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NFV INSIGHTS: Why Distribution Matters

By: Andreas Lemke, Alcatel-Lucent Sr. Marketing Manager – Cloud

 “GM factories reduce production in aftermath of Japan earthquake 2011”, “Hard disk shortage due to Thailand flooding 2012“, “Drug shortages continue to vex doctors”, “China factory fire sends memory chip prices to three-year high (2013)”. Industrial supply chains are becoming increasingly tenuous as they are thinned out and stretched across the globe. Raw materials are available from fewer and fewer specialized suppliers and warehouses are eliminated for just-in-time production. Small, local incidents affect the supply of goods on a global scale.

In the IT industry we are seeing a similar trend. Enterprises are moving their applications and data to the cloud, but this cloud is often highly centralized and not as resilient, free flowing, or efficient as one might think. Amazon Web Services, the largest cloud provider in the world, is serving their global customers from no more than two handfuls of locations. Netflix and other companies have experienced major outages due to single failures in the cloud they used.

So what does this mean for NFV?

Agile Optical Networking Breaks Speed Records and Meets Customer Demands

Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

With adequate bandwidth and network speeds now a cornerstone of life for both businesses and consumers, optical transport is increasingly becoming a key solution for network operators.

The market for optical network equipment is expected to reach $15 billion by 2018, according to research firm, Dell’Oro. Optical transport of the 100G variety is expected to make up 80 percent of that demand.

Communications Industry Researchers (CIR) also recently released a report predicting that the market for 400G will hit $528 million by 2019, and the market for supporting optical components and silicon devices will reach $195 million that year.

Clearly, optical networking matters. It is easy to see why when looking at the recent achievements of Alcatel-Lucent’s agile optical networking technologies.

An Open Access LTE Approach Offers Advantages

An Open Access LTE Approach Offers Advantages

Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

I must admit that currently I don’t use LTE as much as I write about it. However, this is not for lack of wanting LTE, but rather because I live in the woods where there is not enough coverage. It is more a failure of policy than a failure of technology.

I’m not alone, and the question of how to bring LTE and the societal benefits of comprehensive mobile broadband coverage to the US and other countries is an important discussion.

Recently Bell Labs Advisory Services, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent, looked at the various models for rolling out LTE in hard to reach places in an interesting paper, Open Access LTE: Reducing LTE Deployment Costs for Rural Broadband Coverage.  What it found was that open access LTE, where a single entity owns the spectrum and deploys a nationwide LTE network that then is rented out to mobile network operators, offers significant advantages.

The research showed that adopting an open access LTE strategy could deliver up to a 50 percent increase in adoption over the traditional approach of having each mobile network operator build out their own system.

OpenTouch--Welcome to the Personal Cloud

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

What mobility has done is change the conversation. For the past 30 years, enterprise data communication was about the personal computer. But that’s shifting as smartphones and tablets have given the world the ability to more easily perform work from any device with a cellular and/or Wi-Fi connection. The cloud has then given business the ability to perform business with these devices, effectively taking enterprise computing resources and making them available to any employee with authorized access at any time.

The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend within the enterprise is the manifestation of this. And, IP-based communications of all types has also changed quite a bit driven by mobility and the cloud. Collaborative conversation is much easier, and video conferencing is easier than ever.

Helping to meet the needs of the new direction of business companies such as Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) have developed services that help enable this transformation of business.

How the Cloud is Making Datacenters Dynamic

By: Sunil Khandekar, CEO, Nuage Networks

The future of datacenters is virtual, automatic, cloud-based, instantaneous, and boundary-less. These might not be the words associated with datacenters today -- you're more likely to hear slow, cumbersome, and related words in the same breath -- but software is driving this revolution in networking.

It has been undergoing a massive shift to the cloud for years now, driven by enterprise motivations to consolidate, as well as to use computer resources more optimally and efficiently. While computing virtualization has driven this transformation, the network has fallen woefully behind. Imagine having 20 virtual machines (VMs) in a server: Tomorrow that number grows to 100, to 200 the day after, and so on.

As you realize the implications of this growth in the datacenter, it becomes clear that the traditional networking approach of connecting those VMs is mindboggling because it doesn't deliver the true promise of the cloud -- instant access to apps anytime, anywhere and with no disruptions.

Service Providers Cut Costs and Boost Agility by Taking a Cloud Approach to Operations

By Mae Kowalke

The cloud is one of the hottest trends in computing, and communication service providers (CSPs) have an edge when it comes to cloud services. That’s because unlike IT and internet companies, CSPs also control their own network. This gives CSP’s a unique advantage and the carrier cloud a leg up on other offerings.

But the carrier cloud is only one way that CSPs can benefit from the cloud. They also can apply the same technique used with the cloud, namely virtualization, to evolve their own operations.

Innovation Allows Broadband to Get to Fast Faster

By Susan Campbell

Demands on broadband providers have been nothing short of intense the last few years. The predicted “data storm” has arrived and users now expect more flexibility, capability, quality performance, and access to rich applications and features. This can be a challenge for service providers trying to meet the need, but is also creating new opportunities and revenue streams when challenges are overcome to improve service delivery overall.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent blog, Connecting the World – from Innovation to Reality, highlights these opportunities. Author Dave Geary, President Alcatel-Lucent Wireline, points out the socio-economic benefits of broadband. And, while we’re aware of the increase in mobility and growing demand for access, there are also a few other stats that may be surprising for some vendors, including that wirelines still mater.

Seven Steps to Assess Eco-Impact of ICT

By Susan J. Campbell

As much as we have come to rely on communications technologies to stay connected and streamline business processes, those providing the access must still pay attention to the impact on the environment. Eco-sustainability in fact is emerging not just as an issue of being a good corporate neighbor, but as important for being a preferred provider of products and services.  This is why it has become important that the telecommunications industry use a uniform protocol for measuring the eco-impact of its services and networks.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent TechZine article, Seven Steps to Greater Green House Gas Awareness in ICT, explored this topic. It highlights the new global standards designed to create a unified approach to the measurement of green house gas emissions. Focus is on current life cycle assessment tools such as those developed by Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) which can be employed by ICT vendors, particularly the telecom ones, for estimating the eco-impact of services and/or networks in a meaningful and actionable way.

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.

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.

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.

Identity Shift -- What a New Book says About Us and the Future


By Peter Bernstein

With Facebook about to pass the 1 billion user mark, YouTube taking the #2 rank as a global search engine, Zynga having gone IPO and Twitter on the way, the total of mobile phone devices having blown past the number of wired ones, three things have become apparent:

  1. With progress toward a world that is always on and all ways connected (think of this as ubiquitous and continuous communications meets pervasive computing) a look back at just the past five years by anyone demonstrates how much ICT has already transformed the ways we work and live.
  2. To use a common phrase, “we ain’t seen nothing yet.”  The pace of change is accelerating.
  3. In the process the nature of who we are and how we interact with the world, especially our virtual personae will have profound implications.

All of this and more is captured in a fascinating new book,  Identity Shift: Where Identity Meets Technology in the Networked-Community Age,  written by leading market research experts, Allison Cerra and Christina James, from Alcatel-Lucent.  The second in “The Shift” series of Web 2.0 analyses, this latest edition looks at consumer behavior across all the key stages of life and how they are influenced by communications technologies.

Neo-Urbanizing India: Inching Towards Prosperity


By Erin Harrison

As Alcatel-Lucent Market and Consumer Insight groups, along with a team from IMRB International, wind down their neo-urbanization research in India, this week we learn that the group landed in an area that is finding prosperity, representative of a larger trend in the country.

The final leg of Alcatel-Lucent’s three-week journey took them from Bhiwadi to Coimbatore, a “town” of 1.25 million people located at the base of the Western Ghats foothills in the Tamil Nadu region of South India.

Yoga Poses for the Network Operator

By Amanda Noz, Marketing Director, Alcatel-Lucent

Yoga has been in the news lately and for network operator strategists, who may be feeling more like pretzels than yogis as they try to twist this way and that to accommodate rapid changes in the value chain, the idea of letting go of strict control over their networks and opening up to a world of potential security threats is anything but relaxing. Yet network operators who ignore these changes, risk falling out of the whole chain of innovation and in the process, defaulting to a commodity utility business, rather than maximizing their revenue streams as innovative and differentiated customer experience providers.

So how do you bring these two opposing views into alignment?

Today network operators who operate the broadband data networks (wireline and wireless) have thinner margins than in the past, while at the same time; all kinds of new players are making money by creating new applications that we did not even know we needed to run on the networks. Innovation brings disruption and disruption brings opportunities and threats. It transforms application and content value chains.

Driving DSL Network Performance Excellence with Motive Network Analyzer

Susan J. Campbell

Driving DSL Network Performance Excellence with Motive Network Analyzer

A dramatic rise in the performance required of digital subscriber line (DSL) networks is being caused by consumer adoption of bandwidth-demanding triple-play services. With the support of new real-time voice and high-definition video services, DSL network lines are now operating closer to their physical limits. This is straining copper and fiber capabilities and making them more vulnerable to quality and stability problems in delivering high quality experiences to individual households.  

To meet these challenges, service providers must have the right tools and processes to meet the expectations of customers on DSL networks, while also preventing the escalation of operational expenses (OPEX) in doing so even as migrations to all fiber connections are taking place.

This fall Alcatel-Lucent announced that its Motive Network Analyzer surpassed the 100 customer mark. The big draw for this solution is its ability to enable service providers to identify, diagnose and troubleshoot all DSL problems across fiber and copper that can affect the customers’ experience when leveraging broadband service.

Why Cloud Services are in Most Enterprises' Future


By Beecher Tuttle

The cost-effective, scalable and flexible nature of cloud services have made them exceedingly popular with enterprises of all sizes. As such, the cloud – along with the parallel convergence of information technology, telecom and media – has given communication service providers (CSPs) substantial opportunities to increase revenues and profits.  These manifest themselves in a number of different market segments that leverage cloud computing capabilities and include Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

The benefits  cloud services provide enterprises – and the associated revenue generating opportunities for CSPs – were recently documented in an article entitled, “Enterprise Cloud Services Come of Age,”  which was authored by Alcatel-Lucent's Xavier Martin and Annie Ohayon-Dekel.  In it they explain how and why SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS market segments are expected to enjoy 15 percent, 61 percent and 27 percent CAGR growth over the next ten years.

Network Operators Need to Prepare for Booming M2M Traffic

By Erin Harrison

The so-called “Internet of Things” is expected to connect 15 billion devices by 2015, demanding a new approach to communications business models, operations and technologies.  As a result, driven in no small measure by the dramatic projected increase in machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, wireless network operators are in a position where they need to prepare for an explosion of signaling traffic, according to a recent Alcatel-Lucent TechZine item, "Getting Ready for M2M Traffic Growth."

Wireless Service Providers Rely on lightRadio to Optimize MIMO Gains on LTE Networks



By Susan J. Campbell

As a service provider, what potential opportunities emerge if you were able to improve capacity, coverage and performance? With lightRadio technologies, you can gain support for current and anticipated wireless technologies that will address quality and growth changes; combine advancements in radios, antennas and baseband processing to support cloud principles, virtualization and architectural flexibility; and enable easy reprogramming and reconfiguration of network elements.

In this Alcatel-Lucent
lightRadio Technology Overview, the innovations to address service provider challenges is explored. These challenges easily include adding more radios, antennas, towers and processing capacity; increasing spectral bandwidth; supporting new technologies; and making better use of cell site capacity. The development of lightRadio by Alcatel-Lucent focuses on optimizing total network costs over time so each wireless provider can make the most of their existing assets and capabilities.

End-to-End Security for the Smart Grid

By Mae Kowalke Around the world, electricity distribution infrastructure is being transformed using "smart grid" technologies. Although this is happening more quickly in some areas than others, the purpose is the same: secure energy supplies and ensure they remain viable....

Going Green: Alcatel-Lucent's IMS Solution Improves Eco-Efficiency, Reduces OpEX

By Beecher Tuttle Alcatel-Lucent's industry-leading IMS End-to-End Solution addresses a number of challenges that operators face today. IMS technologies can help providers reduce operating expenses, minimize their impact on the environment and adapt to new end user behavior, among other...

The Financial Impact of Content Peering on the Internet Economy

By Peter Bernstein With all of the industry discussion around the coming tsunami of data traffic, particularly video, there has been much global discussion about necessary network build-outs to accommodate what everyone agrees is coming. This includes intense focus on...

Innovation Key to Mitigating Effects of Urbanization: GII Report

By Beecher Tuttle Telecom equipment giant Alcatel-Lucent was recently selected by INSEAD to take part in the creation of the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2011, a collaborative report that identifies the innovation capabilities and results of 125 economies. The goal...
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