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Android Malware Can and Should be Stopped at the Network Level

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet, Contributor

I just bought an Android tablet after living exclusively in the Apple iOS world for the past couple years. The cost of the cheaper Android tablet was great, and my geek side surely will enjoy the customization options in the days ahead. However, what I do not look forward to are potential security issues.

All of the reports in recent years have exposed the fact that the Android environment is more susceptible to being compromised than IoS, however, recently even that is becoming a matter of degree as cracks in the Apple armor have been exposed. The one as somebody who is in the tech industry and tries to be vigilant that should make us Android users be somewhat concerned is the Stagefright vulnerability which hopefully will not make it into the wild.

To be frank, Stagefright is pretty scary. Anyone with an Android mobile device who is vulnerable to the exploit should be thinking about it, and that’s roughly close to 1 billion devices at last count. What makes Stagefright so frightening is that it isn’t just a malware exploit that cause significant grief.  In what might be considered a perverse flip side of ease-of-use, Stagefright is unfortunately about ease-of-infection.  It loads itself onto an Android device with nothing more than an MMS message. A message with a carefully crafted media attachment can infect the Android device without any user intervention.

Analyzing the mobile devices connected to today's network

By: Patrick McCabe, Senior Marketing Manager, Alcatel-Lucent

We know from our own experience and from anecdotal evidence that mobile devices are proliferating and that mobile data usage is growing rapidly. This tremendous change necessitates change to the underlying network, too. But in order to make the best choices in terms of infrastructure investment, mobile service providers must have accurate data showing what devices are being used and which consume the most data and signaling resources. 

How signaling spikes affect networks: 3 real-world examples

By: Josee Loudiadis, Director of Network Intelligence, Alcatel-Lucent

Data and signaling growth are usually good news for network operators, since growth often translates into higher revenues. But when growth is averaged over a month or quarter, the daily highs and lows of network activity are smoothed out. And signaling spikes remain hidden within the averages. These spikes can overwhelm available signaling capacity, which impairs the customer experience, as well as the operator’s reputation.

What happens when a spike occurs? Typically, a CPU Overload alarm appears on various mobile nodes. And the Network Operations Center (NOC) immediately starts praying that the burst is short-lived and doesn’t go over maximum peak-rate capacity. Because when that happens, all consumers are denied service access. Then, the process of identifying the source of the problem begins. This can be arduous, because it often involves applications completely out of NOC control. And the issue can’t be resolved easily without solid network analytics that enables engagement with application and device developers.

That’s the reason signaling information is a crucial part of the Alcatel-Lucent Mobile Apps Rankings report and why LTE World 2014 devotes an entire pre-conference day to the topic. It’s also why this blog offers a closer look at how some real-world disruptive signaling spikes got started — and were finally resolved.

Rankings have arrived: Mobile Apps' Impact on Networks and Consumers

By Josee Loudiadis, Alcatel-Lucent

Operators, consumers and application developers are fully interconnected in the mobile world. Yet they rarely recognize the impact they have on each other. That’s why Alcatel-Lucent has released its Mobile Application Rankings report — to increase awareness among consumers and the mobile industry and to promote app optimization. Here’s a sampling of the “blind spots” the report addresses:

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