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Onward from Mobile World Congress 2011

As mobility becomes a characteristic of an increasing number of networking services, Cisco is not just driving advancements with its mobile internet architecture, but as the MOVE announcements highlight, it is about interconnecting the mobility technology brought in last year with the acquisition of Starent with the routing and switching and video technology to create cross architectural differentiation.

For closing thoughts on Cisco at MWC 2011, I caught up with Kit Beall, VP of World Wide SP Mobility Sales, to discuss where Cisco mobility has been, how it is perceived by the customers today, and where it’s going next year:

Earlier, I also had a quick exhange with Nick Adamo, SVP of World Wide SP Sales where we talked about some of the feedback we heard during our customer meetings this week on Cisco’s vision for mobility and the network architecture:

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Mobile Service Provider Growth Priorities

As the Mobility industry converges upon Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, I wanted to talk to you about subjects we will all be talking about at MWC – monetization, optimization, and the video experience.

There’s been considerable speculation about the demands that are placed on today’s mobile infrastructure and how rocketing traffic volumes will impact the network operator’s business model.

We decided to explore service provider’s expectations for the ongoing development of the mobile Internet. More specifically, their thoughts on monetization and network optimization, especially around bandwidth-intensive applications, like mobile video.

So we commissioned a market research study that was recently performed by Heavy Reading.  Based on interviews with over 50  mobile operators from around the world (the interview subjects did not know that this was a Cisco-sponsored survey), here is a summary of what they told us (full report embedded at the end of this post):

Charting a Profitable Growth Strategy

  • Growing an active, paying, mass market mobile broadband subscriber base is seen as a pre-condition for more sophisticated monetization strategies.
  • Operators view “Tiered Services” as the most attractive monetization use case. This is especially the case in HSPA+ and LTE networks which now have enough capacity that operators can start segmenting their service offerings.
  • Other use cases that operators can use to drive data penetration and usage were also favorable viewed, e.g., group data plans and session/day pass or other time-based charging services.
  • Models that can help meet the dual goals of subscriber growth and generate better yield from existing and higher-end subscribers are most attractive. Maintaining a balance between those two objectives is, of course, preferred.

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For Service Providers, the Opportunity to MOVE to Greater Profitability

Mobile data traffic will surge through 2015, growing 26-fold to 75 exabytes per year.  A remarkable 66% of that traffic will be video!  (Source:  Cisco VNI Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, 2010-2015).  My family uses an iPad or iPhone to watch Netflix movies and YouTube video clips and I see a lot of smartphone and tablet users doing the same.

This explosion in mobile data and video traffic creates challenges for service providers and mobile operators.  First, to reliably provide a user experience that is “more” – more personal, more visual, more social, more collaborative, and more productive.  Second, to efficiently manage the sudden increase in data traffic while concurrently expanding the number and kinds of services offered.  AND, as if that weren’t enough, to do all this while decreasing costs and increasing revenues.

Definitely not business as usual… in fact, “challenging” may be an understatement.

Fortunately, the networks creating these challenges can also turn these challenges into opportunities with a new set of solutions we’ve named “Cisco MOVE” (Monetization, Optimization, and Videoscape Experience).   We asked ACG, a respected analyst firm, to verify Cisco’s MOVE value propositions.  Here are some of their key findings:

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Cisco MOVEs the Mobile Internet

As we gather in Barcelona for this year’s Mobile World Congress, I am excited about the announcement of our new strategic framework for Cisco’s Service Provider mobility solutions.

We’re calling this framework “MOVE,” which stands for Monetization, Optimization, and Videoscape Experience, and it expresses our plan to design and deliver network solutions that will help mobile operators succeed and profit in this rapidly changing environment.

As we heard in the recent Cisco Mobile VNI Forecast, mobile users are driving huge increases in mobile Internet traffic, with the majority of that traffic being mobile video, with its high bandwidth and QoS demands.

To manage this tidal wave of video traffic, mobile operators face a three-fold challenge: they must monetize their networks by developing new services and business models; they must optimize their networks to ensure reliable service delivery at low cost; and they must differentiate and personalize their video services to satisfy every-growing consumer expectations.

With MOVE, we introduce three new solutions to help mobile operators meet these challenges:
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