Next Generation Communications Blog

IoT News from Cisco, University of Missouri and a new IoT Certification Available

Lots of exciting news in the IoT and M2M spaces today. Cisco unveils six pillars for IoT development and lots of new...

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Broadsoft, Nimble Storage, Vodafone, Hibernia, Sonus and other video Interviews

Erik Linask of TMC interviews Hugh Shannon of AvotusMy video team has been at some of the latest shows in the telecom...

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VoWiFi Will Play a Critical Role in Extending Voice Coverage

Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi)...what’s the big deal?  For instance, I can already engage in VoWiFi with some VoIP clients that are downloaded...

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Why CSPs Will Retain a Strong Position in Video Services

By: Paula Bernier, TMC Executive Editor

Facilities-based service providers that own the access network are ideally positioned to distribute video both today and in the future, according to Chris Croupe, who works in strategic marketing at Alcatel-Lucent. Video comes in a variety of forms, its applications continue to expand, and this kind of content continues to multiply, Croupe notes in his recent TechZine posting, Future of video content: Evolution toward 2020.

Calls leveraging video have become widespread, he adds, noting that 59 percent of smartphone users under 35 years of age make at least one video call a month, and 37 percent of this group does so at least once a week.

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It's VoLTE Time

It’s Voice over LTE (VoLTE time). As we all know, the numbers of LTE networks and subscribers have been growing tremendously;...

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Why Google Blocking Revenge Porn is Significant

Amit Singhal SVP Google Search said on his blog today the company will soon offer a web form to allow people to...

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Video and Voice over LTE/ WiFi Requires a Media Server

With the LTE World Summit coming up next week, there will be much discussion about voice and video over LTE as...

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IT and Telecom Convergence with Alcatel-Lucent and HP

By David Sims

Alcatel-Lucent officials recently addressed the need for converged ICT in light of their signed agreement with HP. "On Oct. 20, 2009, HP and Alcatel-Lucent signed the final agreement for a global alliance that addresses this reality" of convergence, ALU officials said. "The alliance will bring to market integrated telecommunications and IT products that address service providers' and enterprises' needs for converged information and communication technologies." Jouni Forsman, research vice president at Gartner, recently addressed the issue, saying: "Tomorrow's communications needs will lead to more and more interconnection of the telecommunications and IT industries. A truly converged approach would offer more and better services for businesses and consumers but is extremely difficult to deliver." The answer, Forsman said, was for "major IT and telecom players to get closer to one another to offer integrated products that can improve the business case for network transformation and help speed-up the pace of innovation on end-user services." As ALU officials pointed out, "the primary focus of transformation tends to be on the bottom line. Converging two networks into one, two devices into one, or two databases into one predictably results in a lower total cost of ownership." Alcatel-Lucent officials explain convergence as "part of the solution to removing barriers between networks, people, processes and knowledge. This speeds business processes and decision making, both of which save time and money." A converged product, then, "provides single-point visibility of IT and telecoms operations and thus the ability to manage them more effectively," ALU officials said, "from a purely practical standpoint, dealing with a single supplier for a converged solution rather than two separate providers reduces costs through simplified interaction." In practical terms, faster flows of information in a converged system mean that a customer issue can be dealt with more quickly, or that a supply chain problem can be solved before it hits service level agreement.

New Multimedia Solutions Released by Alcatel-Lucent

The latest Alcatel-Lucent multimedia solutions will unify the delivery of video, TV and multimedia content to any connected device such as TV, PC or mobile phone. A set of solutions has been released to help service providers introduce a wide array of new service offerings. This, in turn, will help service providers deepen their connections with their subscribers by making it easier for people to access content wherever they are, on any screen. Company officials said that a multimedia strategy focused on the delivery of a wide array of services to subscribers in any location, is supported by these solutions. The multimedia strategy allows service providers to dramatically reduce the time, complexity and cost inherent in creating services for the various screens it supports. This helps service providers to stimulate video consumption and revenue from increased digital content transactions. Alcatel-Lucent is introducing: 1.       The Multi-screen Video Solution, which ties together existing networks, allowing service providers extend their fixed IPTV or CableTV service to smartphones, PCs, tablets and a host of connected devices; 2.      The Multi-screen Foundation, which helps service providers consolidate media operations to create an open foundation for a broad set of targeted multimedia solutions, such as Multi-Screen Video;  and 3.      The Velocix Digital Media Delivery Platform, which consists of a series of appliances that service providers can deploy to support their own dedicated advanced digital media delivery capability, as an alternative to relying on shared content delivering networks, helping improve quality and reduce cost.

Alcatel-Lucent Brings Genesys and Enterprise Together Through Dynamic Enterprise Vision

Alcatel-Lucent has married two of its solution portfolios, Genesys and the Enterprise, as part of an expansion plan for its Dynamic Enterprise vision and increase its market reach. According to company officials, Alcatel-Lucent's Dynamic Enterprise vision helps enterprises to build sustained strategic differentiation by interconnecting their networks, people, and processes and harnessing the connected knowledge of their customers, employees and partners. This Dynamic Enterprises approach brings cross-channel  "conversation" enhancing employee and customer conversation management, in a more Web 2.0 approach. This improves employee interactions amongst themselves and between companies and their customers. This new approach also focuses on the enterprise communications platform, taking it to a more software-based architecture, and making it open to third party developers to create new mashed up services and applications.  Also, Alcatel-Lucent unveiled at VoiceCon a new Smart DeskPhone, a telephony platform, which features an open API developer platform, multimedia communications capabilities, and Web applications for personalized mashups or industry-tailored applications.

Alcatel-Lucent's ng Connect Program Names New Members

The ng Connect Program, co-founded by Alcatel-Lucent and a multi-industry organization committed to the development and rapid deployment of the next generation of broadband services based on Long Term Evolution and other ultra high bandwidth technologies, announced that 10 new members have joined the program. The 10 new members who have joined the ng Connect Program are: CoolSign, a provider of enterprise-class digital signage software solutions; Desktone, a provider of virtual desktop hosting platform to facilitate desktops to be delivered as an outsourced subscription service; EON Reality, a provider of interactive 3D visual content management; K12 Inc., a provider of online education programs; LiveCast, a provider of streaming live video; Mobideo, a provider of wireless application software; Movial , a company enabling rich user experiences; NCR Corp., a provider of assisted- and self-service solutions; Optical Crime Prevention, Inc. , a provider of Video Security as a Service solutions; and Vidyo, a provider of videoconferencing solutions.

The Impact of Instant Access on Go-to-Market Strategies

In today's consumer-driven data consumption, quality in delivery is no longer enough to drive customer loyalty. Users now want instant access, full security and privacy all while demanding the ability to continually access services on any display at any time. Before network operators can bring anything to market, they must be able to meet all of these demands.

Massive content demands are only expected to increase and network operators must be able to deliver all services to mobile devices over a network that can handle the demand. To maintain quality and security, network providers must also be able to merge content and networks - a challenging task when the desire is to keep this change seamless for the user.

Next Generations Conference to be Held This Month

By Alice Straight 

The International Next Generations Network and Basestations conference is set to be held in April in Bath, England.

Prominent speakers from leading operators Vodafone, Telenor Telefonica, O2, BT (British Telecom), Orange, SFR, Virgin Media, 3UK, Vimplecom, Digicel, Mobilkom Austria, Elisa, Globul, will share a platform with industry analysts from Ovum, ABI Research, Analysis Mason, Heavy Reading, Arete, and senior management from GSMA and Ofcom.

"Whilst there are many conferences (on wireless networks), the International Basestation Conference is exceptional both for its clear focus and the high-quality of attendees," said Rupert Baines, vice president of marketing at picoChip, who will be addressing architectures for next generation networks at the conference.

One of the topics slated for discussion is the deployment of home basestations/femtocells with growing numbers of operators around the world introducing products into service. Kenny Graham, head of new technology for Vodafone, which is marketing the Sure Signal femtocell in the U.K.

Streamlining the Challenges of a Multi-Vendor Network

For network operators, streamlining the complexity of managing and maintaining a multi-vendor network is both daunting and full of opportunity with the mobile data explosion of 3G and long term evolution coming to fruition. As TMCnet reported, Alcatel-Lucent this week unveiled a variety of solutions aimed at addressing that mobile data explosion on both 3G and LTE networks. New is 2G and 3G Gateway GPRS Support Node functionality on Alcatel-Lucent's 7750 Service Router-based mobile packet core gateways. That means this gear can now be used in GPRS/EDGE, HSPA, HSPA+ and LTE networks. The 7750 SR has been in global LTE trials since 2009 and becomes generally available in the second half of 2010. Alcatel-Lucent also introduced the Wireless Mobility Manager this week, which enables service provider packet cores to support HSPA and HSPA+ as well as LTE. Lindsay Newell, vice president of marketing for Alcatel-Lucent's IP activities, tells TMCnet that the WMM delivers high performance signaling. As Paula Bernier reported,  smartphones generate a lot more signaling load on the network than do traditional cellular handsets because "they're a lot more chatty with the network," according to Newell. Also, where today mobile subscribers usually have one connection to the network - either using the phone or Internet capability, in the future people will have multiple sessions per device, so that will increase the signaling load as well, adds Newell of Alcatel-Lucent, a key supplier of next-generation wireless gear to industry leaders AT&T and Verizon Wireless. For organizations throughout the global infrastructure, the network is constantly evolving to keep up with the progress of innovative technologies. At the same time, subscriber user patterns are changing and wireless operators are searching for effective strategies for evolving LTE networks. The opportunities in harnessing the right solution are abundant.

Network Providers Can Monetize Subscriber Data Within the Advertising Ecosystem

By Susan J. Campbell

In traditional subscriber-based systems, network providers drove reliable revenues through consumer contracts. To increase revenue streams, providers needed to offer more services to the consumer that they would opt to purchase. Now, with the evolution of the advertising ecosystem, network providers can monetize their subscriber data in a whole new way.   Gone are the days when network providers would aim to "sell" information on their subscribers in order to drive additional revenue. In some industries this is now illegal and the increase in privacy consumer laws has virtually eliminated the potential to derive revenue from such methods, not to mention the fact consumers hate the process.

Bucking the Status Quo

Businesses across industries today cannot stay in business if they simply maintain the status quo. Network operators in particular must innovate to keep pace with user expectations for services and quality.    To satisfy the ever-growing demand for high-bandwidth content and enhanced services, service providers today must evolve not only their networks but also their business models. To increase profit margins and bolster bottom lines while continuing to meet customer expectations - and while contending with a variable, often unpredictable global economic environment.   Examples of this can be found in crossover competitors such as Google, Yahoo! and MSN. Each has been quick to take advantage of media convergence and non-traditional business models to get their piece of an increasing market share.

Keeping Pace with User Needs: Five Trends for Telco Providers

The days of status quo service are long over. Today, network operates need to stay innovative to adequate meet user expectations when it comes to services and quality. As consumers and end-users, alike, increasingly crave high-bandwidth content and better services, service providers need to evolve their strategy and change their business models to meet those needs.

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