Archives for May, 2007

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Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) got a big push last week as Nokia (News – Alert) announced it would be working with Cisco to combine productivity across PBXs and wireless devices. Per the announcement, Nokia’s Intellisync Call Connect for Cisco promises to combine Cisco’s wireless LANs and Unified Communications Manager with Nokia’s E-series mobile devices, including the recently released E61i smartphone. Thus the company plans to enable the extension of all the functions of a company’sPBX  to the end user’s mobile device.

The addition of Cisco to the Nokia portfolio builds upon the Swedish mobile giant’s business mobility solutions. In addition to support for Cisco, Nokia E61i, Nokia E65, and alldual-mode Nokia Eseries devices will support the full range of Nokia business voice solutions, including Nokia Intellisync Call Connect for Alcatel andAvaya ( News – Alert) One-X.

According to Antti Vasara, senior vice president, Mobile Devices Unit, Enterprise Solutions, Nokia, “Nearly 40 percent of all business cellular users’ time is spent away from their desks or primary work areas, and nearly 50 percent of this is on-premises. The importance of sophisticated mobile business devices that offer a superior user experience will only increase as businesses implement mobile e-mail across a wider employee base, and at the same time begin to mobilize additional high ROI mobility solutions such as business voice and other corporate applications.”

Nokia will sell through enterprise channels to businesses, and will leverage Cisco’s channel partners to deliver the solution to enterprises.
Aruba Networks is also making waves in the FMC space, announcing two new software products. First, Mobile Access Point (News – Alert) is designed to enable enterprise connectivity and follow-me security by enabling role-based user access controls, stateful firewall and split-tunneling in Aruba access points. The second new offering, HotelConnect, is designed to afford road warriors access to hotel Internet connections using dual-mode phones, PDAs, and other devices that would otherwise be blocked by the hotel’s billing system.

Security is a key feature of the Aruba solution. According to the announcement, Aruba’s mobility solutions associate security and access policies with individual users instead of ports. Carrying this follow-me security concept forward, the policies enforced by the new Mobile Access Point firewall mirror those enforced by the corporate Aruba Mobility Controller.

Travelers to hotels and other locations regulated by captive portals have previously been unable to use WiFi enabled dual-mode telephones, PDAs, or other non-PC devices to connect to the portal-protected network. Aruba’s HotelConnect feature remedies this situation by registering with the portal and allowing any authorized device to be used just as it would in the corporate office. Uses are varied, and include data access,VoIP , streaming video delivery, and Skype (News – Alert) and video conference calls. To optimize local traffic flow, the software’s split-tunneling feature directs only corporate traffic back to the Mobility Controller, while Internet access and printer traffic remain local.

A recent Reuters report out of Amsterdam surmised that “It will be years before the much-hyped blending of services that run seamlessly over both fixed and cell phone networks will allow consumers to communicate freely on any device.”

While hurdles still exist, it’s encouraging to see vendors making strides and educating enterprise buyers about the possibilities and benefits inherent in FMC.

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Nokia will begin selling phones based on China’s TD-SCDMA technology next year, according to local press reports.

The world’s largest mobile phone maker expects to have handsets available during the first half of 2008.

TD-SCDMA is China’s home-developed 3G standard. The government has strongly backed the standard in an attempt to reduce China’s reliance on expensive foreign technology.

However, the rollout of 3G phones in the country has been delayed for years while bugs in TD-SCDMA are ironed out.

Although 3G networks have still not been officially launched in China, the market for TD-SCDMA equipment reached $910m in the first quarter of 2007, according to research firm Analysys International.

The spending is believed to be almost entirely devoted to infrastructure, as 3G handsets are not yet on sale.

Local firms ZTE and Datang are leading TD-SCDMA sales with 46.3 per cent and 26.8 per cent of the market respectively.

TD Tech, a joint venture between China’s largest mobile manufacturer, Huawei, and Europe’s Nokia and Siemens took only 14.8 per cent.

The hardware sales reflect the actions of the world’s largest mobile carrier, China Mobile, which recently doled out TD-SCDMA infrastructure contracts for six major cities, including Beijing and Tianjin, which both have populations over 10 million.

These 3G networks, despite their size, remain off limits to the general public as the government has yet to grant 3G licences.

Trial networks based on the foreign W-CDMA and CDMA2000 3G standards were established last year, and are still awaiting government approval to start public operation.

In related news, Nokia has announced the establishment of a research facility at Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University.

“In some ways, the future of mobile technology is the future of all technology in China,” said Professor Niu Zhisheng of Tsinghua University.

“The country has set itself the goal of developing indigenous innovation and, with four times as many mobile subscribers as internet users, the opportunities within mobile technology are clear.

“In addition, a world class communications network is essential to breakthroughs in all areas of science and technology research, rendering mobile technology doubly important.”

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With this groundbreaking contract Nokia Siemens Networks strengthens its position as a leading GSM network supplier in China.

Espoo, Munich, Beijing, May 29, 2007 – Nokia Siemens Networks signed a new contract with Heilongjiang Mobile Communications Company (Heilongjiang MCC) for its 10th GSM network expansion and professional services. With this contract Nokia Siemens Networks has entered three sub regions of Heilongjiang and become one of the leading network suppliers for the radio and core networks of Heilongjiang MCC.

As part of the contract Nokia Siemens Networks will provide GSM Base Stations and Base Station Controllers to Heilongjiang MCC. The delivery has already started and the network will be commercial in June. Nokia Siemens Networks will also provide professional services including network implementation, planning, managed service, training and maintenance services.

“Nokia Siemens Networks is very proud to have won this contract and strengthened the strategic relation with Heilongjiang MCC. Nokia Siemens Networks will provide state of the art systems that will enable Heilongjiang MCC to enhance the capacity and quality of their networks in three sub regions of Heilongjiang”, says James Lin, head of China Mobile Account, Nokia Siemens Networks Greater China region. GSM radio access networks delivered by Nokia Siemens Networks are connecting more than 1 billion subscribers globally.

The company has 20 years of experience in managed services of fixed and mobile networks, plus unrivalled technical, engineering and operational know-how. Nokia Siemens Networks is the leading supplier with the largest installed base in China Mobile’s GSM network.

In the recent central bidding of China Mobile, Nokia Siemens Networks has maintained its position as a leading GSM network provider and continues to be the major equipment supplier of GSM/GPRS/EDGE core and radio networks to over 20 customers in China.

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Last week, we had reported on Nokia’s unreleased 8600 ‘Luna’ phone. Well, this mobile phone which is quite a good-looker and also has great specifications, is apparently available way before it has actually been launched.Britain’s Carphone Warehouse electronics store has started selling the new and stylish Nokia 8600 phone in a black version.

Incidentally, the company has not launched this mobile phone in the retail market in general, but it seems to be available exclusively through Carphone Warehouse at the moment.

Nokia has also started advertising the soon-to-be launched Luna 8600 mobile phone on its Web site. This phone seems to have a similar offering to that of the Nokia 8800. The Luna 8600 phone features a 2 Mega pixel camera, music player and FM radio.

Carphone Warehouse has issued a statement saying that it was an exclusive offer and that deliveries are scheduled to begin the following week. However, Nokia has declined to comment.

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