Next Generation Communications Blog

How to Get AT&T to Fund Your IoT Idea

IoT and M2M developers - here is some exciting news.It Isn't that often that you can develop something for what is supposed...

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Access is Still Pretty Good

At all the shows, it is cloud this and cloud that - a bunch of doom and gloom on legacy telecom....

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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. 


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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New Alcatel-Lucent Book Outlines Opportunities in Intelligent Networks, Web 2.0

By Susan J. Campbell

To better understand how the emerging ecosystem of service providers, developers, advertisers consumers and business users can benefit from smarter platforms, time to check out the latest release from Alcatel-Lucent.

This innovative companies has published a new book, "The Shift: The Evolving Market, Players and Business Models in a 2.0 World," that focuses on the $100 billion market opportunity within the United States alone.  

The core message contained in this new publication is the rapid pace in which consumer technology is adopted and its impact on service providers, application developers, enterprises, content providers and handset manufacturers. Each one is scrambling to meet the increasing demand for bandwidth as all users want real-time access anywhere and from any device.

According to Allison Cerra, head of marketing for Alcatel-Lucent Americas, the book is written to specifically outline the additional value is added to the ecosystem when service providers make intelligent network capabilities available.

By adopting an approach where consumers have control over their experience, developers have access to enhanced capabilities and service providers can monetize their investments to fuel future innovation, everyone wins.

Utilizing Mobile Smartloading to Offload Peak-Time Bandwidth Demand

By Susan J. Campbell

How important is it to offer multi-screen services? Consumers want real-time access to information and entertainment through rich content delivery on a number of different devices. If their service provider cannot provide the same rich content on each device, they will look for one who can.

For those service providers seeking to launch successful multi-screen services, Alcatel-Lucent has the technical expertise and global experience to make it happen. This company can also provide the tools necessary to handle the bandwidth taxing services consumers want.

How Can You Reduce Network Costs by Migrating to an IP Infrastructure

By David Sims

For mobile operators, according to Alcatel-Lucent officials, "migrating from a tried and tested TDM environment to an all-IP network offers tremendous opportunities in terms of a lower cost base and a richer applications environment." But it also presents technical and operational challenges as well. Implementation strategies available to operators seeking to introduce new standards and IP capabilities in mobile networks need to consider IMS, EPC, LTE, or IP backhaul, as well as ways to increase service capability without compromising service and business continuity.  A full IP infrastructure provides greater network capacity and converged voice and data while reducing the cost of communicating. IP networks can support a host of user-friendly, customer-focused applications. Network costs are greatly reduced with an IP infrastructure as well. Alcatel-Lucent officials say the advantages include having a single infrastructure for voice and data, simplified management, reduced operational costs, a secure infrastructure and high availability. There's also the advantage of having a scalable, flexible deployment for wired and wireless networks and from access to core IP infrastructure, one which Alcatel-Lucent officials say is "easy to integrate with other vendor products through LAN Extension," and one that is "easy to integrate a wide variety of phone applications." And not overlooking the obvious, IP infrastructures allow you to take advantage of flexible, low-cost softphone options. Alcatel-Lucent's IP Transformation for Industry and Public Sector offering is designed to enable migration from standalone voice and data networks - often based on dated and expensive technologies - to a fully converged, state-of-the-art communications network. An integrated IP platform "supports enhanced applications like instant messaging, video, unified messaging and Internet for both fixed and mobile users," company officials say, adding that "this provides an open-standards platform for maximum scalability and interoperability."

What Role Should Service Providers Play in Cloud Computing?

By David Sims According to a recent white paper by Alcatel-Lucent, cloud computing is changing the way consumers and businesses purchase and use a wide range of computing capabilities. It also presents new business models for service providers to consider. "For decades, hardware and software have typically been installed at the end users' premises - and on individual computer devices," the paper finds, adding that "now cloud computing offers a different approach: Applications, platforms and infrastructure are available on demand by using the Internet to connect end users with online services." And although application and content providers were the first to become active in the cloud computing marketplace, the paper discovers "a growing number of network providers are now launching - or announcing - new cloud services." As an example, one Tier 1 operator now offers enterprise services in more than two dozen countries across the globe: "The offerings include on-demand virtualized infrastructure with service level agreements, rapid support and management of off-the-shelf applications." There are advantages to being a service provider when it comes to cloud computing, the paper concludes: Trusted relationships. Network providers assign dedicated teams to work with an enterprise throughout the lifecycle of a product or service, beginning with sales and continuing through after-sales service and support. These collaborations can provide the enterprise with greater control over purchasing processes and increased responsiveness to their unique needs, including 24/7 service support. Reliable operations that scale. While some application and content providers maintain services in a "perpetual preview" state (i.e., beta), network providers carry out extensive testing and certification processes before services are launched. Service level agreements with real impact. Network providers also offer truly "meaningful" service level agreements. That is, they are supported by clear metrics, regular performance monitoring - and financial penalties if the SLA standards are not met.

Using Multi-Vendor Managed Services to Create a Single Point of Accountability

By Susan J. Campbell As a network operator, it is imperative that you have the necessary tools and manpower to manage a number of vendors, maintenance contracts and required skill sets. Your complexity and costs are consistently increased by the continuous need to maintain and upgrade legacy equipment.

With these challenges in place, it is necessary to implement solutions that will reduce your costs, sharpen your focus on services and customers, as well as maintain the quality of your legacy operations. To accomplish this, many network operators are turning to the Alcatel-Lucent Cost Transformation Program.

This program is designed to offer unique multivendor maintenance services, managed services and capacity, as well as tailored IP transformation strategies. Such services and strategies can help you to optimize profits and QoE while also achieving non-linear OPEX reductions as high as 30 percent.

Best Practices for Using On-Demand QoS Upgrades to Improve Network Utilization and Efficiency

By David Sims

Connie Torres, director of market advantage research, Alcatel-Lucent, recently authored a piece titled "Meeting Application Demand Profitably with a Smart Network." She notes that the Information Age "has evolved from a Web 1.0 Read Only environment to a Web 2.0 Read/Write and share world," where networks "have evolved from 2G to 2.5 G to 3G. 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 iPhone, Torres says, was the real game-changer: "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 uses the intelligence of the network - a smart network." But 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, Torres maintains, "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." There's much in the paper of value for those looking to build smart networks to take advantage of this. One thing Torres focuses on is the value of consumer research. "In the consumer market, a driving force behind much of the growth is youth and young adults," she says. "They are still asking 'why,' 'what if' and 'why not' questions.

IP-Enabled Energy Distribution: Using Smart Utilities to Drive Eco-Efficiencies

By Susan J. Campbell

While a priority focus on environmentally friendly initiatives began some years ago, it wasn't until the concept of "going green" emerged that companies and consumers alike began examining ways to drive system implementations that would deliver sustainable improvements over energy consumption.

This is a growing focus in the utilities sector as utility companies are exploring opportunities to allow consumers to partner with them to help control the amount of energy consumed in any given time frame and by any device or building. Much of this focus has led to the smart grid and Alcatel-Lucent continues to explore opportunities to use smart utilities that will drive eco-efficiencies.

According to a the white paper, "Smart Services: Eco-Sustainable Opportunities for Telecom Operators" developed on behalf of Alcatel-Lucent, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) collaboration is vital for helping other industries to achieve their carbon footprint goals.

GeSI estimates that the involvement of ICT in these industries by 2020 will help to deliver cost avoidance savings that will reach as high as $946.5 billion by reducing consumption of electricity and fuel. To do so, IP-based telecom networks must be the next-generation backbone of these and other industries.

Best Practices for Securely Exposing Network Assets

By David Sims

To continue competing in the marketplace, a recent post from Alcatel-Lucent contends, service providers "must increase their influence on the content delivery value chain by adding unique value to it." Service providers have network assets that offer a quantifiable value to third parties looking to provide consumers services, the post says, adding that "these assets can be used to monetize the massive streams of content and application services that traverse the network." And the first step, naturally, according to Alcatel-Lucent officials, is "to figure out which assets can be used to attract those who design or deliver applications, video streams, and other multimedia services." But security is a big issue here. "Securely exposing control assets to content providers and third-party application developers enables service providers to offer differentiated services to multimedia companies and application developer communities," the post notes. The Alcatel-Lucent Application Enablement vision, company officials say, helps service providers "identify their service capabilities, then expose and package them in a consistent and formalized way, while retaining access control." The company's Application Exposure Suite provides a layer of protection and controlled access, company officials say, "allowing service providers to identify and expose capabilities required to deliver multimedia content, securely via open application program interface constructs, while protecting mission-critical assets." They also offer a Developer Platform that facilitates rapid market entry for service providers and enables frictionless collaboration and support of technical and commercial interactions with application developers, and a Multi-Screen Foundation, which provides capabilities removing much of the complexity behind multimedia service provisioning. Using open SOAP/XML interfaces, then, Alcatel-Lucent officials say there are some services which can be exposed to Web developers: ·         The Multi-screen Head-end, which allows operators to extend asset delivery to any terminal type. ·         Federated identity, which brings subscriber data together into one place. ·         Converged payment, which facilitates e-commerce and flexible payment mechanisms.

Content is King: Choosing the Right Partner Ecosystem to Create High Value Multimedia Services

By Susan J. Campbell For those network operators hoping to drive revenue and profits in this new market, the primary focus must be on rich, quality content delivered whenever and wherever the customer demands it. An inability to do so is putting the customer on the fast track to find another provider, leaving the network operator struggling to find new customers in an intensively competitive industry.

When content is the primary focus, service providers may find themselves struggling with making the change in a way that is successful, profitable and sustainable. One of the best ways to make this change is to leverage a partner ecosystem to create high-value multimedia services.

Think about the direction of the market: Internet content is steadily moving to broadcast TV and online content remarkably resembles TV output. As platforms rapidly converge, the surviving media is searching for a home.

Monetizing the Multimedia Value Chain

By Susan J. Campbell

In the realm of media communications, there is a state of unrest. Multi-channel TV and Internet content distribution has enjoyed strong growth, but something had to be taken down in order for this growth to succeed: incumbent terrestrial public and commercial broadcasters. As a result, these companies are struggling with significant revenue stream and business model issues.

As these companies must change the way they do business to monetize the multimedia value chain, what elements should they consider to get the job done? One option is the pay platform. Free-to-air (FTA) broadcasters can take advantage of the opportunities in this space as the market has long favored the pay-TV business.

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