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For Mobile Carriers, Five Key Trends Promise Pain and Prospects

Mobile carriers face no shortage of pain points as new data streams create unprecedented and staggering amounts of information. But it is important to remember that pain points often arrive in tandem with new opportunities.

From my perspective, observing the driving forces shaping the mobile industry, five key trends stand out. All are laced with challenges and opportunities. And each represents a core element in an interconnected system that is pushing the entire marketplace forward, while demanding innovative breakthroughs in monetizing and optimizing data.

On February 25-28, I will be attending Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona. This year’s event is expected to be the largest ever, with 1,500 exhibitors. I expect these five trends will be major sources of discussion:

  1. Video. We are already seeing the true inflection point in video where it becomes mainstream on multiple devices. The mobile and nomadic consumption of video—whether served by mobile carriers or localized Wi-Fi—is popular, commonplace, and growing rapidly. But video will completely reshape the demand side of the industry, creating enormous amounts of data. It threatens to load and clog networks, and it will demand new models for monetization.
  2. Accelerating connections. As the Read More »

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#CoxCiscoTV TweetChat at CES and #PersonalTV Instagram Photo Contest

Guest Blog by Sarah Evans, Social Media Correspondent

Sarah-Evans

Sarah Evans (@prsarahevans) is the chief evangelist at Tracky and owner of Sevans Strategy, a public relations and new media consultancy. She’s the author of new book, [RE]FRAME: Little Inspirations For A Larger Purpose (published by SlimBooks). It’s her personal mission to engage and employ the use of emerging technologies in all communication that connects her with a rapidly growing base of more than 120,000 people. A “for good” advocate, Sarah worked with a local crisis center to raise more than $161K in three weeks via social media and is a team member of the Guinness Book World Record holding #beatcancer. Sarah can be seen in Vanity Fair’s Americas Tweethearts, Forbes’ 14 Power Women to Follow on Twitter and Entrepreneur’s Top 10 Hot Startups of 2010.

For the past few days I’ve had the privilege of serving as entertainment services provider Cox Communications social correspondent at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and working very closely with the Cisco team promoting the personal TV experience. TV is everywhere at CES. And it’s right on par. Nielsen says that Americans are actually watching more TV than ever – about 34 hours per week, in fact.

Cox and Cisco have been working very closely this week with joint announcements on the personalized television experience. Working with Cisco, Cox evolved their video services platform to deliver more personalized video experiences, offering their customers more of what they enjoy. While Cox customers have been able to watch 90 channels of live, linear TV on an iPad for more than a year now, this new app – powered by Cisco’s Videoscape Unity software and technology – expands the service to iPhones and iPods, adding significant improvements in navigation. Learn more about the announcement here.

It’s hard to miss the focus on hardware at CES, specifically on size and sharpness. However, I think the real story about TV at CES is what’s happening on the backend. And what’s the big innovation? The personalization, synchronization and socialization of video, with personal on the forefront.

To keep the buzz around TV going I moderated a #CoxCiscoTV Twitter chat to talk more about the idea of #PersonalTV with Cox Communications and Cisco executives. Our Twitter lineup was made up of:

  • Len Barlik, EVP of Product Development, Cox Communications (@Cox_PR)
  • Martin De Beer, SVP of Video and Collaboration Group, Cisco, (@MartinDeBeer)
  • Nick Thexton, CTO, Service Provider Video Technology Group, Cisco, (@CiscoSPVideo)

Read More »

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Cisco Pilot Proves the Value of CDN Federations

By Marc Latouche, Manager, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) Service Provider

As more and more video traffic streams across service provider (SP) networks, many SPs are deploying content delivery networks (CDNs). In addition to supporting their own operations, these CDNs provide a viable commercial alternative — or complement — to pure-play CDNs (such as Level 3 and Limelight), and enable SPs to earn extra income from the content flowing over their network.

The Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) believes that CDN federations will provide an even farther-reaching solution. Cisco began to develop the concept of CDN federations in 2011, envisioning them as multi-footprint, open CDN capabilities built and shared by autonomous members. With CDN federations, SPs can interconnect — and leverage — one another’s CDN resources, ultimately benefiting all players in the value chain. Consumers gain in quality of service, SPs benefit through increased revenue potential, and content providers benefit in the assurance that their product will be distributed with guaranteed service and to a wider, potentially global audience.

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The CDN Federation: Spreading Benefits Across the Web-Video Value Chain

Whether driven by live sports or blockbuster movies, the explosive demand for Internet video keeps rising. Indeed, by 2015, Cisco projects a quadrupling of IP traffic, 90 percent of which will be video.

This is an exciting trend. But headaches abound, up and down the value chain. One solution is the CDN federation, which Read More »

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The Explosive Evolution of Online Media

If any doubts remained about the soaring demand for online media, the London Olympics probably dispelled them.

With 217 million viewers in the United States alone, it was the most-watched television event in history. But it also illuminated the evolving habits of online consumers. For starters, two events—the women’s soccer final and women’s gymnastics final—accounted for more online viewership than all events combined during the 2008 Olympics. Tablet computers, particularly the iPad, are driving this trend.

These kinds of striking transitions in online media consumption were top of mind during two gatherings that I attended last week. The first was a roundtable discussion of media executives in Hollywood, which I moderated; the other was a World Economic Forum Industry Partnership Strategy Meeting in New York, focused on media entertainment and mobility.

It was a privilege to be around such industry brain trusts and to share research from Cisco IBSG. Here are four core topics of conversation that emerged: Read More »

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