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If Bottled Water Prices Can Be Differentiated, So Can Broadband Access

By Roland Klemann, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG)

Demand for Internet services continues to build. The increasing popularity of smartphones, tablets, and video services is creating a “data tsunami” that threatens to overwhelm service providers’ networks.

So far, service providers have mainly reacted to the data flood with technical counter-measures—for example, by deploying Wi-Fi and small cells to offload data in heavy traffic areas such as sports stadiums and downtown urban areas. The Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) believes that operators should also act on the demand side, which can be best influenced by pricing.

Back in the early 2000s, network operators were clamoring to build their Internet customer base; they replaced their old metered models for dial-up Internet, and enticed new subscribers with unlimited, flat rate, “all-you-can-eat” broadband data plans. This pricing strategy has enabled mass-market penetration—first in fixed, then in mobile. But it has not increased ARPU.

While flat rate pricing plans have contributed to the waves of Internet data swamping the capacity of broadband operators, these plans have done little to create value from all that traffic. In fact, the decoupling of connectivity and service layers can destroy value if you compete on easily comparable flat rate access prices only. Flat rates shift the focus from quality and service differentiation to price competition, and expose operators to the risk of cost-plus-based pricing, with diminishing returns.

In some countries, fixed-broadband providers have started altering flat rates by introducing some forms of usage-based pricing: “throttling” data download speeds for the heaviest users, switching them to potentially more costly metered data plans, or introducing new tiered price plans. Just in the last few months in the United States, both Time Warner Cable and Comcast made announcements about their plans to experiment with usage-based pricing.

While usage-based pricing models are required to fight “bandwidth hogs,” they must be carefully introduced and managed. Customers have learned to love flat rates. The 2011 Cisco IBSG Connected Life Market Watch study found that Read More »

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How Much of Your Workday is Already in the Cloud?

When was the last time you went through a workday without emailing, conferencing, or researching on the Internet? If you’re anything like me, your day is filled with a mix of tools and activities in the cloud. In a workforce served by many clouds, our daily cloud impact continues to increase. Global data center traffic is projected to quadruple from 2010-2015, and more specifically, cloud traffic is forecasted to grow 12-fold during that period.

The Worklife Cloud experience weighs Read More »

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Security, mobility, and BYOD: ask the experts in a TweetChat

We all know that IT and business leaders are starting to accept, and in some cases embrace, the “bring your own device” (BYOD) movement in the enterprise and what the implications are for service providers. As we collaborate using our own devices at work, how is this affecting your security in the network?

Join Cisco experts on August 2, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. PT in an open discussion where we’ll take your questions and address your security concerns regarding BYOD and mobility.

Co-moderators:

Panel participants: Read More »

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IP Address Management, Part IV: Centralization

Cisco Prime Network Registrar is able to achieve a high level of efficiency and reliability because of its heterogeneous integration with the other tools operators are using to manage their networks.  Rather than being a separate tool that administrators have to go back and forth between, Cisco Prime Network Registrar provides centralized resource visibility and IP address management. And, with the ability to scale to high user counts, it provides reliable management capabilities for even the largest networks.

This centralized visibility is an important capability for simplifying IP address management.  For example, Read More »

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Delivering Eco-Friendly Business Agility from the Cloud

Today’s reliance on the cloud extends beyond increased efficiency and agility into reduced power reliance and response to the unexpected. Innovative companies like NTT DATA, which we’re spending time with today, have transformed their business even during adverse conditions. The global data company was able to reorganize its platforms to slash TCO and achieve greater energy efficiency. By consolidating servers, NTT DATA reduced carbon emissions by 3,450 tons over just five years and actualized these benefits further for customers like Japan Radio Co. by combining private cloud with Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS). How will your business recognize these same cloud benefits? View the Read More »

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