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Sky Turns Its Vision of the Next-Generation TV Experience to Reality

Yves PadrinesBy Yves Padrines, Vice President, Global Service Provider EMEAR, Cisco

It’s official: Sky, Europe’s leading entertainment company with 21 million customers across five territories, is set to launch Sky Q, a next generation TV home entertainment system that will reinvent the way customers watch TV. Sky Q combines live, recorded and on-demand TV, accessible on multiple screens anywhere around the home or on-the-go, in a seamless experience Sky calls Fluid ViewingTM.

It’s also official that Cisco is Sky’s choice to secure that offering, with our VideoGuard Everywhere (VGE) video service protection solution.

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This is not the first time that Sky has innovated with a combination of broadcast, broadband and advanced video technologies to provide premium TV experiences to its customers. Nor is Cisco a newcomer to this arena. We are a long-standing technology partner, working closely with Sky to define and implement video software solutions that help turn Sky’s vision to reality.

So what makes Sky Q different?

Consider the Read More »

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SON Isn’t Just Network KPI Improvements (Part 1)

Learn how Cisco SON helps MNO lower CAPEX and increase network efficiency

The Challenge:
In discussions with Mobile Network Operator (MNO) CTOs, the need for automation and simplification is a recurring theme.

Legacy manual optimization methods are not keeping up with the network complexity and growth. RF engineers only have time for a minimum or “maintenance” level of activities and are unable to perform detailed, wide-scale network optimization. Solutions intended to improve network performance go unused by field technicians due to their complexity and the time required for proper operation:

• For instance, we have found numerous examples where Remote Electric Tilt (RET) antennas have not had tilt changes since their initial deployment optimization. The process to tilt RET antennas is extremely time intensive and therefore only the most egregious sites are tilted. This results in less than optimal user experiences.

• Another example is the limited use of a RAN vendor’s dSON (distributed SON) functionality. We have seen several instances where field engineers have disabled dSON tools meant to improve neighbor-relation lists. They have found the tool can create more problems than it solves, such as “ping-ponging” of neighbor relations or creating distant neighbors. This also results in a poor experience for customers.

To remedy this, many RF engineers manually create and maintain their own neighbor relation lists. They spend over 30 minutes per day, every day, performing basic maintenance activities on neighbor lists.

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As a result of these complex operating environments, RF engineers maintain high network performance levels through the easiest, but less than optimum, practice of capacity expansions. The time and effort required to highly optimize the network becomes so challenging that engineers add macro sites, small cells, or carrier additions to address problem areas earlier than required. This results in accelerated CAPEX and inefficient use of network capacity.

The increasing network complexity driven by VoLTE, small cells, continued carrier adds, and site additions will only accelerate the trend described above. MNOs will either need to add more field engineers or come up with a solution that automates and simplifies their network operation, enabling their current workforce to manage a greater number of cells.

The Solution: Read More »

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Looking Back at 2015 – A Tipping Point for the Internet of Things

2015 will be remembered as the year of the Internet of things. The tipping point when IoT went from the back rooms of the technology world to become mainstream.

2015 a tipping pointThe consultancy McKinsey estimates that the Internet of Things – a world where up to 50 billion things (or devices) will be connected to the Internet – could create up to $11 trillion per year of new economic value to business and society. The term Internet of Things traces its origins to 1999, but it is only over the last year or so that the realization of its transformational potential has reached the business community and the general population. The number of research reports, conferences and media articles devoted to the topic has exploded. With the media making the connection between the smart home and the connected automobile IoT has begun to become part of the popular parlance.

In fact, a Google search for Internet of Things reveals 725 billion results.
Google Trends also reveals that Read More »

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Join Us at CES 2016

It’s that time again — time to join 101,000 like-minded gadget and innovation enthusiasts for the “main event” in consumer technologies: The Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas.

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We’re coming in heavy this year, in terms of news and announcements, all under the banner of “transformation through innovation.” At our demos showcase at The Wynn Hotel , we will be displaying our “Infinite” suite of cloud-hosted and managed video solutions, designed for service and over-the-top video providers who want to get up an running super-fast — without building out an entire lineup of on-premise gear. We will reveal new features and capabilities of our Infinite Video solution enriched by the recently announced acquisition of 1 Mainstream, featuring a white label UI running on iPads, Android-based devices, Apple TVs and OTT boxes, plus roadmap items that I won’t detail here, but will gladly show you when you come by.

We will also introduce new solutions for Read More »

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Cisco’s Connected Home…Reimagined

SteveGGuest Blog by: Steve Gorretta, Manager, Product Management, Cisco Service Provider Software and Solutions

When you hear Cisco leadership discuss the transformation of our business and the drive to be the #1 IT company, you will no doubt hear some recurring themes around cloud management, big data analytics, security, and Internet of Things (IoT). These themes play a major role in how Cisco drives value across every major market, and the same can be said about a space to which we can all relate: the Connected Home.

As I’ve discussed before, the home network is a constantly evolving intersection of devices, applications and content that provide both convenience and confusion for consumers. The emergence of the IOT-enabled home (or “smarthome”) means even more devices, including appliances and sensors, are now joining that landscape. Our strategy at Cisco is to provide service providers with applications that simplify and enhance the connected home experience, and allow them to monetize new opportunities that emerge as the home evolves. We already manage many millions of subscriber home devices with Cisco Prime Home, and we are expanding the portfolio with some exciting new applications that build on that strategy.

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At CES this January, we will be demonstrating the entire suite of Cisco Connected Home software applications, which are geared towards helping service providers and their subscribers gain better visibility, security, and reliability from their digital home. One new offer, Cisco Home Guard™, provides complete cybersecurity protection for all devices in the home, and perfectly complements the monitored home security offered by some ISPs. We are also launching Connected Analytics for Home, part of Cisco’s broader Connected Analytics initiative, which enables real-time and historical analysis on a wide range of connectivity and security issues within the home.

In addition to these applications, Read More »

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