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16 October 2009
When you look at Cisco's recent movements in the acquisition space it is possible to see where the vendor believes the next stage of the internet is heading and what parts of the infrastructure jigsaw are going to be needed to support that.
In one word, the future is about "video", but beyond that the demand is going to be for greater portability, and the mobile internet is a phrase that is going to be used with increasingly frequency.
A fortnight ago $3bn was put on the table by Cisco to pick up video conferencing vendor Tandberg. Then last week a similar amount of money, $2.9bn, was the offer made for mobile internet specialist Starent.
Over the past few years Cisco has talked a lot about the development of the infrastructure moving from the age of convergence, with voice and data coming together, into the age of collaboration, where video will play a greater role.
The moves it is making now are designed to ensure that when the rest of the world catches up with wanting that sort of functionality it can deliver.
It is becoming clear that on top of video, the other feature that is going to be in demand is mobility.
Over the course of the recession Cisco has started to make moves into not just the video space but, with Starent, the mobile video arena.
Underneath it all is the power of the internet, which has changed what is expected in terms of data and video being shared and what users demand.
In a blog post on Cisco's website accompanying the Starent announcement, Simon Aspinall, service provider marketing at the vendor, wrote that the web had changed everything and the market for mobile applications was continuing to grow.
"Consumers and businesses are using mobile devices in innovative ways for entertainment, social networking, collaboration and business productivity - often accessing services and information that are stored and run centrally.
"As an example of the growth of new services on the mobile internet, almost 64% of the world's mobile data traffic will be video by 2013, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index," he said.