Summer is sunshine, vacations and relaxation. It is a great time to take a moment or two and reflect on the non-stop busyness (the seemingly endless stream of tradeshows, conferences and video shoots) of the first half of year and think about the bigger picture. In this issue, we look back at some of the ViodiTV highlights in the first half and get a preview of an event we are looking forward to covering in a few weeks.
“If we embrace that [IP technology that drives Over-the-Top], we can do wonderful things,” said NCTC president Rich Fickle. He suggests that operators need to embrace OTT video, as that is a driver of high-speed data growth. Fickle indicates that the existing video business model will continue to be under pressure and that operators need to continue to explore alternative business models and sources of content. Web 3.0 technologies, such as biometrics of some form and mash-ups based on big-data, are sure to be part of this mix. How operators can leverage OTT is a big part of the agenda for The Independent Show, slated for the end of the month.
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The first wave of Machine to Machine connectivity has been typically been associated with mobile carriers and their ability to make relatively low-cost, low bit-rate wireless connections. Sensing an opportunity, Cycle30 realized that in order for traditional landline carriers to compete in the M2M and commercial space, a new approach to billing would be necessary; one with low transaction cost and with the flexibility to create more granular bundles than traditional video packages and to include other elements such as time, data usage and application-specific pricing.
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Technicolor’s Bernard Kiriakos describes the open source platform, Qeo intended to bridge the various devices within the home, bringing together data that would otherwise be in separate silos and allowing developers to find new insights and take actions that make for a more intelligent domicile. The long-term objective for Qeo, which was announced at CES2013, is to facilitate low-cost mash-ups between disparate devices and applications; such as a door bell that would signal to a set-top to pause its entertainment video feed and switch to a live feed from a door-cam.
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A New Open Data Center Network: Disaggregating the Network Operating System from Switch/Router Gear by Alan Weissberger
SDN proponents cite the proprietary, closed and tightly integrated hardware/software architectures of switch/routers being an impediment towards achieving network agility, more efficient bandwidth utilization, and lower costs. That’s because those boxes are complex, aren’t generally inter-operable with other vendor gear, and are almost impossible to control using external software. With more intelligence built into silicon from companies like Broadcom, Intel, Marvell, and others, there are fewer advantages of the proprietary, vertically integrated switch/ routers, which enjoy very high profit margins.
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Infonetics Survey: Network Operators reveal where they plan to first deploy SDN and NFV by Alan Weissberger
There’s been a lot of hype and even more uncertainty related to “Carrier SDN” and in particular the use of Open Flow protocol in carrier networks – between a centralized control plane entity and data plane entities residing in “packet forwarding” engines built from commodity silicon with minimal software intelligence. Many carriers are interested in the ETSI NFV work, which will NOT produce any standard or specifications.
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“We can’t sit around and wait for the Federal government,” said Joe Reardon, former Mayor of Kansas City, Kansas. In the above video interview, Reardon refers to the idea that a city needs to ensure that its infrastructure supports the needs of its citizens. At the same time, he stresses the importance of regional cooperation to economic development; cities working with cities and the greater region to create a bigger economic pie for all.
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Sometimes it takes an outside force to make one pause and reflect upon the bigger picture. It was bad weather at DFW that caused me to pause and reflect upon a very simple, but effective memorial initiated at DFW by American Airlines. Placed in a relatively quiet part of the massive airport, most people will bypass this area thanks to the automated trains that whisk travelers from terminal to terminal at near-highway speeds.
It just so happened that the gate for my delayed connecting flight was across from several American Airline tributes to U.S. veterans. One tribute that stood out, for both its simplicity as well as its element of old-school interactivity, was the “Wall of Thanks” banner/memorial. Other than the various military service emblems and some brief words honoring those who served, this banner was a blank slate; a blank slate with hundreds of hand-written messages of appreciation and prayers from passersby in what would have been just another ad-laden airport wall.
This low-cost, crowd-sourced memorial was a powerful reminder of the real sacrifices made by those who serve and who have served; thanks to them and kudos to American Airlines for facilitating such a unique remembrance.