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Virtualization Technology for the Real World, Today

A few years ago at Mobile World Congress (well more than a few, perhaps…), I was speaking with the CTO of a top tier Mobile Operator about a newly emerging technology called IMS.  It seemed that every vendor was promising how IMS was going to change the world.  This very wise CTO stated that he needs to see a tangible benefit or value from a new technology to be interested.  “I will only buy a new technology if you can show me how it can (a) do something I cannot do today, or (b) improve the way I am doing something today.  I will not buy technology for the sake of technology.”  This simple axiom is a great lens to look through as one views all new technologies – and that is certainly the case for the current industry discussion around Virtualization – or more accurately from Cisco’s perspective on the topic, Virtualization and Orchestration.

But instead of joining in with the multitudes talking about the wonders of the technology, arguing around technical specs or nomenclature, the lesson from the CTO instead guides me to talk about what it can do for the service provider business.

That’s why our announcement today of the Cisco Evolved Services Platform has a decidedly business bent.  Yes, it is a Read More »

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The Low Rumble of the 4K Resolution Revolution

It hasn’t been all that long since HD-quality video gained widespread acceptance as an industry standard. Yet a new resolution standard is capturing the attention of the broadcast world. It’s known as 4K (or Ultra High Definition – UHD), and it offers viewers four times the picture resolution of standard HD. At CES 2014, one of the hot trends among TV set manufacturers, along with sets that curve and flex, was a 4K display. It’s the new standard for TVs, and while it currently has a price point that keeps it firmly high-end, the story sounds familiar: 4K TV sets will only get cheaper to manufacture, consumer demand will grow, and broadcasters will need to adapt.

So is change inevitable? Actually, no.

For 4K to truly develop into an industry standard, it will require several players in the video value chain to row in the same direction at the same time. This could certainly happen, but by no means is this assured. For instance, 4K TVs need content filmed in 4K. Will this become a new standard? Perhaps, but this would require significant and costly changes for an industry that only recently embraced the HD standard.

Even if Read More »

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Milestones in Cisco Content Delivery Networks (CDN) Deployments

The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) confirms much of what we already know: Service providers will need to carry more video traffic to more devices delivered as unique on-demand streams. All at the time and place of the end-user’s choosing.

But the sheer scale of this demand makes interesting reading. The Cisco VNI projects that by 2017, the global Internet will reach nearly half (48%) the world’s population, each with roughly five devices and machine-to-machine connections. Together, they will drive a total of 93 exabytes of internet traffic per month. Significantly, Internet video will make up two thirds of this Internet traffic, 65% of which will be carried over content delivery networks (CDN).

And it’s not only Internet video.

Cisco VNI also projects that by 2017, video on-demand (VOD) traffic will nearly triple as it reaches 400 million global subscribers.

The bottom line is that service providers need to deal with unprecedented scale requirements with ever greater capabilities to manage and monitor their CDNs.

The question, of course, is Read More »

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Setting New Wireless Venue Benchmark at the Fira de Barcelona

For many of us, conferences like Mobile World Congress are places where we learn about the latest technology and industry developments, network with our colleagues, and meet with customers and partners.  During that time, Wi-Fi connectivity is imperative to successfully communicate with other attendees and share the latest news with colleagues back home.

The Fira de Barcelona knows how important connectivity is for their conferences.  Since 1932, the Fira de Barcelona has been one of the most important trade fair institutions in Europe. Every year it organizes and hosts events spanning all aspects of the global business and social calendars.   Hosting global technology shows such as the annual Mobile World Congress means that Fira has to always be familiar with the latest advanced technology. That requirement came sharply into focus in September 2013 with the 49th meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). One of the four biggest annual medical conferences in Europe, it draws attendees from over 100 countries.

Fira de Barcelona: Setting New Wireless Venue Benchmark from Cisco Service Provider Mobility

Demand for connectivity at Read More »

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São Paulo International Airport (GRU) Gets Ready for Some Fútebol with Wireless Network Upgrades

This is a customer perspective guest blog contributed by Zack Sterngold, Boingo Wireless Vice President, Americas.

The largest airport in South America, Brazil’s São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU), is primed to become one of the world’s most popular destinations. Already an international business hub, Brazil will grow in popularity as a tourist mecca, as travelers flock to the country’s beaches and one of the world’s most beloved sporting events: the World Cup.

To keep pace with the needs of savvy international business travelers and prepare for the fútbol fan onslaught this summer, GRU is upgrading terminals, introducing new traveler services, and working to deliver fast, reliable wireless service to connected passengers. GRU has partnered with Boingo to design and launch a new, state-of-the-art Wi-Fi network from Cisco ahead of the World Cup this summer. The new system will better support international passengers and improve connectivity for all travelers, sports fans and employees throughout the airport.

And travelers are projected to be more connected than ever. A recent study from MMGY Global found that a new category of “Digital Elite” travelers – or those carrying at least two mobile devices – has grown by 600% in just two years to become the new normal. Sports fans don’t leave home without their Read More »

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