News in Brief

In the maelstrom of news flying around last week, it was always going to be impossible to catch everything, so here’s a quick, in-brief round-up of some of the stories we didn’t have space for last week….

FirstPartner has released its Evolution of Payments Market Map. The Map summarises the key trends and players across the spectrum of payments, and complements the previously released mCommerce Market Map, which is also available for free download. You can download both Market Maps here.

and Akamai Technologies have formed a strategic alliance focused on bringing to market mobile cloud acceleration solutions, aimed at improving end-user internet experiences such as mobile ecommerce, enterprise applications and internet content. The companies will jointly develop solutions for the fast-growing market of content and apps delivered to mobile devices. The companies say their alliance creates a truly integrated mobile internet ecosystem, designed to enable mobile network operators to be more involved in the internet value chain, in turn helping them better monetize their networks and subscriber base. The solutions are also designed to greatly simplify how content providers distribute their content and gain access to larger audiences.
Movial has launched the Movial Communicator LTE-ready Adaptive Video Calling end-user application. When making video calls over IP, changing environmental factors determine the quality of the service. To date, says Movial, these factors haven’t been taken into account at the set up of a video call and during the time a video call is being made.

Movial Communicator with Adaptive Video Technology detects each end user’s bandwidth, CPU, camera and screen resolution, in order to optimize the quality of the video, presenting a crystal clear user experience each and every time a video call is made. While in call, Movial Communicator continuously determines if the current video profile is still providing the best possible video performance, and will automatically re-adjust in case there is a sudden reduction in bandwidth. The solution is optimized for LTE and pre-LTE networks.

Synchronica plc
has announced the integration of advanced transcoding and streaming functionality in Mobile Gateway 6, which it says dramatically reduced network bandwidth consumption, and allows users to view complex email attachments, even from entry-level mobile devices.

The patented technology converts and optimizes office and multimedia documents on the fly, and streams the content to the mobile browser, reducing the consumption of network bandwidth by as much as 90 per cent. Content is converted by intelligent adaptation to structured data formats, such as XML, FPX, or 3GPP. As the content is streamed and displayed in the mobile phones web browser, the new technology removes the need for heavy third-party document viewers. The technology supports a wide range of document and multimedia formats.


Maritz Real-Time (MRT) and ViVOtech have announced a strategic partnership to provide real-time promotion and loyalty services into mobile and Near Field Communication (NFC) platforms for retailers and payments providers. The alliance combines ViVOtech’s NFC mobile commerce platform with MRT’s delivery of real-time, data-driven rewards and redemption services.

The companies say their combined offerings will trigger consumer behaviour at the optimal points of interaction and transaction with retailers, payments providers and their partners. The partnership will provide retail and payments clients with customized services that engage customers with behavioural-based incentives and communications, delivered where and when they have the greatest impact, offered on emerging NFC-enabled smart phones and existing mobile handset models.

Mobile Tag, which provides 1D and 2D barcode marketing solutions, has secured €6.6m (£5.6m) in funding. The new funding round was lead by S.E.B. Ventures, alongside the company’s historic venture investors, XAnge Private Equity and Alven Capital. The money will allow Mobile Tag to strengthen its position in the US market, consolidate its European position, and develop both range of marketing services and its sales teams. Mobile Tag develops mobile marketing solutions allowing access to digital content using a mobile handset to scan 2D barcodes (QR-codes, Datamatrix, Flashcode, Fotokody); 1D barcodes found on packaging (EAN, UPC);  and NFC tags.

iCard Mobile, the pay-as-you-go mobile offering from iCard Telecom, has signed up with PayPoint as the exclusive channel for its customers to purchase etop-up vouchers. Top-up vouchers can be printed on the PayPoint terminal in denominations of £5, £10, £20 and £50 and earn excellent commission per transaction for retailers. iCard Mobile is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), whose coverage extends to 99 per cent of the UK mainland, enabling customers to make low cost international and competitive national calls from their mobile, without entering access codes or PIN numbers each time.

XIUS, which delivers mobile transaction solutions for mobile operators worldwide, has signed agreements with Tata Docomo to deliver its Mobile Touch Transaction (MTT) solutions, offering Tata Docomo the opportunity for revenue optimization by providing anytime, anywhere electronic talk time recharge, bill payment, and other value-added services in self-service mode using Near Field Communications (NFC) technology. Tata Docomo will trial the MTT services within Hyderabad in India. Initial transactions will include mobile phone top-up, plus ringtone and wallpaper downloads. 
Dolby Laboratories has revealed that PT MelOn, a joint venture between SK Telecom of Korea and PT Telkom of Indonesia, will use Dolby Media Generator to encode mobile and PC music downloads into the highly efficient Dolby Pulse format, for its online music service, MelOn Indonesia, which offers consumers subscription-based music downloads for mobile devices and PCs. Dolby Media Generator is a set of tools enabling content owners, aggregators, distributors, and operators to format content for mobile and online delivery and playback. MelOn Indonesia joins Omnifone and Rhapsody in utilizing Dolby Media Generator to encode its digital music libraries.

KODIME has released an Android app for its client, A2Dominion New Homes, following the launch of an iPhone version last October. The housing association will use the app to promote and market new homes across London and the S. East.  Users can view properties on a map and navigate and search by chosen area. Saving searches and selected properties allows for offline use. For each listed entry, comprehensive details such as photos and location map are provided, and users can directly contact the A2Dominion New Homes Sales Team with a single tap. The app is free to download from Android Market.

Blue Bamboo, which provides electronic payment solutions, has launched the mobile BluetoothP25-M printer, certified with MFi (Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod program).The printer, previously certified for serial connectivity with iPhone/iPad/iPod now in final testing and approval of the MFi program to work with Apple devices for Bluetooth connectivity. Bluetooth connectivity brings the benefits of wirelessly passing secure and encrypted magnetic stripe card data from the printer to Apple devices.

Cardholder data is protected during card swipe to Apple devices via Bluetooth. By extending the financial industry’s proven key management technology to the Bluetooth wireless P25-M Printer, an MFi authorized partner can enable end-to-end encryption and ensure that sensitive cardholder data is never exposed through wireless data transmission.
The E-Plus Group will launch a TD-LTE field trial in Germany in Q1 2011. The trial is based on 2.6 GHz spectrum that E-Plus acquired in the German spectrum auction. China Mobile will provide technical support for the trial, while ZTE will provide base stations developed on the advanced SDR platform and co-siting solution of LTE FDD/TD-LTE. The trial is intended to demonstrate the latest progress of TD-LTE/LTE FDD convergence in standards and industry development, and also prepare the way for the full commercialisation of TD-LTE.

has launched a Wireless Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard for iPad and iPhone. Designed to work with Bluetooth-enabled iPads and iPhones, the ultra-slim, foldable keyboard brings a more familiar typing method to iPad and iPhone users. It comes with a premium carrying case and iPhone stand, which can be easily slid and stored into the keyboard body itself. It runs off two 2 AAA batteries, and is available via Amazon and Fry’s Electronics for $79.99 (£50).

Antenna Software has revealed that its mobile device information library, part of the Volantis Framework platform for content delivery, has passed 8,000 handsets. The database offers patented technology to render applications and websites across these 8,000+ devices, supporting more than 850 attributes per device. The latest devices supported by the database include the Dell Streak 7, Samsung Infuse 4G and Nexus-S.

Communology has announced a new agreement with the US patent and technology company Klausner Technologies. The agreement extends the two companies’ European Visual Voicemail (VVM) patent licensing arrangement from 2nd and 3rd tier mobile operators to all European mobile operators. The companies have also instituted a new licence fee structure, based on operator-activated VVM users.

Klausner Technologies holds the US European and Asian patents for VVM, and has 33 current international VVM licensees. The VVM mobile app provides a graphic user interface to manage voicemails just as easily as SMS or emails. Communology is a leading VVM provider of mobile client software for a broad variety of platforms, as well as gateway and server infrastructure and professional services for technical implementation.

Samsung Electronics
has selected an advanced HSPA+ modem from ST-Ericsson to support its Galaxy S 4G phone, available exclusively from T-Mobile USA. It is the first 4G HSPA+ smartphone capable of theoretical peak download speeds of up to 21Mbps and upload speeds of up to 5.76Mbps. The power-efficient and highly-integrated Thor(TM) M5720 modem enables the new smartphone, which recently was launched by T-Mobile USA on America’s largest 4G network, to enjoy an unprecedented combination of fast connectivity and strong battery life. The Thor M5720 modem also supports 64-QAM technology, enabling mobile operators to make more efficient use of their spectrum and transfer more data simultaneously through the air, resulting in a better mobile broadband experience for the consumer.

Cloud services specialist Synchronoss Technologies has expanded its ConvergenceNow Plus platform’s ‘Content Transfer & Synchronization’ module to migrate content over the air between connected devices for the iPhone on both GSM and CDMA versions, allowing users to transfer their contacts and content when moving between mobile devices, including Android, Blackberry, BREW, iPhone, Java, Symbian and Windows Mobile units, to facilitate device upgrades and, from an operator’s perspective, hopefully secure customer loyalty and retention.

ZTE and KPN have announced a joint development programme focussed on the application of LTE technology in Germany and Belgium. KPN Mobile International and ZTE have scheduled a field trial program for 2011 to investigate the capabilities of ZTE’s commercial equipment. The co-operation gives KPN the flexibility to speedily upgrade its network equipment to LTE in the future, if demand is there.

In December 2009, ZTE and KPN announced plans to conduct a comprehensive expansion of HSPA networks in Germany and Belgium starting in 2010. The programme was designed to establish a strategic partnership between the two companies for the development of future-proof networks in Belgium and Germany. Under the agreement, ZTE has started a program to help transform KPN networks in Germany and Belgium over a three year period using ZTE’s SDR (Software Defined Radio) technology to provide users with HSPA + high-speed data services which enable cost-effective mobile broadband communications.

As a result of the seamless transformation from the existing network to the new one, KPN will be able to offer its customers in Belgium and Germany faster high-speed data services of up to 21.6 Mbps, enabling the operator to offer new mobile broadband services.