Next Generation Communications Blog


Field Trial Shows the Potential of Enterprise Small Cells

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor 

For large enterprises, small cells make a lot of sense.

Upwards of 80 percent of all mobile usage now occurs indoors, according to Alcatel-Lucent, and enterprise small cells deliver a flexible and economical way for reliable mobile connectivity in-building.

Recently a field trial held at a large financial institution in Mumbai showed the potential of enterprise small cells. Small cells bathed a 45,000-square-foot, all-glass office space with cellular connectivity that replaced an existing DAS and delivered a call drop rate of only 0.87 percent, an increase in average throughput of 42 percent, and a boost in peak throughput of 82 percent, according to a recent TechZine posting, Field insights: Deploy

ConnectEd Bridges the Digital Divide for Poor and Disadvantaged Youth

The role of information and communications technology (ICT) on education and employment prospects should not be understated.

Roughly 90 percent of all EU jobs will require some ICT skills in the near future, yet 39 percent of EU workers have little or no ICT skills as of 2014, according to the European Commission. In the U.S., the digital skills gap between what’s needed of employees and what’s available in the market comes at an estimated cost of $1 trillion per year in lost productivity, according to estimates from ICT-based employment is growing 7 times faster than overall employment in the EU, too.

The situation is even worse in developing countries, where ICT training is often lacking—especially for girls. While 77 percent of the population in developed countries is online, only 31 percent of people in developing countries have access according to ITU figures for 2013. And globally, women are 16 percent less likely than men to have Internet access.

The Ongoing Applicability of Copper-Based Broadband Access

By: Paula Bernier, TMC Executive Editor

Video and other rich media are driving demand for ever-faster connectivity. Indeed, Bell Labs believes demand for bandwidth to support residential triple play services will grow by 10 percent annually.

Sometimes fiber to the subscriber is the best fit to support broadband services for residential and small and medium businesses. However, existing copper continues to have an amazing ability to be enhanced to meet broadband requirements. Indeed, copper-based technologies such as VDSL2 vectoring, Vplus, and can support bandwidth rates of 100, 300mbps or even 1gbps.

To decide which areas are ideal candidates for fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) or business, and which can be more than adequately served with copper-based technologies, Bell Labs Consulting suggests that service providers consider:

Small Cells Put Extra Pressure on the Evolved Packet Core

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Small cells are a boon for mobile network operators, as they easily and cheaply expand wireless network connectivity. However, they also can strain an operator’s evolved packet core (EPC).

“The EPC may be called upon to deliver a significant increase in scale, capacity, and performance beyond that which was required initially to support the macro-cellular network,” noted David Nowoswiat, Sr. Product and Solutions Marketing Manager, Alcatel-Lucent in a recent TechZine posting, Is your EPC ready for the small cells onslaught? He suggests that operators look at three areas when examining if their EPC is up for the challenge.

Not All Virtual Route Reflectors Are Created Equal

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Border gateway protocol (BGP) route reflectors have played an important role for decades, since they help remove the need for a full internal BGP mesh within an autonomous system.

Currently, most route reflectors run either on a router that is dedicated to route reflection, or on routers that also perform other IP routing and service functions. Both scenarios have downsides.

Dedicated BGP route reflectors are a waste because route reflection functions require minimal data plane resources. Routers that juggle route reflection with other duties, on the other hand, may not have sufficient resources to support scalable route reflection.

Four Ways Cable Operators Can Boost the Customer Experience

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

The customer experience has always mattered, but its importance has grown in recent years. This has been driven by increased global competition, including the almost instant availability of alternations, and the rising expectations by fickle and informed consumer. Yet, cable operators have a long way to travel if they want to deliver the customer experience (CX) that consumers demand.

The Temkin Group’s Q3 2014 survey of 10,000 US consumers’ opinions about goods and services registered the lowest ranking average Net Promoter Score (NPS) for pay TV providers, a telling statistic. Internet service providers did almost as poorly, coming in only one position higher.

“As technology innovations drive shifts in consumer behavior and open new service opportunities, operators must start eliminating pain points,” stressed Alcatel-Lucent’s Nicholas Cadwgan in a recent TechZine article, Cable MSOs transform the customer experience. “This includes any obstacles that will impede their ability to launch and provide adequate care and quality assurance for those services.”

Cadwgan lays out four customer experience management (CEM) areas that cable operators should focus on.

Metro Networks Must be Optimized in Multiple Dimensions

By: Dave Brown, Product Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

From original TechZine Article

Metro network transport platforms must be compact, scalable, and agile to conquer the specific challenges of this key portion of the transport network. Growing and shifting traffic in the metro has triggered these challenges.

Today’s cloud-optimized metro network transport platforms “must” be:

  • Compact – with optimal power and performance in a form factor that meets metro operational cost targets
  • Scalable – to have the capacity you need when you need it to aggregate and transport multiple, high-performance services
  • Agile and intelligent – to dynamically reconfigure network resources to get services to your customers faster

vEPC in LTE networks: Time to move ahead

By: Keith Allan, Director IP Mobile Core Product Strategy, Alcatel-Lucent

From original TechZine article

Can the virtualized evolved packet core (vEPC) be deployed today in large scale, LTE networks?  Mobile network operators (MNOs) are increasingly convinced that the vEPC has become viable both financially and technically. And I think so, too, based upon the advances made over the past year that I’ll discuss in this blog.

Ultra-broadband isn't just for big-city folks

By: Arnaud Legrand, Customer Marketing Manager, Alcatel-Lucent

From original TechZine article

Rural communities and small cities need fast broadband access to prosper in an increasingly globalized and connected world. Municipal governments recognize the socioeconomic benefits that ultra-broadband connections can bring. Many also understand the technical and financial challenges involved in bringing these connections to small communities. Still, most municipalities lack a clear strategy and implementation path  for realizing their ultra-broadband vision.

Cities like Opelika, Alabama and Chattanooga, Tennessee have proven that the transformative benefits of ultra-broadband are within reach for smaller population centers. Both cities have successfully deployed fiber networks that deliver gigabit speeds and services to homes and businesses. Their citizens now enjoy ultra-broadband experiences that had previously been unknown outside the world’s elite cities.

So how can your small city or rural community emulate the success of Opelika and Chattanooga? There’s no universal ultra-broadband deployment strategy. But there are fundamental steps you can follow to build a fast network that lets your citizens and businesses thrive.

Network operations tools can be more efficient

By: Kevin Landry, Product Marketing Manager, Alcatel-Lucent

From original TechZine article

Assurance visualization can prepare network operations tools to meet the demands of increasingly complex networks. And the limitations of today’s tools are indeed a cause for concern.

  • Will they be efficient enough to meet new network operations requirements?
  • Will they scale to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s network operations environment?

As networks evolve to next-generation IP/optical technologies, cloud networking, software defined networking (SDN), and network functions virtualization (NFV), network operations tools need to evolve, too.

1 2 Next
Featured Events