Light Reading

AlcaLu Gets Smart With Mobile Data

Ray Le Maistre

Alcatel-Lucent has launched a new Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) product, dubbed Smart Plan, which is designed to help mobile operators more quickly build new, targeted service offerings for customers and also enable those customers to gain greater personal control over, and more real-time information about, their account and services via a smartphone app. The concept isn't new, but the AlcaLu team believes its system, which includes its patent-pending Agile Rules Technology (ART), enables service providers to develop new mobile service offers more quickly, efficiently and accurately by giving them greater control over the process using a single system. The system comprises the Smart Plan Builder, built on the vendor's Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) (the 5780 Dynamic Services Controller) and incorporating the ART rules engine and various software tools (for service orchestration, notifications, customer care) that enable the service provider to create personalized offers and charge for them. That communicates with the smartphone app, which enables customers (if they choose to opt in) to choose the services and applications they want, check their usage, set thresholds and alerts, and generally personalize their user experience. The service provider, meanwhile, can use information about opt-in customers (location, usage patterns) to offer relevant services and provide personalized alerts. The platform also allows service providers to team up with third-party companies, such as retailers, to offer targeted services. Lisa Ciangiulli, Alcatel-Lucent's director of Marketing, Mobile Commerce & Payment Solutions, says the rules engine enables service providers to "very quickly segment the customer base and create new offers on-the-fly ... with no need to call in a vendor consultant to write new code or re-architect the system." She notes also that the Builder, while developed to work with AlcaLu's PCRF and Surepay charging system, can also be deployed with other policy and billing/charging platforms, for which plug-ins/interfaces can be developed. Ciangiulli declined to comment on whether Smart Pay, which will be demonstrated at Mobile World Congress, is in trials with any service providers. Why this matters
Mobile customers need, and are due, more help with their mobile accounts, and service providers should be doing more to help them, as it should (in theory) lead to a better customer experience and lower churn. In addition, operators need to find any way they can to create new services and packages that can generate more revenue. This new product, if it does what it says on the tin, certainly incorporates the kind of functionality needed to achieve those goals. So this should attract some attention from operators as it hits some hot buttons, according to Heavy Reading Chief Analyst Graham Finnie. He says the desire to develop more personalized services and provide more power and control to users of policy engines is "a strong trend among service providers and one we predicted following our 2012 operator survey." (See Policy Train Still Rolling, But to Where?) Finnie adds: "Most vendors are seeing greater demand for capabilities that can enable use cases of this type, especially in emerging markets where there appears to be greater pressure to personalize services and add extra layers to service packages. This definitely fits in with service provider requirements and Alcatel-Lucent is on track with the market. A lot of other vendors have taken the same approach but Alcatel-Lucent has packaged and presented it in a different way." "The key point [about Smart Plan] is that it's easy to adapt and has an analytics aspect with use case catalogs, enabling service providers to adapt their offerings based on market conditions," says Finnie. — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Ray Le Maistre
Ray Le Maistre,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/15/2013 | 4:52:18 PM
re: AlcaLu Gets Smart With Mobile Data
Of course this is all yet to be 'proven' in a production environment but this does seem to make a lot more sense in terms of how to think about mobile broadband customer needs -- but to what extent this is ALU following the pack, but articulating its story in a more customer-centric way, is harder to tell....
From The Founder
The comms industry is rallying to the cause of open, independent interoperability testing.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Interviews
Top Tips for FTTH Operators

10|8|15   |   02:26   |   (0) comments

At Gigabit Europe 2015, Ventura Team co-founder Richard Jones talks about some of the key business case considerations for FTTH network operators.
LRTV Interviews
M-net Calls for FTTx Unity

10|8|15   |   03:45   |   (0) comments

At the Gigabit Europe event, Jörn Schoof from M-net, the Munich city network operator, calls for industry collaboration on fiber broadband access rollouts.
LRTV Documentaries
The Business Case Challenge for NFV

10|7|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Virtual CPE is one of the early success stories for network functions virtualization, as service providers are finding flexible, programmable CPE solves a lot of logistics problems and reduces their cost. But even here, Masergy Communications faced a business case challenge, says CTO Tim Naramore.
LRTV Interviews
JT Offers Some Gigabit Lessons

10|7|15   |   4:08   |   (1) comment

Barna Kutvolgyi, managing director, Global Consumer, at JT, the incumbent operator on the island of Jersey, talks about how other service providers can learn from his company's gigabit broadband rollout experiences.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Chiosi on the Potential of Open Source

10|6|15   |   06:27   |   (0) comments

AT&T Distinguished Network Architect Margaret T. Chiosi talks to Light Reading's Carol Wilson about the potential for open source technology to liberate communications service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Network Security in a Gigabit World

10|6|15   |   05:52   |   (0) comments

Masergy's James Harrison talks about some of the network security and data center issues network operators need to consider as they expand their broadband services portfolios.
LRTV Documentaries
Telefónica: In Search of Virtual Simplicity

10|5|15   |   07:30   |   (0) comments

Francisco-Javier Ramon Salguero, head of Telefónica's NFV initiative, admits virtualization initially means greater complexity, but with the right abstraction layer, it is possible to create a services-driven network architecture. He explains how Telefónica's current trials and initiatives are aimed at doing that, and what his company and other carriers need to ...
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit Europe Takeaways

10|5|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Participants from the inaugural Gigabit Europe event in Munich share their key takeaways from the conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Urges Women to Take Advantage of Their Seat at the Table

10|5|15   |   4:27   |   (1) comment

Have inclusive and constructive conversations, attach a bigger meaning to your work and get involved in the cause, Intel's Monique Hayward advises women in comms.
LRTV Interviews
BT Updates on Plans

10|2|15   |   03:16   |   (2) comments

Peter Bell, CIO at Openreach, the access network division at UK incumbent BT, provides an update on the operator's trials and how Openreach is planning to deploy the broadband technology in its street cabinets.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Sonus Shakes Up SD-WAN

10|2|15   |   7:22   |   (0) comments

Sonus CTO Kevin Riley sat down with Light Reading to discuss the trajectory of the company, its SDN ambitions and why Sonus is taking a market-disruptive approve to SD-WAN.
LRTV Interviews
CityFibre's Gigabit Vision

10|1|15   |   03:18   |   (1) comment

Mark Collins, director of Strategy & Public Affairs at competitive UK city network operator CityFibre, talks about his company's plans to help build Gigabit Cities.
Upcoming Live Events
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Network appliances have a strong value proposition in today's networks and will continue to do so in the NFV and SDN-enabled networks of tomorrow.
Hot Topics
Eurobites: Dunroamin'
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 10/2/2015
M&A Speculation Swirls Around Juniper
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/6/2015
Cisco's Chambers Rules Out Political Bid
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/6/2015
Infinera Fleshes Out Its Metro 100G Story
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/7/2015
AT&T Gets Green Light for VoWiFi
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/7/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With so many new and exciting communications technologies now under development, it's easy to get caught up in the industry's escalating hype cycle. That's why the ...
Last week saw a big day in the 15-year history of Light Reading when Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre and I were invited to interview the Deputy Chairman and Rotating ...
Cats with Phones
"What?! I'm on with Finisar about their stock price tanking" Click Here