Next Generation Communications Blog

IBM, Mitel, Wearable Tech round out Latest ITEXPO News

Its been an amazing ITEXPO so far - wow. In case you missed some of the happenings from day 1, here are...

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3 Reasons UC Deployments Fail

Just getting ink on a Unified Communications deal is just the beginning. So many deployments go wrong or worse the company...

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Small Cells are Key to Attracting and Keeping SMB and Large Enterprise Customers

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

To say that operators of macro-cellular physical networks are facing all type of challenges these days would be an understatement.  These range from spectrum scarcity issues, competitive pricing pressures, the need to build out LTE networks ASAP as platforms for new services and to meet the insatiable appetite of users for things like streamed and real-time video, getting ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) etc.  They also are busy figuring out how to keep users, particularly enterprise users on their smart devices always and all ways on their networks in an increasingly fickle world where alternatives abound, including for value-added traffic lost to Over-the-Top (OTT) providers.  

It is to keep enterprise customers on the mobile service provider networks for enhanced services that good in-building wireless solutions are seen as both a powerful business tool and a competitive advantage.  This is particularly true when it comes to retaining small-to-medium business customers (SMBs).

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Changing the SIM game

The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models comes with a SIM  that “gives you the flexibility to choose from...

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WebRTC and the Enterprise

I was reading an article titled, “How WebRTC can serve the Enterprise” but when I originally saw the headline I thought...

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Jeff Pulver, Andy Abramson, Craig Walker, Alon Cohen, Mike Tribolet, Andy Voss and Danny Windham at ITEXPO Next Week

Panel to celebrate 20 years of IP communications/VoIP and discuss its future. Next week at the 29th ITEXPO, I get the pleasure...

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Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes on Importance of Bringing Ultra-Broadband to Africa

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

It may be almost cliché to say we live in a global economy, but many times when globalization is discussed the focus is on developed and emerging markets and not that often, if at all, on under-developed regions.  In fact, in the past few years until the recent drop in oil prices, much of the financial community’s and economic development interests has been focused on the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).  This leaves out not just most of South America, but the promising rest of Africa which contains a wealth of rare minerals and other natural resources waiting to be literally and figuratively mined.

However, for most of the African continent countries to move from under-developed status, along with toward political stability and having a educated citizenry, infrastructure needs to be in place which it currently is not. This means not just giving the populace access to clean water and energy, but in a digital world ubiquitous and affordable access to businesses and individuals to high-speed broadband communications is now not just a foundation but a pre-condition that is essential for moving ahead.  

In this regard it is enlightening, refreshing and significant that Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes recently wrote a corporate blog stressing the company’s interest in working with governments and commercial interests to help accelerate economic development across the continent.  This about not just about the Oscar winning movie of several years ago “Out of Africa”, but is also about around, into and across Africa. 

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Neo-Urbanizing India: Inching Towards Prosperity


By Erin Harrison

As Alcatel-Lucent Market and Consumer Insight groups, along with a team from IMRB International, wind down their neo-urbanization research in India, this week we learn that the group landed in an area that is finding prosperity, representative of a larger trend in the country.

The final leg of Alcatel-Lucent’s three-week journey took them from Bhiwadi to Coimbatore, a “town” of 1.25 million people located at the base of the Western Ghats foothills in the Tamil Nadu region of South India.

Yoga Poses for the Network Operator

By Amanda Noz, Marketing Director, Alcatel-Lucent

Yoga has been in the news lately and for network operator strategists, who may be feeling more like pretzels than yogis as they try to twist this way and that to accommodate rapid changes in the value chain, the idea of letting go of strict control over their networks and opening up to a world of potential security threats is anything but relaxing. Yet network operators who ignore these changes, risk falling out of the whole chain of innovation and in the process, defaulting to a commodity utility business, rather than maximizing their revenue streams as innovative and differentiated customer experience providers.

So how do you bring these two opposing views into alignment?

Today network operators who operate the broadband data networks (wireline and wireless) have thinner margins than in the past, while at the same time; all kinds of new players are making money by creating new applications that we did not even know we needed to run on the networks. Innovation brings disruption and disruption brings opportunities and threats. It transforms application and content value chains.

Creating The New Conversation Experience


By Susan Campbell

Humans are an increasingly mobile species, relying on technology to keep them connected to people, information, processes and more. While continued mobile technology innovation is a key in meeting the needs of a rapidly changing world, consumers are now demanding more than just technology – they want a new conversation experience. This experience is focused not solely on technology, but instead on improving the content and context of human interactions.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) article in the company’s Enriching Communications business e-zine entitled, Needed: A New Conversation Experience, the focus was on the importance of human interactions, stressing that the new conversation experience needed to be more personal, secure, social and mobile. It detailed how network intelligence will enable the new conversation experience and as well as how open innovation helps to enhance the experience, while also encouraging service uptake and loyalty for service providers (SPs).

Reducing Total Cost of Network Ownership with lightRadio Baseband Processing and Backhauling


By Beecher Tuttle

In order to succeed in the current wireless market dominated by bandwidth-hungry mobile applications, service providers need to find ways to expand network capacity while simultaneously reducing energy consumption and operating costs. This is quite a challenge to say the least.

Alcatel-Lucent's efforts in this area have resulted in some profound innovations, headlined by its new wireless networking paradigm, lightRadio™, which is designed to help service providers address growth and quality challenges.

The lightRadio technology family is comprised of innovations in antennas, radios and baseband processing, which combine to allow service providers to create next-generation architectures without the need to make complete infrastructure overhauls. Rather, lightRadio makes the most of existing wireless assets and capabilities to address cost, capacity and connectivity barriers.

Reducing Total Cost of Network Ownership with lightRadio Baseband Processing and Backhauling


By Beecher Tuttle

In order to succeed in the current wireless market dominated by bandwidth-hungry mobile applications, service providers need to find ways to expand network capacity while simultaneously reducing energy consumption and operating costs. This is quite a challenge to say the least.

Alcatel-Lucent's efforts in this area have resulted in some profound innovations, headlined by its new wireless networking paradigm, lightRadio™, which is designed to help service providers address growth and quality challenges.

The lightRadio technology family is comprised of innovations in antennas, radios and baseband processing, which combine to allow service providers to create next-generation architectures without the need to make complete infrastructure overhauls. Rather, lightRadio makes the most of existing wireless assets and capabilities to address cost, capacity and connectivity barriers.

Neo-Urbanization of India - The Live Research Journey's Second Leg


By Erin Harrison 

In a quest to better understand the impacts of a phenomenon known as “neo-urbanization,” Alcatel-Lucent Market and Consumer Insight groups have teamed up with IMRB International to piece together this growth puzzle by traveling to specific territories of India. The ultimate goal is to predict how this rapid progression will unfold in the next five to 10 years. Urbanization is modernizing many areas of the world that were previously without access to healthcare, education, employment – and technology. 

 

As highlighted in the first of this continuing series on the group’s fact-finding tour, the team has been filing almost daily blogs on their experiences and the reports on the second leg are fascinating.   

Driving DSL Network Performance Excellence with Motive Network Analyzer

Susan J. Campbell

Driving DSL Network Performance Excellence with Motive Network Analyzer

A dramatic rise in the performance required of digital subscriber line (DSL) networks is being caused by consumer adoption of bandwidth-demanding triple-play services. With the support of new real-time voice and high-definition video services, DSL network lines are now operating closer to their physical limits. This is straining copper and fiber capabilities and making them more vulnerable to quality and stability problems in delivering high quality experiences to individual households.  

To meet these challenges, service providers must have the right tools and processes to meet the expectations of customers on DSL networks, while also preventing the escalation of operational expenses (OPEX) in doing so even as migrations to all fiber connections are taking place.

This fall Alcatel-Lucent announced that its Motive Network Analyzer surpassed the 100 customer mark. The big draw for this solution is its ability to enable service providers to identify, diagnose and troubleshoot all DSL problems across fiber and copper that can affect the customers’ experience when leveraging broadband service.

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.

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