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Mobile World Congress 2010: Putting Vision Into Action

Sometimes being a visionary is easy. Dreaming about ‘what if’ can be a piece of cake when you’re not limited by pragmatism or practicality. It’s when you start trying to figure out the ‘how’ that it gets tricky. The devil, as they say, is in the details.

We all know mobile data traffic is growing, and that it is a challenge service providers worldwide are trying to figure out how to address. Just this week, we saw compelling and concrete evidence that tells us just how big the challenge really is. As we all head out the door to Mobile World Congress next week, we expect that this topic, and how to profitably address it, will be top-of-mind in just about every conversation we have.

Consider the Mobile Apps phenomenon, and the impact it will have on your network. Mobile application stores will exceed 4.5 billion app downloads in 2010, eight out of ten of which will be (ad-supported or otherwise) free to end users of these apps – according to the latest market study by Gartner.

Gartner forecasts worldwide downloads in mobile application stores to surpass 21.6 billion by 2013. Free downloads will account for 82 percent of all downloads in 2010, and will account for 87 percent of downloads in 2013. Just imagine that groundswell.

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Social Media Marketing for Service Providers – Michael Brito, VP of Edelman Digital

Michael Brito, VP of Edelman Digital, talks with Cisco’s Zoya Fallah about how companies use social media to create memorable brand experiences and the importance of active listening in the Web 2.0 space.

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A Valentine’s Gift to Remember

In searching for Valentine’s gifts this year, I am shocked at both the extent that stores go to market the holiday and at the shallowness of the gifts themselves. Seriously, is giving a heart shaped box of cheap chocolates really going to help showcase the full extent of my appreciation to my Sweetheart? Is a teddy bear that has a red ribbon around it that says “Love me” going to do anything other than question why she is with someone like me? And is anything that says “Will you be mine?” not speak in some way as viewing her as an object to own instead of the wonderful partner that she is?

Look, maybe these gifts work for some, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that I was spoiled, I suppose, by being able to get her the perfect gift last year. It was truly a Valentine’s gift to remember and, once again, will be the way that I show the true depth of my love for her this year as well.

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The Mobile Internet is Changing Everything!

A year ago at Mobile World Congress we boldly declared our commitment to Mobility when we stated that 4G=IP=Cisco. And this year has truly been pivotal with the mobile Internet taking off and Cisco’s acquisition of Starent further demonstrating our commitment to this market.

I expect this year’s Mobile World Congress will be the most exciting ever. The mobility industry is going through a truly defining moment in its history.

Though challenged by the combination of increased demand (hear from our friends at Vodafone Spain in the video below) and increased competition from over-the-top providers, I believe now is the time for mobile operators to capitalize on this mobile Internet transformation.

Mobile operators have a great deal of power in their IP-based networks. The mobile operator knows the mobile customer – their device, their service package, their usage patterns, and even their location. And of course the mobile operator knows their own network – their available bandwidth, service capabilities, and content and security.

With this intelligence, mobile operators have the unique ability to create and provide rich multimedia services to their customers in a high-quality, secure and reliable manner. Further, operators can enable their subscribers to customize and personalize their own service packages to meet their ever-changing needs.

With this intelligence mobile operators can win a share of these new Internet service revenues, reduce network expenses, and increase customer satisfaction.

As I mentioned in this post, on the introduction of the Cisco ASR 5000, the combination of intelligence and performance in the context of an all-IP mobile network is more important now than ever before.

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Mobile Data Traffic to Increase 39-Fold from 2009-2014

39-Fold! That’s the amount of traffic growth that we expect the global mobile data networks to face between 2009 and 2014, as estimated by the new Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Forecast that was released today. I have a number of the highlights in the video below, but there is certainly far, far more on the Visual Networking Index web site.  Please check it out and let us know what you think…

All this points to why mobile operators see the mobile Internet as both a challenge and an opportunity. My colleague, Kittur Nagesh, outlines how operators can take advantage of this growth to monetize their networks.

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