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IBM, Mitel, Wearable Tech round out Latest ITEXPO News

Its been an amazing ITEXPO so far - wow. In case you missed some of the happenings from day 1, here are...

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3 Reasons UC Deployments Fail

Just getting ink on a Unified Communications deal is just the beginning. So many deployments go wrong or worse the company...

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Small Cells are Key to Attracting and Keeping SMB and Large Enterprise Customers

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

To say that operators of macro-cellular physical networks are facing all type of challenges these days would be an understatement.  These range from spectrum scarcity issues, competitive pricing pressures, the need to build out LTE networks ASAP as platforms for new services and to meet the insatiable appetite of users for things like streamed and real-time video, getting ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) etc.  They also are busy figuring out how to keep users, particularly enterprise users on their smart devices always and all ways on their networks in an increasingly fickle world where alternatives abound, including for value-added traffic lost to Over-the-Top (OTT) providers.  

It is to keep enterprise customers on the mobile service provider networks for enhanced services that good in-building wireless solutions are seen as both a powerful business tool and a competitive advantage.  This is particularly true when it comes to retaining small-to-medium business customers (SMBs).

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Changing the SIM game

The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models comes with a SIM  that “gives you the flexibility to choose from...

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WebRTC and the Enterprise

I was reading an article titled, “How WebRTC can serve the Enterprise” but when I originally saw the headline I thought...

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Jeff Pulver, Andy Abramson, Craig Walker, Alon Cohen, Mike Tribolet, Andy Voss and Danny Windham at ITEXPO Next Week

Panel to celebrate 20 years of IP communications/VoIP and discuss its future. Next week at the 29th ITEXPO, I get the pleasure...

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Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes on Importance of Bringing Ultra-Broadband to Africa

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

It may be almost cliché to say we live in a global economy, but many times when globalization is discussed the focus is on developed and emerging markets and not that often, if at all, on under-developed regions.  In fact, in the past few years until the recent drop in oil prices, much of the financial community’s and economic development interests has been focused on the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).  This leaves out not just most of South America, but the promising rest of Africa which contains a wealth of rare minerals and other natural resources waiting to be literally and figuratively mined.

However, for most of the African continent countries to move from under-developed status, along with toward political stability and having a educated citizenry, infrastructure needs to be in place which it currently is not. This means not just giving the populace access to clean water and energy, but in a digital world ubiquitous and affordable access to businesses and individuals to high-speed broadband communications is now not just a foundation but a pre-condition that is essential for moving ahead.  

In this regard it is enlightening, refreshing and significant that Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes recently wrote a corporate blog stressing the company’s interest in working with governments and commercial interests to help accelerate economic development across the continent.  This about not just about the Oscar winning movie of several years ago “Out of Africa”, but is also about around, into and across Africa. 

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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.

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