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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

VoLTE Versus WebRTC: I didn't know it was a battle

When I talk to customers, they often ask about how WebRTC compares to voice over LTE (VoLTE), and which technology “will...

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These 3 Do Everything Together

At a few shows, including the latest ITEXPO, the 3 big cablecos - TWC, Comcast and Charter - share a booth....

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Modems? In This Day and Age?

Not so many years ago, the only way to connect to the Internet was via a modem. You would use your...

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How to Speed Small Cell Site Acquisition on a Large Scale

By: Jean Jones, Director, Wireless Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

Outdoor small cells are now widely recognized as a great solution for expanding mobile capacity and coverage. And their use is expected to grow sevenfold by 2018.[1] So here’s the next big question: How can you put these cells where they’re needed, faster and at lower cost?

Maybe you’ve already encountered deployment issues, including difficulties with small cell site acquisition. According to an Informa Telecoms & Media survey, nearly 60% of mobile operators say that deployment problems are their biggest small cell challenge.[2] In other words, operators’ top concerns are not about small cell technologies or products. Instead, they’re about the practical aspects of getting these cells up and running on light posts, utility poles, bus stops, buildings and other street locations.

This blog looks at a collaborative approach that makes these deployment processes faster and easier. Alcatel-Lucent adopted these methods for our Metro Cell Express Site Certification Program. And we’re discussing them here, because this business model earned a top award in the small cell innovation leadership category.

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HumansFirst ColdSmoke Lets You Buy with your Smartphone

While speech-technology has come a long way, we still haven’t entered the world of Star Trek reruns where the computer can do...

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Structural Separation via REIT Equals Zero Taxes

Windstream got the endorsement of the IRS to transfer their assets - copper and fiber plant - to a REIT and...

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Connected Cars as an Everyday Lifestyle

By: Ellis Lindsay, General Manager, Customer Experience Solutions, Alcatel-Lucent 

I drive to work and back home in my car every day. I tune in to a radio station for traffic news and upcoming events nearby. Like many of you I’m sure, this is a typical everyday activity. And like never before, we are connected to our home, our families, our phones, our work and our friends in a network that seems to be always on. Shouldn’t we be in a lifestyle where we are consistently connected to the everyday activities in our lives? Well, let me introduce you to the world of Connected Cars. Full Story »

Jabra Sport Wireless+ Review

October 14, 2013

It’s truly amazing how many people still use “legacy” corded headphones when the bluetooth variety has gotten so good. Case in point is the new Jabra Sport Wireless+ headset. I was immediately familiar with this headset as it is the new version of the Jabra Sport Wireless headphones which I have used for at least 1,000 hours.

The Problem is Not Twitter, It's That Engineering is Nerdy

October 14, 2013

There have been many stories circulating about the lack of women at tech companies and especially in the leadership ranks. Recently Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was beat up severely by academic Vivek Wadhwa for not having enough women, blacks or Hispanics on the board of the company as it prepares to go public. He further says that Silicon Valley is a boy’s club.



Let’s explore this idea for a moment.

NFV Roadmaps Are Affecting Carrier Purchases Now

October 12, 2013

The view from Asia

I had the chance to catch up with a top exec at a major Asian telecom equipment manufacturer and he told me customers are asking for NFV and they are busy working with a number of carriers in Europe to provide suitable solutions. This exec thinks that NFV will have the greatest impact in the gateway space. He went on to say he doesn’t believe the technology will have as much impact beyond the gateway because interoperability may become a problem – meaning whose throat is there to choke if things don’t work properly?

SimpleSignal and gUnify Brings Lync-Like Power to Google Apps

October 12, 2013

I’ve had a few conversations recently with analysts and resellers about how Microsoft Lync is getting trials in many of the largest global corporations and this has traditional telecom equipment providers getting nervous. From these discussions you might surmise that the future of telecom is going to be dominated by Redmond. We know however there is also a major competing force in the market… Cloud-based services. Moreover, Microsoft’s dominance as an operating system seems to be coming to an end due to the onslaught of Android, iOS and Chromebooks.

Vonage buys Vocalocity: Better Late Than Never

October 10, 2013

For a good part of this past decade businesses have been moving rapidly to cloud-based communications… Especially small business. Bryan Martin, 8x8 CEO – his company is one of the leaders in the hosted VoIP space, told me in 2009 – around the time of the financial crisis that the situation was good for his business.

While the business market kept improving, the consumer space got tougher as competition from Skype and MagicJack rapidly reduced margins in the space.

It has always been odd to me that Vonage ignored the business market. The branding of the company made so much sense to apply to small and medium size telecom purchases.

IBM: Digital Darwinism May Kill You

October 8, 2013

In a candid IBM interview, Carl Ford of Crossfire Media spoke with Blair Reeves who said companies should spend less time on advertising and worrying about various channels and instead focus more on putting customers at the center of their business. He went on to explain that everything is part of big data – there is so much data going out there not only on the marketing side but related to how people are buying and selling he said. Another interesting point was this coupled with social information can be used by companies to serve their customers better.

Some types of data he mentioned are as follows:

  • What customers create: what they post to Facebook about their likes and dislikes
  • What/where/how customers buy and what they do with their purchases
  • How do they engage with brands and companies – through stores, kiosks, contact centers, mobile apps, etc

What he said was these are not discrete experiences, they are part of a larger omnichannel experience.

Amazing Self-Organizing Robots from MIT

October 7, 2013

Wow - it feels like you are looking at the future when you watch these self-organizing robots designed by MIT researchers work together to form different shapes. Each M-block is a marvel of technology - about the size of a few ice cubes, they contain a process motor controller, flywheel, braking mechanism, electronics, radio, battery and numerous magnets.

Moreover, these modular robots are unique because they are able to jump - its truly fascinating to watch them jump as they connect with one another while making different shapes - thanks to angular momentum.

If you start to think about these devices getting smaller - it may not be long before these robots can form a number of objects which you may need in your home like a stepping stool, temporary nightstand and more. One wonders how this technology may actually evolve and somehow merge with 3D printing tech to allow the creation of even more temporary objects.



The bottom line is the future seems to be getting closer by the day and self-organizing robots may be a huge field which changes the way we think about many of the fixed objects we rely on today.







Silk Road: Why Bitcoin Value has Dropped 20% Today

October 2, 2013

If you haven’t heard, the value of Bitcoins has plummeted by 20% so far today because the Silk Road website has been shut down according to sources who also say the founder of the site has been recently arrested. Silk Road has become an underground site which allows illegal transactions which often involve Bitcoins. The value of the virtual currency has decreased potentially because investors fear future government regulation of Bitcoins and other online currencies.

Ross William Ulbricht, a 29-year-old graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Materials Science and Engineering known by the online alias “Dread Pirate Roberts,” was in fact arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation yesterday for his alleged involvement in the Silk Road online marketplace, according to court papers published this week.

Does Microsoft Need to Fire Bill Gates?

October 2, 2013

Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates are synonymous with Microsoft’s management and for many years the duo did a fantastic job creating value for customers, shareholders and employees. While the company is far from in trouble, possessing huge amounts of cash and cash flow, it has flopped in many areas which they saw as important. Phones and tablets are a few of these spaces and you may want to add search in as well. Unfortunately these are the products of the future.

Thanks PopSci: Web Page Integration may be the next Social Frontier?

September 30, 2013

You may have heard that Popular Science has shut down its comments citing studies which show comments can influence the readers perception of a story.

Specifically:

Another, similarly designed study found that just firmly worded (but not uncivil) disagreements between commenters impacted readers' perception of science. If you carry out those results to their logical end--commenters shape public opinion; public opinion shapes public policy; public policy shapes how and whether and what research gets funded--you start to see why we feel compelled to hit the "off" switch.

They go on by explaining there are still lots of ways to interact with the company – social media, etc. Response from readers was mixed and to me it seems that shutting down comments is a bit like soft-censorship; people will still comment on the content but much of it will be hidden from readers.

This is echoed by a commenter, jasonthibeault who says:

Okay, so I am going to take a little different stance.

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