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Building New Zealand's Ultra-Fast Broadband Network

By Erin Harrison

New Zealand is on the brink of a new era in communications. Two major initiatives will significantly help improve the speed and capacity of the country’s high-speed broadband network, as outlined in a recent Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) white paper, “How New Zealand can increase the social & economic impacts of high-speed broadband.”   

The Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) project and Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) are set to improve the network speed and capacity available to nearly 98 percent of New Zealanders, based on a study conducted by Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent. The goal is, as ALU likes to say about its broadband portfolio, “Get to Fast, Faster.”

Information and Communications Technology has Key Role in Green Economy

By Mae Kowalke

It will take dedication, teamwork and technology to achieve the future we want in terms of reducing poverty, advancing social equity, and ensuring environmental protection. That’s the message behind upcoming Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, this June in Brazil.

Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) and others are focusing heavily on technology as one key aspect in achieving a better future. At a Rio+20 planning conference earlier this month, Philippe Richard, who heads up green strategy at Bell Labs, participated in the closing panel, where he highlighted the role information and communications technology (ICT) plays in sustainable development.

Report: Chinese Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Industry Interested in Going Green, But More Development Needed

By Mae Kowalke

People working in the Chinese information and communications technology (ICT) industry are open to the concept of going green, but need support and education to achieve carbon reduction targets using technology. That is the conclusion of a recent research study conducted at China’s Tsingua University Media Lab on behalf of Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) titled, “Green Information Communications Technology in China.” 

No 'One-Size-Fits-All' Path to Improving the Customer Experience

By Erin Harrison 

In this day in age, no matter what business you are in, the customer is king.

As we touched on last week (and commands further attention), European telecom operators are not cutting it when it comes to delivering a stellar – or even an adequate – customer experience. This weakened Quality of Experience (QoE) tendency is forcing tech-savvy consumers to side with the company that is most responsive to their communications needs and not necessarily the one that offers a specific kind of service.

Typically consumers base their requirements on the strength, speed and coverage of their network, the depth and breadth of their product and services portfolio and, least of all, price. But this is the case no longer.

A recent study conducted in EMEA by European Communications – the results of which appear in a recent special edition, “Customer Experience” – found overwhelmingly that telecom operators are losing their edge when it comes to QoE. Alarmingly, only17 percent of operators say they have a 360-degree view of their customers.

Coherent Technology Enables the Seamless Upgrade to 100 Gb/s

Susan J. Campbell

The demand for data consumption and rich multimedia interactions is driving the call for 100 Gb/s. Fortunately, coherent technology in high-performance electro-optics engines enable the cost and performance benefits of such transmissions to be viable commercially. 

A recent Alcatel-Lucent TechZine article by Sam Bucci, Vice President and General Manager, Terrestrial Optics, entitled, Coherent Technology: Making 100 Gb/s Viable, focused on how fiber impairments can decrease the performance and quality of the data transmission as speeds increase. It made a compelling case that such impairment can be overcome with coherent technology which ensures performance and cost benefits are optimized.

Optimizing Networks in a Demand for Video Everywhere Era

By Mae Kowalke 

In my blog last week, I focused on some of the changes and challenges in digital media delivery that vendors likeVelocix (an Alcatel-Lucent company) are developing to help service providers maximize the quality of end user experiences while minimizing network traffic.  In that piece I cited the first article in a two part series by Richard Gibbs, Vice President Worldwide Technical and Business Consulting at Velocix’s article in the Alcatel-Lucent e-zine TechZine, “A New Approach to Publishing and Caching Video.”  It focused on the architecture and design considerations for a Content Delivery Network (CDN).  This post picks up the story with the second Gibbs post, “Optimize Delivery to Meet Demand for “Video Everywhere,” which looks in detail at the delivery, management and control functions needed for efficient CDN operation.

Consumer Demand Drives LTE and Creates Wireless Carrier Success

By Mae Kowalke

In the U.S., it is no secret that there is a substantial customer as well political interest in seeing that under-served areas have access to state-of-the art communications networks.  In fact, it can be argued that the data needs of such critical parts of the economy as agriculture and oil and gas exploration are as intense if not more so than those of industries in densely populated areas.  Plus, the desires and expectations of families in the areas are no less important than they are to families in other areas of the country.

What all of this translates into is that while fiber optics and WiFi have allowed most Americans broadband access vast parts of the U.S. have remained under-served for broadband.  All of that is changing.  As the major wired carriers continue to fiber their franchise areas and the national wireless carriers rush to deploy 4G LTE networks, WiFi hotspots, femtocells, etc.  Alcatel-Lucent has been leveraging the capabilities of its lightRadio™ portfolio of solutions to help mobile operators who serve less populous areas provide high-seed services to their customers at price points and performance capabilities that enable customers to enjoy the advantages of next generation devices and all the Internet has to offer in terms of content and applications. And, it allows the operators to do so at competitive prices and at a profit.     

A Holistic Approach is Necessary for Quality Customer Experiences

By Mae Kowalke

For the hotly competitive world of mobile communications service providers, it’s no longer enough simply to provide fast, reliable connections for a variety of devices at competitive rates.  

A recent article in the Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) e-zine Enriching Communications titled, “Taking Care of the Customer Experience,” co-authored by ALU’s Ben Geller, Senior Director of Marketing and Oliver Krahn, Customer Experience Transformation Growth Program Leader, on this subject is worth a read. They explain how, “Service providers are learning that they cannot differentiate with devices, services or pricing.”  This is clearly a dramatic change from the past.   

Digital Media Delivery Innovations Maximize Video QoE and Minimize Network Traffic

Mae Kowalke

As the consumer appetite for online video content grows, communication service providers (CSPs) find themselves increasingly marginalized in the market. Video content is usually delivered by third-party providers (e.g. companies such as BBC, Hulu, Netflix, CANAL+), which have their own relationships with end users and therefore earn any resulting incremental revenue.

Given marketplace realities, CSPs need to broaden their core businesses beyond merely providing connectivity. They must also offer enhanced digital media delivery. Doing this successfully requires innovative new methods of publishing/storage and caching using next generation content delivery networks (CDNs). These networks enable CSPs to transform themselves into entertainment providers and also allow them to leverage their networks without creating traffic bottlenecks near servers.

LTE is Changing Public Transportation Operational Security

By Erin Harrison

Long-term evolution (LTE) is driving many changes in the IT landscape, not the least of which is operational security in mass transit. Railway operators and law enforcement agencies are using a range of CCTV technologies in a variety of situations to improve public safety.  Alcatel-Lucent’s TrackTalk e-zine is a great source for information and insights on what LTE can do for enabling a host of capabilities including significantly upgrading in a cost-effective manner video surveillance, IP camera monitoring and what the future of CCTV and surveillance will look like.

In a recent article that takes an expert view perspective, aptly titled, The Changing Face of Operational Security, Jeremy Haskey, Transportation System Integration Division, Alcatel-Lucent notes that, “The hype surrounding the development of LTE is justified…With greater capacity, it has the potential to revolutionize video surveillance by carrying live high-definition video to individual handheld devices carried by security personnel, staff in control centers or directly to the emergency services. The HD images will improve zoom quality making grainy images associated with current CCTV applications a thing of the past.”

The Five "Ps" for Service Provider M2M Success: Prioritize, Placement, Participate, Partners and Persona

By Erin Harrison

The burgeoning of machine-to-machine (M2M) applications in our increasingly connected world — partly characterized as consisting of an “Internet of Things” — has made telecommunication companies look to diversify their M2M offerings beyond what can easily become ones based primarily on commoditized connectivity.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent Enriching Communications article, “The 5-Ps of M2M Key to Service Provider Success,” describes the five “P’s” as: 

  • Prioritize opportunities
  • Properly place their teams
  • Participate knowledgeably in the supply chain
  • Partner effectively
  • Establish a credible persona

They are based on findings of research firm Analysys Mason’s recently published, “M2M Communication Service Provider Scorecard: 2011.”

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.

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