First mobile contract win for Alcatel in Ireland

Alcatel today announced that it has supplied Meteor Mobile Communications, one of the main Irish mobile operators, with its Evolium industry-leading mobile network solution to support the operator’s General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) network across Ireland. The contract foresees the complete provision and installation of the core network.
 
The deployment of the GPRS network will provide Meteor’s users with access to a wide range of enhanced mobile services and high-speed Internet capabilities over Meteor’s existing GSM network. Other advantages include an ‘always on’ connection to Internet and email services, high-speed of data transfer and increased value, as users will only have to pay for what they use. Customers will be able to see these benefits at the beginning of 2004.

Discussing the contract, Liam Hamilton, Technical Director at Meteor Mobile Communications, commented, “This project was implemented in our network in keeping within our initial timeframe and without any disruption to our normal services or traffic thanks to Alcatel’s highly efficient network solution and services. This new network will enable us to deliver enhanced mobile services to our customers.”

Marc Rouanne, Chief Operating Officer of Alcatel's mobile communications activities added,  “This win highlights Alcatel’s ability in competing for new business against incumbent and niche players in the local market.  The key reason why Alcatel gained the contract was because of our capability and flexibility to offer a cost-effective solution to Meteor and to fully satisfy their specific requirements. We will continue the successful partnership that already is in place with this operator.”

Meteor already relies on the Alcatel 5070 Signaling Server as well as on the Alcatel 1300 Convergent Network Management Center (CMC) for its mobile number portability (MNP) functionality, enabling mobile subscribers to keep the same telephone number when changing telephone operators.

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Alcatel
Meteor Mobile Communictations

Dilithium Networks, the leading supplier of 3G multimedia solutions and NetCentrex, the leading enabler of converged voice-video-data networks, announced today a partnership to support end-to-end solutions enabling new 3G video enhanced services including mobile to fixed-network conversational video services, and 3G video multi-conferencing applications. 

The Dilithium-NetCentrex partnership agreement brings together best-of-breed products and technologies including the Dilithium Networks’ DTG 2000 gateway and a range of core infrastructure solutions from NetCentrex including Softswitch and media servers, to the rapidly developing 3G market and offers universal access to a wide range of access terminals. It will enable service providers to build next-generation converged voice-video networks and create revenue-generating services, including video portal, video mail, and video telephony.

Lee Ellison, Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing of Dilithium Networks stated “We are excited to combine our solution with NetCentrex Residential and Enterprise solutions. Mobile Operators require a robust, feature rich platforms to enable the video services application that include both class 4 and class 5 functions.” 

“Dilithium Networks is recognized as a leader in 3G video-telephony solutions. Our expertise in deploying VoIP networks and voice/video next generation solutions, combined with Dilithium Networks’ unique technology will provide a proven high-end platform which offers the scalability needed by the mobile network and fixed network operators deploying services across converged networks”, comments Pierre-Yves Le Berre, Business Development Vice-President of NetCentrex.

Dilithium DTG 2000
The DTG 2000 is a carrier class, multimedia gateway supports a variety of voice and video protocols, and features smart end-points capability processing to provide transcoding tailored to end-points such as mobile phones, PDAs, IP terminals etc. The DTG 2000 incorporates Dilithium Networks' Unicoding technology which enables fast, efficient transcoding while significantly reducing the time delay and compute resources required to transcode between any two media standards. Delay is an important and perceptible element of voice and video quality and low delays are essential for a pleasant user experience.


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Dilithium Networks
NetCentrex

TeliaSonera and the Republic of Latvia have today agreed to withdraw their respective claims and thereby settle the dispute between them around Lattelekom. The dispute has been the subject of ICC arbitration proceedings since 2000.

Following the settlement, TeliaSonera and the Latvian government have agreed to jointly form a working group to explore various long-term ownership options for the future of the two Latvian telecommunications companies Lattelekom and Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT).

TeliaSonera will, according to the settlement, pay the Republic of Latvia LVL 1 million (SEK 14 million) in recognition of the Republic of Latvia's costs associated with the arbitration dispute. The parties will also examine the means by which an additional contribution will be made to the Republic of Latvia upon the successful conclusion of discussions with TeliaSonera regarding a transaction involving either or both of the companies Lattelekom and LMT.

"I am very pleased that we have now ended the dispute, which has been damaging not only for the operations of Lattelekom but also for LMT," says Kenneth Karlberg, President of TeliaSonera Norway, Denmark and the Baltic countries. "The agreement sets the stage for a new spirit of cooperation between TeliaSonera and Latvia, and it is our ambition to resolve ownership issues in the working group that is established."

The arbitration dispute arose following the Republic of Latvia's decision to terminate Lattelekom's exclusive rights to fixed line telecommunications 10 years earlier than agreed in the original privatisation agreement. Latvia, in turn, claimed among other things that Lattelekom's network had not been digitalized as promised.

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TeliaSonera

Radio Frequency Investigation Ltd (RFI) has launched its
'over the air' audio testing services for testing the latest mobile
handsets.

Based on its Rohde & Schwarz CMU 200 test platform this
addition further enhances the scope of RFI's test capability.  The testing capability offered will help manufacturers meet the latest specifications laid down by the GCF and PTCRB, the European and US Standards bodies. For those manufacturers wanting total confidence in acoustical properties a number of additional test cases are also available providing the scope for audio testing above and beyond that laid down in the specifications.

Launched on a dedicated test site, testing has become simpler since manufacturers will no longer have to supply handsets that previously were modified specifically for this testing to be carried out.

This new testing capability is part of RFI's ongoing investment plans for 2004 including new 3G test platforms, a new EMC test facility and the creation of a brand new laboratory.

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Radio Frequency Investigation

Global consulting and systems integration firm becomes preferred partner

Cramer, the leader in telecoms inventory management software, today announced a strengthening of its relationship with LogicaCMG, a major international force in IT services and
wireless telecoms.  LogicaCMG has achieved certification as a Cramer Accredited Partner, a newly created elite category within Cramer's partner program.

The accreditation means LogicaCMG becomes a preferred delivery channel for Cramer software.  In return, LogicaCMG is providing a strategic commitment to develop Cramer skills and jointly pursue new business opportunities, building on existing successes in Europe with BT, KPN Mobile, and Slovak
Telecom, and in the U.S. with Monet Mobile Networks.  LogicaCMG will also establish Cramer centers of expertise at sites in the UK, India, Netherlands and Eastern Europe.

"Our association with Cramer over the past two years has proven to be an effective partnership in addressing the increasingly complex needs of our customers," said Wim Rimmelzwaan, Group Alliance Director, LogicaCMG. "We
have made the extra commitment to become a Cramer Accredited Partner because we see growing demand for Cramer software and skills in the Global telecoms
industry, which LogicaCMG and Cramer are together well placed to satisfy."

"We are thrilled to welcome LogicaCMG as one of Cramer's first elite partners," said Cramer CEO Jerry Crook.  "Cramer is committed to building effective partnerships with the world's leading systems integration and consulting firms.  The new Accredited Partner category reflects both the substantial, direct experience that our partners already have and fresh long
term commitment to working with Cramer."

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Cramer Systems
Logicacmg.

Racal Instruments Wireless Solutions (RIWS), an Aeroflex  company, today announced the launch of its 6401 Release 5 Layer 1 Test System, an industry first.

Handsets and base stations designed to meet Release 5 specifications require significant functionality upgrades to incorporate new technologies such as High Speed Downlink Packet Data Access (HSDPA). 

The ability to test Release 5 represents a major 3G milestone for developers of this technology. The benefits of HSDPA technology are predicted to include a more responsive
service for end users, increased base station capacity and ultimately increased profitability for operators. The launch of the 6401 Release 5 Layer 1 Test System will enable handset designers and manufacturers to accelerate their development process and reduce the time to market for products incorporating Release 5 features.

Aimed primarily at DSP and baseband developers, the system also provides extensive RF test capability.  The system breaks new ground and is unrivalled in terms of the levels of capability, interfacing and flexibility it brings to developers, allowing it to be used to test initial software simulations on through to completed hardware. RIWS has been demonstrating the system in recent months to major mobile manufacturers and is the first test equipment vendor to be able to deliver this capability to the marketplace.  RIWS attributes this lead
over the competition to its approach in developing 'future-proof' platforms capable of considerable change in functionality together with a proven track record of leadership in high speed data testing. The portfolio includes solutions used in the development of CDMA2000 1X EVDV handsets that use many of the same techniques used in HSDPA. 

Beyond Layer 1 the test system can be used for UE testing throughout the product development lifecycle including Layer 2 and 3 protocol development and conformance testing, dual standard (GSM-UMTS) intersystem handover development and conformance testing, RRM pre- and full conformance testing, and RF pre- and full conformance testing.

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RIWS

NEC supplies two new handsets, Motorola one.

3, the UK's first video mobile network, has announced that from this week, it will be exclusively selling three new video mobiles; the NEC e616, the Motorola A925 and the NEC e313.

 

The three new video mobiles double the range of handsets available with 3's popular range of VideoTalk price plans.

 

Each of the handsets in the new portfolio support the full range of 3's leading video mobile services including person-to-person video calling, streaming and downloading of video footage, such as the exclusive Barclaycard Premiership highlights, clips from the latest movies, comedy sketches and breaking news.

 

NEC e616

The NEC e616 is 3's most advanced clamshell video mobile to date. The dual-mode handset blends elegant design with the leading video mobile services and technology. The handset supports Bluetooth, has a built-in MP3 player, a card slot for a Sony MemoryStick DuoTM and features JAVATM technology for the latest games and applications.

 

The handset, which is exclusive to the 3 network, will be priced at £199.99 in 3 shops and 3Points in Superdrug and is only available with 3's market leading VideoTalk price plans on pay monthly.

 

Motorola A925

The Motorola A925 is one of the world's most advanced video mobiles and smart phones. With a black and brushed chrome finish, the A925 combines a number of communication tools in one easy-to-use device.

 

Operating on a Symbian platform the A925's main features include a fully functional PDA, a high quality 65,536 colour touch screen for wide-screen video playback, expandable memory of up to 128Mb, speakerphone, email client, built-in still and video camera and Bluetooth for wireless talk and connectivity. The A925 is also only available on pay monthly with 3, in 3 shops and 3Points in Superdrug.

 

NEC e313

The NEC e313 is the slimmest and lightest dual-mode video mobile to be launched by 3. A powerful handset with a 'candy bar' design, the NEC e313 is the fifth dual-mode device NEC has delivered to 3. It is designed to showcase the extensive range of video mobile services available exclusively to 3 customers.

The e313 will be available on both pay monthly with 3 and ThreePay. On ThreePay it will be priced at £99.99 in 3 stores and 3Points in Superdrug. 

Gareth Jones, Chief Operating Officer of 3 said: "3 is here to challenge the status quo in the mobile market in the UK. We're bringing the mobile consumer not just market leading price plans, but also market leading handsets. I believe that with these handsets and 3's unbeatable great value price plans, we are challenging the incumbent network operators in the UK, what a great way to celebrate our first anniversary."

Marc Allera, Sales Director of 3 said: "For the first two months of this year we focused on the Motorola A835 and it is currently the best selling contract handset in three of our main retail partners. By adding a further three handsets to the range it can only be good news for customers and retailers alike. While others may not have video mobiles that are ready, 3 will now have a portfolio of five handsets available."

The e616, the A925 and the e313 will complement the Motorola A835, currently the number one selling handset for 3. All handset models will be available across the UK, through over 3,200 shops that stock 3 products and services.

All three handsets have an in-built camera or cameras, can capture video clips or still pictures; they support a range of messaging including email, MMS (Multimedia Messaging Services) and text messages. The e616 and the e313 are both dual mode (2.5G/3G) and the Motorola A835 is tri-band.

External Links

3 UK

Antenna developer Antenova has just unveiled its quadband QUADNOVA antenna for cellular handsets, smartphones and PDA applications.

The QUADNOVA covers the AMPS 800, GSM 900, DCS 1800 and PCS 1900 bands and is suitable for Asia, European and American (CDMA/TDMA 800 and 1900) handsets, smartphones and PDA applications. With a volume of less than 3.5cc, this antenna is the smallest quadband in the World and offers over 50% average terminal radiation efficiency over all four bands. The QUADNOVA is a hybrid solution with a combination of ceramic and PIFA (Planar Inverted F Antenna) technology and can be customised to suit individual customer requirements.  The QUADNOVA has superb detuning characteristics thanks to the properties of Antenova's HDA (High Dielectric Antenna) technology and because of this, components can be placed close to the antenna and will have less interference than conventional technology.

As handsets get smaller and the functionality gets greater there is real pressure on handset designers to fit more components into an ever reducing space.  Because of the small size of Antenova's antenna it can fit into all sizes of mobile phones, offering the ability to just use one component for all models (including dualband and triband models), and thus reducing tooling costs and cutting development costs significantly.

"A conventional quadband antenna with similar performance will need about twice the volume, making the QUADNOVA the smallest and highest performing solution in its class", says Greg McCray, CEO of Antenova.

Antenova also unveiled its 3G TRINOVA antenna covering the GSM 900, GCS 1800, PCS 1900, WCDMA 2100 and UMTS(3G) bands.  Antenova can also offer GPS and BluetoothTM variations.

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Antenova

Actix gets the gig

Vodafone Ireland selects Actix’ WCDMA wireless performance engineering solution to verify its 3G network.

Actix, the global provider of wireless performance engineering solutions, has today announced that Vodafone Ireland’s Radio
Planning Department has selected Actix’ WCDMA wireless performance engineering solution to benchmark and increase the quality of its 3G network. Vodafone Ireland selected Actix’ 3G solution primarily because, when compared to other similar solutions on the market, it considered Actix’ software to be superior for analyzing data from walk and drive tests.

By verifying its 3G network using Actix’ software, Vodafone Ireland will not only assess the network’s performance, it will also identify where modifications in the network can be made to further enhance the network’s quality and the customer experience. The Radio Planning Department will also use Actix’ software to verify and enhance the quality of handovers between its 3G and 2G networks.

Actix wireless performance engineering solutions are entirely vendor independent and enable operators to analyze raw wireless network data from a mix of network technologies, systems and data collection solutions in fine detail. This gives an end-to-end picture of vital wireless functions and the quality of service delivery from the subscriber’s perspective; it also
enables engineers to ‘drill down’ to the root cause of any deficiencies.

Emmet Savage, Radio Planning Manager, Vodafone Ireland said, “We have used Actix’ technology for over five years and we still believe that when it comes to analyzing live data in order to benchmark and improve a wireless network, nothing compares to Actix’ solutions. In addition to this, Actix
support and customer service is excellent – Actix’ people are genuinely keen to help us to get the best out of their software.”

Duncan Vardy, Head of Product Management, Actix said, “As well as Radio Planning, Actix’ 3G wireless performance engineering solutions are used by Vodafone Ireland’s Network Quality & Optimization Department. Vodafone Ireland is using our solutions from the early stages of rollout and the verification of radio planning, right through to optimizing bandwidth use and troubleshooting its commercially launched 3G network on an ongoing basis. This extensive use of Actix’ solutions recognizes the importance of performance engineering in the successful deployment and running of
next-generation networks.”

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Actix

Yakara plc, a founding member of MX, launched m-groups 4 at this year's 3GSM. The product offers SMEs a simple way to benefit from the mobile messaging revolution. Using a standard internet browser, organisations will have access to a range of mobile customer relationship management , mobile workforce management, and mobile project collaboration tools.

Stuart Malcolm, Managing Director of Yakara plc said, "Text messaging has become a mainstream activity and businesses today are looking for a way to harness the power of this new medium. Yakara is first to market with a simple, one-stop solution for companies seeking the benefits of SMS text messaging."

Analysys Research forecasts that annual revenues from business use of mobile data services across Europe will grow to Euro 8.1 Billion in 2008.  The market today is reported to be under-exploited due to the difficulties in bringing together the building blocks for a solution: speedy and reliable networks, applications, devices, implementation options and pricing that meet businesses' needs.

m-groups® 4 offers significant financial benefits through increased productivity, improved team responsiveness and direct savings in telephone charges.  Operationally, the product helps the team to anticipate problems, vastly improve communication, co-ordinate problem resolution and generally keep everyone informed of progress.  It also allows the individual team members to communicate much more easily with each other.

At present businesses only account for 11% of data revenues, using m-groups this figure could potentially increase to 40%, matching voice revenues from businesses and making a huge impact on the GSM world, confirming forecasts made by Analysis.


External Links

Yakara

Over the past 3 months the number of consumers using MMS has surged by 40%. 37% of 18-24 year olds are now using MMS.

The results are revealed in the Mobile Media Monitor, the latest quarterly survey of the sector from Enpocket, the mobile marketing solutions provider.

Some 18% of all mobile phone owners now have a camera phone. Younger adults and men lead the way, with penetration more than doubling to 47% this quarter from 22% last quarter in the 18-24 segment.  21% of men versus 15% of women own a camera phone.

Mono ring tones are still the most popular downloaded media, but volumes are falling, as are those for icons and logos. While polyphonic ring tones and Java games are gaining in popularity, particularly among men: 10% of males have downloaded a polyphonic ring tone; 7% a Java game.

Use of the medium for participation in TV and radio shows, and for response to promotions and advertising in other media, are also showing continued growth with over 20% of 18-44 year olds having used their mobiles in this way. Interestingly, response to TV shows is heavily female biased - 12% of women have texted to a TV show, compared to 6% of men. Texting into radio is also a predominantly female activity. But SMS responses to product packing, advertising and newspapers all have a slightly male bias.

Commenting on the latest findings Jonathon Linner, CEO of Enpocket, said: "The mobile media market is in transition from first phase handsets and content to the second phase in which richer content and applications will gain sway. As MMS catches hold this is opening up many more exciting creative opportunities for marketers. Meanwhile, consumers are developing their use and ease with the channel which is making mobile the medium of choice for campaign response."

Phase 2 of the Mobile Media Monitor (UK) survey was based on 1,000 telephone interviews undertaken by ICM for Enpocket Insight in early February, and relates to the period December 2003 to February 2004. The base was representative of UK mobile phone usage.

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Enpocket

mobilkom austria, Telekom Austria's mobile subsidiary, today announced that it is the first mobile network operator worldwide to bring CNN live television broadcasts (24x7) to its mobile phone customers. Services from CNN, the word's best known news broadcaster, will be free to mobilkom austria's A1 subscribers for a trial period. mobilkom austria delivers a wide selection of programs to its customers through A1 TV, its mobile TV service, and the YBN (Yard Broadcast Network) content network.

Beginning in March, all owners of the new Nokia 7600 will be able to receive live television on their mobile phones for the first time. The high transmission rate of this UMTS mobile phone enables superior quality audio and visual reception. Further stations will be added to the CNN service through the YBN content network.

"When it comes to UMTS, mobilkom austria is taking a leading role in Austria and Europe," said Boris Nemsic, COO Wireless of Telekom Austria and CEO of mobilkom austria. "We see it as our responsibility not just to launch technologies first, but to also develop mobile services and products that offer customers real added value."

"CNN is delighted to be able to share this world first with mobilkom austria: debuting a 24 hour live television streaming service to mobile users in Austria," says Mitch Lazar, vice president wireless & emerging technology for Turner Broadcasting Systems International. 

"CNN have been the pioneers in delivering news and information services to mobile networks and as wireless technologies evolve, it is the next logical step to provide a CNN video service directly to mobile devices. This is an important development as it enhances the user experience and increases the potential for generating new revenue for CNN and for mobile operators."

A1 TV also offers "Video on Demand" (VOD) streams directly on mobile phones through the mobile A1 portal. Users simply select the option "A1 TV" from the portal, then chose subject areas. The selection ranges from news, sports and weather to entertainment programs.

Although the high bandwidth of UMTS makes it the ideal carrier technology for A1 TV, several GPRS mobiles are also capable of using the new service. In this case it is only necessary to download the free "Real Player".

Manufacturers of more than 85% of the world's mobile phones now license Symbian OS

3GSM World Congress
LG Electronics and Symbian Limited announced today that LG Electronics, the world's fifth largest mobile phone manufacturer, has signed an agreement to license Symbian OS as its platform for development of smartphones for 2.5G and 3G networks worldwide.

The world leader in CDMA mobile phones, LG Electronics is also a significant supplier of GSM mobile phones to major European network service providers including Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile as well as the USA's largest GSM operator, Cingular.

LG Electronics joins all other major mobile phone manufacturers in licensing Symbian OS for use as a platform for the development of data-enabled, advanced mobile phones. Symbian OS licensees now account for over 85% of worldwide mobile phone sales.2  In 2003, more than 6.67million phones based on Symbian OS were shipped worldwide.
 
Yong E. Shin, Vice President and Head of UMTS Handset Laboratory, LG Electronics, said: "We have chosen to license the market-leading Symbian OS smartphone platform to enable LG Electronics to develop exciting, highly differentiated smartphones for LG's network operator customers worldwide. Symbian OS is a market-proven, leading-edge technology whose stability makes it a robust platform for the development of innovative products that provide a compelling experience for mobile users in worldwide markets."

David Levin, Chief Executive, Symbian, said: "We are delighted to welcome LG Electronics, one of the world's largest handset manufacturers and a leader in CDMA technology markets, as a Symbian OS licensee. LG Electronics has a
well-earned reputation for the excellence of its technology, particularly in UMTS and an impressive growth record in mobile technology markets around the world, particularly in the USA.  We very much look forward to working with LG Electronics as Symbian continues to fulfil its commitment to serving markets across Asia."

For more details visit Symbian at Stand E31, Hall 2 at the 3GSM World Congress 2004.

3GSM World Congress
Arima Group and Symbian Limited announced today that Arima, a leading  manufacturer of mobile terminals, notebooks PCs and opto-electronics, has signed an agreement to license Symbian OS for Arima's development of smartphones for 2.5G and 3G networks worldwide.

Arima plans to develop a series of market-driven, advanced smartphones to sell to the world's leading mobile phone companies and mobile network service providers under an Original Design Manufacturing (ODM) business model. Arima is a leading ODM supplier of GSM/GPRS terminals to many top- tier brands worldwide.

Arima's first product, based on Symbian OS v7.0 will use the UIQ user interface platform licensed from UIQ Technology. UIQ is a customizable pen-based user interface platform for media- rich mobile terminals based on Symbian OS. Arima's first Symbian OS-based smartphone will be the ASP805 which is scheduled to launch later this year. Symbian OS licensees now account for over 85% of worldwide mobile phone sales. In 2003, more than 6.67million phones based on Symbian OS were shipped worldwide.

Stephen Lee, CEO, Arima Group, said: "We are very pleased to sign this agreement which enables Arima to use Symbian OS as a platform for our smartphone development. We were able to rapidly develop the advanced ASP805 that our customers are already asking for. We will leverage our well established capabilities and resources to provide terminal suppliers with an alternative source of competitive Symbian OS platform designs, which allows us flexibility in customizing features and Industrial Design outlooks that meet customers' expectations."

David Levin, CEO, Symbian Limited, said: "We are very pleased to welcome Arima as a Symbian OS licensee. Arima is one of the world's leading original design mobile terminal manufacturers with a worldwide customer base. We very much look forward to working with Arima to develop Symbian OS phones for customers worldwide."