Next Generation Communications Blog

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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ITEXPO will help Explain the Coming Cloud Upgrade

The cloud is changing how technology is bought, sold and used. The very economics of business have shifted as a result. When...

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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).

Transforming M2M Communications via the Cloud

By Erin Harrison

In a hyper-connected world and the growth of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, the opportunity for service providers is significant. By leveraging their network assets, service providers are in a position to transform M2M communications via the cloud into a value-added services business.

Multi-Screen Video Services Can Help Service Providers Increase Revenue, Reduce Churn


By Beecher Tuttle

The recent influx of innovative communication and entertainment technologies has increased user demands to new levels. Today's consumers want access to highly interactive, personalized multimedia content on man y and any device – including televisions, smartphones, tables and PCs – all with the same quality of experience obtained via traditional TV viewing.   In other words they want video portability, and service providers need a multi-screen video services platform that can accommodate this need and capitalize on the opportunity.

Customer Experience Transformation Strategies Reduce Churn, Increase Profitability


By Beecher Tuttle

Providing unique and differentiated offerings has become a real challenge for today's service providers. The fact is, the old way of winning and retaining business through network and technology upgrades simply doesn't attract customer interest the way that it used to.

With this in mind, many forward-thinking service providers are implementing new strategies to differentiate themselves from their competitors. To succeed in the broadband market, more service providers are turning their attention to the customer experience and focusing on things such as Alcatel-Lucent’s Customer Experience Transformation Program.

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