HetNet: Cisco, Proximus partner on video and smart cities
Cloud migration and public Wi-Fi included
Networking powerhouse Cisco recently announced a renewed partnership with Belgian digital television provider Proximus. The deal includes public Wi-Fi deployments and migration of the service provider’s content from the edge of the network into a centralized cloud architecture.
Scott Puopolo, VP of the global service provider practice for Cisco’s service provider transformation group, told RCR Wireless News that Proximus has a “strong attitude toward being innovative.”
“I think it’s a very dynamic company and I think it’s a very dynamic set of interests that dovetail beautifully with where we see the industry going,” he said.
The two firms are presently scoping the planned migration from the current platform, which revolves around the in-home digital video recorder box, to a centralized cloud.
Puopolo said the current focus is “what that migration plan would actually look like. The concept here is they are really looking for, actually, to create with us a sort of cloud production platform. They certainly have data center assets. It’s a question of whether we need to increase the capacity.”
From a customer perspective, he said the benefits would include more targeted and individualized advertising along with an integration of traditional broadcast channels and over-the-top content into an interactive user experience.
In the smart and connected cities space, Cisco and Proximus are jointly evaluating cities for potential trial – possibly leading to more widespread – deployments of free public Wi-Fi. Puopolo stressed that, in consideration of future deployments, the public benefit use case has to be balanced with a revenue-producing business case, perhaps proximity advertising, data analytics and the like. Cisco provides a number of smart and connected cities solutions ranging from parking and traffic management to public safety and other government services.
Puopolo said from the service provider perspective, “The connectivity is nice and it’s nothing to sneeze at, but a lot of the SPs that we work with around the world – and Proximus is no different – believe they can deliver more value by providing other roles in the ecosystem stack for smart cities.”
Also covered in the agreement is eventual deployment of software-defined network and service orchestration solutions.
Proximus CEO Dominique Leroy said the partnership “not only reinforces our existing cooperation, it also shows Proximus’ commitment to innovation and improving customer service. We want to build a future that will benefit our customers, our employees, our shareholders and our partners. That transformation strategy will help us return to growth.”
Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chamber echoed Leroy’s sentiments regarding innovation: “Proximus sees the benefits of transforming networks to a software-based, agile platform. We are expanding our collaboration to embrace the benefits of the ‘Internet of Everything’ with cloud-based video solutions, virtualized managed services solutions and much more.”