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An Orange, An Apple, A like for IPv6!

How many devices do you have that are sucking up IP addresses?  Apple continues to lure me in for the latest and greatest iPad and iPhones, with the new iPad being the latest to capture my eye.  This continual proliferation of devices has been illustrated in the latest VNI results.  Apple of course enables these devices with a fully functioning IPv6 stack as was demonstrated at the IPv6 World Congress this year.  While at the IPv6 World Congress 2012 we had the opportunity to chat with Jacqueline Queiroz , a Network Architect with Orange, about IPv6 adoption.

Network operators, content providers and device manufacturers all are navigating the IPv6 migration waters – Orange is no different.  IPv6 adoption progress varies, but France has been proven to be one of the global leaders in IPv6 adoption.  This was well chronicled in a study conducted by Google and discussed further here.  Orange being headquartered in France plays an obvious role in this adoption trend. Read More »

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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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Hello, IP&TV World Forum! We’re in MR1, Gallery Level

It’s springtime in London (or near enough), which must mean it’s time again for the IP&TV World Forum. Here’s a handful of reasons why you should come by and see us this week!

1. Strong coffee that is free and plentiful. Enough said.

2. To check out a (deployed) way of wiring homes that aren’t wired. Last year, AT&T launched its “Free Your TV” offering in its U.S. footprint – an instantly popular product, because it lets consumers place their HDTV screens wherever they want – regardless of whether there’s a coaxial outlet nearby. If getting to signal to usual or unusual places in your house is on your wish list, come by.  We’ll fill you in on how the AT&T deployment is going (hint: really, really well).  Check out the AT&T ad here:

And while you’re in the stand, do check out our Videoscape demonstrations – Lots of cool new developments to see!. And if that’s not enough, ask us about progress to date with recent Videoscape newsmakers TELUS, Rogers, and Numericable. Read More »

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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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The Cisco – SP Partnership: Best Practices for Lifting Service Quality

By Carlos Cordero, Director, Service Provider Internet Business Solutions Group

Service providers (SPs) often face a number of service quality challenges. These challenges, more often than not, result from hardware failures, software bugs, network outages, packet loss, and capacity issues. The majority of these challenges may not be new, and may have already been resolved by SPs’ technology partners, or by other operators. Indeed, SPs could capture significant operational benefits simply by adopting well-established best practices.

However, adopting these best practices requires a proactive and open relationship between SPs and their technology partners. Without open cooperation, adopting these best practices and continuous improvement will always prove to be a challenge.

To explore the relationship between an SP’s culture and the adoption of best practices, I will be writing a series of articles on the SP360 blog covering operational and engineering best practices, challenges, and benchmarks observed in the course of working with major service providers worldwide.  The specific topics I will cover include: operational practices such as testing, certification, engineering rules, go-live, and incident management; as well as organizational capabilities (planning, program management, culture, management practices, IP skillsets, and staffing levels).

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