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Cisco Unveils GlobalDSL Strategy for ISPs

Cisco Systems Inc. Tuesday unveiled its global broadband strategy to help service providers take digital subscriber line services to market.

The Cisco (CSCO) strategy, dubbed GlobalDSL, is designed to allow access providers to increase revenues by expanding their markets into broadband services. The program attempts to eradicate barriers to DSL deployment by simplifying IP and ATM service solutions, extending independent ISPs market and service reach, and provide high-speed mobile DSL access.

Enzo Signore, Cisco DSL marketing director, said overcoming the obstacles that ISPs endure while deploying high-speed services would help access providers tap into a lucrative market segment.

"The total access market, including dial-up, ISDN, cable, DSL and wireless, is forecasted to have over 50 million subscribers in North America by the year 2003," Signore said. "The DSL market is predicted to have around 10 million subscribers in the same timeframe."

"By overcoming obstacles that have impeded the widespread growth of DSL, the Cisco GlobalDSL strategy will enable service providers to more quickly and broadly deploy high-speed services over DSL," Signore added.

Ron Westfall, Current Analysis, Inc. senior analyst, said Cisco's GlobalDSL strategy is just the stimulant ISPs need to deploy DSL services.

"Cisco's GlobalDSL strategy offers clear benefits to service providers worldwide, not just in the way of services and reach, but also in scale," Westfall said. "The GlobalDSL strategy puts Cisco in a position to be the major catalyst for a DSL mass market."

The foundation for the Cisco GlobalDSL strategy is its IP DSL Switching, which is powered by Cisco IOS software. The switching tandem allows service providers to deploy a new caliber of premium, managed IP plus ATM data, voice and video services for business and consumer applications over a single access network.

Cisco contends its breakthrough platform is a step above ATM-based and frame-based DSLAMs currently being deployed. The switching system is the crux of its three-part global DSL deployment strategy.

First, Internet service providers need to increase their portfolio of broadband DSL services in order to retain customers as standard dial-up services become commoditized. The Cisco DSL switches enable ISPs to competitively differentiate their high-speed services and increase customer loyalty and revenue.

Removing distance barriers of DSL services is the second barrier that Cisco can help ISPs overcome. Currently, the DSL subscriber market is largely under-served because of distance barriers from the central office or the lack of the right equipment to deploy high-speed services. Cisco's multi-service applications are designed to cover virtually all of the addressable DSL market.

Third, Cisco's strategy addresses DSL mobility so end-users can enjoy the benefits of broadband access when traveling or connecting from other locations.

Curtis Price, Stratecast Partners program director, said mobility is an essential service to provide customers if DSL is going to breakout as a mainstream high-speed service.

"If DSL is to be a mass market, mobility is key," Price said. "DSL has to possess the characteristics that have made dial access so ubiquitous. With its GlobalDSL strategy, Cisco is taking an active role in addressing the right criteria for making DSL mobility happen."