Michael Carroll and John C. Tanner
30 Jun 2010
What all of this means in practical terms, says Pankaj Patel, senior vice president and general manager at Cisco's service provision division, is that future IP networks need to be intelligent and flexible enough to support a "tremendous variety of traffic" as more consumers accessed services across multiple devices.
It also means network service providers will have to shift to a "two-sided" B2B2C (business to business to consumer) business model in which the network becomes a platform that integrates cloud services, the IP network, and client devices, and network operators partner with over-the-top players that will deliver unique services that users want - and pay for that IP video traffic growth.
The challenge, says John Mazur, principal analyst at Ovum, is that Cisco's proposition - which is the basis for its IP NGN solution strategy - is the antithesis of the "build it and they will come" cliche: they are coming, but who will build it?
"Traditional network service providers need to ask where their revenues will come from in two years, and be willing to abandon traditional telco business models and embrace new ones to drive revenue growth," Mazur wrote in a research note.
That said, cloud-based CDNs from NSPs are already emerging, with the idea that web-based content providers will shift from building their own computing networks to using CDNs based on the NSPs' managed clouds with Cisco's infrastructure equipment, Mazur says.
However that works out for Cisco's bottom line, Mazur notes that Cisco's market vision and roadmaps for IP overall are "hard to beat."