Next Generation Communications Blog

January 2012

You are browsing the archive for January 2012.

Rich Communications Suite -- SP Tool to Monetize the New Social Conversation Experience

By Mae Kowalke

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, service providers (SPs) are staying one step ahead by finding new and innovative ways monetize their offerings. For providers who recognize and leverage it effectively, the emerging new social conversation experience arising from the pervasive adaption and use of social media is proving to be a valuable tool in this endeavor.

Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) has been busy developing solutions for fixed and mobile SPs to help them leverage the evolution of social media. On the mobility side, much of this development has been focused on two technical projects—Rich Communication Suite (RCS) and RCS-enhanced (RCS-e)—led by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA).

In a recent white paper, “Building a Social Conversation Experience with RCS and RCS-E,” Alcatel-Lucent researchers explain that RCS (developed in 2008) is intended to:  “Leverage the global interoperability and ubiquity of existing voice services and Short Message Services (SMSs) and enrich them with Internet-type features more in line with user demand.”

Mobile Application Assurance: The Ideal Business Engine

By Susan Campbell

Many mobile services available to consumers today are perceived as commodity services. The assumption is that every provider offers the same thing at the same level of quality. The result is that those willing to go the extra mile in terms of customer service are often those deemed worthy of customer business.

This perception is driving a new focus in this space as providers seek methods for:

  • Improving monitoring
  • Personalizing the experience
  • Optimizing the network resources
  • Enriching the customer experience to drive loyalty

As captured in this Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) TechZine article, Mobile Application Assurance, the main focus for any service provider should be on advanced deep packet inspection (DPI) for doing the above.

How Service Providers Can Capitalize on the Enterprise Cloud Market

By Beecher Tuttle

With the demand for cloud services expanding rapidly, service providers are in a unique position to exploit new markets and generate new revenue, in addition to benefiting from the significant capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating expenditure (OPEX) savings associated with a cloud infrastructure.

However, to fully capitalize on this market opportunity, service providers need to develop an accurate sense of current and future market conditions as well as enterprise attitudes and perceptions of the cloud.

In an effort to provide a more granular look at these conditions and attitudes  Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) recently conducted a global study, “Soaring into the Cloud,” involving nearly 4,000 IT decision makers (ITDMs) from medium, large and multi-national companies.

ALU researchers found that 78 percent of companies are currently employing at least one cloud-based application, with organizations in tech, professional services and manufacturing/defense leading the way. Healthcare, government and education enterprises rely less on the cloud, but not by any significant margin.

It Takes a Village to Deliver Rich Communications

By Erin Harrison

As service providers (SPs) shift to all IP-networks, users expect features to become standardized.  This gives SPs an opportunity to provide their customers a new conversation experience.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent Enriching Communications article, “RCS Success Requires Community-based Ecosystem,” highlighted how the market for Rich Communications Services (RCS) has changed based on two developments that have converged — accelerating deployment of wired and wireless end-to-end IP networks and the rapid rollout and adoption of rich communications applications and services.

What 'Identity Shift' Means for Consumers and the Future of e-Commerce

By Peter Bernstein

As active transactional individuals in the Internet age, here are a few questions to ponder for a moment.

  • How do we present ourselves to the world, or choose not to, and why? 
  • What does our view and management of our multiple identities —on multiple physical, virtual (and where they intersect/converge/blur) platforms —tell us and others about predicting and/or leveraging our behavior?
  • Does where you are in your life matter? 
  • In an age where dynamic context-based identity mediation will be paramount (for individuals and organizations alike), whom do we and can we trust and entrust with our identities?
  • How does trust factor into our purchasing decisions?

These are not existential questions.  In fact, as pointed out in a previous blog, they are the subject of an important new book, Identity Shift : Where Identity Meets Technology in the Networked-Community Age, written by Alcatel-Lucent’s Allison Cerra and Christina James. 

Neo-Urbanizing India: Coming Full Circle at the End of a Journey

By Erin Harrison

Hopefully, you have been an avid follower of the Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) Market & Consumer Insight (MCI) team’s recently concluded three-week journey across urban and rural parts of the states of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and the National Capital Region (NCR).  As it came to a close, the group culled several important insights on neo-urbanization:

  • How it has been unfolding
  • The impact it is having
  • The role of information and communication technologies (ICT) as a driver

As seen through all of the posts from the team members, and the series of items I have described in previous blogs, neo-urbanization is modernizing many areas of the world that were previously without access to healthcare, education, employment – and technology. In particular, parts of India are becoming networked hubs that are oriented and planned around smart functionality and sustainability.

Based on preliminary findings, each of the three locations – Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and the NCR – represents different stages of neo-urbanization. However, combined, they have allowed the MCI group to capture neo-urbanization in most of its gradations, according to a the final blog post that summarizes highlights of the three-week journey.

Living Video: A New Conversation Experience

By Erin Harrison

One of the reasons video is so pervasive today is because of the personal dynamic it brings to conversations and meetings, creating higher-level interactions. Just like a face-to-face conversation, video brings subtleties and other nuances that cannot be communicated in an email or text.

A recent article in Alcatel-Lucent’s Enriching Communications, Living Video Conversations Go Mainstream, details how “living video” gives service providers opportunities to deliver a compelling new conversation experience. It says mobile networks, devices and people are ready for enriched video conversations, and service providers’ are in a position to deliver them.  

Ready, set and go

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) -- Starting the New Mobile Conversation

By Erin Harrison


Most of us are familiar with the technology of Voice over IP (VoIP) – which simplistically is the use of the Internet Protocol to do voice communications over data networks that include the Internet itself.  And, while most VoIP traffic has been over wired networks, a new voice technology is evolving called Voice over LTE (VoLTE) that is shifting the communications paradigm and enabling new services beyond traditional telephony over mobile networks.

In a recent article in Alcatel-Lucent’s Enriching Communications e-zine, The New Mobile Conversation Starts with VoLTE, author Edmund Elkin states that, “It’s no longer a question of whether VoLTE is the right choice for the new mobile conversation. It’s really a matter of determining when to begin the move to VoLTE, developing a migration strategy and selecting a partner to accompany them on the journey.”

IP/MPLS-Based Networks Provide Unique Value for Smart Grid Initiatives

By Beecher Tuttle

Skyrocketing energy demands and the push for greener, more sustainable energy solutions has helped bring smart grids to prominence, and has encourage a number of utilities to deploy a next-generation network alongside their electrical grid.

AltaLink, one of Canada's largest electricity transmission providers, is one of the utilities that is currently undergoing the complex, yet highly advantageous transition from a TDM architecture to a next-generation IP-based network.

Overcoming Smart Grid Challenges to Realize Key Benefits

By Susan Campbell

The ever-increasing demand for energy has created the need for the development of the Smart Grid. This efficient approach to energy management and consumption will change the way we produce, consume and recycle energy. The efficient operation of the Smart Grid will be a long time in coming, however, as many challenges still exist to complete implementation and adoption.

According to a recent Alcatel-Lucent article, Dealing with the Smart Grid’s Key Drivers and Challenges, the future of smart grids includes significant changes to the way we live, work and play. It is expected to impact the business landscape, the energy marketplace and the ways in which we interact both culturally and socially.

New Revenue Opportunities Possible with the New Conversation Experience

By Susan Campbell

Service provider (SP) revenues are taking significant revenue hits from application and content providers (ACPs) as the disaggregation of content from physical access shifts value generation opportunities toward third parties.  At the same time SPs are also attempting to ward off “free” offerings, such as people using things like Skype for making phone calls who are willing to put up with inferior quality, by attracting people to superior services they will pay a premium for.  The challenge, which every day gains more urgency, is how to react to both trends. 

The objective is to be relevant and central in evolving ecosystems and thereby be in a position to maximize new opportunities while minimizing risks. The vehicle for turning things around is embodied in the desirability of creating a new conversation experience with customers based on a holistic strategic approach.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent article, The Value of the New Conversation Experience highlighted the need for service providers to increase the average revenue per user and reduce churn, two of the major revenue corrosive issues. It focused on the reality that to accomplish these goals, SPs must quickly bring to market enhanced service bundles and also rapidly introduce innovative service offerings with compelling and differentiated perceivable value as critical to combating free services.

Permission-Based Mobile Marketing Strategies Hold Value for Advertisers, Operators and Consumers

By Beecher Tuttle

The influx of smartphones, tablets and next-generation networks has created a number of new ways for brands and marketing agencies to reach consumers. Unfortunately, many of today's mobile marketing techniques fail to engage consumers, who often find the advertisements to be bothersome, intrusive and unrelated to their interests.

One innovative and effective way to bridge this gap is a strategy called permission-based mobile marketing, a targeted advertising technique that changes the marketing paradigm by creating a dialogue with consumers, rather than an invasive, one-sided monologue.

The basic premise of permission-based mobile marketing is rather simple: users opt-in and give their consent for brands to send them targeted, preference-based marketing materials for products and services that they are interested in. If executed properly, a permission-based mobile marketing strategy can create value for brands, agencies, consumers and mobile network operators.

Ensuring the Future of the Smart Grid

By Susan Campbell

Our growing reliance on energy has sparked a new focus on how to make consumption more efficient. The Smart Grid has emerged as an important focus in this space, projected to impact the business landscape, the energy marketplace and even the ways in which we interact.

According to a recent Alcatel-Lucent article, EPB Chattanooga: Customers at the Center of the Smart Grid’s Future, smart grids will also enhance convenience and control within the industrialized world while positive social progress is enabled in developing countries. The level of skill with which energy providers are able to manage change will determine when and how well the benefits of smart grid technology will gain traction.

SIP CLF Will Simplify Network Management, Call Tracking and Troubleshooting

By Beecher Tuttle

Assessing the performance of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) servers in a multi-vendor environment is a difficult proposition for today's service providers. This issue is mostly due to the lack of common SIP call log standards, a reality that allows vendors to develop call logs based on their own format.

The myriad of call log formats acts as a barrier for service providers that want to review SIP transactions across multiple vendors, evaluate and troubleshoot their servers, and analyze call trends.

Fortunately, the answer to this concern – SIP CLF – has already been developed and is currently in the process of being standardized by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Identity Shift -- What a New Book says About Us and the Future

By Peter Bernstein

With Facebook about to pass the 1 billion user mark, YouTube taking the #2 rank as a global search engine, Zynga having gone IPO and Twitter on the way, the total of mobile phone devices having blown past the number of wired ones, three things have become apparent:

  1. With progress toward a world that is always on and all ways connected (think of this as ubiquitous and continuous communications meets pervasive computing) a look back at just the past five years by anyone demonstrates how much ICT has already transformed the ways we work and live.
  2. To use a common phrase, “we ain’t seen nothing yet.”  The pace of change is accelerating.
  3. In the process the nature of who we are and how we interact with the world, especially our virtual personae will have profound implications.

All of this and more is captured in a fascinating new book,  Identity Shift: Where Identity Meets Technology in the Networked-Community Age,  written by leading market research experts, Allison Cerra and Christina James, from Alcatel-Lucent.  The second in “The Shift” series of Web 2.0 analyses, this latest edition looks at consumer behavior across all the key stages of life and how they are influenced by communications technologies.

Featured Events