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Wi-Fi: A Major “Hotspot” for Service Providers

By Tony Verspecht and Luiz Lima, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG)

Growth in mobile network traffic is staggering: Driven by the onslaught of devices that are now connected to the Internet, mobile data traffic is expected to grow three times faster than fixed IP traffic, exceeding 6 exabytes per month by 2015, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index. This presents service providers (SPs) with a tremendous opportunity to invest in Wi-Fi services to create carrier-class Wi-Fi experience and increase revenues.

While specialized providers have operated commercial Wi-Fi hotspots for nearly two decades, most SPs see Wi-Fi as a fairly new business. To understand the implications of Wi-Fi on SP operations, Cisco® IBSG interviewed a number of SP executives. Following are some of the key insights, which are further discussed in “Wi-Fi for Service Providers: Challenges and Opportunities for Carrier-Class Operations”:

  • Basic Wi-Fi service coverage expansion is still the main driver—Even among established Wi-Fi SPs with a large number of hotspots, the average yearly increase in access points is 14 percent.
  • Value-added Wi-Fi services Read More »

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With Cloud, SMBs Will Lead Emerging Economies Across the Digital Divide

By Peter Ford, Director, IBSG Service Provider

Service providers in developing countries have the potential to kick-start economic growth by helping small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) take advantage of information and communications technology (ICT), especially cloud services. The “greenfield” nature of ICT in many emerging economies creates the opportunity to “leapfrog” to cloud computing.

For some time, governments have recognized the role of broadband in supporting economic development. The World Bank states that for every 10 percent of broadband penetration in a developing economy, there is typically a 1.38 percent increase in GDP.

Each year, there have been tangible improvements in broadband networks across emerging markets. However, in Read More »

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Cisco Continues Enhancing Core Routing Capabilities

When Cisco announced the CRS (Carrier Routing System) in 2004, many analysts and other observers thought it overkill.   Some said that Cisco would not sell more than 50.

To date, the number is greater than 8000.

That would seem to fall into the category of “Exceeding Expectations”.

And just how did Cisco do this?  In part, by continually staying ahead of the game with enhancements – never waiting for traffic loads, customer demands or other circumstances to force it into catch-up mode.

Today, Cisco continued that practice with further enhancements to the industry-leading CRS platform.

Cisco announced that GTS Central Europe (GTS CE), a leading provider of integrated telecommunications solutions and data center services in Central and Eastern Europe, has deployed the CRS for its Next-Generation Internet core.  Cisco new elastic core networking capabilities enable service providers such as GTS CE to cost-effectively launch and scale revenue-generating services within minutes instead of months.  The solution includes the industry’s first integrated coherent 100 Gbps IP over DWDM and Cisco’s nLight™ technology for the CRS.

Cisco’s nLight technology converges IP and optical transport networks by introducing programmability to minimize network complexity while maximizing service intelligence and monetization opportunities.  This capability significantly reduces network total cost of ownership and is a key element of the Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) framework. 

Also, in recent related news, Cisco and BT recently conducted a landmark 100G DWDM trial

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Cisco Acquires ThinkSmart

Today, Cisco announced its acquisition of ThinkSmart Technologies, a software company that delivers location data analysis using a Wi-Fi infrastructure.  Together, Cisco and ThinkSmart will enhance the wireless network infrastructure by providing location analytics to service provider and enterprise customers to more effectively reach end users.   

ThinkSmart – headquartered in Cork, Ireland – provides insight into Wi-Fi location analytics alongside historical trends, enabling customers to have greater visibility into movements and patterns of trending data. By integrating ThinkSmart’s technology into Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE), customers will be able to aggregate, analyze, predict and react to consumer behavior. Read More »

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Cisco IBSG Study: WiFi for Service Providers

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, mobile network traffic is expected to increase 26-fold between 2010 and 2015, reaching 6.3 exabytes per month by 2015.  Global mobile traffic will grow three times faster than fixed IP traffic over this period. Because of this, mobile operators are trying to align this phenomenal network demand with revenue growth.

WiFi represents a significant business opportunity for service providers.  Many fixed, mobile or integrated SPs around the globe are either planning on or are already investing in WiFi services. Although commercial Wi-Fi hotspot services operated by specialized providers have existed for more than 15 years, WiFi is a relatively new business for the majority of SPs and has not reached the level of maturity of other well-established, “carrier-grade” communications services.  In particular, unlicensed frequencies and less-developed service management capabilities impose operational challenges.

Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) interviewed 14 SP executives worldwide to understand the trends in WiFi operations and the current challenges SPs face.   The results are in a paper titled “WiFi for Service Providers: Challenges and Opportunities for Carrier-Class Operations”. Read More »

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