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For Mobile Carriers, Five Key Trends Promise Pain and Prospects

Mobile carriers face no shortage of pain points as new data streams create unprecedented and staggering amounts of information. But it is important to remember that pain points often arrive in tandem with new opportunities.

From my perspective, observing the driving forces shaping the mobile industry, five key trends stand out. All are laced with challenges and opportunities. And each represents a core element in an interconnected system that is pushing the entire marketplace forward, while demanding innovative breakthroughs in monetizing and optimizing data.

On February 25-28, I will be attending Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona. This year’s event is expected to be the largest ever, with 1,500 exhibitors. I expect these five trends will be major sources of discussion:

  1. Video. We are already seeing the true inflection point in video where it becomes mainstream on multiple devices. The mobile and nomadic consumption of video—whether served by mobile carriers or localized Wi-Fi—is popular, commonplace, and growing rapidly. But video will completely reshape the demand side of the industry, creating enormous amounts of data. It threatens to load and clog networks, and it will demand new models for monetization.
  2. Accelerating connections. As the Read More »

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Wifi password please?

February 13, 2013 at 12:05 am PST

Back in the days, I was one of those students who wanted the most up to date scientific calculators and the latest design of the Trapper Keeper notebook.  These days, it’s the wifi access the students want, to stay connected anytime, anywhere on their smartphones or tablets.

According to the Cisco Connected World Technology Report more than 40% of Gen Y (18-30 year olds) “would feel anxious, like part of them were missing” if they couldn’t check their smartphones.  I was chatting with my colleague Rochelle Brocks-Smith from the Healthcare team the other day and she was joking that soon, her kids will develop carpal tunnel syndrome with all the texting they do! image_gallery
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The Extrasensory Enterprise: Turning Data Complexity into Advantage

By Shaun Kirby, Director, Innovations Architecture
Internet Business Solutions Groupshakirby-lg

If anyone still doubts the overwhelming complexity of today’s data deluge, Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google, offers some poignant perspective. In a recent book, “The Human Face of Big Data”, he observes that from the dawn of civilization until 2003 humankind generated five exabytes of data. Now, we produce more than five exabytes of data every two days.

Those torrents of information may be intimidating, but they also promise great opportunities. Indeed, Big Data has been touted as an answer to many problems. Looking for customer buying patterns? Retailers have petabytes of purchasing history. Need to test a new drug? There are terabytes of patient data to be analyzed. Launching a new product? A mountain of social media data awaits you. Read More »

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The Smartphone Gets Which Side of the Bed?

A whopping 90% of young people use their smartphones to help them face the day …often BEFORE they get out of bed.

Even before a cup of coffee, young people grab their smartphone. They’re checking it for emails, texts and social media updates. The phone has become as much a morning ritual as the toothbrush.

When the recent third annual Cisco Connected World Technology Report surveyed 3,600 young people ages 18-30 from 18 countries about their tech habits, we found that Gen Y’s attachment to phones continues throughout the day:

  • 3 in 4 check their phones in bed;
  • More than a third check it in the bathroom (not sure which one makes me more
    nervous);
  • 46% text, email and check social media during meals;
  • 60% say they’re ‘compulsive’ about checking their smartphones and 42% admit to feeling ‘anxious’ when disconnected;
  • Two-thirds say they spend the same amount — or more time — with friends online as they do in person.

My Aha! moment from this study?  I may be a Boomer, but I’m not much different.

The gap between my generation and younger ones in how we use technology is getting smaller. (In fact, my smartphone is always the first thing I touch in the morning…because I use it for my alarm clock!)

Interestingly, as we older folks are getting more comfortable with technology (and seeing its value), younger people are getting less starry-eyed. For example, more than a third suspect that people present themselves differently online than in the physical world. This year’s study also found three out of four don’t trust Internet sites to keep their data private, and nearly a third are very concerned about security and identity theft.

This younger generation’s relationship with technology is really maturing. The first year we did this report, many Gen Yers were convinced that the Internet was more important than dating or having a car.

The results from Connected World are truly global. In India, for example, 96% use their smartphone first thing in the morning. Use our interactive map on cisco.com to hover over any country and get its stats. Here’s the snapshot for the U.S.

Screen Shot 2012-12-13 at 4.42.44 AM

Another of the report’s interactive graphs is discovering your “data footprint” — or how much YOU are on your devices. Are you an explorer, highly connected or — like me-- a super user?  Go here to do the test!

Here’s another way I see myself reflected in this year’s Connected World report. For many of us, there’s no clear line between work time and personal time. Work is what we do, not where we are. I used to have two phones -- one for work and one personal. Now I have one phone for both. It’s truly an integrated life.

When it comes to shopping during the holidays, many of us mix our physical world with the online world, too. Cisco’s study found 90% of the young people surveyed shop online and 58% rely on customer reviews online. Oftentimes, we go into a store, price compare on our phones (or tablets), and complete a purchase on them before we leave.

We’re in a connected world. Our phones and all our network-connected devices are becoming an intrinsic part of ourselves. Now we just have to decide which side of the bed our phone gets.

Check out all the findings from the study here on the Connected World site. As always, we’d love your comments!

Happy holidays!

Carlos

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Putting a Human Face on Big Data at the Social Innovation Summit

December 4, 2012 at 7:28 am PST

Today, everyone at Cisco is excited about the release of a new book — “The Human Face of Big Data” by Rick Smolan, a former Time, Life, and National Geographic photographer best known as the creator of the “Day in the Life” book series.

Cisco is a sponsor of the Human Face of Big Data Project, which also inlcudes a “Data Detectives” youth program and a smart phone application that allows users to compare their answers to questions about health, family, dating, dreams and more to 3 million other people around the world.

The book captures in photographs, essays, and infographics how the real-time collection, analysis, and visualization of vast amounts of information is enabling people to address some of the world’s biggest challenges.

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