Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

Wearable Tech Expo 2014 Kicking off in NYC

My team is at the Jacob Javits Center setting up for Wearable Tech Expo 2014 which will take place Wednesday and Thursday...

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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #7

Tsahi Levent-Levi’s white paper, “Seven Reasons for WebRTC Server-Side Processing,” details a variety of WebRTC-related scenarios that necessitate a media server....

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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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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.


The Contact Center's Continual Transition

March 19, 2013



The contact center is undergoing continual change as companies strive to make their operations more efficient and cost-effective.  This is one of the reasons the contact center has always been an innovator and a driver for new technologies, from VoIP to Web integration to speech recognition.  Now, contact centers are undergoing still further transformation because access to them is coming more and more from smartphones and smartdevices. Contact center operators must look at feasible ways to maximize investments while also integrating modern, media-rich communications that give customers more options.



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