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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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A Treat for U-verse Customers: Cisco and AT&T Launch Wireless TV Today

By David Alsobrook , Director of Business Development, Connected Home Solutions, Cisco Service Provider Video Technology Group

It’s a big day here at Cisco (and it’s not just because it’s Halloween and there are bowls of candy everywhere…!)

Today, we go to market with AT&T with an industry first: IPTV set-tops equipped with video-optimized Wi-Fi. AT&T calls it the “AT&T U-verse TV Wireless Receiver” — a first-ever way to arrange your TV to go with your life, furniture, and living environment.

Guests for the weekend? Move the TV to the guest room. Wish you could have three TVs to follow this weekend’s games? Go for it.   With this no new wires solution, the “plumbing” is no longer an issue.

We Cisco people call it our ISB7005 wireless set-top box and our VEN401 wireless access point.  One is a set-top that can be located anywhere in the house; the other is a video-optimized wireless access point. Read More »

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Two Sides Are Better Than One

If there’s one thing that service providers are familiar with, it’s change. There’s been nothing but change – wave after wave of disruptive change – from the industry deregulation of the 1980s, the convergence of voice, data, and video of the past couple of decades, to the current era of digital media, which devours SP capacity without contributing equivalent revenue. But if you see change as opportunity, the projections of overwhelming future video growth is the potential “mother lode.”

The challenge is finding ways to monetize video traffic. This can be done by breaking out of traditional mindsets and adopting a two-sided business model – serving consumers as well as customers and business partners.

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CES 2011: Kicking it off, together

What do smart phones, tablet computers, PCs, washers, dryers, TVs, content providers, medical devices and even athletic shoes have in common?

Yes, they will all be taking part in the excitement generated during CES 2011, happening this week in Las Vegas.  But what’s more, the most common denominator among the major breakthroughs and hot products is they all need to be connected to be truly useful.

And not just connected, but easy to use and seamlessly integrated with other aspects of our life.  These expectations are part of our DNA with more and more converting to a connected life.  Increasingly, our connected life involves increasing use of video to communicate, connect and engage with our family and friends.

Cisco has long been involved in the video space and announced Cisco Videoscape at a pre-CES conference yesterday.  Cisco Videoscape brings entertainment together from infinite sources of content from pay TV, online and on-demand and combines it with the social media, communications, and mobility to create a truly immersive TV experience. Read More »

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A Big Tent for TV sets

Observing this incredibly diverse CES crowd in Las Vegas, there is one demographic  notably absent – the obsolete TV set.  As I pondered a few weeks ago, when our industry strives to invent the future of entertainment, we can’t selfishly focus on our own needs as viewers.  We must consider the devices in this ecosystem and remember that TVs are people too, afterall.

With Videoscape, CES is now an event filled with possibility, not only for the Gentry appliances, but for now older TV sets and other devices as well.  We now have the ability to view all devices with mutual respect, where TV’s will be judged by their character and how they work with the network and its clouds and not by their bunny ears or how they on their own can only deliver a small subset of content. Read More »

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