Horizon Kinetics Comments on Cisco Systems
For obvious reasons, Cisco Systems (“Cisco”) (CSCO), the dominant provider of networking and communications equipment, conducts ongoing studies of expected changes in demand for internet usage, wireless data usage and so forth, and actually maintains indices of such usage. Cisco expects mobile data traffic for the five years between now and the end of 2016 to increase 17-fold. That is an astounding figure. It is certainly related to the global adoption, still in the early phases, of smart phones and tablet computers. There are technological efficiencies that will accommodate some of that demand. For instance, broadband transmission speed is expected to increase by 3.5x. But those who are concerned with logistical preparation for such matters believe that more spectrum must be had. The value of spectrum could rise greatly. At the moment, we do not believe that potential is reflected in the price of Dish Network shares, so Dish might be said to incorporate at least two predictive attributes: an owner-operator and a dormant or unrecognized asset.