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Launching Passpoint Connectivity Deep in the Heart of Texas

ROB KALMBACH PHOTOGRAPHYThis is a customer perspective guest blog contributed by Dr. Derek Peterson, Boingo Wireless Chief Technology Officer.

In early 2014, Boingo made the bold move of launching Passpoint-enabled Wi-Fi at 26 airports throughout the U.S. and Brazil, bringing seamless, secure and instant Wi-Fi access to travelers with Passpoint-ready devices.

In partnership with Cisco, the Boingo team worked to launch Passpoint first in high-traffic locations serving tech savvy audiences hungry for a better way to connect. We found an ideal Passpoint pioneer deep in the heart of Texas: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA), a long-time Boingo network partner.

The Austin airport has always been a technology trailblazer, focused on improving the customer experience by leveraging the best in new technologies and services. The airport was the first to offer Wi-Fi to passengers in 2000, and has since worked with Boingo to upgrade the network to meet today’s traveler connectivity needs.

ABIA is also serving an increasingly tech-savvy community. Austin is the gateway to one of the fastest growing culture and technology hubs in the United States, and has become a go-to spot for start-ups and tech companies. The city becomes the heart of the tech world every year for the South by Southwest festival, and the airport serves more passengers than ever before year-round, marking their first Read More »

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Your Business Powered By Cisco Customer Solutions Architecture (CSA). What are Cisco CSA’s Benefits?

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 disruptive examples 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 »

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Broad Industry Support Taking Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) to Next Level

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.

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Source: Publications and Collateral page at opnfv.org.

OPNFV expects to Read More »

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Apple’s Vote of Confidence for Voice and Text over Wi-Fi

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

cisco-visual-networking-index

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).

This news is not Read More »

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Cox Communication Automates Virtualized Services with Cisco Evolved Services Platform

There is a video available on YouTube describing a collaborative project with Cox Communications on virtualized residential services.  Dave Ward, Senior VP and CTO at Cisco Systems, is joined by Jeff Finklestein, Executive Director of Architecture at Cox Communications, and Alon Bernstein, Distinguished Engineer at Cisco. They discuss, in the context of Cisco’s Evolved Services Platform (ESP), how to rapidly implement a new service idea that Jeff and Dave cooked up: self-service virtual residential services.

In the proposed solution, a Cox customer logs in to a screen such as the following, and sees a virtual representation of services they can enable themselves from their home. 1

Jeff identified Read More »

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