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Apple’s Vote of Confidence for Voice and Text over Wi-Fi

I recently had the pleasure to read an excellent article by one of our industry’s leading analysts, Mr. Gabriel Brown of Heavy Reading titled “Analyzing Apple & VoLTE”. In this article, he makes the observation, that Apple – which is well known for keeping a strong focus towards their customer’s enjoying a high quality of experience – has included Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in their newest iPhones.  Mr. Brown goes on to quite rightly note that by including VoLTE, Apple makes the case that mobile operators now need an IP Multimedia Core Network Subsystem (IMS core) and a functioning VoLTE service.

Figure 1: Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Forecast 2013-2018

cisco-visual-networking-index

While I absolutely agree that Apple has provided a strong endorsement to VoLTE by including support for this feature, I believe that the Apple iPhone6 support for Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) and Text over Wi-Fi maybe as important (or more so).  Let me explain.  VoLTE is really a fact of life, it is going to happen and as long as a cell phone supports LTE it will be able to make or receive VoLTE calls as long as the carrier implements to network accordingly.  However, Wi-Fi has long been maligned as the poor step-child of mobile broadband.  Mostly because it is unruly (unlicensed) and anyone can deploy it (don’t have to be a carrier).  And while the distance limitations and handoffs (Wi-Fi to 3G or to LTE) play a big role too those issues are being addressed (at least by Cisco).  However, several reports, including Cisco’s own well regarded Visual Networking Index (VNI) for Global Mobile Data Traffic, show that mobile data usage over Wi-Fi is over 40% in 2013.  In fact, it is projected that there will be more traffic offloaded from cellular networks onto Wi-Fi than remain on cellular networks by 2018 (that’s less than four years away).

This news is not Read More »

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Cox Communication Automates Virtualized Services with Cisco Evolved Services Platform

There is a video available on YouTube describing a collaborative project with Cox Communications on virtualized residential services.  Dave Ward, Senior VP and CTO at Cisco Systems, is joined by Jeff Finklestein, Executive Director of Architecture at Cox Communications, and Alon Bernstein, Distinguished Engineer at Cisco. They discuss, in the context of Cisco’s Evolved Services Platform (ESP), how to rapidly implement a new service idea that Jeff and Dave cooked up: self-service virtual residential services.

In the proposed solution, a Cox customer logs in to a screen such as the following, and sees a virtual representation of services they can enable themselves from their home. 1

Jeff identified Read More »

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Freemium Business Models for Mobile

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In this continuing series of blogs about Mobile Data Monetization*, let’s look at the Service Provider Freemium business model, which involves offering a basic service for free (indefinitely, or for a trial period) to incent some other subscriber behavior that the operator can monetize. Let’s look at the typical reasons that operators have in offering a Freemium service:

1.) Encourage users to upgrade up to a higher-price, higher-quota mobile data service in order to get the Freemium service. We’re seeing more and more of this approach, especially in conjunction with LTE service offers. For example, in the early days of Verizon Wireless’ LTE roll-out, it offered a free 1-year subscription to NFL Mobile Premium to drive subscriber upgrades from 3G to its LTE data plans and smartphones / Mi-Fi devices. Now, with the adoption of LTE services well underway, Verizon Wireless is leveraging its significant investment in NFL content rights by offering NFL Mobile Premium as a Freemium service to users who opt for one of its new “More Everything” pricing plans. In many markets where mobile data usage is low, some operators have taken to offering “zero-rated” usage of popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter for a period of time, usually 6 to 12 months, during which the data used does not count towards the subscriber’s monthly quota. The goal of this approach is to get the user accustomed to using these services over mobile so that he or she subscribes to a data plan at the end of the Freemium period.

2.) Entice users to eventually pay a premium for a more Read More »

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Join Us at The Internet Of Things World Forum Panel With AT&T, Sprint, and Vodafone

Mobile Making It Happen

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is opening up a world of real opportunities and rapidly transforming our communities, our cities and our daily lives. The second annual Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) in Chicago, October 14–16, 2014 marks a defining moment in the growth of the IoT.

While today most of the current IoT solutions do not have the ability to seamlessly connect and service the types of devices expected to be part of the 40 billion “things” forecasted to be activated by 2020. Yet mobile operators can uniquely deliver the connectivity (e.g., 2G / 3G / 4G / Wi-Fi / Small Cell) required to all devices anywhere, anytime, any place. Add in the mobile operator’s service delivery platform with the agility to activate thousands of devices at a time, the scalable cloud capacity for reduced OpEx, and a new application development platform enabling increased service creation velocity –and you’ve got a winning formula. So if you plan to attend this year’s IoT World Forum in Chicago make sure you sign up for the session the The Value Delivered by the Service Provider in IoT and listen to service providers discuss how to improve IoT experiences, increase business impact, and make money while doing it.

The Panel:

  • AT&T SVP, Kevin Petersen – AT&T Digital Life
  • Sprint Director, Mohammed Nasser – Connected City
  • Orange Deputy Director, François Duquesnoy — Orange Smart Cities & Territories

The Topics We’ll Cover: Read More »

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New Smart City Opportunities for Service Providers

Tremendous new opportunities are being created for technology vendors and service providers as cities around the world look to build out smart cities to reduce municipal costs, tap new sources of revenue, and improve the overall quality of urban life. The previous blog (Smart Cities Are a $7.5 Billion Annual Opportunity for Technology Providers) described all of the essential requirements of the smart city architecture and quantified the great opportunities for technology vendors and partners to help to create and operate these digitally smart cities of the future.  The last question to address is what are the specific opportunities for SPs and where should they play to extract the most value from the deployment of smart cities?

The potential revenue opportunities available to SPs depend upon the strategic fit to their business.  Specifically, we evaluated the opportunities across three strategic fit criteria:

  1. Core Business – How closely is the solution or service aligned with the SP’s core business (e.g., using existing assets, leveraging current business operations and expertise, in regional footprint)
  2. Stretch – To what extent would new investments or operations be required to deliver the solution or service (e.g., Capex for new assets, creation of new business operations, acquisition of new expertise, out of region play)
  3. Deal Dependent – To what extent would the nature of the deal and the governance structure influence the potential revenues available? (e.g., vendor or lead, city investment or PPP)

Assessing the smart city revenue opportunities across these criteria reveals a number of strategic options for how SPs can think about approaching the smart city opportunity: Read More »

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