Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

The Interworking Function (IWF) part of the Diameter Signaling Controller (DSC) now takes center stage

Diameter Signaling Controllers (DSCs) are the general term used to describe products that enable load balancing and scaling of Diameter signaling...

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New T-Mobile Pay as You Go LTE Pricing Changes Everything

Until recently, if you wanted a real data plan on a major carrier while using your cell phone, you were forced...

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How Sony May be Fighting to Unleak its Information

The recent attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment is about as scary as it gets as emails which insulted the company’s hired talent...

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4 Tips for the Busy Executive

I have a couple of prospective clients that keep delaying projects. One really wants to do the project but the people...

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Opening up the skies with LTE Air-to-Ground

By: Thierry Sens, Marketing Director Transportation Segment, Alcatel-Lucent

(Note:  Originally posted on Alcatel-Lucent corporate blog)

“Ladies and gentlemen, the fasten seat belt sign has now been turned on. Please ensure your mobile devices are switched off for the full duration of the flight” It is the announcement that many passengers dread as they hurry to finish up one more e-mail, or send one final text or tweet, before the start of a flight and a few hours of absence from the connected world.

But from the end of 2016 this is set to change in Europe. Inmarsat announced on November 20 that it has signed a contract with Alcatel-Lucent to develop Long-Term Evolution (LTE) air-to-ground technology, which will be delivered in partnership with service providers and airlines in 30 European countries. Alcatel-Lucent will supply the ground LTE radio infrastructure, which consists of antennas situated 100 km apart. The system is capable of providing download speeds of up to 75 mbps to planes using 2x15 MHz FDD licenses which Inmarsat owns in the Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) S-band. This makes it not only the world’s fastest airborne broadband service, but a pioneer of future in-flight services for passengers and airline operations.

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2015 Predictions

Last week, I graded myself on the predictions I made for 2014.  This week, I’ll make my predictions for 2015.  It...

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Subscribers Want Service Providers to Protect Their Devices

By: Patrick Tan, Alcatel-Lucent General Manager of Network Intelligence

A recent U.S. survey by Alcatel-Lucent Motive found that 71% of smartphones had no security protection to defend against malware. That’s a sobering stat considering the 20% rate at which mobile malware is increasing annually. The malicious activity can degrade smartphone performance, secretly pirates your data minutes, and steal personal information from you, spy on your whereabouts and track your browsing calls, texts, emails and web browsing.

Now here’s where the survey gets even more interesting: It reveals 65% of mobile subscribers think it’s the service provider’s responsibility to protect their smartphones. And the majority is willing to pay their service provider for this mobile service – up to $4.40 per month!

For operators continually on the hunt for new revenue generating services and “sticky” offers that attract and retain subscribers, device security services is a lucrative and differentiating opportunity right under their nose.

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The Interworking Function (IWF) part of the Diameter Signaling Controller (DSC) now takes center stage

December 16, 2014

Diameter Signaling Controllers (DSCs) are the general term used to describe products that enable load balancing and scaling of Diameter signaling traffic on LTE/IMS networks as well as enabling secure signaling interworking of LTE/IMS networks with other networks.  The DSCs first rolled out were the Diameter Routing Agents (DRAs) which were really designed for load balancing and scaling of Diameter signaling traffic. And these have seemingly worked well since we have not heard of any major Diameter signaling storms since the first LTE networks were deployed. Whether it’s because the DRAs are deployed or because the existing equipment could handle it is somewhat up for debate, but clearly in the early days of LTE rollouts there were a couple of high profile outages related to signaling storms.

2015 Predictions

December 9, 2014

Last week, I graded myself on the predictions I made for 2014.  This week, I’ll make my predictions for 2015.  It may be the same as asking a Magic 8 ball, or in the case of that picture, using a Magic 8 ball phone app which you use by turning the phone over and shaking it…

My first prediction is that you’ll start to hear about 5G

Grading 2014 Predictions

December 2, 2014

 I made some bold predictions last year.  Now is the time to face the music and grade myself.

1. Last year I predicted we’d start to see much more messaging and “cool apps” with voice inclusion.

SS7 Signaling Still Alive and Well

November 25, 2014

As operators migrate to IMS and LTE, and thus IP architectures, SS7 signaling has seemingly been left behind.  After all, Diameter is all the rage today as that is where all the growth is.  There are lots of Diameter market size reports but alas, no new SS7 market size reports that I can find.  In fact, I think the last one was many years ago and I probably have it. 

The era of the hardware-based media server is over -scaling software-based media servers

November 18, 2014

As the telecom world moves closer and closer to software- based infrastructure, many questions are being asked about scalability of these software-based infrastructure solutions. After all, when there are hardware cards full of Digital Signal Processors  (DSPs) you could simply plug in more boards or add more systems (at greater cost) to get to the scalability desired.  In the software world, when using a single machine, the scalability is directly related to the power of the processor used in the box. 

Recognizing the Similarities Between WebRTC and VoIP

November 11, 2014

Next week I’ll be giving a keynote at the WebRTC Conference and Expo V.  When I last gave a keynote at this show, in June of 2013, WebRTC was full of promise. Back then, WebRTC was a disruptive technology that would revolutionize the world.  But I challenged the industry then to create meaningful applications or else WebRTC would flounder and take time to become accepted. 

Outlining the FUture of SEamless COmmunication at FUSECO

November 4, 2014

Next week Dialogic will be on a panel at the Fuseco Forum in Berlin, which is a forum about the “future of seamless communication”.  We’re on the “Towards 5G” panel with Vodafone, Orange, Telenor and the European Commission, which should be interesting.  5G today is a nebulous set of letters since I can’t send you someplace to read about the specs since no specs exist today.  5G is a concept that seems to have sprung from “OK, We Rolled out LTE, Now What’s Next?” coupled with “A Major Mobile Next Gen Network Comes Along Every 10 Years, So We Need the Next One in 2020”. 

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

October 28, 2014

I was recently asked to talk to some of our many contact center customers about the new contact center trends.  It struck me that all the trends I’ve seen over the years all pivot around one theme – how to both improve customer service yet also decrease costs.  This is not an easy thing to do, yet it’s always lurking in the background with contact centers.  And this is one of the reasons, if not the key reason, contact centers embrace new technology. 

Signaling Offers Great Differentiation for Mobile Value-Added Service Offerings

October 21, 2014

We’ve all heard that some Value Added Services (VAS) revenue such as Short Message Service (SMS) are starting to decline in some markets due to competing OTT services.  However, overall, the mobile VAS market is expected to grow at over 10 percent until 2018.  While I couldn’t find anything recently on the Internet that I could point to regarding market size, suffice to say globally it’s between $10B to over $20B per year, likely over $20B. So it’s sizable, still important, and worth fighting for if you are a mobile operator.

IOT tests do NOT tell the whole story

October 14, 2014

Service providers typically have infrastructure from multiple vendors installed in their networks.  Mostly this is by design since they don’t want to be locked into a single vendor, but some of this is also determined by consolidation that they have done, etc.  Either way, there is equipment from various infrastructure providers that make a telecommunications network run. 

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