built within the new Actix One integration framework, is the central engine designed to form a scalable backbone for future NSM deployments. It enables optimization of the network engineering process and more intelligent and effective management of the workflow through that process to bring large-scale automation to highly fragmented systems in the network performance arena.

"During a number of successful operator trials Actix Insight was shown to provide a far more useful list of daily tasks by giving network engineers visibility of the most service-affecting network issues while prioritizing those issues with the highest impact on customer satisfaction," said Chris Larmour, Actix' Chief Marketing Officer. "In addition to delivering significant improvements in productivity and effectiveness, engineers identified twice as many service affecting issues as were previously being identified, many of which were root causes missed by existing processes and tools. Trials also showed Actix Insight to reduce revenue leakage - the loss of traffic caused by network issues - by around eight per cent," continued Larmour.

Actix Insight coordinates data from existing performance, configuration, and fault management systems, allowing carriers to retain and leverage their existing systems investments. Insight applies best practice rules to provide intelligent automated analysis on top of existing systems to quickly identify and diagnose complex network issues.

Mott  MacDonald Schema, a UK based independent management consultancy  advising the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) industries,  has found 95% of British mobile phone users have not accessed mobile TV  and less than 1% use it more than once a month. The findings are from the  consultancy's commissioned research by Ipsos MORI.  

Mott  MacDonald Schema believes that the low take up and limited use of mobile  TV can be turned around, estimating that mobile TV could be popular in two  years. However, the mobile industry will need to overcome issues such as  providing consumers with engaging content, suitable handsets, affordable  packages, the scarcity of spectrum and uncertainty around the competing  delivery technologies such as DVB-H, T-DMB, Media Flo, 3G MBMS/TDD and  DVB-SH.  The  research, among a nationally representative sample of 990 British  adults aged 15+, found that:  

- Nearly  two thirds of mobile phone users who have never tried to access mobile  TV say it's because they have no interest  
- 2% of  mobile phone users  have  accessed mobile TV once, and 3% use it once a month or  less  
- Of those  mobile phone users who have tried to access mobile TV, 19% find it too  expensive and 13% say the screen is too small  
- Sports  and news, followed by music videos and soaps are the highest rated types  of content which would make consumers watch mobile TV  
- The  propensity to watch mobile TV is highest amongst those aged from 15 to  24 years old - 15% of mobile phone users in this age group have accessed  mobile TV at least once, whereas the corresponding figure for all mobile  phone users is just 5%.

Annoula  Peppas, senior media consultant, is positive about mobile TV. "If the  major broadcasters and mobile operators actively market appealing,  affordable content packages around known brands,  they can drive the take up of mobile TV. The key will be a mix of familiar  linear TV programmes plus on demand and innovative, made for mobile  content.

"The  most popular genres from early mobile TV launches abroad are sports; cult  shows/soaps; popular music; and user generated, echoed  by our consumer research.   Annoula  continues, "Pricing needs to be bundled with existing spend on media and  communications and include a mix of subscription, free and pay per view  options. Mobile devices should have large screens and simple navigation to  make them more suitable for mobile TV.  

"So  far mobile operators and broadcasters have just been testing the water  offering limited content with little or no marketing push. This combined  with significant handset constraints, for the majority of users, often  results in an unsatisfying user experience.  

"Leading  industry players from broadcasting, mobile communications and handset  manufacturing need to collaborate and actively push mobile TV as part of a  complete, converged media offering. Working together, they should quickly  resolve issues linked to technology, spectrum availability, content  rights, handsets, advertising and payment models.

"In  a couple of years we could see the real take off of mobile TV and  significant revenue streams." 

Amobee Media Systems has today announced that Vodafone Spain will be using its advanced operator-centric advertising solution to insert dynamic and interactive advertisements into Vodafone's portal, Vodafone Live!
Amobee's media solution will be used as a key element in Vodafone Spain's "Mobile Marketing Discover Program". Ten leading brands will be participating in this new mobile advertising initiative including industry leaders such as: Heineken, Nestlé, Atrapalo.com and Linea Directa.
Amobee Media Systems is providing the centralised ad-server and campaign management solution which seamlessly integrates relevant and contextual commercial messages into all types of mobile content. Later developments will include ad-funded mobile gaming, TV, video and messaging, all of which enable brands to harness the power of mobile advertising while giving Vodafone users the ability to consume more services.
Iñaki Cabrera, Head of Mobile Marketing Business Unit at Vodafone Spain, commented, "Vodafone is in a unique position to play a key role in this new field of mobile advertising by creating a high return new media channel for advertisers and media agencies and providing mobile users all the benefits of ad-funded models: more for less and excellent user experience.  We have chosen to work with Amobee to build this new area of our business as they have developed the most advanced mobile ad-serving capabilities on the market and have provided Vodafone Spain with the speed and flexibility we need to quickly address this opportunity."
Zohar Levkovitz, CEO of Amobee added, "This is an exciting new initiative for Vodafone Spain and we are delighted and honoured to be working with such an innovative and prestigious operator in such a vibrant advertising market. Amobee looks forward to helping Vodafone Spain harness the power of brands to enable the growth of mobile services by delivering the most relevant and pertinent advertising impressions to its subscribers."

NextWave Wireless has announced that its IPWireless subsidiary, a provider of UMTS mobile broadband and multimedia broadcast technologies, has now shipped more than 600 UMTS TD-CDMA wireless broadband base stations with more than 2,000 sectors of network capacity to T-Mobile for deployment in the Czech Republic. IPWireless' TD-CDMA technology provides T-Mobile with a cost-effective and scalable mobile broadband solution designed to maximize revenues and drive rapid market adoption.

Building on the success of its initial deployment of IPWireless network equipment in Prague, T-Mobile continues to expand its "Internet 4G" network and now offers high-speed, mobile Internet and residential broadband access to more than 60 percent of the Czech population including the republic's largest cities; Prague, Ostrava, Opava, Prerov, Hradec Kralove, Lysa nad Labem, Kurim, Litvinov, Slapanice and Rajhrad. The TD-CDMA network now delivers over 10 terabytes of data each day which translates into each subscriber downloading several gigabytes of data per month - an amount several orders of magnitude greater than subscribers of conventional 3G data networks.

T-Mobile Czech Republic's Internet 4G service, powered by IPWireless' UMTS TD-CDMA technology, provides users with the fastest, fully-mobile Internet service in the Czech Republic whether they are in their home, office or traveling at high speeds. With Internet 4G users get broadband access to rich, web-based multimedia content such as streaming video, music and games. As part of a complete mobile broadband solution, IPWireless also supplies T-Mobile with multi-mode PCMCIA data cards that support TD-CDMA, EDGE, and GPRS and USB modems.

"IPWireless technology from NextWave provides the performance and reliability that enables T-Mobile to stand out from the competition," said Roland Mahler, managing director, T-Mobile CZ. "Both we and our customers have been extremely pleased with the performance of the network and we look forward to continued subscriber growth as we increase the network's coverage."

"We are delighted to see T-Mobile continue to expand its IPWireless network in the Czech Republic to meet the growing demand for broadband services," said Dr. Bill Jones, chief executive officer of IPWireless. "Our experience powering one of the world's largest true mobile broadband networks further deepens our unique expertise in next-generation mobile broadband and multimedia technologies, and enables NextWave and IPWireless to rapidly evolve our solutions to provide operators with the most reliable, scalable, and competitive solutions available."

Mobile messaging services provider TynTec has today announced the launch of Supernet SMS-C, a new distributed SMS-Centre (SMS-C) architecture.  With the new architecture, TynTec is introducing a 'multi-homed' SMS-C capability as well as dynamic routing in the SS7 network, thus enabling TynTec to provide its customers with an improved quality of service in SMS transmission by having several delivery options through different hub operators.

According to TynTec, operators have traditionally housed a single, monolithic SMS-C within their network to manage the reception and distribution of SMS messages to their subscribers. Supernet SMS-C instead operates small, distributed interface units within user networks, each reporting back to a single centralised SMS-C unit hosted on TynTec's own enterprise strength server system.

Supernet SMS-C effectively allows one SMS-C to operate in several hub operators' networks at the same time. The advantage of this model is that messages can be re-routed through lower cost network routes or simply re-directed to different routes for resilience, e.g. when a hub is down.

This distributed architecture also means that Supernet SMS-C can essentially provide SMS in a software as a service (SAAS) model, rather than an in-house technical process.  As an outsourced service, Supernet SMS-C offers a number of benefits over an in-house SMS-C. As well as the reduced cost and management hassle associated with a managed service provision model, Supernet SMS-C means that operators can avoid getting trapped into the costly upgrade and replacement cycle inherent in the licensed software model.

As well as presenting a new outsourcing option for operators, the new SMS-C architecture also gives TynTec an unparalleled level of resilience in its own SMS operations.  The structure enables the company to re-route SMS on the fly to any one of its operator partners using its portfolio of SS7 connections.  In this way TynTec can futher 'armour plate' the delivery guarantees provided as part of its enterprise strength SMS offering.

Thorsten Trapp, CTO of TynTec, said: "Supernet is a true paradigm shift in SMS technology.  For the first time we've moved away from the idea of the SMS-C as a piece of software towards seeing it as a managed service.

"The technical management of SMS is increasingly a non-core activity for operators and Supernet enables the reliable and cost-effective outsourcing of these processes with a distributed SMS-C architecture."

Vodafone Ireland has announced it has acquired Perlico. Perlico is one of Ireland's leading alternative providers of fixed line voice and broadband services. The acquisition of Perlico enables Vodafone to offer consumers a complete range of mobile, fixed line voice and broadband communications services.

Perlico is a provider of phone and internet services to Irish households. Since its formation in 2002, Perlico has competed successfully in the Irish telecoms market, providing industry leading, low cost fixed line and broadband services delivering millions of euro of savings to consumers. Perlico currently employs 67 people and has 62,500 customers at present of which 25,000 are broadband subscribers.

While Perlico will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Vodafone, it will continue to operate as a separate entity under the Perlico brand. The company will be run by its existing management team including Iain MacDonald, Perlico's founder, who will remain as Chief Executive. Vodafone Ireland Chief Executive, Charles Butterworth, will become Chairman of Perlico's Board of Directors.

The acquisition of Perlico by Vodafone will mean continued cost savings and choice for Irish consumers. Existing and prospective customers of both Perlico and Vodafone will also enjoy an enhanced range of services.

Existing customers of Perlico will experience no change other than the increased availability of services, combined with the Company's commitment to continue to provide Ireland's leading, low cost broadband and fixed line communications services.

The acquisition of Perlico will enable Vodafone to offer a complete range of mobile, fixed line voice and broadband services to Irish consumers. In the future, Vodafone will offer fixed line and broadband services through its extensive network of retail stores. Perlico will also sell Vodafone 3G broadband, as well as Vodafone pre-paid and post-paid packages, through their existing sales channels including the Perlico website.

Vodafone Ireland Chief Executive, Charles Butterworth, commented "Perlico represents a compelling strategic fit for Vodafone Ireland. The acquisition brings Vodafone a significant step closer towards our objective to provide a complete communications service to our customers - including mobile, fixed line voice, broadband and internet services. It will allow customers, of both Vodafone and Perlico, the opportunity to choose the communications mix that best suits them."

He concluded "Vodafone has established itself as the leading provider of mobile broadband solutions in Ireland. As we were the first mobile operator in Ireland to move into mobile broadband, Vodafone will also be the first mobile company to bring a total communications offer to its customers."

Perlico Chief Executive, Iain MacDonald commented "We are delighted to announce our agreement to be acquired by Vodafone. Perlico and Vodafone represent a compelling combination. We will continue to provide the Irish consumer with the attributes which have made Perlico a success - value, choice and award winning service."

A new research study from Disruptive Analysis is said to show that evolution of mobile VoIP will rapidly eclipse voice over WiFi and become a mainstream form of communication.The analyst firm predicts that the number of VoIPo3G users could grow from virtually zero in 2007 to over 250m by the end of 2012. This is comfortably in excess of the expected number of FMC users with dual-mode VoWLAN/cellular phones.

The report is said to demonstrate that it will be the operators themselves which will be mainly responsible for the push towards VoIP being carried over cellular networks.  Carriers  will become increasingly attracted to VoIPo3G because it will enable them to fit more phone calls into their scarce spectrum allocations, reduce operating expenses by combining fixed and mobile core networks, and launch new services like push-to-talk and voice-integrated "mashups". VoIPo3G also fits well with the move towards femtocells.  Future generations of wireless technology - 3GPP LTE (Long Term Evolution), 3GPP2 UMB(Ultra Mobile Broadband), WiMAX - are "all-IP", so unless mobile operators continue to run separate voice networks in parallel, they will inevitably transition to VoIP at some point.

However, because these new radio technologies are three to five years away from mainstream deployment - what happens in the meantime will provide the major disruption to operator business models. Some independent VoIP players are already exploiting the fact that today's 3G networks can already support VoIP, putting dedicated software on smartphones, exploiting open operating systems, flat-rate data plans and features like "naked SIP" and built-in VoIP capability. These are linked to competitive 'over the top' phone or IM services via a mobile Internet connection. 

At the same time, there is an increasing trend of carriers marketing 3G modems for PCs - not just for mobile computing, but also to compete with home DSL/cable broadband offerings. Laptop users expect to be able to use their normal broadband applications over 3G, including voice-based ones like Skype. Some operators are even offering their own VoIP software for PCs with wireless broadband.

The end-result of the push towards VoIPo3G is that by 2012, most VoIPo3G users will be using mobile carriers' own standards-based VoIP capabilities, over the new, advanced 3G+ networks. However, a significant minority of about 60m will be using independent or Internet-based solutions - many actually operated in partnership with carriers or retailers.
Dean Bubley, author of the report and founder of Disruptive Analysis,comments: "3G networks are increasingly capable of supporting VoIP, for both traditional mobile operators and independent Internet-based VoIP challengers. But while CDMA operators will benefit from VoIP being 'designed-in' to their newest networks, 3GPP / HSPA operators will have to wait for several years - a window of opportunity which will be exploited by the 'over the top' players. Rather than competing head-on, partnership models have the potential to create win-win propositions."
The report, "VoIPo3G Business Models", is said to be based on a huge research effort spanning hundreds of interviews and meetings, and contains extensive market forecasts, industry commentary & analysis and company profiles.

Nokia has unveiled the Nokia N82, the latest multimedia computer optimized for photography, navigation and internet connectivity.

Featuring A-GPS, 5 megapixel camera, Xenon flash, Carl Zeiss optics and internet connectivity, the Nokia N82 also incorporates all the multimedia computer features common to Nokia Nseries.
"The evolution of camera capabilities in mobile devices has been extremely fast over the past years. With the Nokia N82 we have reached such a superior level in image quality, speed and ease of use that not only does it outperform any other cameraphone on the market, but it's also a very credible alternative for single purpose digital still cameras," says Satu Ehrnrooth, head of Nokia Nseries Cameras Category, Multimedia, Nokia. "In addition to the high-end camera, the Nokia N82 also enables you to navigate and discover new places, enjoy your music, browse the web, play games, chat online and be part of the global web 2.0 community wherever you go.  Thanks to the wireless broadband connectivity, convergence and yet again increased performance, the Nokia N82 is all you need in your pocket!"

Telrad Networks, a veteran developer of carrier-grade telecommunications equipment, has announced its pseudowire solution for wireless backhaul and carrier Ethernet. The solution has been shown effective in several demonstrations at customer sites, and is available in a wide variety of configurations and form factors as Customer Premises Equipment (CPE).

The Telrad TAG-11C pseudowire (PWE3) Gateway enables T1/E1/DS0 Circuit Emulation Service (CES), Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) emulation, ATM/IMA emulation, PPP/HDLC Emulation Frame relay emulation and Ethernet emulation thus providing MPLS/IP/Ethernet transport over Packet-Switched Networks (PSN) for backhaul applications.

"Vendors are recognizing they need pseudowire in various places in the backhaul networks," said Itshak Aizner, Vice President of Product Management of Telrad Networks. "So although the basic platform is standard, providing a variety of models is crucial. Telrad has a flexible range of configurations available with very fast time to market, to meet those needs."

Today's radio access network (RAN) is typically composed of TDM-based leased lines for backhauling traffic from the base station to the base station controller (BSC) to the mobile switching center (MSC) to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Traditionally, mobile operators lease T1/E1 and High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC) lines to deliver ATM traffic, at a cost of 40%-60% of the network operational expenditure. TAG-11c's T1/E1 circuit emulation traffics network backhaul at reduced operational expenditure.

"Standards compliance is a major issue," said Aizner. "With so many different nodes in the network, from edge to aggregation, vendors want to make sure they are going to have full interop. Telrad has demonstrated that the TAG 11 product line overcomes technological obstacles and provides a full, working solution."

Siemens Enterprise Communications has released the HiPath Wireless Outdoor Access Point (OAP) and V5 of the HiPath Wireless Convergence Software.

The new weather-proof Access Point enables wireless connectivity for voice and business processes in outdoor, temporary and hard-to-cable locations. With Siemens' new release, Enterprise wireless LAN (WLAN) coverage can now extend outdoors between campus buildings situated in university and government settings and in industrial environments like warehouses, factories and construction sites. These new Siemens WLAN offerings further extend the company's commitment to creating an open, wide-ranging wireless network environment for Voice over WLAN and Mobility-Enabled Business Processes - delivering Fixed Mobile Convenience (FMC) to the enterprise.

Users can roam across corporate, industrial, government and educational campuses without any break in their WiFi connection and WiFi-supported voice calls. By extending WLAN coverage across the entire physical footprint of an enterprise, business communications and procedures can continue unabated, offering greater efficiency, responsiveness and performance.

"The HiPath Wireless Outdoor AP will allow us to break outside the classroom and cover our campus in a blanket of wireless LAN coverage," said Russell Diaz, Executive Director of Information Technology, Dominican College. "Such wireless availability will not only afford greater anytime, anywhere collaboration to students, faculty and guests, but it will also allow us to maximize our investment by adding innovative wireless applications such as asset tracking, Voice over wireless LAN and an enhanced surveillance system."

The Siemens HiPath Wireless OAP is designed for outdoor and industrial environments and supports Wireless Distribution Service (WDS) technology, which enables the OAP to operate without a wired Ethernet network connection. The solution is resistant to both freshwater and saltwater, fog, humidity, dust, and dirt and has a broad operating temperature range. Installation is plug-and-play. No Ethernet cabling is needed, so it's also useful for situations not suited for pulling data cable, such as historical buildings, campuses with large geographic distances between buildings and complex manufacturing environments.

In addition to supporting the new OAP, the release of HiPath Wireless Convergence Software V5 supports other important voice and security features. The new software offers three key elements: First: WDS, which enables the OAP and existing HiPath Wireless access points to operate without a wired Ethernet network connection - delivering wireless backhaul capabilities. Second: Opportunistic Key Caching (OKC), a secure, fast-roaming technique that allows access points to share authentication credentials to accelerate client roaming and prevent delays in voice calls. And third: 802.1x AP authentication, which provides secure wired network integration through access point authentication.

The Siemens HiPath Wireless OAP and V5 of the HiPath Wireless Convergence Software are the seventh and eighth major releases to the HiPath Wireless portfolio in 24 months, continuing Siemens' enhancements to its FMC offerings. The benefits of FMC and multi-vendor interoperability reflect the Siemens Open Communications architecture that is the foundation of the entire Siemens HiPath portfolio of enterprise communications solutions.

"This newest release will help our enterprise customers close the gaps that may exist in their wireless LAN coverage, creating comprehensive wireless connectivity for information access and communications anywhere on the company premises," said Marcus Birkl, Vice President Sales HiPath Wireless, Siemens Enterprise Communications. "By extending the WiFi footprint, our customers can gain that much more efficiency, collaboration and responsiveness in their day-to-day operations."

The Siemens HiPath Wireless OAP is available now in two models - the 2650, which has an internal antenna, and the 2660, with an external antenna. HiPath Wireless Convergence Software V5 supports the HiPath Wireless portfolio of WLAN controllers, access points and management software.

Agillic, the specialist in customer lifecycle management, has announced that Telia, the third largest telecom operator in Denmark  has successfully deployed Agillic's CLM for Postpaid Solution.  Based on an on-demand business model,  the solution is designed to drive down churn levels and retention costs amongst Telia's post-paid subscribers. 

Operating in one of the most competitive market's in the world, Telia's goal to create growth and maintain profitability is challenging.  Already offering one of the market's most exciting and  innovative range of products and services Telia attracts new customers every day but has been suffering from unacceptable levels of churn.

"We were looking for a solution that could give us the flexibility to interact with over 600,000 of our post-paid customers.   We were successfully attracting new customers but wanted to connect with our existing customers more effectively."  said Mads Neble, Marketing Manager, Consumer Market, Telia DK.   "We wanted the capability to reward our customers for their loyalty and understand how we could better communicate and meet individual and changing expectations to create valued and long term relationships."

With Agillic's CLM for Postpaid Solution, each subscriber is treated individually according to personal circumstances. It automatically matches content to customer driven trigger points that accurately reflect an understanding of each customer's usage, lifecycle position and past history.   The benefit of this proactive approach to customer communications is that it effectively creates human-like relationships that grow in strength over time creating unprecedented levels of loyalty.

Telia has recently launched an exciting above and below-the-line campaign to engage its postpaid customers to participate in the "EliteMobilist" loyalty programme including TV adverts, banner ads and  direct mail invitations. Customers register via Telia's web portal where a truly individualised experience begins to develop. The portal is packed with tailored information on products and services, educational tips, competitions, incentives, special offers and interactive surveys.  The content is designed to remain fresh and addictive to prompt return visits creating  immense customer value.   

 "Agillic's CLM for Postpaid solution has provided us with a new way to communicate with our customers.  Having the ability to interact with all our high value customers on a one-to-one basis, from a completely hosted solution has reduced our risk and cost of ownership.  It has successfully given marketing full control of all in and out bound customer interactions enabling marketing progammes to be easily deployed and maintained with little IT integration and support." said Mads Neble, Marketing Manager, Consumer Market.

"We are delighted to welcome Telia as an Agillic customer which further strengthens our presence in the Nordic market" said Agillic CEO, Mikko Hietanen.  "Telia is known to be an innovative and forward-looking operator, and having been selected by Telia, it clearly demonstrates our ability to make a significant impact on the customer experience thereby reducing churn, increasing loyalty and lowering retention costs."

Ericsson has announced the introduction of a local call-switching feature across its GSM base station portfolio. The move is said to generate 'dramatic' savings in transmission costs for network operators, helping drive increased network deployment across rural and remote areas.

The new Abis Local Connectivity feature is scheduled for commercial deployment in mid-2008. The solution allows local calls originating and terminating from the same base station, or within a cluster of base stations, to be switched locally in the Ericsson GSM radio network. This significantly reduces operators' transmission costs by circumventing the backhaul network that traditionally carries mobile traffic from radio base stations to the nearest switching node.

Suitable for both urban and remote areas, the solution significantly reduces deployment costs in areas where backhaul transmission is expensive or difficult to deploy. By employing local switching in the radio base station, Ericsson is also ensuring that the cost of delivering a call is kept to a minimum. Together, these factors are expected to play a pivotal role in helping bridge the digital divide and bring telecommunications to new and remote locations currently without mobile coverage.

Ulf Ewaldsson, Vice President and Head of Product Area Radio at Ericsson, says: "In overcoming the expense of backhauling and significantly lowering the total cost of ownership for operators, Ericsson is removing a key financial hurdle to achieving profitable network expansion in rural and remote areas.
"Our vision of an all-communicating world means affordable telecommunications available to everyone, everywhere. Ericsson's Abis Local Connectivity feature represents a significant breakthrough in reducing communications costs, making it profitable to bring mobile communications to people across the four corners of the Earth."

Although the Abis Local Connectivity feature switches calls locally, operators still retain centralized control of their network architecture. Areas such as subscriber management and network charging will continue to be managed via mobile softswitches and base station controllers.

In addition to reducing operator costs, the Abis Local Connectivity feature enhances subscribers' communications experience. It offers superior speech quality and overcomes time delays experienced when satellite-backhauled base stations are used.

The Abis Local Connectivity feature is the latest addition to Ericsson's Packet Abis solution. With Packet Abis, Ericsson brings IP technology to GSM radio networks, making it possible for an operator to share investments across GSM, WCDMA and LTE, and paving the way to true network convergence.