Operators today are involved in a vicious cycle of adding bandwidth in order to support bandwidth hungry applications, which in turn is spawning even hungrier applications. This is driving operators to deploy next generation technologies such as LTE, which is proving to be one of the biggest “spends” in the history of telecommunications. The problem is that the operator’s Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) is not increasing at the same rate as the demand for mobile broadband, driving the need for operators to innovate to maximize revenue and optimize CAPEX and OPEX.

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What’s common to Bill Gates, Bjarne Stroustrup, Linus Torvalds, and James Gosling? You know who they are; they are all famous software engineers known for writing code. But how many famous software test engineers do you know? Probably none. A comparison of the results of a Google search for famous software developers vs. famous software testers will show that most people don’t know either. Why is this? Because testers don’t create anything, right? Wrong. Testing is as much a part of the creative process as is development. It’s even becoming a “hot” topic, even a strategy.

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Following up on our first webinar for the Americas on “Addressing the Top 10 Challenges of LTE EPC Testing,” we ran a second webinar for Europe. This again generated more questions from the participants, all of which could not be answered during the webinar itself. So, we've collected and answered all the questions below. We hope they are informative for those of you seeking to better understand the nuances of LTE EPC testing.

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More than a decade ago when mobile infrastructure companies, service providers, and device makers started working on Location Based Services (LBS), analysts predicted LBS as "the next big thing” in the mobile services market. Operators had expected to increase their average revenue per user (ARPU) by deploying location services. Network infrastructure vendors made significant investments on increasing the accuracy of a user’s location using various technologies like GPS, AGPS, and cell-IDs. And, application vendors and device makers were pretty excited about the possibilities of LBS. But, "the next big thing” never happened.

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I recently read an excerpt from a Gartner report that the number of technicians with wireless access to a formal packaged field service management (FSM) solution in large enterprises will increase from 25 percent in 2010 to 50 percent by 2012. This got me thinking about workforce management systems in general, and its lower-rung place on the totem pole of telecom spending.

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Every now and then, the business world presents us with a lab experiment that we can observe in realtime. Netflix's announcement that it is splitting off its DVD-by-mail business from its streaming business is just such an experiment. The DVD business will now go by the name Qwikster, and the streaming business will stay under the Netflix brand. It is Clayton Christensen's innovator's dilemma incarnate, and Netflix is very publicly trying to solve it. Like its 60% price increase did earlier this year, this move is understandably causing consternation amongst some customers. It's a bold move, one that will cost them in the near term, but Netflix I'm sure has done the calculus and is looking at the endgame 5-10 years out, not 5-10 months.

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