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

10 Reasons why CurrentC Will Lose the Mobile Payment War

By now, most of us have heard that retailers such as CVS allowed NFC-based payments for a few days via Apple Pay...

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Why E-Mail Sucks and How to Make it Smarter

Many of us live in email. I get hundreds per day and I need almost every message. I am also a source...

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The Contact Center's Seemingly Oxymoronic Play: How to Decrease Costs Yet Improve Customer Service

I was recently asked to talk to some of our many contact center customers about the new contact center trends.  It...

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The New Facet of Customer Experience Management - Field Service 2.0

By: Rhodo Odysseos, Product/Solution Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent, and Jess Verbruggen, Motive Integrated Marketing Assistant, Alcatel-Lucent

Traditionally, communications service providers (CSPs) have treated the field service aspect of their organization as a cost center. Field technicians engaged in maintenance activities were simply a part of the cost of doing business.  More recently, the communications industry in general and the field service arena in particular, has been disrupted by immense changes in the customer profile, service expectations, and behaviors.

Field service is often the only face of the company that a customer will ever see, so it’s not a surprise that CSPs are striving to make a positive impact on customers in this realm. Achieving full potential in field service saves CSPs a lot of time and money. Productivity and efficiency reviews targeted at field service operations, done correctly, can reinforce other areas of the business by increasing customer satisfaction and improving safety and quality. 

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Amazon Fire Phone Should be a Laptop

I’ve written a lot of headlines in my life but this one is among the oddest. Why on earth does a phone...

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Apple Pay Vs. Google Wallet

Replacing credit cards can likely only be done if the new system is dead-easy to use and it moreover has to be...

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Signaling Offers Great Differentiation for Mobile Value-Added Service Offerings

We’ve all heard that some Value Added Services (VAS) revenue such as Short Message Service (SMS) are starting to decline in...

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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.

MWC 2013 Day One Trends

February 26, 2013

After a day of meetings there are some strong takeaways from the first day of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Interestingly devices played a large and yet small factor in my analysis. First off The Sony Xperia Z tablet was shown off here but crowds were lackluster. In examining the device I was amazed at how thin and light it was - it seemed like a larger iPad Mini in terms of weight and the feeling in the hands.

Ciena Launches New Services Play

February 25, 2013

Ciena has some exciting news when it comes to the world of service provider networks. We know the company as an equipment provider which has had years in the business but now they have branched out from not only upgrading networks but businesses. Chuck Kaplan VP Industry Marketing (pictured above) spent some time with me at Mobile World Congress 2013 explaining how his company has spent years helping customers not just spend money on their solutions but make it as well through a new consulting initiative.

The first step in the process is to redefine carrier services for a new world where data usage has tremendous spikes which are caused by things like cloud service utilization.

Stoke GameChanger Improves Stadium Broadband Delivery

February 25, 2013

Dan McBride VP Marketing Stoke

 

Mobile and WiFi gateway solution provider Stoke recently launched at Mobile World Congress 2013 a new solution which is targeted at improving the customer experience at stadiums and metropolitan areas. The company's GameChanger solution in partnership with SOLiD Technologies brings together management, WiFi and fiber installation.

The idea is to allow a stadium to be WiFi and carrier agnostic meaning in a perfect world every customer will be able to come to a stadium and have coverage from their own provider.

Volubill Updates Charging and Policy Solutions at MWC2013

February 25, 2013

Volubill the "converged charging and policy" company brought their solutions up to date at Mobile World Congress 2013 with the introduction of 4G LTE solutions. One of the interesting differentiators the company provides is allowing carriers to personalize virtually anything. For example, customer Orange Madagascar recently launched 18 new packages and will soon launch another 14. Each took 15 minutes to configure, test and deploy.

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