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MCNC Powers Advanced Academic and Economic Development Research and Communications

Good news.

MCNC, the non-profit operator of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), is working with us to help MCNC enhance the user experience for those who enjoy their broadband and communications services for advanced academic and economic development organizations.

NCREN is a fiber-based network that spans more than 2,600 miles across the entire state of North Carolina. MCNC also provides broadband services for numerous non-profit hospitals and public health agencies through the N.C. Telehealth Network.

MCNC is working on a $144 million expansion of its network with efforts expected to be complete by end of this year. Their initiative, known as Golden Read More »

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Delivering IT-as-a-Service with Cisco Prime Service Catalog and FlexPod at Steria

I’d like to share with you some insights from the recent deployment of Cisco Prime Service Catalog from one of our customers: Steria.

Steria is a leading provider of IT-enabled business services with 20,000 employees worldwide. Steria serves private and public sector organizations across the globe – with operations across 16 countries throughout Europe, India, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. With their expertise in IT and business outsourcing, Steria provides innovative solutions to help their clients improve efficiency and profitability.

One of Steria’s recent challenges was how to satisfy its clients’ desire to improve employee productivity and enable employees to work from any device. While IT-as-a-Service is becoming an increasingly competitive market in the Americas, offerings in Europe are still sparse – so this was also an opportunity to provide competitive differentiation for Steria’s services. Steria turned to Cisco to solve 3 key problems:

1. Providing employees with instant on-demand provisioning of desktop software and easy access to workplace IT resources,
2. Enabling employees to work from any device anywhere, and thus optimize computing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO),
3. And providing a simple, user-friendly portal and service catalog to make software offerings easily accessible.

Read More »

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Cisco@SCTE Expo 2013: Seven Papers and a Breakfast

It wouldn’t be an SCTE Cable-Tec Expo without a stellar lineup of technical papers and workshops – even better because each one happens twice, to alleviate trade show schedules.

This year’s program features seven papers and presentations by my engineering colleagues, and a breakfast. Food first: Please join us at 6:30A on Tuesday for a Light Reading breakfast session titled “Monetizing Wi-Fi,” featuring Jared Headley, Senior Director of SP Mobility for Cisco. Here’s a link for more info.

In papers and presentations, here’s what Cisco’s technologists are contributing to the 2013 SCTE Cable-Tec Expo:

  • A deep-dive on DOCSIS 3.1 and “downstream convergence layers,” researched and written by John Chapman, SCTE Cable ‘Hall of Famer’, Cisco Fellow and CTO of its Cable Access Business Unit. It’s part of the Pre-conference DOCSIS 3.1 Symposium, which runs all day (10A-4:15P) on Monday, October 21. (In room 309, if you’re going.) John’s a DOCSIS pioneer, and always worth seeing, especially if you harbor any curiosity about how MAC-layer data will get onto the PHY layer – and lots of other 3.1 detail.
  • The amount of video distributed over IP is growing fast. John Horrobin focuses on this phenomenon in a session, titled “Implementing End-to-End IP Video Solutions,” drawing from lessons learned in field deployments to compare multicast to unicast and switched techniques. His paper and presentation, titled “Pioneering IP Video in Cable Networks,” also explores current events in the combining network, and how it will evolve in step with CCAP deployments.  Gateways with 16 and 24 tuners, that can deliver signals to connected devices over Ethernet, MoCA and Wi-Fi, are also detailed.  John’s on at 1:15-2:30 on Monday, 10/21, and again on Thursday from 2:30-3:45.
  • The decades-old old engineering challenge – how much to store, vs. how much to stream – is Read More »

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A Practical Path to Gigabit Services Over Cable

By John Mattson, Senior Director of Marketing, Cisco Cable Access Business Unit

By now you’ve heard from AT&T, Google Fiber, Verizon, and the mainstream media, about their plans to offer Gigabit services in over14 states that’ll get wired for 1 Gig next year. Will Gigabit become a “New Norm”?

And if you’re a broadband service provider, you’re thinking, “okay, so, my fastest tiers are my lowest subscribed – tell me again why I need to rush to get this done right now?”

Far be it from me, or us, to pile on to this particular viewpoint, when it comes to Gigabit DOCSIS. Naturally, we see a reason for it. We sell the equipment. But I do think there’s a more plausible way to look at it, which is timely, because it’s a technical discussion, and this is the week of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers’ annual Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta.

We propose the following question to our cable operator customers: What if there was a way to profitably offer very high-speed services in your upper service tiers, while increasing speeds in your lower tiers, without massive disruption and the dreaded “forklift upgrade”? We believe there is. Think about it: Read More »

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Small Cells are Big Things in the Middle East

stuarttaylorI recently had the honor to speak at the Small Cells Forum in Dubai. One thing is certain: Wi-Fi and small cells are certainly important throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa.  Operators from throughout the region came together to learn how they could deploy small cells to meet their growing customer demands and improve their own bottom-line in the process.

I took away six key messages from the conference on the future of mobility in the Middle East:

  1. Small Cells Are the Next Big Thing: Operators from large countries like Saudi Arabia to smaller countries like Qatar all wanted to learn how they could use small cells to help them cope with the huge traffic that they are experiencing on their mobile networks and to  improve mobile coverage, especially indoors and in heavily congested areas.
  2. Small Cells Are Not an Add-On: SPs realize that future of mobile networks lies in a heterogeneous network (“HetNet”) world where licensed and unlicensed mobile networks coexist and complement each other.  With their unique strengths, Wi-Fi and licensed small cells are quickly becoming important components of an integrated access portfolio complementing the macro mobile access network.
  3. A New Read More »

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