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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Failure is all the rage these days. Recently, from Harvard Business Review alone, we have David Simms talking about the power of positive failure (and Scott Anthony's response), and the excellent series on lessons from the military often touches on the topic.

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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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Aricent's Executive VP of Carrier Services and Solutions, Patrick Joggerst, gives his thoughts on how 4G gives carriers opportunities to deliver differentiated user experiences. Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, Patrick also discusses how the all-IP environment of 4G will lead to a massive escalation of machine-to-machine (M2M) data traffic. Looking at the opportunities and challenges posed by smartphones, mobile social networking, and managing CapEx/OpEx, Patrick covers a lot of ground in this interview.

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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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