Next Generation Communications Blog

Mobile fax? Why do you need that?

Fax is an enduring technology. While you may think that fax is declining, some reports show that the market is actually...

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We ask the experts: How can exceptional QoE be achieved in VoLTE networks?

By: Jean Jones, Director, Wireless Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

What does voice over LTE (VoLTE) offer your subscribers? Better voice quality, including HD voice. Rich communications with messaging and video. And whatever inventive applications you choose to introduce. In other words, VoLTE can provide a superior quality of experience (QoE) for subscribers and give you a competitive edge — particularly when your service operates at its best. 

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In my last blog[CCE1] , our experts explained why an end-to-end strategy is the key to maintaining peak VoLTE performance. Now we’ll look at how this strategy gets put into practice to optimize real-world service offerings. The information here is based on interviews with Luis Venerio who works with our VoLTE Readiness Services team. And his observations come straight from his experience on VoLTE deployments that serve millions of subscribers.

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Wearable Tech Expo 2014 Kicking off in NYC

My team is at the Jacob Javits Center setting up for Wearable Tech Expo 2014 which will take place Wednesday and Thursday...

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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #7

Tsahi Levent-Levi’s white paper, “Seven Reasons for WebRTC Server-Side Processing,” details a variety of WebRTC-related scenarios that necessitate a media server....

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How signaling spikes affect networks: 3 real-world examples

By: Josee Loudiadis, Director of Network Intelligence, Alcatel-Lucent

Data and signaling growth are usually good news for network operators, since growth often translates into higher revenues. But when growth is averaged over a month or quarter, the daily highs and lows of network activity are smoothed out. And signaling spikes remain hidden within the averages. These spikes can overwhelm available signaling capacity, which impairs the customer experience, as well as the operator’s reputation.

What happens when a spike occurs? Typically, a CPU Overload alarm appears on various mobile nodes. And the Network Operations Center (NOC) immediately starts praying that the burst is short-lived and doesn’t go over maximum peak-rate capacity. Because when that happens, all consumers are denied service access. Then, the process of identifying the source of the problem begins. This can be arduous, because it often involves applications completely out of NOC control. And the issue can’t be resolved easily without solid network analytics that enables engagement with application and device developers.

That’s the reason signaling information is a crucial part of the Alcatel-Lucent Mobile Apps Rankings report and why LTE World 2014 devotes an entire pre-conference day to the topic. It’s also why this blog offers a closer look at how some real-world disruptive signaling spikes got started — and were finally resolved.

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The Expanding Channel Programs

Not only do I see more cloud service providers looking to the channel for sales, I see other channel programs expanding....

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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #6

In a recent blog about the current state of WebRTC, I mentioned that readers should check out an excellent white paper...

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Real-Time Visibility of Performance and Productivity Empowers Employees

By Susan J. Campbell 
 
A balance between performance and cost is a true challenge for contact centers to find. When that contact center is mission critical to the business, it must be able to achieve differentiation from competitors in the market, while also meeting increasing service demands set forth by customers. To complicate matters, the combination of the two must be integrated with a strategy to drive efficiency in operations.  
 
Technology has always played an important role for these companies. The right technological solutions can help the organization to achieve goals and leverage contact centers as a strategic asset.



Leverage Communication APIs to Create High Value Enterprise Service and Web 2.0 Application Mash-ups

By Ed Silverstein

The growth of broadband has helped to shift user focus from voice and personal communication to multi-media and content communication, and that's just the beginning for a smart network that makes application enablement a reality.

The increase in data traffic has network providers racing to keep up with the demand for bandwidth -- a continuous demand for bigger "pipes."  The challenge is to do so at a profit and in a way that leverages the intelligence of the network. This race isn't just for more bandwidth or greater coverage -- it's about creating sustainable business models that allow for the combination of high value network capabilities with the speed and innovation of the Web to provide consumers and enterprises a richer and more trusted Web experience -- what Alcatel-Lucent calls application enablement. With Web 2.0 enablement, Instant Messaging (IM) and Social Networking have led to wide-spread yet close-knit communities while viral spread of content and news happens at such a pace that people face 'information overload'. Consumers are now bringing their new tools to the office expecting them to work seamlessly as they do at home. In the consumer market, a driving force behind much of the growth is youth and young adults. They are still asking "why" "what if" and "why not" questions. Alcatel-Lucent's Market Advantage research shows an overall interest in higher quality of service and centralization. • Users believe the technology will make their lives better • Users want to do more with TV, phone and PC • Storing and sharing information are more important • Mobile shopping provides value; • and Market trends align with research. A recent report on App Store's top grossing applications shows the top pick by consumers is a new social networking app, the second most popular is entertainment, third and fifth are mapping/GPS apps, and fourth is -- yes -- a shopping tool.  At CTIA Spring 2009, three new apps stores were launched by major vendors.

Top 5 Aspects of Customer Engagement: How They Create Brand Loyalty

By Beecher Tuttle

To experience success in today's economy, companies need to provide their current and prospective customers with an unmatched level of service and support. For growing enterprises, this can be a very trying task.   Due to the size and complexity of some companies, a customer may be forced to interact with an automated system, an at-home agent and a sales support worker during a single engagement. Enterprises that fail to put forth the time and resources to refine their customer service solutions are bound to suffer from poor retention rates.   On the other hand, companies that properly engage their customer base are much more likely to improve their revenue streams. Engaged customers are more prone to purchase additional products and services, make brand recommendations to their friends and remain loyal to the company. This type of customer is also the least expensive to service.   When putting together an integrated customer service strategy, enterprises should take into account five key customer engagement ingredients that can help them create brand loyalty: interaction, resources, infrastructure, processes and performance.   The majority of enterprises today still have legacy infrastructure and disparate hardware and application systems that make it difficult to create a synergistic customer engagement experience.

Alcatel-Lucent TechZine, Web 2.0-Style Magazine Launched

By Beecher Tuttle

The global communications industry is a rather complex space. It seems that almost every day a new product or service is introduced that is capable of revolutionizing the market on either the consumer or enterprise level. To stay in the loop and on the cutting-edge, communication technology professionals need to be regularly updated on the most recent trends, innovations and industry standards. In an effort to provide a one-stop shop for business leaders and consumers who have a professional or personal interest in the global communications industry, Alcatel-Lucent recently launched its third online publication, Alcatel-Lucent TechZine. The interactive Web 2.0-style e-magazine will provide readers with a variety of communications-related content, including a wide range of articles, videos and blogs authored by industry insiders. "Alcatel-LucentTechZine will provide current, informative coverage of pertinent, technical hot topics in the communications industry that are important to our customers," Patty Wong, global managing editor for the publication, told TMCnet in an exclusive interview. The new e-magazine will foster a very collaborative online environment where readers can post comments, share ideas and answer poll questions about the hot topics in the field today. The publication also features and "Ask an Expert" page where readers can participate in a back-and-forth discussion with one of Alcatel-Lucent's high-ranking technology professionals. What truly sets Alcatel-Lucent TechZine apart from other company-sponsored publications though is that it is being co-managed by Bell Labs researchers, giving it a truly unbiased feel. "There are topics and technical challenges within our industry that are important to discuss regardless of who a customer is purchasing from," added Wong. "Those are the issues that we seek to respond to with Alcatel-Lucent TechZine."

Best Practices for Improving Network Monitoring and Management

By Susan J. Campbell Network operators are more successful when their networks operate at peak performance levels. To ensure they can achieve such levels, proper network monitoring and management solutions must be in place. While such solutions can deliver value to the network operator, true optimization can be achieved through self organizing networks.

Alcatel-Lucent helps to drive self organizing networks (SON) through inter-cell interference coordination or ICIC. SON is standardized by the 3GPP and the Alcatel-Lucent implementation of the ICIC feature helps operators to maintain outstanding quality on their LTE network, without additional OPEX.

According to Bell Labs studies, ICIC offers the service provider specific benefits, including hand over failure that is reduced by 5 fold; increased throughput by up to 30 percent; and a performance increase in call setup.

As the entire licensed frequency band is available to all LTE cells of an operator, interference can be caused at the cell edge.





Integrated Social Media Strategies Can Help Enterprises Optimize Marketing and Customer Service Initiatives

In an effort to reach consumers on a more personal level, many thriving companies have begun launching social media campaigns. Unfortunately, the majority of these enterprises are only capable of connecting with customers on a department-by-department basis, often resulting in less than desired results.

How Can Enterprises Utilize Business Communication Solutions to Improve Their Bottom Line?

Using the Alcatel-Lucent OmniTouch 8400 Instant Communications Suite (ICS) and the Alcatel-Lucent OmniTouch 8600 My Instant Communicator, the Dynamic Enterprise gains access to consistent, robust and secure communications solutions.

The Move to LTE Helps Companies Meet their Wireless Demands

To show off the potential of LTE technology in the most demanding of circumstances, Alcatel-Lucent and the Texas Energy Network (TEN) recently announced that they will hold a live demonstration in New Mexico later this month.

Best Practices for Using an Intelligent Infrastructure to Simplify your Network

By Susan J. Campbell

The concepts of simplification and networks do not always mix, yet achieving a simplified approach in the network can deliver considerable benefits. The challenge is that the increase in telephony, video and business applications transported over a single enterprise network puts more pressure on the network and can even render it unavailable. If this happens, applications cannot run and business cannot be conducted in order to drive revenue.

Alcatel-Lucent understands these challenges and addresses them through the offering of high availability through networks resource and performance management. The company integrated availability in all of its IP networking products through redundant switches, power supplies and switching fabrics, network topologies, WiFi radio coverage, hot swappable modules and failsafe network address management.

Companies don't want fly-by-night fads when it comes to network simplification and an intelligent infrastructure.





Mashups and Web 2.0: Inventing a New Breed of Web Apps: COM 2.0

By David Sims

Few would deny that Web 2.0 has transformed the Internet. Users, formerly only consumers, are now involved in the creation process by producing and sharing content. And with the growing 2.0 environment, Alcatel-Lucent officials say, mash-ups have become a key factor of the Web success, "mixing existing services and content to build applications."   But, Alcatel-Lucent officials say, the current communication architectures "are not suited for the Web and its 2.0 aspects," namely ease of use, creation and sharing. And although many proprietary offerings coexist, "what is still missing is an open communication technology that could naturally be integrated into the Web 2.0's landscape and acknowledge users' preferences and capabilities."   Alcatel-Lucent recommends that communication features should be added to Web pages as simply as Google's Maps are for location information. "Additionally," they say, "publishing personal details such as address, e-mail or phone number is a concern for end-users, due to ever-growing concerns for privacy and security."   The challenge, then, as Alcatel-Lucent officials see it, is to build a communication technology that could be merged into the 2.0 environment and enable a new breed of Web applications.

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