Next Generation Communications Blog

Apple Pay Vs. Google Wallet

Replacing credit cards can likely only be done if the new system is dead-easy to use and it moreover has to be...

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Signaling Offers Great Differentiation for Mobile Value-Added Service Offerings

We’ve all heard that some Value Added Services (VAS) revenue such as Short Message Service (SMS) are starting to decline in...

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Birdstep Improves Wireless User Experience, Reduces Churn

A smartphone user can get tripped up easily when in motion as today’s smartphones look for WiFi networks to connect to and...

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Sonos BOOST, For Music in Tough to Reach Places

I’ve been using Sonos as an in-home streaming solution for many years and since it relies on WiFi it provides infinite levels...

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IOT tests do NOT tell the whole story

Service providers typically have infrastructure from multiple vendors installed in their networks.  Mostly this is by design since they don’t want...

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Notes from Connections 2014 Part Deux

More notes from BSFT Connections 2014 in the desert by friends of my at the show. These notes are from ANPI's...

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Notes from Connections 2014

Broadsoft Connections kicked off with the usual festivities yesterday including a pool party and a summer fashion show. This morning it...

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The Monetization of Mobile Apps


By: Nora Maene, Digital Media Solutions Marketing Director, Alcatel-Lucent

Global mobile traffic has increased with a factor of 30 in 5 years time; 6 billion mobile apps have been downloaded in 2010. Besides being a challenge, this explosive growth also presents an opportunity for communication service providers (CSPs) to engage in new ecosystems and business models – embracing cloud services and working with over-the-top players to transform application and content value chains.

Today, a large portion of the return for mobile applications comes from the mobile data revenues that they drive (growing from $260 billion in 2010 to $500 billion in 2015). Given that mobile data revenue is more than a 100-fold the revenues from mobile apps purchases, it is clear that stimulating mobile data consumption is the primary monetization vehicle for service providers.

With a need to increase mobile data usage - and changing market dynamics – it is clear that CSPs have to launch new application services in their markets as soon as possible to monetize the mobile application opportunity.

The "Neo-Urbanization" of India -- Live Research on the Role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)


By Erin Harrison 

Urbanization is modernizing many areas of the world that were previously without access to healthcare, education, employment – and technology. 

According to Alcatel-Lucent, 60 percent of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2025, which means that “neo-urbanization” — the transformation of historically rural and typically impoverished areas into cities — will have far-reaching implications and impact, including improved quality of life for countries with exploding populations.

 

In literally a quest for a deeper understanding of the impacts of all this the Alcatel-Lucent Market and Consumer Insight group has teamed up with IMRB International to piece together the “neo-urbanization” puzzle. The group is traveling across areas of India to better understand the “neo-urbanization” phenomenon in the Indian context and predicting how it will unfold in the next five to 10 years.

Integrated Communications Addresses Smart Grid Challenges for Improving Energy Efficiency


By Beecher Tuttle

Ever-increasing energy consumption, skyrocketing operating costs and pressure from regulatory bodies to help create a greener world have forced power utilities to reassess their delivery management methods.

The need for change – along with the recent influx of innovative network technologies – has led many utilities and distribution and system operators (TDSOs) to embrace the smart grid, a concept aimed at leveraging the power of next-generation networks to improve the efficiency and reliability of energy delivery and usage. The visibility and control provided by the smart grid enables utilities to match supply and demand, optimize delivery, cut operating costs and reduce carbon emissions.

In addition, a smart grid opens up a two-way communication system between utilities and customers, thus creating additional upsell opportunities and the ability for consumers to take a hands-on approach to energy conservation. Smart grid customers have access to their own webpage that details their energy consumption and the associated costs.

Deploying a smart energy grid is vital for utilities to thrive in the current environment, but it doesn't come without complications. TDSOs need to chose the appropriate technologies, understand their network requirements and make major decisions like if they should build their own communications infrastructure or lease it from a service provider.

Many of these questions can be answered by Alcatel-Lucent, whose Integrated Communications for Power Utilities solution is a proven way to take utilities into the 21st century of energy delivery and efficiency.

With its experience designing and deploying IP and LTE broadband wireless access networks, Alcatel-Lucent has a unique perspective on what is needed to get a smart grid initiative up and running.

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).

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