LOCAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS companies, including fixed-line, wired, video, satellite and mobile varieties, have consistently introduced innovative products and platforms to the international market for decades, helping blaze new and ever-more advanced communication methods. Over the last couple of weeks, there has been a flurry of activity coming out of the local sector, all with international implications, underscoring the importance of Israel as an important player in the global telecom sector. Petah Tikva-based Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. announced last week that it has begun deployment of a 1,500-site SkyEdge II broadband satellite network for Axesat, one of Latin America's leading satellite service providers. Axesat will use the Gilat SkyEdge II VSATs to provide enterprises in Latin America with private networking services including interactive data, broadband Internet access, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). SkyEdge II is a standards-based system using DVB-S2 and DVB-RCS. With better efficiencies and full adaptivity for both the inbound and outbound channels, it provides higher performance that serves the growing requirements of end-users. SkyEdge II is suited for diverse environments including enterprises, rural networks, cellular backhaul and government network applications. Enabling satellite service providers to benefit from significant space-segment savings, SkyEdge II provides a solution in the current space-capacity market environment. Gilat's SkyEdge portfolio enables the delivery of high-quality voice, broadband data and video services. SkyEdge's flexible architecture and efficient space segment utilization make it an ideal platform for operators and service providers. MEANWHILE, INTELSAT Ltd., the world's leading provider of commercial satellite services, announced earlier this month that Omer-based RRsat Global Communications Network Ltd, a global provider of comprehensive content management and distribution services to the television and radio broadcasting industries, signed a multi-year contract on Intelsat's Galaxy 25 satellite to expand RRsat's services into the North American region. RRsat contracted for capacity on Intelsat's Galaxy 25 satellite for content broadcasting throughout North America. The Galaxy 25 satellite located at 97 degrees West within Intelsat's valuable Galaxy neighborhood is the largest ethnic video platform, offering programmers and content distributors access to the US cable community, reaching millions of homes. RRsat will leverage the Galaxy 25 capacity to distribute regional television programming from Europe and Asia into the US cable market. RRsat Global Communications Network Ltd. provides global, comprehensive, content management and distribution services to the rapidly expanding television and radio broadcasting industries. Through its proprietary "RRsat Global Network," composed of satellite and terrestrial fiber optic transmission capacity and the public Internet, RRsat is able to offer high quality and flexible global distribution services for content providers. RRsat's comprehensive content management services include producing and playing out TV content as well as providing satellite newsgathering services (SNG). RRsat concurrently provide these services to more than 425 television and radio channels, covering more than 150 countries. ISRAELI TELECOM companies played a starring role at this month's CTIA Wireless Show in Las Vegas as Or Yehuda-based Cardo Systems Inc., the world's market leader in the field of wireless Bluetooth(R) communications for motorcycle helmet headsets, launched its new SCALA RIDER(R) MultiSet â„¢ . The MultiSet retail box includes two ready-to-use SCALA RIDER Q2 wireless headsets for hands-free and safe bike-to-bike communication at distances of up to 540 yards as well as for use with mobile phones. The two Q2 headsets in the MultiSet retail box offer Multiple Device Connection (MDC) technology, with added features that allow bikers to connect wirelessly by Bluetooth to several audio sources including the following: voice instructions from a GPS, mobile phone conversations with third parties, intercom conversations with passengers and with other bikers, and high-quality FM radio transmissions from the embedded FM module. Whether you are riding your motorcycle with a friend on another motorcycle or riding with a passenger, the SCALA RIDER MultiSet is a great and instant way to stay in touch. The MultiSet are also fully backward-compatible with the entire line of earlier SCALA RIDER models (solo, Combo, FM and TeamSet). In addition to MDC technology and Bike-to-Bike intercom, the two Q2 headsets offers the same high-quality performance as in previous SCALA RIDER models, including wind impact reduction, voice controlled receipt and rejection of incoming mobile calls, automatic volume adjustment according to driving speed and ambient noise, full rain and snow protection and more. ALSO AT the CTIA show, InfoGin, a pioneer and a market leader in the field of Web-to-Mobile Content & Functionality Adaptation solutions, announced a technology partnership with Israeli-founded Comverse, a leading supplier of software and systems enabling network-based multimedia enhanced communication and billing services. The partnership is based on the two companies' complementary product and service offerings for mobile operators, designed to deliver unlimited Web content to any mobile device. As part of the new partnership, InfoGin and Comverse have worked closely to recently deploy InfoGin's patented Intelligent Mobile Platformâ„¢ (IMPâ„¢) and the Comverse Mobile Internet Gateway platform at Kyvistar, the leading Ukrainian operator with more than 23 million subscribers. As a result, the Ukrainian operator has successfully launched advanced mobile data services and is already achieving a positive user response. The two companies have also successfully launched the service with another Tier-1 operator in Western Europe. Headquartered in Rosh Ha'ayin, InfoGin is a pioneer and market leader offering a complete Web-to-mobile content and functionality adaptation solution that provides mobile users with the ultimate Internet experience on any mobile device. KEEPING THE focus on mobile communications, Celltick Technologies, based in Herzliya, a pioneer of active mobile marketing solutions, announced late last month that it has won a contract worth over $5.7m with MTS Ukraine. The agreement will bring interactive cell broadcasting to MTS's subscriber base and enable it to drive take up of value added services such as information and entertainment services. Celltick will be working on the deployment in conjunction with SITRONICS Telecom Solutions, a leading provider of telecommunications IT and microelectronic solutions in Russia and the CIS. MTS is the largest operator of cellular communication in Russia and CIS countries. It is the leading operator in Ukraine with over 4,500 base stations but its license portfolio also includes the majority of regions of Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Combined with the population living within an operative range of its network, MTS has a potential customer base of 230 million people making it one of the largest operators in the world. MTS will be using Celltick's premium LiveScreenâ„¢ Media products in order to help drive value added services and promote mobile advertising opportunities. MOVING OVER to video communications, ZONE-IP announced earlier this month that its subsidiary, Ra'anana-based Emblaze-VCON, a leading provider of video communications technologies and conferencing solutions for government agencies, operators, broadcasters and corporate enterprise markets over IP networks, has released vPoint HD v.8, Executive version only, the first full high definition desktop videoconferencing client able to receive 1080p. VPoint HD v.8 Executive version enables full high definition video and audio quality for exceptionally realistic point-to-point, multipoint and multicast desktop videoconferencing. Its 1080p receiving capabilities enable users to view H.323 1080p (1920x1080 pixels) video while sending 720p high resolution video and AAC-LD audio. The vPoint HD Executive also offers ISDN networking up to 4 x BRI, a detachable window for data sharing and Windows Vista SP1 support. The vPoint HD is a versatile, key application for any PC or laptop user, in organizations of any size. With full, natural motion and crystal-clear audio, vPoint HD now offers an unparalleled desktop videoconferencing experience, rendering face-to-face meetings redundant. VPoint HD is also backwards compatible with standard definition (SD) legacy systems.