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Move Over SDN – NFV Taking the Spotlight

Energetic debates of what SDN is and the expanding scope of what it can do for our customers continue to race along in a chaotic frenzy. In addition, the overall SDN market is somewhat fragmented in terms of both vendor positioning and marketing.  Collectively, the conversation really comes down to improving business agility and the efficiencies gained in bringing new services to market. Essentially, the goal is to enable operators to make their networks and services go much faster.

While software defined networking (SDN) technologies continue to drive significant entropy in our industry, Network Function Virtualization (NFV) recently rose up and became a key focus of many discussions at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month. Read More »

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MWC 2013: IoE and the Evolving Mobile Architecture

I had the great privilege of participating on a panel at Mobile World Congress 2013 along with our customers, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone, and my peers from Ericsson and Huawei. We discussed the evolution of the Network Architecture for mobile service providers.

From the infrastructure to the user, everyone agrees that the future will both bring and be driven by significant changes to the Network.  In particular, by bringing together access, network and cloud we will create new business opportunities and enhanced user experiences.

Let’s start with some technology trends and market transitions: Read More »

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It’s a Small (Cell) World After All

To borrow from Walt Disney, it’s a small (cell) world after all . . .

Not only was this Cisco’s message at Mobile World Congress 2012 but, in the weeks since, the mobile industry has been singing the same refrain.  The media, analysts, our partners, customers and competitors have enthusiastically joined the chorus, acknowledging that the post-macrocell era is upon us.

As Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers has said, “radio type no longer defines the network architecture — and small cells are critical in delivering the mobile Internet.” To be competitive, mobile operators must support heterogeneous network access including licensed and unlicensed (Wi-Fi) radio, have an intelligent core and offer cloud-based services that deliver more applications faster in a scalable, flexible and resilient environment.

Read More »

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A Data Deluge, Driven by Tablets and Mobile Video, Is Disrupting Mobile Carriers

Only a few years ago, the challenges facing mobile providers seemed well within the realm of their traditional expertise. Their vast and complex infrastructures, built around towers, antennas, core networks, and the like, focused on providing the bandwidth and signal quality necessary for providing clear voice signals. Early mobile Internet applications were limited to services like weather, news, and stock quotes. As video entered the picture, it was mostly limited to a quick, manageable snack here and there on YouTube. After all, on a tiny, phone-sized screen, the prospects for a sumptuous two-hour movie feast were limited.

The situation, however, is being radically transformed. And at this years’ Mobile World Congress, which I attended last week in Barcelona, a clear focus was on a prime disruptor: the tablet and vast, media-rich applications. For with the sudden and phenomenal growth of the iPad—along with its Android-based counterparts—end users who had been limited to quick bites on YouTube are ready to indulge in long-form video buffets, anytime and anywhere. And while those game-changing tablets don’t quite provide an IMAX experience, their larger screens nevertheless offer the perfect mix of visual quality, mobility, and convenience.

For mobile service carriers, however, this has created a certain amount of havoc. Read More »

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Revving for the Mobility Race

A few days before Mobile World Congress, the world’s elite Formula 1 teams tested their cars and skills at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. F-1 racing is a thrilling blend of courage, precision, technology, and teamwork: the same things service providers use to compete in the race to deploy seamless, profitable mobility services.

This year was my first time at Mobile World Congress, and I got a rush from it as if I were driving an F-1. Cisco CEO John Chambers set the pace for the event, saying, “We are now entering the post-macrocell era, where small cells also will play a critical role in delivering the next generation mobile Internet.”

As part of this shift, Cisco extends its M.O.VE reference architecture for service provider mobility with two major announcements at the show. We announced the industry’s first standards-based small cell solution, providing coverage and capacity solutions built off Wi-Fi and Femto technologies.  Read More »

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