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Cisco Evolved Programmable Network: The Beginning of a New Era in SP Networking

June 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm PST

ginaWritten By Gina Nienaber, Marketing Manager, SP Product and Solutions Marketing

This is the first blog out of a series of three covering  “What is the Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) Era and Why Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) Now?”

Those of us who have been around in the industry for a few decades will remember the first arrival of the “big bad wolf” that tried to blow down the service provider’s house. This wolf presented itself in the form of the commoditization of IP services and high traffic growth rates that limited service provider profitability options forcing them to move away from dedicated TDM-based networks that supported a single video, voice, data, or mobile service. Service Providers partnered with Cisco (and others) to build more scalable and lower costs converged IP Next Generation Networks (IP NGNs) and entered the IP NGN era. In doing so, a new wave of innovation and service revenues followed.

Until of course, “the big bad wolf” arrived on the scene again, also known as “exponential traffic growth, especially in mobile video, and this time he brought his friend along for the ride -- the Internet of Everything (IoE).  Cisco VNI predicts IP Traffic alone will grow 300 percent to 1.4 zettabytes annually by 2017. Most of you are already experiencing the pains of exponential traffic growth and some of you believe, as we do, the next wave of dramatic Internet growth will come through the confluence of people, process, data, and things — or the IoE! And IoE predictions are off the charts as well.  Cisco estimates that 99.4 percent of physical objects in the world are still unconnected. With only about 10 billion of the 1.5 trillion things currently connected globally, there is vast potential to connect the unconnected via the IoE.

When you combine exponential traffic growth with IoE impact on the horizon what do service providers get?  You guessed it -- cost and network complexity are rising at a faster rate than revenue. In order to deal with these challenges, (I would rather call them opportunities), network transformation is not optional, but essential for the next wave of growth and propriety.

This might also be a good time to mention the major innovations in cloud and virtualization technologies such as SDN and NFV are allowing for new agile competitors to enter into the market and are challenging traditional providers for their revenue streams by changing the service delivery game and giving the customer control over their service instantiation with consumption based business models.  If you would like to review a quick snapshot of the challenges providers are facing today see the Cisco EPN At-A-Glance.

Are you convinced we need to move from the IP NGN Era to the EPN Era Yet?  If not keep reading -- you will be.

Why Evolved Programmable Network? Read More »

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Great News, Cisco gains market share in Mobility

Get this.

The average consumer is never more than 3 feet away from their phone. The average smart phone user checks their phone 40 times a day. Mobility has become a necessary part of our lives and will be even more so with the emergence of the Internet of Everything, which will bring together people, processes, data and things. And this is not reflected only in stats that abound around the Internet but also in analysts firms’ research findings.

In a hot-off-the-press report, ACG Research’s Ray Mota notes that  a major paradigm shift is happening. ”Although service providers are requesting that vendors extend consumption model of their financing, we are seeing a major CAPEX spending shift from wireline to wireless. Mobile spending continues to rise globally, fueling LTE spending. EPC will continue to be a highly dynamic market for the next several years as vendors and carriers work through network virtualization. We saw a major shift in market shares in 1Q14 because of vendors’ execution and the flexibility of their portfolios.

The market share vendor break down in the ACG report shows Cisco as #1 in Mobile IP Infrastructure including #1 in Packet Core (MPC & EPC)., #1 in Mobile Backhaul, and #1 Mobile IP Core.

This past quarter we gained market share with Read More »

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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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