Next Generation Communications Blog

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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The Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation: It's Not All About Data- Mobile Voice and Messaging Share Plans Offer Plenty of Appeal

Alcatel-Lucent’s Rich Crowe continues the Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation blog series by examining the degree to which consumers are interested in share plans that include unlimited voice and messaging but don’t include data.

The last Six Degrees blog explored consumer attitudes toward two different mobile share plan options: sharing data only and sharing voice, messaging and data. This blog will explore attitudes toward a 3rd option: sharing unlimited voice and messaging — but not data — across multiple devices or subscribers.

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200G Optical Networks: What you need to know

By: Earl Kennedy, IP Transport Product Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

Optical network operators have already made the move to 100G. But skyrocketing bandwidth demand means many are already pondering what’s next. With a 200G optical solution hitting the market, you probably have questions about when to move to 200G optical – and what you need to know when you make that move.

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Best Practices for Network Operators to Strengthen Relationships with ACPs

By Susan J. Campbell

The environment for the network operator is changing as consumer demands are changing. Relationships with application content providers (ACPs) are morphing from distant functionality to arm's-length collaboration to drive value in the market. It is essential for network operators to strengthen these relationships, although it can be a challenge.

To overcome challenges to building relationships, Alcatel-Lucent has some keen advice for developing best practices in strengthening these relationships and maximizing market opportunities. Such practices will demand change, but the change is very doable and will deliver measurable results.



Maximize Outsourced Partner Value: Minimize Risk and Transformation Downtime

By David Sims

"The ideal partner," says a recent white paper from Alcatel-Lucent, "will focus on creating business value for the enterprise and will have a broad range of network, services and the multi-vendor equipment experience needed to create a complete management solution." How to choose the right partner, though? Alcatel-Lucent gives some help. It makes good business sense to consider an outsourcing partner that can address all the aspects of enterprise network management and transformation, they advise: "The ideal partner will run and evolve the network better than the enterprise itself and do it at lower cost to the enterprise." In other words, an outsourcing team should become part of the enterprise team. They should report to the enterprise CIO and keep a focused management team on premises with direct access to the other IT functional teams. The right partner works directly with the CIO, manages external IT partners and suppliers and understands enterprise network technology. The right partner will understand enterprise communications, understand voice and data carriers, both fixed and mobile and understand carrier equipment and networks of the carriers. They'll be experienced working in a multi-vendor environment and have no vested interest in the enterprise's other expense streams. They will be experienced in management and experienced in transformation. This team, Alcatel-Lucent advises, "should take over the governance of the network including managing the service, the network team, finances, and vendors supporting the network." This means regular reports to enterprise management should detail the state of the network, updates, revisions, incidents, and performance. An outsourcing partner "must have extensive background as a network integrator, including design and operations of network and IT environments," the paper says.

How Network Providers Fit in the Mobile Advertising Value Chain

By Susan J. Campbell   Mobile advertising is exploding as a whole new way to reach consumers with more personalized content and allow network providers to establish a new, sustainable business model.

As this is a whole new world, it can be difficult for network providers to figure out where they fit in this value chain. Once they establish their place, however, the possibilities can be endless.

In the past, network providers could "sell" certain information about their subscriber base to interested parties. They could also align partnerships with advertising providers based on the cumulative activity of the subscriber base.



Best Practices for Creating an Effective Advertising Ecosystem

By Susan J. Campbell

Network providers are facing a whole new set of obstacles as consumers are demanding more from the network, but want to pay less for what they receive. Much of this demand includes rich content - much of it video - that strains the network infrastructure and presents new challenges for survival.

On the flip side, those network providers who can meet this growing demand will find much loyalty from their customers. They will also find that they can easily drive new revenue streams, generate demand for new services and even charge a premium when they achieve differentiation. The question for many of these network providers is how to achieve this level without working themselves out of the game in the process. The answer is in personalization that is privacy protected.



Selecting the Right Business Model to Enable the Delivery of New Applications and Services

By David Sims According to a recent Alcatel-Lucent-published study, supporting the business case for enablement of third-party applications is still "a significant challenge for network providers," one that requires "analysis, planning and understanding of implicit tradeoffs." For the majority of network providers, the difficulty in building a business case is the single largest obstacle to launching new "application developer friendly" initiatives, Alcatel-Lucent finds: "Many network providers are overwhelmed by the seemingly daunting task of developing an application and content provider program business case that simultaneously addresses strategic, financial and competitive imperatives." This challenge is further amplified by the rapid pace of change in the application and content ecosystem as well, company officials say. There is a way for network providers to overcome this challenge. Alcatel-Lucent has performed economic modeling with the goal of providing a solid understanding of the basic business case options, including key revenue and cost components, drivers and tradeoffs between models and scenarios. Naturally tailoring to each individual network provider's implementation and context is required. Analysis, based on multiple business models and NPs key decision components, leads to "a practical economic and technical situation for ACP collaboration implementation," Alcatel-Lucent officials say. The insights, which are spelled out in greater detail in the paper itself, are based on Alcatel-Lucent primary research using a broad representation of network providers worldwide. However, one significant challenge with building the business case for ACP collaboration is the myriad of potential approaches for engagement. Network providers are challenged with selecting an appropriate approach and building a business case that is aligned with their strategic goals and tailored to
their individual situation. To that end, Alcatel-Lucent has identified core business models, representing the major approaches employed by network providers for ACP collaboration. The top three business models are summarized briefly here: Operator Led. This is the model where a network provider takes full responsibility for the program and establishes direct, standardized relationships with many ACPs. Aggregator.

How IP Transformation and My IC Phone Benefits the Hospitality Market

By Susan J. Campbell   If you think about the hospitality market, the key focus is to create the most optimal experience for the customer. It doesn't matter if the experience has to do with a room, food, service, communications or scheduling an event, the customer must feel like they are the most important person ever to walk into the establishment.

Now that more and more companies - including those operating in the hospitality market - are moving to an "all-IP" environment, the opportunity to enhance the customer experience has expanded to connectivity. With the "My IC Phone" from Alcatel-Lucent, customers gain access to reliable, fast and convenient access to multimedia communications capabilities. 
  This new solution is designed to revolutionize the desk phone in order to create and deliver personalized mashups or industry-tailored applications. The business traveler can take advantage of an open platform and a new interface that utilizes multi-touch display, Bluetooth and USB support.


How Can Industrializing the Onboarding Process Enable Niche Applications?

By Susan J. Campbell

There is much value in a content provider's ability to build and launch new applications on their own network. As a result, network providers are working to ensure content providers, or ACPs, can achieve this goal. To do so, network providers are automating their developer and application onboarding processes to support demand for niche applications that in the past were not economical. 
  In taking this approach, network providers are creating new revenue opportunities through the expansion of their role in the Web value chain. By evolving their application and content provider collaboration programs and placing greater emphasis on bringing third-party applications to their customers, network providers enhance their own value.

To accomplish this, network providers must industrialize their developer onboarding and application approval processes.




Alcatel-Lucent Demonstrates Power of 100G with Softbank Telecom

By Susan J. Campbell

Network traffic has increased exponentially as consumers and businesses alike are demanding video streaming and on-demand solutions through their desktops, laptops, notebooks, tablets and smartphone devices. Alcatel-Lucent is developing solutions to help carriers meet this growing demand.

Softbank Telecom Corp. recognized the value offered in Alcatel-Lucent's 100G solutions. With help from Alcatel-Lucent, Softbank will deploy its next-generation optical networking solution with the ability to scale up to 100 gigabits per second. 
  Alcatel-Lucent is making its 100G-capable 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) featuring next-generation coherent technology available for Softbank. The carrier's network backbone will require fewer regeneration sites and enjoy a reduced operational cost and power consumption.

This Next-Generation Coherent technology from Alcatel-Lucent is designed to deliver unprecedented resilience to optical transmission impairments across the network.






Using Managed Services to Improve Competitiveness

By Susan J. Campbell

In a world where consumers continue to demand more from their network providers, those who are able to deliver on these demands will find they can thrive. Merely wanting to achieve this level is not nearly enough to make it happen, however, and key strategies must be in place to drive the Quality of Service (QoS) to deliver the optimal Quality of Experience (QoE).

For many a network operator, QoS and QoE are accomplished by implementing a managed services platform to maximize carried traffic with minimum network infrastructure. It may seem like a contradiction in terms, but if you sit back and take the entire situation into consideration - network operators want to effectively compete, but they don't want to add to their infrastructure.

This is where managed services can deliver what is needed. A company like Alcatel-Lucent provides the tools for constant monitoring, advanced problem detection, extensive diagnostic capability and vendor-independent traffic controls, capacity planning and service-level management.





Smart Buildings: The Time is Right

By Susan J. Campbell

Now that the lingo is in place, it no longer seems weird to apply adjectives such as "smart" and "intuitive" to inanimate objects. The previous generation would have likely laughed at the thought of calling a building "smart" but in this day of green initiatives and eco-sustainability, smart buildings are no longer the innovation of the future, but the desired design of today.

If you take a closer look at our treatment of the environment today, communications technology accounts for roughly 2 percent of global carbon emissions. This figure is expected to double by 2020 - especially if we continue on this current path as the demand for broadband services will also continue to grow.

It is essential to curb these emissions and reduce environmental impact through innovative solutions.





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