Next Generation Communications Blog

Research

Green Telecom & IT Workshop by IISc and Bell Labs

By Vikram Srinivasan, Director, Networking Systems Research, Bell Labs, India

The GreenTouch consortium was formed with the ambitious goal of inventing new technologies that could reduce the energy expenditure of telecommunication networks by a factor of 1000 by 2015. Two of the newest members of the consortium are the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, two premier research institutes in India.  We recognized that India faces certain unique challenges and Green is not only far more relevant in emerging markets such as India, but also that emerging markets require certain unique technical challenges in the field of Green Networking. With this in mind, the Green Telecom and IT Workshop was co-organized by Bell Labs and IISc with support from GreenTouch to explore collaborative opportunities, on April 4-5, 2012.

Improving Network Efficiency with Preloaded evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS)

By Mae Kowalke

One of the challenges faced by mobile network service providers deploying 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) is using it to deliver popular multimedia content to a mass audience in the most efficient and effective manner. In the past, operators had two options: unicast or broadcast.

For those unfamiliar with the terms, below is a brief description of each:

  • Unicast — the sending content to a single network destination, with a unique address.  It is a one-to-one method of distribution. Traditionally, unicast has been when each individual recipient wanted or needed different content.
  • Broadcast — as the name implies, is sending the same content to all possible destinations, e.g., it is a one-to-many or one-to-all method of distribution. The obvious downside of broadcast is that everyone receives identical content.

Recently, a new technology call evolved multimedia broadcast multicast service (eMBMS) entered the scene.  It makes possible the efficient broadcasting of content only to interested recipients. An added attraction is that eMBMS is highly scalable.  It uses only a fraction of the capacity compared with unicast. This gives operators the best of both worlds: the flexibility of unicast and the efficiency of broadcast.

IMS Provides Eco-Efficiency Choices, Creates New Revenue Opportunities

By Erin Harrison

Two opposing forces are driving the need for more efficient use of energy – the increased use of mobile device coupled with the power needed to sustain their use are necessitating that the telecom industry step up its efforts to improve eco-efficiency overall.

Given the trend of increased demands of today’s mobile users – and the proliferation of new and different end-user applications and devices – an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) is a smart choice for service providers who are also looking for new revenue opportunities.

“Consumers are no longer content with a simple telephone; they want broadband and accessibility, wherever they are, on any device they choose. They want access to information, plus instant and reliable communications,” a recent whitepaper by Alcatel-Lucent (ALU), “Alcatel-Lucent IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS): Eco-efficiency Makes Economic Sense,” points out.

LTE Service Provider Solution: Reduce Cost, Increase Efficiency with Evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS)

By Mae Kowalke

Mobile network operators are always looking for new ways to more efficiently use their existing infrastructure without making large capital expenditures. With the explosion of tablets and smartphones, which will increasingly be used for a variety of video applications, streamed as well as interactive, use of a 4G LTE channel for delivering multicast services such as mobile TV is viewed as one way to do so. The reason is simple. It enables network operators to offer mobile TV without the need for additional expensive licensed spectrum and without requiring new infrastructure and end-user devices that might be required to unicast content.

 

A recent Alcatel-Lucent TechZine article, “eMBMS for More Efficient Use of Spectrum,” describes the enhancements to LTE specifications that have been standardized to accommodate rapidly changing user demands and concomitant network requirements. Evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) is now a multicast standard for 4G LTE precisely because it allows one-to-many distribution of video content.

Improving Safety for Train Passengers with Video Surveillance and Other Technology

By Mae Kowalke

Sustaining a successful public transportation system, such as train service, depends on that system being both convenient and safe. For train passengers, especially women, safety (both actual and perceived) can be a major issue.

In a recent article in TRACKTALK, “What puts women off using the train?” Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Associate Dean at University of California Los Angeles’ School of Public Affairs and Urban Planning, shined a light on the critical role video surveillance and passenger information systems (PIS) can play in helping female travelers feel safe. As she noted, “Dark and deserted stations and trains are understandably off-putting and can encourage people to seek alternative means of transport, or even not travel at all, to avoid feeling threatened, or in some instances becoming a victim of crime.”

Rich Communications Suite -- SP Tool to Monetize the New Social Conversation Experience

By Mae Kowalke

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, service providers (SPs) are staying one step ahead by finding new and innovative ways monetize their offerings. For providers who recognize and leverage it effectively, the emerging new social conversation experience arising from the pervasive adaption and use of social media is proving to be a valuable tool in this endeavor.

Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) has been busy developing solutions for fixed and mobile SPs to help them leverage the evolution of social media. On the mobility side, much of this development has been focused on two technical projects—Rich Communication Suite (RCS) and RCS-enhanced (RCS-e)—led by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA).

In a recent white paper, “Building a Social Conversation Experience with RCS and RCS-E,” Alcatel-Lucent researchers explain that RCS (developed in 2008) is intended to:  “Leverage the global interoperability and ubiquity of existing voice services and Short Message Services (SMSs) and enrich them with Internet-type features more in line with user demand.”

What 'Identity Shift' Means for Consumers and the Future of e-Commerce

By Peter Bernstein

As active transactional individuals in the Internet age, here are a few questions to ponder for a moment.

  • How do we present ourselves to the world, or choose not to, and why? 
  • What does our view and management of our multiple identities —on multiple physical, virtual (and where they intersect/converge/blur) platforms —tell us and others about predicting and/or leveraging our behavior?
  • Does where you are in your life matter? 
  • In an age where dynamic context-based identity mediation will be paramount (for individuals and organizations alike), whom do we and can we trust and entrust with our identities?
  • How does trust factor into our purchasing decisions?

These are not existential questions.  In fact, as pointed out in a previous blog, they are the subject of an important new book, Identity Shift : Where Identity Meets Technology in the Networked-Community Age, written by Alcatel-Lucent’s Allison Cerra and Christina James. 

Neo-Urbanizing India: Coming Full Circle at the End of a Journey

By Erin Harrison

Hopefully, you have been an avid follower of the Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) Market & Consumer Insight (MCI) team’s recently concluded three-week journey across urban and rural parts of the states of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and the National Capital Region (NCR).  As it came to a close, the group culled several important insights on neo-urbanization:

  • How it has been unfolding
  • The impact it is having
  • The role of information and communication technologies (ICT) as a driver

As seen through all of the posts from the team members, and the series of items I have described in previous blogs, neo-urbanization is modernizing many areas of the world that were previously without access to healthcare, education, employment – and technology. In particular, parts of India are becoming networked hubs that are oriented and planned around smart functionality and sustainability.

Based on preliminary findings, each of the three locations – Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and the NCR – represents different stages of neo-urbanization. However, combined, they have allowed the MCI group to capture neo-urbanization in most of its gradations, according to a the final blog post that summarizes highlights of the three-week journey.

Living Video: A New Conversation Experience

By Erin Harrison

One of the reasons video is so pervasive today is because of the personal dynamic it brings to conversations and meetings, creating higher-level interactions. Just like a face-to-face conversation, video brings subtleties and other nuances that cannot be communicated in an email or text.

A recent article in Alcatel-Lucent’s Enriching Communications, Living Video Conversations Go Mainstream, details how “living video” gives service providers opportunities to deliver a compelling new conversation experience. It says mobile networks, devices and people are ready for enriched video conversations, and service providers’ are in a position to deliver them.  

Ready, set and go

Permission-Based Mobile Marketing Strategies Hold Value for Advertisers, Operators and Consumers

By Beecher Tuttle

The influx of smartphones, tablets and next-generation networks has created a number of new ways for brands and marketing agencies to reach consumers. Unfortunately, many of today's mobile marketing techniques fail to engage consumers, who often find the advertisements to be bothersome, intrusive and unrelated to their interests.

One innovative and effective way to bridge this gap is a strategy called permission-based mobile marketing, a targeted advertising technique that changes the marketing paradigm by creating a dialogue with consumers, rather than an invasive, one-sided monologue.

The basic premise of permission-based mobile marketing is rather simple: users opt-in and give their consent for brands to send them targeted, preference-based marketing materials for products and services that they are interested in. If executed properly, a permission-based mobile marketing strategy can create value for brands, agencies, consumers and mobile network operators.

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