New Network, Old Tools? A Systematic Approach to Supporting The Network of Change

By: Adrian Alonso

The human body has been the biggest beneficiary of technology advancements in modern times. There is not a living human function that hasn’t been monitored, repaired or managed with sophisticated tools.  The same should be said for the networks that are the lifeblood of today’s anytime, anywhere communications. But too often, CSPs and large enterprises are working with tools that are out-of-date, highly customized, and temperamental, rendering some connections DOA. Genesis:  Network Management Tools Market Born of Necessity Whether you’re in telecom and call it ‘service assurance’, or you’re in enterprise and call it ITSM (Information Technology Service Management), managing a vast network of voice, data, media and applications has grown significantly more complex in the past ten to fifteen years…

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Microsoft: The Dawn of the Cognitive Services Era

By: Rick Lievano

Every few years a new technology emerges to a point where it significantly impacts the world in which we live – both personally and professionally. In the last decade, the advent of virtualization and cloud computing significantly altered the software market, ushering in a range of new products and services and a new methodology for managing both. By contrast, “Big Data” has failed to reach the full potential that its proponents evangelized. Big Data has led to lots and lots of data, but only limited actionable results…

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It Pays to Know your Network

By: Avi Freedman

The world today runs on networks, so it pays to know your network; but that knowledge can only come through a new scale of network visibility. In just over two decades since the dawn of the World Wide Web, we have come to depend almost completely on high-speed networks for all aspects of modern life, including business, education, news, politics, entertainment, shopping and socializing. Due to such pervasive utilization, network operators are finding that they need better ways to monitor performance and detect incoming attacks…

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The Evolution of Wireless Networks: Shift from Hardware-centric to Software-centric

By: Basem Anshasi

With the exponential growth of mobile data traffic, wireless operators globally are investing heavily on infrastructure including base stations, Distributed Antenna System (DAS), small cells and others to satisfy the demand of the users. However, the wireless operators’ competitive landscape has changed and revenue is no longer keeping pace with the capital (CAPEX) and operational (OPEX) expenditures. Therefore, new business models are needed for the wireless operators to find new sources of revenue and remain competitive…

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QoE: A new era of test and measurement to determine the sweet spot of network provisioning

By: Chris Chapman

Monumental changes in how companies test and measure their networks and network devices do happen; but they tend to happen slowly, only once every ten years or so. Today, we’re at a tipping point. Companies need to move beyond legacy Quality of Service (QoS) tests and begin focusing on Quality of Experience (QoE).What QoE uncovers is the actual experience of the people who use the networks and the application services riding on top. It calculates metrics based on historical trends and measurements against baselines that define minimum acceptable quality…

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Optimizing Network Performance for LTE and Beyond

By: Philip Sorrells

Densifying macro cellular networks is the most viable and well-proven way to increase overall capacity, but more interference risk is the key challenge to increasing densification. With more frequency bands and wireless technologies available, more potential arises for intra-cellular interference and passive intermodulation (PIM). Mobile operators need a comprehensive toolkit of solutions for reducing interference to optimize network performance. Densification comes with interference The outdoor wireless landscape is changing, and specialized outdoor small cells known as metro cells are playing an increasingly large role…

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The Next Era for Telcos: Zero Latency Computing, Fog Computing, NFVi and Automation

By: Nitin Serro

Transformation is nothing new to the telecommunications industry. In fact, it’s pretty much a given. The breakup of the Bell system more than two decades ago encouraged competition amongst service providers, all striving to provide additional value in a commodity space. Technology later created a new competitive dimension. Wireless communications, mobility, and the advent of smart phones and tablets that began with the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007, all triggered a drastic change within the industry…

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Software-Defined Radios for Effective Spectrum Utilization

By: Brandon Malatest

Software-defined radios (SDRs) are highly adaptable wireless devices that are (re)configurable through software alone, enabling them to be effectively utilized across multiple communication standards. SDRs have rapidly become the leading wireless solution for military, public safety, and commercial markets. This can be directly attributed to their high flexibility, performance, and low-cost. History of Software-Defined Radio Software-defined radios have been around for more than three decades. From the early 1980s, SDRs have played a role in tactical military communications from 2 MHz to 2 GHz and offer interoperability between various air interface standards of the military…

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Letter from the Editor

By: Tim Young

“We're supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right?” - Bill Hicks If you know anything about Bill Hicks—a true comic genius, chain-smoking and acerbic, who died far too young more than 20 years ago—you know that he would hate that a square like me quoted him in a tech magazine. But his point here, which I can’t help but read with his trademark bluster, works within the context of our topic for this month: network evolution and optimization…

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Telecom Industry News

By: Jim Schakenbach

The rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to make news this month as Verizon and Qualcomm double down on IoT by announcing a joint initiative to simplify IoT application development and transform customer experience through Verizon's ThingSpace IoT platform-as-a-service and Qualcomm's LTE modem technology. Through this collaboration, the companies are now on a path to make the opportunity-cost of connecting intelligent devices on 4G LTE more compelling by using Category M1 as the new standard and LTE's superior security, reliability and reach…

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