Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mobile unified communications market driven by workforce mobilization and BYOD

Mobile World Congress 2012, BOSTON, USA: As Mobile World Congress 2012 attendees explore the show theme “Redefining Mobile” in Barcelona, mobility is redefining unified communications (UC) to reach the working majority on a global scale.

The proliferation of smartphones, tablets and laptops used for business will help unified communications reach its potential for mobile users in 2012. With touch displays, video conferencing, application support and integration, as well as the choice for on-premise or cloud-based UC, smartphone, tablet and laptop users will be able to experience the full range of UC functionality, according to the latest Strategy Analytics Mobile Workforce Strategies (MWS) report, “Mobile Unified Communications Market Analysis: Rise of Smartphones and Tablets in the Enterprise Drives the Need for Mobile Collaboration.”

“Now that one out of every three workers in the global workforce is mobile, any communications solution without mobile at its core neglects real business requirements,” said Gina Luk, senior analyst of Mobile Workforce Strategies and author of this report.

“Except for road warriors and call center workers, Unified Communications has long been considered a bit of a luxury for workers in most organizations. Mobile UC will become a necessity for many more workers across enterprises in response to the growing needs of the more than 500 million smartphone and tablet business users in 2012. Corporate IT and mobile operators should proactively deliver flexible, cost-effective solutions with compelling user experiences, rather than wait for calls for help from business users,” added Mark Levitt, Director of Enterprise Software and Communications.

Siano and LIFIA to support mobile DTV project in Argentina

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Siano, the world’s leading supplier of mobile broadcast DTV solutions, and LIFIA-UNLP, an IT R&D research group out of Argentina’s La Plata University, announced a combined “Ginga” DTV solution for Windows and Linux PC applications in mobile devices.

LIFIA, a recognized research laboratory, provides local and global academic and business communities with cutting-edge IT expertise and services. Established in 1988 at the University of La Plata, LIFIA is best known for the development of, an implementation that conforms to the Ginga specification. Ginga is the DTV interactive middleware originally designed and conceived by Brazil’s SBTVD. is now available as production quality open source software. Having become a recognized local standard, is now mandatory in all DTV receivers from government-supported programs.

Supported by Windows and Linux PC applications, the combined technical expertise of Siano, LIFIA and Geniatech results in high-quality DTV solutions in Argentina, whereby is quickly and efficiently integrated into Geniatech’s USB dongles and mini-cards.

Following the successful roll-out of mobile DTV services in Brazil, Argentina is quick to follow, with rapid local deployment, offering a rich MDTV service of its own, using the same SBTVD technology, but with local flavors that complement the middleware components. Other Latin American countries are also coming on board, moving the entire continent to the mobile digital TV era just in time for the 2014 and 2016 FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games.

“Siano has a reputation for its advanced IC receivers and this is exactly what we needed to participate in a high-level government tender and supply quality mobile DTV to students nationwide,” said Gabriel Baum, professor at LIFIA-UNLP. “With Siano’s strong reputation in Latin America, we are confident that Argentina will fast become a major player in the region’s emerging MDTV market.”

“We are proud to support this important academic activity and work with a strong partner like LIFIA, who have taken an active role in the country’s MDTV market,” said Jose Luis Martinez, business development director for Siano in Argentina. “We plan to leverage this project with other shared activities in the region, as Argentina and its neighboring countries join the MDTV surge across Latin America.”

“Teaming up with Siano and LIFIA enables us to deliver exceptionally high performance MDTV – the core of our business success,” comments Jijun Fang, Geniatech’s CEO. “It’s strong collaboration that results in quality products that meet our customers’ needs.”

Orange will pull out of emerging markets if it misses top-two targets

BARCELONA, SPAIN: As MWC starts to wind down, so will the number of insightful comments from Ovum.

Eden Zoller, principal analyst at Ovum has the following comment: “At an MWC round table attended by Ovum, Marc Rennard, Orange's Executive Vice President for Africa, Middle East and Asia, said that Orange is looking to increase revenues from its emerging markets to €7 billion by 2015 compared with €3.4 billion today. But Rennard added that if Orange cannot be the number one or two operator in its emerging markets then it will pull out.

“The challenge facing Orange is how to build out network infrastructure cost economically, particularly in larger African markets. Rennard said network sharing will help with this.

“The other challenge is moving users beyond voice and SMS to more advanced data services. Rennard said that Orange would be interested in joining forces with other operators to collectively source phones for emerging markets, using their collective buying power to pass cost benefits onto consumers.

“However, the pricing of data services beyond SMS to price sensitive consumers is an issue that needs to be addressed and this is problematic. Rennard did not have any easy answers but said part of the answer lies in new business models for mobile broadband. Exactly what these business models should be was not clear, particularly as Rennard had reservations about how far mobile advertising can help in this context.”

Foursquare’s efforts to increase user relevance must avoid pitfalls
Eden Zoller, principal analyst at Ovum has the following comment: “With 15 million users having checked in over 1.5 billion times and with support from 750,000 merchants, Foursquare is now looking to the next level of contextual personalization to drive its business. Certainly the location-based social network has a lot of user data to leverage and it now plans to use that data to pro-actively suggest things that Foursquare users can do and see in a their vicinity.

“This would function in a similar way to the old Microsoft Clippy “office assistant” service for its desktop applications, creating what co-founder Dennis Crowley describes as a contextually personalized "buzz in your pocket."

“But what Foursquare needs to remember is that the Clippy prompts often got suggestions wrong, which was annoying and unwelcome. Foursquare will have to ensure its vision of push services is genuinely useful. It has the depth of customer data to do this, but another challenge for Foursquare is leveraging that data in a way that is respectful of user privacy. Any mistakes here will hit Foursquare hard.”

Connected cars get a little smarter
Jeremy Green, principal analyst at Ovum has the following comment: “The automotive sector is clearly more important in operators’ M2M strategies than it has been for the last few years. So who better to close the first day of MWC’s speech sessions than Bill Ford, an executive with eponymous motor company and great-grandson of the old famous car company founder.

“As well as launching a “Blueprint for Mobility” and a new model car (the first to be announced at MWC) Ford said some surprisingly sensible things, including the suggestion that connected cars should be about making journeys more efficient by providing alternative transportation options if congestion is unavoidable. In the future pedestrian, bicycle, private car and commercial and public transportation traffic will be “woven together into a single mobile network to save time, conserve resources, lower emissions and improve safety."

“Meanwhile, Ericsson took advantage of MWC to publicize its own project with Volvo, Göteborg Energi, and the Viktoria Institute, which enables an altogether smarter paradigm for the charging of electric cars. The system uses M2M connectivity to enable the cars’ charging profile to be controlled by the owner even when they are plugged into an ordinary dumb power point. This means that, as with a smart grid point, they charge their batteries when electricity is cheapest – with a clear payoff in terms of sustainability, since this ought to ensure that the load on the grid is spread more evenly.”

Six ICT ministers offer bold visions for the future; but can they make it work?
Emeka Obiodu, senior analyst at Ovum has the following comment: “Recognition by emerging market that the telecommunications infrastructure is of strategic importance for national development isn’t new. But six government representatives speaking at an Alcatel- Lucent event at MWC all proclaimed that they are prepared to shape their regulatory and fiscal agendas around this.

“Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico and Nigeria all set out a robust and coherent approach including special purpose financial vehicles, tax regimes and legislative frameworks.

“In the end, it all comes down to innovation in processes and approach. While the moderator’s poser whether public sector innovation is an oxymoron raised chuckles, the preparedness of the ministers to go against established convention in the pursuit of their laudable goals must be commended.

“Ovum’s two forthcoming reports, Next Generation Networks investment strategies and Neutral Host/Open Access model for ICT infrastructure rollout, will explore the notion of innovative approaches to infrastructure rollout deeper.

“Innovation in the public sector is never an easy journey, as both emerging and developed economy governments can testify. But we are impressed by the vision and the determination of these administrations in confronting the task ahead of them.”

Oclaro delivers industry-first 1x23 WSS featuring 10X faster switching speeds

SAN JOSE, USA: Oclaro Inc., a tier-one provider and innovator of optical communications and laser solutions, announced the industry's first very high port count 1x23 wavelength selective switch (WSS) that features switching times of 200ms – an order of magnitude faster than competing solutions.

Very high-port count WSS solutions are becoming key components in the deployment of high-speed networks carrying 100 Gbps signals because they address the needs of next generation CDC (Colorless, Directionless, Contentionless) ROADMs (reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers) for high node degrees and offer a high level of flexibility in the add/drop portion of the node. With its new 1x23 WSS, Oclaro is well positioned to emerge as a leader in this fast growing market segment, which analyst firm Ovum expects to grow to $201 million by 2016.

"By delivering a very high port count solution that doesn't require compromises in optical performance, we can enable our customers to achieve a competitive advantage with their next generation ROADMs," said Gil Cohen, VP of WSS Product Line Management at Oclaro, Inc. "Our unique use of liquid crystal and MEMS technologies and fast time to market with a new and differentiated solution is the type of innovation that our customers have come to expect from Oclaro and we will continue to push the limits on performance and drive improvements in cost and network efficiencies."

High-performing networks such as those carrying 100 Gbps signals require a new generation of ROADMs that utilize very high port count WSS switches to flexibly route through channels as well as connect each add/drop port to any of the directions connecting a node, and at any wavelength. A higher port count WSS allows for more add/drop ports and/or more degrees to be interconnected, and the fast switching time enables reliable network reconfiguration across multiple nodes.

To achieve a 10X performance improvement in its new 1x23 WSS, Oclaro leveraged its proven optical expertise and unique combination of MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems) and liquid crystal technologies. This approach enabled Oclaro to deliver the fastest WSS in the industry and provides customers with a major competitive advantage.

Opnext demos 100Gbps coherent OIF MSA module interoperability

OFC/NFOEC 2012, FREMONT, USA: Opnext Inc. announced that its 100Gbps coherent module has demonstrated full optical line side interoperability with modules from both a module vendor and a system vendor.

This milestone validates the critical work done within the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) to define fully-interoperable 100Gbps DP-QPSK MSA modules. The companies that participated in the interoperability testing can be found in the latest press release from NTT Electronics Corporation. Opnext currently expects to release its first OTM-100 product in the quarter ending June 30, 2012.

The 100Gbps Digital Coherent Signal Processing LSI (DSP-LSI) in Opnext’s digital signal processor is manufactured by NTT Electronics Corporation, and the DSP-LSI incorporates the outcome of "R&D on High Speed Optical Transport System Technologies" supported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan.

“We are pleased to see our developed 100Gbps DSP chips are contributing to leading optical module vendors such as Opnext to help nurture the ecosystem that is essential to commercialize 100Gbps coherent deployments around the world,” said Dr. Masahito Tomizawa, group keader, Supervisor of NTT Network Innovation Labs.

Opnext has started the integration and testing of NTT’s second version of the DSP-LSI chips which is expected to enable reduced power consumption for Opnext’s next release of the OTM-100 100Gbps coherent OIF MSA module. Opnext currently expects the second release of the OTM-100Gbps coherent module to occur during the quarter ending September 30, 2012.

GigOptix books Q1 $1.8 million order for 100G coherent drivers from tier 1 telecom system customer

SAN JOSE, USA: GigOptix Inc., a leading supplier of high performance electronic and electro-optic components enabling high speed end to end information streaming over the network, announced the booking of a $1.8M purchase order for its 100G Mach-Zehnder Modulator (MZM) quad-driver, a customized version of the GX62451, for use in a Tier 1 telecom 100G DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) networking system. The $1.8M order will be delivered during the first quarter of 2012, while subsequent, similar orders will continue through 2012.

GigOptix's GX62451 100G Dual Polarization Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (DP-QPSK) driver is a high performance 4 channel Mach-Zehnder Modulator (MZM) driver designed for 100G DP-QPSK long-haul optical transmitters. The GX62451 is GPPO connectorized and is plug-in compatible with industry standard 100G multiplexer and MZMs. Its form factor design featuring embedded high speed connectors not only ensures optimal RF coupling with the 100G MZM inputs but also occupies less board-level real estate than comparable surface mounted device solutions.

In its recent optical components report, Ovum identified 100G as the fastest growing segment within optical communications with a CAGR of 107 percent.

Bharti Airtel appoints Nokia Siemens Networks to supply, manage 4G network in Maharashtra

MAHARASHTRA, INDIA: Bharti Airtel, a leading operator in India, has selected Nokia Siemens Networks to build and operate its TD-LTE (time division duplex long term evolution) network in Maharashtra, one of the country’s largest telecom circles.

TD-LTE is a 4G mobile broadband technology that delivers instant internet access and can support video streaming and high-definition video conferencing. The launch of commercial TD-LTE services later this year will offer Bharti Airtel subscribers in Maharashtra a much improved experience when using bandwidth-intensive applications, with more consistent network coverage and faster response times (low latency).

Bharti Airtel will deploy its TD-LTE network in the 2.3 GHz frequency band allocated by the Indian government for broadband wireless access technologies.

Being part of India’s large-scale 4G commercial rollout, Nokia Siemens Networks will deliver the TD-LTE network and end-user data devices that can provide data speeds of upto 100 megabits per second (Mbps) as specified by 3GPP. The company will use its newly introduced and industry’s first TD-LTE 6 pipes radio. This integrated solution considerably reduces site space and the operator’s total cost of ownership per site compared to the traditional approach of using one remote radio head per sector. Nokia Siemens Networks is widely deploying this TD-LTE solution to commercial customers in Russia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia.

Nokia Siemens Networks’ NetAct operations support system will enable effective and consolidated monitoring, management and optimization of Bharti Airtel’s GSM and TD-LTE networks. Nokia Siemens Networks will provide network design, integration, commissioning and optimization services to the operator for rapid roll-out of the network and full set of care services including hardware, software and competence development services. It will use its Global Network Solutions Center at Noida, India that is already supporting TD-LTE networks globally, to remotely deliver services for improved efficiency and network performance.

Reliance Communications pays redemption amount in advance to redeem outstanding FCCBs

MUMBAI, INDIA: Reliance Communications, India’s largest integrated telecom service provider, has made payment of $1,182 million (Rs.5,825 crore at the US$ exchange rate of Rs.49.30) to make the largest ever redemption of all the outstanding Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs) from the $1,000 million issued in February, 2007 and due on March, 01, 2012. Redemption amount is inclusive of the premium of 27.69 percent.

The company has made payment to the Principal Agent of FCCB – Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch. The paid up equity capital of the Company will remain unchanged post redemption of these FCCBs. Accordingly, Reliance Communications will be not required to allot 6,17,25,849 equity shares of Rs. 5 each arising out of the potential conversion of said FCCBs.

Orange to offer Visa mobile prepaid accounts to Orange Money customers in Africa and the Middle East

BARCELONA, SPAIN: France Telecom-Orange and Visa Inc. announced that Orange Money customers will soon have access to Visa prepaid account features inside their Orange Money accounts – a significant step in bringing Visa-quality payments to consumers in developing markets.

Orange Money is the mobile phone-based payment service designed by Orange to meet the needs of customers in Africa and the Middle East. It offers Orange subscribers applications such as person to person transfers, bill payments, and agent-based cash-in and cash-out services for loading or withdrawing funds. Launched in cooperation with local bank partners, the service was first introduced in 2008 and is presently available in eight countries across Africa and the Middle East. Orange plans to introduce Visa payment capability to Orange Money subscribers in select markets by the end of 2012.

“We already provide secure and convenient payment capability to 3.5 million unbanked or financially under-served African citizens,” said Jean-Paul Cottet, Orange’s executive director for Marketing and Innovation. "By combining the convenience of Orange Money with the reach of Visa's global payment network, we can offer new payment capability to Orange Money customers in their home country and abroad.”

Visa Mobile Prepaid, a new Visa product introduced in October 2011, enhances the security, scale and interoperability of mobile money programs, such as Orange Money, by enabling account holders to make person-to-person payments, retail and e-commerce purchases at merchants where Visa is accepted, or withdraw funds at Visa ATMs.

“Mobile technology has become one of the most important enablers of financial inclusion and its ubiquity is allowing mobile network operators, financial institutions, and Visa to connect financially under-served consumers to each other and the global economy,” said John Partridge, president, Visa Inc. “The convergence of mobile and financial services networks helps to remove service barriers, accelerates the pace of change and is transforming the lives of consumers in developing countries.”

WiGig industry support grows as ZTE joins as contributor

CHINA: ZTE, one of China’s flagship telecoms equipment and services suppliers to the world market, has joined the Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance as a contributor in a move that emphasises the significant industry momentum now backing the world’s most important short-range wireless standard.

WiGig technology development is paving the way for throughput up to 7 Gbits/sec, ten times faster than today's 802.11n devices. It will utilize the 60-GHz spectrum, a long way away from the crowded 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz frequencies used by the current generation of 802.11a/b/g/n devices.

ZTE joins an impressive list of members representing the industry’s top chipmakers and consumer electronics manufacturers from around the world. Other recent WiGig Alliance joiners include the latest BOD member Huawei, and Allegro, LGE and Silicon Image as the contributors.

Sun Qingbo, GM, Standards and Preresearch Department of ZTE, said: “We are very pleased to join WiGig Alliance because we believe WiGig technology has a bright future that will provide a very promising short-range communication solution for the industry. ZTE has a very broad product range, from cell-phones and tablets, to conference terminal and set-top boxes. I think it will be fantastic if WiGig technology can be adopted on all these products. I am certain there are many companies that share the same vision as us.”

News of the increasing industry support comes hot on the heels of the WiGig Alliance’s announcement in December that it has completed all necessary components to define the first ever multi-gigabit wireless docking specification. It has also recently hosted the first ever interoperability test event, and received ITU-R recognitions.

“WiGig Alliance continues to gather additional industry momentum with product developments moving forward at great pace,” said WiGig Alliance president and chairman, Dr. Ali Sadri. “ZTE will complement our existing members list in advancing the WiGig technology to new usages in multi-gigabit communications. I am confident that WiGig will soon become the world’s most important multi-gigabit wireless technology found in many products. We are going to see a real shake up for the industry.”

The WiGig Alliance is calling for even more developer involvement in the creation of the world’s first unified specification for multi-gigabit wireless docking. Creation and publication of the specification is set to revolutionize wireless networking by enabling a broad range of advanced uses, including wireless docking and connection to displays between personal computers, consumer electronics and PC, CE, handheld devices.

Leading operators see highest value in video on demand, mobile payment services and cloud storage to compete in a digital world

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Tecnotree Corp. announced the results of a global operator trends survey carried out by MobileSQUARED, investigating the opinions of 52 operators on their visions for the digital marketplace between now and 2017.

The international study ‘Unravelling the Operator Bundle’ found that operators see bundled services - where the customer can choose their preferred content, third-party services, voice and data services - as a commercial necessity. With the advent of new mobile services, increased content consumption and next-generation smart devices, operators must look at how best to enable access to new offerings through intelligent, personalised packages.

Despite operating in an app-centric mobile world, the survey gained widespread agreement from operators that that the digital services that will be the most critical, are video on demand (50 percent), mobile payment services (50 percent) and cloud storage (50 percent), adding maximum value to the operator’s business.

Interestingly, when determining the main reason that operators see such value in bundled service packages, it was not a case of the exclusive content as they see enticing customers. Instead the results highlight that the primary reason for customer demand is price (42 percent), a desire to purchase different content for a one-stop shop (25 percent), whilst 21 percent said that the expectation to receive extra benefit was a deciding factor.

“The operator’s business is evolving at a rapid pace and as such they must become smarter in their interactions with each customer, to provide them with the services that they really want”, says Timo Laaksonen, chief commercial officer of Tecnotree.

“We partnered with MobileSQUARED in this research to gain an impartial insight into what is currently making operators tick, and to determine what will really be the focus points in the near future. There have been some verifications, some surprises and questions raised – but all of which point to the fact that in the next three to five years we are set to witness the operator’s bundle increase in both size and complexity.”

Gavin Patterson, chief markets analyst at MobileSQUARED, added, “It’s an exciting time for mobile operators, and with a global market of 900 mobile operators sitting on a pot totalling $41.4 billion to spend on OSS/BSS services in next 12 months, the opportunity is ripe for a digital content and service platform.”

Winning insights on enterprise mobility market

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Wipro Technologies released a research report describing how the communications industry can capitalize on opportunities in the high-growth enterprise mobility market. The report, “Winning the Enterprise Mobility Opportunity: Know your customers, or lose them,” is based on interviews with 164 senior business and IT executives who are leading the development and adoption of enterprise mobility solutions within their organizations.

Wipro’s primary research revealed that businesses are set to accrue significant benefits from enterprise mobility including sales growth, operational efficiency gains, and heightened employee productivity.

“Communication Service Providers (CSPs) and Telecom Equipment Vendors (TEVs) must move out of their comfort zone – the communications layer – and delve into the provision of enterprise mobility applications that solve the complex business problems faced by their clients,” explained Ayan Mukerji, senior VP and global head of Wipro Technologies’ Media and Telecom Strategic Business Unit.

The report puts forth the perspective that CSPs and TEVs must construct an integrated product development, marketing, and sales strategy that leverages their innate strengths and sets them apart from likely competitors. The three key insights from the survey that CSPs and TEVs can employ to differentiate themselves from competitors include:

* Network controls for data security. 70 percent of the survey respondents described security as an above average barrier to the adoption of mobility solutions.
* Network ownership to guarantee quality-of-service. Latency and downtime, while generally accepted in the consumer market, will not be acceptable for mission critical enterprise solutions.
* Vertical industry breadth. The communication industry’s presence across every business vertical leaves it well-positioned to sell and deliver industry-tailored mobility solutions.

Given the stunning business benefits projected by the survey participants, the Wipro report projects that widespread adoption of enterprise mobility solutions is inevitable. Enterprise mobility is such a critical investment area that if the communications industry fails to improve its market alignment of appropriate solutions, it will be left behind by competitors with deeper experience and brand recognition in enterprise mobility applications.

World’s first Ice Cream Sandwich dual-SIM smartphone

MWC 2012, BARCELONA, SPAIN: ViewSonic, a global provider of computing, consumer electronics and communications solutions, announced the launch of its new range of Dual-SIM Android smartphones, the ViewPhone 4e, 4s and ViewPhone 5e.

Additionally, Mobile World Congress will be the first in Europe to showcase ViewSonic’s ViewPhone 3 which was launched in January 2012. ViewSonic’s new range has been designed with business users and travellers in mind by enhancing the experience of managing work and personal calls in one handset.Source: ViewSonic, USA.

ViewSonic dual-SIM experts
ViewSonic provides a comprehensive range of dual-SIM smartphones ranging from 3.5” to 5” to cater to different user’s requirements. ViewSonic is committed to being the preferred ‘Dual-SIM Expert’ provider.

There will be 80 percent growth rate within two years! According to market research group Strategy Analytics, 206 million dual-SIM handsets will be sold worldwide in 2014, compared with 41 million in 2010.

Dual-SIM phones are expected to grow as users prefer to carry one handset for both private and professional use. They allow the use of two services without the need to carry two phones at the same time but yet maintain separate numbers, data and bills. In addition users can take advantage of different pricing plans for calls and text messages to certain destinations as well as mobile data usage, helping to save on expensive roaming charges while making mobile communication easier to manage.

ViewSonic’s dual-SIM phones have pre-installed features to make these phones more efficient for professional and personal users. SRS TruMedia enhances the mobile sound quality and provides the most effective and comprehensive audio solution. The PicSel Smart Office provides full editing capabilities for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, as well as market leading file viewing capabilities for Adobe PDF documents and images.

Using it, users can view and edit files in cloud storage such as DropBox and Google Docs and print documents directly from the mobile device to a wide range of printers wirelessly. With the business card reader, users can instantly transfer information from business cards to contacts with a simple click of the camera. The Ignition Remote Access allows users to control their PC or MAC directly from any Android device using WiFi or 3G.

“ViewSonic’s dual-SIM smartphones are the ideal solution for corporate markets, frequent travellers, those studying abroad or wanting to keep in touch with friends and family overseas. We have designed these phones with the users in mind so while they are sophisticated and packed with features, they are also a simple and effective way to communicate.” say Brian Wei, head of Product Marketing for ViewSonic Europe.

ViewPhone 4s
The ViewPhone 4s is a dual-SIM 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display smartphone running on Android 4.0 Ice cream sandwich. It offers high resolution super clear IPS panel and wide viewing angles. The ViewPhone 4s features a fast response time, 5M auto focus rear camera and VGA front camera making it ideal for video telephony while its innovative unibody design offers a longer lasting performance.

The 960-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi, 800:1 contract ratio and 500 cd/m2 brightness means the ViewPhone 4s offers a high quality and detailed display resolution.

As with all other ViewSonic smartphones, the ViewPhone 4s benefits from a dual-SIM capability. The SIM labels can be personalised, the user can select different voice call, and message ringtones per SIM while the Contact List Separation keeps contacts separated and clearly identifies which messages relate to each list.

The ViewPhone Android range also has a Multitasking function that allows the user to execute different functions simultaneously such as talking while downloading. Each SIM port is capable of performing independent tasks simultaneously. With an RRP of sub $499, it is ideal for customers interested in product performance, high quality and a stylish handset. European launch in Q2 2012.

ViewPhone 5e
ViewSonic’s ViewPhone 5e is first 5” Capacitive multi-touch display to be seen at MWC, running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. With a resolution of 800x480 WVGA producing vivid and high quality images, this screen is hard to miss. This dual-SIM phone is no standard Smartphone, it comes packed with PicSel Smart Office, allowing the user to have full editing capabilities for Microsoft word, Excel and PowerPoint documents as well as market leasing file viewing for Adobe PDF documents and images.

The ViewPhone 5e doesn’t stop there, the user can also view and edit files in cloud such as DropBox and Google docs, it has a business card reader and the application. With an RRP of sub $599, this is the best dual-SIM smartphone for business and personal use. European launch in Q3 2012.

ViewPhone 4e
ViewSonic’s Viewphone 4e is an entry level Smartphone with a 3.5” capacitive touch display and at only 10.3mm wide is very much an active dual-SIM Smartphone. It runs on Android 2.3 gingerbread operating system, enabling the use of two individual network services at the same time. The ViewPhone 4e has a 650MHz processor, HVGA capacitive touch, 3M fixed focus camera and vivid colour display.

Coming with a unique and stylish unibody design that allows the battery time to last longer than the average for a similar model, inbuilt FM radio and good quality streaming capabilities, the ViewPhone 4e does not compromise on its features. The ViewPhone 4e has a RRP of sub $399 making this a high quality Smartphone for someone looking for a media player device as well as an easy travel phone at a reasonable price. European launch in Q2 2012.

ViewPhone 3
A dual-SIM Smartphone, the ViewPhone 3 allows users to separate work and personal calls, providing more freedom and privacy across both networks, including GSM, EDGE and HSDPA. With a 3.5” capacitive touch display and 5 Mega pixel camera the Viewphone 3 is the next generation of the V350 smartphone launched in 2011 at MWC.

The Qualcomm 800Mhz processor and Android 2.3 operating system ensure the phone brings powerful functionality to consumers. The ViewPhone 3 has an ESP of $279 and will be available in late Q1 2012.

Oberthur to integrate Interop CDMA platform into OTA management

NANTERRE, FRANCE & FORT MYERS, USA: Oberthur Technologies, one of the world’s largest providers of security and identification solutions and services based on smart card technologies, announced a key partnership agreement with Interop Technologies, a leading provider of mobile device management, connectivity gateway, and messaging solutions for CDMA operators. Oberthur Technologies will integrate Interop’s CDMA OTA provisioning platform into its broader OTA management solution in order to serve CDMA wireless network operators worldwide.

Oberthur Technologies currently supports GSM operators with its Application Loader and Management (ALM) solution, a field-hardened SIM OTA management platform deployed in 2G and 3G networks. By adding Interop’s CDMA solution to its product suite, Oberthur Technologies enables CDMA operators to manage the full range of available handsets.

Interop’s CDMA OTA technology offers a world-class set of features that reduces effort and costs associated with handset provisioning and programming. Interop's platform enables CDMA operators to update Preferred Roaming Lists (PRLs), service programming codes, and text messaging services directly on subscriber handsets.

“After 10 years of experience in secure over-the-air management of SIM cards for GSM operators, Oberthur Technologies now joins forces with a leading CDMA OTA management vendor to address all mobile operators’ needs. Oberthur Technologies will reinforce its position in CDMA markets by proposing mobile operators a future-proof offer compatible with all networks,” said Arnaud de la Chapelle, GM - Convergence and Solutions at Oberthur Technologies.

“Our relationship with Oberthur Technologies will give us the reach to provide our unrivaled OTA technology to operators worldwide. We look forward to a strong, lasting, and successful partnership with this industry leader,” said John A. Dwyer, president and CEO at Interop Technologies.

Cinterion launches ultra compact plug and play M2M multi-purpose terminal

SINGAPORE, INDIA: Cinterion, the global leader in cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) communication modules and a Gemalto company, introduced BGS2-Terminal, a simple and reliable plug-and-play M2M communication terminal to quickly connect any type of industrial applications and remote assets using cellular technology. It requires minimal integration and approval efforts, allowing for significantly accelerated implementation timeline.

Cinterion’s ultra-compact BGS2-Terminal includes a variety of standardized industrial interfaces enabling easy deployment for different M2M market applications including remote monitoring and control, security solutions and building automation. In addition, the terminal’s extended temperature range and exceptionally low power consumption assures long life in out-of-the-way locations.

For instance, the Cinterion terminal can be quickly installed with solar panels enabling real time, two-way data communication that allows power companies to remotely monitor energy production and immediately respond when repairs or maintenance are needed. The BGS2-Terminal helps keep equipment functioning at peak levels while reducing costly field service visits.

“With the footprint of a credit card and a highly flexible mounting concept, our new BGS2-Terminal can be installed in most industrial assets and be used out-of-the-box to connect applications to the IP-based world,” said Norbert Muhrer, CEO, Cinterion. “Simplified integration is the key to opening new market segments and helping more enterprises to optimize operations and cut costs with smart M2M technology”.

The best-in-class BGS2-Terminal comes in two variants: RS-485 offering vertical-specific industrial interfaces for building automation and automatic meter reading; and RS-232 for general-purpose applications. Both variants are available immediately for use worldwide.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cisco recalibrates infrastructure play around small cells

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Cisco has announced at MWC 2012 two new enhancements to its mobile infrastructure portfolio. The availability of its Hotspot 2.0 Wi-Fi compliant access points for service providers and small-cell (Wi-Fi/femtocell) gateway functionality on its ASR5000 platform. In reaction, Daryl Schoolar, principal analyst at Ovum has the following comment:

“This platform supports Cisco’s 2G, 3G, and LTE mobile packet core networks. In addition, and possibly most important, Cisco announced real commercial customers for these solutions. At a show often noted for its roadmap and network vision announcements, one with real customers attached always stands out. But, the real significance of these announcements goes beyond just the “solutions” Cisco announced.

“In many camps, Cisco has been undervalued as a mobile infrastructure provider. Much of this blame falls in two areas. First, Cisco does not sell a macro base station, the traditional cornerstone of the wireless infrastructure market. Secondly, Cisco has done a poor job marketing itself as a mobile infrastructure provider.

“Today’s announcements are part of a bigger effort on Cisco’s part to change its market perception, with Cisco using its small cell announcement as a stage to recalibrate itself in the mobile infrastructure space. The vendor now has a much richer story to tell with greater mobile operator focus on small cells and carrier Wi-Fi solutions - two areas Cisco is strong in – and other assets such as backhaul and mobile packet core.”

Greenpeace names telecoms industry climate laggards…but are they shamed?

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Greenpeace International has used MWC to blast the telecom industry’s climate laggards. While some players among both operators and vendors have clear strategies for carbon reduction, others have shown what the NGO regards as a failure of leadership in wise energy choices, says Jeremy Green, principal analyst at Ovum.

“Bharti Airtel, acknowledged as a leader in market innovation, comes in for particular criticism; Greenpeace gives it a score of zero (out of a possible 60) for failing to disclose its carbon emissions, not setting any target for emissions reduction and not declaring a roadmap to shift away from heavy dependency on diesel.

“Bharti’s overall ‘green’ score is 6 out 60, while NTT actually manages an overall score of zero. By contrast NTT’s competitor, Softbank, achieves the highest score of 35/60 and gets plaudits for its championing of clean energy, while Vodafone scores 24/60.

“Sadly, Greenpeace appears to have compared only a few operators, and to have scored vendors ALU and Ericsson on a common scale. This makes it hard to evaluate the ratings, or to place the telecoms industry in any kind of overall context. Perhaps there is scope for a scale to rank NGO rankings too?”

ManageEngine delivers on mobile device management promise

PLEASANTON, USA: ManageEngine, the real-time IT management company, announced that it is delivering on its promised mobile device management (MDM) services. The company has rolled out security, asset and configuration management for Apple iOS-based devices, integrating them into its enterprise-wide, real-time IT strategy that unites mobile, desktop and service desk management under a single, unified user interface.

In response to the explosion of mobile devices on SMB and enterprise networks, ManageEngine has expanded Desktop Central management capabilities to go beyond desktop and laptop computers to now include the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. ManageEngine is demonstrating Desktop Central in booths 2.1A77 and 2.1A79 at Mobile World Congress, running today through March 1, at Fira Montjuïc in Barcelona.

“With iPads and iPhones flooding their networks, IT organizations must find a viable way to manage those devices,” said Raj Sabhlok, president of ManageEngine, a division of Zoho Corp. “But introducing a second, discrete set of tools and practices specifically to manage mobile assets, security and configuration issues is not the answer. At the end of the day, IT would rather manage from a single console, from traditional infrastructure and applications to next-generation mobile devices. And that’s what we’re doing with our MDM services.”

Asoka debuts carrier-based home energy management service

Smart Energy Summit 2012, AUSTIN, USA: Asoka Corp., a pioneer in powerline communication (PLC) products and cloud-based applications for digital living services, announced the industry’s first PLC-based home energy monitoring and management service for service providers and cable operators.

The Asoka Home Energy Management Service is based on Asoka’s new family of PlugLine adapters and a secure, user friendly web-based monitoring service that carriers can customize for their subscribers.

Asoka’s service is simple to install by the end-user – just plug the adapters in – and does not require additional hardware such as in-home gateways. All new features and functions are made available through the cloud-based application; no changes, upgrades, or hardware replacement in the home is needed. The installed hardware will work with all future features, functions and services.

The solution works by plugging the adapters into an outlet and then plugging appliances into the adapters. PlugLine adaptors provide energy monitoring and control of these appliances, as well as a high-speed 500Mbps LAN network using existing power lines throughout the home. Subscribers can use the web service to track usage, turn devices on and off instantly or set up a schedule to turn them off during periods of disuse. Asoka’s solution is truly Digital Living Made Simple.

Asoka and Swisscom, Switzerland’s leading telecom provider, have been partnering over the past year to develop and deploy the Home Energy Management Service. This service, branded in Switzerland as myStrom, has been adopted by residential homeowners throughout the country. Household energy usage data collected by Swisscom shows that literally dozens of common electric appliances not in active use in households are costing its customers hundreds of dollars per year in wasted energy.

Avago optical modules bridge compatibility gap in data centers to increase bandwidth

OFC/NFOEC 2012, SAN JOSE, USA & SINGAPORE: Avago Technologies, a leading supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications, announced fiber optic module solutions that enable more efficient switching and greater bandwidth in data centers.

The new pluggable, parallel optical QSFP+ eSR4 transceiver is the first module that can address both 40 Gigabit (40G) and 10 Gigabit (10G) Ethernet applications with a verified link distance of 400 meters. This gives data center operators the flexibility to reuse the current 10G wired infrastructure when upgrading to 40G, providing a major cost savings. The Avago QSFP+ eSR4 modules integrate four 10G lanes in each direction to increase bandwidth within a line card by more than three times while using 50 percent less power than that of a one-lane SFP+ module.

The growth of server virtualization and cloud computing, as well as the trend toward network convergence, has increased demand for faster and more efficient data center networks. As of today, 10G switches consist of 48 10G-channels per line card, constrained by the physical size of the SFP+ form factor.

To accommodate the need for more bandwidth, customers can use Avago QSFP+ eSR4 modules to develop top-of-rack, blade and modular switches with up to 44 QSFP+ ports per line card. This provides 176 10G-channels with QSFP+ instead of the 48 SFP+ channels available today. QSFP+ eSR4 modules can be used for both high-density 10G and 40G aggregated Ethernet applications, providing more flexibility to connect to different levels of switches, reducing latency, and increasing port density with lower power consumption per lane.

Avago also today announced production of its QSFP+ iSR4 modules, which enable interoperability to 10G SFP+ links up to 100 meters using OM3 multimode fiber (MMF) and 150 meters using OM4 MMF. The QSFP+ eSR4 version extends this reach to 300 meters with OM3 MMF and 400 meters using OM4 MMF. Avago expects to sample the QSFP+ eSR4 modules by this summer.

Global TD-LTE initiative sets targets

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Monday afternoon the GTI (Global TD-LTE Initiative) held its 2012 summit at Mobile World Congress. The summit marks the approximate one year anniversary of its formation. Daryl Schoolar, principal analyst has the following comments:

“The purpose of the GTI is twofold. One goal is to ensure interoperability with the more common frequency duplex (FDD) version of LTE. The second goal, which is closely related to the first, is to ensure that TD-LTE isn’t merely a Chinese technology, which would doom to the same fate as TD-SCDMA. The 2012 Summit served as an update on those goals.

“And, from what was presented it appears the group is making good progress. Membership now includes 40 communications providers and 30 vendors (equipment and devices). Carrier representatives at the event came from not only China, but India, Japan, and the US.

“Progress on integration of the two flavours of LTE was highlighted by Qualcomm’s latest chip that supports both standards. This chipset will help not only in roaming between operators with TD and FDD LTE networks, but also encourages operators to consider deploying a network that supports both flavors of LTE, such as Hi3g in Sweden.

“The GTI also provided targets it hopes to reach by 2014. Those goals included the deployment of 500,000 commercial base stations covering two-billion people. China Mobile will play a major role in reaching those goals. The company announced at the event that it will deploy 20,000 base stations in 2012, and plans to have 200,000 in service by end of 2013.

“While the growth of TD-LTE requires success outside of China, it also requires success inside of China. Large scale deployments in that country will play an important role in part ramping up the overall ecosystem for the technology, and encourage other mobile operators to deploy TD-LTE as well.”

Everybody has won and all must have prizes, says Orange top brass
At a dinner last night, Orange CEO Stephane Richard proclaimed that it was now time for operators to invest in their networks. The demand for high speed (fixed and mobile) broadband and the potential opportunities for new services (payments were singled out for particular mention) were given as the key drivers. Steven Hartley, practice leader of Ovum’s Telco Strategy Practice, thought it was “an upbeat and go-getting speech that matched the first day of the event.”

“Richard highlighted that he was not there to complain but talk about a digital, connected future. This suggests a growing maturity in the operator's response to the challenges they face. Gone is the rhetoric of 'them and us' regarding content providers and technology choices that tainted last year's event. In its place is a more measured response.

“A clear example of this came when CTO Thierry Bonhomme stated later in the evening that deploying Wi-Fi was as important as rolling out LTE. Orange has made no secret of its fondness for Wi-Fi over the years, but combining this statement with the prevalence of Wi-Fi announcements at MWC 2012 is testimony to the fact that it is no longer Wi-Fi 'or' cellular, but Wi-Fi 'and' cellular that is key to operators handling future traffic demands.”

Telstra to sell prepaid LTE dongles and new Android tablets
Following the announcement from Telstra – Australia’s only LTE operator – that it has launched two new LTE enabled devices, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 8.9 4G and a prepaid dongle, Nicole McCormick, senior analyst at Ovum has the following comment:

“Telstra continues to push LTE forward aggressively. It only turned on its LTE1800 network in late September 2011, offering postpaid dongles only. It then launched LTE smartphone HTC Velocity 4G in late January.

“The addition of an LTE tablet and prepaid dongle to Telstra’s device range demonstrates that Telstra is keeping its IT systems and its LTE device ecosystem ahead of the curve as it works alongside the international vendor community on developing LTE devices at 1800MHz.

“The latest devices will help to expand the appeal of Telstra’s LTE service to a wider audience. Samsung’s smartphone range has already struck a chord with Australians – the Samsung S II is the country’s second highest selling smartphone.

“Overall, we believe the latest device additions add weight to Telstra’s LTE first-to-market proposition for blue-chip customers. In contrast, rival Optus will only switch on a limited LTE service in April 2012, while value-seeker operator Vodafone is focused on upgrading its network to 42Mbps+ and has put LTE on the back burner.”

Telit and Telefonica launch best-in-class services for M2M solution providers

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, BARCELONA, SPAIN: Telit Wireless Solutions, a global leader in the field of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications, announced a global strategic partnership with Telefónica, a world leader in telecommunications, to offer the premium value-added services, customer support, module innovation and global connectivity previously reserved for larger firms.

With the bundled offering, M2M companies gain access to Telefónica’s highly reliable global wireless network and seamless, cross-border coverage, dedicated M2M core network elements, and best-in-class wireless platform. Telit brings its leading module hardware and software technology, broad M2M application expertise, and global customer support based on a newly introduced portfolio of value-added services.

“This unprecedented bundle from Telit and Telefónica signals a paradigm shift in the industry because finally any M2M service or solution provider of any size can have the same quality of service, performance, pricing and support as the largest players in the industry,” said Oozi Cats, CEO of Telit. “Many of the most exciting new M2M applications are being developed by smaller firms, and this offering will accelerate those innovations worldwide.”

“Telefónica Digital is pleased to be working with Telit on this exciting and revolutionary new market approach. The strength of Telefónica’s Global M2M proposition combined with Telit’s leading market position and solution portfolio will provide a unique approach to M2M providers and customers worldwide and create a genuine competitive advantage in their marketplace” said Carlos Morales, Global MD, M2M, Cloud & Applications, Telefónica Digital.

The new service will enable M2M service providers and application developers to bring solutions more quickly to market with technical support over the entire product lifecycle, enhanced monitoring capabilities, efficient real-time budget management, lower tariffs for fixed and mobile applications, and streamlined logistics, operations and deployments.

The new service will initially launch in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), South America and selected countries by Q3 2012.

Wipro launches ‘Wipro M2M’

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Wipro Technologies has announced the launch of Wipro M2M, a comprehensive solution that enables Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to launch Machine-to-Machine (M2M) services quickly and cost effectively. M2M refers to technologies that use both wireless and wireline networks to enable direct communication between devices and applications. CSPs are investing heavily in M2M, because it offers tremendous potential to replace declining revenues in legacy business areas, such as voice and broadband services.

Despite its potential, there are several challenges associated with M2M services such as the paucity of robust enterprise applications, highly complex network and device ecosystem and long lead times for deployment. Additionally, conventional M2M services result in a low ARPU (Average Revenue per User).

To ensure profitability, CSPs must maximize the efficiency of their operating model. Secondly, the M2M ecosystem spans a wide range of industries, applications and communications layers – this diversity introduces significant solutions development and management complexity. As a result, CSPs require reusable enterprise processes, a flexible service creation environment, enterprise application building blocks and specialized IT enablers for managing the M2M business. Wipro M2M seeks to address these challenges.

Wipro M2M is targeted at existing telecom operators in midsized, mature markets and start-up operators in emerging markets. At the core of the solution is a set of enablers that will accelerate time to market, reduce service costs and maximize revenue realization. Wipro M2M is pre-bundled with industry business models and processes thereby empowering CSPs to reduce the gap in addressing the needs of enterprises.

The solution incorporates components of Wipro RAPIDS 2.0, a proprietary Wipro framework, which simplifies customer and partner on-boarding processes. Wipro M2M also provides CSPs with tools to manage catalogues, profiles and rate plans. Last but not the least, Wipro M2M comes bundled with a service creation environment, which helps not only helps to insulate the applications from the complexity of networks and devices but also cuts down the time to deploy, by weeks.

Mindspeed and KT collaborate for LTE small cell solutions

Mobile World Congress 2012, NEWPORT BEACH, USA: Mindspeed Technologies Inc. announced that Korea Telecom (KT) has selected Mindspeed’s Transcede SoC baseband processors for its long-term evolution (LTE) small cell development. The collaboration will combine Mindspeed’s carrier-grade Transcede SoC baseband processor solutions with KT's development expertise to support the carrier’s migration to dual mode (LTE and 3G) small cell base stations.

“Deploying carrier grade LTE small cell solutions with industry leading performance is a key requirement for the KT LTE network roll out plan, and the Mindspeed-based platform and roadmap delivers this,” said Ann Chang-Yong, VP at KT. “Mindspeed’s dual mode T22xx /T33xx SoC baseband processor products deliver multi-standard operation with carrier-grade performance, and are the ideal solution for powering our small cell family of products.”

Mindspeed's Transcede family of processors are complete NodeB and eNodeB SoC solutions that support concurrent 3G and LTE processing in a single device, including time division synchronous code division multiple access (TD-SCDMA), wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA)/ evolved high speed packet access (HSPA+) and both frequency division duplexing LTE (FDD-LTE) and time division duplexing LTE (TDD-LTE), with a roadmap to LTE-Advanced (LTE-A).

Combining 3G and LTE processing capabilities into a single chip is more cost effective for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and the inclusion of a carrier-class physical-layer (PHY) software solution for both 3G and LTE will accelerate time to market, while simplifying development and reducing risk.

“Mindspeed is delighted that our Transcede platform has been chosen by KT for their next-generation femtocell development project," said Dr. Naser Adas, VP and GM, wireless and customer premises equipment (CPE), at Mindspeed. “We have been impressed by KT’s expertise and experience in LTE Cloud-RAN small cell technology and look forward to supporting their new product development efforts."

Mindspeed has the most complete portfolio of SoCs in the industry, ranging from cost-effective residential 3G only, through the new T22xx and T33xx up to the micro /macro class. All Transcede family devices are supported by a complete, carrier-class software reference design to accelerate time-to-market schedules. The reference design includes RF module integration, a real-time Linux board support package, and standard-compliant physical-layer (PHY) implementation for LTE and W-CDMA and TD-SCDMA, with associated utilities and test scripts.

AdaptiveMobile enhances spam and rogue app protection for operators, lowering reliance on subscriber reporting

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012, BARCELONA, SPAIN: AdaptiveMobile, the world leader in mobile security, announced the enhancement of its Network Protection Platform+ (NPP+) with improved spam and rogue app protection. Release 4.1 includes the ability to automatically update security signatures from the AdaptiveMobile Security Centre, allowing operators to proactively protect subscribers rather than relying on them to report problems.

“It is important that operators offer a comprehensive protection service to their customers if they are to maintain confidence and avoid dissatisfaction and fraud,” says Gareth Maclachlan, COO, AdaptiveMobile. “Whilst subscriber reporting is an effective method of highlighting some spam incidents, it needs to be complemented with a more centralised approach – particularly for the more persistent and damaging threats, those which may be international, or those which subscribers cannot detect or report themselves, those targeting M2M services, and where reliance on subscriber reporting may provide operators with a false sense of security.”

Release 4.1 of the AdaptiveMobile NPP+ collects information from a variety of NPP installations, including network honeypots and suspicious sources as well as data from global customers and operators across the world, augmented by subscriber reports from its own SpamGuard app. This is then analysed in real time and released as updated mobile security signatures which are automatically distributed to operators, delivering insight and protection to reduce churn from defrauded or frustrated subscribers, protecting revenue streams.

“SMS is still a valuable revenue stream for all operators today,” continues Maclachlan. “However, fraudulent activity, spam and rogue applications can erode trust in SMS as a legitimate marketing and payment mechanism, which in turn can affect operator revenues. Release 4.1 is aimed at addressing this problem and helping to filter out these threats before they reach the consumer handset. We are also championing the sharing of these signatures across the operator ecosystem so that all mobile telecommunications providers can benefit from the most up-to-date security information, maintaining trust in mobile.”

Vodafone Spain Foundation and Qualcomm to help intellectually disabled workers perform daily jobs

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Qualcomm Inc., through its Wireless Reach initiative, Vodafone Spain Foundation (VSF) and the APROCOR Foundation, a non-profit organization aimed at improving the quality of life of the intellectually disabled and their families, today presented the Augmented Reality for e-labora project, which aims to help workers with intellectual disabilities integrate into the labor market.

People with intellectual disabilities need assistance to perform work tasks, such as how to replenish depleted products on store shelves or what to do when a copy machine runs out of paper. With this in mind, the Augmented Reality for e-labora project, implemented by VSF and the APROCOR Foundation and supported by the Spanish Government through the Avanza 2 Plan (TSI-040500-2010-85), seeks to develop a new paradigm of accessible work environments.

This project will work to improve the integration of intellectually disabled persons in the workplace, creating an environment that enhances their safety, emotional stability, communication, self-determination and participation.

Using Qualcomm's Vuforia augmented reality (AR) platform, 3G-enabled smartphones and tablets, and applications and content created by VSF, the project incorporates AR into job coaching and training activities.

With a grant from Qualcomm's Wireless Reach initiative, these AR-enabled devices will be used as personal support tools that provide communication, scheduling functions, on-location tutoring, step-by-step training, task descriptions and other relevant information. Applications include an office navigation tool, a printer instruction guide, and a manual to help gardeners and supermarket stockers through their daily tasks.

For example, with the EasyUse AR application, the user points a mobile device at a printer to access an interactive instruction guide with easy-to-understand learning commands that have been digitally superimposed onto the physical environment.

Mindspeed and JUNI collaborate on next-generation LTE femtocells and small cell base station solutions

Mobile World Congress 2012, NEWPORT BEACH, USA: Mindspeed Technologies Inc., the industry leader in technology for small cell base stations, announced a collaboration with JUNI to jointly develop advanced long-term evolution (LTE) femtocells and other small cell dual mode 3G/LTE solutions. The collaboration combines Mindspeed’s carrier-grade Transcede SoC baseband processor solutions with JUNI’s development expertise.

Mindspeed's Transcede family of processors include complete NodeB and eNodeB SoC solutions that perform concurrent 3G and LTE processing in a single device, including time division synchronous code division multiple access (TD-SCDMA), wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA)/evolved high speed packet access (HSPA+) and both frequency division duplexing LTE (FDD-LTE) and time division duplexing LTE (TDD-LTE).

The recently announced Transcede T22xx series targets residential and small enterprise applications, while the T33xx series is focused on enterprise, metro and pico base stations. These products combine Mindspeed’s strength in LTE with Picochip’s leadership in carrier grade 3G.

“As a developer of femtocell solutions for LTE mobile networks, JUNI believes that next-generation networks and applications will require LTE femtocells and other small cell base stations,” said John Kim, CEO, JUNI. “The development of a broad portfolio of small cell products for the different market demands is important to serve our operator customers. Mindspeed’s dual mode T22xx/T33xx SoC baseband processor products deliver multi-standard operation with carrier-grade performance, and are the ideal solution for building our family of products.”

“Mindspeed is delighted that our Transcede SoCs have been chosen by JUNI for the company’s next-generation femtocells and other small cell products,” said Dr. Naser Adas, VP and GM, wireless and customer premises equipment (CPE), at Mindspeed. “We have been impressed by JUNI’s commitment and expertise in developing small cells. Both companies believe in the huge opportunity of this market and we look forward to a successful collaboration with them.”

Mindspeed has the most complete portfolio of SoCs in the industry, ranging from cost-effective residential 3G only, through the new T22xx and T33xx up to the micro/macro class. All Transcede family devices are supported by a complete, carrier-class software reference design to accelerate time-to-market schedules. The reference design includes RF module integration, a real-time Linux board support package, and standard-compliant physical-layer (PHY) implementation for LTE and W-CDMA and TD-SCDMA, with associated utilities and test scripts.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Nominum launches world's first DNS-based solutions for mobile

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Nominum, the worldwide leader in network-based solutions and applications for service providers powered by its world-class Domain Name System (DNS) and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) core engines, announced its expanding presence into the mobile broadband arena with the introduction of a new Nominum Mobile Suite, the first-ever purpose-built suite of solutions specifically designed for the changing needs of today’s mobile providers.

Mobile service providers today are under the dual pressures of ever-increasing demands for data and traffic and the need to differentiate and adapt quickly. The Nominum Mobile Suite features high-value applications to help mobile providers increase revenue, reduce churn and ultimately protect their brands – all the while making the most efficient use of their most finite resource – wireless spectrum. The launch of the Nominum Mobile Suite is grounded in the Nominum legacy in DNS solutions that started with founder and chief scientist Dr. Paul Mockapetris and updates it for the pace of today’s mobile Internet.

“Market conditions, especially the mobile data explosion and the migration to 4G, require providers to evolve their business models for the future while keeping up with the demands of today,” said Doug Miller, GM of Mobile Solutions for Nominum. “Nominum Mobile Suite is an integrated approach to helping carriers unlock the secrets to their most valuable asset – network traffic – to become more efficient, differentiated and agile.”

The Nominum Mobile Suite is built upon Nominum’s expertise in delivering high-value applications for leading fixed broadband operators. Applied to mobile, these applications support core functions around multiple mobile-specific network interfaces such as Gi, Gn and Gp DNS. The Suite helps providers achieve differentiation, efficiency and agility by addressing four predominant provider business needs.

Mobile Packet Core – This first-of-its-kind solution offers seamless integration of standard caching and authoritative DNS services into a single holistic and efficient solution for both 3G and 4G networks.

Network and Service Visibility – As networks advance and mobile customers consume more data, the need for visibility increases. This solution provides mobile service providers with anywhere/anytime access to the wealth of information generated by their network.

Subscriber Affinity – Leveraging the DNS platform, this solution enables providers to create network-based, value-added functions, from security from viruses and phishing attacks to parental controls and scheduling tools to enhanced end-user applications, which can improve subscriber experience and ultimately, improve loyalty.

Spectrum Efficiency – In addition to decreasing latency, this solution also manages wireless spectrum by preventing malicious activity enabling providers to quarantine abusive or infected customers, and addressing other forms of anomalous traffic.

Residential gateway market projected to triple from 2012 to 2015

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Residential gateways are expected to become the new hub of the so-called digital living room when they take over from set-top boxes, with the vigorous gateway market projected to triple from 2012 to 2015, according to an IHS iSuppli Consumer Platforms topical report.

Shipments of residential gateways and thin client boxes that act as receivers are miniscule at present, but their numbers will grow dramatically as cable and wireless operators begin to roll out services offering broader connectivity and seamless access. Worldwide gateway and thin client shipments are projected to reach 4.2 million units in 2012, up from just 345,000 last year and a mere 1,000 in 2010. Shipments then are expected to continue to climb quickly during the next two years—rising to 6.7 million units in 2013, to 10.4 million in 2014 and to 12.6 million by 2015.

“While the set-top box has been the heart of the home media environment, acting as the home’s primary media interface to the outside world and also connecting to the network and the TV, the residential gateway will be the next step up as it is able to link together an even wider range of devices,” said Jordan Selburn, senior principal analyst for consumer platforms at IHS. “Through the residential gateway, a set-top box acting as a central server can be connected to any number of thin client boxes—and eventually to other media devices being used in the home, like smartphones or tablets—in order to deliver content. As such, gateways can become the nucleus of the digital living room, where consumers have seamless access to material from a wide range of sources.”

Factors to help gateway market take off
Although gateway devices will center on the North American region during the next few years and limit the size of the overall residential gateway space in the near term, the market will continue to expand as emerging regions begin to adopt the model. If the current set-top box market is any indication, countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China could propel the gateway space during the latter part of the decade and beyond, IHS predicts. In North America, many of the leading operators are moving to the server/client model, with the “Whole Home DVR” service offered by DirecTV, Comcast and others as the first step.

The residential gateway model also has a pull and push component driving it forward, further ensuring that the market will grow rapidly. Among service providers, gateways can save money by allowing them to move to a server/client configuration that is less expensive than putting a hard drive into each set-top box. Operators also can charge for the increased connectivity provided by gateways, boosting provider revenues in the process. On the part of consumers, gateways with real-time, high-definition video transcoding capabilities will become a must-have feature in the connected world, allowing media to be correctly rendered in the tablets and smartphones that users already possess.

The key component within the residential gateway box—the media processor—is now ready for prime time, IHS believes. Tasked with converting media into the right format and resolution for a given rendering device, the media processor requires substantial computation power, and until recently was out of reach for even leading-edge media processors without a separate co-processing chip.

All that has changed, however, with companies like Intel Corp., Broadcom Corp. and STMicroelectronics launching products aimed at the gateway and client markets. Intel was the first to release a chip—the CE4200—for handling real-time transcoding, and quickly began to forge relationships with major set-top box manufacturers. For its part, Broadcom has the BCM7425 and other similar chips in volume production, while STMicroelectronics has its “Orly” chip scheduled for production in mid-2012.

Residential gateways are not expected to settle on one single networking standard but incorporate a mix that will be dependent on region and operator. Wired or wireless, Cat 5, coax or powerline—all will vie to be the backbone of the connected home.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

BLU Products announces Studio 5.3

MIAMI, USA: BLU Products, one of the fastest growing mobile phone providers in the US, announced the release of its latest smartphone, the BLU Studio 5.3. With an ergonomic and stylish design, the BLU Studio 5.3 is the ideal personal communications device, combining the user experience of a tablet, with smartphone portability. The main features of the device are its powerful battery, one of the longest–lasting on the market today, and its massive high resolution 5.3" WVGA LCD screen all at an incredibly affordable price.

The BLU Studio 5.3 is powered by MediaTek's MT6573 processor, which incorporates a POWERVR Series5 SGX GPU to enable advanced 3D graphics capability bringing gaming and user interface capabilities that were previously available only to high-end smartphones. The device will be on display at Mobile World Congress at the MediaTek exhibit located in Hall 1, stand 1C58.

"MediaTek is a natural partner by providing an energy efficient and highly capable mass-market application processor, which will enable its clients to achieve new levels of capabilities and meet emerging consumer demands for advanced performance in lower-priced smartphones," said Samuel Ohev-Zion, founder and CEO of BLU Products.

The BLU Studio 5.3 is currently available unlocked with Dual SIM support at several online retailers in the US, and throughout Latin America with the MT6573 650MHz variant. An upgraded version with MT6573T in 800 MHz will be launched globally, including in Europe and Asia, before the end of March at a retail price of 199 Euros unlocked. The device will offer HSDPA 3G support, as well as Android v2.3 Gingerbread OS.

China cellular M2M connection revenue to exceed $2.7 billion in 2016

SINGAPORE: The M2M market is largely characterized by cellular module shipments and connections. China’s cellular connection revenue, which constitutes more than one-third of the Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) M2M market, is expected to grow from $642 million in 2011 to $2.76 billion in 2016.

“China’s latest economic five-year-plan has placed the ‘Internet of Things’ as a key, strategic national industry initiative for the country,” says Jake Saunders, VP of forecasting. “Carriers have made significant progress through 2011 in terms of developing technologies, unified platforms, applications, and strategic co-operation.”

China Mobile started M2M development early, positioning it as its third wave of its long-term business offerings. It has also moved into developing M2M standards and promoting economies of scale, positioning itself as an integrator with no real focus on an end-to-end solution approach. China Unicom has launched sector-specific M2M applications such as Bank New Horizon, Ocean New Horizon, and Logistics New Horizon.

In addition, China Unicom has also made inroads into the telematics market as a telematics service provider (TSP). China Telecom is a late-comer in the domestic M2M market and seeks to gain fast market entry by offering value-added services through their strong relationships with enterprise clients.

The cellular module market, a key measure of the M2M market currently, is facing growing commoditization and price pressures from China-based module vendors. These include not only SIMCom Wireless Solutions, Huawei, and ZTE, but smaller vendors as well, including Quectel, Neoway, and Fibocom.

Practice director, Sam Lucero, says: “Lower operating costs have played a significant part in this ongoing commoditization trend and have forced western module vendors to up their game by moving up the value chain. In addition, the three largest Chinese module vendors are able to leverage the scale of adjacent product offerings.”

China’s cellular module shipment is forecast to grow from 3.76 million in 2011 to an estimated 13.61 million connections in 2016, constituting 32 percent of APAC’s forecast in 2011 and growing to 37 percent by 2016.

Connected world demands relationships, not just eyeballs

BARCELONA, SPAIN: The GSMA predicted there will be 24 billion connected devices by 2020, but the MWC Connected Consumer keynote speakers from eBay, Best Buy and IPG warned that brands will not reap the benefits unless they rethink the way they interact with consumers.

Eden Zoller, principal analyst at Ovum, was in the audience and has the following comment: “We could not agree more, and urge brands to approach mobile advertising in terms of relationships, not just eyeballs and reach alone. Mobile advertising is about engagement. Facebook for one is super aware of this and will make it a mantra when it launches mobile advertising in the coming months.

“eBay mentioned an iPad app that illustrates how this can work - the app in question alerts eBay users of inventory related to the program they are watching. The eBay app also underscores the notion that mobile advertising has to be relevant or it will be ignored or perceived as spam.

“There is also a danger that social media savvy consumers will hit back: "If you pepper consumers with stuff they are not interested in you will get vigilante consumers who will shut you out," warned Interpublic Group’s CEO and chairman Michael Roth.

“Another key theme to emerge from the Connected Consumer Keynote is that connected devices have the potential to be the central dashboard of people’s lives. But the industry, particularly operators, must do more to make this a reality. Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn warns that operators’ expensive, confusing data plans and locked devices are inhibiting visions of a connected world. We agree – the connected consumer value proposition is not being fully developed.”

Hughes releases HX System 4.0

GERMANTOWN, USA: Hughes Network Systems LLC (HUGHES) announced the planned release of HX System 4.0, bringing a host of technology enhancements to the HX product family which will enable higher performance, higher efficiency, and a number of significant new features.

Summarized below, these enhancements further strengthen the HX System's leadership in specialty markets such as IP trunking, 3G/4G cellular backhaul, Virtual Network Operator (VNO) hosting, and "Comms On-The-Move" (COTM) for airborne/maritime/land, including defense and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) solutions.

IPv6/IPv4 support
A major element of HX System 4.0 is a dual stack IPv6/IPv4 design which will enable the simultaneous support of both protocols. The ability to implement IPv6 is fast becoming a critical issue for every telecommunications service provider as the availability of new IPv4 address space is quickly disappearing. HX System 4.0 will enable operators to smoothly transition to IPv6 while continuing to support their installed base of IPv4 customers and devices.

HX90 satellite broadband router
The new HX 90 features higher efficiency and lower operational costs on satellite links through a new optimized encapsulation scheme on the outroute, and through LDPC coding on the inroute, the same coding scheme as used in the DVB-S2 standard. Combined with a major performance boost across the entire HX System family of routers, in sum these enhancements provide operators with best-in-class throughputs and efficiencies.

Defense and mobility support
HX System 4.0 brings to market key functionality and specific operational frequencies in support of the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) system for military and defense organizations. In addition, HX System 4.0 encompasses a comprehensive set of enhanced mobility features including integrated Doppler correction, automatic beam switching, and enhanced return channel spreading for even the most demanding COTM applications.
Network Management Enhancements

The industry leading HX ExpertNMS (Network Management System) has been upgraded in HX System 4.0 to provide enhanced management capabilities for VNOs. This new capability enables a VNO to monitor and control elements within their operational service domain, allowing a wholesale network operator to effectively partition their network and provide complete control to private users of these partitions.

Quad-core smartphones highlight Mobile World Congress 2012

EL SEGUNDO, USA: South Korean electronics firm LG recently introduced the world’s first smartphone based on a quad-core processor, sounding the starting gun for the expected rollout of a slew of similar products at the Mobile World Congress 2012 this week.

LG’s quad-core smartphone, the LG Optimus 4X HD, is powered by a 1.5GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and also features a large, high-definition 4.7-inch screen with a resolution of 1280x720. The smartphone also includes Android 4.0, the most recent iteration of Google's mobile OS known as Ice Cream Sandwich. The phone will start shipping in the second quarter of 2012.

LG may be the first to announce a quad-core smartphone with the LG Optimus 4X, but it will not be alone for very long. Several other manufacturers will make similar quad-core announcements over the course of Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.

Last year, LG was also first with dual-core smartphones via its Optimus 2x, but an early launch did not help the firm in its handset sales, as LG's shipment volumes dropped nearly 25 percent in 2011.

Like the LG Optimus 4X, many of the other quad-core smartphones to be shown at the Mobile World Congress likewise will feature the latest version of Android, high-end cameras, an HD screen, and even the same Nvidia Tegra3 chipset.

“Quad-core processors offer much-faster performance for graphics-intensive activities such as high-definition video playback and high-end gaming, as well as enabling the phone to handle multitasking with less effect on the user experience,” said Daniel Gleeson, research analyst, mobile media for IHS. “This will make the smartphone a more compelling consumer experience—in LG's words delivering ‘PC-like performance.’ It also will increase the disruption that high-end smartphones will cause to adjacent products, such as handheld games consoles. But unlike Sony, Apple and Microsoft, LG lacks a strong games content portfolio that would help LG to differentiate its premium smartphones.”

The quad-core chipset in the LG and other smartphones is broadly similar to the chipset in Sony’s PlayStation Vita handheld gaming system. Both use a quad-core ARM processor—and the screen is also of a similar size while boasting higher resolution. As such, content providers should expect LG's smartphone to deliver excellent visuals.

However, the HD video or high-end gaming graphics performance is realistic only as an option for downloaded content. Streaming HD video, on the other hand, would require the mobile network to provide content at a constant rate of greater than 2Mbit/sec. Such a rate would be considered very optimistic for most of today's 3G networks, or it would result in a battery drain—already a sensitive issue with quad-core smartphones—if used in 4G LTE networks.

All told, revenues from Android smartphone games will rise by 218 percent in 2012. This strong growth will be driven by the arrival of quad-core smartphones, such as the Optimus 4X and the vast increase in the installed base of Android mobile handsets.

The increased power consumption of such devices is a typical downside from very high-performance hardware. LG, however, has tackled this by including a very large 2150mAh battery as well as having a "companion" fifth core to handle mundane tasks, so that the quad-core doesn't unnecessarily drain the battery.

Skype takes baby steps on Windows Phone

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Nine months after Microsoft announced it was acquiring the VoIP provider, Skype announces its debut on Windows Phone, which Tony Cripps, principal analyst at Ovum believes fills one of the obvious application gaps on Microsoft’s latest smartphone platform.

“At least in its initial guise, Skype for Windows Phone offers a fairly typical Skype experience on smartphones running as a standalone application. We expect this to change in future iterations with Skype becoming a more pervasive part of the Windows Phone software platform and experience, with its functionality integrated tightly with applications and services across the phone increasing its utility.

“Moreover, this is an important step in Microsoft’s strategy to make Skype a ubiquitous – and unavoidable – part of its product portfolio, integrated wherever it makes sense to do so. A pervasive Skype has much greater potential to disrupt existing models of communication than one that is dependent on users proactively choosing to install it.

“In this capacity it could begin to act as a social “glue” helping to drive usage of the service and furthering sales of Skype-enabled Microsoft products considerably in future. It could eventually help blur the lines between business users and consumers with Skype increasingly seen as simply a convenient tool to communication available anywhere.”

Ixia unveils new products with industry leaders

MWC 2012, CALABASAS, USA: Ixia, the leading global provider of converged IP and wireless network test solutions, announced its collaboration with industry leaders at Mobile World Congress 2012 to showcase several new wireless product innovations.

These innovations will push forward the wireless industry's delivery of better performing and higher quality LTE networks. Ixia will highlight performance test solutions for LTE service validation and capacity planning, wireless security, mobile backhaul, Wi-Fi-based cellular offload, and small cells at MWC in Barcelona from February 27-March 1, in Hall 1, Booth #1E47.

To validate their products, industry leaders need massively scalable wireless test solutions capable of emulating the largest mobile broadband networks in a single test system. Ixia is the only company providing complete end-to-end LTE network validation that scales to hundreds of gigabits of video traffic, emulates of millions of mobile subscribers surfing the Internet, and processes millions of web transactions per second. Live discussions and demonstrations will showcase the following mobile network innovations:

Ixia and Alcatel-Lucent will demonstrate how packet-based backhaul networks can satisfy synchronization requirements for mobile voice and multimedia services under real-world conditions. Ixia test measurements prove that the Alcatel-Lucent IP/MPLS mobile backhaul solution can maintain accurate phase synchronization and QoS guarantees under extreme packet congestion and network failovers.

Using Ixia’s IxVeriWave Wi-Fi test system, Xirrus and Ixia have worked together to validate the high-scalability and resiliency of Xirrus’ XR-series Wireless Array platform. The high scale tests measured actual device performance with media-rich applications (voice/video) to demonstrate that the XR-series Wireless Arrays are capable of supporting the rigorous demands required for carrier deployments.

Ixia and Cavium will demonstrate the power of MontaVista’s Bare Metal Engine single core achieving the same level of IP forwarding performance as six cores, using a highly optimized kernel application in standard Linux – a 600% performance improvement.

Ixia and Fujitsu will demonstrate the capabilities of Fujitsu’s new BroadOne LTE Femtocell, a compact indoor base station for the easy construction of high-bandwidth, high-quality indoor wireless communications environments.

Ixia will participate in the TD Industry Alliance (TDIA) exhibit to showcase new innovations in TD-LTE development. Ixia will demonstrate its market leading solution for TD-LTE service validation and capacity planning.

Ixia will unveil the industry’s first application that validates mobile internet security end-to-end – from the handset to the data center. Visit Ixia booth to understand how IxLoad-Attack can generate massive, city-scale application and attack traffic over LTE infrastructures to allow mobile operators to find previously impossible-to-detect infrastructure vulnerabilities before they can be exploited on live networks.

Ixia will demonstrate its new VoLTE test application to measure voice quality on LTE networks. At Ixia’s booth, operators can hear how they can easily compare and contrast the voice quality of over-the-top (OTT) service to operator-provided voice using best-in-class industry algorithms.

Ixia president and CEO, Atul Bhatnagar, will participate in a panel discussion titled “Delivering QoE Despite Capacity Pressures” on Wednesday, February 29th at 3:45 Time (CET) in Hall 5 Room 6. In this session, industry experts from several companies will discuss how to architect mobile networks that deliver the greatest QoE to users.

Empirix intros advanced VoLTE service assurance solution

BEDFORD, USA: In a world where voracious customer demand for mobile services is driving the rapid deployment of LTE, Empirix Inc. today announced the availability of the Empirix E-XMS service assurance solution for monitoring Voice over LTE (VoLTE) from end-to-end. Empirix E-XMS enables operators to assure next-generation LTE services and gain complete visibility into the Quality of Experience (QoE) as communications switch between mobile, 3G and wireline environments. Empirix’s unique holistic view of the network makes it possible to preempt issues and resolve problems before they impact customers.

For LTE deployments to succeed, operators must strategically manage service gaps to ensure that customers do not experience a drop in service quality as they move from LTE to 3G coverage zones. This is especially important for voice services as nothing frustrates customers like dropped calls. Unlike traditional IP communications, operators have multiple deployment options for VoLTE. Many are looking to reduce costs by migrating voice services to the VoIP/IMS Core. When LTE conditions change, these customers are routed to other parts of the network mid-call. Other operators are choosing to send calls directly to circuit-switched networks as soon as voice service is requested.

“LTE networks were originally the solution to handle increased data traffic, but with the growing presence of LTE devices, and the accompanying demand for voice services over the network, operators saw the need for a standardized approach,” said Rob Bamforth, principal analyst, Quocirca. “Regardless of the method implemented, VoLTE promises better call quality and more flexible services, like simultaneous voice and data, though there are a number of challenges that mobile operators will need to overcome, particularly related to finding and resolving issues before they can impact the end-user. This requires a deep visibility into the network that has not previously been available.”

“Mobile networks add a new range of complexities that many operators are not sure how to handle,” said Bob Hockman, vice president of product management, Empirix. “Trying to accurately monitor mobile and wireline activities, along with skyrocketing voice, video and data traffic, is near impossible without a unified approach. Empirix is the only company that can assure the LTE environment as a whole, as well as handovers and legacy systems. With a complete understanding of how specific enhancements impact customer experience, operators can fully optimize performance and realize the full benefit of their technology investments.”

Empirix E-XMS Service Assurance Platform mitigates the network management challenges associated with mobile and fixed line convergence including handoffs and fallback scenarios. It collects, correlates and analyzes data across heterogeneous environments to provide an end-to-end view of customer experience, application performance, service quality, network health and interoperability. To reduce “cost per problem,” Empirix E-XMS enables operators to quickly identify the source of issues in complex environments and detect service degradation conditions before they can impact customers.

Visa provides secure OTA provisioning of mobile payment accounts

MWC 2012, BARCELONA, SPAIN: Visa announced a new service that provides financial institutions and mobile network operators with a one-stop solution to securely download payment account information to smartphones enabled with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. In reaction, Catherine Haslam, analyst at Ovum has the following comments:

“Visa’s announcement has the potential to fill a significant hole in the current payments ecosystem. A major barrier for many operators is the need to build a relationship with one or several financial institutions in order to offer services. Such negotiations are typically long and complicated and this would replace it with a simple contract with Visa. In effect Visa is doing what it’s been threatening to do for several years and expanding its traditional intermediary role in payments to mobile. The fact that it is also supporting non-Visa payments shows that the payments giant recognises that ubiquity is the key to success in mobile money systems.

“However, Visa is not walking into an open market. It faces competition from international financial hub systems, such as the M-wallet and HomeSend services offered by international carrier BICS, and it has barriers it must overcome. Firstly, Visa must establish a viable business model which operators will accept. BICS already has a well-respected model and many existing operator customers.

“However, Visa’s brand and scale should make this possible, especially if it can offer operators a plug and play solution. A bigger barrier, at least in the short to medium term, is that the system relies on the NFC in the consumer device and PoS, and that is a long way from critical mass.”

M2M technology adoption set to explode by 2015, but are we ready?

Mobile World Congress 2012, WOBURN, USA & BARCELONA, SPAIN: AdaptiveMobile, the world leader in mobile security, revealed that machine to machine (M2M) technology is on the verge of widespread adoption, with 10 percent of UK residents already using it regularly and 54 percent expecting their phone to talk to, unlock and start their car by 2015.

While awareness is high, however, so too is concern over security, with 86 percent of respondents stating that they see risks associated with M2M technology. AdaptiveMobile will be demonstrating the reality of these threats at Mobile World Congress, with the remote hacking and unlocking of a front door via a mobile phone.

According to AdaptiveMobile’s fourth Global Security Insights in Mobile (GSIM) report1 -- up to 5 billion M2M devices that communicate over mobile networks could be in operation by 2020, and this growth combined with advances in cloud computing and wireless technology creates a huge opportunity for operators. A primary concern for users, however, is privacy and crime so this must be addressed before the full benefits of M2M can be realised, especially as the technology is being rolled out now.

Cathal McDaid, security consultant, AdaptiveMobile, said: “M2M technology is already a reality in lots of industries, including healthcare, utilities and advertising. Heart rate monitors are connected to alarm systems to monitor patient vital signs, for example, so the potential for this technology is huge.

“With this opportunity comes risk, however, and having devices connected across mobile networks creates several issues, for example, machines communicating without human supervision could mean vulnerabilities and exploits go unnoticed.”

According to the GSIM report, 49 percent of consumers believe M2M technology could make it easier for thieves to hack into their homes or cars and almost two thirds (60 percent) expect a high risk of having their personal information exposed via M2M systems. When it comes to whose responsibility security is, one third (33 percent) of respondents believe the manufacturer, device retailer and wireless provider should be responsible for managing these risks together, with one fifth (20 percent) believing that the operator alone should shoulder the responsibility.

McDaid said: “Clearly the onus is on the providers of M2M technology to protect users from security threats and we can help operators protect trust in their network by preventing mobile attacks across all traffic sources, whilst still capitalising on the M2M opportunity to grow revenues and retain customers.”

“Moving forward, it is critical that dedicated, tailored security is created for M2M and delivered at a network level to allow operators, device manufacturers and end-users to rely on these devices without needing to worry about security. As we move closer to a market where M2M becomes more dominant, ensuring the security of these devices will be of paramount importance.”

ZTE expands Windows Phone portfolio

Mobile World Congress 2012, LONDON, ENGLAND: ZTE Corp. has expanded on its commitment to the Windows Phone platform and introduced the new ZTE Orbit smartphone.

The ZTE Orbit joins the ZTE Tania smartphone in the company’s portfolio of Windows Phone-based devices. The ZTE Tania is commercially available in the UK and Sweden and other countries around the world.

“Microsoft is excited to continue partnering with ZTE to bring new Windows Phones to market. We look forward to the availability of ZTE Orbit in major markets around the world in the second quarter of 2012,” said Mark Linton, senior director of the OEM Division, Microsoft.

“The Windows Phone platform is as powerful as it is intuitive, enabling us to create and deliver exciting new devices that meet real consumer demand,” said He Shiyou, executive VP and head of Terminal Division of ZTE. “Our partnership with Microsoft is a key component of our strategy to grow our share of the smartphone market. ZTE is proud to be at the forefront of device manufacturers who are using the Windows Phone platform.”

The ZTE Orbit is based on the latest version of Windows Phone and comes with 4GB of memory, HD Voice, and a 5Mpx autofocus camera with LED flash. The ZTE Orbit will be available in the second quarter of this year.

At the same time, ZTE announced the MF668A data card which takes advantage of Microsoft’s Mobile Broadband Class Driver in Windows 8. ZTE’s MF668A data card is being demonstrated at Mobile World Congress for the first time. The data card, which supports RAW IP and high-speed transmission, is based on the new MBIM v1.0 specification, recently approved by the USB-IF, and natively supported in Windows 8 without additional software.

Launched on 18 January, the ZTE Tania is a chic Windows Phone device, with a chassis measuring just 10.7mm in depth, 4GB internal storage and a 4.3 inch touch screen. The 1GHz processor and ultra-sharp cinematic WVGA 800 x 480px screen make responding to emails, editing documents and browsing the internet fast and intuitive. The first Windows Phone-powered smartphone launched by ZTE, the ZTE Tania is expected to be available in stores in the UK in early April at tariff points in the £10-20 range.