Global mobile data traffic tripled for the third year in a row in 2010, and, according to Cisco, the total mobile data traffic will grow to 6.3 exabytes per month by 2015, a massive 26-fold increase over 2010. This unprecedented demand for bandwidth puts huge strains on all parts of the mobile ecosystem, and to address it a plethora of technologies are coming on line, such as EV DO, HSPA +, LTE, and now LTE-Advanced. Additional benefits come from multi mode devices, intelligent small cells (which include distributed processing and smart antennas, such as femtocells), and heterogeneous network topologies that spread the load across various types of base stations. While helping address bandwidth issues, these innovations come with a downside: highly complex networks that are expensive to manage.

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Traditionally, telcos have sold “communication” as the application over an underlying “connectivity” capability. However, the advent of an all-IP telecom network has forced the telcos to open up their “connectivity” capability. Today, they sell both “connectivity” as well as “communication.” But, the market has been smart enough to quickly commoditize the telcos’ “connectivity” service, and today, connectivity has become the commoditized infrastructure for a buzzing marketplace camped on the Cloud (and the Internet in general).

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You are probably familiar with Parkinson’s law, either by name or just by experience. Parkinson’s Law states: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. We have all seen this dreaded fact play out on a project at some point. And without proper planning and tracking the available time tends to expand as well, along with the work.

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The message on the second day of Mobile World Congress from the heads of AT&T, Vodafone, Telefonica, China Mobile and American Movil was unambiguous: competition, open-ness and cross-carrier interoperability are what is needed to take mobile to the next level. (Perhaps in the spirit of interoperability, all five gentlemen were wearing blue ties, mostly with dots.)

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At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today (Feb 15), Aricent announced the launch of its reference software framework for LTE eNodeB development, optimized on Freescale’s high performance QorIQ communications processors. This high performance reference framework provides Telecom Equipment Manufacturers (TEMs) with a strong foundation on which they can build high quality base stations of different form factors.

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We're in romantic Barcelona, it's Valentine's day, and love is in the air. Specifically, if you're Steve Ballmer giving today's keynote, a whole lotta love for: Windows Phone 7, app and development partners, device partners, carriers, ecosystems, design and user experience, and especially love for Nokia. Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, returned the love by appearing on stage to give a rousing defense of the new Microsoft/Nokia partnership.

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