The headlines of the week are more bad weather (nothing more to say on that) and the proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Comcast, which I discussed yesterday.
Besides that, I’ve found the usual array of news and commentary; all important, albeit not as dramatic. Here are some highlights.
The SDN Market Is Big
Few people doubt that software-defined networks (SDNs) are big business. Just how big is becoming clearer. Strategy Analytics, in a report commissioned by Tellabs, suggests that operational savings generated by SDNs worldwide could reach $9 billion by 2017, according to Total Telecom.
The biggest driver will be video, according to the study. It says that rollouts will start next year and gather momentum in 2016. The challenge is interoperability and the time it takes to change existing infrastructure.
Serving the Lower End of the Market
It might be that the goal of attracting lower-end smartphone users is hitting a higher gear. This trend seems to be growing in both the developed and developing areas.
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month, Broadcom will show chipsets aimed at providing LTE connectivity to low-cost phones. eWeek said that the chips, which were initially announced this week, are aimed at smartphones that cost less than $300.
Along the same lines, Nokia will use MWC to introduce a low-cost phone based on the Android operating system. It is aimed at developing markets, said a CNET story, which was based on a Wall Street Journal piece. The device, code-named Normandy, may ultimately be called Nokia X and will likely have a limited feature set.
Ciena, Ericsson Working Together
Ciena and Ericsson announced this week an optical and SDN strategic global agreement, according to Light Reading. The site says that Ericsson is “the leading vendor in mobile network infrastructure and global profession services” for communications service providers. Ciena has a big slice of the optical transport market, particularly in the 100 Gigabit per second (Gbps) sector, and has a good foothold with North American providers. Together, the companies have a development plan:
So what have they agreed? Well, they are going to jointly develop ‘transport solutions for IP-optical convergence’ and SDN. In addition, Ericsson is going to sell Ciena's Converged Packet Optical products, including the 6500 Packet-Optical system, which is Ciena's key 40G, 100G (and in the future 400G) platform, and the smaller 5400 family.
Not Good Days for Cisco
Financial news is important, especially when it involves Cisco. According to PCWorld, the company had its second consecutive disappointing quarter:
For the second quarter, which ended Jan. 25, Cisco reported revenue of US$11.2 billion and net income of $1.4 billion, or $0.27 per share. That profit figure was down 54.2 percent from $3.1 billion, or $0.59 per share, a year earlier.
The health of Cisco itself is a major issue in and of itself, of course. But the results also may point to significant shifts in technology. New approaches to networking, such as software-defined networks, generally come out of the leader’s market share.
More Online Televisions
Finally, comes a story about Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Well, not exactly. But the connection between that deal and data from The Diffusion Group is clear. Comcast wants to get even bigger than it already is, largely to take advantage of the way in which broadband is reshaping America. TDG reports that 63 percent of broadband households have at least one television linked to the Net, which is 10 percent more than last year. The density is interesting as well:
The data found that, among broadband households with a net-connected TV, average ownership is 1.6 units, meaning a large portion of users own multiple net-connected TVs. In fact, 42% of connected TV owners have two or more such configurations.
That, as much as anything else, can explain Comcast’s interest in growing so drastically.