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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.

NetTest, a leading global provider of testing, monitoring, and management solutions for advanced and converged networks, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to cooperate with Casabyte, a leading provider of end-to-end wireless service quality monitoring solutions in a partnership to bring integrated network and service assurance solutions to wireless operators.

To enable wireless operators of 2G, 2.5G and 3G networks to attract and retain subscribers, Casabyte and NetTest are working together to bring integrated solutions for end-to-end service assurance and troubleshooting of services. This partnership combines Casabyte's RCATS with NetTest's MasterQuest in an integrated solution for fully automated, centrally managed active testing, performance monitoring and trouble shooting. This will enable immediate and seamless network tracing and troubleshooting of any failed test, as well as automatic launch of test suites if network and service KPIs indicate potential degradation of the end-user service level.

Whereas MasterQuest provides in-depth understanding of the performance of the network and services seen from a network centric view, RCATS validates the offered services from an end-user perspective through its active test environment. By combining the network centric view with the end-user view, operators can get a complete view of their operation and quality of service. The agreement also means that NetTest will become a distributor of Casabyte’s Service Assurance solutions for active test and roaming test solutions in EMEA and APAC. “Our cooperation with NetTest will significantly increase our market presence in the EMEA and APAC regions, where NetTest’s qualified sales and support organization will enable us to reach a global audience with our Wireless Service Quality Assurance solutions,” said John Read, CEO of Casabyte. “Our cooperation with NetTest has its offset in the Service Management Alliance, and we see this as yet another example of how the alliance breeds enthusiasm among its members to create new and integrated solutions that will benefit wireless operators.”

“Both RCATS and RoamerNet offer very immediate and tangible benefits to mobile operators which implies that there is a great worldwide potential for this partnership. In addition to this, Casabyte’s wireless Service Assurance solutions are the ideal complement to our present OSS portfolio, which consolidates our position as a full OSS solution provider. As a leader in the wireless network and service monitoring market it is a natural step for us to broaden our offering through partnerships with leading vendors in different areas of OSS. We believe that our customers will recognize the significant benefits that these integrated solutions offer,” said Jørgen Weber, Vice President and head of the Systems Business Unit at NetTest.

NetTest and Casabyte will be showcasing their solutions at the Service Management Alliance (SMA) booth #514 at the TeleManagement World tradeshow in Long Beach, California, October 11-14, 2004.

NetTest, a leading global provider of testing, monitoring, and management solutions for advanced and converged networks, today announced that it will cooperate with Psytechnics, the global leader in voice and video quality assessment software to bring non-intrusive voice quality measurement capabilities to NetTest’s MasterQuest VoIP solution.

Having passed the initial technology and adoption hurdles, VoIP is becoming a mainstream service. Many incumbent network operators are exploring IP technology as a way of achieving increased operational efficiency as well as a platform for new services, while other players are exploring IP technology as a vehicle for market entry or business repositioning. Quality of Service has become an important cornerstone in the quest for users. Satisfactory service quality is not only a prerequisite to build confidence with the end-user and grow the customer base; high Quality of Service is also a must in order to retain customers.

By integrating Psytechnics’ psyVoIP voice quality assessment software into the MasterQuest VoIP solution, NetTest is able to offer a comprehensive service assurance solution to IP network operators and providers of IP-based services. The MasterQuest VoIP solution enables continuous non-intrusive voice quality monitoring of all calls in the network. This not only enables monitoring of the end-user experienced voice quality in real-time, but it can also be used for rapid diagnosis of customer-affecting network problems, allowing efficient prioritization of network maintenance. The voice quality offered by the network is made visible through Key Performance Indicators, thus providing a basis for Service Level Agreements with both customers and partners/suppliers.

MasterQuest VoIP is a fully integrated network and service performance monitoring system, where tools for monitoring, troubleshooting and Service Assurance are integral parts of the same carrier-class OSS framework, enabling early problem detection, rapid analysis of problems, and constant monitoring of performance and service levels. The solution offers full end-to-end service visibility across converged networks, thus enabling full troubleshooting across packet- and circuit switched technology domains.

“The major challenge of VoIP is to guarantee constantly positive customer perception of Quality of Service (QoS) at a reasonable operating cost in an environment of complex, converging multitechnology and multi-operator networks,” said John Winchester, CEO of Psytechnics. “NetTest’s MasterQuest VoIP solution provides the end-to-end network visibility that is key to achieving this goal, through a set of monitoring capabilities that focuses on IP Voice Service Quality.”

“Psytechnics’ psyVoIP solution brings the vital end-user perspective into the consolidated Customer-Service-Network view for monitoring and management of network-wide Quality of Service,” said Jørgen Weber, Vice President and head of the Systems Business Unit at NetTest. “Today we are focusing on voice services, but the cooperation with Psytechnics will extend to cover monitoring and management of video and other multimedia services, enabling Service Providers to monitor the performance and behavior of other applications and services in the SIP network.”

A new report by Juniper Research says that large numbers of small payments will make up the vast majority of sales via mobile phones, with the average Western European making approximately 28 transactions a year via the mobile phone by 2009. The average cost of each transaction in 2009 in Western Europe is expected to be worth approximately $3.

Whilst the current m-commerce market is dominated by digital goods such as mobile entertainment (ringtones, games, wallpaper, gambling and so on), other markets such as ticket purchases, retail, and person to person payments will emerge as additional application areas, with revenues totalling $39bn by 2009.

The purchase of tickets (such as car parking and cinema tickets) using the mobile phone, will dominate the growth in m-commerce. Mobile users have started already to show interest in ticketing particularly in Europe and Japan, while in the retail sector, initial applications are geared towards vending machines, but this will see slow growth.

The report also reveals that:•Ticket purchases will emerge as a major application area by 2007 with revenues totalling $39bn by 2009. •Retail Point of Sale (POS) mobile transactions will be slow and be worth only $299m by 2009.•RFID and Infra Red technologies are likely to have major influence on future developments of mobile as a payment device.•The development of global standards will continue to be slow due to too many industry bodies concentrating on vested interests.

Report author Marc Ambasna-Jones said: "Mobile commerce is slowly starting to happen, driven by the demand for ringtones and games but also increasingly music downloads. Other applications too will start to emerge, such as ticketing and these are applications that mobile users can understand as they start to explore more uses for their increasingly powerful handsets.

"The key for m-commerce growth is simplicity. Will it be easier to use than a credit card for example? Can it ever be more convenient than cash? Ultimately the success or failure of mobile commerce, either macro or micro payments, will come down to this."

White papers and further details of the study ‘Mobile Commerce (M-Commerce) & Micropayment Strategies’ can be freely downloaded from http://www.juniperresearch.com.

T4 now offers greater optimisation and coverage on more devices

Trigenix, the mobile interface company, has announced the latest enhancements to the Trigenix T4 technology. Trigenix 4.1.0 is now available for shipping and offers greater optimisation with enhancements such as improved over-the-air error handling, conditional update fetch, optimised GPRS access and SMS-based subscription management. The award-winning Trigenix software is also now available for more MIDP 1.0 and MIDP 2.0 devices including Samsung E800, Nokia 6230, RIM Blackberry 77-series, Alcatel OneTouch 756, and Sagem MyX5-2, offering greater handset coverage.

The company also announced its wider expansion into the European market with local representation in the Netherlands, Italy and Spain to assist with operator relationships in those countries.

Steve Ives, Trigenix CEO commented, "Trigenix offers both native and complementary UIs enabling operators and handset manufacturers to customise the UI and scale-up data revenues. As an example, it allows operators to provide promotions and drive revenue from themes, or create an on-handset 'portal' for easy access and promotions, revenue from data feeds, ringtones downloads and games. The latest enhancements enable operators to manage subscription services using premium SMS, and our extended sales team gives Trigenix greater presence throughout Europe. We are truly excited by the prospects that lie ahead."

Based on the highly successful Trigenix User-Interface solution already in use with operators such as T-Mobile and TMN, T4 supports Windows Mobile, Java MIDP 1.0 & 2.0 devices and Symbian OS phones. With T4, service providers will be able to deploy revenue-generating own-brand user interfaces and rich content-based themes across 50% of handsets shipping by the end of 2004.

    

@eurocomms