Next Generation Communications Blog

February 2011

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How Can Small Cell APIs Help Service Providers Create New Revenue Opportunities?

By Mae Kowalke

Service providers looking for a way to boost indoor coverage for wireless networks are increasingly turning to small cell application programming interfaces (APIs), more commonly referred to as femtocells.

A femtocell is best defined as a small, cellular base station that connects to a service provider’s network using broadband. Femtocells are most commonly used in homes or small businesses, and are typically capable of supporting connections for up to 16 active mobile phones.

“A femtocell allows service providers to extend service coverage indoors, especially where access would otherwise be limited or unavailable,” notes Wikipedia. “Although much attention is focused on WCDMA, the concept is applicable to all standards, including GSM, CDMA2000, TD-SCDMA, WiMAX and LTE solutions.”

Femtocells are especially attractive because they don’t use much power and are capable of providing 5-bar signal strength for ‘dead zones’—indoors and out. Dell’Oro Group predicts that shipments of small cell base stations will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 163 percent during the next four years, reaching 61.8 million units by 2014.

Alcatel-Lucent notes that small cells offer improved coverage and additional network capacity for applications like presence and services like location information. For service providers, small cell APIs represent a significant opportunity to grow revenues.

How Can Outsourcing Operations Improve Network Performance While Reducing Costs?

By Mae Kowalke

Emerging markets tend to be very attractive to service providers, because they have the potential for significant future growth. There’s also a lot of inherent risk, however, in launching services in unproven markets.

This is one instance where a strategic partnership can alleviate some of the risk. That’s the approach Bharti Airtel took when deploying a new, first-of-its-kind business in India, offering managed broadband services.

In a video case study about the launch of this new business, Bharti Airtel’s director of networks and technology, Joachim Horn, explained the attraction of India and why it made sense to partner with Alcatel-Lucent on this venture.

India, Horn explained, is a very vibrant market; telecom penetration there is still only at about 35 percent. Bharti Airtel has about 110 million customers and is a market leader, so it knew that launching managed services in India could be done viably. But, the company faced stiff competition from many other operators.

IMS VoIP the Best Method to Help Operators Realize LTE's Potential

By Tracey Schelmetic

Today, the popularity of smartphone devices such as the iPhone, Android-based devices and BlackBerry, together with the video and social networking capabilities they enable (and users expect) is rapidly outpacing existing 3G technology's ability to deliver services. Mobile operators are in a bit of a dither over pricing plans for mobile data: witness the switches that AT&T and Verizon have effected in their pricing plans last year and during the early months of this year. None of these operators wants to reduce service usage – that won't go over well with either subscribers or stakeholders expecting growth. So most operators are preferring to increase subscribers’ usage of mobile data by deploying LTE (Long-Term Evolution), a next-generation mobile standard. Among other things, LTE is expected to solve today’s pressing needs for increased mobile data bandwidth as more and more people begin using smartphones and toting tablet computers, writes Alcatel-Lucent in a new white paper entitled, “What's Next for Mobile Voice?

LTE has gained worldwide support by vendors and operators as the preferred broadband evolution path.

MWC Panel Session Assembled by Alcatel-Lucent Explores Communications and Culture

By paula Bernier

Alcatel-Lucent at this year’s Mobile World Congress hosted an event that went beyond your standard discussion of networks and the mobile data boom to delve into what implications wireless, the Internet and social networking do – or could – have on the way we work, live, interact and view the world.

Assembled at the event in Barcelona was a panel that brought together a wide array of opinions and interests. Included on it were Trip Adler, CEO of Scribd; Steven Berlin Johnson, an author who writes about popular culture; Keith Woolcock, co-founder of Cyke Partners; Jay Sullivan, vice president of mobile at Mozilla; Mary McDowell, executive vice president of Nokia; and Ben Verwaayen, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent.

A key part of the discussion centered on the cultural impacts of social networking.

Johnson said that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg recently said that every major industry will reorganize itself around social networking.

Alcatel-Lucent to Demonstrate Power of the LTE Connected Car

By Susan Campbell

Alcatel-Lucent has announced that it is collaborating with China Mobile to highlight a variety of high-value applications for an Audi A8 automobile supported by the mobile network. These applications in the “connected car” will be based on Alcatel-Lucent’s commercially available infrastructure, designed to support Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, Time Division Duplex (TDD) and frequency Division Duplex (FDD) to ensure seamless global coverage.

The connected car is expected to make an appearance on the streets of Barcelona as Alcatel-Lucent and application partners LiveCast and Vidyo offer drive demos in a brand new LTE-driven alternatively LTE enabled Audi A8 cruising the neighborhood around the Arts Hotel.

This LTE Connected Car was demonstrated in Dubai in October, promoted as the ng Connect Program’s connected car that served as an example of how technology is supporting a new class of vehicle-centric, travel-centric and entertainment-centric applications and services that are expected to transform the total experience for the end user.

“We are delivering a really cool driving experience in a really cool car using cutting-edge technology,” said Ken Wirth, President, 4G LTE Wireless Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, in a statement.

Simplifying Staff Workflow via a Single Virtual Resource Pool

By Mae Kowalke

Effective staff workflow management is perhaps the most consuming challenge, and the biggest opportunity, within customer-centric organizations. Getting the balance right between efficiency and customer service levels sometimes means walking a very fine line.

Luckily, new technologies are making the opportunities inherent in workflow management easier to capitalize on. Presence solutions in contact centers are a great example. To understand the power of presence (the ability to quickly identify which resources are available and where they’re located), a brief look at customer service trends is necessary.

To meet the expectations of modern customers, many contact centers are finding it necessary to think outside the box—literally. It’s fairly common today for such organizations to expand the boundaries of customer service operations beyond call center walls.

“By transforming knowledge workers across the enterprise into on-demand experts, contact centers are able to more effectively meet the challenges of increasing productivity, improving the customer experi­ence, and contributing to the enterprise’s bottom line,” Alcatel-Lucent wrote in a recently-published whitepaper about the approach its subsidiary Genesys is taking to UC and presence.

Unified communications solutions, with presence capabilities being a major feature, are helping drive this transformation.

Creating Differentiated Applications and Services for LTE Networks

By Susan Campbell

What would you do be able to do with a connected car? Alcatel-Lucent had a hand in taking mobile broadband truly model by working with partners to create and launch the first LTE Connected Car, as featured in this company video. Owners can truly leverage everything they enjoy – and more – with their PC or smartphone while in the Connected Car.

Capabilities leveraged with the LTE Connected Car span the categories of entertainment, infotainment, security and driving-related services. These services include video-on-demand; gaming; home control; enhanced communications services; eCommerce; WiFi  hotspot; advanced navigation; enhanced safety, convenience and security; and road and vehicle monitoring.

Flexible, Yet Integrated Customer Engagement Strategies via eServices Solutions

By Beecher Tuttle

In an effort to compete in today's competitive market, enterprises need to ensure that they are consistently offering a high-level customer service experience. To make certain that they offer adequate support, many companies have begun providing current and prospective customers with a myriad of different ways to stay in touch, including, email, instant messaging, SMS and a number of different social media sites.

While this transition away from traditional communication mediums is a step forward, it can create a somewhat disjointed customer experience if not integrated properly.

Alcatel-Lucent recently addressed this issue by launching an expanded set of eServices solutions for customer service and sales departments. The portfolio of products, which were built upon the new Genesys G8 platform, includes Genesys Knowledge Management, Genesys Web Callback and Genesys SMS.

Using Video to Reduce Costs and Improve Collaboration in the Enterprise

By Mae Kowalke

Any large organization struggles at some point to ensure that teams work together efficiently and that the flow of information is smooth without any roadblocks. Enterprises are no exception. Encouraging effective collaboration can be difficult, and expensive. But it need not be.

 Video is one technology that enterprises are now giving more consideration as a driver of efficient, cost-effective collaboration.

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