Next Generation Communications Blog

November 2011

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The Evolution of Smart Grid Bandwidth Requirements

By Erin Harrison

Wireless technologies are playing and will continue to play a significant role in facilitating the evolution of the smart grid. With high-speed wireless broadband technologies such as LTE, power utilities and industry forums are engaged in the process of acquiring spectrum for their use and/or sharing the spectrum owned by other organizations and carriers.

Given these trends, it is necessary that utilities have the required data bandwidth to determine the channel bandwidth in the possible wireless licensed spectrum such as 700 MHz and 1800 MHz (1.8 GHz).

In a recent whitepaper, “Smart Grid Bandwidth Requirements,” Alcatel-Lucent examined the bandwidth needed for an Long Term Evolution (LTE)-based Field Area Network covering a utility’s service territory.

Customer Experience Transformation Ensures Satisfaction and Profitability

By Susan J. Campbell

The customer relationship for the service provider can offer an on-going lesson on the power of expectations. These relationships have been complicated by the introduction of new devices, services and apps, putting more pressure on the service provider to meet heightened customer expectations to ensure satisfaction. Optimal customer experience management demands a customer experience transformation.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent-sponsored article, “Supporting a Better Customer Experience,” explored these complexities and the importance of smart support delivered to end users to improve customer satisfaction, and as a by-product, profitability. The customer experience transformation is possible through leveraging key subscriber data and developing solutions and services customers demand to meet their needs today and into the future.

Service Providers' Digital Media Opportunity: Retailing Applications, e-Books, Games, Music, etc. to Any Connected Device

By: Wim Van Daele, Director, Communications – Mobile Commerce, Video & Immersive Communications - Alcatel-Lucent


In 2010, almost 11 billion applications were downloaded through app stores worldwide; by 2013, this number is expected to mount to 60 billion downloads (a five-fold increase in three years)1. At a time when many operators are experiencing declining voice average revenue per user (ARPU) and subscriber growth rates, they are embracing the digital media opportunity to help drive additional data/media revenues and new device sales by leveraging evolving application and content value chains.

But very often, solutions addressing this opportunity are implemented in a way that has not been very well considered: they foresee “stovepipe” infrastructures for every content type and screen – resulting in increased complexity/cost, and a mediocre user experience with little room for cross-selling and bundled service offerings.

The 4G LTE Innovation Center at Verizon -- Envisioning and Helping Create the Wireless Future

By Erin Harrison

With 4G Long Term Evolution still in its infancy, collaboration between customers, suppliers, partners and entrepreneurs is vital to progress. A new Verizon facility that brings all those groups together to collaborate on new devices and services in a live 4G LTE network environment has provided just that dynamic.

When Verizon first envisioned its LTE Innovation Center, they imagined a place where customers, suppliers, partners and entrepreneurs could collaborate and work directly with 4G LTE technology in a live 4G LTE network environment.

“Today, we have just that place. And we’re seeing what’s possible when some of the most creative minds imaginable team up to innovate with 4G LTE technology,” wrote Brian Higgins in a recent article in the Alcatel-Lucent E-Zine Enriching Communications, "Verizon LTE Innovation Center Ignites 4G."

The LTE Innovation Center is unique because it combines a lab environment and an Experience Center where Verizon customers and other technology companies can see demonstrations of the latest 4G LTE innovations.

Enabling Power Suppliers to Make Transformation to Smart Grid

By Erin Harrison

The super-efficient generation and transmission initiative known as the smart grid is giving electric utilities around the world new challenges and opportunities as they strive to meet increasing demand while deferring additional fossil energy generation projects.

Researchers at Alcatel-Lucent believe the best way for these power suppliers to find balance with new imperatives and consumer expectations is to push innovation deeper into the distribution networks.  In an interesting piece, “Smart Grid: The world's leading utilities turn promise into reality,” market leaders explain how they benefit from innovations with the smart grid.

Customer Care in the 4G World

By Ben Geller - Senior Director of Solutions Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

Consumers have already proven their appetite for smart devices and high-bandwidth applications that operate on 3G networks. It goes without saying that their hunger for these products and services will increase even more as access to 4G networks comes available. As a result of this - along with the increasing network demands - customer care functions will encounter new pressures as subscribers seek help on how to use their devices and personalize their services.

Because the customer experience is so fundamental to being competitive, particularly when new services come online, operators will need to have strategies in place to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction - without introducing new operational expenses. If there is ever a time when customer care becomes important, this will be it! 

Service Providers Positioned to Benefit from Consumer Interest in Mobile Wallet Services

By Beecher Tuttle

With traditional voice and data margins diminishing, service providers have been forced to look to new avenues for revenue generation. One such opportunity exists in the form of mobile commerce services, which have been proven to help minimize subscriber churn and unearth new applications and content value chain opportunities for revenue growth.   

When leveraging the assets of enhanced customer experience, identity and security, operators can take advantage of the inevitable migration toward the mobile phone as a wallet (MPAAW).  This is a market that is expected to increase to more than $1.1 trillion by 2014, according to research firm Gartner, and one where Alcatel-Lucent has placed a significant stake in the ground with its Mobile Wallet Service (MWS).

Transforming M2M Communications via the Cloud

By Erin Harrison

In a hyper-connected world and the growth of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, the opportunity for service providers is significant. By leveraging their network assets, service providers are in a position to transform M2M communications via the cloud into a value-added services business.

Multi-Screen Video Services Can Help Service Providers Increase Revenue, Reduce Churn

By Beecher Tuttle

The recent influx of innovative communication and entertainment technologies has increased user demands to new levels. Today's consumers want access to highly interactive, personalized multimedia content on man y and any device – including televisions, smartphones, tables and PCs – all with the same quality of experience obtained via traditional TV viewing.   In other words they want video portability, and service providers need a multi-screen video services platform that can accommodate this need and capitalize on the opportunity.

Customer Experience Transformation Strategies Reduce Churn, Increase Profitability

By Beecher Tuttle

Providing unique and differentiated offerings has become a real challenge for today's service providers. The fact is, the old way of winning and retaining business through network and technology upgrades simply doesn't attract customer interest the way that it used to.

With this in mind, many forward-thinking service providers are implementing new strategies to differentiate themselves from their competitors. To succeed in the broadband market, more service providers are turning their attention to the customer experience and focusing on things such as Alcatel-Lucent’s Customer Experience Transformation Program.

Successfully Monetizing the Digital Media Opportunity: Combining Marketing and Merchandizing with a Superior User Experience

By Special Guest: Wim Van Daele, Director, Communications – Mobile Commerce, Video & Immersive Communications, Alcatel-Lucent

Service providers are discovering new opportunities brought by the expanding market for the delivery of digital media services (applications, music, games, e-books, and more). Answering the question how to leverage this opportunity is one thing; but even more important is the question how to successfully monetize it.

In other words, how can service providers position themselves as critical components in application and content value chains to add value? How can they successfully differentiate from/compete with players such as Apple and Google?

players such as Apple and Google?

Quality of Experience (QoE) - A New Tool for Measuring Video Streaming Performance

By Erin Harrison

Video has become an integral part of everyday life – it has greater emotional impact and delivers visual complexity better than any other medium, a recent Alcatel-Lucent blog,  An Innovative Tool for Measuring Video Streaming QoE,  pointed out.

“Successful video delivery requires an understanding of these twin factors, and how best to shape the video experience to deliver them…“Delivering an outstanding QoE is critical for video streaming service providers. It is a differentiating factor in attracting new users, but also the best way to enhance multimedia revenue streams,” the authors stated.

Why Cloud Services are in Most Enterprises' Future

By Beecher Tuttle

The cost-effective, scalable and flexible nature of cloud services have made them exceedingly popular with enterprises of all sizes. As such, the cloud – along with the parallel convergence of information technology, telecom and media – has given communication service providers (CSPs) substantial opportunities to increase revenues and profits.  These manifest themselves in a number of different market segments that leverage cloud computing capabilities and include Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

The benefits  cloud services provide enterprises – and the associated revenue generating opportunities for CSPs – were recently documented in an article entitled, “Enterprise Cloud Services Come of Age,”  which was authored by Alcatel-Lucent's Xavier Martin and Annie Ohayon-Dekel.  In it they explain how and why SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS market segments are expected to enjoy 15 percent, 61 percent and 27 percent CAGR growth over the next ten years.

Alcatel-Lucent's Motive Division Wins 4G Contract with Verizon & ServiceView Wins Prestigious Award

By Beecher Tuttle

Alcatel-Lucent dominated the telecom headlines last week with two fairly big announcements in the 4G space. The first occurred on Tuesday, when Verizon Wireless confirmed that it will rely on Mobile Device Management (MDM) software from Motive, a division of Alcatel-Lucent, to manage the growth of its 4G LTE Network.  The second piece of Alcatel-Lucent news came at 4G World in Chicago just days later, when Motive's ServiceView for Mobile solution won the “Best of 4G” award in the “Best User Experience for Mobile” category.

Customer Experience? Think Bigger, Act Smarter!

By Simon Loe, Alcatel-Lucent

Telecom service providers in developed markets are turning to customer experience as a business strategy to address growing market saturation, reduce customer churn and increase profitability. There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates better services generate price premiums.

The strategy is being implemented in a number of different ways, such as:

  • mobile service providers providing subscribers with a small cell to improve signal strength and broadband speeds;
  • operators improving new service switch-on by making process simpler through smarter software in customer equipment;
  • call centres using smarter technology, such as IVR and network monitoring, to resolve customer problems faster.

However a bigger return can be achieved by taking a broader perspective on customer interaction, as well as implementing specific product or service improvements.  

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