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Rich Tehrani Thoughts From California

I've been on the road in Vegas and California over the past ten days or so. Here are my thoughts. The Venetian...

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GENBAND Kandy Goes Public at Ruby Skye

Last night, GENBAND hosted a gala premiere at Ruby Skye in San Francisco for its official Kandy launch - the transitional solution...

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Peter's View: The Channel Ecosystem

I read CRAIG'S VIEW: THE NEW CHANNEL ECOSYSTEM by Craig Schlagbaum, channel chief at Comcast. My response was too long for...

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2 Ways to Maximize Your Vendor Relationship

As channel partners, we get hammered all the time to sell vendor's stuff - even if it is unreasonable or doesn't...

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The Changing Definition of the Diameter Signaling Controller and Diameter Routing Agent (DRA)

Next week, I will be speaking at the Signaling Focus Day of LTE Asia.  The signaling focus day obviously will have...

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The Cat Video Index: A Simple View of Data Costs

By: Andy Porter, Product Manager in the Payment, Policy and Charging department at Alcatel-Lucent

The Economist has its famous Big Mac index for comparing buying power across countries. But I wanted an index that focuses on the cost of mobile data usage. That meant I had to find a data-charging equivalent of the Big Mac. I needed an item that crosses cultural boundaries, is universally understood and is available worldwide.

I considered many possibilities. But the answer arrived when I saw my daughter laughing at a video of a cat playing a piano. Obviously, the mobile data equivalent of the Big Mac is the YouTube video. It’s a universally available service that is easily measured in quantitative terms, making it ideal for comparing mobile data costs.

In honor of my daughter, I chose the classic “piano-playing cat” as the baseline video. And by the way, this cat video has been viewed over 34 million times, proving its suitability as a baseline.

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THE SECRET VALUE OF VoLTE - WHAT'S IN IT FOR CONSUMERS

By: Ed Elkin, Director, IP Platforms Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent 

Today’s consumers want faster mobile broadband, and lots of it. That’s the dominant fact shaping Mobile Service Providers’ competitive strategies. So let’s look at what you can offer these valuable subscribers with voice over LTE (VoLTE).

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Smith Micro Extends MDM Standard to Chipset Level

February 28, 2013

Smith Micro's main message at Mobile World Congress 2013 was that wirelss broadband connectivity is going to become easier. Carla Fitzgerald, VP Marketing Wireless & Mobility explained how the company has worked with chipset vendors to get its QuickLink MBIM Middleware installed at the chip level in various computer systems.

She said, "Connectivity originally started as an application where the user was once forced to be an IT administrator." She continued, "But now with standards like MBIM and Smith Micro working with chipset vendors, connectivity will be automatic regardless of operating system."

The benfits for users will be the ability to have backward and forward compatability across not only operating system versions but operating systems as well meaning you could take a USB stick modem and seamlessly have it work regardless of your system. Currently the middleware supports just about anything you would want to use such as Windows 7, Vista, XP, Mac OSX and Linux.

Dialogic Fuels Networks, Augments WebRTC

February 27, 2013

Having covered Dialogic for about two decades I can tell you they were an integral player in the converging world of communications and technology. When you leave a voicemail, call into a call center or benefit from a telecom advancement quite often a Dialogic product is involved by providing an interface and performing some sort of processing behind the scenes.

After rolling up much of the competitive space and other telecom vendors as well, the company found itself in a situation where much of its core business was being eliminated as many of the tasks you once needed proprietary boards to handle could be taken care of through software on ever-more powerful Intel CPUs.

If this challenge wasn't enough of an issue, Asterisk made it easy to have a standardized base of solutions to build on top of when looking to solve the problems you once had to rely exclusively on Dialogic to provide.

In response to this pressure the company has relaunched itself with a new branding campaign titled "Network Fuel" which is designed to remind carriers the company can help it solve a myriad of networking challenges for them.

Napatech Focuses on Analytics at MWC2013

February 27, 2013

 

A few big trends at Mobile World Congress 2013 had to do with helping carriers make money - quite often through analytics. Spending some time with Daniel Barry at Napatech shows his company is certainly in line with trends at the show.

By utilizing an array of hardware adapters, the company uses off-the-shelf servers to enable carriers and the suppliers who they purchase from to build scaleable applications for big data analysis. Such solutions could help operators deliver new services rapidly to respond to an ever-changing market.

Teoco Shows Predictive Geotargeting at MWC2013

February 27, 2013

At Mobile World Congress 2013 Teoco explained how they have carved out a niche in the market focusing on BSS and OSS analytics while taking advantage of geolocation to ensure operators not only serve their customer with greater profitability, they can also capture new revenue models.

The Virginia-based company has provided carrier solutions in the past such as service assurance such as capacity planning, managing network congestion, etc. They also provide network optimization like suggesting what direction a tower should tilt. Finally, margin assurance is a big area of focus - which in one case they say saved a customer half a billion dollars in five years through a variety of analytics projects such as reducing access charges, modifying contracts with suppliers, fixing uneven roaming scenarios, tower location analysis, network routing and other projects.

MATRIX Software: Charging and Policy Solutions for 4G and Shared Plans

February 27, 2013

As carriers move to shared data plans and LTE becomes prevalent, the old way of charging and policy need an upgrade. Enter MATRIXX Software with their real-time charging, policy and analytics solutions which enable today's carriers to keep up with the latest in technology.

Shared plans were championed by Verizon and others and the success of such solutions in increasing ARPU (although it should be pointed out the old ARPU model dissolves when a User has multiple devices) means we can expect many carriers to adopt similar models the world-over.

The MATRIX Charging Engine has been designed from the ground up to give carriers flexibility in how they charge and deliver new bundles to their customers whether they be consumers, SMB or the enterprise.

Mobidia Tackles Bill Shock at MWC2013

February 27, 2013

 

Chris Hill (pictured) the VP of Marketing at Mobidia was euphoric in telling me about the growth of the company's new app My Data Manager which has had 3.5 million downloads in the past 12 months. As bill shock becomes a larger problem which is amplified by the speed of 4G networks, users - especially when roaming, are literally a movie away from being hundreds of dollars above their typical monthly costs if they aren't careful.

The app runs in the background on iOS and Android and monitors app usage and cellular usage anonymously sending data back to the company if the user agrees to it. To date, over one million people have signed up to allow their data to be tracked meaning Mobidia has some incredible information about mobile use trends.

Tangoe Integrates MDM and TEM

February 27, 2013

At Mobile World Congress 2013 Tangoe was discussing the company's integrated solutions which combine TEM and MDM allowing telecom expense management and mobile device management to be handled with a single sign-on and user interface. As Director of Product Marketing Troy Fulton (pictured) explained to me, with 4G networks, bill shock can be quite real as you can be roaming and rapidly go way over your allotment of data.

The companies rTEM solutions can deal with such a scenario in ten minutes he says. Moreover, Tangoe realizes devices have valuable information on them - in fact many large enterprises spend 57% of their IT budgets on mobility, making it quite strategic says Fulton.

Tellabs Outlines Carrier Backhaul Challenge and Opportunity

February 26, 2013

Tellabs had some scary news for operators at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona as they outlined the detachment of user expectations in wireless which follow Moore's Law versus operator cost which is increasing rapidly. This according to Stuart Benington (below) who is a global director at the company. Citing an increased capacity shortage worldwide he went on to say there is an "investment shortfall" ranging between 1.2 petabytes in North America to 9.4 petabytes in the APAC region.

 

Gary Kim recently wrote about the issue as well emphasizing the nine-billion dollar investment deficit carriers will experience over the next few years. The chart above shows the details.

Enter the company's SDN application solutions demonstrated to me by Benington and George Stenitzer (below) who is the VP of Marketing.

Altair Semiconductor's 4G Chip Bet Pays Off

February 26, 2013

As wireless markets globally move to 4G, Altair Semiconductor has targeted this newer network standard with a single-mode line of chips which cost less and use less power than mult-mode solutions which have to grapple with 3G and older standards. As consumer electronics devices become more price-competitive, choosing a streamlined solution means OEMs/ODMs can reduce their costs and pass part of the savings on to customers allowing more inexpensive solutions to be marketed.

The big news for the company at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona was the release of a new chipset for LTE-A, the 3800/6300 FourGee line which can download at 150Mbps and upload at 50 Mbps. The chips support carrier aggregation and a wide frequency band span of 400-3800MHz with 6 concurrent LTE bands for both primary and diversity antennas, enabling global band combinations. There is further support for VoLTE and HD-voice as well as interference cancellation an peripheral interface support for a wide variety of applications from consumer electronics to M2M.

The company hopes it becomes the go to source for connectivity in an "internet of things" world and spokesman Matthew Krieger (pictured) brimmed with excitement about how their solutions are replacing competitors in the market.

Vantrix Optimizes Media Delivery at MWC2013

February 26, 2013

As audio and video traffic over wireless networks has grown exponentially, operators around the world have struggled to deal with managing the challenge. Enter Vantrix who focuses on bandwidth management and more specifically media optimization according to company execs execs at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona.

 

The company showed off its solution running on the QuickFire Networks T-Video line - an offering which deals with ever-more complex video by attacking the problem with a combination of hardware and software. Using Intel 2.3GHz Core i7 processors the T-Video V1100 reduces the footprint of video transcoding solutions by a factor of five using 44 cores per rack unit. As H.265 video becomes prevalent, Mark Hopper, the VP of Product Line Management (pictured) for the company says video systems will have to increase their footprint size by 20-30x to keep up with video which has ten times the complexity factor - referring to the differences between H.265 and H.264 video.

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