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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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California Lawmakers Plunge Some Transactions into 3rd World

California has come up with a law that hurts the very people it says it is protecting by making it difficult to...

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Globys Uses the Power of Social to Boost Carrier Sales

You may recall a commercial for Faberge Organic shampoo from decades back where the person using the shampoo said when you...

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The Expo News Update

Datapipe, a global managed IT provider, acquired Layered Tech to add to its US federal government business. Layered Tech adds security...

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Practical and Smart IMS

Last week, I wrote about the drivers behind the recent increase in IP multimedia system (IMS) deployments. As communication service providers...

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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.



AudioCodes Announcements

March 29, 2005

AudioCodes is announcing lots of new products including the Mediant 1000 VoIP Media Gateway which will fit in enterprise and service provider markets quite nicely. Think of this as the Bud Light (meant respectfully of course) of media gateway as it is cost-effective and compact. Having only seen the product briefly I am not in a position to opine on whether it tastes great or is less filling but it does take less rack space which is a plus in many of today’s enterprises.

The IP-PX companies really like this product because it allows them to add a Pentium CPU blade making an IP-PBX and Gateway combo. Resellers like the product as well because the can plug in a T1 or analog tray.

MCI Chooses Verizon

March 29, 2005

Xirrus Launch

March 29, 2005

With WiFi Growing so quickly, it was inevitable that companies would start to focus on the needs of the larger WiFi installations. A new company called Xirrus just launched their company and products in the high-density WiFi market.

Their WLAN array integrates a WLAN switch and 16 access points into a single device delivering gigabit class performance at an aggressive price point.

Here are some interesting features of this solution:

  • The Array Controller featuring a 2 Gbps switching fabric, controlling the packet flows of the Integrated Access Points and providing complete spectrum management;
  • A high-gain directionalized antenna system delivering increased rate and range in all directions;
  • Tri-mode 802.11 a/b/g support for existing and emerging mobile devices.

·         16x Greater Capacity: The WLAN Array introduces the industry’s first Gigabit-class Wi-Fi capacity, delivering up to 864 megabits of RF bandwidth to over 1000 clients;

·         4x Greater Coverage: The WLAN Array features a high gain multi-sector antenna system that increases rate and range in all directions yielding four times the coverage area of competing architectures;

  • 33% Lower Cost: Using less equipment to support more users, traffic and advanced applications than current architectures, the WLAN Array simplifies network design and lowers the costs of deploying and maintaining Wireless LANs. 

Xirrus offers a complete family of WLAN Arrays in 16 (XS-3900), 8 (XS-3700) and 4 (XS-3500) Integrated Access Point configurations to maximize deployment options.

Qwest, MCI, and Verizon

March 29, 2005

SPIRIT Supports Java

March 29, 2005

Voice Engine for Multi-Point IP Conferencing now Runs on Java

Spirit claims that the voice quality will not be affected, even if dozens of users participate in a conference.

Features:

  • Any user can join an IP conference from any remote location with limited network access, i.e. Internet cafe or other public Internet access point with download restrictions.
  • Any user can connect to voice mail or another voice stream server (including RTSP and other media broadcast servers) from a remote location with limited network access. All features are accessible from the Web and provide maximum Web privacy.
  • To join a conference user simply clicks on the conference URL in the invitation e-mail (if any) or just types it in the browser address toolbar.
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