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

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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ITEXPO will help Explain the Coming Cloud Upgrade

The cloud is changing how technology is bought, sold and used. The very economics of business have shifted as a result. When...

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WebRTC Expo San Jose 2014 Interviews

Are you interested in WebRTC but yet you missed the largest event in the space, WebRTC Expo a few months back in...

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ZipWhip: What if Every Phone Number Could Text?

November 12, 2013

Back in 2005, yes, 2005 I wondered when WiFi phones would allow text messaging – I suggested there was an opportunity for companies to take advantage of the merging of the VoIP and consumer electronics spaces. Of course eight years later the world is a different place. The iPhone was two years from being introduced back then, Blackberry was in the early days of becoming king of the smartphone market and Microsoft and Nokia were strong players. Now Apple and Google are dominant and the others mentioned above are scrambling.

Amazon and Obamacare Call Center News

November 11, 2013

I’d like to thank the many hundreds of you who registered for the call center webinar I moderated today about Amazon’s Mayday button. It was truly great and I was blown away by how the companies (many in the Fortune 500) attending the webinar were so far ahead of the curve compared with typical organizations. For example when asked how many companies were looking to transform customer service from a necessary function for resolving customer problems into a value-generating service that is a strategic differentiators in the market, a whopping 83% responded in the affirmative. Wow!

Cisco says NFV to be a Revolution

November 5, 2013

Shocking words from an equipment provider?

Jared Headley who heads up Cisco’s service provider mobility marketing said to me recently, “We still believe the best way to simplify service delivery is to virtualize it, put it on COTS and really drive virtualized service chaining instead of physical plug-in router blade chaining for delivering services across the mobile network.” He continued to say this will drive costs down 40-45% in the first year while changing service delivery speed from months to weeks. He called this a revolution over the next couple of years.

He went on to say although this is generally considered “boring” stuff because it is back-end related but he emphasized this is what makes operators more agile.

Texting While Driving Laws Don't Work

November 4, 2013





Let me start by saying texting-while-driving is dangerous yet it is something many continue to do. Moreover, government legislators who try to stop bad behavior, as usual think not of the unintended consequences of their actions. Instead they feel good about themselves when they pass laws - even when these regulations don't work.

Here is the challenge... People ideally text by placing their phones high-up above the steering wheel so they can see their device and the road at the same time.





Vertu Rolls Out "Affordable" Constellation

October 31, 2013

Titanium, sapphire and calfskin are what you need to make the most expensive phones in the world according to Vertu who should know as this is what they produce. Each phone is assembled by hand – there are no production lines and it takes about two hours per device. Each craftsman places their name on the inside of the phone and it is not uncommon for customers to come meet them in person. This by the way is not unlike what happens in the supercar world where the craftsman who makes engines for the Nissan GT-R will also place his name on the engine.

FAA Finally Loosens Gadget Rules on Planes

October 31, 2013

The FAA will allow the use of readers and games throughout flights although smartphone and tablet use seem to be at the discretion of the airlines. In all cases it will still be prohibited to connect to the internet below 10,000 feet. As is the case now, voice calls will not be allowed.

Congratulations to ETSI on its NFV Specifications

October 16, 2013

ETSI recently released NFV specifications which show how carriers of the future will be able to work together more closely to serve the needs of customers by sharing resources in a secure manner while allowing users to have more responsive broadband service. In addition, these documents show how communications service providers will more cost-effectively compete with new over-the-top (OTT) entrants who are cannibalizing their business in-part thanks to the same low-cost software-based infrastructure NFV hopes to recreate.

Once locked into hardware which was expensive, not only to purchase but to power, thanks to NFV, a carrier can deploy a new service on a very limited scale and add servers as needed to grow or simply scale in the cloud.

The ultimate goal of NFV or network functions virtualization is in-fact to allow carriers to take advantage of the technology which has allowed the cloud revolution to happen - namely virtualization, open APIs and powerful, low-cost servers.

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?

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