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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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Google, YouTube, Apple and Beats: Music Options Galore

March 6, 2013

There is good and bad news for Pandora today. The streaming radio leader has for the first time found itself in a position to compete for radio advertisers on an equal footing thanks to its inclusion in an influential ratings network run by Strata Marketing. The potential in the streaming radio market has brought new competition.

It's worth noting the news recently broke that Apple has held talks with Beats Electronics LLC about collaboration and/or investment in a music service called Daisy – apparently these talks go back a decade but Steve Jobs wasn’t ready to act when they began. Although Apple hasn’t been announced as an investor in the deal, Daisy has just secured $50M from a group including Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik, Fort Worth billionaire Lee M. Bass, and Australian financier James Packer.

Aruba Networks Shows WiFi Can Boost Retail Traffic

March 5, 2013

Aruba Networks had a few interesting announcements recently at Mobile World Congress 2013 and the first one shows how WiFi can be used as a differentiator and driver of retail traffic. In a deployment with NTT Broadband Platform or NTTBP the companies proudly unveiled the fact they are deploying a joint WIFi solution named Wi-Fi Cloud Services and its being deployed at over 10,000 Seven-Eleven locations as well as other retail locations owned by the mutual parent company in Japan.

This is important because the service includes an offering to consumers which allows them to come to the stores and download and stream music and other content. In this way the WiFi network supports a marketing initiative which makes the stores in-effect more "sticky."

As the content is the "hook" so to speak, it is imperative the quality of the network is up to par.

Apple's Magic Dependent on iWatch Success?

March 5, 2013

At this point we are all aware Apple has a new watch in the works and it is even thought to be released later this year. Pundits have even determined this product could be vastly more profitable for Cupertino than even the much-anticipated Apple TV. They call it a $6B opportunity!

One wonders however how different this product will be from the iPhone.

xCom Global's International Wireless Solution is Fantastic

March 2, 2013

Perhaps the best part of my trip to Barcelona, Spain to visit Mobile World Congress 2013 was not having to worry about wireless broadband the entire time I was there. You see I was sent a review unit of the XCom Global wireless broadband device which allowed me to stay connected the entire time I was in the country without having to worry about roaming charges, overage charges and heaven knows what other sorts of fees and taxes one deals with when leaving their home country.

The company sent me a used Novatel Wirelss MiFi 2372, instructions, an extra battery and a case of adapters for various outlets throughout the world. They gave me a SIM for Spain and I was off and running.

Metaswitch Asks: Are You Ready to be a Software Telco?

March 2, 2013

Virtualization has made the IT world much more efficient and cloud technology allows applications to scale up and down at will in a far more cost-effective manner while requiring little to no CAPEX. There is hardly an industry which hasn't been affected as software and hardware vendors have worked together to make sure they are ready for this new world where a single server can run multiple instances of an application on servers which are flung far around the globe. Even the PBX-world has gotten into the game with many vendors - especially those doing business with Fortune-class companies supporting virtualized software communications servers.

In a recent conversation with Steve Gleave (pictured) and Carol Daniels of Metaswith at Mobile World Congress 2013, I learned the company is taking the move to virtualization seriously and their recent product launch of 19 months ago - the SBC, was developed to run in a such an environment.

IPgallery Helps Carriers Become Social Hub and More

March 1, 2013

Communications service providers once the center of the customer's world have awoken to the new reality - social and apps are the new hub. In fact, Facebook, Twitter and a wave of other social networks have fully overtaken the telephone number as the primary method of communicating among many - especially younger users. Then there are the the OTT VoIP and video vendors such as Skype. The telephone number has gone from being a protected client relationship to an afterthought.

Telenity Enables M2M, Location Based Ads at MWC2013

February 28, 2013

The big news out of Monroe, CT based Telenity at Mobile World Congress 2013 is the company's new M2M and LBS solutions. On the M2M front the company has announced m2mConnect which handles connectivity management of m2m devices. The idea here is to auto-provision, activate, monitor and diagnose M2M solutions in the lowest-cost way possible. As Dr. Gurol Akman, VTO and EVP of R&D explains, M2M customers are very low ARPU and you have to ensure you minimize your support cost.

Comverse Gets Social at MWC2013

February 28, 2013

Comverse showed me their Share solution at Mobile World Congress 2013 which allows carriers to deliver a Facebook app giving the user a portal into their subscriber account. Once you enter the app, you are prompted to enter a phone number and are subsequently sent a text message allowing you to get a code which enables authentication.

At this point you can check your account balance, send notes to customer care and more. The operator benefits as well because they can mine the user likes and preferences allowing them to determine for example if they may be a candidate for a bundle or special offering.

NICE Systems at MWC2013

February 28, 2013

At Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona NICE had a very compelling story regarding its multiple product lines which are generally analytics, security, financial and the contact center. In a conversation with Yaniv Zukerman and Eyal Kirshner I learned the company will be focusing more on its multi-channel analytics solutions across its product lines. Moreover, we will see more cloud solutions from them as well - including in the anti-fraud space. This technology will be rolled out across product lines - and used to allow for CFPB compliance.

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.

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