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BYOD: The Changing Topology of the Connected Home Network

By Ross Fujii, CTO of Cisco Network Management Technology Group (NMTG)

BYOD – Bring Your Own Device – is a catch-phrase capturing the idea that consumers are bringing more and more devices into the connected home network.  It is no longer just the early adopters who have non-PC devices they want to use while at home.  There has been a literal explosion of electronic devices that consumers want to share content and data across – smartphones, tablets, IPTVs, network-attached storage (NAS), and even game consoles.  Each of these devices generates different types of traffic and consumes content in completely different ways.  The number of new usage scenarios to support is daunting.

BYOD also refers to the idea that people want to be able to bring and use their own devices in other people’s homes.  If you want to look something up on the Internet, for example, you don’t want to have to borrow your friend’s phone to do so.  You want to do it on your own device.  Similarly, today’s Read More »

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Alcatel-Lucent’s New Core Router: Contender or Pretender?

Cisco in the Hot Seat Addressing Alcatel-Lucent’s  Core Network Offering

Service provider core networking has been a very difficult market segment for technology providers to penetrate based on its importance to global service providers and because it requires costly, ongoing innovation and investment to meet ever-changing customer requirements. While many vendors have attempted to enter this market – Avici and Caspian Networks come to mind – most have failed. In fact, Alcatel introduced a product in this space in the 2000s with the 7770. It was unsuccessful and ultimately discontinued.

While Cisco continues to be No. 1 in the core, we are not sitting on our hands by any means.  In fact, our innovation engine is in high gear, and we are confident that we’ve got the right strategy to lead our customers into the next decade and beyond. Our architectural approach was designed to enable the best delivery of video and mobility by leveraging the network intersection points of the cloud, network, and client.

Recently, Read More »

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IP Address Management, Part V: Return on Investment (ROI)

An IP Address Management (IPAM) solution is not just a repository for IP addresses. The simplicity and thoroughness it offers makes for a powerful tool that increases the efficiency and reliability of networks while substantially reducing operating expenses:

  • Automation of Processes: Tasks that administrators don’t have to manage manually result in direct management time and operating expense savings.
  • Simplification of Processes: Reducing the Read More »

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Cisco Completes Acquisition of NDS

I’m thrilled to announce that we have completed our acquisition of NDS.  As we said when we announced our intent to acquire NDS back on March 15, the Cisco strategy has always been driven by customer need and on capturing market transitions. This acquisition is a textbook example — the addition of NDS’s leading software solutions, combined with its systems integration expertise, will accelerate the delivery of Cisco Videoscape.

NDS is a leader in video software solutions and content security for Pay TV markets with a broad portfolio of products and service integration capabilities.  Cisco is a leader in networked video with its architectural approach, breadth of portfolio, network expertise, ability to scale for millions of users, and investments in innovation. Together, Cisco and NDS have Read More »

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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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