Next Generation Communications Blog

What's Up With the Data Center?

This morning there is an article that "RDG Capital Fund Management, the investment vehicle of Russell Glass and a significant shareholder...

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Experience-Centric

While search slideshare (now LinkedIn slideshare), I saw this slide, which sums up customer expectations as well as a conversation I...

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NFV Vendor Challenges Part 1

We’ve all likely seen the Gartner hype cycle for emerging technologies curve.  I remember many, many years ago when I first saw...

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Clinton's BYOD Phones, E-mail Server May Achieve Bin Laden's Goal

One of Osama Bin Laden’s goals was to assassinate president Obama in order to get Joe Biden promoted to president. Said Bin...

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The Importance of a Software Media Server/Media Resource Broker to Handle Diverse Multimedia Resource Requirements in a VoLTE Network

It would be nice sometimes to live in a bubble where you would only have to deal with what was in...

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CyberFlow Analytics Detects Cybersecurity Breach Anomalies

Security experts agree – there is absolutely no way to ensure your network is 100% safe from cybercriminals – if they really...

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Fiber Play: NTELOS Bought by Shentel

It is all about fiber. Whether it is fiber-to-the-home or fiber lit buildings, the bankers love the word fiber. (I will...

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Dunedin: a gigatown positioned for a smart city future

BY: Tim Marshall, External Affairs Director, Alcatel-Lucent Oceania

Originally appeared on Alcatel-Lucent Blog February 10, 2015

Perched on the southern edge of New Zealand, a small picturesque city with a big digital vision is about to be wired with the fastest broadband speeds in the Southern Hemisphere.

You may never have heard of it, but Dunedin is the envy of New Zealand after being crowned the winner of Gigatown, an online and real world competition for communities to receive 1Gbps broadband* and two development funds to support entrepreneurs, innovators and social initiatives. The competition was run by Chorus, New Zealand’s largest telecommunications infrastructure company which is rolling out the nation’s world-leading Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) program.

On the Road to IP and Optics Convergence

By: Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor

For what seems like ages now the communications industry has been talking about convergence. We have already gone through many phases as networks move from TDM to being end-to-end Internet Protocol (IP) with voice traffic increasingly being carried on converged networks.  Indeed, the popularity of Voice-over-IP (VoIP) and the coming of Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) on mobile networks is the future.  

That said, convergence is not just about IP but is also about the transformation of global network infrastructures in the wired world, with legs into the wireless one as well, of IP and Optics.  And, as Steve Vogelsang, VP Strategy and CTO, IP Routing and Transport Business Division, Alcatel-Lucent noted in a recent TechZine blog, IP and optics: Time to make nice, “Let’s face it. The future of the communications industry requires a convergence of IP and optics. So maybe it’s time to give each other some overdue respect."

Five Countries with Strong 4G LTE Presence

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Even connectivity-challenged Laos advertises 4G LTE wireless connectivity. Albeit coverage is limited and not all 4G LTE networks have been created equal. Reality is that you’ll be hard-pressed to find 4G LTE even in the heart of Laos’ capital, Vientiane. And, despite global industry and government enthusiasm for 4G LTE, many other parts of the globe are still achingly slow with their 4G rollouts. However, not every country has poor 4G LTE coverage. In fact, five 4G standouts include France, Spain, China, Dubai, and of course the U.S.

Customer Self-Care is Win-Win for CSPs and Users

By: Mae Kowalke, TMC Contributor

Self-service to one degree or another has been present since the rise of the web. However, customers are increasingly choosing self-service because they feel more empowered and it is often perceived to be an easier interaction than dealing with a live person. The rise of the smartphone also has increased the use of self-service.

In fact, as explained by Jessica Verbruggen, Integrated Marketing Assistant at Alcatel-Lucent Motive, in a recent TechZine article, Empowering Autonomous Customer Self-Care, self-service can be a win-win for customers and communications service providers (CSPs).

LTE Carrier Aggregation--Meeting the Challenges of the 'Need for Speed' and Capacity

By: Peter Bernstein, TMC Senior Editor

In business as well as our personal lives there are finite resources that gate our activities. The big one that covers both is time which we cannot create more of and hopefully optimize for obvious reasons.  In mobile communications the issue is getting the most out of not just the finite but scarce radio frequency (RF) spectrum allocated for service provider networks. 

Realities are that in most parts of the world mobile service providers have access to different frequency bands as a result of things like auctions and mergers. Thus, they have a need to mesh their various spectrum assets (i.e., bands and associated carriers) in general. They also must optimize them to meet the insatiable appetite of customers for bandwidth-hungry services such as real-time and streamed video where Quality of Experience (QoE). Indeed, QoE and its extensibility to cover anywhere a customer is located is now foundational for attracting and keeping customers. 

Small Cells are Key to Attracting and Keeping SMB and Large Enterprise Customers

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

To say that operators of macro-cellular physical networks are facing all type of challenges these days would be an understatement.  These range from spectrum scarcity issues, competitive pricing pressures, the need to build out LTE networks ASAP as platforms for new services and to meet the insatiable appetite of users for things like streamed and real-time video, getting ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) etc.  They also are busy figuring out how to keep users, particularly enterprise users on their smart devices always and all ways on their networks in an increasingly fickle world where alternatives abound, including for value-added traffic lost to Over-the-Top (OTT) providers.  

It is to keep enterprise customers on the mobile service provider networks for enhanced services that good in-building wireless solutions are seen as both a powerful business tool and a competitive advantage.  This is particularly true when it comes to retaining small-to-medium business customers (SMBs).

Why Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Calls for a Distributed Network Architecture

By: Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC

There’s no question that the network functions virtualization (NFV) technology around which many telecommunications carriers and vendors are rallying takes a page from the virtualization that already has taken hold in IT data centers. But you can’t judge a book by its cover. NFV and IT virtualization also have their differences.

One key difference is that while data center virtualization tends to rely on a centralized architecture, NFV calls for a distributed one, Andreas Lemke, marketing lead for the CloudBand NFV platform at Alcatel-Lucent, points out in a recent TechZine posting by Andreas Lemke, Marketing Lead, CloudBand NFV platform, Alcatel-Lucent titled, Why distribution is important in NFV.

The Need for Smart Cities is Obvious

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

It goes without saying anymore that people and businesses in an increasingly connected world rely on the Internet for personal and commercial communication. We are also in the midst of a continuing migration of people are increasingly moving to cities as the world is becoming more urbanized.  What has also become clear is that cities with a smart grid and a solid IP infrastructure thrive more than cities that do not. The case for the smart city has never been stronger.

The Evolution of Cable MSOs Must Continue

By: Mae Kowallke, TMCnet Contributor

Triple play was a good start. But Cable multiple-system operators (MSOs) must continue their evolution.

Cable MSOs have been leading the residential entertainment and communication services segment for years. The expansion of their service offerings from broadcast video to video-on-demand, high-speed Internet and voice has enabled MSOs to expand their market share in the face of changing technology and viewing preferences. But to stay competitive, cable MSOs cannot rest on their laurels.

The explosion of connected devices, competition building Gigabit networks over fiber, the expansion of over-the-top applications such as Skype and the evolution of higher quality video such as 4K resolution are demanding that cable MSOs continue to beef up their access networks.

Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes on Importance of Bringing Ultra-Broadband to Africa

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

It may be almost cliché to say we live in a global economy, but many times when globalization is discussed the focus is on developed and emerging markets and not that often, if at all, on under-developed regions.  In fact, in the past few years until the recent drop in oil prices, much of the financial community’s and economic development interests has been focused on the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).  This leaves out not just most of South America, but the promising rest of Africa which contains a wealth of rare minerals and other natural resources waiting to be literally and figuratively mined.

However, for most of the African continent countries to move from under-developed status, along with toward political stability and having a educated citizenry, infrastructure needs to be in place which it currently is not. This means not just giving the populace access to clean water and energy, but in a digital world ubiquitous and affordable access to businesses and individuals to high-speed broadband communications is now not just a foundation but a pre-condition that is essential for moving ahead.  

In this regard it is enlightening, refreshing and significant that Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes recently wrote a corporate blog stressing the company’s interest in working with governments and commercial interests to help accelerate economic development across the continent.  This about not just about the Oscar winning movie of several years ago “Out of Africa”, but is also about around, into and across Africa. 

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