Next Generation Communications Blog

Alcatel-Lucent Technology News

Alcatel-Lucent Joins RSA Secured Partner Program

Alcatel-Lucent has joined the RSA Secured Partner Program, which means that moving forward, the company's mobile security solution for enterprises can offer even more security for the mobile workforce by leveraging the industry-leading RSA SecurID two-factor authentication system designed for secure and remote network access.   On a technical level, the news validates technical interoperability between Alcatel-Lucent's OmniAccess 3500 Nonstop Laptop Guardian (NLG) and the RSA SecurID system. There are currently over 40 million users of RSA SecurID, spanning across 30,000 organizations worldwide.   The OmniAccess 3500 Nonstop Laptop Guardian mobile security platform leverages 3G networks, a self-powered computing system and an automatic Virtual Private Network (VPN). The solution is designed to enable enterprises to securely manage and track laptops, ensuring that corporate data is not compromised by a lost or stolen laptop. A technical integration between the two solutions further tightens security for enterprise networks.   Back in October, Alcatel-Lucent had announced global availability of a high-speed packet access (HSPA) version of its OmniAccess 3500 Nonstop Laptop Guardian.   Enterprise IT managers have long faced a challenge when it comes to protecting laptops, and securing the sensitive data they contain whenever laptops leave the confines of the enterprise.   A recent article entitled Eliminating the Mobile Blind Spot - Extending Enterprise Security Coverage and IT Reach with the Alcatel-Lucent OmniAccess 3500 Nonstop Laptop Guardian labels this as the "mobile blind spot", which falls outside the reach of IT's protective measures. The article offers an in-depth view at the OmniAccess 3500 NLG and a look at some of the benefits of its deployment.  

Alcatel-Lucent: Some Thoughts on Rich Communications Manager

Alcatel-Lucent recently launched its 5155 Rich Communications Manager -- a solution that essentially provides a Web framework to bring together messaging, network address book, and other services with seamless interoperation.   Its WebDesk interoperates with other Alcatel-Lucent offerings, such as the 5100 Converged Messaging System, the 5410 XDMS Network Address Book, and the 5110 SMSC, company officials say. Importantly, especially in this slower economy, the solution's standards-based interfaces can be integrated with other network elements to provide converged and unified messaging.   The solution was chosen "Most Innovative Mobile Application" at the Andrew Seybold Choice Awards.   Alcatel-Lucent officials say the solution is designed to allow mobile and wireline end users to retrieve, view, respond, and forward video, photos and text from a Web portal that also integrates address books between user devices.   TMCnet had a chance to put some questions about the new product to Ray Colbert, Alcatel-Lucent's director of Rich Communication marketing strategy.
Alcatel-Lucent has put a lot of thought into streamlining communications and saving costs for businesses, and in addition, has paid attention to end users' habits and the rising popularity of social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter.   Colbert's comments bear that out, as he told TMCnet in the interview that Alcatel-Lucent understands that the Web is where innovation is happening now.

Alcatel-Lucent Checks In With Next-Generation Hospitality Deployment

As most business travelers, I travel quite a bit during the course of an average month, and this month, I've spent an inordinate amount of time living out of a suitcase in hotels from coast to coast, so I've garnered a good perspective on technology at use in the hospitality industry. I often read about how this discount chain or that luxury hotel is deploying technology to improve the guest experience, but to be honest, I have not seen much of this technology deployed in practice.   You know there's still a ways to go, when the most exciting innovation that I've come across is the ability to arrange a wake-up call without having to interact with a hotel operator.   Still, as IP-based technology proliferates through the hospitality industry, the potential to leverage next-generation communications solutions such as VoIP or unified communications to revolutionize the guest experience is greater than ever.   And at some properties, forward-thinking CIOs are making the move to adopt and deploy next-gen communications technologies to better serve their constituents -- staff and guests alike.   In a recent case study, Riyaz Akhtar, Executive Vice President of Development, Hampshire Hotels & Resorts discusses the steps he and his team took to deploy communications and information technologies in order to:   ·         Enhance the guest experience ·         Achieve competitive differentiation ·         Raise repeat visit ratio ·         Increase operational efficiency   In the end Akhtar and his team selected Alcatel-Lucent as their technology vendor of choice.
  Writes Akhtar:   "With Alcatel-Lucent, we had an opportunity to review a number of technologies, including networking, telephony, management, security and Unified Communications -- and began exploring which technologies could positively affect key operations of all properties. We looked at how WiFi phones could optimize operations. We looked at optical gear that could connect hotels and centralize operations. And we explored how applications like MobiCall could resolve guest issues by integrating automated concierge services, contact center technology and other relevant operations."   By leveraging a variety of technological solutions from Alcatel-Lucent, Hampshire Hotels was able to enhance the guest experience, better equip the staff and facilities management to be more efficient and effective in their daily tasks, and save a huge amount of money.

ng Connect Expansion Nets Four New Members

The recently announced ng Connect Program has been enjoying strong growth as industry interest in next generation communications grows apace. Launched in February 2009, the ng Connect Program added four new members last week, bringing the total number of companies in the program to 18.   According to a recent article chronicling the expansion of the program, ng Connect is a multi-industry initiative formed to create a "rich and diverse ecosystem of infrastructure, devices, content and applications for both mobile and fixed broadband networks" including 4G, Long Term Evolution (LTE), GPON and other ultra high bandwidth technologies.   The new members include:   Atlantic Records -- Currently a top label in the music industry, Atlantic has a rich history as the home to such musical icons as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, John Coltrane, and Led Zeppelin. Kyocera Communications Inc. (KCI) -- A new venture addressing the sales, marketing and service needs for Kyocera and Sanyo-branded wireless devices in the Americas, the company's devices are driving the convergence of telecommunications, broadband and multimedia. LearningMate -- A provider of end-to-end e-Learning education solutions by developing engaging, instructionally sound, interactive learning experiences on a variety of technology platforms and devices. MediaTile -- A supplier of all-in-one cellular digital signage and kiosk solutions designed to help customers manage and monitor their advertising, informational or interactive communications network.   According to Derek Kuhn, vice president of Emerging Technology and Media, Alcatel-Lucent, "The ng Connect program is making great progress signing up new members who are actively working together to build an open ecosystem that we know can bring whole new classes of services to market; services that can leverage the growing capabilities of service-aware IP networks, IMS and more."  

Alcatel-Lucent Blends CDMA, LTE in Same Base Station

Alcatel-Lucent has introduced the latest in its portfolio of next-generation wireless communications technologies, the Alcatel-Lucent 9238 Base Station Macro.   The new platform utilizes Alcatel-Lucent's software defined radio (SDR) technology, which is designed to enable wireless service providers currently using CDMA technology to upgrade smoothly to a more advanced standard, such as LTE (Long Term Evolution), in the future, or even deploy both technologies in the same base station at the same time.   The architecture of the 9238 allows service providers to mix and match CDMA and/or LTE baseband units in the same cabinet to support a variety of technology combinations. Furthermore, multiple frequencies and frequency combinations will be supported in a single footprint, making the solution extremely flexible for service providers looking to refresh and/or renovate their networks.   According to the announcement, Alcatel-Lucent's Converged RAN (radio access network) offerings build upon the company's commitment to support multiple technology standards in a common base station platform, helping ensure that investments made today will be protected in the future as networks evolve.   The 9238 Base Station Macro is also being touted for its ability to "dramatically reduce operational expenses" through a combination of improved reliability, reduced power consumption of up to 75 percent over earlier generations of equipment, and use of common components to minimize the need for spares.   For more information on Alcatel-Lucent's next generation wireless solutions, visit http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/lte

Alcatel-Lucent Announces Rich Communications Platform

Alcatel-Lucent continues to evolve their rich messaging/unified communications strategy. Today the company announced the Rich Communications Manager, a platform designed to deliver what the company calls, "a Web 2.0 experience with enhanced Web messaging, providing an online web interface for subscribers to manage their communication needs."   The solution lets users retrieve, view, respond to, and forward voicemails, SMS, MMS, emails, and fax from a Web-based portal.   The solution allows users to view all types of messages in a single converged message queue and also eliminates multiple logins, user interfaces as might be required by various messaging applications.   Rich Communications Manager also targets service providers, giving them the tools they need to improve and simplify how their end users communicate by integrating different services in a single portal.

On Optimizing Wireless Networks

The IP transformation is upon us.   As the lines between work, home life and entertainment blur, consumers are increasingly subscribing to services they can personalize on whatever communications device they choose. Wireless broadband data services are an integral part of this equation, enabling end users to place calls and access the Internet with their wireless devices, connect with their office networks over secure links, download music and videos, and take advantage of a host of location-based services that give them access to home, work and entertainment from anywhere and at any time.   A recently published article discusses this emerging trend. As wireless broadband comes down in price and more subscribers sign up for these services, there is justifiable concern that the growing data traffic will have adverse affects on a service provider's network.   Enter Alcatel-Lucent.   The company offers a solution, in the form of its Alcatel-Lucent 9900 Wireless Network Guardian (WNG), which is designed to enable service providers to monitor their networks and identify wireless network resource usage resulting in better network performance management.   To learn more about this solution or to get more insight into the trends that are driving the need for such solutions, please read the article, Optimize Wireless Networks for Data.

Exploring The IPTV Opportunity

This week, Alcatel-Lucent announced support for the multimedia application environment for the Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV platform, called the Microsoft Mediaroom Presentation Framework.   Service providers can now combine Alcatel-Lucent's digital media suite of products, including the Multimedia Content Manager and Interactive Media Manager, with Microsoft's IPTV platform with an eye toward increasing ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) and generating new revenue streams by offering personalized multimedia, on-demand offerings, and compelling interactive advertising services.   In a recent article published on the Next-Generation Communications community titled IPTV Business Strategies - A Perspective, Nick Lochrin of Alcatel-Lucent's Professional Services Business Division explains the pressures that service providers face to drive revenue growth as well as the opportunity that services like IPTV hold in store. The article provides a perspective on positioning IPTV within an overall market strategy and business model to increase the likelihood of commercial success.   Writes Lochrin:   Service providers with extensive broadband access networks have an opportunity to increase value from these investments and derive competitive strength.   Service providers have opportunities to leverage competitive strengths. Established providers have significant assets in established relationships with customers for broadband services, and large scale investment in customer service, billing and mass technology management.   Of course there are numerous risks that service providers face when deploying any new service, however Lochrin believes that for operators who take the time to think through a coherent strategy the positives outweigh the negatives:   For service providers that carefully consider the business models, risk sensitivities, and overall strategy to maximize competitive strengths, there is an opportunity to compete effectively and grow shareholder value.  

Managed Unified Communications

A recent article from Alcatel-Lucent's e-zine Enriching Communications discusses the idea of managed unified communications (UC) services and the emerging market opportunity for these evolving solutions.   According to the authors of the article, Managed Unified Communications Empowering Dynamic Enterprises, UC is in the throes of an evolution.   "What started with few services such as contact lists, presence and telephony available from the desktop," the authors write, "has expanded to include enhanced services such as rich business telephony, any messaging and any conferencing, available on any device, including fixed phone, PC, mobile phone or dual-mode phone."   The authors believe that, "UC must extend beyond users' PCs, fixed or mobile phones communicating over a corporate or cellular network. It must deliver communications and web communication capabilities in real time whatever the user is doing and wherever an employee needs communication -- in a colleague's office, on a train, at a hotel or customer site in another country -- using the devices and applications that are convenient to the end user."   It is precisely that element of mobility that adds to the ubiquity of UC and makes it a valuable tool for the end user. And yet the need for mobility is driving a shift away from an enterprise premises-based solution towards a managed environment, supervised and administered by a service provider.   There are a number of benefits to this approach, including the ability for the enterprise to let go of the reins, to get out of the communications business and to refocus their energies on their core business, while freeing their employees to roam untethered and be more productive while lowering the total cost of the overall solution.   Alcatel-Lucent offers a portfolio of Managed Unified Communications solutions designed to enable service providers and enterprises alike to benefit from this business environment.   For more information, or to listen to a podcast on harnessing the power of unified communications, click here.

RFID Opportunity Grows

In a recent article, touchatag: The Interactive Advertising Opportunity, the author cited industry research that highlighted the opportunity that exists in the RFID space.   Analysts estimate that the market for RFID network, software and services will increase over a five-year period from around $1 billion in 2008 to over $6 billion in 2013 (IDTechEx). Strategy Analytics projects that in 2012 around 250 million NFC phones will be sold and that in 2017 over 1 trillion RFID labels will be tagged. According to ABI Research, the RFID market is expected to generate $9.7 billion by 2013.   Well, ABI Research has updated their numbers and is now calling for total revenue earned from RFID transponders, readers, software and services to top the $5.6 billion mark this year, according to the latest market data from ABI Research practice director Michael Liard.   The research study, titled RFID Annual Market Overview, portrays the market as fragmented, but Liard says, "...despite some project deferrals and terminations, there will be market growth."   According to Liard, "...the RFID market continues to be worthy of cautious optimism in the near to mid-term."   These numbers underscore the opportunity for application developers.  A recent article, Developers Key to Success of touchatag Project, further explores the opportunity for developers to leverage solutions such as Alcatel-Lucent's touchatag, to create exciting new applications.
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