Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > SP360: Service Provider

Mobile Politics

Text message announcing Democratic vice presidential selectionWhatever you think of his politics, Barack Obama has certainly made good use of mobile technology. He announced his choice of vice-presidential running mate via text message, although the media scooped the news by a few hours. Imagine the nervous excitement at Distributive Networks as they pressed the “send” button for that message, which reached about 2.9 million people.At the Democratic convention this week, attendees will be asked to send text messages to family and friends, and also invited to make calls from provided phones. The campaign will capture those dialed numbers for later use. With all those text messages and phone calls from Invesco Field, the mobile networks will face an extraordinary load. Many communications companies, including Cisco, are helping connect the convention.Meanwhile, if politics just aggravates you, how will you react to receiving such text messages? You could hurl your mobile phone in frustration. You could even enter the Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships in Estonia. But you’ll need technique as well as vexation: the winning throw was 85 meters (279 feet)!

Sleepy Olympics

coffeeI’m sleepy. My snooze button has taken my”man’s best friend” place normally reserved for my dog. I smell like a walking coffee pot, and frankly the dark rings under my eyes are not too flattering.But man, are those Olympics ever good! I have been watching so much of them that I feel like I’m on a first name basis with Michael, Nastia, Aaron (Hook’em!), Jason, Misty, Kerri, and Usain (though, seriously, please run through the tape next time!) Now granted, this interest is not necessarily second nature for me. I always thought that trampoline was a noun and not a verb. That Beach Volleyball was something you did for fun in the sun. That badminton was more of a summer picnic activity. That judging art was more in the eye of the individual than trying to be objective. And this interest isn’t necessarily the best thing for my work life as my productivity is suffering. I can’t help my mind from wondering off on teleconferences when I’m, say, discussing broadband penetration rates in Central Europe at the same time I’m online watching two guys smack a ping pong ball so hard my eyes can hardly keep up with it.But even so I can’t help but stay up late -- way, too late — especially considering the long pause I implement on my PVR while I begin the nightly bedtime negotiations with the kids (they want to keep watching, too). Much like how some look at an all-you-can-eat buffet as a challenge versus an offer, I look at these Olympics. 3600 hours of coverage, both on the TV and online? Bring it, NBC. I’m ready. And when all of this is said and done, I will be among the many jockeying for position for a place on your viewer medal podium -- albeit still drowsy, I’m sure.

Staying Connected in the Mangrove

cell towerI was recently at a service provider customer event in Langkawi, Malaysia. The attendees included executives from service providers from Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. The discussions at the event focused on a wide range of topics including the macro-economic trends in the region and it’s impact to the service provider opportunities as well as challenges. zoom on cell towerThe most interesting thing for me though was the tour of the Mangrove. Was it the beautiful trees or the eagles or the boats from around the world that are parked across the Mangrove? While all of these were fascinating things to see, what I was amazed with was the coverage on my mobile phone across all the nooks and crannies in the Mangrove. I had full coverage with all bars showing as I do with my AT&T wireless coverage in San Jose. After partaking in the views of the trees, the water lines, the monkeys and the sand crabs, I found myself searching for what was helping this coverage even in the midst of the thickest areas of the Mangrove. It took me a while but I finally found one of the nicely disguised cell phone towers…well masked with a blending color scheme and some fake branches to make it not standout. So, what’s the takeaway? If you are looking for a sanctuary away from civilization, leave your cell phone at home.

My Favorite Olympic Moment

runnersI was a runner growing up, all through college, and still even hitting the road today (though at a fraction of my past mileage). Perhaps it was an interest that I was born with or perhaps it was one of the few things I could do with my lanky frame, but running appealed to me in a way that nothing else did. And so when the 1984 Summer Games began in Los Angeles, I was glued to the TV, scheduling my runs during boring basketball or soccer matches, so that I could see every bit of track and field coverage that was aired. Read More »

Beach Reading

Blackbeard in the Outer BanksHeading for vacation on the Outer Banks, and enjoying How to Read a North Carolina Beach. I suppose my inner engineer likes to know how things work, even the sand and waves.As with many people soon to appear on a public beach in a swimsuit, I wish I’d remembered to exercise more and eat less. An article in the Stanford alumni magazine describes how mobile devices can help remind people to maintain their fitness regimen. A study by Dr. Abby King showed that “hand-held computers may be effective tools for increasing initial physical activity levels among underactive adults.” The participants equipped with a PDA that reminded them to go walking exercised twice as much as the control group. A similar study prompted users to eat more vegetables and whole grains. Considering most of us carry mobile devices everywhere we go, using it for fitness reminders and diet recording makes sense. Read More »