This is part 1 of the “Your Business Powered By Cisco Customer Solutions Architecture (CSA)” blog series.
Many IT organizations are challenged to take advantage of the new technologies enabled by Virtualization, Cloud, Analytics and IoT. Applications enabled by these new technologies must be protected from unauthorized use but remain accessible, in a secure manner, from any device in any location throughout the world. With a vast array of new technology choices and a substantial installed infrastructure base, it is important to have a place to start --a solutions architecture-- that provides a framework for using these technologies that will drive business outcomes.
The CSA is a transformational customer-facing blueprint that delivers IT-based services for enterprise and service providers to achieve their business outcomes. To be relevant for our customers, the CSA was developed based on disruptiveexamples that Cisco engineers observed in the industry during their discussions with both enterprise and service provider customers worldwide.
Some of these disruptive examples include use of new technologies such as: Analytics, Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Everything (IoE) and Cyber security. It should also be stated that the front end for IT blueprint consulting is Cisco Consulting Services, and this CSA is representational of the sets of abstractions that describe the actual functions.
In all IT environments, both enterprise and service providers, Cisco sees two common trends: Read More »
Cisco will Leverage OPNFV Efforts in Evolved Services Platform (ESP) Development
Most people following industry trends are aware of the ETSI Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Industry Specification Group, which was formed in 2012 and kicked off its first set of specifications in October 2013. These documents are commonly used references in the growing movement to utilize NFV for carrier-grade network services.
Great progress has already been made, and Cisco has delivered many innovative NFV solutions via our Evolved Services Platform. To take it to the next level, and realize the full potential of NFV, customers will now start flexibly combining components from different vendors to enjoy the benefits of open source efforts.
Hence the announcement on Tuesday of Open Platform for Network Functions Virtualization (OPNFV), a new open source project focused on accelerating NFV’s evolution through an integrated, open platform. Cisco is a platinum-level founding member of the project, which will focus initially on the NFV infrastructure (NFVI) and infrastructure management (VIM) of the ETSI NFV Reference Architecture.
Source: Publications and Collateral page at opnfv.org.
I recently had the pleasure to read an excellent article by one of our industry’s leading analysts, Mr. Gabriel Brown of Heavy Reading titled “Analyzing Apple & VoLTE”. In this article, he makes the observation, that Apple – which is well known for keeping a strong focus towards their customer’s enjoying a high quality of experience – has included Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in their newest iPhones. Mr. Brown goes on to quite rightly note that by including VoLTE, Apple makes the case that mobile operators now need an IP Multimedia Core Network Subsystem (IMS core) and a functioning VoLTE service.
Figure 1: Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Forecast 2013-2018
While I absolutely agree that Apple has provided a strong endorsement to VoLTE by including support for this feature, I believe that the Apple iPhone6 support for Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) and Text over Wi-Fi maybe as important (or more so). Let me explain. VoLTE is really a fact of life, it is going to happen and as long as a cell phone supports LTE it will be able to make or receive VoLTE calls as long as the carrier implements to network accordingly. However, Wi-Fi has long been maligned as the poor step-child of mobile broadband. Mostly because it is unruly (unlicensed) and anyone can deploy it (don’t have to be a carrier). And while the distance limitations and handoffs (Wi-Fi to 3G or to LTE) play a big role too those issues are being addressed (at least by Cisco). However, several reports, including Cisco’s own well regarded Visual Networking Index (VNI) for Global Mobile Data Traffic, show that mobile data usage over Wi-Fi is over 40% in 2013. In fact, it is projected that there will be more traffic offloaded from cellular networks onto Wi-Fi than remain on cellular networks by 2018 (that’s less than four years away).
In this continuing series of blogs about Mobile Data Monetization*, let’s look at the Service Provider Freemium business model, which involves offering a basic service for free (indefinitely, or for a trial period) to incent some other subscriber behavior that the operator can monetize. Let’s look at the typical reasons that operators have in offering a Freemium service:
1.) Encourage users to upgrade up to a higher-price, higher-quota mobile data service in order to get the Freemium service. We’re seeing more and more of this approach, especially in conjunction with LTE service offers. For example, in the early days of Verizon Wireless’ LTE roll-out, it offered a free 1-year subscription to NFL Mobile Premium to drive subscriber upgrades from 3G to its LTE data plans and smartphones / Mi-Fi devices. Now, with the adoption of LTE services well underway, Verizon Wireless is leveraging its significant investment in NFL content rights by offering NFL Mobile Premium as a Freemium service to users who opt for one of its new “More Everything” pricing plans. In many markets where mobile data usage is low, some operators have taken to offering “zero-rated” usage of popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter for a period of time, usually 6 to 12 months, during which the data used does not count towards the subscriber’s monthly quota. The goal of this approach is to get the user accustomed to using these services over mobile so that he or she subscribes to a data plan at the end of the Freemium period.
2.) Entice users to eventually pay a premium for a more Read More »