Thursday, February 28, 2013

FTTx PON shipments were mixed in 2012, vendors are pushing into new markets

Julie Kuntsler, principal analyst, Components, Ovum

AUSTRALIA: FTTx PON equipment vendors are pushing for adoption in new markets given the mixed results of 2012. PON ONT/ONU (CPE) grew by 43 percent between 2011 and 2012, reaching 40.3 million units, as more subscribers were brought onto FTTx networks.

Total OLT port shipments reached just over 4.1 million, a decline of 9 percent versus 2011. The decline was due to maturing EPON network builds in China, Japan and Korea. This decline was not offset fully by large GPON network builds throughout the world. Shipments of total PON OLT port market will continue to decline unless there are major GPON network builds in India, Indonesia, Brazil and/or Russia.

We began to see the use of PON in wireless backhaul, particularly for small cell sites where there is technical fit and geographic overlap. We are also seeing PON deployments for enterprise optical LAN. Next-Gen PON’s numbers will remain small as the need for 10G PON in FTTB MDU deployments is fading away, leaving wireless-backhaul and enterprise as possible markets.

Based on 2012 OLT port shipments, ZTE held 42 percent market share, followed by Huawei with 36 percent and Alcatel-Lucent with 8 percent. For the 2012 PON ONT/ONU market, ZTE held 32 percent, followed by Huawei with 31 percent and Alcatel-Lucent with 15 percent. Alcatel-Lucent gained market share in both the OLT port and the ONT/ONU markets between 2011 and 2012.

We expect Calix to remain a strong 2nd tier vendor in NA due to municipal/regional deployments and to increase share outside of NA, based on its acquisition of Ericsson’s GPON business.

Modest ON market growth through 2018 despite whimpering 4Q12 results

AUSTRALIA: Global optical networking (ON) spending versus the year-ago quarter receded for the fourth consecutive quarter in 4Q12, finds Ovum. While some pockets of growth remain, spending in 4Q12 versus the year-ago quarter was down in every region, and the market remains mired in recession.

In a new market share analysis, the global industry analysts reveals annualized revenue versus the year-ago period was down for the third consecutive quarter, falling 6 percent from the 4Q11 level.

The market finished 2012 at nearly $14.6 billion, more than $1 billion lower than 2011. According to Ovum, annual spending in Asia-Pacific was up 3 percent from the 2011 level, but not enough to offset declines of 13 percent in North America, 12 percent in EMEA, and 3 percent in South & Central America.

“The current downturn is being driven by several factors including faltering economic growth in Europe and the US, lower pricing due to intense vendor competition, and a quickening in the shift in spending away from TDM aggregation equipment,” says Ron Kline. “Guidance from vendors is cautiously optimistic, with good short-term visibility into order growth, while long-term vision on customer spending patterns remains cloudy.”

Ovum believes the market pressures prevalent in 2012 will likely continue to influence the market into 2013.

In terms of vendor performance, FiberHome was the biggest share winner for the year as the company gained 1 share point while market leader Huawei gained 0.9 points. Other share winners in 2012 included Ciena, ZTE, NEC, Ericsson and Cisco in order of most to least gain. Alcatel-Lucent, Fujitsu and Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) saw market share decline in 2012.

“All is not lost, even with four uninspiring quarters of 2012 behind us; Ovum’s forecast predicts 2 percent growth globally for 2013 with the ON market surpassing US$17.1bn in 2018. Overall Ovum foresees strong growth in SCA, modest growth in Asia-Pacific and low growth in EMEA, North America and submarine line terminal equipment sales,” concludes Kline.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Yota Devices and Qualcomm enter into software license for mobile devices

SPAIN: Yota Devices is the first Russian company to enter into a software license for mobile devices with Qualcomm Technologies Inc. (QTI), a subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc.

The official announcement was made by Qualcomm chairman and CEO, Dr. Paul E. Jacobs and Yota Devices CEO, Vlad Martynov at Mobile World Congress 2013.

The two companies will cooperate on developing cutting-edge LTE and connectivity devices, including smartphones, modems and routers.

Yota Devices is currently designing mobile devices using Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, including YotaPhone, the first dual-screen Android phone with a liquid crystal display on one side and an electronic paper display on the other. Yota Devices' current suite of fast and reliable modems and routers are powered by Qualcomm Gobi 4G LTE technology in the MDM9215 and MDM9225 chipsets.

YotaPhone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor (MSM8960) featuring dual CPUs, a cutting-edge 28nm technology solution designed specifically to meet the requirements of multi-tasking smartphones and tablets.

"Russia is strategically important to us as we expect strong growth in the number of 3G smartphones over the next two years. We are very excited to support Yota Devices.  Innovative ideas are coming from all parts of the world and YotaPhone is a great example of a company that looks to lead with innovative ideas. The AMSS software licenseagreement will allow Yota to design 3G/4G multimode devices based on QTI’s products and technology," said Enrico Salvatori, senior VP of QTI and President of Qualcomm Europe Inc.

“Being named as a software QTI licensee gives us the opportunity to develop technical devices at all different stages with our own Yota Devices’ engineer’s team. This helps us to design and optimize our devices – modems, routers and smartphones -- with operators and consumers desires and needs in mind," said CEO Yota Devices Vlad Martynov. "This license guarantees that we will receive QTI’ support at the same level as global developers and manufacturers.”

Grameenphone selects Mahindra Comviva for integrated messaging solution

MWC 2013, SPAIN: Mahindra Comviva, the global leader in providing mobile financial and VAS solutions, announced that it has been selected by Grameenphone for integrated messaging solution through a competitive process. This will be the largest messaging deployment in Bangladesh, in terms of capacity as the system is designed to cater 5000 TPS (transactions per second).

A highly scalable, cloud-ready and consolidated VAS messaging infrastructure platform, Mahindra Comviva’s integrated messaging solution will enable Grameenphone to efficiently manage a range of messaging related services.

By simplifying management of the complete messaging lifecycle – from service creation and deployment to service management and maintenance – the integrated messaging solution will place greater control in the hands of the operator, enabling faster service launch and implementation of enhanced operational efficiencies.

Manoranjan Mohapatra, CEO, Mahindra Comviva, said: “We are delighted to further extend our long standing partnership with Grameenphone in Bangladesh. Mobile operators across the country are facing fragmentation of their messaging infrastructure due to multiple deployments for SMS, USSD and MMS. Now, with the ever growing consumer demands, operators are looking forward to incorporate new content and applications. This is reason why Grameenphone has selected Mahindra Comviva to optimize their messaging infrastructure and provide rich services to their 40 million subscribers across multiple messaging channels.”

Mahmud Hossain, CCAO, Grameenphone said, “This integrated messaging solution is envisaged to be the next generation messaging solution that will enable us to reduce TCO by consolidating the messaging infrastructure.”

Mobile will connect next billion Internet users, but at what cost?

Carrie Pawsey, telco strategy analyst at Ovum

SPAIN: Emerging markets continue to feature heavily in the keynote speeches at MWC 2013, with both Nokia and Bharti Airtel’s CEOs highlighting that the next billion Internet connections will come from mobile users in emerging markets.

Ovum forecasts that emerging markets will be the key source of future mobile connections growth, particularly in Africa and Asia-Pacific. Between 2012 and 2017, Ovum expects that there will be 1.6 billion new mobile connections across the world, with 61 percent of these coming from Asia-Pacific.

While connections growth in Asia-Pacific will begin to slow towards the end of our forecast period, the region’s 4.4 billion connections in 2017 will make it the greatest contributor to global connections. Growth in the Asia-Pacific region will largely be driven by the “big three” emerging markets of China, India, and Indonesia, which will have 3 billion connections between them in 2017.

While Asia-Pacific will generate the most new connections, Africa will be the fastest-growing region. African mobile connections will grow at a CAGR of 6.5 percent between 2012 and 2017, increasing from 683 million in 2012 to 935 million in 2017.

While connections growth is important, the biggest issue for emerging market operators will continue to be around revenue growth and how to remain profitable with a customer base of low-ARPU users. Both Nokia and Airtel’s CEOs talked about the need for cheaper devices (as discussed in our comment Nokia CEO outlines mobile Internet strengths in emerging markets).

The strategies of operators in Vietnam, India, Pakistan, and Tanzania demonstrate how telcos can operate in markets where ARPU is below $3 per month. While the correlation between high ARPU and profitability is not absolute, operators still need to take action to improve the amount of revenue that they make from each connection. This is of paramount importance to operators in markets where ARPU will be less than $5 per month in 2017.

A big lesson in Google Play’s little privacy slip

Mark Little, consumer analyst at Ovum

SPAIN: Google has successfully ridden the margins of regulation and consumer acceptance since birth. Operating in the grey areas where regulation is yet to catch up and consumers are yet to fully understand, is a brave but perfectly legal strategy that is even to be recommended- arguably the only place a technology company should be.

But, riding the margins is high risk and has consequences when laws are broken and consumers upset, a situation Google is no stranger to. The latest slip, from Google Play this time, sees the apparent passing of personally identifiable information to developers without consumer permission. Is this just another privacy violation to add to the playlist, another fine to pay down like the consumer pays a parking fine?- well yes it is, that’s the point.

It is this apparently casual attitude to privacy infringement that is gradually building a problem for the search giant. Privacy infringements drive an endless media feed-back loop that slowly and invisibly hardens consumers’ attitudes against the betraying brand and heats up the market for privacy services.

Already, Ovum’s Consumer Insights survey has shown that 66 percent would block tracking by a search engine if they could. Google are structured not to plan but just to innovate, to act first and ask questions afterwards, a culture many companies could do well to simulate, but a culture which can ignore relationships and positive engagement with the consumer.

Build it and they will come (for sure if it’s built by Google), but disrespect them and they will go is a lesson that Google and the Internet at large needs to learn fast.

LG launches next-gen Genius-Optimus G

INDIA: Designed to set a new benchmark in the industry, LG Electronics announced the launch of its innovative smartphone-LG Optimus G.

Optimus G blends LG’s Superior design and display technology with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 processor to take consumers’ mobile experience to an  entirely new level.  This 4.7 inch smartphone runs on the latest Android v4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) and packs a mammoth battery of 2, 100 mAh.

Soon Kwon, president South West Asia Region and MD, LG India, stated: “Drawing upon expertise from the LG Mobile Communications Company and gaining insights from the LG R&D team, we are proud to bring to our consumers LG Optimus G, a carefully styled super-phone. LG has kick-started 2013 by launching the first smartphone to run on Snapdragon S4 Pro.

"LG Optimus G meets the growing consumer demand by offering ample features like 13MP rear camera; 32 GB internal memory, dual screen/dual play, QSlide, Quick Translator, NFC.

“Our aim at LG is to provide our customers with pioneering technology. We provide our users with enhanced experience by advanced and thoughtful engineering behind every feature. The smartphone encourages users to explore a world of boundless creativity and power and also, helps them balance between business and entertainment."

Adobe brings power of Photoshop Touch to mobile phones

INDIA: Adobe Systems India announced the immediate availability of a new version of Adobe Photoshop Touch, optimized for iPhone, iPod touch, and Android smart phones.

Inspired by the highly successful Photoshop Touch for tablets, the phone app brings core features of Photoshop desktop software to mobile devices and offers similar intuitive, touch-based gestures and features.

“Mobile phones are increasingly becoming the primary tool for people to take and edit photos," said Winston Hendrickson, VP products, Creative Media Solutions, Adobe. “Adobe is dedicated to serving our customers’ evolving creative workflow and we heard, loud and clear, that Photoshop fans wanted some core Adobe imaging magic on their smartphones.”

Adobe Photoshop Touch for phone offers powerful new capabilities for smartphone users:
* Enhance images using popular Photoshop features such as layers, selection tools, filters, tonal and color adjustments.
* Apply effects and add graphical text for endless creative possibilities.
* Edit images as large as 12 megapixels with layers.
* Combine images together quickly using the Scribble Selection feature, and easily refine your selection with the Refine Edge tool.
* Automatically sync images to Adobe Creative Cloud with free 2GB of storage.

Mobill launches new version of M-Ticket

SWEDEN: Mobill’s new M-Ticket 2.0 is a vertical payment platform developed specifically to handle the world’s largest public transit systems. The unique, secure and scalable system is easily implemented and can be adapted to a variety of payment options, languages, mobile operators and network technologies.

Mobill recently formed a partnership with Indian security solutions company, Sterna Security, to launch a safe mobile payment platform in India. Mobill has recently doubled its number of software developers at its Malmö headquarters and is also actively looking at expanding abroad.

“With 80 percent of Swedish public transportation companies as clients, Mobill now focuses on gaining global market share. We are well-positioned to do that with our leading mobile payment solution which supports the world’s largest transit systems with a scalable and resilient architecture,” says Joakim Niléhn, CEO of Mobill.

With Mobill’s M-Ticket 2.0, customers have access to a simple, effective and secure way to buy tickets using only their mobile devices with payment via a mobile wallet, bank/credit card or mobile phone account. In Mobill’s new solution, the customer receives an electronic ticket containing a unique code block that can be validated by scanning the mobile phone screen.

The system is also prepared to handle new bearer services such as NFC, Near Field Communication, and the system also allows customers to purchase multi-trip and multi-passenger tickets.

All of Mobill’s solutions are based on the business concept “to realize the promise of mobile commerce for all”, and its international mobile payment solutions are compatible with 2G-, 3G- and 4G-networks. This means that all of Mobill’s solutions work not only on smartphones, but on the whole cellphone population including basic cellphone models, which is critical in emerging markets, where mobile phone penetration rates are high and there is a great demand for mobile payment solutions.

The global market for mobile e-commerce is growing exponentially with 500 million new active users every year and is projected to grow to 2 billion users by the end of 2014. As one of the leaders in mobile e-commerce, Mobill offers a wide variety of solutions for mobile payments, including tickets for events and public transportation, parking charges, vending machine payments and purchase of products at sports arenas. exports its certification model

SPAIN: In the last years, has received international recognition in an important number of countries, including the US, France and the UK. In 2008, launched the Registered SMS. Since then has been working on the field of multimedia messages registration, and in 2012 made a huge technological leap becoming the First Registering Operator.

Now, as Registering Operator, offers its Registration model to international operators. provides these operators with the necessary tools  to become registering operators themselves, allowing them to register all kinds of electronic multimedia messages such as SMS, MMS or Emails, as if sending a registered letter or a burofax (registered fax in Spain), but in a more economical, faster and environmentally friendly way. This service to international operators be launched at the Mobile World Congress 2013 ( – stand 8.1I20 – Hall 8.1 App Planet). innovates to satisfy the needs of its clients, attaining a growing and sustainable profitability. In this way, provides with electronic communication tools that make commercial circuits easier for companies, thus guaranteeing safe, certified and legal services. contributes to new ways of communication that improve and make relationships between people easier, transforming traditional communication processes into valuable services in harmony with new technologies.

The registration services developed by as the Firs Registering Operator provide maximum legal validity to electronic communications, so that they can be used as documental evidence before a court of law. Now, with, it is possible to send Registered SMS, Registered MMS and Registered Emails.

Sectors such as banking, insurance companies, collection agencies, law firms, SMEs and even public administration have shown great interest in registration systems. For example, through registration service, companies can send registered invoices, allowing them to charge interests in case of late payment.

ZTE launches full-outdoor microwave system with patented technology

Mobile World Congress 2013, CHINA: ZTE Corp. launched a new full-outdoor microwave transmission system based on patented technology at the 2013 Mobile World Congress, offering substantial performance enhancements to meet the needs of today’s ultra-fast LTE networks.

Based on a new design architecture, the ZXMW NR8950 microwave system can be deployed for large-capacity transmission, helping operators roll out networks with dense coverage, and reduced installation footprint. The design advantages of ZXMW NR8950 enable operators to overcome the challenges of building high-density small-cell networks for large-capacity data transmission, while site installation space is limited.

With the advent of LTE networks, there is increased demand from operators for large-capacity data transmission on Ethernet networks. The industry-leading 1024QAM modulation mode on the ZXMW NR8950 system uses high modulation and multi-level data compression technology to increase throughput substantially, with a theoretical speed of 1.6 Gigabits per second.

The ZXMW NR8950 system is equipped with a patented storage solution pioneered by ZTE that is remotely configurable. A built-in MicroSD card can store data on configuration set-up, license, and log information, enabling customers to quickly transfer settings from existing equipment to new equipment, greatly cutting operation and maintenance costs, and reducing the time of network interruption. In addition, the ZXMW NR8950 can interchange with the indoor units of the ZXMW NR8250 for hosting operation mode, reducing the difficulty of commissioning and maintenance, and can be simply deployed by operators.

Smartphone barcodes will finally be readable by all POS laser scanners

AUSTRIA & SPAIN: ams AG and Mobeam have formed a strategic partnership that will accelerate the ability of smartphones to transmit barcoded content that can be read by all point-of-sale (POS) laser scanners.

The partnership will provide an integrated solution consisting of ams’ industry-leading light sensors and Mobeam’s light-based beaming technology. With this partnership, handset makers will be able to fully support mobile commerce applications that use barcodes such as: coupon redemption, loyalty cards, gift cards and tickets.

For retailers, this will mean the end of manually sorting printed coupons, and waiting months for reimbursement. This solution is being demonstrated in the ams booth (6C40 - Hall 6) at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.

Roughly 350 billion paper coupons are issued each year in the US, with a value of over $470 billion. Paper coupons consume 13 million trees every year, and 99 percent are actually never even used. The dream of paperless “mobile couponing” has remained elusive because the vast majority of in-store laser scanners cannot scan 1D barcodes displayed on mobile phones. The ams and Mobeam technology partnership gives handset makers the ability to finally overcome mobile couponing’s last technical barrier.

The ams and Mobeam technology solves the problem that has limited the advancement of mobile couponing, namely that smartphones utilize emissive displays from which a common POS barcode reader cannot capture barcode data. The partnership integrates Mobeam’s technology with ams’ digital light sensor optical module to provide smartphone vendors with a turn-key solution and differentiation without the need for additional components.

The ams TMD3990 module utilizes the same type of proximity IR LED that is already used in smartphones today to disable the touch-screen display. This simplified approach will give handset makers the ability to capture all of the new opportunities taking root in mobile coupons and mobile commerce.

“The combination of Mobeam technology and ams sensors will give smartphone makers a single, accurate and powerful integrated solution to participate in the growing mobile couponing and mobile commerce markets,” said John Heugle, ams CEO. “Our customers look to us to help them create value and differentiation in their products and markets they serve, and we believe this relationship with Mobeam does just that.”

ZTE launches Grand Memo 5.7-inch handset using Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor

Mobile World Congress 2013, SPAIN: ZTE has launched the ZTE Grand Memo 5.7-inch handset running on Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors.

The ZTE Grand Memo offers the ideal balance between the portability of a handset and the larger viewing and easier touch-interaction experience of a tablet. It features a 5.7-inch, high definition, 720 x 1280 display, and a powerful Qualcomm 800 processor with quad-core Krait CPUs and 2GB of RAM. Combined with a 13MP rear-facing camera, 1MP front-facing camera and 1080 HD video playback, this gives users a smooth, high quality multimedia experience that is perfect for gaming and video.

The Grand Memo caters to those who are always on-the-go, with voice-response technology which allows users to answer calls safely while driving, and A-GPS and car-mode navigation system for high quality mapping and directions.

It comes with a HD version of ZTE’s Mifavor user interface that is specially designed for smartphones, providing a simpler user experience, and ZTE’s Z Cloud service for the security and access-anywhere provided by cloud services. It also includes a 3200mAh battery for super-long standby time.

“The ZTE Grand Memo’s large, high definition screen makes it perfect for media and entertainment, but its uses reach far beyond that,” said He Shiyou, ZTE EVP and head of the Mobile Devices Division. “With ZTE’s custom Mifavor UI, a powerful processor, and LTE connectivity, this device offers users a wide array of benefits that go well beyond the capabilities of the typical handset.”

Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors target premium mobile and computing devices. They are designed to deliver outstanding overall user experience, expand the possibilities of seamless connected computing and enable brand new mobile experiences while maintaining industry-leading battery performance.

“Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms are at the heart of over 770 announced smartphones and tablets, and we are thrilled to work with ZTE to bring the Grand Memo to consumers,” said Raj Talluri, senior VP of product management at Qualcomm Technologies.

The Grand Memo is a slim 8.5mm, ensuring that its advanced performance is matched by its sleek appearance. The 1080P HD video and 13MP rear-facing Intelligent Camera, coupled with the 16GB storage memory make movie watching as sharp and detailed as the capturing of users’ own multimedia.

Combined with high-speed LTE capabilities of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, integrated Qualcomm WCN3680 802.11ac/.11n dual-band Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth solution for high-bandwidth communications, MHL and DLNA connectivity for mobile entertainment, the ZTE Grand Memo is perfectly suited for both personal and office use.

“We have really tried to make this device fun for use at home, and practical for use in the office. By combining both of these factors, we have created a well-rounded large-screen handset that is suitable for any situation. It’s perfect for videos, gaming and music, and also for sending e-mails, checking news and making calls on the go. For those with a busy lifestyle, the ZTE Grand Memo will be indispensable,” said He Shiyou, ZTE.

Emulex acquires 89 percent ownership of Endace

USA: Emulex Corp. and Endace Ltd, a leading supplier of network visibility infrastructure products, announced that Emulex has acquired control of Endace and beneficial ownership of 89 percent of the shares in Endace.

Emulex has also extended its offer period by 14 days, to 1 p.m. London time on March 12, 2013 for remaining shareholders to submit their shares to the Offer, and it is likely that Endace will shortly be de-listed from trading on the London Stock Exchange AIM.

"I'm excited to welcome Mike Riley and the Endace team to Emulex," said Jim McCluney, CEO of Emulex. "The acquisition of Endace doubles our total addressable market and places Emulex in another high-margin, high-growth market, enhancing our ability to deliver industry-leading solutions to connect, monitor and manage high-performance networks."

Mike Riley, CEO of Endace, now senior VP and GM of Endace, a division of Emulex, said, "We are delighted to become a part of Emulex, and this marks the next step in our strategy to become the market leader in network visibility solutions. The combined capabilities and technical depth of Emulex and Endace will enable us to deliver true end-to-end network management, expand our global reach and better support our customers."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sprint is first tier-1 operator in the US to market LTE services to prepaid customers

SPAIN: Sprint has announced the launch of three LTE smartphones for its Virgin Mobile USA and Boost Mobile prepaid brands, making it the first tier-1 operator in the US to market LTE services to prepaid customers. Sara Kaufman, telco strategy analyst at Ovum comments:

“Sprint is not the first operator to offer prepaid LTE in the US as MetroPCS has had LTE available on a no-contract basis since November 2010. However, unlike MetroPCS and other operators, which still regard LTE as a premium service, Sprint’s approach reinforces the idea that the LTE proposition is about cost savings rather than revenue generation. Sprint is attempting to leverage this idea as a differentiator for its prepaid customers by offering LTE tariffs for $35 per month, which is $15 lower than MetroPCS’s comparable LTE offering.

“However, Sprint’s prepaid LTE tariff is as much a defensive move as it is an offensive one. While the operator’s prepaid subscriber base of 15.5 million is the largest among its competitors, other operators are beginning to make gains in the prepaid segment. For example, Sprint’s year-on-year prepaid growth of 8 percent in 3Q12 was dwarfed by Verizon, T-Mobile, and US Cellular’s respective growth rates of 22 percent, 18 percent, and 29 percent.

“Sprint’s new LTE offering creates a new differentiator that will complement its unlimited data offering. It will also provide customers with more prepaid services and device choices in a market where tier-1 carriers still tend to save the best devices and services for their postpaid customers. The move also preempts any attempt from T-Mobile USA to corner the “best value LTE” message when it launches its LTE network in 2014."

Neelie Kroes repeats call for a single market for telecoms in Europe

Matthew Howett, telecoms regulation analyst, Ovum

SPAIN: Neelie Kroes, VP of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, has used her keynote speech at MWC 2013 to reiterate her vision of a single market for telecoms in Europe.

Kroes believes that a fragmented regulatory environment and inconsistent application of the rules is hampering investment and innovation, and that increased harmonization is the only answer.

Certainly a more through implementation of the existing framework is desirable, but Ovum questions just how much operators are interested in greater cooperation beyond their existing activities. “There is no doubt that they will welcome the release of additional mobile spectrum in a fair and transparent manner – and shared use of low-powered spectrum makes sense – but we wonder whether Kroes' ideas will amount to much beyond this.

Operators still see the network, and their ability to tweak it, as a key differentiator. As one operator claimed when the plans were first outlined earlier this year, it is very hard to foresee a single pan-European network, because of the [low] levels of cooperation between operators at a national level.

Instead, we wonder whether Kroes should direct more of her attention to the mounting tension between operators and over-the-top players.

Over the past couple of days, we have heard a number of impassioned speeches from operators about how they are no longer prepared to be taken for a ride by those that benefit from network investments, but don’t actually contribute to them. The reality is somewhat different, and not as simple as is being made out. However, it is certainly an area that would benefit from a more objective investigation by someone that is prepared to intervene to promote a sustainable industry should the need arise.

NTT Docomo looks to the future

Steven Hartley, telco strategy analyst, Ovum

SPAIN: NTT Docomo CEO Kaoru Kato has used MWC 2013 to provide an insight into the Japanese mobile operator’s strategy. The most interesting aspect is a more realistic approach to the future in Japan and a more aggressive approach abroad.

Kato used yesterday’s keynote address to promote Docomo’s vision of a “Smart Life” in its domestic market. Targeting eight verticals – including media, M2M, and health – the operator’s purpose is to open the network to application developers. The target for NTT Docomo is to derive new service revenues of $11bn by 2015.

Docomo’s strategy is similar to Verizon Wireless’s decision to open its network back in 2007. Like that announcement, there will no doubt be speculation as to exactly how open Docomo’s network will actually be.

However, it is a required step that Ovum has long advocated. Even operators that area as powerful as NTT Docomo is in its domestic market have to face the reality that enabling application development on their networks broadens the application base. This in turn makes operators more attractive to end users, be they enterprises or consumers.

The second part of the announcement signals a reawakening of Docomo’s global ambitions. In response to Softbank’s move to acquire Sprint in the US, Kato stated that Docomo is interested in buying mobile operators following a flurry of content-focused acquisitions in recent years. No further details were provided as to the funds available or the regions preferred, but Kato did hint that Docomo’s previous strategy of taking minority stakes may be revised.

Ultimately, Softbank’s disruptive strategy has rattled Docomo at home and abroad, forcing the operator to respond. It has scale and expertise that could lead to busy times ahead for deal advisers.

KT chairman proposes to build global virtual goods market

SPAIN: KT chairman, Lee Suk-Chae forecasted the dismal and bleak future of the traditional telecom industry and proposed an alternative in his keynote speech delivered at the Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, Spain on the 26th of February.

Chairman Lee in his speech to a crowd of CEOs representing mobile operators and device manufacturers said that “legacy networks are moving to the All-IP broadband faster than any other country in Korea,” and also forecasted “the importance and value of traditional communication business will continue to diminish even more in the broadband era.”

Lee also pointed out the harsh challenges which Telcos like KT are facing today whereas OTT (Over-The-Top) players using broadband networks such as KaKaotalk are flourishing.
Lee said, since KT introduced the iPhone over 4 trillion krw was invested in mobile networks in the last three years, however earnings were stagnant. However, internet portals like Naver have made substantial revenues by distributing virtual goods and providing application services. Virtual Goods refers to non-communication services produced, distributed and consumed online in the broadband era including digital contents, applications, IT solutions, e-Learning, e-Health and etc.,.

Lee said, “Telcos must now become virtual goods manufacturers or virtual goods store distributors like apple’s app store.” This proposes for the creation of a huge market for the trading of broadband based virtual goods where numerous people buy and sell goods in this marketplace for a fee.

He said “KT is directly entering the virtual goods market and transforming from a ‘traditional telco’ to a global ‘ICT Convergence corporation’ and continued to elaborate with KT’s case study. KT provides IPTV services on both fixed and mobile, and has brought up to date the mass consumption of contents era and also have entered the media contents sector. In addition, we are also utilizing smart devices to provide e-learning services to contribute in mitigating educational inequality.

At the same time, KT has actively entered the virtual goods distribution market to provide various virtual goods manufacturers a marketplace for their products. KT is currently running sites like Soompi(Korean wave English information site), Ustream(real time videa streaming site), Genie(smartphone music service) and the Korea-China-Japan common application market OASIS.

Lee said: “KT’s fierce struggles today will be the exactly the future of what global telcos will be faced with. Telcos to transform themselves into broadband based virtual goods players must go beyond local markets and collaborate to create a global ‘Common market'."

Efforts to create global common markets were also made in the past. At the 2010 Mobile World Congress, global telcos initiated ‘WAC(Wholesale Applications Community)’ going beyond OS, device and network and possible for free virtual goods distribution.

However, it was difficult for WAC to achieve growth amidst the fast expansion of iOS and Androids. Also, the formation of the global common market has been delayed by telcos’ conventional practices rather than looking to new markets of virtual goods.

Lee proposed in his speech toward chief executives of global telcos “to go beyond the spirit of WAC for the creation of a common market.” He stressed that to create a global application market we must build a competing system of 4-5 OS operations or incubate other operating systems like Tizen. In addition, chairman Lee added that if it is difficult to create a global scale market at once then at least partial implementation from telcos for a common free trade market could be an alternative, and it also proposed for possible action to make a joint venture for speedy decision making process.

Lee explained that, “The virtual goods economy will not only create new job opportunities but also contribute to mitigate various social problems, such as educational inequality and energy scarcity, and thus provide new growth engines for the global economy.”

Following the keynote address, Lee participated in discussions in the ‘Future of Communications’ conference with fellow panel participants represented by prominent CEOs from global telecom operators, Hans Vestberg (Chief Executive of Ericsson), Rene Obermann (CEO of DeutscheTelekom) and Talman Marco (Viber Media).

2013 likely to see first rollouts using femtocell as service wholesale model

UK: Femtocell as a Service or FaaS is a new and upcoming wholesale model for deploying femtocells, targeted at mid-lower tier operators by providing a hosted femtocell core network.

The market’s in its initial stages with trials ongoing in North America and Europe, targeting both enterprise and residential femtocells. ABI Research expects the first commercial rollouts using FaaS to happen in 2013, possibly in the first half.

ABI Research’s report on FaaS suggests that 3 million femtocells will be cumulatively deployed by 2018 using FaaS. The majority are expected to deploy in North America with close to 300 regional carriers. ABI expects 10 percent of these regional carriers in North America to use FaaS providers by 2018.

Aditya Kaul, practice director, says: “FaaS is filling an important gap in the femtocell market. Our calculations show the femto core network cost per user for a Tier 1 operator deploying a million femtocells is less than half of what it would be for a lower tier operator targeting a few thousand users. FaaS allows these smaller operators to circumvent that cost barrier allowing them to share a common hosted core network.”

There are currently four providers that are offering FaaS: Colt Telecom and Cloudberry Mobile in Europe, and Cellcom and ClearSky Technologies in North America. The common thread across three of the four providers is NEC, which is providing the end-to-end system capabilities, and is keen to use FaaS as a catalyst for the femtocell market.

Kaul adds: “We see the FaaS model as the first stage in the wholesale delivery of femtocell services, with the second stage focused on Mobility as a Service, especially for the enterprise, where the value proposition goes beyond the box, offering over-the-top applications and services like PBX and location services apart from basic voice and data.”

Qualcomm and Samsung dominate LTE cellphone modem market

USA: With 86 percent of the 47 million FDD-LTE cellphone modems shipped last year, Qualcomm will certainly continue its domination in 2013. Samsung followed with 9 percent of the shipments, while tiny GCT Semiconductor managed to grab 3 percent of the market, primarily through LG handsets. Renesas Mobile (mostly in Fujitsu handsets) and Nvidia-Icera each garnered 1 percent market shares.

In its newest market study, Forward Concepts analyzes the market dynamics and shipment metrics of the core integrated circuits that are required in all cellphones. The new study is covered in a new report, "Cellphone & Tablet Core Chip Markets '13," which addresses the global market for cellular modems, application processors, RF transceivers, RF Power Amplifiers and Power Management ICs.  Media Tablets and Smartphones are special parts of the report and are covered in depth.

High-end smartphones punch through the $700 level but low-end smartphones are now available that are trending below the $100 level. This has led to price segmentation of the smartphone market: Premium, Mainstream & Entry Level, and negatively impacting the former "feature phone" market. The study estimates 2012 market shares of all chip vendors and forecasts each chip type in units, average selling price and revenue through 2017.

According to the study, modems and application processors are increasingly found together in the same package, and even on the same die.  So, the report forecasts the so-called com-processor market (communications/application processor), with the China market being of increasing significance.

Will Strauss, Forward Concepts’ president said, "We are confident that this study provides the comprehensive information needed for new product and business planning."

Telefonica Digital believes it has a data mining opportunity equal to OTT rivals

Eden Zoller, consumer analyst, Ovum

SPAIN: While Google has the search graph and Facebook has the social graph, Telefonica Digital says that it has the voice graph. At a Telefonica Innovation briefing at MWC 2013, the operator spoke about a project uses a linguistic analysis engine to mine and analyze call data. Among other things, the engine can be used to track call location and duration, which is useful for measuring the impact of something such as an event in a certain area.

However, a far more controversial aspect of the project is the analysis of personal calls. Telefonica’s linguistic analysis engine can extract information about a caller’s personality and preferences based on the tone of their voice. Telefonica claims that it has a team (which includes psychologists) that can construct personality traits with 80 percent accuracy based on the call analysis. This level of insight would clearly be of interest to advertisers and organizations in sectors such as tourism.

Telefonica is keen to stress that it does not look further inside a call beyond a user’s tone of voice, that its approach is based on opt-in consent from the user, and that the whole project is purely internal at this point. Ovum believes that a commercial launch for the project is likely to be challenging. Telefonica’s linguistic analysis engine provides a deep level of granularity, even without listening to actual conversations, and we think that consumers will be very uncomfortable and resistant to the idea.

Consumers are increasingly concerned about how their personal data is exploited, which in turn is reflected by mounting regulatory scrutiny of this issue. All of these issues are explored further in Ovum’s recent report Personal Data Futures: The Disrupted Ecosystem.”

BlackBerry powers Indonesian mobile money initiative

Angel Dobardziev, customer insights analyst, Ovum

SPAIN: BlackBerry, Monitise, and the Indonesian financial institution PT Bank Permata today announced the launch of BBM Money in Indonesia. BlackBerry is the leading smartphone brand in Indonesia and its flagship messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger, is extremely popular, especially among younger consumers.

There is also a very large segment of unbanked and underbanked users in Indonesia. As a result, combining BlackBerry’s customer franchise, Monitise’s strong mobile money platform, and PT Bank Permata’s banking expertise looks like a winning partnership – but is it really?

We think the jury is out. There was little in the announcement on the agent network that will support the service other than the use of PT Bank Permata’s ATM network. As unbanked users typically cash in and cash out a lot when they first sign up to a mobile money service, a number of players have found it difficult to gain traction if an agent is not close by to help users send or receive transactions.

O2 adds colour to the German LTE market

Steven Hartley, telco strategy analyst, Ovum

SPAIN: O2 is set to launch new tariffs for its German LTE smartphone customers from March 1, 2013. These follow the current pattern for unlimited voice and messaging, showing the increasing importance of data to the mobile proposition.

O2’s pricing is good value compared with its rivals. However, a direct comparison of O2’s new German tariffs with those of Vodafone is difficult because O2 is selling the handset separately, whereas Vodafone bundles the cost with the plan. However, comparing the total cost of ownership over the life of the two-year contract highlights O2’s competitiveness.

For example, O2’s Blue XL tariff costs €1,740 over two years, which includes unlimited voice and messaging and 5GB of data per month. In comparison, Vodafone’s Red Premium tariff costs €2,880 for unlimited voice and messaging and 10GB of data per month. O2 may be offering less data, but as the fourth-largest player in the German market it needs to be disruptive and is using pricing as the lever.

Interestingly, both plans provide additional SIMs for use in other devices. Ovum believes that the shared data plans, where data allowances can be used across multiple devices, will become an increasingly important model for mobile broadband in the future. While O2’s data allowances are not particularly generous for such an offer, they are at least a start.

LG buys webOS from HP for smart TV

Tony Cripps, devices and platforms analyst, Ovum

SPAIN: South Korean electronics giant LG has acquired the source code, documentation, engineers, and websites of the Palm-developed webOS from HP. LG says that it plans to use the technology in future smart TV devices rather than the smartphones and tablets for which webOS was originally designed.

The move by LG to buy the webOS assets comes as something of a surprise. The code of the software platform was released into open source by HP as Open WebOS last year and wasn’t widely expected to find any OEM support despite having demonstrated some novel thinking in devices such as the Palm Pre and HP TouchPad.

However, LG has clearly recognized a need to invest in greater software platform and user interface capabilities. This comes at a time when device manufacturers are recognizing the need to differentiate through software-based innovation in user experience.

LG’s stated intention to use webOS in TVs makes sense for the company, which is enjoying significant momentum in this emerging device category. However, we can’t discount the possibility that LG could yet return webOS to its smartphone roots.

The platform’s heavily HTML5-oriented application framework is well-suited to the emerging zeitgeist for web technology in mobile devices that was further energized this week by the commercial debut of Mozilla’s Firefox OS. A focus on HTML5-based apps and services will allow for significant innovation at the level of the underlying user experience, with far less compromise in terms of application support than is the case with left-of-center native programming paradigms.

Nokia chief outlines mobile Internet strengths in emerging markets

Angel Dobardziev, customer insights analyst, Ovum

SPAIN: Nokia’s CEO, Steven Elop, outlined a coherent vision and strategy for addressing the challenges in connecting the next billion users in this morning’s keynote session at MWC 2013.

Elop identified the three key challenges in connecting the next billion: providing affordable content and data, delivering an app economy for feature phones, and enabling effective content discovery. He then proceeded to outline how the assets Nokia has in this space fit together to address them.

Ovum liked Elop’s emphasis on channeling Nokia’s high-end device and service expertise to deliver an affordable yet compelling Internet experience for lower income users. This is being achieved through the use of attractively-designed, low-cost feature phones, its cloud-based browser Nokia Express, and its Nokia Life set of educational, agricultural, and entertainment services.

Due to its considerable distribution network in emerging markets, Nokia is well placed to continue its strong performance in this space for as long as smartphones remain above the $50 mark.

Bharti Airtel deploys Ericsson’s mobile broadband charging solution

INDIA: Bharti Airtel has deployed Ericsson’s Mobile Broadband Charging solution and has completely modernized it’s Pre-paid/ IN solution for it’s subscribers, across 23 circles in India.

The solution will allow Bharti Airtel to enhance the prepaid customer experience by offering a wider & attractive range of prepaid services, flexible bundling and real time control of chargeable services.

As a part of the deal, Ericsson’s multi service Mobile Broadband Charging (MBC) suite will allow prepaid customers to have personalised profile based data charging plans.

Prepaid customers will be able to customise their data plans across mobility, fixed line and broadband by cross bundling across multiple domains – 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE and Wi-Fi. It will also offer flexible multi service charging in geographical redundant mode to the world’s largest prepaid base.

iPad app Brainloop Mobile 2.2 now available in Apple Store

GERMANY: Brainloop, the leading provider of solutions for enterprise-wide collaboration on confidential information and documents, today announced that its new iPad app, Brainloop Mobile 2.2, is now available in the Apple Store.

The app enables company staff to view confidential documents from Brainloop data rooms on their iPad and work on them securely using an extended set of functions. They simply need to ensure that their IT department has enabled mobile access to business-critical documents on their tablet PC.

The Brainloop Mobile 2.2 iPad app provides users with multiple new functions to edit and work on documents. These include the ability to send documents to team members directly from the app to facilitate collaborative document reviews. As well as adding notes and comments to documents, users can also write freehand remarks and highlight important points with their iPad.

To keep things in order, users benefit from a new feature that lets them import documents from other apps on their tablet and store them securely in any folder in the data room. The range of functions is complemented by multi-platform functionality that lets authorized users register for as many data rooms as they wish across several platforms.

“The iPad has become an essential tool to help mobile staff work more efficiently,” says Markus Seyfried, CTO at Brainloop. “This is especially the case when they need to work on business-critical documents, as this demands both flexibility and security. With the new Brainloop Mobile 2.2 iPad app, we’re meeting these requirements even better than before. The app’s new, intuitive set of functions make it even easier to work on documents, which has a positive effect on user acceptance and helps staff work more efficiently.”

The Brainloop Mobile app even allows users to save documents locally on the iPad and read them offline, assuming they have the relevant access permissions. Brainloop Mobile ensures that confidential documents remain confidential and are inaccessible to any other app. It involves mobile users in collaborative processes and enables them to participate in voting and approval procedures. This saves time and increases productivity while ensuring the same high level of security.

Public access small cell market to hit $16 billion in 2016

SPAIN: Informa Telecoms & Media issued its latest quarterly small-cell market status report for the Small Cell Forum, which highlights that public access small cells are gaining clear market traction and will dominate small cell revenues for the foreseeable future.

New research in the report predicts that the installed base of small cells is set to grow from almost 11 million units today to 92 million units in 2016 - an 8x increase - with a total market value of over $22 billion. Public access models will dominate revenues in 2016 with a market value of $16.2 billion - 73 percent of the overall small cell market total - despite accounting for only 4 percent of small cell units deployed.

It finds that the 9.6 million femtocells in operation today make up 56 percent of all base stations globally - outnumbering macrocells for the first time. Femtocells will continue to outnumber all other types of cell with 86 percent of the total base station market in 2016 and constitute 12 percent of the overall small cell market revenues.

This public access small cell traction is also reflected in operator announcements over the past quarter. AT&T revealed that its public access small cell trial provided close to perfect coverage and increased capacity in the most challenging metropolitan areas and reiterated plans to rollout 40,000 units by the end of 2015.

Vodafone UK announced it is currently testing 1000 public small cells and plans to start rolling out tri-mode models (3G, 4G and Wi-Fi) by March, while Verizon also plans to roll out the technology in the second half of the year. Although operator focus is on urban small cells, BT announced that it is to start a technical trial of rural models aimed at bringing coverage to areas where it has traditionally been uneconomical.

The femtocell market continues to progress with NTT DOCOMO launching the world’s first LTE product, while its subsidiary DOCOMO PACIFIC announced it is to deploy enterprise and residential small cells. Orange France launched its first residential offering and Vodafone UK launched a new a new plug-size ‘Sure Signal’ femtocell, while Everything Everywhere launched an enterprise femtocell service.

In order to help drive significant further deployments the Small Cell Forum launched a Release programme which brings together all the information operators need to successfully roll out small cells. The first published Release focuses on residential femtocells and assists operators planning newer enterprise, metro and rural small cell rollouts.

“Public access small cells in busy urban areas are set to be one of the defining mobile network trends in the coming years. While operators won’t be deploying them in the same numbers as femtocells, they are arguably their best tool for bringing massive extra capacity to their mobile networks. As this research shows, the vendors who succeed in this space are going to win the lion’s share of small cell revenues. All eyes will be on the deployments taking place in the coming months in order to establish best practice for the many more that will follow over the next few years,” said the report’s author, Dimitris Mavrakis, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

“The mobile network is undergoing the biggest and most rapid change in its history due to small cells – they now account for 63 percent of all base stations globally. This revolution may have started in the home with femtocells but in 2013 we’re going to see it spill into the streets, shopping centres and enterprises,” said Gordon Mansfield, the Small Cell Forum’s chairman.

“However, although 47 of the biggest operators have rolled out the technology to the clear benefit of their subscribers – the industry needs to facilitate further rollouts. Our new Release Programme aims to do just this by giving operators all the information they need to get small cell services off the ground.”

Openwave Mobility and Optimus evaluate solution for innovative content promotion to targeted subscribers

USA & SPAIN: Openwave Mobility, a software innovator enabling operators to manage and monetize growth in mobile video and web traffic, and Portuguese service provider, Optimus Telecomunicações, S.A. announced their intention to evaluate in live conditions a content promotion solution enabled by a clientless browser toolbar, the PPI Toolbar.

PPI Toolbar is part of Openwave Mobility’s Promotion and Pricing Innovation (PPI) solution. PPI leverages advanced policy control and charging (PCC), and policy engagement with end users to enable carriers to develop innovative mobile data product offerings and promotions to targeted subscriber segments. PPI Toolbar takes the user experience to the next level by delivering relevant operator price plans, customer care links and third party promotions and advertising.

As mobile subscribers are looking for content that is pertinent to their preferences, profile and location, mobile developers are looking for ways to deliver this content quickly across multiple device types and operating systems. PPI Toolbar provides an intuitive value-added services (VAS) platform to bridge the gap between third-party developers and subscribers and enables immediate monetization by operators.

PPI Toolbar can provide Optimus with the capability to engage their subscriber base with tailored applications and differentiated services, driving monetization of mobile data traffic. The complete Openwave PPI would allow Optimus, if they choose, to offer cloud-based services of third-party publishers and developers directly to subscribers, effectively turning PPI Toolbar into a marketplace that can be accessed directly within any HTML5 browser without interrupting the browsing experience.

Accel Telecom launches first standalone connected car smartphone

Israel Pavilion MWC 2013, SPAIN: Accel Telecom has launched VOYAGER, the ultimate Connected Car Smartphone device. VOYAGER is the first standalone Connected Car Smartphone device that can be easily installed in any car and operates using an existing phone number via a twin-SIM.

VOYAGER is a dedicated Connected Car Smartphone device that provides drivers with a safer and superior Connected Car experience. The device combines Android based Smartphone technology with an HSUPA Qualcomm module to deliver a driver centric device that ensures safer calling, easy navigation via a dedicated Waze launcher key and multiple car focused applications.

VOYAGER is designed to enhance safe driving with hands-free dialing, dedicated large physical keys, crystal clear, echo free sound quality and an in-car 3G WiFi Hotspot connection among the many core features. VOYAGER also connects to the car on-board diagnostics (OBD) to allow car diagnostics, fleet management applications and more.

At some point in the future, every car will need to be connected to the outside world through a cellular network. The most user-friendly and secure way to enable this is by embedding a SIM card and a communication module inside the car.

Shmulik Keret, VP, Waze, said, “VOYAGER will provide drivers with a superb Waze navigation experience and we are excited to partner with Accel Telecom on this innovative connected car device.”

Marc Seelenfreund, CEO, Accel said: “Our user-friendly, cost effective and secure Carfone devices have seen substantial market success. We expect strong demand for the new generation VOYAGER Connected Car Smartphone device in both European and US markets in line with recent industry reports and our own research with industry influencers.”

AIRCOM surpasses 150 LTE customer milestone

SPAIN: AIRCOM International, the leading independent software and solutions provider for improved network performance, has surpassed 150 LTE customers globally. The company recently signed its 158th LTE customer, and has delivered more than 130 LTE related product deployments, 75 LTE consulting engagements and handset testing for 10 major LTE device manufacturers.

AIRCOM’s LTE portfolio ensures operators adopt the most efficient approach and deliver on it. Its tools and solutions span the entire network lifecycle, from planning to optimising, managing and auditing network performance. AIRCOM helps operators adopt a multi-standard LTE access network strategy that can increase network capacity, improve QoS and enhance data rates, reducing the total cost of ownership and driving operational efficiency.

Highlighting just a few examples, AIRCOM is already delivering value to T-Mobile USA, H3G Italy and a Tier 1 US operator as they deploy LTE. T-Mobile USA currently has the largest multi-user AIRCOM ASSET deployment of any operator anywhere in the world, having used the network planning solution across its 2G and 3G technology for more than six years, and is now integrating it across its LTE network.

AIRCOM’s OPTIMA software is providing a number of operators including H3G Italy and a Tier 1 US operator with an end-to-end view of their LTE network performance, enabling efficient network issue identification. The software is also capable of collecting data at the device level to further enhance quality of service analysis and reporting.

“With the huge investment and rising customer expectations around LTE, operators must ensure that it delivers on its promises – and as profitably as possible,” said Alwyn Welch, CEO at AIRCOM. “We are delighted to have 158 LTE customers and are looking forward to helping more operators make the most of the technology, maintain market share and boost profitability.”

LogMeIn brings operator-grade remote support

USA: IT professionals, service providers, and mobile operators can now provide advanced remote support for Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Sony Android devices using the same tools and capabilities used by many of the world’s biggest and most demanding operator and OEM helpdesks.

LogMeIn has introduced a new update for LogMeIn Rescue, its flagship remote support and customer care offering, that provides over-the-air (OTA) capabilities for configuring, diagnosing, troubleshooting, and when necessary, remote controlling the world’s most popular Android smartphones and tablets.

Offered on demand, without the need to pre-install software on devices, the capabilities work in conjunction with a free, downloadable app in the Google Play market, making them ideal for bring-your-own-device (BYOD) work environments and mass support for Android devices entering the workplace.

As a result, virtually any IT professional, managed service provider (MSP) or operator can  now add remote support of the world’s most popular mobile operating system to their overall helpdesk services.

LogMeIn made the announcement at Mobile World Congress 2013.

“Mobile operators and OEMs have been at the forefront of delivering mobile device support, and we believe their experience will prove critical to how businesses look to support employee-owned devices entering the workplace,” said Kevin Bardos, VP of Customer Care Products, at LogMeIn.

“With the new release of Rescue, we’re taking the capabilities built for – and refined in – these operator and mobile OEM environments, and delivering them in a way simplifies the support experience for device owners and the IT teams tasked with keeping them productive.”

LogMeIn Rescue is used by customer service and support staff at more than 50 of the world’s leading telecom companies and thousands of the most demanding helpdesks to remotely configure, diagnose and troubleshoot millions of smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs, as if the device were in their hands.

With this new release, IT professionals or service providers can use Rescue to quickly support users of any Samsung, HTC, Motorola, and Sony Android device running Android OS version 4.0 or higher, including popular Android models, like Samsung’s Galaxy SIII and Note 2, the HTC One series, Motorola’s Razr series, and Sony’s Xperia line.

Once called for assistance, helpdesk technicians can simply ask a user to download a free Rescue app in the Google Play market, and then prompt the user for permission to access their device.  Within seconds, the helpdesk technician can:

* View and remotely control an end-user’s device for troubleshooting and teaching.
* Pull system information to diagnose the health of a device.
* Push configuration settings like email, WiFi and APN settings.
* Transfer files to and from a device as needed.

Gemalto showcasing industry's most comprehensive M2M solution

MWC 2013, SINGAPORE: Gemalto will present its expanded portfolio of Cinterion Machine-to-Machine (M2M) solutions at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona.

Delivering a unique combination of end-to-end technology, the comprehensive offering includes a range of advanced M2M wireless modules enabling reliable communications, ruggedized Machine Identification Modules (MIMs) for secure connectivity to mobile networks, flexible subscription management services, and an enhanced cloud-based platform for application enablement to connect assets and enterprises.

This unique full spectrum offering provides a single source for M2M customers while reducing complexity in the ecosystem and simplifying technology integration for any vertical market application whether in automotive, healthcare, payment, tracking or tracing, amongst others.

Gemalto’s comprehensive M2M offerings transform machines and equipments into manageable assets, allowing companies worldwide to create new business opportunities while improving efficiency and productivity. For instance, auto makers use automotive grade Cinterion MIMs to power onboard safety systems such as eCall, which automatically calls for help in the case of a road incident.

Utilities companies integrate Cinterion communication modules for secure smart metering to improve energy conservation. Enterprises and M2M solution developers use the cloud-based Cinterion SensorLogic platform to make informed decisions based on data transmitted from connected devices for a wide assortment of solutions such as efficient cold chain logistics or deployment of standards-based healthcare services.

Gemalto’s cloud-based service platform provides several improved features including application programming interfaces, pre-integration with edge devices plus data management and visualization tools that allow solution developers to build end-to-end applications on a solid foundation and focus on their core competencies. An open Java platform connects distinct elements of the entire M2M portfolio while allowing customers to scale technology and incorporate additional capabilities when needed.

Airpush and Apsalar announce new partnership

SPAIN: Airpush, winner of the "Best Mobile Ad Network" at the 2012 MEAs, and Apsalar, provider of the most advanced Mobile Engagement Management solutions for app developers and marketers, have entered into a joint agreement to provide in-app analytics to developers in Airpush’s extensive ad network.

The two companies announced the platform integration at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the mobile industry’s premier global conference, here through Feb. 28.

Under the agreement, Airpush has integrated Apsalar analytics capabilities directly into its platform, creating one of the most advanced group of tools available for Android app developers in one place. With Apsalar's in-app analytics, developers can understand user behavior and measure retention, engagement, and monetization.

Additionally, with Apsalar's analytics, marketers will have access to additional tools to more effectively measure and optimize the ROI of all their advertising campaigns -- including installs and user revenue generated by each campaign -- in one, centralized dashboard. Combined with the ability for Airpush to drive industry leading streams of reliable revenue, the new platform represents the most significant resource available to Android developers in the world today.

Device Renewal Forum launches world’s first standard for renewing and accepting recycled mobile devices

SPAIN: The Device Renewal Forum (DRF) announced the publication of a global standard for renewing and accepting smartphones, feature phones and tablets that have been refurbished.

Known as the ‘DRF Device Renewal and Acceptance Criteria,’ this technology-agnostic standard is the basis for certifying that renewed mobile devices meet the DRF’s high-standard for product quality, appearance, performance and integrity.

Once buyers and consumers associate product integrity, quality and value with the DRF Certification Mark, the market for renewed devices is expected to grow substantially.  The DRF’s goal is to preserve the environment and double the market for renewed mobile devices within the next five years.

The DRF’s certification program establishes the mobile industry’s highest standard for renewing, inspecting and testing the proper operation, performance and appearance of renewed wireless devices. The DRF Device Renewal and Acceptance Criteria describe all of the requirements for a device to receive a DRF Certificate of Acceptance and bear the DRF Certification Mark on its packaging.

The DRF Device Renewal and Acceptance Criteria provide:

* The industry’s most comprehensive and detailed standard for renewing and certifying smartphones, feature phones and tablets.

* A requirements document for certifying renewal facilities, which must meet health, safety, environmental, certification process and QA standards. Downstream vendors or subcontractors also must comply with the program requirements.

* A requirements document for certifying renewed devices, including a zero-tolerance policy for verifying that devices haven’t been stolen and that they are completely sanitized.

* A document that defines receipt processing, data sanitization, triage, a 100-point inspection checklist, testing, QA, kitting, packaging, storing and shipment.

“The DRF Device Renewal and Acceptance Criteria enable us to guarantee product quality, security and peace of mind,” said Perry LaForge, DRF chairman. “This industry-framework is a milestone toward reforming a system that relegates up to 99 percent of all mobile devices to landfills, junk boxes, closets and desk drawers.”

UNH-IOL demos MIPI Alliance mobile test specs

SPAIN: The University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), an independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance services for the networking industry, announced that the lab is demonstrating its MIPI testing services for mobile device components suppliers this week at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.

In collaboration with the MIPI Alliance and leading test and measurement equipment suppliers such as Agilent Technologies Inc., the UNH-IOL is facilitating the production of less expensive mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets and ultrabooks, which offer improved performance, higher resolution images and superior video quality.

The UNH-IOL and Agilent are co-hosting the MIPI Test Corner, a section of the MIPI Alliance booth number 8.1E46, located in Hall 8.1 at Fria Gran Via. Booth visitors will see a demonstration of rigorous conformance testing performed on mobile device components implementing MIPI specifications.

This demonstration of MIPI specifications for non-MIPI member companies focuses on D-PHY, the current standard for physical layer signaling in camera and display interface applications. The UNH-IOL’s experienced technical staff are utilizing Agilent’s Infiniium MSO9404A oscilloscope to perform testing on mobile components including Synopsys’ DesignWare MIPI D-PHY IP Solution.

Combined with the UNH-IOL’s custom D-PHY GUI software, the Agilent platform provides the ability to capture and analyze D-PHY signaling, which is necessary to perform the UNH-IOL D-PHY Transmitter Physical Layer Conformance Test Suite.

“MIPI Alliance is dedicated to addressing complexity and costs associated with mobile device production,” said Joel Huloux, Chairman of the Board of MIPI Alliance. “Our focus on test and interoperability – as demonstrated by our MIPI Test Corner – translates into specifications which are designed for easy deployment by the mobile device ecosystem. We are pleased to see the UNH-IOL and Agilent demonstrate the testability of our D-PHY physical layer.”

Monday, February 25, 2013

Visa and Samsung sign global alliance agreement

SPAIN: Visa’s global alliance with Samsung to enable the Visa Mobile Provisioning Service and allow users to make contactless payments using Visa’s payWave mobile payment app on NFC-enabled Samsung devices is encouraging news for the NFC industry, and particularly also for other handset vendors planning to launch NFC devices.

Visa recently also announced a managed mobile money solution targeted at mobile operators and financial institutions. With its strong brand, Visa can help to drive the development of both the OTT and operator-led mobile payments market.

Informa Telecoms & Media believes that Visa can play a significant role in helping to drive the availability of NFC phones and deployment of NFC services by working with the operators, handset vendors and the financial institutions. So far, handset vendors have been slow at introducing NFC phones because most mobile operators have not yet deployed commercial NFC services.

BT selects GENBAND’s SMART EDGE IPX solution for global IP exchange interconnectivity service expansion

SPAIN: GENBAND, a leading developer of multimedia and cloud communications solutions, announced that British Telecommunications plc (BT), one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, has selected GENBAND’s SMART EDGE IP Exchange (IPX) solution to expand its enhanced Global IP Interconnect (GIPX) services to wholesale customers across Asia and the Americas.

The UK-based BT, which serves the needs of fixed and mobile customers in more than 170 countries, will deploy GENBAND solutions in two new hubs – Singapore and Miami – to deliver SIP-based IP Interconnect for other global tier 1 and tier 2 carriers in these regions.

BT’s GIPX services now support 290 communications providers worldwide and these deployments are the first of many global hubs planned to bring interconnect services closer to the markets BT serves, and to better serve BT’s growing presence worldwide.

“GENBAND is pleased to support BT’s continued worldwide expansion, which is enabling the massive growth of IP traffic in major global regions,” said Mark Pugerude, president of Global Sales for GENBAND. “By providing local interconnect capabilities in key regions, our SMART EDGE IPX solution enables BT to reduce the cost of voice and data transport, improve the quality of calls while enabling the latest in IP-based solutions and functionality.”

Pugerude added: “As IP-enabled services continue to grow in popularity worldwide, we look forward to continuing our longstanding relationship with BT by bringing interconnect services to strategic regions, supporting IP to IP and IP to TDM traffic. Our SMART EDGE IPX solution uniquely positions us to optimize networks, offering advanced IP services and improved quality of service for BT’s growing customer base.”

GENBAND’s SMART EDGE solution provides cutting-edge security, session management  and policy control technologies that simplify the complexities in unifying disparate communication islands that the rapid growth of IP traffic is creating,  by enabling advanced interconnection, inter-working, roaming and enhanced quality of experience across all varieties of real-time, interactive data communications.

Nokia launches two new smartphones

SPAIN: Nokia has announced two new smartphone devices that will be added to its Lumia Windows Phone range. Each is built and priced to specifically target a certain consumer segment, extending the vendor’s current crop of Lumia smartphones further.

The new Lumia 720 is aimed at the trendy, youthful segment and is priced the highest of the two latest additions. The device is expected to lure content-driven users as it has plenty of storage and is expected to hit the high-tier of mid-range handsets. It has a sleek design and sports a 4.3in display and 1GHz dual-core processor. It also has NFC and changeable covers that allow the device to offer wireless charging. Specifically, the Lumia 720 aims to take some DNA and services from the flagship Lumia 920, and provide them at a much more affordable price.

In contrast, the new Lumia 520 pushes the quality and styling of the range down to its lowest price point, just EUR139. It has similar styling to its stablemates and is aimed squarely at those consumers wanting high standards on a low budget. Again, the device borrows Nokia’s styling and differentiated services from those higher-tier Lumias.

Both devices are significant additions to the Lumia range and build on their number-based classification. The pricing also takes the range, and the Windows Phone 8 operating system, into uncharted waters, which can only help drive the platform into new segments and territories to boost volume and market share.

With these devices, Nokia has also made the correct decision to take the DNA of the high end of its portfolio down the price tiers rather than launch warmed-up versions of its lower-end products. This approach is sure to attract consumers to the new smartphones and, added to Nokia’s prized differentiated services, will provide an enticing value proposition. This proposition will undoubtedly be helped by some unique and ingenious marketing used at point of sale which focuses on Nokia’s differentiated technology and services, rather than the platform.

However, while the Lumia 520 has clear expectations and focus, it is difficult to see how the 720 will fare in the squeezed mid-range. Under current market conditions, there is still a polarization in the market as consumers either plump for high-end devices or look for value, low-end products. The 720 appears to sit somewhere in the middle, which, despite quality design and services, may stifle its market potential. This is, unless Nokia can position it as the flagship product in its Lumia range in certain markets around the world.

Facebook partners with 18 operators for free or discounted data access to Messenger, Facebook for Every Phone

SPAIN: Facebook’s partnership with 18 mobile operators in 14 countries in a promotion to provide free or discounted access to Facebook Messenger for Android and iOS, and Facebook for Every Phone, has the potential to deliver benefits to both the operators and to Facebook. Both parties will likely be able to use the promotion to boost customer acquisition and retention, and also to increase their revenue from mobile data and mobile advertising, respectively.

The promotion has the potential to drive existing smartphone users to download and use the Facebook application/s, and it may also help the mobile operators to gain new smart-phone and mobile data customers, whether they are new customers or customers that have been up-sold from feature-phones.

Many of the operator partners listed by Facebook for this promotion are in emerging markets, where smartphone penetration is low, but where Facebook is very popular. A number of the mobile operator partners (for example, Smart, DiGi, XL) have also been offering Facebook Zero to their subscribers, a text-only version of Facebook for which the operators do not charge their subscribers data fees.

It is possible that Facebook has come under pressure from its mobile operator partners to provide a strategy that would allow them to migrate Facebook Zero subscribers to a service that would generate revenues. However it is as yet unclear whether the mobile operators concerned will shut down their Facebook Zero services. Moreover, the partnership is described as a promotion, which would seem to indicate that it has a finite lifespan.

Meanwhile, the mobile operator partners that Facebook has listed for this promotion that are in developed markets are either smaller operators that are still challenging the larger incumbents with data-centric services, or they are those that are operating in extremely competitive markets and that are therefore looking for an edge over their competitors that they believe such a promotion would give them.

Facebook will potentially benefit from the partnership by being able to increase its reach, and consequently its ability to generate revenues from advertising.

In late January Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed that in 2012, Facebook became a mobile company. Since then the social network has either executed on or announced a number of product developments that add weight to Zuckerberg’s pronouncement, including the addition of VoIP to its Messenger for iOS application and its iOS mobile application, for users in North America only.

Unlike the providers of other over-the-top communications services, Facebook has so far been willing and able to maintain what appears to be a good working relationship with its mobile operator partners, and its latest partnership announcement is testament to that. However, it’s possible that Facebook’s relationship with mobile operators will be tested by the addition of VoIP to its iOS applications, which may be one reason why the company has only rolled out the capability in North America.

Operators look to Firefox to help them develop more profitable smartphone strategies

SPAIN: Seventeen mobile operators have committed to launch devices using Mozilla’s Firefox OS in an attempt to generate more revenues from mobile services and help them reduce the handset costs they incur from subsidising high-end smartphones.

While the Apple and Android eco-systems have created services that have proven incredibly popular with mobile users in developed markets, there remain many, especially in developing markets, for who it’s not profitable to subsidise a high-end smartphone. It is these users that represent the biggest potential market for devices running Mozilla’s Firefox OS, and initial plans announced at MWC today suggest developing markets will in fact be the main focus, initially at least.

Operators signed-up for Firefox OS devices will also be hoping they can make in-roads into the applications and services market they are currently locked-out of by Apple and Google, with its Android OS. However, operators’ track record of developing services and applications means there is little precedent to suggest the open HTML5 technology underpinning Firefox will by itself help them succeed where they have floundered in the past.

Still, the commitment to Firefox from major operating groups - América Móvil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefónica, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom – means that devices running the operating system stand a good chance of getting into the hands of people who don’t already own a smartphone, and who it is not profitable to target at the moment. As such, Firefox OS represents a good opportunity for operators to cost-effectively increase smartphone penetration.

To make a success of Firefox OS operators will need to do a lot of work to convince the market about the benefits and capabilities of Firefox-based devices. They will also need to work closely with the manufacturers to make sure the devices are compelling enough - from appearance and usage perspectives - to help increase smartphone penetration among their target markets.

Meanwhile, for vendors, Firefox OS devices could help them to take on vendors, especially Nokia with its Asha range, in markets where smartphone penetration has yet to take off. Alcatel, LG and ZTE have signed up to build the first Firefox OS devices, with Huawei to join later in the year.

Zimperium to reveal world’s first mobile IPS

Mobile World Congress 2013, SPAIN: Zimperium, the mobile security start-up that won start-up of the year for innovation at Israel Mobile 2013 hosted by KPMG, Israel Export Office and Calcalist, has announced its latest Mobile Security Suite in Barcelona at MWC 2013
“With the recent reports of attacks on Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and NY Times it further demonstrates that everyone is a target. Mobile devices have become a lucrative asset to hackers due to BYOD unmanaged security. MWC is an excellent opportunity to showcase our technology and demonstrate a comprehensive mobile protection solution to defend organizations from these types of targeted attacks through mobile devices” commented Zuk Avraham, Zimperium's founder and CEO.

zIPS, the world’s first on-device Mobile Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) protect organizations from a variety of cyber security threats such as spear-phishing, cyber espionage, Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) and worm-based threats on mobile. The solution provides real-time visibility for mobile devices, which is based on an innovative behavioural analysis engine.

‘Bring Your Own device’ (BYOD) in the workplace continues to rise, without a foreseeable change of direction in sight. It is estimated that 81 percent of employees now use at least one mobile device for their work-related tasks. “This trend exposes enterprises to a host of security risks which can’t be ignored, yet most organizations have not even begun to address these risks” continued Avraham.

Zimperium’s Mobile Security Suite is available for selected beta users. Organizations interested in joining our private-beta program can contact directly.

Etisalat joins M2M Alliance to tap global M2M market

SPAIN: The M2M Alliance has added the Middle East's largest operator, Etisalat, to its group of operator members looking to introduce a single worldwide SIM card via a web-based platform for M2M services.

Comprised of seven mobile operators – KPN in the Netherlands, Japan’s NTT DoCoMo, Rogers Communications in Canada, Singapore’s SingTel, Telefonica in Europe and Latin America, Australia’s Telstra, VimpelCom in Russia and now Middle Eastern operating group Etisalat, expanding the member base of the initiative is a welcome move to address some of the technology fragmentation that is to a degree hampering the roll-out of global M2M services.

The alliance will now need to work hard to use its single worldwide SIM to both educate the enterprise market on the potential uses of M2M, as well as to use it as a platform to differentiate from other operators’ M2M offerings.

Because the global M2M market is defined by partnerships and the combination of core competencies an operator can bring to its M2M technology, being able to offer a single SIM for M2M will be attractive to enterprises looking to deploy a single M2M application in different markets worldwide.

According to Informa Telecoms & Media research, at the end of 2Q12, there were 132 million active cellular M2M connections globally and this total is forecast to reach 217 million by end-4Q14, displaying a global CAGR of 23 percent.

Approximately 39 percent of all cellular M2M connections by 4Q14 will have been activated since 2Q12: the cellular M2M market is clearly growing steadily, but not as rapidly as some companies have projected.

It will be interesting to see how an alliance of operators with something approaching global reach – although the key markets of the US and China are still absent from its footprint – will be able to take market share from rivals with its single SIM approach in the growing M2M market. The M2M Alliance now needs to increase its number of operator members to expand its footprint and create a truly global M2M offering it can pitch to enterprises.

Centrify and Samsung to deliver industry’s first comprehensive, enterprise-ready mobile solution for work and personal use

SPAIN & USA: Centrify Corp. the leader in Unified Identity Services across data center, cloud and mobile, announced that Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd has selected Centrify to provide key enabling technology for Samsung’s next generation mobile enterprise solution - Samsung KNOX.

Announced today by Samsung, Samsung KNOX is the industry’s most comprehensive mobile solution for work and play that lets consumers easily separate their work and personal lives on their mobile devices, while giving enterprises enhanced security at all levels of the Android platform.

Samsung KNOX is a new Android-based solution designed from the ground up with security in mind to address advanced security requirements for the Android Platform. KNOX retains full compatibility with Android and the Google ecosystem while engineering fundamental security and management enhancements, including container technology that with one-click securely separates personal data on the device from corporate data and apps.

Through this OEM software license and marketing agreement, Centrify will enable multi-application SSO for mobile and web apps inside the Samsung KNOX container, allowing customers to use their existing infrastructure — Microsoft Active Directory (AD) — to manage KNOX containers, Samsung devices and role-based access to mobile applications centrally and easily.

The Centrify and Samsung partnership also includes re-sale of Centrify premium mobile and SaaS Single Sign-on offerings via Samsung partners, as well as joint marketing to Samsung customers and partners.

The Centrify technology Samsung is embedding into its KNOX solution is also generally available as part of Centrify’s latest Cloud Services release, Centrify for Mobile 2013, also announced today.

“Samsung selected Centrify because they are experts in integrating Active Directory with data center, cloud and mobile resources, and also because they uniquely deliver both mobile authentication and AD-based policy management of virtual containers in a single solution,” said Dr. Injong Rhee, senior VP, B2B R&D at Samsung Electronics. “The end result of this partnership between Samsung and Centrify is that consumers not only get the right mobile solution for work and play and the productivity gains of having one-click sign-on to their enterprise apps, but enterprise IT also leverages existing tools and skill sets to securely manage users’ work containers while knowing there is a clean separation of enterprise and personal data.”

As part of this OEM agreement, Centrify will help Samsung power the growth of an easy-to-use, developer kit and ISV app ecosystem for Android in the enterprise through the licensing of its Mobile Authentication Services (MAS) Software Development Kit (SDK) into the Samsung for Enterprise (SAFE) SDK Framework. This enables any Android app developer to use this SAFE mobile client SDK within their rich native mobile app to enable “Zero Sign-On” from devices running KNOX to their cloud-based applications.

This Zero Sign-On goes beyond traditional SSO for devices enrolled in the Centrify Cloud Service, by allowing users one-click sign-on to enterprise apps without having to enter a username and password. ISVs such as Box, Catch, and Onvelop are part of a growing list of ecosystem partners which are in various stages of enhancing their apps using the Centrify MAS SDK to support Zero Sign-On inside Samsung KNOX containers.

Samsung hones enterprise mobility focus with KNOX launch

SPAIN: Samsung unveiled the next phase of its program to make its Android smart devices fit for enterprise deployment at MWC 2013 with the announcement of KNOX.

Tony Cripps, devices and platforms analyst at Ovum commented: “KNOX provides an end-to-end package of security services that reach from the hardware to the application layer. These include a secure “application container”, which is similar to BlackBerry’s Balance, plus support for over 300 IT policies and more than 700 mobile device management application programming interfaces.

“KNOX demonstrates Samsung’s growing appreciation of the security and management needs of enterprise users and the value of integrating such features into its Android smart devices out of the box.

"This could be an important differentiator over most of Samsung’s Android device rivals, for which bring-your-own-device and other enterprise mobility initiatives largely take a back seat. However, the functionality will only extended to “selected” Galaxy devices from 2Q13.

“The announcement also positions Samsung well to exploit any softening in demand among enterprises and “prosumers” for BlackBerry devices, which have long provided the benchmark for enterprise smart devices. It can also take advantage of any reluctance by businesses to deploy applications and data on Apple iOS devices.”

Orange and Morpho join forces to deliver mobile access to patient records

SPAIN: Orange and mobile security specialist Morpho have announced that a large French hospital will trial their identity authentication solution.

Charlie Davies, healthcare life sciences analyst at Ovum commented: "Orange and mobile security specialist Morpho have announced that a large French hospital will trial their identity authentication solution. The trial demonstrates how telcos and partners are applying authentication tools and lessons learned from mobile banking to healthcare.

"The solution makes use of the mobile operator’s most valuable asset – the SIM card – and dual-factor authentication (doctors are required to enter their phone number and then an ID number to gain access to patient files).

"As the use of smartphones and tablets by healthcare professionals increases, we expect more solutions centered on mobile access to sensitive data to be launched, with telcos partnering with platform/application specialists.

"The fact that Orange is leading the integration is no surprise. It follows the now clearly defined roadmap of tier-1 telcos leveraging their market position to push their enterprise services business in their domestic markets. If only mass market adoption of this kind of service in healthcare had as smooth a development roadmap as mobile banking."

Qualcomm extending AllJoyn software framework to drive interoperability for Internet of Everything

SPAIN: Qualcomm Inc. announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Innovation Center Inc. (QuIC), will extend the AllJoyn software development project with new core interoperable services to enable richer experiences for consumers. These new services will be available on devices with different operating systems and from different vendors.

The AllJoyn framework will include new services designed to address fundamental use cases to enable a truly useful Internet of Everything. Today, the AllJoyn SDK provides the core building blocks developers need to address discoverability, connectivity, security and management of dynamic, ad-hoc networks between nearby devices.

With the addition of these planned AllJoyn services, manufacturers and developers will be able to utilize higher-level components that implement some of the most common use cases. QuIC expects to release fully functional versions of these core services under an open source license on and such services will include:

Onboarding – a 'headless' or other simpler smart device can easily be configured via an intermediary, such as a smartphone application, for use onto a user's personal network.
Notifications – enabling a standard way for devices to broadcast and receive text, image and multimedia notifications.
Audio Streaming – facilitating an interoperable, open, wireless audio streaming protocol that allows users to stream their music across products from any manufacturer.
Control – allowing for devices to export their control interfaces, including rich graphical elements associated with them.

These new core services will be upstreamed into the AllJoyn open source project by May 2013. It is expected that many Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. platforms and products will include integrated support for these services as well.

"A useful Internet of Everything will emerge when connected products, applications and consumer services can interact via a common communications protocol," said Rob Chandhok, president of QuIC.

"We are driving toward this vision by adding new core services intended for very broad application but deliberately designed to be simple and basic so that they can be adapted to as-yet unforeseen future requirements. The opportunities for proximal networking in the home and automotive environments are a clear place to start; over time, and with the engagement of the open source community and manufacturers, we hope to extend AllJoyn such that any product with a processor can be made more useful to individuals and enterprises through simple connection and interaction with other devices, regardless of vendor or operating system."

TeamSpirit Mobile 4.0 engine brings voice and video over IP to RCS

MWC 2013, SPAIN: SPIRIT DSP, the world's #1 voice and video over IP engines provider serving more than 1 billion users in 100+ countries, announced a new version of its VVoIP software SDK (Software Development Kit), TeamSpirit Voice&Video Engine Mobile 4.0, that provides interactive mobile HD voice and video calls in RCS (Rich Communication Suite).

TeamSpirit Voice&Video Engine Mobile 4.0 is compliant with the RCS 5.1 specification, the last version of the GSMA-driven standard for carriers' IP services, which allows telcos together with developers to quickly bring high-quality IMS voice and video calling functionality to their RCS-compliant services, applications and devices. The new engine is also fully compatible with standard SIP, IMS and VoLTE specifications.

TeamSpirit Voice&Video Engine, encompassing the new RCS communication standard, provides telcos with an easy-to-use SDK to create rich HD voice and video applications and bring them to market in record time, allowing them to remain more competitive and keep subscribers satisfied by responding more rapidly to their expectations for high quality voice and video calling on LTE networks.

SPIRIT customers, such as BroadSoft, Huawei, KT, LG U+, Maaii and Reliance have developed or are now developing RCS applications and services using TeamSpirit Voice&Video Engines.
An approved by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) standard, the RCS 5.1 specification aims to provide fully interoperable and standards-based rich functionality to end users, such as IM, presence, sharing, as well as voice and video over IP calls.

The specification allows telecom operators to effectively compete with innovative and agile OTT (Over-The-Top) service providers, retain and even expand their subscriber base with high-quality, feature-rich, standards-based mobile applications available across a wide set of handsets and mobile networks.

"It is not only cross-platform messaging services that are killing telcos SMS traffic. Without HD voice and video over IP as a part of carriers’ RCS offering, irreparable loss of voice revenues is the challenge telcos have to deal with right now”, said SPIRIT's chairman, Andrew Sviridenko.

“TeamSpirit Voice&Video Engine Mobile has been recognized by carriers around the world as an effective way to remain more competitive with OTT, bring richer RCS calls to their subscribers, enhance the value of LTE networks  and keep their subscribers connected."