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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Successfully Monetizing the Digital Media Opportunity: Combining Marketing and Merchandizing with a Superior User Experience


By Special Guest: Wim Van Daele, Director, Communications – Mobile Commerce, Video & Immersive Communications, Alcatel-Lucent

Service providers are discovering new opportunities brought by the expanding market for the delivery of digital media services (applications, music, games, e-books, and more). Answering the question how to leverage this opportunity is one thing; but even more important is the question how to successfully monetize it.

In other words, how can service providers position themselves as critical components in application and content value chains to add value? How can they successfully differentiate from/compete with players such as Apple and Google?

players such as Apple and Google?

Quality of Experience (QoE) - A New Tool for Measuring Video Streaming Performance

By Erin Harrison

Video has become an integral part of everyday life – it has greater emotional impact and delivers visual complexity better than any other medium, a recent Alcatel-Lucent blog,  An Innovative Tool for Measuring Video Streaming QoE,  pointed out.

“Successful video delivery requires an understanding of these twin factors, and how best to shape the video experience to deliver them…“Delivering an outstanding QoE is critical for video streaming service providers. It is a differentiating factor in attracting new users, but also the best way to enhance multimedia revenue streams,” the authors stated.

Why Cloud Services are in Most Enterprises' Future


By Beecher Tuttle

The cost-effective, scalable and flexible nature of cloud services have made them exceedingly popular with enterprises of all sizes. As such, the cloud – along with the parallel convergence of information technology, telecom and media – has given communication service providers (CSPs) substantial opportunities to increase revenues and profits.  These manifest themselves in a number of different market segments that leverage cloud computing capabilities and include Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

The benefits  cloud services provide enterprises – and the associated revenue generating opportunities for CSPs – were recently documented in an article entitled, “Enterprise Cloud Services Come of Age,”  which was authored by Alcatel-Lucent's Xavier Martin and Annie Ohayon-Dekel.  In it they explain how and why SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS market segments are expected to enjoy 15 percent, 61 percent and 27 percent CAGR growth over the next ten years.

Alcatel-Lucent's Motive Division Wins 4G Contract with Verizon & ServiceView Wins Prestigious Award


By Beecher Tuttle

Alcatel-Lucent dominated the telecom headlines last week with two fairly big announcements in the 4G space. The first occurred on Tuesday, when Verizon Wireless confirmed that it will rely on Mobile Device Management (MDM) software from Motive, a division of Alcatel-Lucent, to manage the growth of its 4G LTE Network.  The second piece of Alcatel-Lucent news came at 4G World in Chicago just days later, when Motive's ServiceView for Mobile solution won the “Best of 4G” award in the “Best User Experience for Mobile” category.

Customer Experience? Think Bigger, Act Smarter!


By Simon Loe, Alcatel-Lucent

Telecom service providers in developed markets are turning to customer experience as a business strategy to address growing market saturation, reduce customer churn and increase profitability. There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates better services generate price premiums.

The strategy is being implemented in a number of different ways, such as:

  • mobile service providers providing subscribers with a small cell to improve signal strength and broadband speeds;
  • operators improving new service switch-on by making process simpler through smarter software in customer equipment;
  • call centres using smarter technology, such as IVR and network monitoring, to resolve customer problems faster.

However a bigger return can be achieved by taking a broader perspective on customer interaction, as well as implementing specific product or service improvements.  

HTTP Adaptive Streaming (HAS) 'Well-Suited' for Mobile When Client Parameters are Optimized

By Beecher Tuttle

A recent blog post by Bell Labs’ Harish Viswanathan and Mark Clougherty, "Optimizing HAS for Mobile Wireless," looked at technical issues surrounding the delivery of quality video over mobile networks. There they discussed in detail why HTTP adaptive streaming (HAS) is capable of doing so but not at its default settings. 

This is an important finding since HAS currently is used for delivering acceptable video quality over a wide range of typical network conditions,  and thus is a strong option for wireless networks where data rates can vary substantially.

Entrance of Millennials to Today's Workforce Creating Unique Demand for Cloud Services


By Beecher Tuttle

Believe it or not, Generation Y is all grown up and hard at work. As was highlighted in a recent artile on the entrance of Millennials into the workforce by Cassidy Shield, head of global solutions marketing for content, cloud, and communications at Alcatel-Lucent, these new employees are bringing about a drastic change in IT departments across the globe. As baby boomers retire and Millennials take their place, chief information officers are being forced to radically alter the manner in which they set up and manage their organizations.

While previous generations have become comfortable with static infrastructures, Millennials – who have grown up with constant connectivity – expect much more. The same teenagers who chose mobile, social and multimedia lifestyles are now ready to bring those habits and expectations into the workforce.

The Challenges of Evaluating Services as Individual or Collective Customer Experiences

By Oliver Krahn, Guest Contributor, Customer Experience Transformation Lead, Alcatel-Lucent

Customer experience management (CEM) focuses on the relationship between service providers and their subscribers, and has become a critical priority in the industry.  However, the management solution chosen by service providers to meet the needs of their diverse customer bases can differ widely.

There are two ways of looking at the options:

  • Considering the subscribers as a collective group and evaluating a statistical average of experience.
  • Accepting and appreciating each individual as (s)he uses the services provided.

Network Operators Need to Prepare for Booming M2M Traffic

By Erin Harrison

The so-called “Internet of Things” is expected to connect 15 billion devices by 2015, demanding a new approach to communications business models, operations and technologies.  As a result, driven in no small measure by the dramatic projected increase in machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, wireless network operators are in a position where they need to prepare for an explosion of signaling traffic, according to a recent Alcatel-Lucent TechZine item, "Getting Ready for M2M Traffic Growth."

A New Approach to Operational Excellence for MSPs

By Erin Harrison


In today’s ever-changing telecom market, operational excellence is more important than ever for managed service providers.

In a recent whitepaper, "On The Road To Operational Excellence, Alcatel-Lucent describes a model that managed service providers can use to improve operations in support of customers’ needs for enhancing quality of experience (QoE).

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