Chinese telecom equipment manufacturers are having a hard time worldwide, after the US Government’s crackdown on Huawei. Australia has already banned Huawei from its national broadband network project, and recently, Canada banned Huawei from its Government network setup. Huawei is the largest telecom equipment manufacturer in the world, and it has taken a hit from all the bad press. However, another Chinese firm ZTE has also been the subject of investigations along with Huawei.
After Huawei, now ZTE is facing the heat, as it was involved in banned sales of computer equipment from Cisco to Iran’s telecom companies. ZTE is Cisco’s sales partner, and Iran is in the list of Cisco’s embargoed countries. The incident first surfaced back in March and Cisco was quick to launch a probe into the matter. There have been intermittent reports of both Huawei and ZTE facing trouble since around the same time. Cisco found that ZTE was indeed guilty, and this sparked a series of investigations by the US Government, with FBI launching a criminal probe as well. With this, the five-year-old ZTE Cisco partnership comes to an end.
Steve Stecklow at Reuters Canada writes,
The stories sparked internal probes by the companies involved, as well as investigations by the U.S. Commerce Department, a congressional committee, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. ZTE’s general counsel at its Texas-based subsidiary alleged that the parent company plotted a cover-up, including possibly shredding documents, after the first Reuters story broke.
The Cisco-ZTE partnership was made for the sole purpose of competing with Huawei. However, ZTE and Cisco teams never got together. While ZTE was successful in selling Cisco equipment in China, Cisco was not too keen on selling ZTE equipment in the US.
Cisco Systems has announced that they are building a suite of Linux-based products under the “Videoscape” brand to rival the likes of Google and Apple in their STB offerings. Very much like the Google TV or Apple TV, the Videoscape devices will have capabilities of accessing cable TV as well web video content.
The device will consist of a media gateway, an IP set top box and other Linux-based components which will enable consumers to not only access web content, but also search and manage cable TV, Internet video and video-conferencing . Furthermore, the consumer will able to watch their subscribed content from any of their devices like smartphones and tablet PCs.
Cisco plans to unveil two versions of their set-top-box. The first one, a Cisco TES301 IP Managed Services Gateway, will be an application-centric gateway that would integrate voice, high speed data, online video and routing. Other services like home monitoring and security will also be available as additional offerings.
The second and more advanced device , Cisco DRG 7000 Series IP Video Gateway, will be able to stream high-definition video to multiple devices through conversion of MPEG4 video from multicast to unicast. It will support industry standards like MoCA and DLNA.
Integration to social media websites will also be included enabling the user to share the content he’s watching with his friends.
Withholding the price of the device, Cisco has decided not to make these devices available off-the-shelf, for direct consumer consumption. Instead, Cisco plans to tie-up with service providers and make them available through cable operators. Currently only Australia’s Telstra has decided to offer these high-end STBs to their customers.
Cisco has finally entered into the tablet market with the launch of its Android based tablet named Cisco Cius. Cisco believes that Cius is a business tablet and it is definitely not a competitor of Apple iPad. This device has a 7 inch diagonal, high-resolution color screen with contact-based touch targets which delivers an elegant and intuitive experience. Check out the specs of this device below.
- Atom Processor 1.6Ghz
- 32GB of Flash storage
- 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3G/4G
- Bluetooth 3
- HD video (720p) with Cisco TelePresence
- 7diagonal (unknown exact resolution)
- External display support
- 8-hour battery
- Virtual desktop client
- Android operating system
- Cisco Quad, Cisco Show and Share, WebEx, Presence, and IM
- Cisco AnyConnect Security VPN Client
This device can run modified Android Apps as well as Cisco’s software products such as Cisco Quad, WebEx, Show and Share, Presence and Cisco TelePresence. It has support for both USB 2.0 and Bluetooth 3.0 keyboards, mouse, and headsets. The Intel Atom 1.6-Ghz processor and 32-GB of flash memory allows you to run and store Android applications locally.
Cius supports various connectivity options such as 3G/4G, Wi-Fi, Micro-USB and Bluetooth. This device has a front facing camera with HD (720p) video recording capability and a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera. These cameras can be easily used for teleconferencing. The price of this device is not announced yet and it is expected to be shipped in early 2011.
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Cisco has a stronghold on the world of routers and voice and video data transfer technologies. Finally it is exploiting this and jumping into the social networking business with its latest product, the Quad.
Though with so many social networks around us and a few of them catering to business and professional aspects exclusively, there is saturation in this market. So what makes Cisco think it’s network is going to survive?
Well, Cisco here is relying on its supreme video and voice communication technologies and is making this new platform not just a social network but a complete collaboration platform with sharing and live discussions of data, video chatting and web conferencing.
Cisco has made it clear that the product will release this year-end though, it has not announced any price yet. Once released, Quad will be available for the iPhone and iPad. Cisco has an array of technologies related to voice, IM and video communication and Quad seems to be an integration of these technologies. This product can be an instant hit within business enterprise solutions and professionals.