Next Generation Communications Blog

Amazon Fire Phone Should be a Laptop

I’ve written a lot of headlines in my life but this one is among the oddest. Why on earth does a phone...

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Apple Pay Vs. Google Wallet

Replacing credit cards can likely only be done if the new system is dead-easy to use and it moreover has to be...

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Signaling Offers Great Differentiation for Mobile Value-Added Service Offerings

We’ve all heard that some Value Added Services (VAS) revenue such as Short Message Service (SMS) are starting to decline in...

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Birdstep Improves Wireless User Experience, Reduces Churn

A smartphone user can get tripped up easily when in motion as today’s smartphones look for WiFi networks to connect to and...

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Sonos BOOST, For Music in Tough to Reach Places

I’ve been using Sonos as an in-home streaming solution for many years and since it relies on WiFi it provides infinite levels...

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IOT tests do NOT tell the whole story

Service providers typically have infrastructure from multiple vendors installed in their networks.  Mostly this is by design since they don’t want...

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Notes from Connections 2014 Part Deux

More notes from BSFT Connections 2014 in the desert by friends of my at the show. These notes are from ANPI's...

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Small Cell Technology Solutions Help Wireless Service Providers Succeed in Challenging Market

By Mae Kowalke

Wireless service providers today are going through a transformative, challenging period in their evolution. Increasing demands for bandwidth and quality of service are driving the need to transform from 3G networks to LTE. In the midst of this transformation, existing architecture must be maintained and leveraged to its fullest ability.

More and more providers are turning to metro cells as a way of extending life for 3G networks and serving low-density areas where wireless coverage would not otherwise be economically viable.

“Metro cells offer a valuable option for solving some of today’s most pressing wireless network problems,” said Nikolas Olaziregi, Alcatel-Lucent’s Corporate CTO Technology Strategy Advisor, in a recent TechZine article, "Metro Cells are In Sight." “They can provide performance and capacity uplift where needed, almost overnight, while lessening the obstacles associated with macro cell site acquisition.”

In the article, Olaziregi defines a metro cell as “an operator owned and managed wireless access node, using licensed spectrum and providing open access.”

Metro cells are a low cost option for better coverage and capacity in a targeted area. They are easy to deploy, and because they have low emissions are less subject to regulation than macro cell sites. When utilized strategically, metro cells can help reduce a network’s total cost of ownership (TCO).

The key with small cell technology is to understand how such solutions can fit into the larger network.










Wireless Providers Using Cloud to Deliver Multi-Screen Services for Content Providers, IPTV Operators and Multimedia Players

By Mae Kowalke

Many service providers in the wireless space are finding that opportunities expand and doors open when cloud services are embraced as the present and future for content providers, IPTV operators, and multimedia players. Although it takes a fundamental shift in thinking about business models, new revenue streams emerge when cloud capabilities—existing or newly added—are exposed externally.

In a recent TechZine article, "Seeding the Clouds with Multimedia Services," two members of Alcatel-Lucent’s Multimedia Practice Services Group (Yacine Mahfoufi, Marketing Director and Raul Hernandez, Product Marketing Director) explored cloud opportunities in these three areas—content providers, IPTV operators, multimedia players—and addressed ways of overcoming challenges to those opportunities.

For multimedia players, cloud migration is a top priority for the next few years.

“These players are used to accessing advanced technology, such as virtualization and web farming and for their content creation needs (for example, 3D, editing, and content sharing),” Mahfoufi and Hernandez noted. “Some media players, such as studios and post-production companies, are already utilizing cloud-based storage services or processing capabilities to manage their end-to-end digital delivery chain.”





 

Right now, what multimedia players need is new revenue from a variety of business models, including multi-screen video streaming services.



Experiencing TV Everywhere: Taking Television to the Internet and Beyond

By Susan Campbell

The idea of experiencing television at any time and on any device is not only appealing for a number of TV viewers in the consumer market, it is also an exciting innovation for Time Warner and Comcast. The two US-based cable TV operators are working together to make TV Everywhere (TVE) a reality. When this platform comes to fruition, existing TV subscribers will be able to watch their television content online and on-demand, with no fees added to their current bill.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent article, "TV Everywhere: Taking Television to the Internet", explores the potential of TVE, stressing that while this initiative is still in its early stages, it definitely has the potential to change television from what know it is today. Similar initiatives have already been launched in Europe to warm responses, indicating the impact could very easily be global.



Alcatel-Lucent Enables Intelligent Traffic Management

By Susan Campbell

In this increasingly wireless world, the demand for applications, quality content and seamless service continues to increase. Service providers hoping to leverage opportunities, while also expanding their network must be able to deliver intelligent traffic management if they want to deliver the Quality of Experience that subscribers demand.

Alcatel-Lucent has produced a white paper on this topic entitled: Intelligent Traffic Management: Protecting the Subscriber's QoE while Securing the Integrity of the Wireless Network. This paper highlights an environment for the service provider that is much more transient and unpredictable as compared with traditional mobile voice networks. As a result, service providers are facing unique and complex challenges to maintain subscriber QoE, while also ensuring the integrity of the network.


Alcatel-Lucent Demonstrates the Power of Moving Any G to LTE

By Susan Campbell

Bandwidth demand is exploding throughout the marketplace, and at the same time, subscriber revenues are flattening. To react, mobile network operators are being forced to transform their networks, while also preparing for the arrival of 4G/LTE. To stay competitive, these providers must be able to transition quickly and efficiently, while still reducing costs. This overwhelming challenge can be overcome with the Alcatel-Lucent Mobile Backhaul Solution.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent white paper, Any G to LTE Alcatel-Lucent Mobile Backhaul Solution, explored the challenges facing Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) today, including more users, more traffic, more devices, more applications and more machine-to-machine communication.


Alcatel-Lucent: Providing Solutions to Take TV Everywhere

By Susan Campbell

There is a dynamic change taking place in the television consumption model and for those of you who want your preferred viewing available at any time and from any device, you’ll be sure to get excited about the concept of TV Everywhere.

In a recent Alcatel-Lucent white paper: TV Everywhere: Taking Television to the Internet, the company explores the potential of enabling this model to bring a number of additional services and capabilities to subscribers throughout the marketplace. It is bound to be a driving force for Comcast and Time Warner as they enable existing TV subscribers to watch preferred television content online and on-demand, without additional charges.

The world is growing increasingly wireless as consumers and business users alike want real-time access to innovation solutions all the time. To deliver a compelling TVE experience, the top layer of the TVE ecosystem will contain various content providers and broadcast studios producing content for Linear TV broadcasters.

Understanding the Benefits and Limitations of TCP

By Beecher Tuttle

The explosive growth of streaming video traffic has elevated Transport Control Protocol (TCP) to the position of a ubiquitous technology.

Service providers can leverage TCP, along with HTTP adaptive streaming (HAS), to effectively transport non-real time video. These technologies have become increasingly popular because they provide a number of benefits, including familiarity and a widely deployed infrastructure.

That said, TCP is not an ideal solution for every environment. The technology carries with it certain inherent limitations that need to be understood for service providers to take full advantage of its benefits.

TV Everywhere Allows TV Distributors to Capitalize on Subscriber Potential

By Susan Campbell

Can you image a world with TV Everywhere? This concept goes beyond televisions made available in your favorite restaurants and bars. Instead, TV Everywhere is a concept that allows you to access your favorite TV content on any screen, at any time and from any location. Alcatel-Lucent is working to make this a reality.

TV Everywhere is an initiative launched by Comcast and Time Warner designed to enable existing TV subscribers to watch their preferred television content online and on-demand without any additional cost.

Driving the Change to LTE: Consumers Demanding Advanced Capabilities

By Susan Campbell

There is a growing demand in the global market for advanced services. In fact, research has demonstrated that not only is this demand growing, users are willing to pay for such services. The top three advanced services in terms of demand are live messaging, next-generation music, and enhanced mobile video. Enterprise users are demonstrating that they prefer mobile collaboration, mobile cloud computing and multi-party video.

An Alcatel-Lucent Enriching Communications e-Zine article: “Users Seek Improved QoE with LTE” focused on these concepts and the importance of Long Term Evolution (LTE)-enabled applications and services as providers seek to meet consumer demand.

Mobile Operators Find White Knight in Femtocell Technology

Global telecoms giant, Alcatel- Lucent, seems to be consolidating its leading position in the rapidly expanding Femto / small cell market with this month’s deal to deploy the technology across Telefonica’s Spanish operation.

To paraphrase an old saying: “Cometh the hour, cometh the technology” and it seems as though Alcatel’s offering has arrived just in time to help head off the perfect storm of soaring data traffic that is threatening to engulf existing mobile infrastructure. There simply aren’t enough traditional base stations to cope with forecast traffic demands and, if mobile operators are to maintain the quality of reception for their customers, then rolling out small cells would appear to a solution which is destined to rapidly gain traction.

The idea of using small base stations connected to broadband as a way of improving mobile reception in residential and smaller office environments is by no means new. The technology has been around for years. The reason it hasn’t been rolled out before is all down to the cost of the microchips it requires. Recent advances have enabled the chips to be manufactured much more cheaply so that it is now economical for dwellings and small offices to take advantage of what Femtocells have to offer.

Typically they have a range of about 10 metres and, apart from the fact that they enable mobile devices to pick up a signal which might previously have been physically impossible, they provide operators with an inexpensive and quick way of boosting capacity.





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