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

How to Get AT&T to Fund Your IoT Idea

IoT and M2M developers - here is some exciting news.It Isn't that often that you can develop something for what is supposed...

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Access is Still Pretty Good

At all the shows, it is cloud this and cloud that - a bunch of doom and gloom on legacy telecom....

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Mobile fax? Why do you need that?

Fax is an enduring technology. While you may think that fax is declining, some reports show that the market is actually...

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We ask the experts: How can exceptional QoE be achieved in VoLTE networks?

By: Jean Jones, Director, Wireless Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

What does voice over LTE (VoLTE) offer your subscribers? Better voice quality, including HD voice. Rich communications with messaging and video. And whatever inventive applications you choose to introduce. In other words, VoLTE can provide a superior quality of experience (QoE) for subscribers and give you a competitive edge — particularly when your service operates at its best. 

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In my last blog[CCE1] , our experts explained why an end-to-end strategy is the key to maintaining peak VoLTE performance. Now we’ll look at how this strategy gets put into practice to optimize real-world service offerings. The information here is based on interviews with Luis Venerio who works with our VoLTE Readiness Services team. And his observations come straight from his experience on VoLTE deployments that serve millions of subscribers.

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Wearable Tech Expo 2014 Kicking off in NYC

My team is at the Jacob Javits Center setting up for Wearable Tech Expo 2014 which will take place Wednesday and Thursday...

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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #7

Tsahi Levent-Levi’s white paper, “Seven Reasons for WebRTC Server-Side Processing,” details a variety of WebRTC-related scenarios that necessitate a media server....

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How signaling spikes affect networks: 3 real-world examples

By: Josee Loudiadis, Director of Network Intelligence, Alcatel-Lucent

Data and signaling growth are usually good news for network operators, since growth often translates into higher revenues. But when growth is averaged over a month or quarter, the daily highs and lows of network activity are smoothed out. And signaling spikes remain hidden within the averages. These spikes can overwhelm available signaling capacity, which impairs the customer experience, as well as the operator’s reputation.

What happens when a spike occurs? Typically, a CPU Overload alarm appears on various mobile nodes. And the Network Operations Center (NOC) immediately starts praying that the burst is short-lived and doesn’t go over maximum peak-rate capacity. Because when that happens, all consumers are denied service access. Then, the process of identifying the source of the problem begins. This can be arduous, because it often involves applications completely out of NOC control. And the issue can’t be resolved easily without solid network analytics that enables engagement with application and device developers.

That’s the reason signaling information is a crucial part of the Alcatel-Lucent Mobile Apps Rankings report and why LTE World 2014 devotes an entire pre-conference day to the topic. It’s also why this blog offers a closer look at how some real-world disruptive signaling spikes got started — and were finally resolved.

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MSN Video Downloads

March 31, 2005

If you are Microsoft and you see what Apple has going on with the iTunes – some estimates say this service will generate billions in the next few years – you too will look for your cash cow. What if Microsoft were to one up Apple and come up with a video download service? But forget the per clip pricing you might expect from Apple… Microsoft has already taken that opportunity away by pricing its service a flat $19.95/year.

The MSN Video Downloads service draws on content from Microsoft partners such as CinemaNow, MSNBC.com, and TiVo, allowing subscribers to watch video on their smart phones, Pocket PCs, and Portable Media Centers reports PC Pro

Since the launch of the Microsoft Windows Mobile-based Portable Media Center last fall, more than 20 new content partners, including CinemaNow Inc., MLB.com, MSNBC.com, MSN Music, MTV Networks Music, Napster Inc., SnapStream Media Inc. and TiVo Inc., have agreed to make video available online specifically formatted for Windows Mobile-based multimedia devices.

The service requires Windows XP and Internet Explorer 5 or higher on the user's PC and Windows Media Player 10 and up. Users simply log onto the MSN download site, using a traditional laptop or desktop computer.





GoDaddy E-Mail

March 30, 2005

I just received this e-mail and thought it worth sharing.

 

Dear Valued Go Daddy Customer,

Today I have the unfortunate responsibility of informing you that there has been a decision made by bureaucrats of a Federal agency that takes away your right to privacy as guaranteed by the United States Constitution.

This decision was unilaterally made by the National Telecommunications and Information Association ("NTIA") www.ntia.doc.gov without hearings that would determine the impact on those affected, and delivered without notice — in short, the NTIA decision was made without due process of any kind. This is exactly how our government is not supposed to work.

The effect of this decision is to disallow new private domain name registrations on .US domain names.





Not So Dumb Terminal

March 30, 2005

The cyclical nature of the computer market is intriguing. When I first got my engineering degree from UCONN, the computer than most of the school was an IBM system 360-370 and we had to program on an OS called MVS and use dumb terminals. My memories are a bit cloudy – similar to how some repress pain or anguish. As I write this article I get that feeling you get when you have that dream – you know the one, where you are running to get to a final but haven’t been to class all semester so you don’t know where it is.

The only thing worse than how you feel when you wake up from such a dream is using an IBM mainframe in batch processing mode.

Grokster vs. RIAA

March 30, 2005

Here is a good story on the ramifications of the Grokster, Kazaa and RIAA case. The issue at hand is if you sue inventors that produce products that can be used for illegal purposes, who will innovate? After all, the Xerox machine and iPOD can be used to break laws as well -- does that mean these products should be outlawed or Steve Jobs should be thrown in jail when an iPOD is used to steal a song?

Here is an excerpt:

"Copyright infringement is the only commercially significant use of file sharing," said Donald B. Verrilli Jr. an attorney for the entertainment industry. Acting Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, representing the government, said Grokster and its brethren were being allowed to "build a business model out of infringement."

Richard G. Taranto, arguing for the file-sharing companies, responded that the technology is used extensively for legal swapping of files and that the firms have no way of knowing when their users use the software illegally.

The entertainment industry wants the Sony precedent to allow for liability when the primary use of the product or service is illegal, or when the provider refuses to take steps to try to stem potential piracy.
But those notions provoked skepticism and sharp questioning from several justices, who wondered how inventors could know whether many people might use their products for illicit purposes.
"How do we know in advance on your test" whether the inventor is safe to go forward?









Juniper Buys Kagoor

March 30, 2005

Juniper just picked up session border controller company Kagoor Networks. In brief talks with company representatives I learned the two companies have similar customers and partners and don’t compete so the synergy was natural. There are many session border controllers on the market and one wonders if this move will lead to more consolidation or bring new competitors into the market.

Will competing with Juniper make it more difficult or less to be in the session border controller space? I hear that virtually all other companies selling SBCs are doing well so the market seems to have lots of life left in it.

WSJ on VoIP

March 30, 2005

There is an interesting VoIP article in the Wall Street Journal today that discusses the increased competition in the market and how the players may be able to find areas where they can specialize in. James Tobin the vp and general manager of advanced voice services at AOL sees VoIP as a reason for customers to move to broadband. This is something Niklas Zennström, Skype CEO and co-founder said to me in a recent interview as well.

The article then mentions that the battle will boil down to the relationships the existing phone companies have with customers today versus the ability of cable companies to bundle their services into integrated packages.

The article ends on the note I mentioned above and that is that VoIP providers will have to learn to differentiate themselves.

"The market is still so new, we'll be able to coexist," Mr. Tobin said. "Time Warner has 500 magazines but you wouldn't say that they're competing with each other; it also has two movie studios but they do different things."



I agree with this article wholeheartedly.





Telecommuting Tax

March 30, 2005

A pretty important case was just decided on in New York according to the Wall Street Journal. The New York Court of Appeals said computer programmer Thomas Huckaby, who lives in Nashville, Tenn., owed New York income tax for his full salary, not just the time he spent working at his employer's New York offices.

Mr. Huckaby, whose home state doesn't have an income tax, paid New York state tax on about 25% of his income over two years for the time he spent working there for the National Organization of Industrial Trade Unions.

Mr. Huckaby's attorney, Peter Faber, said the case is one of the first of its kind involving the income-tax liability of a telecommuter. He said he may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court because most states base income-tax liability on the residence of the taxpayer.

Marc Violette, spokesman for state Assistant Solicitor General Julie Mereson, said, "New York provides the job, New York provides the professional opportunity, and New York should be able to tax that income, even if the employee for his own convenience was working outside of New York state."

This case has dramatic implications for telecommuters everywhere and could potentially reduce the talent pool that companies in big cities have access to.







Alpha Telecom

March 29, 2005

Alpha-Telecom promises to get your company to VoIP without the forklift. Whether you are on Centrex or a Nortel or Avaya PBX, you can minimize you initial costs. The company’s Arion series of VoIP gateways migrate an enterprise's legacy telephones into the service provider's system, enabling the carrier to offer Centrex features over its IP backbone and to seamlessly provision, configure and manage VoIP service without user intervention; the service provider merely ships the Arion units to the customer for plug-and-play attachment to individual phones by the enterprise's IT department or by the users themselves. Your IT department can also deploy an Alpha Telecom element management system (EMS) for provisioning, mass configuration, troubleshooting and mass upgrades.

Tom Keating on Vonage

March 29, 2005

Tom’s Vonage blog is sure to jog your memory of that catchy Vonage jingle. While you listen you can learn about Vonage’s use of a direct mail newsletter to drive customer affinity and sell more product. If for no other reason than to wake service providers up, I am glad Jeff Citron is at the head of this company. What was the most interesting marketing ILECS have done?

Carol Mattey Joins Deloitte

March 29, 2005

Deloitte & Touche today named Carol Mattey a director in regulatory consulting practice for technology, media & telecommunications industry. This is the second Deloitte blog entry today

Ms. Mattey will provide a comprehensive range of consulting and regulatory compliance services to clients in Deloitte’s TMT practice, helping them to anticipate and address strategic and operational risks in the regulatory arena.

Prior to joining Deloitte & Touche, Ms. Mattey was the deputy chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau. She previously served as chief of the FCC’s Policy and Program Planning Division, Common Carrier Bureau. Prior to her 10 years with the FCC, she was with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration within the U.S.



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