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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire ClearAccess

Cisco today announced its intent to acquire privately held ClearAccess, a Vancouver, Wash. based company that provides TR-069-based software to service providers for the provisioning and management of residential and mobile devices. This acquisition includes ClearAccess’ software business and talent. The hardware portion of ClearAccess’ business, Smart RG Gateways, will continue forward as SmartRG, Inc. Cisco and ClearAccess’ combined network management and software capabilities will enable service providers to better deliver, manage and monetize their services, while helping to improve operational efficiencies and customer experiences.

For more information, please click here.

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Profiting from the Rise of Wi-Fi

The amount of mobile data generated globally is growing very rapidly and shows no sign of abating. This growth is largely driven by smartphones, tablets and connected devices, as well as mobile applications and content.   The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) has been tracking this for quite some time – the latest update predicts that mobile data traffic will double globally in 2012 and increase by another 78 percent by 2014. 

In addition, there is a corresponding worldwide growth in the popularity of Wi-Fi. The number of Wi-Fi hotspots is expected to reach 2.7 million by 2014, with usage growing 200 percent. This growth is inspired by new enabling devices, recent technology improvements, public and private availability, and tiered mobile data plans from service providers. 

With this in mind, Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) has consulted with leading service providers from around the world to develop and evaluate 16 Wi-Fi business models that can provide a reasonable return on investment. Opportunities for monetization fall into four broad categories: (1) business effectiveness, (2) end-user services, (3) inter-carrier wholesale, and (4) value-added services.

For details about this and other interesting, provocative papers, go to the Service Provider Thought Leadership page of the IBSG web site.

Check it out . . .

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CISCO, 100g . . . Check!

Cisco continues to pass on 100G . . . To be clear, that means “pass” with flying colors. 

To wit:

  • Cisco recently announced that SURFnet has completed a technology test of Cisco’s 100G DWDM solution between the National Supercomputing Center, SARA, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, using the Cisco ONS 15454 M6 MSTP. The Cisco system uses DWDM to unite multiple optical carrier signals on a single optical fiber, leading to several benefits, including increased fiber capacity.

SURFnet enables collaboration between researchers, teachers, and students in the Netherlands using information and computing technology and together with partners offers high speed communication services between leading innovation centers and universities in Europe and throughout the world.

  • Lumos Networks, a fiber-based service provider in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., has successfully completed a technology test of Cisco’s 100 Gigabit (100G) coherent DWDM solution across its service area. This performance validation confirms that Lumos Networks can meet growing customer demand for high-capacity bandwidth on its existing 10G fiber plant simply by deploying 100G line cards in its current Cisco ONS 15454 platforms.

Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire NDS Group Ltd.

On March 15, Cisco announced our intent to acquire NDS Group Ltd., a leading provider of video software and content security solutions that enable service providers and media companies to securely deliver and monetize new video entertainment experiences.

The acquisition of NDS will complement and accelerate the delivery of Videoscape, Cisco’s comprehensive platform that enables service providers and media companies to deliver next-generation entertainment experiences. Acquiring NDS will broaden Cisco’s opportunities in the service provider market, expanding its reach into emerging markets, such as China and India, where NDS has an established customer footprint.

If you didn’t get a chance to tune in live to the Cisco & NDS virtual press conference, the replay is available on demand.  To view the press conference, please click here.

Another Mobile World Congress Wraps

Musings and mutterings from the just-completed Mobile World Congress 2012 . . .

  • Darned if this still isn’t the only place in the universe where there are waiting lines leading into the men’s rooms but not the ladies’ rooms . . . Obviously, the planners did not heed my carefully crafted suggestion for improvement made in the wake of the 2011 event.
  • Barcelona did get the weather right this year, though – Each day was darned sunny and fairly warm . . . a decided contrast to the last two Februarys.
  • The show was held two weeks later this year than in previous years, so no one had an excuse for being away on Valentine’s Day.  “Sorry, honey, but I ‘have’ to go to Barcelona this week . . .” didn’t work this time.
  • All that aside, MWC continues to enhance its position as the largest, most important service provider-focused show of the year. 
  • The projected attendance was 65,000, about 12% more than in 2011.  It will be a few days before the official figure is posted, but, judging from the traffic inside and outside the Fira de Barcelona all four days, the estimate seems reasonable.
  • The most prominent theme this year was SP Wi-Fi/small cells . . . which just happened to align perfectly with Cisco’s key messaging and announcement.  Not to mention numerous customer-focused mentions this week and last.   Cisco focused “not only on what we make, but what we make possible.”
  • Other consistent themes included monetization, optimization, reducing capex and opex, and cloud applications. 
  • ARPU continues to stagnate . . . a real problem for operators.
  • Another theme often heard is that service providers are more and more looking for advice from vendors.   There was a time when that was not true.  “They’re looking at the situation and saying, ‘We need some help figuring out what to do with all this stuff,” one analyst remarked.     Another added, “It’s VERY important for a vendor to be considered a trusted advisor.”  Hmmm – Does Cisco’s consulting arm – the Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) – ring a bell?
  • Mobile World Congress has evolved – as it must – in its approximately 15 years of existence.   Real old-timers remember when it was small and very clubby.    Particularly in the last few years, it has changed and broadened as the concept of mobility has become more ubiquitous.  “Three years ago, it was more of a pure infrastructure show with the Huaweis, Ericssons of the world holding forth,” said one.  “Last year, companies like Samsung and Google got much of the attention.  This year, it’s WiFi and small cells.”
  • “Four years ago here, a Hotspot was an oddity,” one analyst said.  “Now, it’s the norm.” 
  • In a Cisco analyst/media event about small cells, Telstra CTO Dr. Hugh Bradlaw said, “It’s the network, stupid.  That’s what makes the cloud possible.”
  • Machine-to-machine continues to grow in importance.   One analyst firm characterized it this way: “M2M = M3 . . . Make More Money”.
  • Overheard while standing in line at the men’s room: “Operators are chasing the consumer too much and not realizing that a lot of SMBs and mid-market companies are dying for solutions that are right in their [the operators’] sweet spot.”

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