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Taking Public Safety to the Next Level with Video Surveillance Using 4G LTE Wireless Broadband

By Mae Kowalke

Situational awareness is the perception of what is happening in one’s vicinity and understanding how information, events and actions will impact outcomes immediately and in the future. For public safety officials, situational awareness is achieved both through direct observations and through information conveyed by technology, often voice communications.

Voice communications is so ubiquitous in public safety, in fact, that one might think it’s the only means by which situational information is conveyed.

In a LifeTalk article, “Video is the Game Changer for Public Safety,” Philippe Agard, Vice President of Business Development at Alcatel-Lucent’s public safety division states that, “With the emphasis on voice radio, it’s easy to forget that voice is only one medium we use to communicate with one another, and not even the primary channel in face-to-face communications.”  He adds that, “Most experts will tell you that a relatively small portion of our message comes through in words, the remainder transmitted by tone, inflection, volume and body language.”

Together We Can Go Far: Alcatel-Lucent's ng Connect Program Drives Innovation for New Communications Technology Concepts

By Mae Kowlke

Thanks to significant advances in broadband communication technology in the past few years, people from many industries and disciplines are coming up with some pretty innovative ways to work, play and do business. These often-disparate innovations represent growing opportunity for even greater changes, and greater rewards, if devices, applications and infrastructures were more effectively brought together.

With that vision in mind, Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) founded the ng Connect Program, intended to create an end-to-end ecosystem for rapidly delivering next generation services and applications, by combining the resources of industry, business and academic leaders. Enterprises, consumers and service providers all stand to benefit.

The ng Connect Program rightly claims that, “The opportunity is unprecedented. “  It has eight main goals:

Leveraging the Power of the Cloud to Deliver Teleworking, Social Networking Services

By Beecher Tuttle

The idea that a company exists within the four walls of an office is quickly becoming antiquated. Today's enterprises are increasingly relying on remote workers – aka, “teleworkers” – to contribute to their core business.

The newfound prevalence of teleworking is due to a variety of factors, including recent advancements in technology, social trends and the sheer number of benefits that it can provide to both enterprises and their employees. These factors were recently referenced in a recent Enriching Communications posting, The Office is Not Always the Premises, by Bryan Davies, Director of Advanced Communications Solutions at Alcatel-Lucent (ALU).

Companies have begun to accept teleworking as a viable option because of its proven ability to help reduce costs. By hiring remote workers, enterprises can continue to grow in their current facility without needing to add office space or absorb an uptick in energy consumption. In addition, companies can reduce absenteeism by creating fewer impediments to an employee coming to work, says Davies.

Alcatel-Lucent 7705 SAR Solutions are Revolutionizing the IP/MPLS Backhaul Market

By Beecher Tuttle

Compensating for the ever-increasing demand for high-bandwidth connectivity is every service provider's number one concern.  This is for good reason. Next generation services can help mobile operators limit churn and enable them to tap into new revenue streams and improve their bottom lines.

Unfortunately, completely rebuilding a network is cost-prohibitive for most service providers.  This creates a quandary over what to do. One viable option for forward-thinking service providers is IP/MPLS backhaul solutions.  These enable carriers to leverage their existing broadband access infrastructure – whether it be microwave, copper (DSL) or fiber-based (GPON).  In the process they serve as the foundation for a flexible high-performance network, all without major capital expenditures or increased operating expenses.

Several broadband access solutions currently exist, but most all of them fail to successfully address broadband infrastructure backhaul requirements while leveraging DSL or GPON.

Cloud-Based Video Provides New Immersive Communications Capabilities

By Erin Harrison

Today’s end user is looking for a richer conversation experience when using a variety of network-connected devices.

For example, new technologies are emerging that allow people to use any video-enabled device to enter a shared virtual space, and discuss and share information in a way that is almost like being together in the same physical space. As a result, these advances in video communications have provided a new opportunity for service providers to bring interactive video conversations to any device, from anywhere.

According to an article in Alcatel-Lucent’s Enriching Communications, Immersive Communications: A New Video Conversation Experience, with these new technologies users will no longer be limited to the confines of telepresence rooms to experience an immersive conversation at long distance. They will be able to experience this at work, at home and on the move – holding video meetings and sharing documents over PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Achieving Network Optimization, Cost Savings with IP/MPLS Backhaul Solutions from Alcatel-Lucent

By Beecher Tuttle

Delivering high-quality, high-bandwidth business service connectivity at an economical price point is critical for today's service providers, who are being challenged by unremitting competition and ever-increasing subscriber traffic growth.

With this in mind, many forward-thinking operators have turned to Digital Subscriber Link (DSL) and Gigabit Passive Optical Networks (GPON) as access technologies for mobile backhaul (MBH) and business service delivery. These networks have been proven to provide high reliability and availability at a cost-effective price point using IP/MPLS backhaul.

Getting More Apps and Services to More People Faster --Creating the Competitive Edge

By Susan J. Campbell

The demand for innovative applications continues to grow, putting increased pressure on mobile service providers (SPs) to deliver more apps and services to people faster than the competition. To create and sustain a competitive edge, service providers must invest in faster and more flexible service deployment. At the same time, clear focus must be placed on open innovation to accelerate service development to enable the agility needed to optimize key opportunities in retail and wholesale.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent Enriching Communications article, Accelerate Communication Service Development explored the importance of the competitive edge and how mobile service providers can focus on their strengths to achieve the level of agility, innovation and flexibility necessary to effectively compete. The fact that service providers deliver solutions that work across devices and the boundaries of different networks is a key strength that can be monetized in sustainable and profitable ways.  

Alcatel-Lucent's Optism Solution Scoring Big Wins for Operators and Brands through Targeted, Permission-Based Mobile Advertising


By Beecher Tuttle

The most successful advertisers and brands are always those that evolve alongside technology and adapt their campaigns based on recent consumer trends. Just as advertisers once changed their focus from print to digital platforms, marketing groups are now concentrating their efforts on the mobile market.

The inherent difficulty in mobile marketing is that it has almost become synonymous with spamming, where advertisers blanket mobile phone users with promotions, deals and company news that they simple don't care about. If only advertisers could partner with mobile operators and develop a base of consumers who are interested in connecting and interacting with their brand.

With the Optism Mobile Advertising Solution from Alcatel-Lucent, they can.

Video Surveillance: Minimizing Cost and Maximizing Return on Investment

By Mae Kowalke

The use of video surveillance as a public safety and security tool is growing. Partially, that’s because homeland security regulations and initiatives around the world are driving deployment. It’s also because high capacity wireless data networks have brought down the cost of infrastructure to the point where the ability to provide comprehensive coverage is practical and cost-effective.

However, it should be noted that the initial investment and operation and maintenance costs of video surveillance can be significant. This is highlighted by the fact that protection responsibility is shifting from police/military to infrastructure owners.

“In the US energy market, for example, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation-Critical Infrastructure Protection regulations require that utilities tightly control access to their most important infrastructure,” notes Sheridan Nye, Senior Analyst at Informa Telecoms and Media’s Enterprise Verticals practice, in a LifeTalk article, “Is Video Surveillance Worth the Investment?

Mathematical Processing Explores the Benefits of Georedundancy

By Susan J. Campbell

Businesses throughout the world rely on their networks to support business processes, run applications and drive revenue for long-term sustainability. As a result, the importance of the network is amplified. The network and the data it maintains must be redundant to ensure optimization in the event of a failure. For this, Alcatel-Lucent recommends the benefits of georedundancy.

A recent article in Alcatel-Lucent’s TechZine by Randee Adams, Consulting Member of Technical Staff, Eric Bauer, Reliability Engineering Manager, and Daniel Eustace, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff entitled, “Availability Benefits of Georedundancy,” explores the enhanced service availability and client-initiated recovery possible with geographically redundant systems. With breakthrough mathematical modeling, a deeper understanding of the availability boost provided by such systems is enabled, while also identifying opportunities for optimization. And, lest we forget, the business continuity assurance it provides in the wake of a major disaster event.

Opt-In Mobile Marketing Strategy: 6 Tips for Success

By Susan J. Campbell

As consumers, we are constantly on the go with a mobile device of some kind in our hand providing directions, connection with a colleague or access to the data we need to close the big deal. The same device guides our social lives as we’ve come to rely on smart devices to manage our activities, content and connections. For brands, this provides the perfect opportunity to develop an Opt-In Mobile Marketing Strategy.

A recent blog by Mihai Vlad of Alcatel-Lucent’s Optism unit entitled, Thinking Human: Six Steps for Building a Successful Opt-In Mobile Marketing Strategy, highlights the opportunity that exists with the proliferation of the mobile phone as the must-have device. By developing an Opt-In Mobile Marketing Strategy, mobile operators, marketers and their brands can ask permission before engaging with consumers. In doing so, it provides unprecedented access to the consumer’s attention and the opportunity to build trust.

Responding to Railway Security Through Partnerships

By Erin Harrison

In the face of global threats and terrorist acts, collaboration and sharing best practices can help railway operators optimize their security capabilities. In addition, improving rail security by upgrading communications capabilities allows railroad providers a single, high-capacity network that can support multiple applications.  In fact, such new applications improve the transportation experience for customers and enable railroads to keep existing riders and attract new ones.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent article in its TrackTalk e-zine for railways communications enttitled, “Partnerships are the key to a secure railway,” looked at how the rail industry is responding to the security challenges of the 21st century with solutions such as IP MPLS broadband networks and CCTV systems.


 

Sao Paulo Policia Militar Improves Video Surveillance, Saves Money with LTE

By Mae Kowalke

 

Video surveillance is one technology that law enforcement officials increasingly rely on use to protect public safety. But, traditional hardwired systems are expensive, time-consuming to set up, and often produce unreliable results.

As an alternative, agencies in the U.S. and elsewhere are turning to 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks for the creation, deployment and expansion of sophisticated video surveillance networks.   

A good example is Polícia de Estado de So Paulo (São Paulo State Military Police)—the agency charged with crime prevention, order maintenance, traffic control, and firefighting in Brazil’s most populous state.  As highlighted in a recent article in the Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) e-zine LifeTalk, it has been experimenting with an ALU supplied LTE network.

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.”

How Service Providers Can Capitalize on the Enterprise Cloud Market

By Beecher Tuttle

With the demand for cloud services expanding rapidly, service providers are in a unique position to exploit new markets and generate new revenue, in addition to benefiting from the significant capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating expenditure (OPEX) savings associated with a cloud infrastructure.

However, to fully capitalize on this market opportunity, service providers need to develop an accurate sense of current and future market conditions as well as enterprise attitudes and perceptions of the cloud.

In an effort to provide a more granular look at these conditions and attitudes  Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) recently conducted a global study, “Soaring into the Cloud,” involving nearly 4,000 IT decision makers (ITDMs) from medium, large and multi-national companies.

ALU researchers found that 78 percent of companies are currently employing at least one cloud-based application, with organizations in tech, professional services and manufacturing/defense leading the way. Healthcare, government and education enterprises rely less on the cloud, but not by any significant margin.

It Takes a Village to Deliver Rich Communications

By Erin Harrison

As service providers (SPs) shift to all IP-networks, users expect features to become standardized.  This gives SPs an opportunity to provide their customers a new conversation experience.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent Enriching Communications article, “RCS Success Requires Community-based Ecosystem,” highlighted how the market for Rich Communications Services (RCS) has changed based on two developments that have converged — accelerating deployment of wired and wireless end-to-end IP networks and the rapid rollout and adoption of rich communications applications and services.

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

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) -- Starting the New Mobile Conversation


By Erin Harrison

 

Most of us are familiar with the technology of Voice over IP (VoIP) – which simplistically is the use of the Internet Protocol to do voice communications over data networks that include the Internet itself.  And, while most VoIP traffic has been over wired networks, a new voice technology is evolving called Voice over LTE (VoLTE) that is shifting the communications paradigm and enabling new services beyond traditional telephony over mobile networks.

In a recent article in Alcatel-Lucent’s Enriching Communications e-zine, The New Mobile Conversation Starts with VoLTE, author Edmund Elkin states that, “It’s no longer a question of whether VoLTE is the right choice for the new mobile conversation. It’s really a matter of determining when to begin the move to VoLTE, developing a migration strategy and selecting a partner to accompany them on the journey.”

IP/MPLS-Based Networks Provide Unique Value for Smart Grid Initiatives


By Beecher Tuttle

Skyrocketing energy demands and the push for greener, more sustainable energy solutions has helped bring smart grids to prominence, and has encourage a number of utilities to deploy a next-generation network alongside their electrical grid.

AltaLink, one of Canada's largest electricity transmission providers, is one of the utilities that is currently undergoing the complex, yet highly advantageous transition from a TDM architecture to a next-generation IP-based network.

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