Cisco is here to help. But whom?

7 January 2009 by Steve Blum
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Cisco builds stuff for service providers. They’re at CES primarily to talk about their latest effort to extend their brand into the consumer realm, but there’s no doubting they’re network guys to the core.

Interesting comment from their service provider group SVp & GM Tony Bates: they’re deploying technology that makes service provider networks video aware. Of course, it’s with the consumer’s best interests in mind. If a service provider knows that video is streaming through it’s network, it can take steps to optimize the consumer’s experience.

Yes. Absolutely true. On the other hand, they can take steps to downgrade the experience or charge more for it. From a technological capability perspective, anyway.

If mobile carriers are in fact under siege from consumer electronics manufacturers determined to sell mobile gizmos without the blessing of carriers, then Cisco could be in a position to craft a defense.

Cisco also makes a tethering product for T-Mobile, allowing consumers to sign up for wireless data service in the home. The product and attached service are under the control of T-Mobile, but it’s a more generous offering than most. So maybe there is a middle ground. Or maybe when you’re at the back of the pack, you’re willing to take more chances.

Still more to come from CES.