Sunday, April 19, 2015

Blueprint: How Mobile Operators Can Benefit From WebRTC

by Arvind Rangarajan, BroadSoft

WebRTC is one of the most discussed communications technologies today, as it enables enterprises to conduct real time voice and video calls with customers, partners and suppliers via a Web browser. By 2019, there will be more than 6 billion WebRTC devices and up to 2.5 billion active users of “embedded” communications worldwide, according Disruptive Analysis’ 2014 WebRTC Market Status & Forecasts Report. Even today, WebRTC is already enabled on more than a billion browsers, which indicates a very real and immediate opportunity for mobile operators and telcos.


Moderating a WebRTC session at Enterprise Connect 2015, one industry analyst estimated there to be approximately 200 WebRTC vendor solutions commercially available (or at least announced) at this moment. The sheer volume of WebRTC products, platforms, and applications is particularly remarkable given that most have been launched over just the past few months.

For mobile operators and service providers eyeing WebRTC but unsure how to move forward, the good news is that it doesn’t take years, months, or even weeks to benefit from WebRTC-enabled applications. A growing set of WebRTC-enabling tools simplify the process for service providers seeking to design and customize their own unified communications (UC) offers, which can increase service provider revenue opportunities, enhance the customer experience, future proof investments as the technology evolves, and deliver several additional key benefits.

Extend Unified Communications Beyond Enterprise

Most of the initial WebRTC-enabled technologies focus on delivering more enhanced customer support and a superior customer experience through capabilities such as click-to-call. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that businesses view WebRTC as a way to extend real-time unified communications beyond the confines of an enterprise – to any customer, partner or supplier with a WebRTC-enabled browser.

By extending the benefits of UC to an enterprise's entire ecosystem, external company communications are as simple and efficient as internal communications, in turn lowering enterprise costs by enabling users to take advantage of UC without the need for expensive client software or hardware.  This is significant for mobile operators and telcos attempting to determine where the most immediate and tangible WebRTC business opportunity lie.

WebRTC Can Power Mobile Applications

WebRTC adoption in the mobile world has been slow largely due to the challenges with the use of browsers; for example, it is difficult to notify a subscriber using a mobile browser about an incoming WebRTC call if the browser is not open. That is among a handful of reasons that, initially, apps may be used more than browsers in this context, and until browser enhancements are made, WebRTC can serve as the underlying technology for mobile apps for real-time communications.

The fact is that there are several factors positioning 2015 as the year when the explosion of WebRTC offerings will be matched by a growing user base and tangible revenues for service providers. First, telcos around the world are moving from traditional circuit-switched networks to full IP-based 4G networks to reduce costs as well as offer rich new mobile communications services.

Second, there is also significant demand from enterprises and consumers to have the ability to access all of their communications services on multiple devices. More specifically, data indicate customer interaction will increasingly be mobile-centric. By 2017, research firm IDC projects 87% of the worldwide smart connected device markets will be smartphones and tablets, while only 13% of the devices will be desktops and laptops. At the same time, 2014 research by ThinkJar finds 78% of organizations indicate mobile customer service is valuable to them (up from 31% the prior year).

Mobile smart phone data usage is very different compared to traditional browsing with laptops and tablets. There has been consistent data showing app usage dominating the overall mobile data consumption. For that reason, mobile operators should start by building apps that use WebRTC technology on the back end or even integrating WebRTC into existing apps. By creating a more compelling customer experience on mobile devices, mobile operators will drive more mobile access network usage. For example, adding voice or video capability into an app provided by a mobile operator that gives account details like usage would be of tremendous value. The capability could help the subscriber reach a representative for more personalized support.

Improve user experience for the future

Through WebRTC, enterprises can improve the customer experience by adding a rich media communication experience within their Website, email communications and mobile apps as the solution enables real-time, browser-based video and voice calling. This will prove especially critical for mobile devices, as research firm Gartner recently indicated that weak mobile customer service is harming customer engagement. For this reason, the ability of organizations to leverage WebRTC across all devices – of note given Gartner’s projection that one-third of all customer service interactions will still require the support of a human intermediary by 2017 – will go a long way in creating a superior customer experience.

Beyond mobile specifically, service providers are able to leverage WebRTC to customize their UC offers for a particular business need; enabling innovative services that address business issues and current market trends, including an increasingly disparate workforce, the growing share of millennials in the workforce, and a growing desire to access communications applications across a broad array of connected devices.

WebRTC is a true enabling technology; one with all the ingredients to improve the user experience, spark innovation and unlock new customer and revenue opportunities for mobile operators able to rapidly, cost-effectively and efficiently bring compelling solutions to market.

About the Author

Arvind Rangarajan is Director, Product Marketing at BroadSoft, a leading provider of cloud-based unified communications and collaboration solutions.

About BroadSoft 

BroadSoft is the leading provider of software and services that enable mobile, fixed-line and cable service providers to offer Unified Communications over their Internet Protocol networks. The Company’s core communications platform enables the delivery of a range of enterprise and consumer calling, messaging and collaboration communication services, including private branch exchanges, video calling, text messaging and converged mobile and fixed-line services. For additional information, visit http://www.BroadSoft.com




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Ericssson: LTE Release 13 Brings Improvements

LTE release 13, currently under standardization in 3GPP,  will significantly increase user data
rates and overall capacity, as well as support new use cases and further strengthen LTE as a vital
part of future radio access, according to a new white paper published by Ericsson.

Some of the big improvements in LTE release 13 will include:

  • Licensed assisted access (LAA) -- which used unlicense spectrum to boost overall LTE network capacity. LAA targets operator-deployed small cells in the 5GHz band.  Initially, it will support downlink traffic although a later extension is planned for uplink traffic.
  • Carrier-aggregation enhancements -up to 32 carriers in both the uplink and downlink, compared to five with LTE Release 10.
  • Multi-antenna enhancements - two-dimensional base station antenna arrays with up to 64 antenna ports are being studied for exploitation of both the azimuth and elevation domain. 
  • Latency reduction


The Ericsson white paper also touches on machine-to-machine use case for LTE.

http://www.ericsson.com/res/docs/whitepapers/150417-wp-lte-release-13.pdf

Comcast Readies 2 Gbps Residential Service in California

Comcast will roll out its residential multi-gigabit broadband service to nearly three million California homes starting in June.  Gigabit Pro is a symmetrical, 2 Gigabit-per-second service that will be delivered via a fiber-to-the-home solution and offered to customers in the Chico, Fresno, Marysville/Yuba City, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Sacramento, Salinas, San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Barbara County, Stockton and Visalia metro areas.

In addition, Comcast announced its 15th speed increase in 13 years for its other broadband Internet tiers. The company will increase its Performance tier from 50 Mbps to 75 Mbps and its Blast tier from 105 Mbps to 150 Mbps, both at no additional cost to customers.

Comcast noted that it has been doubling the capacity of its network every 18 months.  Additionally, the company has been delivering multi-gig (up to 10 Gbps) Ethernet service to businesses in California since 2011.

http://www.comcast.com

ARM Acquires Two Bluetooth Companies

ARM announced the acquisitions of Wicentric, a Bluetooth Smart stack and profile provider, and Sunrise Micro Devices (SMD), a provider of sub-one volt Bluetooth radio intellectual property (IP).  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Wicentric is a privately held provider of Bluetooth Smart software solutions focused on enabling the development of low-power wireless products. Their product line includes Bluetooth protocol stack and profiles for creating interoperable smart products and the link layer for silicon integration.

SMD is a privately held provider of radio IP solutions including a pre-qualified, self-contained radio block and related firmware to simplify radio deployment. Central to all SMD radios is native sub-one volt operation. Operating below one volt enables the radio to run much longer on batteries or harvested energy.

ARM said it will incorporate the intellectual property of both companies into a new ARM Cordio portfolio. This portfolio will complement ARM’s existing processor and physical IP targeting end markets requiring low-power wireless communications such as the Internet of Things (IoT).

http://www.arm.com/about/newsroom/arm-announces-acquisition-of-wicentric-and-sunrise-micro-devices.php

@Napatech Video: Accelerating Time-to-Market with Dell OEM

The Napatech Acceleration Platform is a pre-integrated hardware platform suitable for development of high-performance network management and security appliance products.

Based on Napatech accelerators for network analysis, the Napatech Acceleration Platform enables vendors of appliances to significantly reduce time-to-market with a reliable, pre-tested and pre-integrated product that can meet the most challenging analysis requirements.

See video: https://youtu.be/i9CV61UtpIU


Integra Announces Milestones, Executive Appointments

Integra's fiber-based network infrastructure now connects more than 3,000 buildings throughout its 11-state network footprint.  The facilities-based carrier cited significant growth in the Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City and Seattle markets.

“Integra’s fiber networks comprise a blend of diverse network routes, direct access along key corridors and built-in reliability, scalability and security that together provide a valuable and differentiated solution for our customers,” said Dan Stoll, president, Electric Lightwave. “With 3,000 locations now on-net, our infrastructure is more flexible, powerful and enterprise-ready than ever, and we look forward to continuing to lay new fiber connections to businesses whose needs align with our network’s unique set of capabilities.”

Integra announced tha appointment of Christopher Camut as president. Camut most recently served as CEO of Ajubeo, a Boulder-based IaaS provider, and holds degrees from the University of Toledo.

In addition, Scot Oslund has joined Electric Lightwave as vice president, premier channel. Oslund will report to Dan Stoll, who was named president of Electric Lightwave in January after 15 years with Integra where he most recently served as the company’s senior vice president of strategy and development. Also, Integra has promoted Jason Koenders to the newly formed office of chief technology officer.

http://www.integratelecom.com/

Cloud Raxak Intros Security Compliance Service based on HP CSA

Cloud Raxak, a start-up based in Los Gatos, California, introduced its Cloud Raxak Protect, a cloud-based security compliance service for helping IT organizations and application development teams to secure and ensure compliance of their compute infrastructures, starting with their environment provisioning process and through the lifecycle, for both public and private clouds.

Cloud Raxak Protect leverages HP’s Cloud Service Automation (CSA) solution, which provides open, extensible enterprise-grade hybrid cloud service management for businesses.

Prasanna Mulgaonkar, Cloud Raxak CEO and founder, said, “Cloud Raxak Protect™ enables application teams and enterprise IT to apply security profiles such as DISA and NIST approved technical security controls across private and public cloud infrastructures. Cloud Raxak Protect™ makes it as simple to apply security compliance profiles to a set of virtual machines, as it is to provision them. We are very pleased to have partnered closely with HP and their industry leading CSA solution to bring this service to market.”

http://www.cloudraxak.com

See also