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Nokia Siemens Networks launches "pocket-sized" VoIP

(PresseBox) (Amsterdam, ) To better capitalize on the marriage of telecommunications and the Internet, Nokia Siemens Networks is strengthening its VoIP and core network offering by introducing the Communication Key, a USB device with SIM authentication that lets subscribers take VoIP and other rich communications on the road.

At the Nokia World event in Amsterdam, Nokia Siemens Networks is showcasing a novel way to enjoy easy Voice over IP (VoIP) communications from any Internet-connected PC. The Communication Key is a USB device with built-in SIM authentication that allows PC users to engage in not only voice calls, but also video sharing and other rich communications with the same ease and convenience as making mobile phone calls. It helps a mobile operator reinforce its role as the preferred service provider in the face of growing competition from new Internet players. The Communication Key will be available in Q3 2008.

"The tiny SIM card represents a huge business opportunity for mobile and converged operators," says Juergen Walter, head of Service Core and Applications, Nokia Siemens Networks. "It is a tangible – and valuable – token of their relationship with their customers. The identity, phone number and account data of individual subscribers are all tied to the SIM card, which means that it can be a crucial tool for offering innovative services based on built-in identity and trust."

The Communication Key leverages this powerful link to subscribers – with the support of Nokia Siemens Networks’ unique core network solution – to enable a rich and easy VoIP service that can broaden an operator’s horizons for services by expanding the VoIP experience across domains.

Because authentication and billing with the Communication Key is based on a user’s SIM card, logging onto the service is fast, intuitive and secure, and payment is streamlined as part of the user’s mobile phone bill. SIM authentication also means that Communication Key users can be reached by their normal mobile telephone number. This gives subscribers the option of answering incoming calls on their mobiles or PCs, according to their preferences or current access – both their mobile and PC can ring simultaneously if so desired.

As the Communication Key is completely portable and self-contained, users can plug it into Internet-connected PCs anywhere, for example at Internet cafés away from home while on holiday. They can then make calls totally independent of the local mobile network coverage, an attractive option in regions where coverage or roaming fees are challenging. This gives operators a way to offer richer services that adds traffic on top of the normal mobile usage.

Central to the Communication Key’s functionality is the Nokia Siemens Networks Communication Suite PC client, which gives secure and simple access for business users and consumers to engage in Internet-based communications, such as VoIP calls, Instant Messaging, or Video sharing using PCs with broadband connections. Because the Communication Suite PC client can also employ authentication methods other than SIM-based, it can be offered by any network operator, whether fixed or mobile, who wants to add VoIP to their service offering.

With the Communication Key, mobile operators can leverage their relationship with subscribers in order to expand service coverage, open up new revenue streams and increase their overall service usage. SIM-based authentication can also pave the way to even more innovative business models where subscribers can, for example, use the Communication Key as a "citizen certificate" for official identification or to charge purchases made over the Internet to their mobile account.

The solution uses Nokia Siemens Networks’ unique core network architecture, based on IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) or mobile softswitching, to authenticate, connect and charge for the calls made with the Communication Key. Nokia Siemens Networks is a leader in next generation IP-based network solutions, with a continuously growing base of customers deploying its core network solutions.

The Communication Key is being demonstrated, along with Nokia Siemens Networks' Communication Suite, SIM-based authentication and unique IMS solution at Nokia World in Amsterdam on December 4-5.