Next Generation Communications Blog

Restoration Hardware's E-commerce Fighting Formula

A Tasteful Blend of Starbucks and Apple Retail Experiences designed to make customers fall in loveApple has the most valuable retail real...

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Thoughts on ThinkGeek Customer Service

I’m on the phone with ThinkGeek because I purchased something which they shipped incorrectly. I tried email and didn’t get a...

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The Interworking Function (IWF) part of the Diameter Signaling Controller (DSC) now takes center stage

Diameter Signaling Controllers (DSCs) are the general term used to describe products that enable load balancing and scaling of Diameter signaling...

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New T-Mobile Pay as You Go LTE Pricing Changes Everything

Until recently, if you wanted a real data plan on a major carrier while using your cell phone, you were forced...

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How Sony May be Fighting to Unleak its Information

The recent attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment is about as scary as it gets as emails which insulted the company’s hired talent...

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4 Tips for the Busy Executive

I have a couple of prospective clients that keep delaying projects. One really wants to do the project but the people...

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Opening up the skies with LTE Air-to-Ground

By: Thierry Sens, Marketing Director Transportation Segment, Alcatel-Lucent

(Note:  Originally posted on Alcatel-Lucent corporate blog)

“Ladies and gentlemen, the fasten seat belt sign has now been turned on. Please ensure your mobile devices are switched off for the full duration of the flight” It is the announcement that many passengers dread as they hurry to finish up one more e-mail, or send one final text or tweet, before the start of a flight and a few hours of absence from the connected world.

But from the end of 2016 this is set to change in Europe. Inmarsat announced on November 20 that it has signed a contract with Alcatel-Lucent to develop Long-Term Evolution (LTE) air-to-ground technology, which will be delivered in partnership with service providers and airlines in 30 European countries. Alcatel-Lucent will supply the ground LTE radio infrastructure, which consists of antennas situated 100 km apart. The system is capable of providing download speeds of up to 75 mbps to planes using 2x15 MHz FDD licenses which Inmarsat owns in the Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) S-band. This makes it not only the world’s fastest airborne broadband service, but a pioneer of future in-flight services for passengers and airline operations.

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Why Social Media Services are Critical for Communication Service Provider Revenues

By Andreas Lemke, Applications Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

We live in a time of tremendous disruption in the digital economy. Applications are moving into the cloud while smart phones and tablets are multiplying. Everything is becoming social including: shopping, customer service, search, gaming, learning, work-life in the enterprise, reading, traveling, and dating, even politics through social media campaigns and voter participation.

Communication service providers (CSPs) can benefit from these disruptions. They are selling rapidly growing numbers of smartphones and mobile broadband services that propel the social media phenomena, yet commoditization looms and network load demands high infrastructure investments.

Service Providers Can Deliver Today's Business Customer Needs with Alcatel-Lucent's Business Networking Services

By Susan Campbell

Service providers today are finding that enterprise customers are seeking to minimize costs, reduce complexity and improve overall service quality while adding new functionalities. At the same time, this customer group is asking for help in meeting growing bandwidth needs, as well as reach and reliability requirements as they strive to embrace the increased voice, data and video traffic.

The good news for these service providers is that Alcatel-Lucent offers a full line of Business Networking Services that enable service providers to meet all of these needs, while also driving additional revenue streams and sustaining profitable growth. The company’s IP/MPLS solution is designed to support the needs service providers seek to meet with IP transformation projects.

As service providers are evolving to packet-based network architectures with converged IP data, voice and video running over Layer 2 and/or Layer 3 business VPNs, Alcatel-Lucent is helping these players to tailor the business VPN service offerings to be sure they meet each enterprise customer’s unique requirements. A focus on healthy evolution to this platform ensures service providers not only deliver the demanded applications, but also drive healthy revenue growth.

With the Alcatel-Lucent service router and service switch IP/MPLS portfolio, service providers gain access to an IP VPN, which is a multipoint Layer 3 VPN to support multi-site IP networking. The company’s application-assurance features strive to avoid VPN commoditization to ensure service providers can offer enterprise customers greater visibility, reporting and control at the application level.

The portfolio also offers carrier Ethernet VPNs, which include virtual private LAN service (VPLS) and multipoint Carrier Ethernet VPN, as well as a Virtual Leaded Line (VLL), or point-to-point carrier Ethernet VPN.









IMS from End-to-end

By Susan Campbell

The market for service providers is changing and those who are ready to embrace these changes and drive revenue will find themselves leading their respective segments. These would-be leaders need to leverage the opportunities in applications and video by creating platforms for intuitive and compelling content.

Service providers can partner with Alcatel-Lucent to leverage the company’s end-to-end IMS solutions and reinvent communications. Alcatel-Lucent’s offerings help service providers to make the changes they need to their communications services so as to deliver fixed, mobile and Web access in a way that is quick, smooth and economical. IMS solutions are used to migrate to an all-IP network where they can drive profits by optimizing costs and service delivery within those solutions.


Online Video Driving Demand for Multi-screen Services

By Susan Campbell

Consumers are beginning to embrace the multi-screen digital lifestyle, blurring the line between traditional broadcast TV and online multimedia content. TV and video are being consumed without fixed program schedules or even a home TV. Connected devices such as PCs, smarpthones, tablets and netbooks are allowing users to adopt a more flexible viewing expereince. The challenge in this industry is that consumers want to be able to watch content on different fevices, creating a demand for true multi-screen services.

In addition to the demand for multi-screen services, consumers also want seamless access to the same content, capabilities and quality of experience (QoE) on any screen, anywhere and at anytime.



Alcatel-Lucent Showcasing New lightRadio Product Family at UITP World Congress

By Rajani Baburajan


Alcatel-Lucent is showcasing its new lightRadio product family for urban transport applications at the 59th UITP World Congress and Exhibition in Dubai.

One of the solutions the company is demonstrating is lightRadio Cube, which supports train or vehicle to ground communications. Alcatel-Lucent is also demonstrating on-board interactive kiosks providing multimodal and multimedia information, integrated communication and management solutions for control rooms, on Board CCTV and Video analytics solutions and more.

Announced earlier this year, the lightRadio product family helps mobile operators by radically shrinking and simplifying the base stations and cell site towers, which are the most expensive, power hungry, and difficult to maintain elements in the network.

Featuring a flexible architecture, lightRadio provides simpler, lighter and greener broadband wireless networks for urban transport operators.


Telepak Networks Picks Alcatel-Lucent to Offer Wireless Ethernet Backhaul Solution

By Rajani Baburajan

Telecom operator Telepak Networks has reportedly selected Alcatel-Lucent to deploy Internet Protocol/ Multi Protocol Label Switching (IP/MPLS) for its packet-based network to offer wireless Ethernet backhaul services and IP services to customers in parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Alcatel-Lucent’s solution is expected to enable Telepak Networks to offer flexible IP-based backhaul services. The regional service provider will also be equipped to meet anticipated future growth requirements.

“At Telepak we are committed to our customers and to maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction,” said Gregg Logan, vice-president, Telepak Networks, in a statement. “Since our customers operate in extremely competitive markets, it’s imperative that we have the ability to enhance our services while keeping operating costs low.”



Key Principles of 'Operational Excellence' for Service Providers: QoE, End Users and Business Silo Integration

By Mae Kowalke

In the quest to maximize competitiveness, network providers typically put most of their efforts into deploying and maintaining infrastructures capable of delivering advanced communication services. In other words, most of the investment is in technology.

That’s starting to shift somewhat as providers expand their focus on creating high quality of experience (QoE) through new business processes, too—like self-care portals and more detailed billing.

This is a step in the right direction, but more is needed.

“To achieve business objectives, increase competitiveness, and improve end user QoE network providers need to achieve a level of operational excellence — a philosophy of leadership, teamwork and problem solving resulting in continuous improvement throughout the organization — in all functional areas,” advises Alcatel-Lucent in a recently published white paper.

Traditionally, network operations, IT and customer care have been separate silos. Yet, together, these three make up about 36 percent of a typical provider’s operating expenses. Consolidating them can, therefore, have a significantly positive impact.

“A proper integration strategy supported by ongoing measurement and management will create a streamlined operational environment that improves competitiveness by focusing all business operations to deliver the highest QoE to end users at all times,” notes Alcatel-Lucent in its white paper.

The justification for such a transformation is, of course, the end-user.

“In a changing environment and increasingly competitive landscape, network providers have struggled to find the key to success. Approaches are as varied from one network provider to the next as are their networks.















Mobile Service Providers Need to Capitalize on Green Energy Strategies

Mobile service providers, especially those with operations in developing countries, tend to fall into a common trap when it comes to energy management: focusing all attention on site-level solutions rather than an overall, long-term strategy.

Such site-level solutions tend to be stand-alone projects where energy management is treated separately from other network and operational activities, and the focus is only on off-grid sites.

This type of band-aid approach might work in the short term, but eventually it will come back to bite providers as energy costs continue rising.

“Without a strategic energy plan, OpEx costs can increase dramatically while service deteriorates,” notes Xavier Belet, Director of Alcatel-Lucent’s green consulting services group, in a recently published white paper Green Transformation For Mobile Service Providers. “What’s required is a comprehensive global approach to energy management that assesses current usage and incorporates the groundbreaking opportunities created by new alternative energy sources.”

A comprehensive energy management strategy must take into account, and realistically address, the challenges inherent with using alternative sources in developing countries. A green transformation plan will include capital investments in energy infrastructure necessary to meet energy needs today, and the demand of tomorrow as mobile services become even more popular.

In the white paper, Belet discusses levers available to optimize total cost of ownership (TCO), what’s needed to develop a green transformation plan, tips for mitigating risk, successful business models, and best practices for energy management.

To begin with, there are two main ways to approach optimizing TCO: cut consumption (use less kilowatt hours to operate the network) or cut costs (lower the cost of each kilowatt hour). Cutting consumption is best achieved through optimizing equipment, network design, and site environment. Evolving IT systems also helps.











How to Improve Employee Access to Productivity Tools and Applications

By Mae Kowalke

Enterprises often tend to think that the network is one area with a lot of potential for cost savings—and they’re right. The trick is figuring out how to achieve the savings without negatively impacting network capabilities or going down a rabbit hole of upgrades with long-term ROI but significant short-term investment.

The key is something called convergence. A converged network saves the enterprise money and can actually make money too.

Converged networks offer eight specific advantages: they’re simpler to maintain, increase productivity, make more efficient use of real estate, align with eco-friendly initiatives, increase the mobility of workers, enhance user experience, make possible deployment of more robust applications, and can fully automate certain functions.

“Enterprises are forced to cut their spending budgets by reducing travel and minimizing expenses of all types,” noted Alcatel-Lucent in a recently published white paper. “To sustain financial viability and future growth, enterprises must also make money by seeking new and innovative business opportunities. “It is now feasible to implement multiple applications (such as voice, video, and data), increase speed of execution, and minimize costs with the implementation of a single converged network infrastructure.”

The reason a converged network is so advantageous is that is does away with complex, cumbersome infrastructures that have developed over time as enterprises added capabilities like video conferencing and data sharing, which typically require separate overlay networks built on top of older architecture.

“A converged network eliminates the complexity of multiple overlays, reduces the required CAPEX and OPEX, and increases employee productivity,” Alcatel-Lucent noted in its white paper.











How Service Providers Can Increase Profits from Mobile Data Services

By Mae Kowalke

When it comes to potential profits from the growth in mobile data use, network providers are sitting on a goldmine but often are not cashing in on it. What’s stopping them? Quite simply, networks that can’t keep pace with the demand.

There’s the temptation to apply brute force to this problem by simply building more network capacity the same way the existing infrastructure is designed. But it will take brains and brawn to be successful.

In this case, brains involve adopting technologies that enable on-demand quality of service (QoS) upgrades to deliver immediate, short-term boosts to network performance—for a fee. This is possible using dynamic QoS and traffic policy management to efficiently allocate network resources and generate additional revenue.

In other words, by intelligently applying technology that exists today, network providers can do more with the resources they already have, and get more leverage out of infrastructure investments.

Alcatel-Lucent calls this strategy application enablement, defined as “an industry vision that offers more effective ways to counteract the increasing gap between revenues and traffic growth” using “efficient high leverage network architecture that can provide low-cost transport for a wide range of new personalized multimedia services.”

“This solution can also generate additional revenues from application and content providers (ACPs), as well as from subscribers,” Alcatel-Lucent said in a recently published white paper.

To create high leverage networks and realize the benefits of application enablement, today’s providers must adopt new business models.













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