ACG Research

ACG Research
We focus on the Why before the What

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Update on IIR WDM Conference

IIR reported 500+ attendees at this year's 2012 IIR Conference in Monaco. Although the conference was informative, it was somewhat discouraging to find out that some service providers dropped out at the last minute, disrupting some panels and reducing the numbers of service providers in attendance. There was a bit more doom and gloom about the economic situation in Europe than there was the previous year, and some operators commented that they were running their networks "hotter."   As always, Verizon key presentations were very informative. Overall, panel discussions were well done; it would have been worthwhile had there been more on enterprise optical networks given the growing percentage it is in the optical market.

Key announcements:
  • Infinera is now shipping the DTN-X for revenue. 
  • Transmode announced a new deal with XO Communications. 
  • Infinera also won for "Best Component" with their 500G PIC technology.
  • Winner for best 100G went to Ciena.
  • Best in OTN was awaded to Huawei.

Participants agreed that optical architectures were changing in the near future, but how and who would pay for the next overlay was still up in the air.  Will the new architectures be more cost efficient as promised?  Will they be operationally easier to deploy without cutting jobs in the EU?  All good questions.  Sometimes you leave conferences with more questions than answers.

Glenn Wellbrock, Verizon                


Michael Adams, Ciena                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


Jeffrey Gao on left, Huawei

Mike Capuano, Infinera                                                                 

For more information about ACG Research's optical service click here or contact 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ciena Financial Analysts' Conference

Eve Griliches was in NYC last week for Ciena's financial analyst conference. Click here to listen.

For more information about Eve Griliches, click hereFor more information about ACG Research's optical service click here or contact 

Switching Architectures and Implications on Network Efficiency

Operators realize that in order to better monetize their networks they must significantly reduce their time to market delivery for new services while keeping capital and operational expenses under control. These challenges require a newer and more efficient network. Almost every operator is examining changes to their core and metro architecture to address these needs, either by migrating to a new architecture or technology or with an overlay of one. 

In  "Switching Architectures and Implications on Network Efficiency" we discuss new architectures, why service providers like them, and which architectures best promote network efficiency and flexibility.

For more information about Eve Griliches, click here. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

VZW Gets Personal with Its New Multidevice Plans

Verizon’s new mobile plans reflect the reality of today’s mobile user:  old Telco was one home, one telephone.  That model got extended to one person, one phone, but that is “so, so” 2010.  Today’s users are multidevice users:  phones, tablets, and PCs.  It was only a matter of time before we would start seeing simplified multidevice plans come to market. 

What the vast majority of users, let’s say 95 percent, are not are the power users consuming 5, 10 of 5Gb of data a month. So, the tiers make a lot of sense.  1Gb is more than enough for most causal mobile users, even with tablets, and it gives those users a sense of security that they won’t get hit with overage charges.  2Gb for only $10 more provides not just double the cell data allotment but for even relatively heavy social users breathing room for their consumption.  And, of course, unlimited voice and texting add to the sense of security users have in knowing what their monthly bill will be.

The users who will not be happy with these new plans are what I call the 5% users:  those heavy multimedia users that disproportionately overload the network.  If they don’t change their ways, these plans will likely be very expensive for them.  The good news is that it is increasingly easy for these users to make simple changes to their online behavior and not incur massive mobile bills: using WiFi.

Verizon, and the other operators, are looking to shift the data load from cellular to WiFi with these plans.  Users adapt their behavior very quickly, and these plans will focus users on better utilizing WiFi where available.  Considering that we believe that over 70 percent of most users’ time is spent within range of a WiFi network, it should not be that hard for even heavy users to find a connection that does not consume their data quota.  The challenge for the operators is how to build out their SP WiFi networks to keep up with demand.

Just as family plans pooled voice minutes for multiple users Verizon Wireless has expanded the concept slightly to apply to a single user with multiple devices.  It makes a lot of sense, it is pretty easy to understand, and it is about time.

For more information about ACG Research's mobile infrastructure service, click here or contact

Chris Nicoll 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Digital Marketing: Creating Campaigns and Revenue Online

Successfully growing brand requires a large audience, impressions via word of mouth and targeted campaigns. Several impressions or endorsements from friends or someone you trust are required to solidify preference and ensure loyalty. 

The advent of social media has made it easier to disseminate impressions and offer incentives to “tell a friend” for a discount or special offer. Getting the most out of your investment dollars for advertising spend; refining the message; finding what resonates with the target profile;, and quickly changing the ad or campaign can be challenging. Several companies have emerged that are approaching brand, campaign results and improvement in return on investment via digital marketing — and making a difference.

For more information about ACG Research's cloud service, click here or contact

Lauren Robinette

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cloud: Company Profiles

The service offers for cloud require several critical elements: On-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service. Many companies deliver products and services to address these requirements. Lauren Robinette interviews leaders in cloud computing and managed services. Find out what they have to say about their companies in the following Business Deep Dives:
For more information about ACG Research's cloud services, click here or contact

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Take: Cisco ASR 5500 Mobile Core Solution

The Starent acquisition continues to pay strong dividends for Cisco, not just in terms of revenue but now in setting a new architecture direction with the ASR 5500. While the rest of the industry is using routers, Cisco just unveiled a new purpose-built platform supporting data, signaling and services in one system. This is a huge step forward.

Conventional wisdom says that signaling planes and data planes have to be handled separately by separate systems. Cisco just turned that thinking on its head with the ASR 5500.  A business case analysis by ACG Research shows the ASR 5500 solution has 47% lower five-year cumulative TCO than the competitor’s solution; CapEx is 51% and OpEx is 32%.

The key benefits of the ASR 5500 is in its elastic architecture and the ability to shift key processing capabilities on demand to meet mobile operators' shifting needs. The benefits are extended to smaller operators that are trying to simplify their infrastructures and will like the combined architecture. Tier 1 mobile operators will also appreciate the benefits as they constantly deal with huge demands on signaling and data and need the capacity the 5500 delivers.  

The hidden gem in the ASR 5500 may be the ability to turn on services, such as DPI, without taking the huge 40 to 60 percent performance hit router-based systems experience. DPI is a "quiet killer" of performance in mobile networks.

With the ASR 5500 solution, Cisco is leveraging Starent's knowledge of advanced processors and a sophisticated software architecture to create a highly capable mobile architecture that competitors will find hard to match. As operators focus on cost control to lower the barriers to profitability of its mobile networks, the ability of the Cisco ASR 5500 solution to combine functions and scale in a single system brings elasticity and flexibility to support unpredictable loads compared to separate architectures.

The Internet of Things represents a focus area for operators to monetize their networks. It has its own challenges such as signaling more than data loads and scaling with upward of two times more devices than subscribers to support. The ASR5500 provides that scale.

To watch the HotSeat video of Chris Nicoll and Tony Schoener discussing how the mobile network requires a new approach to handling signaling and data loads and the how the Cisco ASR 5500 uniquely solves the problems of 4G networks click here.

Chris Nicoll 

Business Case for the Cisco ASR 5500 Solution

ACG Research analyzed the total cost of ownership (TCO) of meeting requirements for scale and flexibility in the mobile multimedia core for the Cisco ASR 5500 and a leading competitor’s solution. The analysis found that the ASR 5500 solution has 47% lower five-year cumulative TCO than the competitor’s solution; CapEx is 51% and OpEx is 32% lower. LTE deployments are ramping up, and many vendors have been talking up their mobile packet core expertise and preparing their next-gen platforms. This TCO analyzes why the Cisco ASR 5500 solution is a compelling product. Read more.

For more on the ASR 5500 solution watch the ACG Cisco ASR 5500 HotSeat video featuring Chris Nicoll and Tony Schoener discussing how the mobile network requires a new approach to handling signaling and data loads and the how the Cisco ASR 5500, which is a purpose-built platform, uniquely solves the problems of 4G networks.

Michael Kennedy