Ericsson extended its hosted service offerings at the 3GSM show in Cannes this week. One of the new additions should make it easier for mobile operators to deliver music, video and other content to subscribers' mobile phones.
The telecommunications equipment maker outlined a plan last year for using hosted services as a way to retain its share of the mobile infrastructure market. That focus has continued apace, and as Ericsson has progressed with 3G (third generation) network deployment it has also bolstered hosted service offerings in a bid to capitalize on the higher-speed networks.
For operators that want to offer content such as music and video to subscribers, Ericsson is now offering what it calls "white label" mobile portals. The service allows an operator to offer customers branded mobile content via a portal hosted by Ericsson.
The content, supplied by Ericsson partners, comes in five flavors: music, multiplayer gaming, video, multimedia subscriptions and downloads, and can be mixed and matched to suit the operators' markets. Content distribution and digital rights management are included in the offering, the company said.
It also released a new managed capacity network offering, which combines infrastructure equipment with managed services for complete network management. Aimed at both fixed and mobile operators, Ericsson will provide infrastructure and services that can be expanded and contracted based on capacity and coverage requirements, the company said.
Additionally, Ericsson launched a suite of device management software for network operators and big corporations that want to centralize management of mobile devices including Symbian smart phones and Pocket PC PDAs (personal digital assistants). The software components include deployment and over-the-air upgrades; security and push-based policy enforcement, including policies for antivirus and encryption software; patch management and software distribution; inventory control; trouble-shooting; and disaster recovery, Ericsson said.
Ericsson, of Stockholm, also announced a number of customer wins to highlight the scope and depth of its services sector:
- Six U.S. operators have signed up to use Ericsson's hosted multimedia subscription service, aimed at allowing operators and content providers to reach consumers using MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service). The service converts RSS (Really Simple Syndication), XML (Extensible Markup Language) feeds or other digital files from content providers into formatted messages, which are then delivered to subscribers over Ericsson's hosted MMS network.
- Delhi-based Bharti Tele-Ventures has extended its existing managed services and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) infrastructure contract with Ericsson to provide complete networks to two additional regions on the Indian subcontinent, bringing the total number of regions covered by Ericsson to 15.
The contract with Bharti also includes more managed services from Ericsson for site maintenance in all 15 regions.
- Scandinavian operator Hi3G Access, known by its brand name 3, has singed a five-year contract with Ericsson to host and manage its messaging service. Ericsson will integrate, host and manage its voice mail, SMS (short message service), MMS, unified messaging, e-mail and video services over 3's networks in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and optionally Finland.
- Nordic mobile operator TeliaSonera AB has contracted to test Ericsson's IP (Internet Protocol) IMS (Multimedia Subsystem). Ericsson's IMS enables operators to offer services, including VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol), push-to-talk and other communication such as combinations of voice, text, pictures and video. Ericsson is one of three vendors involved in the test, which will begin in the second quarter.
- Australia's Telstra has signed an AU$50 million (US$39 million), five-year deal with Ericsson to create a single content provision system, pulling together Telstra's directories business Sensis, pay-TV joint venture Foxtel and Internet service provider BigPond into a new Telstra service delivery platform. The move is part of Telstra's plans to launch a 3G mobile service in July.
Ericsson said it has signed managed services agreements for the new service with Carolina West Wireless, Centennial Wireless, Golden State Cellular, Rural Cellular, Western Wireless and WestLink.