Next Generation Communications Blog

August 2010

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Mashups and Web 2.0: Inventing a New Breed of Web Apps: COM 2.0

By David Sims

Few would deny that Web 2.0 has transformed the Internet. Users, formerly only consumers, are now involved in the creation process by producing and sharing content. And with the growing 2.0 environment, Alcatel-Lucent officials say, mash-ups have become a key factor of the Web success, "mixing existing services and content to build applications."   But, Alcatel-Lucent officials say, the current communication architectures "are not suited for the Web and its 2.0 aspects," namely ease of use, creation and sharing. And although many proprietary offerings coexist, "what is still missing is an open communication technology that could naturally be integrated into the Web 2.0's landscape and acknowledge users' preferences and capabilities."   Alcatel-Lucent recommends that communication features should be added to Web pages as simply as Google's Maps are for location information. "Additionally," they say, "publishing personal details such as address, e-mail or phone number is a concern for end-users, due to ever-growing concerns for privacy and security."   The challenge, then, as Alcatel-Lucent officials see it, is to build a communication technology that could be merged into the 2.0 environment and enable a new breed of Web applications.

New Alcatel-Lucent Book Outlines Opportunities in Intelligent Networks, Web 2.0

By Susan J. Campbell

To better understand how the emerging ecosystem of service providers, developers, advertisers consumers and business users can benefit from smarter platforms, time to check out the latest release from Alcatel-Lucent.

This innovative companies has published a new book, "The Shift: The Evolving Market, Players and Business Models in a 2.0 World," that focuses on the $100 billion market opportunity within the United States alone.  

The core message contained in this new publication is the rapid pace in which consumer technology is adopted and its impact on service providers, application developers, enterprises, content providers and handset manufacturers. Each one is scrambling to meet the increasing demand for bandwidth as all users want real-time access anywhere and from any device.

According to Allison Cerra, head of marketing for Alcatel-Lucent Americas, the book is written to specifically outline the additional value is added to the ecosystem when service providers make intelligent network capabilities available.

By adopting an approach where consumers have control over their experience, developers have access to enhanced capabilities and service providers can monetize their investments to fuel future innovation, everyone wins.

Utilizing Mobile Smartloading to Offload Peak-Time Bandwidth Demand

By Susan J. Campbell

How important is it to offer multi-screen services? Consumers want real-time access to information and entertainment through rich content delivery on a number of different devices. If their service provider cannot provide the same rich content on each device, they will look for one who can.

For those service providers seeking to launch successful multi-screen services, Alcatel-Lucent has the technical expertise and global experience to make it happen. This company can also provide the tools necessary to handle the bandwidth taxing services consumers want.

How Can You Reduce Network Costs by Migrating to an IP Infrastructure

By David Sims

For mobile operators, according to Alcatel-Lucent officials, "migrating from a tried and tested TDM environment to an all-IP network offers tremendous opportunities in terms of a lower cost base and a richer applications environment." But it also presents technical and operational challenges as well. Implementation strategies available to operators seeking to introduce new standards and IP capabilities in mobile networks need to consider IMS, EPC, LTE, or IP backhaul, as well as ways to increase service capability without compromising service and business continuity.  A full IP infrastructure provides greater network capacity and converged voice and data while reducing the cost of communicating. IP networks can support a host of user-friendly, customer-focused applications. Network costs are greatly reduced with an IP infrastructure as well. Alcatel-Lucent officials say the advantages include having a single infrastructure for voice and data, simplified management, reduced operational costs, a secure infrastructure and high availability. There's also the advantage of having a scalable, flexible deployment for wired and wireless networks and from access to core IP infrastructure, one which Alcatel-Lucent officials say is "easy to integrate with other vendor products through LAN Extension," and one that is "easy to integrate a wide variety of phone applications." And not overlooking the obvious, IP infrastructures allow you to take advantage of flexible, low-cost softphone options. Alcatel-Lucent's IP Transformation for Industry and Public Sector offering is designed to enable migration from standalone voice and data networks - often based on dated and expensive technologies - to a fully converged, state-of-the-art communications network. An integrated IP platform "supports enhanced applications like instant messaging, video, unified messaging and Internet for both fixed and mobile users," company officials say, adding that "this provides an open-standards platform for maximum scalability and interoperability."

What Role Should Service Providers Play in Cloud Computing?

By David Sims According to a recent white paper by Alcatel-Lucent, cloud computing is changing the way consumers and businesses purchase and use a wide range of computing capabilities. It also presents new business models for service providers to consider. "For decades, hardware and software have typically been installed at the end users' premises - and on individual computer devices," the paper finds, adding that "now cloud computing offers a different approach: Applications, platforms and infrastructure are available on demand by using the Internet to connect end users with online services." And although application and content providers were the first to become active in the cloud computing marketplace, the paper discovers "a growing number of network providers are now launching - or announcing - new cloud services." As an example, one Tier 1 operator now offers enterprise services in more than two dozen countries across the globe: "The offerings include on-demand virtualized infrastructure with service level agreements, rapid support and management of off-the-shelf applications." There are advantages to being a service provider when it comes to cloud computing, the paper concludes: Trusted relationships. Network providers assign dedicated teams to work with an enterprise throughout the lifecycle of a product or service, beginning with sales and continuing through after-sales service and support. These collaborations can provide the enterprise with greater control over purchasing processes and increased responsiveness to their unique needs, including 24/7 service support. Reliable operations that scale. While some application and content providers maintain services in a "perpetual preview" state (i.e., beta), network providers carry out extensive testing and certification processes before services are launched. Service level agreements with real impact. Network providers also offer truly "meaningful" service level agreements. That is, they are supported by clear metrics, regular performance monitoring - and financial penalties if the SLA standards are not met.

Using Multi-Vendor Managed Services to Create a Single Point of Accountability

By Susan J. Campbell As a network operator, it is imperative that you have the necessary tools and manpower to manage a number of vendors, maintenance contracts and required skill sets. Your complexity and costs are consistently increased by the continuous need to maintain and upgrade legacy equipment.

With these challenges in place, it is necessary to implement solutions that will reduce your costs, sharpen your focus on services and customers, as well as maintain the quality of your legacy operations. To accomplish this, many network operators are turning to the Alcatel-Lucent Cost Transformation Program.

This program is designed to offer unique multivendor maintenance services, managed services and capacity, as well as tailored IP transformation strategies. Such services and strategies can help you to optimize profits and QoE while also achieving non-linear OPEX reductions as high as 30 percent.

Best Practices for Using On-Demand QoS Upgrades to Improve Network Utilization and Efficiency

By David Sims

Connie Torres, director of market advantage research, Alcatel-Lucent, recently authored a piece titled "Meeting Application Demand Profitably with a Smart Network." She notes that the Information Age "has evolved from a Web 1.0 Read Only environment to a Web 2.0 Read/Write and share world," where networks "have evolved from 2G to 2.5 G to 3G. The growth of broadband has helped to shift user focus from voice and personal communication to multi-media and content communication, and that's just the beginning for a smart network that makes application enablement a reality." The iPhone, Torres says, was the real game-changer: "The increase in data traffic has network providers racing to keep up with the demand for bandwidth, a continuous demand for bigger pipes. The challenge is to do so at a profit and in a way that uses the intelligence of the network - a smart network." But this race isn't just for more bandwidth or greater coverage, it's about creating sustainable business models that allow for the combination of high value network capabilities, Torres maintains, "with the speed and innovation of the Web to provide consumers and enterprises a richer and more trusted Web experience -- what Alcatel-Lucent calls application enablement." There's much in the paper of value for those looking to build smart networks to take advantage of this. One thing Torres focuses on is the value of consumer research. "In the consumer market, a driving force behind much of the growth is youth and young adults," she says. "They are still asking 'why,' 'what if' and 'why not' questions.

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