Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

3 Reasons UC Deployments Fail

Just getting ink on a Unified Communications deal is just the beginning. So many deployments go wrong or worse the company...

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Small Cells are Key to Attracting and Keeping SMB and Large Enterprise Customers

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

To say that operators of macro-cellular physical networks are facing all type of challenges these days would be an understatement.  These range from spectrum scarcity issues, competitive pricing pressures, the need to build out LTE networks ASAP as platforms for new services and to meet the insatiable appetite of users for things like streamed and real-time video, getting ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) etc.  They also are busy figuring out how to keep users, particularly enterprise users on their smart devices always and all ways on their networks in an increasingly fickle world where alternatives abound, including for value-added traffic lost to Over-the-Top (OTT) providers.  

It is to keep enterprise customers on the mobile service provider networks for enhanced services that good in-building wireless solutions are seen as both a powerful business tool and a competitive advantage.  This is particularly true when it comes to retaining small-to-medium business customers (SMBs).

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Changing the SIM game

The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models comes with a SIM  that “gives you the flexibility to choose from...

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WebRTC and the Enterprise

I was reading an article titled, “How WebRTC can serve the Enterprise” but when I originally saw the headline I thought...

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Jeff Pulver, Andy Abramson, Craig Walker, Alon Cohen, Mike Tribolet, Andy Voss and Danny Windham at ITEXPO Next Week

Panel to celebrate 20 years of IP communications/VoIP and discuss its future. Next week at the 29th ITEXPO, I get the pleasure...

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Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes on Importance of Bringing Ultra-Broadband to Africa

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

It may be almost cliché to say we live in a global economy, but many times when globalization is discussed the focus is on developed and emerging markets and not that often, if at all, on under-developed regions.  In fact, in the past few years until the recent drop in oil prices, much of the financial community’s and economic development interests has been focused on the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).  This leaves out not just most of South America, but the promising rest of Africa which contains a wealth of rare minerals and other natural resources waiting to be literally and figuratively mined.

However, for most of the African continent countries to move from under-developed status, along with toward political stability and having a educated citizenry, infrastructure needs to be in place which it currently is not. This means not just giving the populace access to clean water and energy, but in a digital world ubiquitous and affordable access to businesses and individuals to high-speed broadband communications is now not just a foundation but a pre-condition that is essential for moving ahead.  

In this regard it is enlightening, refreshing and significant that Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes recently wrote a corporate blog stressing the company’s interest in working with governments and commercial interests to help accelerate economic development across the continent.  This about not just about the Oscar winning movie of several years ago “Out of Africa”, but is also about around, into and across Africa. 

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ITEXPO will help Explain the Coming Cloud Upgrade

The cloud is changing how technology is bought, sold and used. The very economics of business have shifted as a result. When...

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Grading my 2013 Predictions

December 17, 2013

A year ago, I made some predictions for 2013.  Let’s see how I did.

1. My first prediction was that we’d have a 2013.  That is, the Mayan calendar ended on December 21, 2012 and there were many claiming the world would end. 

The MVNO and Roaming

December 12, 2013

In last week’s blog, I wrote in general about mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and mobile virtual network enablers (MNVEs).  In this blog, I want to cover MVNOs and roaming in a little more detail. Some MVNOs started out by offering broadband services and then moved their subscribers to mobile offerings. Their value propositions to subscribers are the same whether they’re billing for broadband or mobile services, certainly on the data side, and perhaps even for voice services.

The Rise of the MVNE

December 5, 2013

The Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) business model is changing rapidly.  No longer are MVNO’s just reselling a Mobile Network Operator (MNO) services under a different brand to cater to specific target markets, such as prepaid calling or senior citizen servies. 

MVNO’s today are also looking to expand the services they offer.

Diameter Signaling is the New Cool

November 26, 2013

Last week, I attended LTE North America, including the Signaling Focus Day, which was comprised of speakers from many companies (including Dialogic) giving updates on implementations and what is going on in the industry.  While some speakers focused only on pushing their products, there were many other excellent speakers who helped push the cause ahead.

Here’s the key takeaway: at a high level, the Oracle Signaling Index shows that signaling has a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 140 percent, which is higher than the mobile data CAGR of 66 percent. This means signaling is growing at more than twice the amount of mobile data.

The State of IPX

November 18, 2013

Although I have written about IP packet exchange (IPX) before, this article by John Tanner of telecomasia.net suggests that it was time to address the current state of the IPX market and deployments. John’s article does a very good job in outlining the status of deployments in 2013, ranging from PCCW Global, BICS, Tata Communications and Telecom Italia Sparkle and more than half of his survey respondents say they are connected to an IPX. Progress is being made; however, I want to address some of the implications of John’s findings. 

The State of IPX

November 18, 2013

Although I have written about IP packet exchange (IPX) before, this article by John Tanner of telecomasia.net suggests that it was time to address the current state of the IPX market and deployments. John’s article does a very good job in outlining the status of deployments in 2013, ranging from PCCW Global, BICS, Tata Communications and Telecom Italia Sparkle and more than half of his survey respondents say they are connected to an IPX. Progress is being made; however, I want to address some of the implications of John’s findings. 

Do Away With Voice Mail?

November 12, 2013

I was reading my Sunday newspaper a few weeks ago, when I came across an article claiming companies should do away with internal voice mail. I was flabbergasted.  I couldn’t believe it. I read the article and I saw the author’s reasons; voicemail takes too long, we have easier and better ways to communicate nowadays, it’s a pain.

NFV and SDN: Ignore at your own risk

November 5, 2013

It’s hard to believe it now, but at one time, VoIP was a hard sell in this industry. At pivotal moments in this market, telcos have faced the challenge of having to do something to react to changing user needs and habits, but they have hesitated to believe that heir-apparent technologies were the way to go. We are at one of those crossroads again. Just as VoIP was once doubted yet imminent, NFV and SDN sit poised to become hugely important in the telco space.

At Gitex, MEA's Premier Telecoms Event, Lessons in Luxury Selling

October 29, 2013

The Gitex tradeshow in Dubai is a great place to see a lifestyle-over-cost approach to selling telecom services. The show, which I recently attended for the second time, has a Mobile World Congress feel to it with a frenzy of meetings that would normally take weeks to conduct. There are two main differences, however, between Gitex and the West’s premier mobile event. First, the attendees at Gitex come from throughout the Middle East and across Africa.

Despite Carriers' Views, OTT is Not the Enemy

October 22, 2013

Last week an interviewer asked me, “How will the carriers combat OTT?” Well, from a certain point of view, OTT apps aren’t the enemy. They drive traffic on the data part of the mobile network, which drives revenue for the mobile network operators. It’s the pricing plans that are the enemy.

However, I think the root of the question was really about OTT players taking revenue away from carriers.

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