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Next Generation Self-Sustainable Wireless Networking

Despite the incredible innovation in the communications space, both wireline and wireless, and the rapid growth of broadband access in areas that have, until recently, been without that luxury, there are still large populations across the globe that have limited or no access.   

Alcatel-Lucent, with its Bell Labs facilities, however, is looking to respond to the need for broadband access in remote and otherwise inaccessible areas.  Specifically, the company has launched what it says is the first alternative energy laboratory and pilot site in the world targeting the telecom industry in its Bell Labs site in Villarceaux, France, part of it Alternative Energy program.

 

Through this program, Alcatel-Lucent hopes to drive broadband access into rural areas, even those that fall outside commercial power grids, by developing energy-autonomous and efficient -- green -- wireless networking technologies that will help network operators overcome obstacles to providing broadband access.

 

The facility includes a wireless base station, powered by a hybrid system comprising solar panes and wind turbines -- as such it creates a power source independent of the power grid.  Researchers are also studying the potential use of other alternative energy sources, including fuel cells and bio-fuels.

 

"The site offers Alcatel-Lucent and its customers and its industrial, institutional, and academic partners, the ability to analyze, test and validate the solutions proposed by the dynamic, but fragmented, alternative energy sector," said Rich Garafola, director of Sustainable Power solutions at Alcatel-Lucent.  "It is also a center for people within the company and outside to discuss and try out new ideas to bring the world of telecoms and that of alternative energy closer together."

Alcatel-Lucent Tops IPTV Market Report for Access, Middleware

Multimedia Research Group (MRG) recently released the most recent edition of its bi-yearly IPTV Market Leaders Report, and has ranked Alcatel-Lucent as the global number one in the domains of IPTV access and IPTV middleware.   This is the second straight such distinction for Alcatel-Lucent.   MRG's report identifies leaders across the following IPTV segments:   ·         Access ·         Video Headend ·         Video-on-Demand ·         Middleware ·         Set-top Box, and ·         Content Protection/Digital Rights Management.   MRG measured the market position of over 100 vendors tracking the actual numbers of active IPTV subscribers that use (or are supported by) their respective products.   "We are delighted to be recognized -- once again -- as the global IPTV access leader by one of the most influential analyst firms in the industry," says Dave Geary, President of Alcatel-Lucent's wireline networks activities.

Genesys on Datamonitor's Shortlist

TMCnet Senior Reporter Patrick Barnard recently wrote:   Due to the weak economy, companies are shifting their focus from customer acquisition to customer retention. As a result, most organizations - especially those that operate contact centers - are putting a stronger emphasis on customer service.   Barnard reports that in order to leverage advanced features and functionality not found in older, TDM-based systems customers are increasingly investing in new IP-based contact center systems.   In order to assist companies in selecting an IP contact center vendor, Datamonitor has published Decision Matrix -- Selecting an IP Contact Center Vendor. The report provides a three-pronged framework for evaluating IP contact center vendors. It includes a summary of IP contact center vendors' capabilities based on a quantitative assessment of their market impact and end-user sentiment, as well as an extensive review of the technology features that they offer, and uses these criteria to serve as the basis for the positioning of the vendors as "shortlist," "consider," or "explore."   Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories - an Alcatel-Lucent company - was one of only two vendors to make it into the "shortlist" category.     In addition to saluting Genesys in their IP Contact Center report, Datamonitor also found Genesys and its Genesys Voice Portal (GVP) to be at the head of the class in its recent report, Decision Matrix - Selecting an IVR Vendor in the Enterprise.   The IVR Decision Matrix provides guidance for enterprises looking to deploy IVR solutions.   According to the report, in evaluating the competitive dynamics in the IVR sphere, each vendor, including Genesys, was assessed in three categories:   ·         Technology Assessment: the acquisition of VoiceGenie, its support for SIP and H.323 standards, as well as additional monitoring and reporting capabilities, cemented high scores for Genesys in the technology assessment; ·         Market Impact: the large number of IVR customers and consistent double digit growth over the past five years in the GVP business resulted in high market impact scores; ·         End-user Sentiment: Genesys received the highest score in end-user sentiment by demonstrating it is a well known and trusted provider of IVR platforms.   According to Aphrodite Brinsmead, analyst for customer interaction technologies at Datamonitor and lead author of the report, "We were impressed with the next-generation applications Genesys is emphasizing. The release of its intelligent Customer Front Door (iCFD) framework is indicative of the vendor's forward thinking philosophy and commitment to extending IVR functionality."

RFID Opportunity Grows

In a recent article, touchatag: The Interactive Advertising Opportunity, the author cited industry research that highlighted the opportunity that exists in the RFID space.   Analysts estimate that the market for RFID network, software and services will increase over a five-year period from around $1 billion in 2008 to over $6 billion in 2013 (IDTechEx). Strategy Analytics projects that in 2012 around 250 million NFC phones will be sold and that in 2017 over 1 trillion RFID labels will be tagged. According to ABI Research, the RFID market is expected to generate $9.7 billion by 2013.   Well, ABI Research has updated their numbers and is now calling for total revenue earned from RFID transponders, readers, software and services to top the $5.6 billion mark this year, according to the latest market data from ABI Research practice director Michael Liard.   The research study, titled RFID Annual Market Overview, portrays the market as fragmented, but Liard says, "...despite some project deferrals and terminations, there will be market growth."   According to Liard, "...the RFID market continues to be worthy of cautious optimism in the near to mid-term."   These numbers underscore the opportunity for application developers.  A recent article, Developers Key to Success of touchatag Project, further explores the opportunity for developers to leverage solutions such as Alcatel-Lucent's touchatag, to create exciting new applications.

More Good News for Alcatel-Lucent

Recently we noted that Alcatel-Lucent was enjoying a measure of success in the Enterprise PBX space, with Infonetics reporting that Alcatel-Lucent realized PBX equipment revenue gains in Q4, growing 13% sequentially, as compared with the general market growth of 1.1%   Well it seems that the company is enjoying growth on the Service Provider side of their business as well.   Alcatel-Lucent announced that, according to data from Dell'Oro, it has considerably strengthened its market position in the Service Provider Edge Router market segment. According to Dell'Oro, in the second half of 2008, Alcatel-Lucent continued to grow in the edge router segment - gaining more than three percentage points to reach 17.6 percent market share - while the other top-three vendors either dropped significantly or were flat.   The report authors attribute Alcatel-Lucent's success to growth in consumer IPTV and Internet services, increased Internet traffic - particularly video - evolution of mobile core and backhaul networks to IP, and an expanding market for Ethernet and IP VPN services.

Alcatel-Lucent Sees IP PBX Growth

Yesterday, Infonetics Research announced its Q4 (2008) Enterprise Telephony report.

 

Amid the gloom of the global economic malaise, which in the fourth quarter of 2008 saw the worldwide enterprise telephony market drop 14% sequentially to $2.3 billion, Alcatel-Lucent enjoyed some success.

 

The Infonetics report illustrated that revenue is down for all types of equipment including pure IP PBX, hybrid PBX, and TDM PBX, and that the main reason for the decline is the lack of new business creation and business expansion courtesy of a weak worldwide economy.

 

However, in the face of all this negative news, the report also found that Alcatel-Lucent realized PBX equipment revenue gains in Q4, growing 13% sequentially, which far outstrips the year-over-year, overall PBX market growth of 1.1%. The IP PBX segment continues to improve while sales of traditional TDM gear continue to shrink.  Pure IP PBX revenue grew 25% worldwide in 2008.

 

According to Matthias Machowinski, Directing Analyst, Enterprise Voice and Data, Infonetics Research:

 

Because of the significantly deteriorating worldwide economic conditions, we expect the overall enterprise telephony market to contract fairly significantly in 2009. Once the world's major economies start growing again, however, a recovery in the PBX market will follow. We expect the market to stabilize in 2010, resume growth in 2011, and hit double-digit annual growth by 2012.

 

 

Alcatel-Lucent Remains a Fixture in Fixed Broadband Access

According to a report from Alcatel-Lucent, one out of every three fixed broadband subscribers around the world is served through an access network provided by the company.   Based on information contained in a recent access report from industry analyst Dell'Oro, Alcatel-Lucent shipped 6.1 million lines in the third quarter of 2008, to maintain its leadership in the DSLAM market (34.9% market share), and growing its worldwide installed base to 180 million lines.   Alcatel-Lucent also maintains a market share of 32.6% in IP DSLAM shipments and 34.2% in VDSL shipments.   According to Dell'Oro Alcatel-Lucent retained its number two status in the overall PON market and number one for GPON largely due to its role as primary supplier of GPON to Verizon as well as having a number of other deployments in Europe and Asia.

Alcatel-Lucent to Focus on LTE

As reported on Friday, Alcatel-Lucent plans to undergo some strategic realignment of its core efforts, and among other things it means that there will be less attention on WiMAX in favor of a strategy that calls for a stronger focus on LTE or long-term evolution. Some analysts would think that's merely a prudent reaction to the market.   According to a recent Infonetics report:   ...worldwide sales of fixed and mobile WiMAX equipment and phones/Ultra Mobile PCs dropped 21% to $245 million in 3Q08 from 2Q08, and are expected to continue sliding through 2009 as the economic recession puts the squeeze on this early market.   Even Clearwire CEO Ben Wolff said that his company -- clearly a leading poster child for WiMAX -- would also consider deploying LTE down the road "if it makes sense for us to do so."   Of course, that's not to say that Clearwire is backing away from WiMAX, but it does go to show that equipment manufacturers need to place their bets on one side or the other in this evolving battle, not both. Blogging on the 4G Wireless Evolution site, resident expert Paul Kapustka has more on that subject.

ALU Earns Spot in Leaders Quadrant

Alcatel-Lucent has been placed in the leaders quadrant of the recently published Gartner, report "Magic Quadrant for Contact Center Infrastructure, Worldwide."   According to the report, "Gartner defines contact center infrastructure as the products (equipment, software and services) needed to operate call and contact centers. This type of infrastructure is used by customer and employee service and support centers, inbound and outbound telemarketing services, help-desk services, government-operated support centers, and other types of structured communications operation. The interactions can be human-assisted or automated self-service, using interactive voice response (IVR) and speech recognition technologies, for example. These channels for interaction use both live agents and messaging technology, and include voice, Web, e-mail, instant messaging, chat, video and mobile devices."   Alcatel-Lucent, when including its Genesys business unit, was ranked No. 2 in worldwide contact center infrastructure end user revenues market share based in 2007 with a combined share of 17.6 percent.   Alcatel-Lucent contact center solutions are a key asset of a dynamic enterprise, in which resources of the business -- its network, people, process and knowledge -- are closely linked to drive top and bottom line growth.

UK Broadband Feeling Recession Effects

It appears that the global economic malaise is not sparing the UK broadband market.   In April of this year, Point-Topic predicted an additional 800,000 broadband lines would be deployed in the latter half of 2008.   But now, according to Tim Johnson, chief analyst at Point Topic, those numbers are down.   "We're now forecasting that only 620,000 broadband lines will be added in the second half of 2008," Johnson said. "The forecast for 2009 as a whole is 1.1 million, 200,000 down on the earlier forecast."   "To keep on track Britain needed to add 390,000 broadband lines in the July to September quarter.
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