Next Generation Communications Blog

Mobile fax? Why do you need that?

Fax is an enduring technology. While you may think that fax is declining, some reports show that the market is actually...

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We ask the experts: How can exceptional QoE be achieved in VoLTE networks?

By: Jean Jones, Director, Wireless Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

What does voice over LTE (VoLTE) offer your subscribers? Better voice quality, including HD voice. Rich communications with messaging and video. And whatever inventive applications you choose to introduce. In other words, VoLTE can provide a superior quality of experience (QoE) for subscribers and give you a competitive edge — particularly when your service operates at its best. 

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In my last blog[CCE1] , our experts explained why an end-to-end strategy is the key to maintaining peak VoLTE performance. Now we’ll look at how this strategy gets put into practice to optimize real-world service offerings. The information here is based on interviews with Luis Venerio who works with our VoLTE Readiness Services team. And his observations come straight from his experience on VoLTE deployments that serve millions of subscribers.

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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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Telecom Operators Need to Improve Leadership, Customer Experience Management

By Erin Harrison

We won’t sugarcoat it: European telecom operators are not reaching their full market potential due to a lack of leadership and customer visibility. In fact, just 12 percent of C-suite executives are leading the customer experience agenda at major operators, according to a new survey conducted by European Communications—the results of which appear in a recent special edition, “Customer Experience.”   

Of concern, no one is leading a customer experience effort in 8 percent of operators. In a majority of cases, (41 percent) individual managers are taking it upon themselves, while for 39 percent of respondents, a dedicated customer experience manager has been put in charge.

While the findings cast a negative shadow on the customer experience focus by European service providers (SPs), the study’s results should be motivation for the SPs’ IT decision makers who want to turnaround their customer experience efforts and become more profitable.

A lack of coherent leadership naturally feeds down to a fragmented implementation of strategy. Although a majority of operators (45 percent) said customer experience is treated as an integral part of everything their organization does across all business units, that means a majority does not.

Coherent Technology Enables the Seamless Upgrade to 100 Gb/s

Susan J. Campbell

The demand for data consumption and rich multimedia interactions is driving the call for 100 Gb/s. Fortunately, coherent technology in high-performance electro-optics engines enable the cost and performance benefits of such transmissions to be viable commercially. 

A recent Alcatel-Lucent TechZine article by Sam Bucci, Vice President and General Manager, Terrestrial Optics, entitled, Coherent Technology: Making 100 Gb/s Viable, focused on how fiber impairments can decrease the performance and quality of the data transmission as speeds increase. It made a compelling case that such impairment can be overcome with coherent technology which ensures performance and cost benefits are optimized.

Optimizing Networks in a Demand for Video Everywhere Era

By Mae Kowalke 

In my blog last week, I focused on some of the changes and challenges in digital media delivery that vendors likeVelocix (an Alcatel-Lucent company) are developing to help service providers maximize the quality of end user experiences while minimizing network traffic.  In that piece I cited the first article in a two part series by Richard Gibbs, Vice President Worldwide Technical and Business Consulting at Velocix’s article in the Alcatel-Lucent e-zine TechZine, “A New Approach to Publishing and Caching Video.”  It focused on the architecture and design considerations for a Content Delivery Network (CDN).  This post picks up the story with the second Gibbs post, “Optimize Delivery to Meet Demand for “Video Everywhere,” which looks in detail at the delivery, management and control functions needed for efficient CDN operation.

Consumer Demand Drives LTE and Creates Wireless Carrier Success

By Mae Kowalke

In the U.S., it is no secret that there is a substantial customer as well political interest in seeing that under-served areas have access to state-of-the art communications networks.  In fact, it can be argued that the data needs of such critical parts of the economy as agriculture and oil and gas exploration are as intense if not more so than those of industries in densely populated areas.  Plus, the desires and expectations of families in the areas are no less important than they are to families in other areas of the country.

What all of this translates into is that while fiber optics and WiFi have allowed most Americans broadband access vast parts of the U.S. have remained under-served for broadband.  All of that is changing.  As the major wired carriers continue to fiber their franchise areas and the national wireless carriers rush to deploy 4G LTE networks, WiFi hotspots, femtocells, etc.  Alcatel-Lucent has been leveraging the capabilities of its lightRadio™ portfolio of solutions to help mobile operators who serve less populous areas provide high-seed services to their customers at price points and performance capabilities that enable customers to enjoy the advantages of next generation devices and all the Internet has to offer in terms of content and applications. And, it allows the operators to do so at competitive prices and at a profit.     

A Holistic Approach is Necessary for Quality Customer Experiences

By Mae Kowalke

For the hotly competitive world of mobile communications service providers, it’s no longer enough simply to provide fast, reliable connections for a variety of devices at competitive rates.  

A recent article in the Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) e-zine Enriching Communications titled, “Taking Care of the Customer Experience,” co-authored by ALU’s Ben Geller, Senior Director of Marketing and Oliver Krahn, Customer Experience Transformation Growth Program Leader, on this subject is worth a read. They explain how, “Service providers are learning that they cannot differentiate with devices, services or pricing.”  This is clearly a dramatic change from the past.   

Digital Media Delivery Innovations Maximize Video QoE and Minimize Network Traffic

Mae Kowalke

As the consumer appetite for online video content grows, communication service providers (CSPs) find themselves increasingly marginalized in the market. Video content is usually delivered by third-party providers (e.g. companies such as BBC, Hulu, Netflix, CANAL+), which have their own relationships with end users and therefore earn any resulting incremental revenue.

Given marketplace realities, CSPs need to broaden their core businesses beyond merely providing connectivity. They must also offer enhanced digital media delivery. Doing this successfully requires innovative new methods of publishing/storage and caching using next generation content delivery networks (CDNs). These networks enable CSPs to transform themselves into entertainment providers and also allow them to leverage their networks without creating traffic bottlenecks near servers.

Demand for Connected Services Drives Need for Customer Experience Solutions

By Erin Harrison

Demand for broadband services is growing at an explosive pace as consumers look for richer and more personalized connected customer experiences. But service providers’ fast and reliable networks can’t win over every customer. In addition, competition from new brands is making it tougher to differentiate with devices, services and pricing. In short, to stay competitive, service providers (SPs) have an imperative to cater to the needs of the market that goes beyond traditional approaches.

While consumers are aware that new technologies can bring added complexity, they also expect their devices and services to keep bringing them simpler and more compelling experiences. Based on these trends, SPs need new differentiators to remain competitive. To stand out and deliver market leading customer experiences, SPs need to make their offers easier to buy, easier to use with more user-friendly options for payment.

Alcatel-Lucent’s Motive portfolio of solutions offers a four-pronged approach for SPs to step up their games.

LTE is Changing Public Transportation Operational Security

By Erin Harrison

Long-term evolution (LTE) is driving many changes in the IT landscape, not the least of which is operational security in mass transit. Railway operators and law enforcement agencies are using a range of CCTV technologies in a variety of situations to improve public safety.  Alcatel-Lucent’s TrackTalk e-zine is a great source for information and insights on what LTE can do for enabling a host of capabilities including significantly upgrading in a cost-effective manner video surveillance, IP camera monitoring and what the future of CCTV and surveillance will look like.

In a recent article that takes an expert view perspective, aptly titled, The Changing Face of Operational Security, Jeremy Haskey, Transportation System Integration Division, Alcatel-Lucent notes that, “The hype surrounding the development of LTE is justified…With greater capacity, it has the potential to revolutionize video surveillance by carrying live high-definition video to individual handheld devices carried by security personnel, staff in control centers or directly to the emergency services. The HD images will improve zoom quality making grainy images associated with current CCTV applications a thing of the past.”

The Five "Ps" for Service Provider M2M Success: Prioritize, Placement, Participate, Partners and Persona

By Erin Harrison

The burgeoning of machine-to-machine (M2M) applications in our increasingly connected world — partly characterized as consisting of an “Internet of Things” — has made telecommunication companies look to diversify their M2M offerings beyond what can easily become ones based primarily on commoditized connectivity.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent Enriching Communications article, “The 5-Ps of M2M Key to Service Provider Success,” describes the five “P’s” as: 

  • Prioritize opportunities
  • Properly place their teams
  • Participate knowledgeably in the supply chain
  • Partner effectively
  • Establish a credible persona

They are based on findings of research firm Analysys Mason’s recently published, “M2M Communication Service Provider Scorecard: 2011.”

Taking Public Safety to the Next Level with Video Surveillance Using 4G LTE Wireless Broadband

By Mae Kowalke

Situational awareness is the perception of what is happening in one’s vicinity and understanding how information, events and actions will impact outcomes immediately and in the future. For public safety officials, situational awareness is achieved both through direct observations and through information conveyed by technology, often voice communications.

Voice communications is so ubiquitous in public safety, in fact, that one might think it’s the only means by which situational information is conveyed.

In a LifeTalk article, “Video is the Game Changer for Public Safety,” Philippe Agard, Vice President of Business Development at Alcatel-Lucent’s public safety division states that, “With the emphasis on voice radio, it’s easy to forget that voice is only one medium we use to communicate with one another, and not even the primary channel in face-to-face communications.”  He adds that, “Most experts will tell you that a relatively small portion of our message comes through in words, the remainder transmitted by tone, inflection, volume and body language.”

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