Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

Restoration Hardware's E-commerce Fighting Formula

A Tasteful Blend of Starbucks and Apple Retail Experiences designed to make customers fall in loveApple has the most valuable retail real...

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Thoughts on ThinkGeek Customer Service

I’m on the phone with ThinkGeek because I purchased something which they shipped incorrectly. I tried email and didn’t get a...

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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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"The contact center use case looks like a natural for WebRTC, but how will that work?"

April 24, 2013

“The contact center use case looks like a natural for WebRTC, but how will that work?”

From our company’s viewpoint, implementing many of the WebRTC use cases in the modern contact center is a matter of normalizing the media and signaling streams between systems to interface with the existing service. The telco perspective in this context doesn’t mean exclusively carriers or service providers, but a wider view of enabling WebRTC endpoints to access known communication services or solutions, such as a contact center.

While our on-demand webinar described a click-to-call WebRTC use case that may already be emerging in the market, another use case has cropped up that is a practical application in the area of agent login and soft-clients.  

Impact of the New Video Codec H.265

April 23, 2013

In January, a new video codec called H.265 (also known as High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) was approved by the ITU-T.  This is significant for a couple of reasons:

It needs only half the bit rate of the best codec out there today (H.264) to provide the same or similar quality video.  You can even see it in this YouTube video.

"Where do IMS and WebRTC Intersect?"

April 17, 2013

The IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) is an architectural framework for delivering IP multimedia services. It is based primarily on SIP as a rich, real-time media session protocol for IP networks, and as such, relies on SIP-based endpoints and soft-clients to register and support subscribers on the services (at least those services that are truly multimedia in nature with HD voice and video interactivity, and not ‘skinnied’ down through gateways to a narrowband voice service).

The care and feeding of SIP client applications that enable the IMS service subscribers represents a considerable effort and cost to carriers for their on-net IMS service subscribers. Extending the IMS service reach with soft-clients to off-net endpoints, meaning those that are on other carriers broadband and mobile networks, presents another set of challenges, including various app store navigations and negotiations.

WebRTC Webinar Q&A #2 "Why WebRTC when we have Skype?"

April 17, 2013


“Why  WebRTC when we have Skype”?”

This is a really good question.   After all, Skype is the dominant real-time communications technology on the web with hundreds of millions of users and isn’t very hard to use. 


LTE / Diameter Interworking (Part 2 of 2)

April 11, 2013

Two days ago, I wrote a blog about Diameter Interworking use cases.  If you are a network operator, are these issues real? Well, they’re real enough that the 3GPP and GSMA have identified elements called Diameter Routing Agent (DRA),  Diameter Edge Agent (DEA), and Diameter Interworking Function (IWF), which is more closely aligned to the interworking described above.

Given that these issues are real, how do you address them?  For starters, operators need a box that connects the carrier LTE/IMS and policy control environment to existing 2G/3G/Wi-Fi and back office environments.

LTE / Diameter Interworking (Part 2 of 2)

April 11, 2013

Two days ago, I wrote a blog about Diameter Interworking use cases.  If you are a network operator, are these issues real? Well, they’re real enough that the 3GPP and GSMA have identified elements called Diameter Routing Agent (DRA),  Diameter Edge Agent (DEA), and Diameter Interworking Function (IWF), which is more closely aligned to the interworking described above.

Given that these issues are real, how do you address them?  For starters, operators need a box that connects the carrier LTE/IMS and policy control environment to existing 2G/3G/Wi-Fi and back office environments.

LTE / Diameter Interworking (Part 1 of 2)

April 9, 2013

Last week, I wrote a blog about Diameter protocol and its application use cases.  Since LTE uses it as a signaling protocol, operators have a need to interwork Diameter with the signaling technologies used in other mobile networks. This has given rise to the Diameter Interworking Gateway function, which moved onto the center stage at Mobile World Congress this year. It’s a critical element to enable the successful rollout of LTE and a seamless user experience across different networks.

WebRTC Webinar Q&A #1 "Is WebRTC 10 years too late?"

April 4, 2013

“Is WebRTC 10 years too late?”

To properly answer this question, one needs to take a position.  One position is to assume that all the VoIP “stuff” that came before Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC) is kind of useless.  But moving to a world where SIP, G.711, and H.264 are the dominant real-time communication protocols and codecs over IP networks is not useless. 

Diameter Use Cases

April 2, 2013

Diameter is the key signaling protocol used in IMS and LTE networks that enable applications running on those networks to authenticate, authorize and charge. In other words, your mobile applications, when running on these networks, are using Diameter protocol in the background to enable you to utilize the many apps on your smartphone or tablet. This includes, for example, a location-based service type of application (such as Foursquare or Yelp), or mobile payment (such as Square), or an Internet purchase (from an app store online retailer like Amazon).

Given the huge amount of smartphones and tablets out there that are either now running on LTE networks are that are expected to be LTE-enabled in the future, I predict that will be a big increase in Diameter signaling traffic.

My Mobile Device History

March 26, 2013


As some of you readers know, I have been an avid Blackberry user for some time. That time has now past.  I am an equal opportunity device person, and have used Motorola, Nokia and Blackberry devices.  It was time for a new one.


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