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Expanding the Quantum Software Suite

A year ago we introduced the Cisco Quantum Software suite based on an architectural construct of an automated, closed loop – linking network, analytics and policy – to help Mobile Operators better optimize and monetize their network investments.  We announced the network abstraction, analytics, policy and self-optimizing network (SON) platforms. At the Mobile World Congress 2014, we are expanding the software suite in several ways:

Cisco Quantum SON for Small Cells

We’re taking the industry’s most deployed and proven SON solution for multi-vendor, multi-technology macro radio and extending that to multi-vendor Small Cells. This is an industry first.

As the industry evolves, Small cells – 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi – will far outnumber macro base stations and are quickly becoming a requirement for broad coverage and capacity at the lowest cost per bit. But some of these benefits are wasted if small cells are not seamlessly coordinated with the rest of the radio network.
By supporting small cells, Cisco Quantum SON now enables true heterogeneous access and seamless experience. And being multi-vendor, operators can include their existing small cell investments, unifying the entire radio network into a single intelligent entity.

In fact, Read More »

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Virtualization Technology for the Real World, Today

A few years ago at Mobile World Congress (well more than a few, perhaps…), I was speaking with the CTO of a top tier Mobile Operator about a newly emerging technology called IMS.  It seemed that every vendor was promising how IMS was going to change the world.  This very wise CTO stated that he needs to see a tangible benefit or value from a new technology to be interested.  “I will only buy a new technology if you can show me how it can (a) do something I cannot do today, or (b) improve the way I am doing something today.  I will not buy technology for the sake of technology.”  This simple axiom is a great lens to look through as one views all new technologies – and that is certainly the case for the current industry discussion around Virtualization – or more accurately from Cisco’s perspective on the topic, Virtualization and Orchestration.

But instead of joining in with the multitudes talking about the wonders of the technology, arguing around technical specs or nomenclature, the lesson from the CTO instead guides me to talk about what it can do for the service provider business.

That’s why our announcement today of the Cisco Evolved Services Platform has a decidedly business bent.  Yes, it is a Read More »

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Executing on Virtualization

With all the talk around virtualization in our industry, it’s easy to get a bit confused.  Between our industry’s love of acronyms and passionate evangelism of technological specs, it can be far too difficult at times to determine what’s really important, what is real, and what is just talk.  Our announcement of the Cisco Evolved Services Platform today is meant to address these very points.  It represents the progress we’ve made on our provider virtualization strategy and, unlike many others in the industry, orients the talk of virtualization around real business benefits and customer deployments.

The Evolved Services Platform represents a fundamental shift in the way service provider networks will be built.  It not only has the industry’s broadest, most comprehensive range of virtualized functions, but it also orchestrates them to create, automate and provision services in real time, across compute, storage and network functions across the entire architecture.  As the middle layer of the Cisco ONE SP architecture which works in conjunction with the infrastructure layer – the Evolved Programmable Network which we announced in September – the ESP ensures the right type of experience for subscribers regardless of how or where they connect to the network.  And it does this while also delivering both significant operational cost savings and the ability to more easily and quickly pursue new revenue generating opportunities.  In essence, the ESP does the equivalent for a service provider business as a retail storefront, factory, and tool kit would do for a manufacturer. It allows them to “manufacture” network experiences quickly, efficiently, and in a customized manner.

Those experiences can be many and span the entire provider’s existing services portfolio, plus an ever increasing array of new services that are now or will be possible in Internet of Everything.  But to help keep the business orientation of this announcement, we’re announcing the first two service modules, complete with business models that can help quantify the benefits to the providers that are interested in or already deploying them: Read More »

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The Low Rumble of the 4K Resolution Revolution

It hasn’t been all that long since HD-quality video gained widespread acceptance as an industry standard. Yet a new resolution standard is capturing the attention of the broadcast world. It’s known as 4K (or Ultra High Definition – UHD), and it offers viewers four times the picture resolution of standard HD. At CES 2014, one of the hot trends among TV set manufacturers, along with sets that curve and flex, was a 4K display. It’s the new standard for TVs, and while it currently has a price point that keeps it firmly high-end, the story sounds familiar: 4K TV sets will only get cheaper to manufacture, consumer demand will grow, and broadcasters will need to adapt.

So is change inevitable? Actually, no.

For 4K to truly develop into an industry standard, it will require several players in the video value chain to row in the same direction at the same time. This could certainly happen, but by no means is this assured. For instance, 4K TVs need content filmed in 4K. Will this become a new standard? Perhaps, but this would require significant and costly changes for an industry that only recently embraced the HD standard.

Even if Read More »

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Milestones in Cisco Content Delivery Networks (CDN) Deployments

The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) confirms much of what we already know: Service providers will need to carry more video traffic to more devices delivered as unique on-demand streams. All at the time and place of the end-user’s choosing.

But the sheer scale of this demand makes interesting reading. The Cisco VNI projects that by 2017, the global Internet will reach nearly half (48%) the world’s population, each with roughly five devices and machine-to-machine connections. Together, they will drive a total of 93 exabytes of internet traffic per month. Significantly, Internet video will make up two thirds of this Internet traffic, 65% of which will be carried over content delivery networks (CDN).

And it’s not only Internet video.

Cisco VNI also projects that by 2017, video on-demand (VOD) traffic will nearly triple as it reaches 400 million global subscribers.

The bottom line is that service providers need to deal with unprecedented scale requirements with ever greater capabilities to manage and monitor their CDNs.

The question, of course, is Read More »

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