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Mobile Data Traffic Is Exploding—but Who Is Profiting? How Mobile Service Providers Can Monetize Mobile Data

By Marc Latouche, Vertical Manager, IBSG Service Provider

The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update projects a 13-fold increase in global mobile data traffic between 2012 and 2017 — two thirds of it video. To move all that data traffic with speed and quality, mobile network connection speeds will increase sevenfold by 2017. Clearly, mobile data services are becoming increasingly important. The question is, who will capture the revenue associated with all this activity? While mobile service providers (SPs) invest in building and maintaining the infrastructure to carry this burgeoning mobile traffic, over-the-top (OTT) content providers are benefiting from that new capacity, enabled and financed by mobile SPs.

Where are the revenue growth opportunities for service providers in this fast-changing mobile data landscape? Are there opportunities for mobile network operators to partner with OTTs, or to provide services that can extract greater value from the network? Read More »

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Cisco Pilot Proves the Value of CDN Federations

By Marc Latouche, Manager, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) Service Provider

As more and more video traffic streams across service provider (SP) networks, many SPs are deploying content delivery networks (CDNs). In addition to supporting their own operations, these CDNs provide a viable commercial alternative — or complement — to pure-play CDNs (such as Level 3 and Limelight), and enable SPs to earn extra income from the content flowing over their network.

The Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) believes that CDN federations will provide an even farther-reaching solution. Cisco began to develop the concept of CDN federations in 2011, envisioning them as multi-footprint, open CDN capabilities built and shared by autonomous members. With CDN federations, SPs can interconnect — and leverage — one another’s CDN resources, ultimately benefiting all players in the value chain. Consumers gain in quality of service, SPs benefit through increased revenue potential, and content providers benefit in the assurance that their product will be distributed with guaranteed service and to a wider, potentially global audience.

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The New Mobile World Order

A mobile paradox—huge growth and customer demand, yet significant business and market challenges—is causing many companies in the mobile value chain to question where the industry is heading. They’re struggling to understand the key drivers that will shape the industry and what this new world will mean for them in terms of new challenges and opportunities. Most of all, they want to know the winning strategies for achieving success in this New Mobile World Order.

A number of major disruptions, or strategic inflection points, in the mobile industry are radically altering the entire mobile ecosystem as we know it. Some of these disruptions have been slowly building up steam over the last couple of years, although many of these have just started and have yet to really play out. In the recently published white paper, “The New Mobile World Order: Perspectives on the Future of the Mobile industry,” Cisco IBSG identified eight strategic inflection points that are causing—and stand to cause even greater—disruption and uncertainty in the industry: Read More »

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The CDN Federation: Spreading Benefits Across the Web-Video Value Chain

Whether driven by live sports or blockbuster movies, the explosive demand for Internet video keeps rising. Indeed, by 2015, Cisco projects a quadrupling of IP traffic, 90 percent of which will be video.

This is an exciting trend. But headaches abound, up and down the value chain. One solution is the CDN federation, which Read More »

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The Explosive Evolution of Online Media

If any doubts remained about the soaring demand for online media, the London Olympics probably dispelled them.

With 217 million viewers in the United States alone, it was the most-watched television event in history. But it also illuminated the evolving habits of online consumers. For starters, two events—the women’s soccer final and women’s gymnastics final—accounted for more online viewership than all events combined during the 2008 Olympics. Tablet computers, particularly the iPad, are driving this trend.

These kinds of striking transitions in online media consumption were top of mind during two gatherings that I attended last week. The first was a roundtable discussion of media executives in Hollywood, which I moderated; the other was a World Economic Forum Industry Partnership Strategy Meeting in New York, focused on media entertainment and mobility.

It was a privilege to be around such industry brain trusts and to share research from Cisco IBSG. Here are four core topics of conversation that emerged: Read More »

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