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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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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. Increasingly, consumers want it all, and they want it on any device, at any time. Indeed, by 2015, Cisco projects a quadrupling of IP traffic, 90 percent of which will be video.

This is an exciting trend, for sure. But headaches abound, up and down the value chain. For service providers (SPs), this torrent of web content places an undue burden on the network. And SPs gain little in revenue, since over-the-top content providers often outsource the distribution of their material to pure-play content delivery network (CDN) companies. Meanwhile, the content providers—who increasingly charge consumers for their offerings—fear that they may not be able to maintain standards of quality. As for those paying customers? They want their video now, and they expect it to stream perfectly.

Read More »

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Consumer Spending Priorities: Translating Consumers’ Broadband Addiction into Mobile Data Spending

By Gaetano Pellegrino, Senior Manager, IBSG Service Provider (Western Europe)

According to new research from the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), fixed broadband Internet access is the highest priority service in consumers’ entertainment and communication portfolio. Despite the advent of smartphones, they view mobile data as more expendable.

Cisco IBSG regularly tracks such issues in its Connected Life Market Watch research platform. In the fall 2011 edition, it surveyed some 3,900 broadband consumers in North America (including Canada) and France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

Consumers Love Their Smartphones—but Rely on Fixed Access

According to Read More »

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The Enterprise’s Inclination to Private Cloud

By Uwe Lambrette, Director of Service Provider Solutions, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG)

Cisco IBSG’s recent interviews with about 45 enterprise CIOs and architects clearly revealed that enterprises have a preference for private cloud. They want to maintain control over their IT, especially where the architecture is new and skills need to be built. In addition, they are not comfortable with accepting externally provided cloud solutions (although there are certainly exceptions).

At the same time, the survey indicated that once enterprises have gained private-cloud experience, they are more willing to allocate this architecture to an external provider.

This is reminiscent of the classic outsourcing
 cycle, where corporate functions are moved externally once they have become a commodity.

This trend has Read More »

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BYOD: Extending the Network Edge into the Connected Home

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

Up to this point, I’ve made a strong case for how important visibility into the connected home network is to service providers.  I’ve shown how the culture of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is already taking root, and why it is essential for service providers to meet the needs of consumers and businesses if they want to stay competitive.  The question remains, how will service providers achieve this?

On March 28, 2012, Cisco announced its intent to acquire privately-held ClearAccess, a provider of TR-069-based software to service providers for the provisioning and management of residential and mobile devices.  ClearAccess management and software capabilities will augment Cisco Prime – Cisco’s network management software portfolio – by offering a set of powerful and sophisticated tools for provisioning, monitoring and managing bandwidth usage, parental controls, and diagnostics to connected devices in the home.

TR-069 technology provides a standardized means for describing remote home gateways.  TR-069 can be likened to the DOCSIS standard used by cable companies, and there are many flavors to Read More »

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