Cable MSOs can Create New Revenue Streams with Cloud-based Big Data and Analytics for SMBs

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Cable MSOs can Create New Revenue Streams with Cloud-based Big Data and Analytics for SMBs

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Cable multiservice operators (MSOs) have embraced the need for broadband data, and with good reason. Broadband data demand is expected to grow by 560 percent over the next five years, according to a recent Bell Labs study, largely driven by demand for pay TV and video and cloud traffic generated from the proliferation of data centers.

Cable MSOs are doing well by their entertainment services bundled with residential broadband offers, but this revenue is under siege by the likes over over-the-top (OTT) video services such as Netflix and Apple. Hence, cable MSOs are constantly in search of new revenue opportunities.

One strong candidate for new revenue is commercial services for small and medium-sized business (SMBs). This area generated 10 percent of MSO revenue in 2014, according to Gilbert Marciano, CMO Strategic Marketing - Customer & Market Insight Senior Manager at Alcatel-Lucent, in a recent TechZine posting appropriately titled, Differentiate your SMB services with big data. In fact, it is noted that in the U.S. Comcast and Time Warner Cable together generated roughly $5.5 billion from the segment in 2013.

Specifically cited is the reality that cable MSOs are in a good place to offer cloud analytics services, since the infrastructure requirements to properly leverage big data is not cheap. Cable MSOs already have this critical infrastructure and thus have the ability to offer SMB analytics as a cloud service.

To offer such analytics services, however, cable MSOs must address the architectural challenge of connecting hundreds of geographically dispersed SMBs. As Marciano notes, this can be done with a distributed datacenter architecture that is connected by a multi-country IP network in the cloud.

“An ideal solution is to deploy software-defined networking (SDN), which brings this elasticity and automation,” Marciano explains. “Network elements are implemented as software (virtual machines) on a distributed cloud infrastructure whilst SDN brings scaling, responsiveness, and automation to the required interconnectivity.”

This removes the boundaries throughout and across the data centers, dynamically provisioning for a high number of separate VLANs, low bandwidth, high latency, and lack of resilience.

“It is suited to situations with highly volatile usage patterns and where resources requirements increase/decrease depending on loads,” says, Marciano. “This solution creates opportunity for cable operators.”

Indeed it does, and with cable MSOs already making significant headway in the business broadband sector, particularly with SMBs, analytics is a natural addition to their solutions portfolios.



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