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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Analytics is the Key to Improving the Customer Experience

By Mae Kowalke

In a market recovering from “the great recession,” where businesses and individuals are more inclined to save than spend, and have more tools than ever with which to make informed choices, communications service providers (CSPs) face steep competition.

Nothing short of a customer experience transformation is likely to help telecommunications providers end up on the shortlist, with any hope of being selected. This type of focus requires much more than “outside the box” thinking.

In a recent white paper, Customer Experience Transformation via Analytics, Alcatel-Lucent highlighted the connection between customer experience transformation and new business models, citing observations from research firm Gartner.

The Top Bell Labs Innovations - Part II: Future Game-Changers

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor

This posting marks the fourth and final installment of my series about Bell Labs innovations. The first three highlighted: the context for Bell Labs as a prolific and globally recognized leader in the global research community; its role as critical driver of Alcatel-Lucent’s market leadership; the Labs’ rich history of invention across a broad range of disciplines; and, how it literally is “Innovating Innovation” with a culture based on continuous learning and adaptability. I will reveal my prejudice. I saved the best for last.

Cloud Computing - Compliance Relies on Partnerships

By Susan J. Campbell

Cloud computing – it has been introduced and touted to the masses as the economical, no-strings-attached approach to leveraging features and capabilities that were once only available to the enterprise. Telecom operators driving cloud communications need to be able to make decisions about where and when to comply with governance. The challenge is that compliance is relatively complex.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent Enriching Communications article, Compliance in the Cloud: Risk or Reward?, explored the challenges of compliance in the cloud.

Smart Grid Evolution Relies on Cyber Security and Data Protection

By Susan J. Campbell

Data privacy and cyber security are two of the hottest topics in the telecommunications space as consumers and business users become more mobile, accessing anything from social media platforms to bank accounts and proprietary networks on their mobile devices, all the while demanding that increased privacy and data protections are put in place.

The same is true for utility companies seeking to capture information on energy use. A recent Alcatel-Lucent article, Ensuring Smart Grid Social Acceptance by Securing Data Privacy, explores the challenges that arise in the quest for a more economic and “green” approach to energy consumption.

Smarter utilities are implementing machine-to-machine communications that allow smart meters to send information back to the utility on the amount of energy being used.

Better Customer Care for Smartphone Users

By Susan J. Campbell

The number of individuals using smartphones is rapidly growing, creating challenges for service providers aiming to provide good customer care. The devices tend to be more complex to configure and support, which challenges agents without a complete technical insight into all platforms. Agents also tend to lack a complete overview of what could be wrong as the smartphone could be experiencing problems with apps, the operating system or the network.

To meet these challenges, service providers need to provide smart support for their smartphone customers.

Alcatel-Lucent, World Education Inc. Launch Program to Provide Life Training Skills to Children in Underserved Communities

By Beecher Tuttle

Telecom giant Alcatel-Lucent is spearheading a $6 million, three-year global initiative to provide digital skills training and other educational opportunities to young people from underserved and disadvantaged communities from around the world.

The program, dubbed ConnectED, was born from a partnership between the company's charitable arm, the Alcatel-Lucent Foundation, and World Education Inc., a U.S. non-profit organization that works to increase educational opportunities for girls and women in more than 50 countries.

ConnectED will fund equivalency programs, literacy courses, and re-entry classes for underserved youth who have dropped out of school.

The Top Bell Labs Innovations - Part I: The Game-Changers

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor

This is the third in my four-part series of posts about Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs. As noted previously, focus of this series is not just to introduce you to the world’s most famous research organization, but to provide details and insights on its past, present and future. The first two posts provided an overall view of the Labs, and details on how its philosophy of “Innovating Innovation” is enhancing its preeminent position in the scientific world and allowing it to keep Alcatel-Lucent in market leadership positions. As can be seen in the title, this post details the rich history of the contributions made by Bells Labs in empowering businesses and enriching the lives of people around the world through the development and application of the ingenuity and knowledge of its researchers.

For those of us in the content creation business, there is nothing better than a Top 10 list.

LTE and the Mobile Backhaul Solution

By Michelle Amodio

Last week, we took a look at LTE and traffic, discussing the progression of LTE and mobile transport.

LTE has a tremendous impact on mobility. LTE networks offer the promise of supporting the explosion in traffic arising from a new generation of mobile devices and applications. The introduction of LTE has several implications on the transport network.

Cloud Services Offer Winning Solution for SMBs, Service Providers

By Susan J. Campbell

The buzz throughout the telecommunications and technology space is surrounding cloud computing. Cloud-based services enable service providers to tap into new markets without expanding budgets. On the corporate side, businesses of all sizes can leverage enhanced capability through cloud services that fit within tight budgets.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent Enriching Communications article, Cloud Services: A Strategy and a Framework, explored the potential that cloud services creates for the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) that typically does not have its own IT staff or the capabilities to deploy complex applications to support strategic initiatives.

The Automation in the Driverless Metro Offers a Safe Ride

By Susan J. Campbell

As technology consumers, we have become accustomed to the automation of certain capabilities. Self-service channels, for instance, allow us to handle many of the processes we want to complete without interacting with another human being. We rely on automation to streamline our work processes or make consumables more available. What if this automation were instead in the driver’s seat – literally?

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