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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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The Expanding Channel Programs

Not only do I see more cloud service providers looking to the channel for sales, I see other channel programs expanding....

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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #6

In a recent blog about the current state of WebRTC, I mentioned that readers should check out an excellent white paper...

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The Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation: It's Not All About Data- Mobile Voice and Messaging Share Plans Offer Plenty of Appeal

Alcatel-Lucent’s Rich Crowe continues the Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation blog series by examining the degree to which consumers are interested in share plans that include unlimited voice and messaging but don’t include data.

The last Six Degrees blog explored consumer attitudes toward two different mobile share plan options: sharing data only and sharing voice, messaging and data. This blog will explore attitudes toward a 3rd option: sharing unlimited voice and messaging — but not data — across multiple devices or subscribers.

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200G Optical Networks: What you need to know

By: Earl Kennedy, IP Transport Product Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

Optical network operators have already made the move to 100G. But skyrocketing bandwidth demand means many are already pondering what’s next. With a 200G optical solution hitting the market, you probably have questions about when to move to 200G optical – and what you need to know when you make that move.

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Zocalo: Amazon Just Fired a Gun at Microsoft, Oracle and Dropbox

Amazon has made its name in ecommerce and cloud but its next frontier may be productivity applications and in the process, they...

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Alcatel-Lucent in Action: a year of progress and look to the future

Sustainability, Alcatel-Lucent

Alcatel-Lucent in Action” is the story of one year of action to transform our company and position it for innovation and growth.

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Apple's Ridiculous Patent Claims Against Samsung Destroyed!

December 9, 2011

Just had an awesome read on the Samsung vs. Apple patent battles and the ridiculousness of it all. For instance, the following is a list of alternative design options that Apple thought Samsung should have considered to not infringe on their patents. First off, the smartphone list that Apple provided, with my comments italicized:
  • Front surface that isn't black.

Funny Fortune Cookie Only a Techie Nerd Could Love

December 8, 2011

Every once in awhile I get a funny fortune cookie with my Chinese food, but this one takes the cake. I've yet to see a fortune cookie poke fun at technology. It's usually about the future, your health, your job, or mundane daily life stuff. But not today...

Skype Releases Click-to-Call Update

December 8, 2011

Today, Skype released an update to Skype Click to Call for Windows which includes support for Firefox 9 and Chrome 16, as well as performance improvements in Internet Explorer and Chrome. It used to slow my PC browser down years ago, so I've gotten in the happen of disabling it after each Skype install. Maybe it's better now.

Still, personally I hate the Skype click-to-call feature, which automatically changes numbers in websites into clickable Skype links with (typically) an American flag next to it. I find it annoying since I often need to copy/paste something from the website and it grabs all the underlying Skype HTML gobbledygook code that I then have to clean up.

Jabra PRO 900 Series Unveiled

December 6, 2011

Today, Jabra launched the Jabra PRO 900 series, which includes two headset models - the Jabra PRO 920 (base unit wired to desk phone + headset is wireless) and the Jabra PRO 930 (base unit wired to PC [USB] + wireless headset). Jabra stated these are entry-level wireless headsets with a retail price of $199 is aimed at companies that cannot afford typically expensive wireless headsets, so they designed these headsets for this market.

I'm not sure $199 is exactly inexpensive, but I'd have to see how much competing products from Plantronics and others cost. In any event, they are targeting the Jabra PRO 930 for companies implementing Unified Communications and leveraging PC-based telephony, i.e. a SIP softphone, Cisco softphone, etc. 

Microsoft upgrades Xbox Live But Rumored Skype Integration is False

December 5, 2011

The upcoming Metro update to Microsoft’s Xbox, will start to be pushed down to your Xbox console some time this week, but alas it doesn't appear to contain the rumored Skype integration, which several rumors hinted at a Fall release. Well it's winter and the latest release doesn't appear to contain Skype integration with Xbox live. At least that is my assumption from reading the various news articles on the latest Xbox Dashboard, including Microsoft's official announcement, which make no mention of any Skype integration.

TMC Heads to Boston for Video Interviews of Industry Companies

November 30, 2011


Some important TMC corporate news I wanted to share. TMC is hosting TMC’s Special Executive Editorial Event in Boston, MA next week. This event takes place at the LIBERTY HOTEL on WEDNESDAY, DEC 7th and THURSDAY, DEC 8th.

The purpose of this event is to have high-level discussions with senior members of TMC’s editorial and management team on your company’s growth and progress and to learn more about any news, announcements or new initiatives you may have as we move into 2012. Definitely a good opportunity to meet TMC's editors and find out what specific topics interest our editorial team for news coverage or to get on their radar for interesting news you have coming soon.


iMainGo XP Portable Stereo Speaker & Case for iPad Review

November 29, 2011


Portable Sound Labs has a cool new product called the iMainGo XP (model: 11BWB04), which is a portable stereo speaker for the iPad but also doubles as a protective case. I wrote about them earlier this month and asked for a review unit to check out, which they promptly sent to me. Here's a photo of the iMainGo XP sitting on a stand on my desk:


As I mentioned in my previous article, "I'd be curious how this product sounds with VoIP applications, such as Skype. With the iPad's decent hardware echo cancellation and many VoIP softphone clients sporting software-based echo cancellation, it might be nice to have beefy speakers with lots of bass and HD audio support to carry the full tonal quality of the remote speaker."

Unfortunately, once you connect the headset jack into the iMainGo XP, the iPad's built-in microphone is disabled and the iMainGoXP doesn't have an embedded microphone.





Localphone Offers Free Calling Thanksgiving Promo for 4 Days

November 23, 2011


For four days (from 5am GMT Thurs 24th to 5am GMT Mon 28th) Localphone, a 4 year old company based in Sheffield, UK, is offering free calls to the U.S., no strings attached. Truphone offered a similar promo in 2009. A Localphone rep told me, "Customers can call for as long as they want and to as many people as they want and we won't charge them a penny. This offer is open to all Localphone customers, new and old.

Samsung Mocks Apple Fanboys in Hilarious Galaxy S II Ad

November 23, 2011


Business Insider's Steve Kovach has an interesting interview with Todd Pendleton, Samsung's Chief Marketing Officer, and Brian Wallace, Samsung's VP of Strategic Marketing, on a new ad campaign that mocks Apple fanboys and promotes Samsung's top-of-the-line Galaxy S II Android phone. Steve writes:
I mostly use Apple gear, including an iPhone, and even I thought the ad was clever. It's an interesting take on a smartphone campaign. Instead of touting specs and features, Samsung is going right for Apple's jugular, mocking the fanboy culture while saying "hey, there are other great smartphones out there too." It's a ballsy move.


Just in Time for Christmas, Xbox Live Gets an Update

November 22, 2011


Just in time for Christmas, Microsoft is releasing a new update for Xbox Live, which surely will only enhance the frenetic ripping of Christmas wrapping paper that mom and dad Santa and his elves lovingly wrapped. According to Major Nelson new features include:

  • New personal and social features including Cloud Storage for Game Saves and LIVE Profile
  • Beacons and Facebook Sharing
  • Enhanced Family Settings
  • Integrated voice and gesture controls across the dashboard and in apps
  • Bing voice search (Available this year in the US, UK and CA)

He also added that starting on December 6th through the holiday months, a treasure trove of new content will be coming to Xbox 360. Also, new, customized applications for television, movies, internet videos, sports and music will begin rolling out from major providers in more than 20 countries.




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