|Issue:||Latin America 2013|
|Topic:||Facilitating content delivery|
|Title:||Regional President, Latin America|
|Organisation:||Level 3 Communications|
Hector Alonso is Regional President of Latin American markets for Level 3 Communications, responsible for overall business goals, including sales, marketing and operations in region, and support for enterprise, government and carrier customers. Previously, Mr. Alonso was managing director of Global Crossing Latin America, responsible for overseeing the strategy, business goals and operations in the region; he assumed as Managing Director of Global Crossing after Global Crossing’s acquisition of Impsat Fiber Networks, where he had served as Chief Financial Officer and earlier as Chief Operating Officer.
Mr. Alonso holds a Master’s degree in international business from the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa in Buenos Aires. He is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish.
Content – entertainment, educational material, documents, data, applications, e-services, images, audio and video files, personal Web pages, archived e-mail messages – is all this and more; the list continues to grow. Content providers of all sorts cannot afford to invest in the infrastructure to move the wide variety of content that end users need for business or personal consumption. Content providers need telecom service operators (TSO) to distribute their content and TSOs are challenged to provide easy-to-use, cost effective, leading-edge technology.
Content, you are either producing it for mass consumption or requiring it on a daily basis to conduct business, pay your bills, obtain weather information or be entertained. It refers to documents, data, applications, e-services, images, audio and video files, personal Web pages, archived e-mail messages, and as time goes by, the list continues to grow. In today’s globalized and mobile trending world this type of content must be high quality, compelling, engaging, safe, and easily and promptly downloadable for it to be of interest to users.
To meet these imperatives, content delivery providers, distributors, and cable operators, need a Telecom Service Operator (TSO) that serves as a partner that offers a service specifically tailored to each of their business objectives. These providers do not want to invest in the infrastructure to move their content. The challenge for TSO lies in providing alternatives to satisfy next generation technology in a simple, seamless, and cost effective manner.
We need our content now!
Content delivery businesses depend entirely on content being delivered expediently, securely and effectively to their subscribers in order to stay in business and make a profit. On the other side of the scope, users’ expectations are high. They become more knowledgeable thanks to the technology they use on their everyday lives, and demand the ability to reach their desired content to grow as technology continues to develop with enhanced consistency at ever increasing speeds, and reliability.
A significant driver of network traffic growth is real time entertainment. The increased availability of premium web content from popular content providers, the widespread use of smartphones and tablets, and 24/7 consumer expectations create an urgent need for all these content to be readily available at consistent browsing and download speeds. Longer pieces of content require more bandwidth to be viewed, and networks are experiencing exponential traffic growth that shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.
End users can benefit from a better experience when content is close to home
Content, such as videos and movie trailers can be delivered instantly in high definition, if it resides close to a mobile subscriber. When content is cached deep in a broadband network, it is closer to the end user, enhancing the quality of their viewing experience. Video quality is optimized, reducing the risk of slow buffering or connection loss.
Buffering and time to download are usually the most significant causes of frustration when viewing video content online. By caching content closer to the end user, content delivery businesses can offer their customers a cost efficient viewing experience, enhancing customer loyalty.
Let’s start with the basics: broadband
In order for content to be downloaded, adequate bandwidth is needed. This bandwidth is not only the driving force for high speed internet access but is also at the heart of effective movement of content. High-speed broadband can improve user’s experience to download certain content, and we are noticing greater access through mobile phones, game consoles and television sets.
The availability of broadband for the masses has become a critical element when organizations and individuals strive towards productivity enhancement. Having appropriate, reliable bandwidth allows for better access to information, a must in today’s globalized mobile environments, when people carry their own devices everywhere and expect content to be readily available and safely delivered in the fastest and safest way possible.
Recent years have seen increased growth in data demand, not only from companies, but also from people needing constant access to their web information to carry on their daily routines. Tasks such as finding directions, accessing bank accounts, having seamless access to cloud stored data is fueling research and development from major players to further enhance the customer experience. A global increase of mobile device use demands a continued improvement of the daily broadband customer experience. Take Latin America for example, the Projected Average Mobile Network Connection Speed for 2017 is 2,207 kbps, compared to 2012’s 200kbps **. This brings a completely new challenge and opportunities for TSOs in the region.
Technology has deeply improved the content quality experience for companies and end users. Examples of these are the Managed Video Network services available In the global market that combine video and IP/data into a single, high-quality managed service. These services turn the broadcasting experience totally around by supporting some of the largest global media and entertainment companies by helping carry high-profile news, sports, entertainment and other special event broadcasts.
What does this entail? Better bandwidth – a motor in development
Widespread broadband access is a rapidly growing trend, and successfully implementing appropriate networks can provide a solution to some of the challenges associated with providing high-speed Internet access. People and companies needs grow continually and consistently in ways that require faster information and quicker solutions to daily issues. Technology solutions, supported by robust telecommunications networks, are critical for improved performance.
The number of broadband subscribers around the world grew about one hundred times during the last ten years. Increased broad¬band deployment has driven significant innovation in Internet applications and a profound increas¬e in the average amount of bandwidth required by users. Globally, there will be nearly ten million hotspots by 2017, up from six million hotspots in 2012. Projected Average Wi-Fi Network Connection Speed for Latin America in 2017 is 11 kbps, compared to 2012’s 5 **. Today’s new solutions are significantly improved solutions to complex bandwidth management functions in the network; and its deployment is more cost effective. Solving a problem for one network is not enough though; global solutions for a global network are required.
Why some companies are not using virtualization – the fears and the pros
Virtualization is one of the elements that greatly influences the movement of data, and it impacts the regular person needing faster responses to their support calls to service desks or even more efficient routing, requiring much quicker access to a variety of information, as well as the executive traveling to remote locations needing seamless access to presentations or figures on the spot. Virtualization provides companies the opportunity to streamline and simplify their IT operations, allowing them to respond faster to evolving business demands.
Most small businesses are just getting their feet wet with virtualization. With more choices available to them, it has become significantly harder to make the appropriate decision to meet their needs. Virtualization empowers small businesses to drive culture changes and improve their processes. This will enable them to use virtualization as the means to eventually make the move to the cloud. Large and medium businesses however will most likely include cloud computing in their future, with an emerging trend towards investing more in private cloud computing.
One of the greatest fears involved in virtual technology use is that there is a single point of failure. Another disadvantage is that it might lead to lower performance. Considering the benefits it provides though, these disadvantages may be considered as minor, and organizations will continue to use and improve this technology, enabling themselves to continue growing and developing in the future.
The Latin America Cloud market evolves rapidly and virtualization technology advances, with prevalence on server virtualization. Brazil leads the market, and its cloud expansion will most likely continue to be faster than those of other Latin American countries. On the other hand, Mexico’s proximity to the United States will continue to be a significant advantage. Wireless networks will play a critical role in the area’s cloud development, which will need to overcome business leader’s reluctance to move to the cloud. With data production expected to quadruple over the next five years according to Cisco’s latest forecasts, considerable re-evaluation will be required from decision makers expecting continued growth at more cost effective alternatives.
The way to mobilize Big Data
Big data refers to the enormous amount of data created every single day by people posting to increasingly popular social media platforms and applications, by sharing pictures and videos, or performing online transactions to name just a few sources. If you have followed the trend in social media use, you know this will not stop, in fact, it is expected to continue growing and developing, with users becoming more technically savvy, and therefore upping their performance expectations. When we take this a step further and include employees traveling on a regular basis critically needing access to this data, then it becomes even more pressing to find better and faster ways to move these large volumes of data in more expedient ways.
Cloud-based and open source tools are providing small companies the ability to leverage big data for business insights. For large companies, this means moving away from single sourced enterprise data warehouses to multiple systems including content management, data warehouses, data marts and specialized file systems tied together with data services, which will significantly improve on their current strategy for having readily available information to make smarter business decisions.
Future and how users need to adapt
Today’s trend towards increased mobility and immediate access to information around the clock regardless of location will lead companies to seek easy to configure technology solutions that can be based on user preference, providing virtualization dashboards for decision makers and reliable access on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Bandwidth availability must be conceived as an integral part of the social and economical infrastructure of the modern world. Greater application, universal availability, and increasing ease of use of these technologies will contribute to social inclusion and improve business processes, therefore impacting the socio-economic development of the countries where it is used.
Bandwidth use has driven digitalization, allowing companies to continue pushing their limits, raising the bar, minimizing costs and achieving growth. Continued enhancement of people’s ability to mobilize content at real life speed and affordable costs will breach education gaps, help businesses grow and economies to develop all over the world.
** Source: The Zettabyte Era – Trends and Analysis, Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/VNI_Hyperconnectivity_WP.html