According to the Cisco Mobile Visual Networking Index (VNI), mobile data traffic grew 2.6 fold in 2010, nearly tripling for the third year in a row. Growing mobile data demand caused by the huge growth of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices is continuing to drive the evolution of mobile networks worldwide.
However, if not properly managed and monetized, this growth in traffic will outpace growth in revenues. Intelligence, scalability, reliability, and service enablement are all key factors in helping mobile operators not only control this huge wave of mobile data, but also launch new, revenue-generating services.
Mobile Policy and Charging Control (PCC) is one of the main tools used to manage and monetize mobile traffic. This is pushing the policy market into hyper-growth mode. According to Infonetics Research Analyst Shira Levine, policy management revenues were up 48% last year, and will quadruple by 2015.
“The policy engine is the brains of how you want the network to treat different things at different times. It’s essential.” Tony Melone, CTO of Verizon Communications, Fierce Wireless, March 16, 2011
Another CTIA has come and gone. Despite being tempted to sit by the pool all day (it was 85 degrees compared with the typical 40 degrees in Boston), CTIA surprised us all by being very busy in spite of “being too close to MWC” and “Orlando not being a great location.” The show was all a buzz on the recent AT&T and T-Mobile announcement. It seems like every show needs a big announcement like that to set the stage.
We were able to continue the momentum we set at MWC to talk to our customers and the media about our M.O.VE. strategic framework. Everyone agrees that monetization, optimization, and video are the hot topics, and are the main challenges that operators are working to address. It’s always exciting to talk about the tie-in between our recent customer announcements at Reliance and MegaFon and our M.O.VE solution.
At Mobile World Congress last month we introduced our M.O.VE strategic framework and we’re already seeing the message take off. We recently announced our relationships with major mobile operators, MegaFon in Russia and Reliance Communications in India. Both of these operators are taking advantage of solutions within the M.O.VE strategic framework.
M.O.VE, with its targeted approach to helping operators monetize and optimize their mobile networks while enhancing the video experience, appears to be the right framework at the right time, and speaks to operators’ technical, financial, and business needs in a comprehensive and tangible way.
If you are a service provider, the title of this blog probably has you shaking your head. SPs know only too well that Internet video is costing them money because of the expense of maintaining an infrastructure capable of delivering high-quality online video. The good news is that there is a way to monetize that demanding video traffic.
In 10 to 15 years, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) estimates that consumers will be watching Internet video as much as 50 percent of their video-watching time. Rather than panicking at the thought of supporting that magnitude of video traffic, SPs should be thinking about how to turn it into profits.
SPs have a strategic advantage over current content delivery network (CDN) providers; traditional CDN services allow content providers to bypass Internet congestion points, but do not allow them to bypass potential congestion points within the SP network that provides Internet access to consumers. CDN services delivered via the SP’s network are delivered by CDN caches placed much closer to the final viewer, reducing the probability of having congestion issues over the delivery path.
Musings, factoids and random thoughts from the just-completed Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona:
This may be the only place on the planet in which there are lines outside the men’s rooms, but not at the ladies’ rooms.
But even more seriously, folks . . .
MWC continues to enhance its position as a major worldwide technology show and the most important event focusing on the service provider segment
The initial tally revealed that >60,000 – a record – attended
Verizon, AT&T and Google exhibited for the first time
Major topics of interest were monetization and video . . . conveniently, also major topics for Cisco.
IP has never been more relevant at MWC than it was this year
Policy was another major subject – also fitting nicely into the Cisco story of intelligence in the network. Quality of experience got a lot of attention, too
And applications enablement – “It’s not just the network that matters,” one analyst said. “It’s the network PLUS the apps that run on top of it. At the end of the day, it’s apps that make the real difference.”
Cisco enjoyed record interest, holding more than 600 meetings with customers, prospects, partners, analysts and media
Cisco’s MOVE (monetization, optimization, Videoscape experience) was well received by analysts
One operator told Cisco that voice is now comprises only 1% of its total traffic
“The definition of the ‘busy hour’ for the network has expanded to 19 hours, thanks to video.”
“There is a lot more positive feeling this year . . . maybe that means the world economy is on the mend.”
Several analysts – unsolicited – remarked on Cisco’s ability to define a vision and drive conversations. “You’ve done a great job of launching visions and architectural plays,”
Regarding Cisco’s MOVE announcement, one analyst remarked, “A lot of smaller optimization guys are losing sleep because you’re moving into this space.”
“The big factor [to operators] is not necessarily [a vendor’s] technology portfolio. It’s about services and flexible business relationships. Especially in emerging markets.”
“Monetization is what is keeping operators awake at night.”
Regarding the continuing decline of the fixed lines: “At a lot of the operators, the mobile guys are in charge now, not the fixed-line guys.”
In closing . . .
MWC will start two weeks later in 2012 – even closer to the CTIA Wireless event than before . . . a coincidence??
Next year is the last of MWC‘s current pact with Barcelona. Munich, Paris and Milan are trying to lure the show from Barcelona, and some people were hearing that Munich had the inside track. We’ll see.
Wherever the event ends up, let’s do something about those lines at the men’s rooms. OK?