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Mobile Service Provider Growth Priorities

As the Mobility industry converges upon Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, I wanted to talk to you about subjects we will all be talking about at MWC – monetization, optimization, and the video experience.

There’s been considerable speculation about the demands that are placed on today’s mobile infrastructure and how rocketing traffic volumes will impact the network operator’s business model.

We decided to explore service provider’s expectations for the ongoing development of the mobile Internet. More specifically, their thoughts on monetization and network optimization, especially around bandwidth-intensive applications, like mobile video.

So we commissioned a market research study that was recently performed by Heavy Reading.  Based on interviews with over 50  mobile operators from around the world (the interview subjects did not know that this was a Cisco-sponsored survey), here is a summary of what they told us (full report embedded at the end of this post):

Charting a Profitable Growth Strategy

  • Growing an active, paying, mass market mobile broadband subscriber base is seen as a pre-condition for more sophisticated monetization strategies.
  • Operators view “Tiered Services” as the most attractive monetization use case. This is especially the case in HSPA+ and LTE networks which now have enough capacity that operators can start segmenting their service offerings.
  • Other use cases that operators can use to drive data penetration and usage were also favorable viewed, e.g., group data plans and session/day pass or other time-based charging services.
  • Models that can help meet the dual goals of subscriber growth and generate better yield from existing and higher-end subscribers are most attractive. Maintaining a balance between those two objectives is, of course, preferred.

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Cisco MOVEs the Mobile Internet

As we gather in Barcelona for this year’s Mobile World Congress, I am excited about the announcement of our new strategic framework for Cisco’s Service Provider mobility solutions.

We’re calling this framework “MOVE,” which stands for Monetization, Optimization, and Videoscape Experience, and it expresses our plan to design and deliver network solutions that will help mobile operators succeed and profit in this rapidly changing environment.

As we heard in the recent Cisco Mobile VNI Forecast, mobile users are driving huge increases in mobile Internet traffic, with the majority of that traffic being mobile video, with its high bandwidth and QoS demands.

To manage this tidal wave of video traffic, mobile operators face a three-fold challenge: they must monetize their networks by developing new services and business models; they must optimize their networks to ensure reliable service delivery at low cost; and they must differentiate and personalize their video services to satisfy every-growing consumer expectations.

With MOVE, we introduce three new solutions to help mobile operators meet these challenges:
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Cisco at Mobile World Congress 2011 – Bigger and Better

Cisco at Mobile World Congress 2011

It’s that time of year again, and though this will be my 5th Mobile World Congress, I’m very excited to be returning to Barcelona.  I think this show will be the biggest in the GSMA’s history, and I know, from Cisco’s perspective, this will not only be our biggest, but also our best MWC.

For those of you who will also be attending MWC, I want to take a few moments to let you know what you’ll find at the Cisco booth.  And for those of you not attending, I want to give you some information and links to help you feel like you’re right there with us.

First, we have a full line-up of impressive speakers, including our Chairman and CEO, John Chambers.

And in the booth, we’ll showcase our comprehensive next-generation mobile network and demonstrate how our solutions can help operators capitalize on today’s opportunities while more effectively addressing network challenges.

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For IPv4 the Sunset Begins. For IPv6 the Day Is Just Getting Started

That was quick! I mentioned earlier in the week that, in any day, the IANA would hand out the last IPv4 address. Today it happened. And coinciding with the X-day, our panel discussed the true impact of the IPv4 address run-out. To mitigate it, Cisco’s Carrier-Grade IPv6 (CGv6) solution is designed to help enable a smooth transition.

Cisco Carrier Grade IPv6 (CGv6) Solution

One interesting observation I’ve seen is how something as obtuse and techie as IPv6  has generated so much interest in the main stream press – such as this article at the Wall Street Journal, Web Running Out of Addresses.  Even my mother asked me about it on the phone last night “will the internets shut down?” No way mom…we’ve got that covered. The Internet will be Preserved, Prepared, and then Prosper!

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IANA IPv4 Address Depletion: Change is the Only Constant

I thought my children would never fully understand what a life changing experience the Internet has had on our society. They do not know life without it. However, with the imminent depletion of IPv4 address space, this possibility could still exist. When they are ready to subscribe to broadband on their own, will the Internet be ready for them to connect?

The Internet will soon be going through large-scale transition. The current Internet Protocol address scheme known as IPv4 is near depletion, with the “free” address pool held by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) due to allocate the final IPv4 address any day now. According to Geoff Huston, APNIC Scientist, the IANA will run out of addresses in February. And the first date for a regional Internet registry to exhaust its addresses is October 2011 given current utilization rates. Once the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) free pool is exhausted, the Internet will need to evolve because no more IPv4 address space will be available from the RIRs. Without a solution, Service Providers (SPs) will not be able to seamlessly connect the massive growth of new revenue opportunities from smart phones, tablets, machine-to-machine applications, and sensor networks.

In an ideal world, everyone would just switch over to the next generation of Internet protocol, IPv6.  The IPv4 address shortage could be avoided, innovation and progress would continue, and the global economy would go on uninterrupted. IPv6 offers plenty of address space for every conceivable application.

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