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Bringing the Cellular Roaming Experience to Wi-Fi

Today marked an exciting milestone in the continuing convergence of Wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) and cellular technologies as the Wireless Broadband Association (WBA) and the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) co-announced  that the industry’s first HotSpot 2.0 (HS 2.0) trials are scheduled for later this summer and the HS2.0 certification test beds will be available in mid 2012.  HS 2.0  is an industry initiative to develop standards-based interoperable Wi-Fi authentication and handoff.  In a nutshell, this enables a seamless handoff between cellular and Wi-Fi networks that allows mobile handset users to roam between the two networks without the need for additional authentication — much as you experience roaming between cellular networks while using your cell phone.

Industry organizations and standards bodies working on the HS 2.0 initiative include the WFA, focused on interoperability; the WBA, the industry group organizing the field trials; and the Global System for Mobile Communications Alliance (GSMA) that ensures the HotSpot 2.0 spec is aligned with the 3GPP framework.

Cisco is a strong supporter of the HS 2.0 initiative and is participating in the upcoming trials with its SP Wi-Fi Carrier Solution.  I will continue to provide updates as we move forward with this timely and critical initiative. In the meantime, take a look at this white paper, “The Future of Hotspots: Making Wi-Fi as Secure and Easy to Use as Cellular,”  which explains the technology behind HotSpot 2.0. 

Sarita Kincaid
Twitter: @saritakAR

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A Look Back at The Cable Show

Musings and mutterings from this week’s annual three-day fraternity get-together formally known as NCTA/The Cable Show . . .

  • The bash in Chicago is the yearly event for the rather insular cable industry . . . at times, it seemed like everyone there knew everyone else.
  • NCTA is one of the few shows at which one can catch celebrities who have actually accomplished things in their lives – Oprah Winfrey, Chicago Mayor and former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, actor Kelsey Grammer, professional skier Bode Miller – and ones who haven’t . . . Paris Hilton.
  • Though the total exhibitor space seemed a bit smaller than in past years, and official attendance figures won’t be available for a few days, foot traffic seemed good and there was an energetic vibe.

Prevalent themes included:

  • The “TV Everywhere” concept
    • “People don’t live just in the home.  They need TV everywhere.”
  • The consumer experience
  • Over-the-top management
  • Second-screen experience
  • Multi-screen content and delivery
  • IP video
  • CMAP

Cisco Videoscape was prominently featured in the Cisco booth.

  • “One thing that Cisco does really well is present a solution,” an analyst said.
  • “[Videoscape] is a powerful message,” another said.

An interesting nugget from one of the keynotes – smartphones consume an average of 25 times the bandwidth of standard mobile phones, and tablets consume between 100 and 140 times that of standard devices.

Analyst observations:

  • “There are some interesting things here, like the Motorola/Skype relationship, but I don’t see much in the way of new technology.”
  • “Samsung continues to add services via its Internet-connected TVs . . . They’re becoming an aggregator for OTT services.”
  • “Does the head-end eventually become the cloud?”
  • “In the future, the big trend for TV is about ubiquity across networks and devices.”
  • “IP video is very important in an increasingly competitive environment of connected TVs, over-the-top (OTT) video providers and fiber build-outs by telcos.”

No word on what Paris thinks, though . . .

The Network as an Innovation Engine: Join us for Customer Roundtable featuring Tesco & the Columbus Regional Airport Authority

We know that you’re always keen to hear from our customers. Tomorrow, Wednesday 15th June, Cisco will be hosting a live broadcast with Mike McNamara, CIO of Tesco, the world’s third largest retailer, and Shawn Prince and Aaron Hibbard, Senior IT Directors for the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, operator of three regional and international airports in Ohio.

The broadcast will be hosted by Cisco’s Paul Mountford, SVP of Global Enterprise Markets.

In addition from hearing from these customers on how they use their network as an innovation engine to drive their business, there will also be live Q&A. Please join us and submit your questions for the panel.

Broadcast Details
Date: Wednesday 15th June 2011
Time: 08.00 PT / 11.00 ET / 16.00 UK Time / 17.00 CET
Link: Please go here to register. If you cannot attend the live broadcast, a replay will be available via the same link within 48 hours of the event.

In addition, please join the online conversation on Twitter using the following hashtags: #engn  #Cisco

For any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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Happy World IPv6 Day!

Around the world, organisations have been gearing up for World IPv6 Day – a widespread, global ‘test flight’ for IPv6.

Participants include technology providers like Cisco plus content providers and other industry players who will come together to enable IPv6 on their main websites for at least 24 hours.

Why now?
Earlier this year IANA announced that they had allocated the last remaining IPv4 addresses. At the same time, with changing regulatory requirements, more global organisations are having to more to IPv6.

In the meantime, we have a plethora of new devices appearing and more people than ever getting connected to the Internet worldwide.  For content providers, connecting to a global audience is a key factor driving the move towards IPv6.

So, what is Cisco doing to help customers? Our message to customers is very simple:

Preserve your current investment by auditing the existing system; then

Prepare by making a plan and starting a managed migration, even if only in one focused part of the network; this ensures one will

Prosper through the transition to a full IPv6-enabled Internet experience.

Read More »

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Cisco Again Makes IP NGNs Simpler, More Capable, Less Costly

Think greater capacity . . . simplified network operations . . . reduced costs . . . simplified transition to IPv6.

Think Cisco.

Cisco today announced major advancements to its ASR 9000 series of edge routers.  These will dramatically increase capabilities at the network edge and make it simpler for service providers to architect the next generation of the Internet to be more visual, mobile and virtual.  

To wit:

  • The New Cisco ASR 9000 system: Cisco is expanding the Cisco ASR 9000 Series with new routers and high-density 10G and 100G interfaces for the network edge, as well as a new router for the  network aggregation layer. These will help deliver a single system to support new video, mobile and cloud services.
  • Innovative Network Virtualization Technology: Cisco nV (network virtualization) technology  intelligently blends the network edge, aggregation and access layers into a single Cisco ASR 9000 system to simplify operation, increase network capacity and accelerate IPv6 services.
  • Superior Network Capacity: Enabled by Cisco nV technology, the new Cisco ASR 9000 system offers an industry-leading system capability of 96 terabits per second. A single Cisco ASR 9000 could, for example, stream recordings of all Super Bowls, World Cup and Cricket World Cup matches ever played in less than a second.
  • Simplified Network Operations: The Cisco nV technology helps lower operating costs by up to 70 percent* (when compared with competing edge platforms), enabling return on investment in less than one year. (*ACG Research*).  This capability is available to the more than 500 existing Cisco ASR 9000 customers with a simple upgrade.
  • Simplify IPv6 and Cisco Videoscape Transition: Cisco Integrated Service Module (ISM) with Cisco nV technology provides a single touch point for carrier-grade IPv6 deployment across thousands of devices.  Cisco Videoscape technology is supported with the Cisco Integrated Service Module for caching, streaming and monitoring to optimize and monetize the video experience.

Many of the world’s leading service providers — such as China Telecom, Tata Communications, Fastweb, NTT Plala and Cox Communications — are deploying the ASR 9000 family (See announcements made over the past few days), joining the more than 500 service provider customers of the ASR 9000 family.