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The Case for Cable in the Tablet Era

By Roland Klemann, Director of Service Provider Practice, Western Europe, Internet Business Solutions Group

Although the coaxial cable may have been born in 1929, predictions of its death have been greatly exaggerated.

While traditional models for consuming television are indeed under siege—from time-shift TV, over-the-top video, and an ever-expanding array of new devices—cable remains highly relevant, even in an age of exploding data traffic. In fact, with savvy deployment of Wi-Fi services, cable providers can seize an opportunity—not in spite of the mobile data deluge, but because of it.

After all, that sleek new iPad—introduced last week while I was attending the Cable Congress in Brussels—boasts dazzling video resolution. But for network operators, it only adds to a growing problem. They are already reeling under the burden of a massive upsurge in traffic, from tablets and IP-enabled devices of all kinds. What’s worse, they are still at the low end of an ongoing mobile data explosion. Cisco’s Virtual Networking Index predicts an eighteen-fold increase in mobile traffic from 2011 to 2016.

As a result, two things are breaking down: 1) the physical capacity of the networks, and 2) their economics. Theoretically, mobile carriers can build enough macro cells to carry all the traffic in the world, but in reality, that gets prohibitively expensive—fast. No wonder some are feeling an encroaching sense of doom.

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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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Cloud-Enabled Enhancements Can Fuel Adoption of Connected Life Services

These days, many people take it for granted that they can stay informed, connected, and entertained anytime and anywhere.

But as with any change, these new capabilities and new expectations bring new challenges.  With more devices, ubiquitous internet access, and content digitized at their finger tips, consumers now face new struggles-- from managing content libraries fragmented across devices to worrying that they’re paying again and again for the same song or movie in order to access it when and where they want.

As Connected Life continues to evolve, the advancing front is being driven by the cloud.  The cloud provides answers to the new challenges consumers face living their Connected Lives. Read More »

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Get Ready for the Next-Generation Internet

Why it’s important for small businesses to prepare for IPv6 now

You know that nagging feeling when there’s something you need to do but you keep putting it off and putting it off. Well, an e-mail newsletter titled “No IPv6 plan? You’re behind schedule” landed in my inbox this morning. It’s a nudge for companies of all sizes; even small businesses, to prepare for the next-generation Internet.

Why should you care about IPv6 when you’re quite happy with the current Internet?

IPv4 exhaustion

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