Jan
15

Valparaiso’s Creative District Advances to America’s Best Communities Semifinals

ADTRAN would like to congratulate Valparaiso, Indiana for being chosen as a semifinalist in the $10 million America’s Best Communities competition, sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, The Weather Channel and CoBank. The competition is designed to recognize and reward communities that demonstrate vision and entrepreneurial spirit, as well as a commitment to improve lives and stimulate their local economy. We’ve supported and counseled the city in the development of its Community Revitalization Plan and we’re very excited they had been chosen as one of the 15 semifinalists in the competition.

The city of Valparaiso’s plans involve developing an interactive Creative District to further cultivate community arts and culture activity. The Creative District will maximize new technologies, such as digital media, to make Valparaiso more dynamic, and will offer residents of all ages a special place to gather, interact and find meaningful work.

Valparaiso is creating a unique interactive cultural experience for the community and cultivating a strong community partnership among businesses, artists, students and more. The town has worked tirelessly to create an innovative and an impactful plan that its community will not only benefit from economically, but also enjoy. With our focus on enabling communities and connecting lives, we are incredibly proud of Valpo’s success and look forward to our continued partnership in the competition.

As a semifinalist, Valparaiso will attend the ABC Prize Summit April 26-27 in Durham, NC where they will present their plan to a panel of judges. From there, 8 finalists will receive an additional $100,000 to begin implementing their plans. In April 2017, the top 3 communities making the largest impact and showing the greatest potential for achieving sustained revitalization will be selected as the grand prize winners. The first place community will receive $3 million, second place will receive $2 million and $1 million for third place.

For more on America’s Best Communities and its Adopt-a-Community Program, visit www.americasbestcommunities.com.

Watch this video to see first-hand what this competition means to the town and it’s residents.

downtown 300x179 Valparaiso’s Creative District Advances to America’s Best Communities Semifinals

 

Gary Bolton is Vice President, Global Marketing at ADTRAN

 

Permanent link to this article: http://carrier.adtran.com/valparaisos-creative-district-advances-to-americas-best-communities-semifinals/

Dec
17

Monetizing Wi-Fi Part 1 – Premium Access and User Journeys

Introduction
Wi-Fi is now the preferred method of access to the network. More and more applications are moving to the cloud. Consumers are demanding always on anywhere wireless internet access and they are expecting it for free. They see Wi-Fi as just another utility, like water and electricity. They expect it there, they expect it free and they expect it just to work. This possesses a significant challenge for venue owners and service providers alike who were not that long ago, able to charge for Wi-Fi internet access in public venues and share in the revenue. Particularly for the venue owner, what was once a source of revenue has now become a cost. So what are the options for monetizing Wi-Fi without a direct exchange of money?

Premium Access
One of the trends we are seeing particularly in hospitality is a two tier, premium access model. A complimentary but limited service is available if you want to check your email and perform general web browsing like getting caught up on your social media networks. Then there is a simple way to upgrade to a paid service if you require more bandwidth intensive applications like streaming video or video conferencing. This is sort of like choosing between a normal guest room and a suite. One must tread carefully however as if the complimentary tier is so slow or restricted as to make checking email and general web browsing painful, you will likely cause more harm than good. No internet access is better than bad free internet access. On another other note if a person upgrades, they better be able to get the service promised and be able to stream video and video conference. Make sure you have enough bandwidth, that the complimentary tier works extremely well for checking email and general web browsing and that you have a way to allocate more bandwidth to the premium than the complimentary tier.

Another trend that’s emerging, particularly in public Wi-Fi such as airports and train stations, is to give a limited time usage for free, usually 15-30 minutes after which you pay. From an end user perspective, the same applies – if I am paying for the service, it better be good. This gives me the opportunity to try before I buy. From a venue or service provider perspective, it better be good or you aren’t making much revenue here.

While I realize this isn’t quite monetizing Wi-Fi without direct exchange of money, it is a happy medium where you could supplement some of the cost and justify the remainder with the fact that customers will come back, stay longer, and buy more. Although difficult to measure, the thought is, incremental loyalty will offset the lost revenue. This could also be combined with user journeys with advertisements to help offset even more lost revenue.

User Journeys
The user journey defines the step-by-step process that a Wi-Fi user walks through to attain Wi-Fi access. This might consist of a login page and a post-login page or something in between. Venues could monetize Wi-Fi by gathering data to analyze on these pages and provide relevant branding, content, ads, services and offers. Optional and mandatory fields such email address, age group and gender could be configured for data gathering or data could be obtained through Social Media login options such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google. Techniques such as http user agent could be leveraged to determine device type, OS and browser.

In its simplest form the user journey could be leveraged as a platform to provide general advertisements for example for the onsite restaurant or spa, third party advertisements, watch a video, download a coupon, or download an app before getting onto the Wi-Fi. In addition more targeted content could be delivered by leveraging analytics data like presence/location, proximity to surroundings, demographics, device/OS/browser type, websites/applications and social media likes and interests. Further this analytics data could be combined with data from third party CRM, POS and advertising systems by leveraging APIs to deliver even more targeted content. The more targeted the content, the more effective. For example if you were sitting in the stadium enjoying the game and you receive a notification from your mobile device indicating hot dogs were half off, that’s useful. If you receive notification that hot dogs are on sale at your local grocery store back home, that’s annoying.

Finally data gathered throughout the user journey for example the email address becomes an asset that could be leveraged for future marketing campaigns.

Check out part 2 of this 3 part blog series on Monetizing Wi-Fi where I’ll cover Presence Analytics and Indoor Location-based Services.

 

Kenneth Fernandes has 17 years experience in networking and security. Since 2007, he has been focused totally on wireless networking and security. Kenneth currently serves as a Product Manager at ADTRAN where he oversees the wireless product lines such as thken f 150x150 Monetizing Wi Fi Part 1 – Premium Access and User Journeyse Bluesocket virtual Wireless LAN (vWLAN). Prior to joining ADTRAN through the acquisition of Bluesocket, Kenneth held several increasingly responsible positions with Bluesocket such as Principle Technical Support Engineer and most recently before acquisition,  Director of Customer Support. In addition, Kenneth has held positions with Vanguard Managed Solutions (formerly Motorola Multiservice Networking Division) and Motorola MND (contract). Kenneth is considered an “engineer’s engineer” by his peers and an authority on Wi-Fi technology. Based out of the Boston, Massachusetts area, Kenneth considers himself a Wi-Fi Enthusiast and is passionate about Wi-Fi.

Permanent link to this article: http://carrier.adtran.com/monetizing-wi-fi-part-1-premium-access-and-user-journeys/

Oct
29

BBWF 2015: The Year G.fast Came of Age

If you missed last week’s Broadband World Forum event in London, there is one technology that stole the show: G.fast. No matter where you turned, what news you read or which conversation you had, BBWF 2015 was all about G.fast. There were real products, real customer performance stories and numerous operators demonstrating the real services that they plan to deliver thanks to this game changing technology.

Industry enthusiasm was tangible, which was refreshing to see. Many conversations in recent years have centered around the ‘ifs’ associated with G.fast, as in if a service provider could find it feasible to deploy services, if a business case could be built to justify G.fast, and only then if the results of their G.fast trials or lab tests verified the early performance claims. Last week, the focus shifted to when service providers will deploy, and what types of services they envisage delivering over G.fast technology.

In some ways, I felt a bit like a parent watching their first child go off to school. Back at BBWF in 2010, ADTRAN introduced the industry to the early concepts of fibre-to-the-distribution point, including reverse powered low density sealed micro nodes.  At the time, these innovations were met with some scepticism but, today, they have evolved and developed into the foundations upon which the G.fast industry now stands. Fast-forward five years, and I was able to see the fruition of these efforts as I walked the show floor and saw how G.fast has not only become a reality, but is rapidly gaining traction in more and more markets.

While the industry has clearly settled on the idea that G.fast is here to stay, BBWF offered several other interesting themes projecting the evolution of advanced broadband technology.

IMG 6994 300x300 BBWF 2015: The Year G.fast Came of AgeThere were several questions about Europe’s status in the global Gigabit arena. Fibre has been driving that trend in North America, and ADTRAN continues to see tremendous success with its Enabling Communities, Connecting Lives programme highlighting more than 200 US communities that now have access to Gigabit services via FTTH. In Europe, the drive to Gigabit broadband is beginning and, while lagging behind the US and APAC markets, is likely to gain ground quickly thanks to the capabilities brought with G.fast. Hot on the heels of G.fast acceptance were strong expressions of interest in bonded copper as a means to deliver Gigabit-level services.

Another area we’re paying close attention to is G.fast’s shift from FTTdp to FTTCab implementations. Through 50+ customer trials of G.fast, we’ve seen some tremendous results using ADTRAN technology innovations that have significantly exceeded performance expectations, particularly on longer loops. At the same time, while today’s G.fast solutions are about leveraging existing assets to deliver next generation services, service providers have articulated the need for them to operate within emerging SDN architectures. Deploying a cloud-optimised G.fast solution supporting modern, open interfaces provides operators the benefit of vendor-neutral control and ensures their broadband customers benefit from the rapid delivery of best network and subscriber applications available.  These are only some of the exciting developments emerging in this space, so stay tuned to see what comes next.

Commercial deployments are in the early stages with most slated to begin in 2016, so what we witnessed last week is still just the beginning. Given the fact G.fast allows service providers to deliver higher speed services at a greater speed and scale, while maximising their existing infrastructure investment, I suspect the best is yet to come. I can’t wait to see what BBWF 2016 brings.

 

Ronan Kelly is ADTRAN Chief Technology Officer for the EMEA and APAC regions

Permanent link to this article: http://carrier.adtran.com/bbwf-2015-the-year-g-fast-came-of-age/

Aug
20

Adtran x DressHead.com Womens Halter Dress – Pink Chiffon Silk / Short Length / Gathered Chest Area

This Adtran x DressHead.com Womens Halter Dress – Pink Chiffon Silk / Short Length / Gathered Chest Area comes in three distinct colors: pink, blue, and brown. The high collar has ruffles at the top and then ruffles cascade down the bodice. The high waist means your shape will be nicely accented, and the short length of the skirt will let you show off your sexy legs. It’s the perfect dress to wear to a summery picnic, a night out with friends, or on a first date. Wear with a classy black heel and accentuate the colors with a colorful hair accessory and a solid colored bracelet for a traditional, beautiful look. The small(S) size measurements for this Adtran x DressHead.com Womens Halter Dress – Pink Chiffon Silk / Short Length / Gathered Chest Area are: the length is 88 centimeters; the circumference is 80 centimeters to 84 centimeters; and the waist is 68 centimeters to 70 centimeters.

1 219x296 custom1 Adtran x DressHead.com Womens Halter Dress   Pink Chiffon Silk / Short Length / Gathered Chest Area

Permanent link to this article: http://carrier.adtran.com/adtran-x-dresshead-com-womens-halter-dress-pink-chiffon-silk-short-length-gathered-chest-area/

Aug
17

The Smart City Paradox

We have all quickly become accustomed to enjoying and relying on the conveniences of  technology.  My smart phone tells me the weather and the news, keeps me current on email, connected with my friends on social media, and can summon an Uber ride at the click of a button.  How did we ever live without being connected 24/7?  I was at a dinner over the weekend and a debate ensued over the name of the plant in the table arrangement.  My wife whipped out her smartphone, clicked open an App called “Leafsnap” and instantly settled the debate.

While it’s handy to be able to lock my home remotely and view my property remotely from a webcam, broadband connectivity also promises to solve some serious macro issues such as the environmental challenges of urbanization.  “Smart Cities” are at the forefront of this evolution.  By leveraging emerging information and communications technology (ICT), these cities are seeing population growth attributed to the resulting increase in economic activity, improved transportation efficiency and an overall enhanced quality of life for its citizens.  That is, the efficiency gains enable the creation of environmentally friendly mega cities that are capable of safely increasing population density in a sustainable manner.  In short, people will flock to these large Smart Cities for high quality jobs, innovation and economic prosperity.  …Or will they?  While the concept of Smart Cities is highly reliant on greater broadband connectivity, my observation is that as connectivity becomes more pervasive, the less people are drawn to big cities.  Hence the Smart City paradox.

What is a Smart City?

There are a number of definitions of a Smart City but they typically involve 6 main components:

  1. Economic Development
  2. Mobility
  3. A Sustainable Improved Environment
  4. Education Infrastructure Modernization
  5. Quality of Life (creative culture, safety, security, efficiency)
  6. E-Government

A combination of factors led to the concept of Smart Cities which foresees the implementation of Gigabit broadband connectivity as a solution to many of the current urban problems. This would be achieved by increasing economic activity – thereby reducing  intercity poverty – a reduction in crime via improved surveillance and faster police response, less traffic as a result of telecommuting and online schooling, and increased reliance on public transportation, which also alleviates concerns over rising  levels of greenhouse gases.  These mega-cities see the opportunity to leverage emerging information and communications technology (ICT) to address further urbanization growth.  All of the productivity gains enable the creation of an environmentally friendly city that is capable of safely increasing its population density in a sustainable manner.

Gigabit Communities

In 2011, Google launched Google Fiber which proved to be a highly successful disruptive event that has spurred the Gigabit broadband race across America.  Just like we witness with a CVS going across the street from every Walgreens, the “NFL cities” have been blanketed with Gigabit service announcements and deployments from the Tier 1 Telcos and Multiple Systems Operators (MSOs).  Rural Co-ops have been leveraging Federal funds to deploy Fiber-To-The-Premise (FTTP) for years. This leaves the bulk of America at risk of being left behind. These are communities too small for Google Fiber consideration (and the matching Gigabit broadband deployments by the Tier 1s) and too big to be eligible for Federal broadband subsidies. As a result, these communities have been taking matters into their own hands to work with local and regional operators to transform their towns into Gigabit Communities.

These Gigabit Communities range from former textile towns such as Rock Hill, SC to a former cotton community such as Jackson, TN to dairy farms in Northwest Indiana to rural Mississippi.  By the end of 2015, over 200 communities across the country will become “Gigabit Communities.”   Without  Gigabit broadband initiatives, these towns were at risk of losing the next generation to bigger cities. However the launch of Gigabit services in their communities has been the key catalyst for economic growth and development. A FTTH Council study of 14 communities with Gigabit deployed found a direct positive impact of 1.1 points on GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth over similar communities. For those non-economists, GDP growth rate of around 2% is considered flat (like treading water).  Communities with a 2-4% GDP growth rate are healthy and robust, so imagine what a 1.1% increase in GDP can mean for a community’s overall economic picture.

While communities enjoy the boost in their local economy, their citizens also see an immediate benefit in their home values.  The FTTH Council commissioned a recent study with the University of Colorado at Boulder which found that Gigabit services increases home values by 3.1%.  On a $175,000 home, this Gigabit effect increases the homeowner’s equity by nearly $5,500 or about the same as adding a fireplace or half the value of adding a bathroom.

The Smart City Paradox

While a Gigabit services infrastructure is paramount for Smart Cities to gain the necessary efficiencies to increase their population densities for urbanization while reducing environmental impact, Gigabit Communities have become a magnet for high tech workers, their employers and entrepreneurs. It turns out there no longer needs to be a tradeoff between quality of life and proximity to high paying jobs. Gigabit broadband puts it all within reach.  As the innovative jet set move to these smaller towns, their suppliers follow along with hotels, restaurants, retail and other industries that seek growth opportunities.

As a result, the more Gigabit infrastructure that is deployed across the country, the more urban dwellers will realize the work/life benefits of living in the “smart” communities outside of the big cities.

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://carrier.adtran.com/the-smart-city-paradox/

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