A few days before Mobile World Congress, the world’s elite Formula 1 teams tested their cars and skills at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. F-1 racing is a thrilling blend of courage, precision, technology, and teamwork: the same things service providers use to compete in the race to deploy seamless, profitable mobility services.
This year was my first time at Mobile World Congress, and I got a rush from it as if I were driving an F-1. Cisco CEO John Chambers set the pace for the event, saying, “We are now entering the post-macrocell era, where small cells also will play a critical role in delivering the next generation mobile Internet.”
As part of this shift, Cisco extends its M.O.VE reference architecture for service provider mobility with two major announcements at the show. We announced the industry’s first standards-based small cell solution, providing coverage and capacity solutions built off Wi-Fi and Femto technologies. Our Cisco Small Cell Gateway serves as the back-end control, integrating 2G/3G/4G with Wi-Fi and Femto. It’s built on Cisco ASR 5000 Series packet core. Second, we announced the Cisco Next Generation Hotspot, the first Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA)-validated implementation of the Hotspot 2.0 standard.
So given the hype around Small Cells and Wi-Fi at MWC, what makes Cisco different? I present you the following:
- Real products. Real customers. Cisco has real solutions, shipping today, and real customer deployments. At Mobile World Congress, we announced six small cell customers, including: BT, Shaw, Portugal Telecom, PCCW, True, and Smart; and six packet-core customers including: Magyar Telekom, LGU +, Vodafone Hungary, Telefonica Spain, Bell Mobility, and du. Along with these customers, we announced our partnership with Google and Samsung, which also support our small cell solution.
- Market Momentum. Cisco is first to market Next Generation Hotspot, which enables carrier-grade, seamless roaming between cellular and Wi-Fi networks. It includes an upgrade solution for most of the 12 million existing Cisco Access Points already deployed worldwide.
- Standards based. Cisco has always pushed standards-based solutions, supporting multivendor interoperability and longevity. Cisco is the principal co-author of the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) Hotspot 2.0 specification and developed the first WBA-validated Next Generation Hotspot solution from access points to clients, shipping today.
- Multivendor technology integration. Cisco is shipping proven, purpose-built mobility platforms that integrate heterogeneous access networks with licensed and unlicensed radios, adding automatic roaming and application-aware quality of service (QoS) features for premium video and hosted collaboration services.
Taken together, these advantages reinforce the value of an architectural approach to mobile internetworking. Our architectures address your issues for coverage, capacity and compelling user experiences. Cisco is transforming the mobile Internet with our latest small cell and Next Generation Hotspot solutions, backed by our intelligent packet core networks that support cloud services, positioning our service provider customers to rev their engines in the race to new monetization opportunities.
As for me, I’m all fueled up with ideas and enthusiasm for the year ahead, but I am definitely looking forward to the work leading up to next year’s Mobile World Congress.
For more information:
Cisco VNI 2012 report
Cisco Next-Generation Hotspot
Cisco ASR 5000 Series
Cisco SP Wi-Fi Video Data Sheet (please see video below)