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February 2014

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Altair Touts Single Mode LTE Success, Will Focus on IoT

February 27, 2014

Single mode LTE is has gone from evangelism mode to commercial shipments according to Altair Semiconductor as they showed me the new Verizon seven-inch Android Ellipsis Tablet which retails for $249 with no contract and only $10/month as part of your shared plan. This is the first LTE-only product according to Brendan Schaffer who tells me that by using a single-mode device you can save up to $100.

Another product, the HP 11.6 Inch Chromebook is also an LTE-only device and it costs $249 with no contract or activation or $199 with activation and no contract or $149 with a 2-year contract. You can pick this device up at Best Buy according to Schaffer who says the product really maximizes cloud-based computing, extending it beyond WiFi.

OpenWave Uses Push To Boost Consumer Relationships with Carriers

February 27, 2014

Mobile carriers aren't communicating with subscribers as effectively as possible and as a result Openwave Mobility is providing their MOTIFY solution which solves the problem by using a push notification on iOS/Android devics to begin user-engagement. At that point they communicate with an app on the device which connects with Openwave Mobility's backed system which receives data over the push channel.

The cloud-based solution can be used to send marketing campaigns to users and can then determine the uptake through reporting.

For example, if there is a new video feed to a local sporting event which the carrier wants to promote, they can send a message letting the appropriate subsctibers know.

Mer Group Describes Future Innovations at MWC 2014

February 27, 2014

In many emerging markets there is a black market for money, corruption and fraud. It is for this reason that Mer Group has customized its mobile money platform and added budget managent, transfer and dedicated money solutions in addition to current features like person-to-person, payments and top-up capabilities.

One challenge for countries is by the time money gets from the governemmnt to a school for example, part or much of it is lost. To get around this challenge, Mer Group digitizes the money, then requires multiple authorizations and then the budget gets transferred more securely.

MIPI Alliance Works on New Specs for Audio and Sensors

February 27, 2014

In a conversation with Peter Lefkin and Michael Krell of the MIPI Alliance at MWC 2014 we discussed how this ten-year-old alliance was started to help camera chips in cell phones have a common standard and has subsequently evolved to over 45 published specifications for things like display, audio and yes cameras.

Formally, the areas of focus are Multimedia, Control/Data (RF/envelope tracking - many analog technologies), Chip-to-Chip (connecting the application processor to other systems) and Debug and Trace.

New for this show is SoundWire which is an interface for dealing with audio and microphones - this interface is better than their existing SlimBus which wasn't designed for a digital, off-platform world (external speakers, etc).

Napatech Achieves Next Speed Milestone: 320 Gbps

February 27, 2014

 

Network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) provide solutions for lots of markets such as mobile analytics, backhaul and others. In backhaul applications, the traffic is tunneled in order to provide confidentiality. In many cases when you need to get access to this data, software is too slow when running on generic servers. In order to speed the process up, Napatech provides hardware which takes this data and makes it readable by utilizing application specific multicore chips in order to provide throughput which is up to 16x faster than traditional alternatives.

Italtel Helps CSPs Benefit From WebRTC and NFV

February 27, 2014

I had a dynamic conversation with Italtel's Frederico Descalzo at MWC 2014 I learned about how the company is providing next-gen solutions for carriers, enabling them to maximize the potential of WebRTC and the transition to the software telco through NFV and SDN.

The company built its own cloud-ready SBC which was more scaleable and better at handling media conversion and transcoding on a session-by-session basis than those provided by typical vendors in the market he told me. In their implementation, virtualized functions for media and signal handling allow the product to scale at the customer prem or in the cloud. He said carriers are concerned about NFV and whether they can deal with IP+IT+telco merged together.

Sequans Powers Innovative Pinyon Tech LTE Hotspot

February 27, 2014

A very large market for 4G happens to be India but the catch is the population is extremely price-sensitive. In order to provide the country with a solution which maximizes the LTE opportunity for carriers, Pinyon Technologies partnered with Sequans Communications to develop the AirWire LTE WiFi dongle, a unique device designed primarily for home/business connectivity.

Unlike most LTE hotspots, this device is clamshell in nature and packs a relatively huge high-gain antenna. The benefit to carriers is that their towers can be more sparsely located or alternatively the device will use less power.

Elitecore Technologies Speeds Carrier Roll Outs

February 26, 2014

One of the trends at MWC 2014 was that of speed. Time to market for carriers needs to decrease to keep costs down and allow them to be more nimble. One of the companies at the show, Elitecore Technologies recently announced a win which they credit in-part to their ability to help their carrier customer deploy very quickly.

In fact, Vaibhav Mehta the company's spokesperson told me they were able to deploy their integrated policy, charging and revenue management solutions at Lanka Bell in Sri Lanka to help them roll out next-generation services like prepaid-postpaid broadband, broadband data burst (LTE + Wi-Fi), VOIP, WiFi hotspot, ILL, SIP & VPN solutions.

How AT&T Will Become a Software Telco

February 26, 2014

AT&T recently announced their User-Defined Network Cloud designed to allow customers to have more control while giving them the ability to add new network services in almost real-time in an on-demand fashion. You have heard me drone on about how the software telco is going to be the future of the telecom market and AT&T effectively has confirmed this idea throug this announcement regarding their Domain 2.0 supplier program.

The idea here is to bring more innovation into the carrier equipment space by allowing CSPs to run software on top of virtualized instances on OTS servers, allowing them to have the same flexibility inherent in data centers and typical cloud-based solutions.

The idea here is allowing services like WhatsApp and others to be rolled out quickly on the carrier network in order to compete more effectively with OTT players.

Xceed Looks to Boost Wireless Test Productivity

February 26, 2014

A major challenge for wireless operators is managing their networks in a cost-effective manner and one company looking to help with the challenge is Xceed Technologies. I spoke with Bary Azmi CEO & President and Asokan Sethu CTO (pictured right-to-left) of the company to learn more about how their Xynergy Correlation Platform helps carriers.

The pair explained that they take any drive-test equipment data and make it visual and actionable, allowing for business and marketing strategies to be more easily developed. Moreover, the company touts its goal of ensuring the data is seamless across engineering and marketing, allowing these departments to "speak the same language."

SOTI Aims to Make Android More Enterprise Ready

February 25, 2014

Customers deploying mobility solutions have a major challenge in deploying secure solutions to their clients in a BYOD environment. Enterprise Mobility Management is a growing space and at MWC 2014 I had a chance to meet with Carl Rodrigues, President & CEO of Soti and Roula Vrsic, VP of Marketing to learn about how their company helps enterprises maximize their workflow productivity.

Vrsic said enterprises are looking to maximize the number of applications they roll out on mobile. She mentioned how healtchare is going mobile but we may not have envisioned this trend some years ago.

ResponseTek Looks to Boost CSP Service Levels

February 25, 2014

The fundamental question which drives all business is did my customers have a good experience today. The bigger your enterprise gets, the more difficult it is to determine. ResponseTek holds the entire organization accountable on a minute-by-minute basis to ensure customers get the experience they are promised. When this doesn't happen, you get big churn rates - which can be as high as 20% in the telecom sector.

PayPal Unveils Innovative Payment Solutions at MWC 2014

February 25, 2014

One of the more exciting companies at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona has to be PayPal as they announced their payment solutions are built into Samsung Galaxy S5 allowing you to pay with your finger. Also the PayPal app is built into the Galaxy Gear smartwatch and phones - allowing you to check in at retailers at standard check-out locations or using PayPal beacon. This is the first instance of PayPal in the wearable tech space BTW. The way it works is the first time you walk in to a retailer, you give the beacon permission to bill you and after that, they check you out as you walk by.

JDSU Focuses on Cost-Effective Customer Experience Assurance at MWC 2014

February 25, 2014

Carriers are seeing challenges with their operations from a predeployment and test perspective as well as monitoring. Moreover, these CSPs are grappling with network monitoriing costs which are scaling in a linear fashion with traffic growth. Heavy users could be using 10x more data on LTE over 3G for example meaning if something isn't done, monitoring costs will go through the roof. This is why many carriers are going probe-less in their network monitoring departments.

Astellia Shows Carriers at MWC How to Optimize Wireless Spectrum

February 25, 2014

As mobile subscriber growth continues, one challenge will remain - spectrum limitations will be a potential consideration in certain areas and perhaps across a carrier's footprint. This is where Astella comes in, the company helps reduce bottlenecks in mobile networks - specifically the radio frequencies, allowing better customer experience. Rajesh Sharma, President of Global Sales & Customer Operations spent some time explaining how his company's tools can determine where the subscriber is, what they are doing and what their experience is. He beleives this is how his company differs from other players which give you broader measures of network quality.

HP Outlines its NFV Initiatives at MWC 2014

February 25, 2014

Werner Schaefer the VP of Network Functions Virtualization at Hewlett-Packard spent some time with me at Mobile World Congress to discuss the numerous carriers the company is working with to push NFV forward. Here at the show, HP discussed how they will accelerate their move to NFV through its OpenNFV initiative which will speed up deployments of the technology. Schaefer explained there is a huge architechture play at work here - beyond OPEX and CAPEX savings.

Comverse Helps CSPs Master the IP/4G World

February 25, 2014

At MWC 2014 in Barcelona, I had a chance to catch up with Yariv Geller the VP, Coorporate Marketing at Comverse to learn how the company is helping communications service providers migrate to a new world of social, IP and 4G. We followed up on my conversation with the company at the show last year which focused on the company's embracing of social networking. He further discussed the company's integration with Facebook allowing carriers to determine the interests of its users. This is acheived via Comverse ONE and its marketing-oriented policy solution (PCRF) and analytics which enable new monetization paradigms.

Vantrix Helps Boost Video ROI For Carriers

February 25, 2014

With the tremendous growth of video consumption taking place across operator networks there is a move on to improve the quality of what consumers see. One company, Vantrix Corporation was at MWC 2014 to show how this can be done. You might recall I reported on my meeting with the company's Mark Hopper last year. In a conversation today with Don Vendetti and Chris Witeck, I had a chance to learn how this 10-year old company is providing media transcoding and delivery solutions to mobile devices.

DTS Listen Helps Boost ROI on Mobile & Video

February 25, 2014

Two-thirds of mobile bandwidth will be used for media streaming meaning consumers need to be engaged in the content and enjoy it or they will tune out says Geir Skaaden (pictured above) of DTS Listen. The challenge he says is how to keep the quality good with limited bandwidth. He says his company enables big sound for your small screen. He went on to explain the cinema sound you experience is the exact opposite of mobile sound today.

Pondering Big Data Before MWC over Spicy Tuna

February 22, 2014

This weekend I am attending a wedding in Florida just before I take off to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. As luck would have it I was doing a demo with the founder of the new Pele King of Football App who happens to be down here with me. The app is really cool by the way and I hope to cover it in a later post. While doing the demo, my iPad came loose and hit the table.

Why Your Company Needs a Wearable Tech Strategy

February 16, 2014

The wearable future is indeed upon us as it seems every company in tech will have to seriously map out a wearable technology strategy right after they ensure their mobile strategy is working as well as possible. Taco Bell recently announced customers will be able to use a smartphone to buy food at their drive thru locations -other companies have been doing so for a while but for those on the sidelines, this news probably was the push they needed to put 100% behind mobile commerce.

This weekend has some good reading on what some of the major companies in tech are up to. First off we have Google - they recently purchased a huge hanger for blimps which speculators beleive will be used for Project Loon, Google's base station in the sky concept which in theory could provide free, balloon-based wireless access throughout the world.

Nomad ChargeKey is a Must Buy

February 14, 2014

There are few products which I see which are worthy of me carrying with me everywhere but the Nomad CHARGEKEY is one such item as it fits in a wallet and allows you to charge an iOS Lightning device from any USB power source. There isn’t much to say about it beyond you need to have one with you for emergencies. Everyone who has a mobile device should go out and purchase one right now. It even fits on a keychain.

Why I'm Neutral on the Comcast, Time Warner Cable Deal

February 14, 2014


There has been lots of controversy over the merging of two of the largest cable companies Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Concerns range from fear of a monopoly to worse customer service to higher fees and data caps. Jim Edwards at Business Insider for example says you will get screwed if the merger goes through.

Consumers Union thinks if the merger happens, prices will increase and service will suffer.

Cloud Cruiser Azure Support Boosts Cloud Savings

February 10, 2014

Hybrid clouds are gaining momentum causing organizations to question whether they are allocating their compute resources as effectively as possible. One solution to this problem is provided by Cloud Cruiser who announced today they now support Microsoft Azure meaning companies can now compare this platform to Azure Pack and others to determine which is better for their particular applications.

In a conversation with Dave Zabrowski, the Founder & CEO he told me his company’s solution allows an organization to keep workloads in the lowest-cost location. He says, their Hybrid IT Cost Advisor makes recommendations taking into account real estate, energy, the cost of the various hardware and more.

The Coming Urban Drone War

February 3, 2014

Drone technology may be the biggest threat to civilized society over the next twenty years

Picture a speeding criminal on the run who discovers a police cruiser behind it with its lights flashing. The driver rolls down the window and gently lets go of a handheld drone capable of going quite fast and firing a gun. While driving, he uses a smartphone to maneuver the camera-equipped drone next to the tire of the police cruiser where it fires a single shot which incapacitates the vehicle.

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