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Cable Technologists: Thanks For a Great SCTE Cable-Tec Expo!

To the 10,000 or so of you who joined us in Atlanta this week for the annual Society of Cable Telecommunication Engineers Expo – thanks for participating in what was one of the more high-energy, momentous Expos we’ve seen in decades. Wow! What a great one this year.

Starting with the ending, really: On the last afternoon of the show, Steve Callahan, Senior Network Engineer for Time Warner Carolinas, earned the grand prize at the first annual “IP Challenge.” (It wasn’t explicitly because he had fans with handheld signs in the audience [see photo to the left] – Steve really did perform the series of router configurations with alacrity and grace – but it didn’t hurt.
Our overall Cable-Tec Expo 2011 observations: While in years past, engineering to-do lists and intentions were overshadowed by doom-and-gloom predictions of cord-cutters, over-the-top video interlopers, and similar perceived calamity, this year’s Expo attendees were in full-tilt “let’s build it” mode.  The over-arching sentiment was that it’s time to auger in and get fully immersed in this overall transition to IP video. To that we say: Bring it!

In our booth, the two main areas of interest were the nuts-and-bolts details of how to get to “TV Anywhere,” as well as the key architectural elements that will enable the all-IP transition. Watch an unofficial “coffee clutch” video interview between our Mark Palazzo, VP/GM, Cable Access Business Unit, and industry technology columnist Leslie Ellis, about SCTE Expo trends. Read More »

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Pioneers of The Network

In 1858, the USS Niagara departed from the town of Heart’s Content on Newfoundland’s Trinity Bay, to meet up with HMS Agamemnon somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.   The plan was to connect a cable that would enable telegraph communication between the continents.

I was puzzled when I first heard this story, thinking that in the days before GPS and satellite phones, wouldn’t it have been easier to just use one ship and avoid a mid-sea rendezvous?   Steve Shepard explains the logic in episode 2.

Read More »

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Two Vendors – Us and Arris – Collaborating on Multi-Wavelength Management

By Mark Palazzo, VP and GM of Cisco’s Cable Access Business Unit

Here’s an important message from the Department of the Obvious: All along the world of networks, more capacity is needed. That’s especially true in the optical domain of the access/HFC plant, where work continues to multiplex more and more wavelengths together on a single piece of glass.

To date, operators tend to move traffic at or near the 1310 nm and 1550 nm wavelengths, to simultaneously transmit linear/broadcast as well as on-demand/narrowcast video streams on the access/HFC network.

As well, a lot of operators, and the vendor community that serves them, are considering the establishment of a full-spectrum, multi-wavelength plan for optical gear. It’s because we’re at this relatively early point that it’s critical to establish a common plan — because when wavelengths collide, bad stuff can happen.

At this week’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, two vendors in the optical equipment – our own Fernando Villarruel, and Venk Mutalik, VP/technology and strategy for Arris – will “leave their guns at the door,” so to speak, to co-deliver a paper and workshop about the importance of establishing a wavelength plan. Read More »

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Portugal Telecom Works with Cisco to Deliver Innovative Mobile Services

Over the years, we’ve worked with many mobile operators around the world, and it is always very rewarding to work with those that are forward-looking and innovative. Portugal Telecom (PT) is very much one of these innovators. In developing and deploying new mobile services and the network architectures that enable them, PT has a rich history of success.

We had the opportunity last month to chat with Luis Alveirinho, Portugal Telecom Network Director, about how PT has designed its next-gen mobile network to deliver advanced business and consumer services with the highest levels of quality and reliability. Read More »

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The State of Wi-Fi

By Lisa Garza, Cisco Service Provider Mobility Marketing Manager

Anyone involved in burgeoning Wi-Fi hotspot network industry realizes that there has been a dearth of solid market information available.  Well, that all changed this week as the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) released a joint report with Informa Global Developments in Public Wi-Fi at their 20th Roundtable and Conference in Singapore.

Check out this WBA report on Global Developments in Public Wi-Fi. To view the complete report, please click here:

The research shows that almost half (47%) of mobile operators now think Wi-Fi is either very important or essential to their customers’ experience. The research also found that operators are planning a massive increase in Wi-Fi hotspot deployments – hotspots are set to rocket with a 350% increase by 2015.

The report confirms the Cisco VNI numbers, showing that mobile data is continuing its massive growth across the globe.  The WBA Public Wi-Fi report predicts that mobile data traffic will hit 16.84 million terabytes by 2014. Operators are increasingly turning to Wi-Fi as a trusted extension to both fixed and mobile networks for offering their customers a seamless Internet experience.

And the report underscores the importance of the Next Generation Hotspot work that the WBA has underway.  The report includes an industry survey that highlights seamless authentication, ease of network discovery and security as the most significant barriers to wider adoption of Wi-Fi.  In June I wrote a blog about the WBA launch of the Next Generation Hotspot trials. This week, at the WBA 20th Conference in Singapore, we learned that the trials are well underway and are scheduled to complete on time.  In fact, Shaw Communications recently announced plans to deploy Next Generation Hotspot in a trial, using Cisco’s Service Provider Wi-Fi solution.

Stay tuned to this space.  The WBA intends to release this Wi-Fi Industry report on a regular basis, and 2012 promises to be the year where we’ll see these barriers fall.

Meanwhile, for those of you curious to learn more about the following, check out this webcast on What is WBA Next Generation Hotspot Anyway?:

  • The future of Service Provider Wi-Fi networks
  • WFA Hotspot 2.0 Specification
  • WBA Next Generation Roaming Trials
  • How Hotspot 2.0 will open up new revenue opportunities for service providers


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