Next Generation Communications Blog


Next Gen Wireless is Fueling African Developing Nation Growth

By: Paula Bernier, TMC Executive Editor

There tends to be a prejudice in the press for covering the latest and greatest technology and how it is being used in the developed world. The reality is that especially when it comes to wireless, the impact of having ubiquitous and affordable access to communications, not just for voice but for data (aka the Internet), is busy transforming the developed world in ways that may be even more profound.

In fact, in the developing world, connectivity is the lifeblood of economic progress improving not just commerce itself but also the delivery of healthcare and as a tool for rapidly improving the education of young and old alike.  Data is where it is at, and 4G has become as important in the developing world as in the developed. 

A great example of this is in the work Alcatel-Lucent has done with aggressive mobile services provider Smile in Tanzania and the Ivory Coast.  One interesting factoid is that in Tanzania, for every 1 landline subscriber there are 166 mobile phone subscribers.  In short, the age old problem of increasing tele-density in the developing world as the engine for progress is being conquered and with impressive speed that has opened the eyes of man

vEPC in LTE networks: Time to move ahead

By: Keith Allan, Director IP Mobile Core Product Strategy, Alcatel-Lucent

From original TechZine article

Can the virtualized evolved packet core (vEPC) be deployed today in large scale, LTE networks?  Mobile network operators (MNOs) are increasingly convinced that the vEPC has become viable both financially and technically. And I think so, too, based upon the advances made over the past year that I’ll discuss in this blog.

How a "Wi-Fi first" strategy benefits EMEA MSOs

By: Steve Davidson, European Marketing Director for Cable, Alcatel-Lucent

From original Alcatel-Lucent TechZine posting

A Wi-Fi first strategy can help multi-system operators (MSOs) remain competitive in the evolving marketplace.  Wi-Fi enabled devices default to using the cable operator’s Wi-Fi network for voice, and cellular equipped devices can switch to cellular when out of Wi-Fi range.

Although nuances in the business drivers for adopting such a strategy vary by region globally, this model turns the traditional cellular voice paradigm on its head.

Just like other communications or media industries, MSOs face a dynamic and extremely competitive market. As a result, in EMEA, they have evolved their end-user offerings to embrace market-leading fixed high speed internet access, Wi-Fi connectivity, and bundled mobile cellular services using mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) partnerships.

As the pace of change continues to accelerate, subscribers have made a widespread move to Wi-Fi enabled smartphones and tablets. A European commission study stated that 71% of all EU wireless data traffic in 2012 was delivered to smartphones and tablets using Wi-Fi. This is expected to rise to 78% by 2016.

European MSOs have already invested in Wi-Fi and offer data connectivity services in and out of the home. This not only is a customer retention strategy, but also lets MSOs build out further value added services (VAS) and can reduce data costs of their MVNO agreements.  So if we now contemplate the delivery of voice to these Wi-Fi enabled devices, how do we get started?

Existing Mobility Assets

Get more from public safety packet backhauling

By: Jérôme Brouet, Public Safety Solution Director, Alcatel-Lucent

From original Alcatel-Lucent TechZine posting

Increased number of security threats, demand for greater efficiency, and requirement for cross-agency coordination all point to the need to modernize public safety communications networks toward IP and broadband. And, backhauling is at the forefront of this evolution.

The rationale for the evolution of public safety backhaul networks is twofold:

  • In the short-term, existing voice-centric PMR/LMR networks need upgrading to support more data-centric applications.
  • But they also need to get ready for upcoming deployment of wireless broadband 4G/LTE systems complementing existing narrowband PMR/LMR systems.

By deploying a converged MPLS-based backhaul network now, public safety organizations can address current and future requirements for public safety IP communications while controlling costs. And when properly designed, mission-critical public safety transport networks also feature more efficient and more resilient support of legacy TDM-based applications.

Employ backhauling as a strategic asset

5 models to speed LTE public safety adoption

By: Jérôme Brouet, Public Safety Solution Director, Alcatel-Lucent
From original Alcatel-Lucent TechZine posting

Public safety professionals require the highest level of reliable, multimedia mobile communications to enhance their operational effectiveness. And while standard based long term evolution (LTE) provides the most cost-effective and secure way to support these broadband communications, transitioning to this new technology will demand a complex technical, operational, and business evolution for the public safety community.

Why LTE – and why now?

Public safety communications are at a turning point. The most urgent events – planned and unplanned – require more than mission-critical voice to improve first responders’ efficiency. Real-time imagery, video, geo-localization, and high-speed access to private cloud-based information and applications are becoming essential to fulfill first responders’ missions.

Existing private mobile radio (PMR) systems have limited capabilities to deliver this, because they were designed to primarily support narrowband mission-critical voice.

For LTE, it’s a different story. LTE can complement existing PMR networks to dramatically enhance operational effectiveness and coordination within a secure infrastructure shared by cooperating agencies.

Can the vEPC be deployed in the LTE consumer network?

By: Keith Allan, Director IP Mobile Core Product Strategy, Alcatel-Lucent

This article discusses the progress in the development and operational management of the vEPC to support the LTE consumer network. It answers the question: Is the vEPC commercially viable in large-scale, LTE network deployments? At Mobile World Congress 2015, Alcatel-Lucent will show a live demonstration of vEPC dynamic scaling together with simplified NFV management and orchestration.

Over the past several years, I’ve met with many mobile network operators (MNOs) and discussed their plans for virtualizing the evolved packet core (EPC). It’s clear from the more recent conversations that MNOs are now convinced that the vEPC is both financially and technically viable for their networks.  But is the vEPC ready for the MNO’s LTE consumer network?  In this article, I’ll discuss why I now think that’s possible.

VoWiFi extends and enriches LTE services

By: David E. Nowoswiat, Senior Product and Solutions Marketing Manager, IP Routing & Transport, and  Ed Elkin, Head of Marketing for IP Communication, Alcatel-Lucent

The growing importance and usage of Wi-Fi™ is spurring rapid development in voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) to complement robust VoLTE services. Mobile device manufacturers are taking advantage of Wi-Fi to solidify their relationship with consumers and enterprises, so mobile network operators (MNOs) need to act quickly to secure a share in the hot Wi-Fi market. By developing a strategy that encompasses Wi-Fi, MNOs can leverage their most important asset - their LTE network - to deliver a seamless experience for subscribers while leveraging their virtualized IMS investment to create  new revenue opportunities for themselves.

Mobile World Congress 2015 - What's the Next Big Thing?

By: Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor

In doing preparations for what many have called “the circus” aka the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC)—which is arguably now the most important industry trade event as the world goes mobile and which takes place in Barcelona March 2-5—the excitement is already palpable.  From all of the new cool devices of all shapes and sizes to interesting advances on things like antenna technology, Network Functions Virtualization, carrier aggregation, etc., the eye candy alone is almost overwhelming in terms of imagining the possibilities.  However, MWC always is tantalizing because not only does it answer what we will see in terms of capabilities in the near-term, but also because of the questions it raises about the longer term.

In this regard I was struck by a recent blog by Michael Peeters, CTO, Alcatel-Lucent Wireless, entitled I think appropriately, The Circus is in Town. Peeters’ main point is summed up nicely where he says in characterizing his view on what’s the next big thing that will be the buzz of the show that, “ thing is certain: its story will be about removing place and time constraints we took for granted.”

LTE Broadcast: More than just a Pretty Face for Mobile Video

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Mobile video is very popular. In fact, it is predicted to become very much more so in the future with the expectation that it will account for up to 69 percent of total mobile traffic by 2018. Demand is driven by subscribers who want to take content like news programs and favourite TV series with them wherever they go.

As discussed on the Wilson Street blog by Habib Nouira, Product Marketing Manager, Alcatel-Lucent, LTE broadcast is enabling operators and internet service providers (ISPs) to meet this need.  They are also exploring how the technology can expand their coverage areas, reduce customer churn, cut costs, and grow revenue.

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.

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