Next Generation Communications Blog

SmartPhoneMan and His Interaction with Media Servers on St. Patrick's Day

Last week we made it about halfway through SmartPhoneMan’s day.  Let’s finish his day.  Right now, he’s in a rush to...

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Verizon Invites the Channel Once More

Jon Arnold wrote up a good review of Verizon's Broad Cloud offering (VCE). One glaring problem is that it targets in...

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Media Servers and St. Patrick's Day

Last week I wrote about the important role media servers play in the network.  Today is St. Patrick’s Day and let’s...

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What Can You Learn from Target?

I was reading a couple of articles about Target. The retailer has not been doing well lately, including closing all Canada...

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Media Servers Will Play an Increasingly Important Role for Telco Apps

Media servers play an important role in enabling many of the real-time communications applications many of us use every day.  When...

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How a "Wi-Fi first" strategy benefits EMEA MSOs

By: Steve Davidson, European Marketing Director for Cable, Alcatel-Lucent

From original Alcatel-Lucent TechZine posting

A Wi-Fi first strategy can help multi-system operators (MSOs) remain competitive in the evolving marketplace.  Wi-Fi enabled devices default to using the cable operator’s Wi-Fi network for voice, and cellular equipped devices can switch to cellular when out of Wi-Fi range.

Although nuances in the business drivers for adopting such a strategy vary by region globally, this model turns the traditional cellular voice paradigm on its head.

Just like other communications or media industries, MSOs face a dynamic and extremely competitive market. As a result, in EMEA, they have evolved their end-user offerings to embrace market-leading fixed high speed internet access, Wi-Fi connectivity, and bundled mobile cellular services using mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) partnerships.

As the pace of change continues to accelerate, subscribers have made a widespread move to Wi-Fi enabled smartphones and tablets. A European commission study stated that 71% of all EU wireless data traffic in 2012 was delivered to smartphones and tablets using Wi-Fi. This is expected to rise to 78% by 2016.

European MSOs have already invested in Wi-Fi and offer data connectivity services in and out of the home. This not only is a customer retention strategy, but also lets MSOs build out further value added services (VAS) and can reduce data costs of their MVNO agreements.  So if we now contemplate the delivery of voice to these Wi-Fi enabled devices, how do we get started?

Existing Mobility Assets

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End-to-End Security for the Smart Grid

By Mae Kowalke

Around the world, electricity distribution infrastructure is being transformed using "smart grid" technologies. Although this is happening more quickly in some areas than others, the purpose is the same: secure energy supplies and ensure they remain viable.

This goes beyond security, of course, to profits – as such things always do.

“The bottom-line benefit is more efficient use of energy,” noted Peter Johnson, Vice President of Alcatel-Lucent’s Smart Grid division, in a GridTalk e-zine article, “Protecting the smart grid with today’s solutions,” about smart grid security.

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.

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