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ESB-based integration technology for OSS/BSS Integration and Service Delivery Platforms (SDP)

Cape Clear Software has announced a comprehensive industry solution designed to simplify integration and enable the rapid delivery of new services in the telecommunications sector. Cape Clear is releasing new functionality, including adapters for the most popular OSS and BSS applications, and integrations with leading ISVs. Cape Clear is also announcing a number of new industry partnerships with key solution providers.

This industry solution is in response to the rapid adoption of Web services,Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), and the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)integration platform throughout the telecommunications industry. Cape Clearis already working with network operators, equipment providers, andthird-party content suppliers on a diversity of projects-from theintegration of OSS/BSS systems to the creation of Service Delivery Platforms(SDPs).

Cape Clear's telecommunications solution includes:• Powerful standards-based technology to enable OSS/BSS integration.• Support for robust service delivery.• Built-in support for the most popular telecommunications applications.• Partnerships with leading telecommunications technology vendors.• Partnerships with leading solution providers.

"The telecommunications sector is subject to incredible competitivepressures that drive the need to generate new revenue opportunities, add newsubscribers, and increase customer retention and loyalty," commented JoeLichtenberg, Vice President of Marketing at Cape Clear Software. "Thesedemands require a means of integration that protects existing investments inapplications and that is flexible enough to support the delivery of newservices. We're finding that the ESB provides the perfect platform for thesetasks, and its service-oriented approach to integration is tightly alignedwith the requirements of the telecommunications industry."

Cape Clear Software already works with many of the world's leadingoperators, network management, and equipment suppliers including AOL, AT&T,British Telecom,, Ericsson, Swisscom, and Vodafone. This solutionbuilds on that experience to provide a unique integration approach thatsolves the specific challenges facing organizations in thetelecommunications sector.

Ericsson, Motorola, NEC, Nokia and Siemens join forces to drive implementation of a common architecture for mobile network management

The world’s largest mobile network equipment providers - Ericsson, Motorola, NEC, Nokia and Siemens – have announced that they have initiated a Co-operative Open OSS Project (CO-OP) under the framework of the TeleManagement Forum.

The CO-OP members will work together on architecture specification, testing and verification of mobile network management systems (NMS). The goal of the CO-OP is to reduce the complexity of integrating network equipment and management systems from multiple vendors in mobile operator networks.

“The TeleManagement Forum is very excited about this new initiative, as it is a significant step by the mobile industry to support the ‘Lean Operator’ concept of highly flexible operations, lower operating costs and faster time-to-market,” said Keith Willetts, Founder and Chairman of the TeleManagement Forum.

“We are extremely pleased to see these major suppliers putting their combined weight behind a very practical implementation of the TeleManagement Forum’s New Generation Operations Systems and Software (NGOSS) framework, and actively working together in the spirit of openness,” he continued. “We expect this to drive down the ‘integration tax’ of the systems integration effort and encourage other suppliers, software vendors and operators to study this initiative and give it their full support.”

The collaboration will start as a TeleManagement Forum project. Some of the key focus areas of collaboration are: common OSS system specification; standardized interfaces for peer-to-peer element management and out-of-the-box functionality; and agreeing on common testing and verification practices. 

Service providers are expected to benefit through cost savings as OSS systems develop more ready-to-integrate functionality, a clearer set of interfaces and become pre-tested for interoperability. As the TM Forum CO-OP Project is defined, it will become easier to integrate OSS elements that offer greater flexibility and stability in a multi-vendor environment.

The initial goal is to build on the TM Forum’s NGOSS foundation and drive the implementation of a common system architecture for interoperable network management systems. Later, the project will present testing and verification procedures and reference implementations based on the agreed standards.

Network equipment providers who can contribute to this work are invited to join the TM Forum CO-OP Project, which will engage operators to ensure that the work is aligned with their requirements.  The Project will work closely with other key standardization initiatives such as OSS/J, 3GPP, 3GPP2 along with the TeleManagement Forum’s Service Provider Leadership Council (SPLC).

Phil Holmes, Chairman of the SPLC, an influential group of operators, said, "We strongly welcome this initiative from the TeleManagement Forum and these major mobile equipment suppliers to help make New Generation OSS a reality in the marketplace. The SPLC consists of major operators such as Vodafone, Orange, BT, NTT and AT&T, and is a forceful group of buyers and thus customers of the companies backing the TM Forum’s CO-OP initiative.”

Holmes continued, "Reducing integration problems and strengthening the operators’ business capabilities is a welcome aim of this new group. The SPLC will take a strong interest in encouraging this group to succeed.”

Karl-Wilhelm Siebert, Director of General Process and Project Coordination at Vodafone D2, agreed, “We believe this initiative holds the key to a more cohesive, streamlined approach that promises a best practice OSS framework for us to follow. The economics of the current market mean that mobile operators such as Vodafone have been searching for dramatically simpler OSS implementation for some time, and we’re pleased that the TeleManagement Forum is driving this forward.”

“This is an obvious next step to extend cooperation between network equipment providers, and we believe operators will benefit from this through reduced cost of ownership and short time-to-market for new services,” said John Montgomery, Vice President, Ericsson OSS Products.

“Motorola is committed to the CO-OP initiative and to tapping our technology expertise to help reduce the complexity and costs of network operations,” said Tom Shirley, vice president and general manager, OSS Division Global Telecommunications Solution Sector, Motorola. “We fully support this effort to fuel the success of operators and the industry through open collaboration with other major OSS suppliers.”

"NEC is the leading mobile solutions company of Japan where the most advanced mobile internet, such as WCDMA and i-mode, both technology wise and service-wise, is operating in a very large scale,” said Tsutomu Kunita, General Manager at Network Software Operations Unit. “With the experience and technological capabilities, NEC will contribute to the realization of CO-OP objectives. Through CO-OP activities, NEC anticipates a higher performance and easy-to-use NMS for operators and efficient system integration of OSS to accomplish high-level services in quick and prompt manners."

“Nokia has seen this systems ‘integration tax’ pressure on operators and service providers for some time now, and we are very excited to work together with other major OSS vendors to provide practical solutions for improving the overall performance of the OSS industry,” said Juha Lipiäinen, Director, OSS Middleware Business, Nokia Operations Solutions, Networks, Nokia. 

“We strongly support this major step in the industry to drive solutions that address the demand on lowering OSS integration tax by applying the practice of peer-to-peer integration - as we have seen it for many years in the network infrastructure business - to network management,” said Christoph Caselitz, President of Mobile Networks at Siemens Communications.

“TM Forum members will benefit from this initiative, and I am glad to mention that the TM Forum has received additional interest in the CO-OP initiative from major equipment suppliers from Europe and North America including Alcatel, Cisco Systems and Lucent Technologies,” added Keith Willetts.

Former Comverse, ECI Telecom VP, Miki Zevadi, to lead Sheer’s Global Marketing efforts

Sheer Networks, a leading provider of award winning service management solutions for carrier networks, has announced the appointment of veteran Miki Zevadi, as its new Vice President for Marketing and Business Development.  Following the substantial expansion of the Sheer Networks solutions provided to existing customers, as well as its rising customer base, Sheer hires a marketing professional to help realize plans for market penetration and growth. Miki Zevadi’s appointment is aimed at expanding the Sheer BOS market footprint as well as to assist the company on it way towards market leadership.

Mr. Zevadi brings over 30 years of experience in Research and Development, Sales, Marketing and Business Development to Sheer Networks. His expertise combines senior roles at various industries, across three continents.

Mr. Zevadi served in various R&D positions over the course of 15 years in the United States, Israel and France. In his last role Mr. Zevadi served as CIO of Medical development at Rhone-Poulenc, where he managed a large international team. After earning an MBA from INSEAD Fontainebleau, France, Mr. Zevadi spent seven years managing the sales, marketing and business development efforts in EMEA for two North American companies. After spending 10 years in Europe, Mr. Zevadi occupied senior sales, marketing and business development positions in large corporations such as ECI Telecom and Comverse. Mr. Zevadi’s most recent role was VP of Product Innovation for Comverse where he patented and successfully launched two mobile services.

As VP Marketing and Business development of Sheer Networks Mr. Zevadi will be responsible for devising and executing the overall marketing and business development strategy for the company.

”Miki Zevadi brings to Sheer years of vast experience and expertise in the telecommunications industry,” Said Klod Ghez, CEO of Sheer Networks. “His appointment comes at a time where Sheer’s solutions flexibility and sustainability have been realized by our customers, A large number of which are already making plans to include Sheer’s technology in their Next Generation network platforms. Miki’s appointment will assist us in taking the next step towards expanding and cultivating the Sheer experience.”

“Sheer Networks solutions’ elegance and the company’s potential of becoming a major player in the Network Abstraction layer as well as in the OSS space captured my interest and enthusiasm” Said Miki Zevadi.

Operators are keeping a firm eye on CapEx and OpEx, but there are clear signs of an upturn in the market as they start to invest in next generation services with recent emphasis on end-to-end convergent solutions, designed to consolidate and upgrade existing systems. According to a recent market trends paper on New Drivers in Billing, published by Analysys Research Group, Real-time Rating capabilities and Convergent Charging Platforms (closing the gap between IN and billing) are amongst the key issues to be addressed.

Following the launch of several industry initiatives - like the foundation of the Fixed-Mobile Convergence Alliance (FMCA), the role out of the first Convergent BCC Systems as well as the ongoing work of telecom related OSS/BSS Associations - the issue of convergence finally moves into the spotlight.

Delivering True Prepay/Postpay Convergence: ORGA Systems and Martin Dawes Systems (MDS), both established and experienced players in the world of postpaid and prepaid billing/CRM have joined forces to launch a unique Convergent Prepaid/Postpaid BCC System. The solution has been specifically designed to accurately meet the needs of operators looking to address the market challenge of prepaid/postpaid Convergence.

Concepts for building a ‘mobile payments network’ to be shared

AM-BEO, a global leader in rating, charging and revenue settlement software, has announced that AM-BEO and MoreMagic will jointly present “Building a Mobile Payments Network” at the Mobile ID Services conference at CTIA WIRELESS I.T. in San Francisco, October 26th. The presentation will focus on key elements for mobile payments including event-based billing, a universal payment infrastructure, cashless payment alternatives, and the migration from micro to macro payments.  Requirements to build a processing network to enable routing, clearing and settlement will be discussed.  Additionally, ideas will be presented on how mobile operators can aggregate small value transactions and share revenue on a global scale with roaming agreements. MoreMagic CEO and Chairman, Pankaj Gulati will join Frank Reen, AM-BEO founder and product director, for the presentation at 3:15 P.M.   The Mobile ID Services conference covers the business opportunities driving mobile identity management and how companies can contribute to the breakthrough of M-commerce.

Following the replacement of O2's previous supplier of GSM base station network, Nokia has become the sole supplier for O2's 2G base station infrastructure in the UK.

This has been made possible through the close collaboration of both organisations and integration of project teams resulting in the rapid change out of over 2000 base stations. Not only has this been achieved in challenging time scales but also has enabled O2 to significantly improve network quality to the extent that it has independently been recognised as having the best ever UK mobile call success rate, beating all figures previously published by Oftel.

As the majority WCDMA RAN supplier to the mmO2 group, Nokia is committed to supporting high quality end user experience for O2's 3G Customers, specifically within the M25 London motorway ring area. Part of this project is a tuning and optimisation programme that has been employed to enhance interoperation between 2G and 3G services across the Nokia supplied infrastructure.

"We are pleased to be building out the system that will bring high-speed 3G services to our Irish, German and UK customers and we chose Nokia's 3G system thanks to its good performance and the solidity of its system roadmap," says Dave Williams, Chief Technology Officer, O2.

"We are determined to ensure our 3G network provides the best possible operation in terms of reliability and coverage, especially in urban areas. We know that O2 customers will expect a lot from our 3G offering and we plan to satisfy that expectation," he adds.

"We are happy to be working with O2 in bringing 3G to some of the world's premier markets for advanced mobile multimedia services," says Peter Kuhne, Vice President, Networks, Nokia.

"The roll-out of Nokia's system in all three of these countries is a clear endorsement for the quality of our network solution. And we are looking forward to playing a continuing role beyond these initial roll-outs," he adds.

O2 and Nokia have also successfully completed a Push to Talk over Cellular (PoC) trial using commercially available technology and terminals. O2 is now evaluating its approach to this potential new service.

Nokia has been the major GSM supplier to O2 networks since 1990.

Amedia Networks, a company that designs and develops Ethernet broadbandsolutions for the communications industry, and LB&T Partners, Ltd. aEuropean marketing consultancy, today announced a joint initiativeaimed at launching Amedia's QoStream Fiber to the Premisessolution in Europe.

In addition to their role as a sales agent for Amedia in Europe, LB&T will closely work with the Amedia Development team to insure that all European-specific standards and vendor obligations are met, and will provide the market analysis and implementation strategy to support a successful launch.    LB&T is a partnership of experienced European-based telecommunication executives and analysts who are highly regarded for their insights into the European market and for their broad industry knowledge. "LB&T has an outstanding reputation for this kind of work,"commented Frank Galuppo, CEO of Amedia. "Our business model is tofrequently rely on leading specialists in their field and to develop aclose partnership with them rather than immediately expanding our ownstaff and undergoing a steep learning curve. This market is veryunforgiving of delay."    In the U.K., Richard Dade, Chairman and Founding Partner of LB&TPartners Limited, said, "We are delighted to be representing AmediaNetworks in the UK and European region. Amedia's Ethernet SwitchedOptical Network (ESON) solution offers a very attractive means ofeconomically delivering Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) Triple Playservices."    Europe is said to represent an exciting opportunity for FTTP deployments.Several municipal areas, particularly in the Scandinavian region, havealready deployed such systems. A broad set of other European serviceproviders and municipalities in countries such as the UK, France,Italy and the Netherlands are carefully watching these deployments andbeginning to evaluate their own options for deploying similarbroadband/triple play capable infrastructure.

Heavy Reading report finds that carrier revenue expectations for Ethernet service are higher than customers say they are willing to spend

Telecom service providers entering the new Ethernet services market may be overestimating the amount of money their business customers are willing to pay for some critical components of carrier-delivered Ethernet services, according to a new study released today by Heavy Reading the market research division of Light Reading Inc.

The study also suggests that many service providers are still unclear about exactly how much it will cost to deliver Ethernet to business users, which means many network operators may be rushing to enter the Ethernet market without completely understanding the economics of Ethernet service delivery.

The report, "2004 Survey of Ethernet Service Providers," is based on an exclusive survey of more than 140 service providers worldwide, gauging service provider plans to roll out Ethernet-based services as well as their cost and revenue expectations for those new offerings.

Although carrier Ethernet services are still in the early stage of development, most service providers are strongly committed to service rollouts, with more than 70 percent of survey respondents saying their company would have Ethernet service in place by the end of 2005.

Customer demand is seen as one of the most important drivers behind carrier plans to deploy Ethernet services. But survey results indicate that service providers are overestimating the price that customers may be willing to pay for two critical components of Ethernet service: managed protection and quality of service (QOS) guarantees.

Most carriers expect protection and QOS to add 10 percent or more to the cost of delivering Ethernet service, and they generally expect to pass that added cost on to their business customers. But in a survey of business users conducted earlier this year by Heavy Reading, about one third of potential Ethernet service users said they would not be willing to pay anything extra for either protection or QOS, and another 38 percent said they would not be willing to pay a premium higher than 10 percent.

Other key findings of the report include:Many carriers may not have "worked the numbers" adequately regarding Ethernet service delivery. More than 30 percent of respondents in the carrier survey said they weren't sure about the cost of Ethernet QOS, and more than 40 percent were unclear on the cost of delivering protection services.

2005 will see significant expansion in the number of service providers offering Ethernet-based services. Among carriers that do not yet offer Ethernet virtual private LAN service (VPLS), 24.6 percent said they would have VPLS in place by the end of 2005, and 24.2 percent of carriers that don't yet have Ethernet private LAN service will be offering that type of service by the end of next year, as well.

Small to midsize enterprises (SMEs) are considered the prime target for carrier Ethernet services. SMEs drew the highest score among potential customers for carrier Ethernet services, with 68.2 percent of survey respondents identifying SMEs as a target market for Ethernet services.

Carriers believe the benefits of offering Ethernet services outweigh the potential deterrents. In general, survey respondents were considerably more positive about the benefits of migrating to Ethernet services than they were negative about the potential deterrents. This suggests that carriers have rationalized the move to Ethernet-based services internally and are ready to move forward more aggressively with service rollouts.

Sandvine Incorporated today announced that it has entered into a partnership agreement with Telindus France, part of Telindus group, one of Europe's largest and most innovative technology integrators, to deliver Sandvine's full suite of traffic management and worm mitigation products to broadband ISPs in France.

Telindus France has added Sandvine's award-winning Peer-To-Peer Policy Management platform to its comprehensive broadband network solution set, providing end-to-end support encompassing consulting, implementation, and post-sale support.

"Telindus' expertise in the European technology marketplace is a welcome complement to Sandvine's deep understanding of broadband traffic and its underlying DNA," said Dave Caputo, CEO and president of Sandvine Incorporated. "Together we are helping our service provider customers in France protect the broadband experience for their subscribers while identifying new opportunities to improve profitability."

"French broadband ISPs are very keen to manage file sharing traffic, mitigate the impact of worm attacks and better understand how their subscribers utilise broadband access. We are very pleased to be working with Sandvine to address this demand." said Gilles Gaudu, Manager of the ISP Market at Telindus France.

Sandvine's unique technologies work in harmony with Telindus' existing proprietary products, including the Telindus Broadband Business solution suite, which enables the cost effective roll-out of value-added services like Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Video and Voice over IP (VoIP), all supported through advanced Quality Of Service (QoS) mechanisms.

SeaChange Provides On-Demand Server and Software Platform ForU.K.'s Largest Cable Television Operator

ntl Incorporated, the largest cable television operator in the United Kingdom, has chosen SeaChange International and its comprehensive VOD System to support its impending on-demand television service. Initial launch of ntl's on-demand service is slated for the first quarter of 2005, making it Europe's first large-scale, commercial cable on-demand service.    "On-demand television is now truly a worldwide phenomenon," saidBill Styslinger, president & CEO, SeaChange International. "With ntl'simpending launch, viewers in the U.K. will gain unprecedented controlover their programming. We're very proud of our selection by ntl andto be part of Europe's first large-scale launch of on-demandtelevision."    SeaChange's VOD System - a comprehensive technology platformincorporating its patented MediaCluster servers, end-to-end automationsoftware and real-time broadcast recording gear - enables broadbandoperators to easily initiate and enhance on-demand programmingservices. This standards-based platform supports an array ofthird-party software and network components, including ntl's digitalset top boxes from Pace and Samsung. SeaChange's strategic on-demandpartner, London-based programming and content provider On Demand Group(ODG), is also collaborating with ntl to enable this milestone inEuropean television.    Worldwide, SeaChange is responsible for the majority of commercialon-demand television deployments, providing more than 1.2 millionon-demand streams in over 100 locations. In addition to ntl,SeaChange's on-demand customers include some of the world's largestbroadband operators such as Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, Insight, Rogersand Time Warner Cable.

European Presence Strengthens Over-the-Air Support for WirelessOperators and Handset Manufacturers Worldwide

InnoPath Software (formerly DoOnGo Technologies), specialist in over-the-air (OTA) mobile device software management, hasannounced it has expanded its international presence by setting up asubsidiary office in Europe, InnoPath Software UK Ltd, located inLondon. The new EMEA office will enable InnoPath to leverage newbusiness opportunities in the growing European wireless market.    George Nicholson, European Managing Director, will oversee theLondon office. He joins InnoPath with over 30 years of internationalexperience in multi-national software, hardware, and managed services,including sales and general management of both small entrepreneurialand Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Nicholson's extensive backgroundincludes serving on the executive management teams at TelcordiaTechnologies, Marconi Optical Components, Teleplace, Inc. and NortelNetworks.    "We are excited to add a strong leader to InnoPath's managementteam to drive our overall European strategy," said Dr. Luosheng Peng,CEO, co-founder and chairman of InnoPath. "There are significantbusiness opportunities for mobile device management, especially in thewireless market, EMEA region. InnoPath's objective is to expandglobally by building upon our core update-ready technology success inAsia and extend next generation OTA solutions to the European wirelessmarket. Nicholson has a proven record of success, and we are confidentthat he will help InnoPath achieve this objective."    "InnoPath is well positioned to lead the European mobile devicemanagement space through working with key customers and nextgeneration handset manufacturers at a time when the emerging OMAstandards have evolved to enable interoperability between servertechnologies and key device manufacturers," said Nicholson. "WithInnoPath taking a leadership position in the OMA standards efforts,this will provide our key target customer base more choice andflexibility."    InnoPath is the first company to power OTA-capable phones onpublic wireless networks and the company's software management clientis used in more than 30 million handsets with 1.2 million handsetsshipped monthly. Through its relationships with NEC, Panasonic, Sharp,LG, SANYO, China Unicom, and KDDI, InnoPath has helped to bring thefirst commercialized OTA-capable phones to market.

Leading French Cable Operator to Use Motive Broadband Management Software to Automate Configuration and Problem Resolution of Digital Services

Motive, a leading provider of management software, has announced at its annual customer conference, Motivation 2004, that French cable provider Numéricable will build Motive self-management capabilities into its broadband services to automate a range of configuration and problem resolution processes for both customers and call centre operations. Numéricable's decision extends Motive's global customer reach and makes Motive the market share leader in Europe's cable broadband market.

Numéricable is among the largest cable operators in France, currently serving 830,000 customers. The company is rapidly expanding its broadband customer base by offering multiple access speed tiers, public WiFi, and bundled services, including broadband data and television over IP. Building Motive self-management capabilities into all of these services will allow Numéricable to ensure a differentiated, consistently positive subscriber experience, while also better controlling operational costs of delivering and supporting broadband services.  As a result, Motive will be instrumental in helping the company quickly scale its operations to manage a substantially larger subscriber base.

"The ability to offer multiple services is critical for our continued growth, and building management into these service through Motive software is the only way to ensure we can make them convenient and valuable for our subscribers," said Bernard Cottin, chairman and CEO, Numéricable. "Motive has proven itself by successfully deploying broadband self-management solutions throughout Europe and with some of the top cable providers in the world. Motive is the right choice to take us through the next-generation of our broadband business."

After evaluating several vendors, Numéricable chose Motive as the only software provider that could build automation directly into the company's current and future cable broadband services.  As a result, these services will be able to guide individuals through effortless configuration, management and problem resolution steps, regardless of where the services are installed, what devices they are connected to, or how often they change.

"With Numéricable and other recently announced customers, Motive continues to demonstrate success in the European broadband market," said Bruno Teuber, Motive's vice president and general manager for EMEA. "By deciding to build management into next-generation services, Numéricable has established itself as one of the most innovative cable operators in France. As the company continues to expand its broadband portfolio, we look forward to working together to ensure that new services are equipped with self-management capabilities."

Numéricable has licensed Motive's Broadband Manager (BBM) and Customer Service Manager (CSM) products to automate the installation, configuration and troubleshooting of current and future broadband services. BBM will allow Numéricable broadband subscribers to self-activate services and devices, as well as to solve support issues automatically without engaging a customer service representative (CSR) or having a technician visit the home. When additional assistance is needed, CSM will help Numéricable CSRs quickly pinpoint the cause of subscriber problems and provide the most effective resolution, improving the efficiency of every technical support transaction regardless of communication channel.