Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > SP360: Service Provider

The Broadband Quality Study – Tracking the Broadband Revolution Worldwide

Broadband is a term that has been around for years and is admittedly overused.  What some refer to as “broadband” is really more of just a step up from narrowband…call it “slightly wider narrowband” if you will.  As many long-time readers of SP360 know, at Cisco, we’ve been a big proponent of having higher broadband standards and classifications since consumers, businesses, and governments alike stand to benefit.  It’s not enough to just get marginally faster email when most of the rest of the world is focused on video and other advanced applications which require not just bandwidth but intelligence as well.

While there are many studies that chart overall broadband penetration, or the percentage of a population that receives broadband (by whatever definition may be used), we realized a few years ago that there wasn’t a study that focused on broadband “Quality” (i.e. what that said broadband can actually do).  To that end, Cisco searched around and found interest in an effort from the Saïd Business School of Oxford University and the University of Oviedo’s Department of Applied Economics that we agreed to sponsor.  The effort, called  the Broadband Quality Study, or BQS, is now in its third year with the latest results just released.

So what’s the news this year compared to last year or in 2008 when the study debuted? While the BQS, which uses  the data from 40 million real-life broadband quality tests conducted in 72 countries around the globe between May-June of 2010, gives us many new insights and surprises every year, I would say the real standout result this year is the speed at which countries have been able to become broadband leaders in just a few years. While we have expected this trend in the past, the three years of data to draw on, the BQS only now really proves it: Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

SCTE 2010: What to See from Cisco

The third wave of video is off-the-hook at this week’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in New Orleans. Brief refresher: Wave 1 was linear TV, both analog and digital. Wave 2 was a shift of video onto switched IP networks. Wave 3 is the chapter unfolding right before our other IP-connectible screens – tablets, laptops, PCs, smartphones – that are ready to receive and display video. It brings with it a way to launch new services much quicker than in the past.

We’ve been focused on this third wave of video for what seems like forever, but let’s call it four or five years. Ever since we contributed to the third chapter of the DOCSIS cable modem specification. We’re big believers, given our blended heritage as analog and television pioneers, from our Scientific-Atlanta roots, and as Internet pioneers, from our Cisco roots.

We’re also big believers in giving our people credit where credit is due, which is why it is such a honor to be a part of SCTE icon Ron Hranac’s rise to the Hall of Fame this year. Go Ron go! We’re with you all the way, and very grateful that you’re on our team!

Here’s what we’re eager to show you in our booth at the Expo (#553):

  • Our plans and technologies to support Video over DOCSIS, which we call “VDOC”
  • 3DTV set-tops that will ease the hiccups associated with early-model (pre-HDMI 1.4) 3DTVs
  • Our work on “TV Everywhere,” helping your subscribers get all the TV they want, on any of their screens, no matter where they are
  • Mobility services, commercial services for small and medium businesses, and the Cisco Interactive Showcase
  • Our ongoing and expanding efforts to reduce carbon footprint, in the SCTE Green Pavilion – set-tops, access/transport products, and our Cisco TelePresence videoconferencing efforts

Outside of the booth, you’ll also be able to catch up with our technologists and researchers during the conference. Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Telenor Norway Deploys LTE with the Cisco ASR 5000

The rapid proliferation of smartphones and the growing popularity of advanced mobile applications is well documented and often discussed and debated.  Central to this is how mobile service providers are responding to this change in service types and addressing the rising expectations of mobile users.

Our daily interaction with the internet and its ability to inform and entertain has colored our expectations.  Now as we “go mobile” with the internet, we bring along our fixed line expectations.  We expect high throughput, high reliability, and high quality, no matter the application, no matter the access, no matter the location.  Considering we’re now talking about high-bandwidth applications like music streaming, video, and web conferencing, as opposed to voice calls and text messaging, this is no small challenge for a mobile operator.

In order to provide these types of services quickly and reliably across a widely dispersed geography, operators like Telenor Norway are evolving their networks to 4G IP infrastructures.  Cisco, as the recognized leader in IP, provides a comprehensive IP next-generation mobile network architecture that enables operators to build a high performance, highly intelligent 4G network with end-to-end security, reliability and tremendous flexibility.

Such a network enables today’s smartphones and advanced applications and allows operators to personalize the customer experience, deliver high-quality multimedia applications, explore new business models and develop innovative new mobile services.

At the heart of this network is the Cisco ASR 5000 mobile multimedia core.  The ASR 5000 is a purpose-built platform featuring a distributed architecture, high-performance, high capacity, and high availability, combined with subscriber and network intelligence. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

CTO Telecom Summit 2010: Trends and Takeaways

Chris Osika, U.S. Service Provider Lead for Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, just returned from CTO Telecom Summit where he gave the keynote speech and I want to share with you some of his inside observations from the event.  In his keynote, Chris addressed “Platforms for Growth in the SP Industry,” in which he highlighted that now is the time for SPs to seize the opportunities arising from market transitions, launching a new phase of growth that will position and differentiate their organizations in the rising market to come.

Chris captures the mood of the conference from last year’s laser-like focus on cutting costs to this year’s renewed focus on reinvesting in platforms for profitable growth. In workshops and one-on-ones, attendees were talking about revitalizing and growing topline revenues. Chris explores trends from the show in the areas of virtualization and cloud, mobility, and consumer video. Attendees were focused on cloud services from the enterprise to SMB to the consumer, but the area that really stood out was the SMB segment. Another area of conversation was how can we fuse virtualization and mobility –  especially in collaboration solutions – and use that to drive new levels of productivity within businesses?  Discussion around video was also front and center. With networks being loaded and taxed with a lot of heavyweight, content-rich video traffic, attendees considered how SPs can monetize this.

Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Verizon is Bringing Cisco’s ūmi to FiOS

Last week, Cisco introduced Cisco ūmi™ TelePresence, a first-of-its-kind consumer product that brings family and friends together in HD video, whether they are around the corner or across the country.  Cisco ūmi connects to an existing HD television and a broadband internet connection to create a video communications experience that is so clear, natural and lifelike, that users will see and hear their loved ones, right down to the twinkle in their eyes and the tone of their voices, as if they were in the same room.

Cisco is working with Verizon to bring the ūmi experience to Verizon FiOS  customers early next year.  The two companies have been conducting successful trials of Cisco ūmi over Verizon’s 100 percent fiber-optic network, which delivers what a 2010 PCMAG.COM reader’s survey rated the fastest Internet speeds in the United States.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,