Supporting IPv6 in iOS 9

At WWDC 2015 we announced that iOS 9 will support IPv6-only network services. All apps submitted to the App Store must support IPv6 starting in early 2016. To make sure your app is compatible, use the networking frameworks (e.g., “NSURLSession”), avoid use of IPv4-specific APIs, and avoid hard-coded IP addresses. Before submitting your app, test for compatibility.

To learn more, read Supporting IPv6 DNS64/NAT64 Networks and watch Your App and Next Generation Networks.

Next Generation Communications Week in Review: ARINC UrgentLink, Telefonica and Smart Cities

It being the end of summer in the U.S. we decided to give all of our Next Generation Communications Community bloggers a vacation this week.  However, even without blogging there was no shortage of market insights in the features section as well as the news.


A good place to start is with two interesting reports from HIS’s Infonetics (News - Alert) unit. In the first, the research firm is out with its prediction for 100 gigabit optical port shipments in 2016. In a word, it said the 100G market would "explode" and that coherent technology would lead the field with shipments up more than 100 percent this year over 2014. The second is on our sister Telecom Signaling Community where the researchers are also looking at robust VoIP (voice over IP) and IMS (IP multimedia subsystem) revenue which was up 46 percent year-over-year in 2Q15, to $1.3 billion

In other industry news, there was a significant announcement from Rockwell Collins of its unveiled ARINC UrgentLink network which is billed as the first U.S. nationwide disaster communications network that is a national, high-performance, reliable wireless network to facilitate instantaneous communications between various first responders and support people in the event of a disaster.

And, in our last news item, community host Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) has inked a three-year deal with Telefónica


As has been the case in recent weeks, our features section covers a broad array of industry interests. Items that caught our attention this week included:

  • A look at the foundational role that upgrading ICT infrastructure is and can play in helping the promise of smart city projects realize their full potential.
  • In the second part of a two-part series, TMCnet Contributor Mae Kowalke looked at how even mobile service providers in places like the U.S. have an opportunity to leverage sub-Brands and international roaming to spur lucrative prepaid mobile usage. Can Spur Prepaid Mobile
  • While SDN tends to be viewed from a high level, its importance to various vertical markets should not be under-emphasized.  In fact, this week we look at the benefits of cloud and SDN for financial Institutions, including in such areas as audit, compliance, security and the operations.
  • Recent Alcatel-Lucent research sheds light on the impact of mobile devices on LTE networks with a granularity to is clearly food for thought for network service providers in planning future network architectures and services.

 Weekend reading

Summer is fast coming to a close which means it is time to get caught up on industry buzz and insights. The community home page is a great way to get current fast as it is your gateway to constantly up-dated news, whitepapers, videos, podcasts and case studies?

This week my TechZine recommendations are:

Depending on your interests, the home page also has links to the other eZines, GRIDTalk, TRACKTALK and LIFETALK. And, by all means check out the “Digital Ideas” section which has a series of informative podcasts. 

IoT Evolution Week in Review: AT&T, Cisco, Covisint, Numerex

TMC’s IoT Evolution Expo in Las Vegas this week brought together the leading lights in the Internet of Things movement to discuss and demo the latest and greatest in what this space has to offer. Industry players, their customers, industry analysts, and financial experts at the event also discussed how we can meet the challenges of IoT to take things to the next level.

Speaking of going to the next level, the global leader in drones – DJI – was with us in Vegas talking about Inspire 1. This new drone features 20 to 25 minutes of flight time, the ability for the drone and camera to move independently, a 4K camera, and a feature that makes it easier to fly the thing indoors. DJI is best know for its Phantom drone; that and its other products are popular with hobbyists, cinematographers, and photographers.

DJI was among the 10 presenters at the IoT Evolution Expo Battle of the Platforms event. The winners of the competition were Numerex, which received the designation of Best Overall Platform; PubNub, for Best Enterprise Support Solution; Systech Corp., for Best Gateway Strategy; and KORE, for Best Implementation Support.

Numerex presented its multi-faceted platform, which has application (user presentation, solution logic, solution generation), content (application enablement, device normalization, synchronization), network (access enablement, network normalization, usage management), and device layers (data collection, local queuing, alternate routing).

OK, let’s rewind to the drone discussion.

As we all know by now, drones are already used in military applications and also should be very useful for other things like package delivery. But before this drone thing goes any further, we need to figure out a few things so these amazing flying devices help and don’t hurt us.

As Kerry Garrison, COO of Multicopter Warehouse, noted at the event, the Federal Aviation Administration in the next few months is expected to introduce an app for Android and iOS devices that makes current no fly zone information available.

At the same session, Chuck Byers of Cisco talked about what kind of ground-based infrastructure will be required to support air-based drones. That, he said, will include landing roosts, which will serve as drone airports of sorts; individual or smaller group landing perches; postal boxes where UAVs can drop packages; radios and sensors; cloud services and servers; and fog nodes.

Speaking of fog nodes, fog computing was a central theme at IoT Evolution Expo.

The interplay between cloud and fog was the subject of a keynote given by Rodolfo Milito, senior technical leader at Cisco. And Gyana Dash of Cisco was among the speakers at Tuesday night’s Presentation Theater, where he talked about how fog computing can help enable a smart lighting solution. Cisco and various other companies also talked about various aspects of fog at the Fog Computing Analytics & Data conference collocated with IoT Evolution Expo. (Look here next week for my story on fog.)

In addition to the drone stuff noted above, there was another kind of flying object that took center stage this week at IoT Evolution Expo – and that was the helicopter.

Simon Gharibian in his keynote speech talked about how Sikorsky Aircraft is leveraging connected technology to make its helicopters more cost-efficient, effective, and safe. He put out a request to the industry for rugged wireless sensors, and he noted that Sikorsky is running The Entrepreneurial Challenge, for which there is a $25,000 cash prize.

Image via Shutterstock

Speaking of challenges, AT&T staged its second annual Fast Pitch event this week. The winner of the $10,000 grand prize was Pix Controller, for which CEO Bill Powers made the final winning pitch about a methane gas monitor.

AT&T is, of course, one of the key movers and shakers in the Internet of Things space. So IoT Evolution Expo invited Michael Troiano, vice president of Industrial IoT Solutions at AT&T Business Solutions, to provide a keynote speech to talk about the company’s role in the Internet of Things, and where the industry is and where it’s going.

Also this week at the show, I sat down with Mobeen Khan, AT&T’s AVP of Industrial IoT, to talk about the company’s recently unveiled Flow Designer and M2X solutions. These offerings, which exist at the platform level, aim to make IoT application creation easier for developers.

Making things easier for developers has become a prevalent theme in communications lately, and another company that was talking about it was Eurotech.

During his keynote, Eurotech CEO Larry Wall said he believes Eclipse Kura will be one of the biggest influencers in how the IoT develops moving forward.

Intel, PubNub, and WebNMS were among the other companies at IoT Evolution Expo this week outlining their efforts to improve the efficacy of IoT solution development.

Intel software architect Robert Watts gave a keynote speech about the company’s IoT Gateway, which delivers preintegrated and prevalidated hardware with critical software components to allow for the collection of valuable data from the 85 percent of systems that aren’t connected today. A lot of Intel customers, he said, told the company they wanted someone else to worry about the security and management of their IoT solutions so they could focus on the core value of what they’re building, and that’s what this IoT Gateway delivers. (Look here next week for my story on the Intel keynote.)

I interviewed Doron Sherman of PubNub, which also was part of various presentations at IoT Evolution Expo, about how the company is working to reach out to a broader group of developers and plans to add compute capabilities to its existing streaming and storage functionality, so it has the IoT intelligent edge networking trifecta.

And WebNMS just introduced new location and vehicle management applications to run on its platform. That way, customers can choose preexisting applications to enable them to get to market more quickly, and/or they can leverage the WebNMS platform to build applications themselves.

Meanwhile, Clear2there and Kii at IoT Evolution Expo told me what they’re doing to improve IoT implementation and adoption.

Kii offers a platform as a service that can, for example, provide back-end management of devices like thermostats. And recently the company launched an ecosystem – in which wireless distributor Brightstar and Japanese media and communications powerhouse Softbank are also founding members – to bring the demand side (carriers and retailers) and the supply side together.

As for Clear2there, it’s working to reduce friction in the sales cycle of IoT solutions.

Given the recent and high-profile Jeep hack, the instances of drones getting on The White House grounds and in the way of firefighting efforts, and the many retailer system and other breaches we’ve seen, security is obviously another important issue we need to tackle.

Indeed, Clay Melugin, senior partner at RMAC Technology Partners started the conversation at the IoT Security Summit by noting that most Nest devices have already been hacked, especially if they are purchased from Amazon. He also said that many connected devices are powered by chips manufactured offshore, and that there is now a San Diego company that tests such chips to make sure nothing was added to them in the process.

Alan Grau, president, Icon Labs in an interview with IoT Evolution World also talked about how edge devices are easy targets and if they’re compromised, the hacker can then operate as a “trusted entity” within the supposedly secure network.

John Gleeson of Covisint provided what I and some of the other audience members at Presentation Theater on the IoT Evolution Expo exhibit floor thought was one of the more riveting presentations. In it, he talked about how Covisint wants to become the platform of choice for IoT and identity-centric solutions by making sure only those with authority to access certain endpoints and other IoT resources are able to get it. And he explained how Covisint can do that by acting as a central authority for access to such devices and solutions.

Working to address such important challenges as public safety and security, ease of implementation, new application and product innovation, and IoT upstart access to funding will all be important in helping IoT meet its promise. But, as James Brehm of James Brehm & Associates said during the Analyze This session at IoT Evolution Expo, in the end what IoT is really all about is business transformation and improving quality of life. That said, businesses need to start out by evaluating their strategies, laying out goals, and then collaborating with experts to figure out how to get them where they want to go.

Transforming Network Infrastructure Week in Review: Big Switch, Fujitsu, Silver Peak

Transforming Network Infrastructure Week in Review: Big Switch, Fujitsu, Silver Peak

August 22, 2015

Big Switch Networks, which was one of the more high profile startups when software-defined networking first appeared on the scene, this week launched the third iteration of its Big Cloud Fabric. This release is geared toward the OpenStack environment and addresses physical and virtual environments, Gregg Holzrichter, chief marketing officer, told me in a recent interview.

The platform enables users to deploy applications 75 percent faster than they could on typical networks; operate their networks 40 percent cheaper than using traditional means; and manage their networks using a centralized controller and fabric that is much more efficient than managing their networks switch by switch, he said.

Also this week: WAN equipment company Silver Peak revealed it is teaming up with Infoblox, Nutanix, and Zscaler to expand Silver Peak’s Unity EdgeConnect ecosystem.

“Silver Peak is dramatically reducing the cost and complexity of building a WAN through broadband Internet connectivity, and our simplified deployment options pave the path to a ‘thin’ branch office architecture,” said Damon Ennis, SVP of products for Silver Peak. “We are excited to take our Unity EdgeConnect solution to the next level by enabling customers to build a broadband WAN that interoperates with industry-leading networking, infrastructure, and Internet security technologies.” 

Ecosystems these days are huge, of course, as is the software-centric networking movement, virtualization, open source, and work to expedite the delivery of network products and services. Dovetailing with many of these trends is IO Visor Project, an effort by the Linux Foundation to advance IO and networking technologies and introduce new solutions.

Image via Shutterstock

Through the effort, Barefoot Networks, Broadcom, Canonical, Cavium, Cisco, Huawei, Intel, PLUMgrid and SUSE plan to build an open programmable data plane for IO and networking applications.

“IO Visor will work closely with the Linux kernel community to advance universal IO extensibility for Linux. This collaboration is critically important as virtualization is putting more demands on flexibility, performance and security,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. “Open source software and collaborative development are the ingredients for addressing massive change in any industry. IO Visor will provide the essential framework for this work on Linux virtualization and networking.”

Speaking of open stuff, Fujitsu has announced a new open development networking platform. Data center interconnect is the first target for the 1FINITY platform. This platform is designed for physically disaggregated networks and offers functionality through open development, scalability and dense form-factor blades, according to a Transforming Network Infrastructure story posted earlier this week.

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Lync Migration Week in Review: Skype, Saville Audio Visual, Vonage

August 22, 2015

By Steve Anderson Contributing TMCnet Writer

It's been another big week in the move to Microsoft Lync, and as it and Skype (News - Alert) for Business start making more strides in the field, it brings with it new opportunities for growth. With the coming of the weekend, meanwhile, it's a great time to step back and get a better sense of the forest amid the trees. So settle in, pour another cup of coffee, and let's run down all the biggest events of the week with our Week in Review coverage!

First came word from Market Reports Hub, who brought the exciting news that the next five years would bring steady growth to the unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) sector. The market is set to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5 percent to 2020, thanks to a variety of factors. The growth is thanks to the increasing use of mobile devices, the rise of the bring your own device (BYOD) doctrine, and other factors in turn.

Next came a look at Saville Audio Visual, who brought its SMART Lync Room system to portions of the U.K.'s Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). The SMART Lync Room is a whole-room system geared toward providing videoconferencing options with a display screen, HD camera, microphones and more. While the HCA had its doubts as to whether or not such a system could work, a pilot program quickly illustrated the power a Lync system could offer.

Skype came in next, bringing out a new update for its Skype 5.10 for Android app. While none of the new features brought with it were particularly groundbreaking--the ability to change ringtones for different contacts, the ability to share pictures from chat conversations, color changes to avatars and the like--these changes were the result of requests from the user base itself, proving that Skype pays close attention to its user base's requests.

Image via Shutterstock

Then, we got a report from ReportsnReports, who offered up a look at smartphone market volume. The market between now and 2019 was set to reach 1.83 billion units by 2019, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.1 percent. But with that in mind, there were some issues afoot; while China's overall growth was set to clear 30 percent of the market by the end of this year, it would drop to under 30 percent by the end of 2016 and continue falling.

Finally, Vonage stepped in with news of the acquisition of iCore Networks, part of a larger overall plan to bolster its UC strategy. Vonage (News - Alert) was previously spotted buying Simple Signal for $25.25 million, and was likewise geared toward expanding Vonage's UC capabilities. Now with iCore Networks on hand, a major provider of network-as-a-service (NaaS) for VoIP platforms, the end result should be an excellent augmentation for its business solutions set.

That was the week that was in Lync migration, and plenty of news came along with it. Changes to everything from apps to corporate structure hit this week and our global online community was right in the thick of it all, delivering up the best in news for us to consider. So be sure to join us back here next week for all the latest, and every weekend as well for our Week in Review coverage!

Call Recording Week in Review: HigherGround, TapeACall, SIP Print

Call Recording Week in Review: HigherGround, TapeACall, SIP Print

August 22, 2015

This week in call recording news, we take a look at more of the benefits associated with recording and tracking phone calls, and review some of the latest offerings available.

HigherGround, which is a well-known provider of solutions for critical communications, announced this week it has joined the Cisco Solution Partner Program which will make it possible to deliver even more call recording capabilities to customers.

As per the news, Higher Ground will be a primary provider for interaction recording solutions for Cisco Instant Connect.

If you’re communications aren’t as critical, but you’d still like to be able to record them, an offering highlighted this week may be the most cost efficient route.

TapeACall Pro is an app that makes recording calls easier for mobile phone users. The app costs $9.99 a year and offers unlimited call recordings.

One place call recording will forever be a topic of interest is in the call center setting.

Numerous new technologies have been added to the call center queue to make it easier to manage calls and even extract insight from interactions.

A feature this week looked at the benefits of adding ACD (automatic call distribution) functionality to an enterprise telephone system. Doing so can transform a company into a sophisticated call center that is able to distribute calls and monitor success.

This week we also took a look at the top reasons to start a call tracking program.

These programs not only offer additional insight into the things that are working, and those that are not, but they also help with seeing how SEO, pay-per click and other sources like social media are helping with campaigns.

That’s all for this week. Check back for all the latest in Call Recording news as it happens. Until next week… 

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Web-Scale Networking Week in Review: Apple, Verizon, Hibernia Networks, More

Web-scale networking made more news again this past week, and we have a look at some of those stories.

Up top, it was reported that Apple is holding off on plans to launch a live TV service until at least 2016. Licensing discussions with television networks have not been successful so far, and the company may lack the technological infrastructure needed to deliver video content reliably. Assuming Apple can eventually overcome these hurdles, it faces another challenge in attempting to sell television service to a culture moving away from appointment television. Getting at least one network in particular to budge would seem next to impossible. Comcast, which owns NBC, owns the Xfinity service, which is available through X1 and X2 set-top boxes. These would all compete directly against Apple’s TV service and its set-top box, the Apple TV. The full story can be found HERE.

Elsewhere, Verizon has completed testing on technology that could conceivably allow the carrier to offer Internet speeds up to 10 gigabits per second (Gbps). According to Verizon, it has tested 10Gbps broadband service with both a residential and a business customer in Massachusetts. The lab tests were conducted in Waltham, Massachusetts. Vincent O’Byrne, Ph.D., director of access technology for Verizon, said that “The trial consisted of a new optical line terminal (OLT) installed in the Verizon central office, generating four wavelengths, or colors of light, each capable of operating at 10G/2.5G [10Gbps download and 2.5Gbps upload].” You can click HERE to read more about this technology update.

Image via Shutterstock 

In other news, Hibernia Networks announced recently that is about to complete a rather large project connecting Halifax, Nova Scotia to London, England and Cork, Ireland. This particular high speed Internet cable connection will be up and running and blazing fast, by the end of September. In a release, Hibernia said that this particular connection will serve a rather important role in allowing Ireland to strengthen its standing when it comes to the “global cloud infrastructure.” Full details are HERE, and you can click HERE for more web-scale networking news as it’s posted.

Keynote Insights: IoT Evolution Expo Keynotes Offer IoT Inspiration, Leadership

The speaking faculty here at IoT Evolution Expo is loaded with industry leaders and revolutionaries from the biggest companies and hungriest upstarts, and the cream rises to the top with the Keynoters.

In addition to Coach Joe Gibbs, who talked about building teams to make innovative companies successful, we’ve had speakers from IBM, Intel, Cisco and Sikorsky, to name a few, and each of them dropped nuggets of wisdom on the jam-packed keynote theatre at Caesars Palace.

We thought we’d let you in on some of our favorites.

Simon Gharibian of Sikorsky Aircraft, maker of the Black Hawk helicopter, said that the company uses a flight system OS called Autonomy, not always to field fully unmanned aircraft, but to incorporate autonomous-like features into the choppers. This practice makes Sikorsky a smarter company. “We’re taking data from sensors to improve operational parameters,” he said. “Being able to predict performance of the aircraft is harder to do than it seems, so we connect data with aircraft control and the pilot in a live matrix.”

At AT&T, the IoT is a key focus of strategic development. Michael Troiano, VP, Industrial IoT Solutions, AT&T Business Solutions, in his keynote warned about rushing to market before a product is ready. “Many IoT solutions stall because companies don’t think about execution and how to get the devices connected,” he said. And that can stall the industry. But the industry has a future beyond devices, he said. “It’s more than tracking the things. It’s about the people, connecting the assets and the people.”

Atul Mahamunni, VP, Architecture, IoT Group, Oracle, said the IoT isn’t even about the “things.” Instead, he said developers have to look in a different direction for strategy. “IoT is all about the services, not necessarily the things,” he said. Those services will come out of “transforming data from collection devices into valuable insights and strategic actions.”

Senior Technical Leader at Cisco, Rodolfo Milito, advocated for the importance of Fog Computing in the future of the IoT. “The more we know, the more we can divide up the data in specific spaces, and from that we can get good answers,” he said, while talking about how computing at the edge can make weather patterns more predictable and provide weather-dependent industries with mission-critical intelligence.

Thanks to this faculty, these attendees are now very much in the know. And knowing is half the battle.

Edited by Ken Briodagh