Microsoft Collaborates With Telecommunications Industry to Drive Transition to Telco 2.0 Era

HONG KONG — Dec. 4, 2006 — This week at ITU Telecom World 2006, Microsoft Corp. is showcasing for the first time its full portfolio of solutions and services developed specifically for the global telecommunications industry. In its exhibit presence and participation in ITU Telecom World, Microsoft is highlighting the broad range of voice, video, data and mobile solutions it delivers to leading service providers today, as well as unveiling new products and initiatives designed to help operators create revenue-generating offerings for businesses and consumers, now and in the future.

“Since ITU Telecom World was last held, in 2003, we’ve seen tremendous change in the telecommunications industry,” said Pieter Knook, senior vice president of the Mobile and Embedded Devices Division at Microsoft. “Fixed-line and mobile operators have made significant network infrastructure investment, and they’re seeking avenues for creating new services to fill these networks. At the same time, new industry entrants from the Web world have introduced offerings and disruptive business models that stand to threaten operators’ standing. It’s clear that software will play a critical role in helping service providers address these challenges, and Microsoft is uniquely positioned to provide the operating platform through which the industry can create new services.”

Enabling the Transition to Telco 2.0

A new model known as Telco 2.0 is emerging as the telecommunications industry embraces the principles of Web 2.0 and technologies and services from the Internet world. In the Telco 2.0 era, operators will be able to offer hundreds of services that bring together numerous applications and types of content from a variety of sources to form composite services; in this world, the combinations of potential new services are nearly limitless. Microsoft provides the operating platform, technologies, applications and partner ecosystem that will help make Telco 2.0 a reality.

At ITU Telecom World, Microsoft is announcing new solutions, alliances and programs designed to foster innovation, focusing on three areas fundamental to its strategy in the communications industry: service delivery, revenue-generating services, and end-user devices and screens.

Service Delivery

The ability of service providers to efficiently and cost-effectively develop and deploy new services is essential to the further development of the Telco 2.0 era. For service delivery, Microsoft offers Microsoft Connected Services Framework, a server-based software product through which operators can deliver, aggregate and manage converged communications services for subscribers, regardless of network or device. Today Microsoft announced that Telenor is the latest operator to implement Connected Services Framework. With Connected Services Framework, Telenor will offer new services to small and midsize businesses (SMBs), including an e-mail service based on Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration.

Key to Microsoft’s success in the communications industry is an ecosystem that unites service providers, independent software vendors (ISVs), systems integrators and network equipment providers with Microsoft to drive the development and commercialization of new services. To that end, Microsoft introduced the Connected Services Sandbox, a proof-of-concept and integration environment that will allow ISVs and developers to test their services along with offerings from Microsoft, service providers and system integrators to rapidly bring new services to market.

Revenue-Generating Services

Microsoft enables new revenue-generating opportunities for service providers through its existing set of solutions, including service provider-hosted business and consumer services as well as Microsoft’s Live service offerings.

Microsoft provides a range of applications that service providers can host in their networks and deliver to businesses. In addition to Telenor, the following operators will offer new business services based on Microsoft technologies:

  • Swisscom will deploy the Microsoft Solution for Enhanced Voice over IP (VoIP) Services to provide integrated voice, e-mail, presence, instant messaging, collaboration and desktop services to SMBs.

  • Bharti Airtel recently launched new services based on Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration and plans to roll out hosted versions of Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM, accounting, and enterprise resource planning.

Complementing its expertise in business services, Microsoft provides the platform and applications enabling operators to deliver a variety of services targeting consumers. For instance, leading telecommunications providers worldwide, including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, T-Online France and Swisscom are already deploying next-generation digital TV services using the Microsoft Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Edition software platform, which enables exciting, new connected and personalized entertainment experiences. In addition, operators Hutch, Orange and Sprint have recently announced new offerings based on the Windows Live™ set of services to deliver new online experiences to their customers.

End-User Devices and Screens

Windows Mobile® software powers advanced, easy-to-use devices that allow users to send and receive e-mail, browse the Internet and work on mobile versions of software from the Microsoft Office system, all with the familiar Windows® user experience. Developments for Windows Mobile introduced at ITU include the following:

  • Samsung Electronics and Microsoft announced a new Samsung Ultra Messaging i600 device in Asia and Europe, the first 3G smartphone with support for High-Speed Downlink Packet Access and support for applications such as podcasting and RSS feeds.

  • Microsoft today announced that the Windows Mobile operating system will support China Mobile’s new Push Mail service to provide easier and faster access to e-mail messages and a superior messaging experience.

Additional Microsoft Activities at ITU Telecom World

Microsoft is taking an active role in the conference program at ITU Telecom World, with executives participating in the following sessions:

Tuesday, Dec. 5

Session: Business and Finance — Investing in the Next Generation

Speaker: Jim Baldwin, product unit manager, Microsoft TV

Time and Location: 3–6 p.m., Rooms 203, 204, 205

Session: The Digital Home

Speaker: Pieter Knook, senior vice president, Mobile and Embedded Devices

Time and Location: 4:30–6 p.m., Forum Room 1

Session: Creating Compelling Content and Services

Speaker: Paul Mitchell, senior director, chief of staff, Microsoft TV

Time and Location: 4:30–6 p.m., Forum Room 2

Wednesday, Dec. 6

Session: Digital Lifestyles @ Play

Speaker: Hemang Mehta, product management director, Microsoft TV

Time and Location: 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., Forum Room 2

Session: ICTs for Health

Speaker: Gabe Rijpma, director, Healthcare Industry, Microsoft Asia-Pacific

Time and Location: 2:30–5 p.m., Forum Room 3

Thursday, Dec. 7

Session: IPTV

Speaker: Ed Graczyk, director of marketing and communications, Microsoft TV

Time and Location: 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Forum Room 3

Friday, Dec. 8

Session: Spam and Phishing — Business Implications and Solutions

Speaker: Craig Spiezle, director, Online Safety Strategy

Time and Location: 9:45–11:15 a.m., Forum Room 3

“The telecommunications industry as we have known it is at a turning point,” Knook said. “The winners in this new era will be defined not only by their ability to maximize existing assets, but, more important, to capitalize on the new technologies and business models that are emerging. Microsoft is committed to the telecommunications industry, and we are focused on continuing to build strong relationships with service providers as we move forward in the Telco 2.0 world.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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