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Agility – A service provider’s Secret Weapon

Tom_Davies_PassportWritten by Tom Davies, Technical Solutions Architect

The world can be a tough place for a service provider in today’s marketplace. Revenue per customer is declining and margins are shrinking. Over-the-top players are delivering services at an ever increasing pace and systems integrators are positioning themselves as end-to-end providers of complex services. It is a potent mix that is negatively affecting the top line growth of many providers.

From discussing these key business issues with numerous service providers, the desire and will to offer new and innovative services on cutting edge technology cannot be doubted. Unfortunately, service providers have large legacy networks to consider, with a multitude of Element Management Systems, Network Management Systems and Operational Support System stacks, which tend to be customised to manage the specific networks and the services that reside on them. These stacks can present a bottleneck to offering new services and adopting new and disruptive technologies in terms of time to market, capital cost and the operational expenditure to deploy and manage them.

Service providers find themselves with reduced top line growth opportunity and stifled capability Read More »

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How Will Mobile Operators Make Money in the Future?

The mobile market continues to evolve at a blindingly fast pace. It seems as though new faster, sleeker, and more powerful mobile devices are launched every day. And new categories of mobile devices are created almost overnight. The number of applications available to run on these revolutionary new mobile devices is staggering, numbering in the millions. The insatiable demand for mobile devices and new bandwidth-hungry applications is generating enormous amounts of mobile data. The Cisco Visual Networking Index™ (Cisco VNI™) predicts that these trends will cause global mobile data traffic to increase 11-fold from 2013 to 2018, surpassing 15 exabytes per month by 2018.

In spite of this phenomenal growth and insatiable consumer demand, many MNOs are struggling to profit from this mobile gold rush. Mobile operators are watching as their average revenue per customer (ARPU) flattens or declines. Despite increasing customer appetite for mobile data, minutes of use in their cash-cow voice business are falling off sharply, and usage of text messaging is peaking. In fact, Ovum predicts that 2018 will mark the first year of revenue contraction in the history of the global mobile market. Following four years of less than 1 percent growth between 2012 and 2017, revenues will decline by 1 percent in 2018, ending the year $7.8 billion lower than in 2017.

This mobile paradox -- huge growth and customer demand, yet Read More »

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It’s Time to Play the SCTE IP Challenge!

Harris-Steve_GrayThis is a partner perspective guest blog contributed by Steve Harris, Senior Director, Advanced Network Technologies.

If the category is “SCTE Cable-Tec Expo® Highlights” and the answer is “The SCTE IP Challenge,” then the question is obvious:  “What major Cable-Tec Expo event gets underway next week?”

While Cable-Tec Expo is a few months beyond the horizon, the SCTE IP Challenge – the event that gives cable engineering and operations professionals the chance to demonstrate their mastery of IP technology – is coming up fast.  The start date for virtual qualifying rounds?  That’s an easy one, Alex:  June 1.

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Sponsored once again by Cisco, the SCTE IP Challenge has become a signature event on the Cable-Tec Expo agenda.  Here’s the opportunity for those contestants who are SCTE members and work for a cable MSO: if they’re among the top eight scorers in the two virtual qualifying rounds – June 1-7 and July 13-19 – they win a free pass to SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2014 in Denver, where they can compete in the semifinals and finals.  Before a live audience Read More »

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Telecom Italia Creates SDN Network Testbed with Five Universities

Telecom Italia is constantly on the lookout for innovative technologies that provide a competitive advantage. The goal is to be the first to offer new services to customers.

The latest hot innovations around Software Defined Networking (SDN) caught Telecom Italia’s attention. SDN promises to simplify network operations. And simpler network operations are a big piece of increasing service levels. Delivering new types of services. And doing it all faster.

Like most companies these days, Telecom Italia doesn’t know yet exactly how it will use SDN. But one thing is clear. Introducing new services faster is key to competitive position. That requires a simpler and smarter infrastructure. And today’s mostly manual methods just won’t keep up. Something has to change, and that’s why SDN is garnering so much discussion in the industry.

That’s where Telecom Italia’s story veers from the usual path. Instead of doing the old “wait-and-see,” Telecom Italia partnered with five Italian universities to build a testbed for SDN research. Engineers are already using the lab to familiarize themselves with network programming technology. They’re trying out various scenarios for introducing new services and automating management. So when the time comes to add network programmability to the production network, Telecom Italia can hit the ground running.

The Target: New Services and Lower Costs

The Joint Open Lab (JOL) consortium includes Read More »

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Why We’re Joining the Linaro Digital Home Group

Ken Morse HeadshotWritten By Ken Morse, CTO, Connected Devices, Cisco

One of the unmistakable trends happening in consumer electronics is the steady and seemingly unstoppable rise of ARM-based chips as the norm in all kinds of gear, and particularly mobile devices such as tablets, and smart phones.

It follows that ARM-based silicon is favored in the mobile environment because it’s designed to work in smaller and smaller form factors, with keen attention to power conservation and heat mitigation. Similarly, we are now seeing a trend of ARM-based designs taking hold in Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) such as set-tops and gateways.

(And after all, what’s the difference between an IP set-top box and a tablet? One has a wire that goes to the TV, essentially.)

The “keeper,” if you will, of Linux distributions for ARM-based silicon is The Linaro Foundation. Which is why you might have seen news (if not, click here) about us and several others, Read More »

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