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Broadband Update: Progress and Prognostication

Howard Baldwin - PhotographBy Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

The beginning of a new year is always time for taking stock and looking forward. In an area as vibrant as broadband telecommunications, there’s plenty to recap from 2012 and look forward to in 2013 – both good and bad.

Similarly, as Broadband Breakfast’s Drew Clark noted in its top-ten-events roundup, the wireless standard LTE became available to some 400 million people between AT&T and Verizon, and Comcast completed the rollout of the next version of its cable modem technology, DOCSIS 3.0, bringing speeds of 100 megabits per second potentially to 52 million subscribers.

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Mobile Broadband – the Blueprint for Progress in 2013

I’m very upbeat, regarding the current outlook for the Global Networked Economy in 2013. In particular, I see a tremendous opportunity to further explore the many benefits of readily-available wireless access to the internet.

Numerous events occurred during the course of 2012 that indicate we’re getting closer to a mobile broadband nirvana scenario – whereby network deployment has a positive impact on economic growth and potentially results in a higher living standard for those that take advantage of this valuable resource.

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Retailers Must ‘Catch and Keep’ Today’s Demanding Digital Shoppers

Retailers are entering a new era of consumer shopping behavior fueled by the digital world in which we live. The explosion of digital content has major implications for retailers across all of the channels through which they offer products and services.

In fact, a new study just released by the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) reveals that web-based digital content is now the most powerful influence on buying decisions for shoppers across all retail channels. The study surveyed 5,000 shoppers across five countries: the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, and China.

The study’s results highlight the need for retailers to “catch and keep” today’s consumers, who now effortlessly “mash-up” digital and physical shopping. At this week’s National Retail Federation (NRF) Convention & Expo, Cisco will explain how retailers can take advantage of this evolution in consumer shopping behavior.

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Wi-Fi: A Major “Hotspot” for Service Providers

By Tony Verspecht and Luiz Lima, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG)

Growth in mobile network traffic is staggering: Driven by the onslaught of devices that are now connected to the Internet, mobile data traffic is expected to grow three times faster than fixed IP traffic, exceeding 6 exabytes per month by 2015, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index. This presents service providers (SPs) with a tremendous opportunity to invest in Wi-Fi services to create carrier-class Wi-Fi experience and increase revenues.

While specialized providers have operated commercial Wi-Fi hotspots for nearly two decades, most SPs see Wi-Fi as a fairly new business. To understand the implications of Wi-Fi on SP operations, Cisco® IBSG interviewed a number of SP executives. Following are some of the key insights, which are further discussed in “Wi-Fi for Service Providers: Challenges and Opportunities for Carrier-Class Operations”:

  • Basic Wi-Fi service coverage expansion is still the main driver—Even among established Wi-Fi SPs with a large number of hotspots, the average yearly increase in access points is 14 percent.
  • Value-added Wi-Fi services Read More »

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Surfing the Net: Staying Secure, Safe, and Smart

Earlier this year at a release party of Talking Back to Facebook, Chelsea Clinton asked the audience an important question facing the parents of today’s tech-savvy kids: “How do we help cultivate curiosity about content … while also protecting kids so that every kid gets to be a kid …?”

Scams have become a lot more complicated than the old standard: “I’m a Prince from [_____], please wire me 2 million dollars!”, and viral methods of stealing identities and money are more sophisticated than ever. Adults have good reason to be concerned about how publicly available their personal information is over the net. Companies like SafeShepherd are committed to helping their clients remove their personal information from publicly accessible databases. Other resources, like A Platform for Good, have been created to help teach parents, teachers, and kids about efficient online safety practices. The objective here is to teach our children smart and safe web practices.

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