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Policy and Resource Management – The Traffic Police of Video Services

Operators like to provide their subscribers plenty of services. It’s how they win loyalty and differentiate themselves from the competition. They want to offer HD channels and Video on Demand (VOD), they want to optimize delivery by means of Switched Digital Video (SDV) and Adaptive Bitrate (ABR), and of course they want to ensure that all these video services are available on a wide range of devices.

Here’s the problem: each of these services has evolved and rolled out piecemeal over the years. Not only does each service require its own Session and Resource Management (SRM) tool to manage it, but each service is also processed differently per device, thanks to device manufacturers sticking with proprietary protocols. In short, siloed SRMs make scalability unwieldy, driving up Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and sowing Quality of Service chaos when traffic surges hit. Picture a traffic light out at a busy intersection at rush hour with no policeman to direct traffic: Read More »

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Multi-Device Data Plans: A Distinction without a Difference?

In this continuing series about Mobile Services Monetization, let’s look at so-called Multi-Device Data Plans. Spurred by the adoption of the Apple iPad and Android tablets, many operators have introduced mobile data plans that encourage users to connect these devices to 3G and LTE networks, rather then relying solely on Wi-Fi. These Multi-Device Data plans offer subscribers the ability to have a single contract that allows use of more than one device against a single monthly data usage quota. This provides users convenience, value, and incentives to buy cellular-enabled tablets and other “secondary devices”. Further, these Multi-Device Data Plan have driven higher data use and pushed users to increase to higher-tiered data quotas, according to some operators.

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Trying to stand out among U.S. operators, T-Mobile recently announced that for a fee of $10/month, it will allow subscribers to add a tablet to an existing smartphone subscription *and* get a tablet data quota equal to the quota they have signed up for with their smartphone. So for only $10, this Read More »

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The Agile (r)Evolution – Mobile Heads to the Cloud

Co-Authored by Ian Hood, Senior Manager, Service Provider Architecture & Dan Kurschner, Senior Manager, Service Provider Mobility

Business Challenge:  Everything Goes Mobile

The dynamic state of the business of service providers is quite apparent these days, and perhaps this is most evident for the mobility providers as everyone and everything goes mobile.  All of their consumers, be they individual or business, are clamoring for new capabilities that can automate their business and simplify their lives.  In addition there is a new class (or breed) of consumer – “Things”.  Whether it is the connected car, city, bus, or kitchen appliances, “Things” are increasingly using the mobile network.  Many of these new services and applications are readily available from “Over the Top” (OTT) providers that do not necessarily have any network upon which to deliver them. The OTT business model is designed for service creation agility, leaving it up to the operators to provide network access, quality of experience, and service assurance while managing the exploding demands for bandwidth and spectrum. Read More »

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Cisco SPotlight Series – Connected Devices in the Connected Home

chowj-300x4001By Joe Chow, VP & GM, Connected Devices Business Unit, Cisco

Our home entertainment centers are rapidly changing. For decades, the television has been the center of American living room, but with the advent of cable, video games, streaming services and the cloud, our definitions of TV and set-top boxes have evolved. These days, a cellphone can be remote control and a remote control can be a security system. Consumers can watch movies on-demand or access second-screen content with their tablets or they can check their Facebook over their TV sets. Meanwhile society demands are expanding to include environmental concerns as well greater efficiencies.

To address many of the questions of the changing market, Cisco is launching a new video SPotlight series. Through the course of several videos, key Cisco executives will answer questions and provide commentary on many of the hottest topics in television and video.

In the inaugural video, Read More »

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Have Global IPv6 Deployments Really Slowed Down?

For those that are not closely involved with IPv6, it may seem like the emphasis on migration to the new addressing scheme is waning. But while the hue and cry over IPv6 may appear to have quieted down to a background noise since 2010-2011; a closer inspection would prove that perception to be quite false.

What is IPv6 and why does it even matter? Simply put, when a device is on the Internet, it has its own specific address that it uses to communicate with other devices and the Internet and to define its location. With the non-stop growth of devices connecting to the Internet and the “Internet of Everything” (IoE) becoming a reality, the need for unique addresses for each personal device and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections has increased exponentially. To put this in perspective, the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) 2013-2018 forecast estimates that there will be about 4 billion Internet users by 2018, which is 52% of the world’s projected population (7.6 billion people). And for every person on the Earth in 2018, there will be about 3 global Internet connections — that’s more than 21 billion devices/connections by 2018.The current communication and address format IPv4 was just not equipped for this explosive growth of devices and connections and the need to define addresses for each device. Hence the need for a new communication protocol, IPv6.

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(Source: Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) 2013-2018)

On 3 February 2011, the last batch of IPv4 address blocks was Read More »

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