Next Generation Communications Blog

Optical Transport Networks Help Operators Meet Growing Traffic Requirements

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor It has been called the “data storm;” due to increased online video usage, the cloud, and mobile...

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Altair: LTE the Right Choice for M2M & IOT

Some of my early conversations about the M2M and IoT space with carriers had them explaining to me how they love these...

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Speech Analytics - Data Mining Those Recordings

When I was in Vegas for ITExpo, I participated on a Voice Analytics panel at the SmartVoice co-located conference.  Speech /...

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Defending Against an Autocomplete Smear Campaign

What would you do if you started to Google your name and Google was to suggest you complete the query with the...

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VoLTE Versus WebRTC: I didn't know it was a battle

When I talk to customers, they often ask about how WebRTC compares to voice over LTE (VoLTE), and which technology “will...

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These 3 Do Everything Together

At a few shows, including the latest ITEXPO, the 3 big cablecos - TWC, Comcast and Charter - share a booth....

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Modems? In This Day and Age?

Not so many years ago, the only way to connect to the Internet was via a modem. You would use your...

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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.

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.

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