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Major Mobile Milestones – The Last 15 Years, and the Next Five

Cowritten with Usha Andra, Senior Analyst, Visual Networking Index, Service Provider Marketing

2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the VNI Mobile Forecast. For a decade, we have analyzed, reviewed, and made projections about mobile networking and how consumers and business users’ behaviors and expectations have changed based on device innovations, network enhancements, and a seemingly never-ending variety of mobile applications and content options. Our work and focus on forecasting the growth of global mobile network traffic and wireless service trends has given us an opportunity to cover one of the fastest growing (in terms of user adoption) and constantly interesting global industries ever developed. Over the past 10 years, mobile data traffic has increased 6,000-fold, and over the past 15 years, it has increased an incredible 600-million-fold. The average smartphone owner today is carrying a computing device more powerful than 10 PCs from 2000. And mobile devices have evolved from devices for calling and texting to devices for calling, texting, tweeting, posting, watching, gaming, banking, navigating, shopping, and reading.

Here’s a very brief summary of some of the major mobile milestones that many of us have experienced over the last 15 years, in five-year increments. What did we miss or would you add to these timelines? We’ve also provided a quick snapshot of our projections for the next five years. Let us know what you think…

Pre-2000: The wireless wilderness shows early signs of development

In 1973, the first mobile phone call was placed with the words “guess where I’m calling from?”, the motto of the early days of cellular voice. Mobile phones became commercially available in 1979, but the early phones were expensive and heavy, with large nickel cadmium batteries weighing them down. In the 1990s, lithium ion batteries were introduced, reducing the weight and size of the phones by more than half, and the phones began to be offered at more affordable prices. Also in the early 1990s, 2G phones deploying GSM technology were introduced, marking the shift from analog to digital communications. With GSM, limited data services such as text messaging and paging began to be available. The GPRS standard was introduced in the late 1990s, delivering packet-switched data capabilities to existing GSM networks and allowing users to send graphics-rich data as packets.

2000 – 2005: “Call me”

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Mobile voice was still the dominant voice application in this era, but Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – September 11, 2015

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Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

Verizon Partners with Cisco to Launch SD-WAN Managed Service

Verizon outlined plans on Tuesday to offer a Managed WAN service based on Cisco’s software-defined infrastructure.  Verizon is the first carrier to do so on Cisco’s platform.

The partnership is a big step in Verizon’s march toward fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless technology.  Cisco’s SVP, Kelly Ahuja, has more on what this means for the future.

As always, let us know what you think of the blog. Feedback from partners, especially around partner programs, is vital for Cisco to keep producing programs that work for all of us.

Good Reads

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Cisco Fellow talks to Telecom TV about 5G and Information Centric Networking

While at the NGMN Industry Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, the folks from Telecom TV interviewed Paul Polakos, Cisco Fellow. Paul is our CTO office lead for 5G research. During this interview, Paul talks about Cisco’s active work driving towards 5G technology. Cisco is active in both Research and Development and the various standards organizations that are focusing on 5G development (like 3GPP, NGMN, etc.). Cisco is also working with our customers to align strategies.

Mr. Polakos stresses that 5G is about diversity of uses cases and devices unlike what we have seen in all the previous generations (i.e. 3G, 4G).

Cisco is very interested in Information Centric Networking (ICN) as a possible solution Read More »

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Observations from the NGMN 5G Industry Conference

Cisco asks the industry to think aggressively and to accept risks when it comes to 5G planning.

I was fortunate to attend the NGMN 5G Industry Conference in Frankfurt Germany March 24-25th. And while Frankfurt in March is a bit chilly for this Florida-boy, the conference was interesting and certainly well worth an investment of time. It was great to get together with over 300 people and to listen to a free exchange of ideas and views from the network operators, technology vendors and academia. Everyone was there for the common purpose to figure out what will 5G really be.

The NGMN is a network operator led organization that includes technology vendors and academia and takes an active role defining the requirements for next generation technology. They released their first of five white papers on 5G at this past MWC 2015.   This initial white paper focused on use cases that illustrate requirements needed in 5G.

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Why do we need 5G? Read More »

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Observations from Mobile World Congress 2015

I have just returned from a very interesting and jammed-packed week at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona. A record 93,000 plus people are estimated to have attended this year’s premier technology festival. Much has changed in the industry over the last year since I reported my observations of MWC 2014. However, what is most remarkable is how the boundaries of mobility continue to expand and morph – everything now seems to be mobile? As such, the show offers a fascinating glimpse into the future of technology and the major social and business shifts that we can expect in the next few years.

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The following are my personal observations and extrapolations from the show Read More »

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