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Three Years Is A Mobile Eternity

Three years ago I wrote a paper “Top Ten Considerations for a Successful Evolved Packet Core Deployment” (if you want a bit of history, check it out here). In that paper, I listed flexibility as the #2 consideration and control plane/signaling as the #3 consideration. Number 1 was an “Open Evolved Packet Core.”

I think I was wrong. Today I believe that Control Plane/Signaling and flexibility should have been and should be co-Number 1s. Not that an open EPC is not needed, it surely is, but it’s now taken for granted that the EPC is the common core for all access mechanisms moving forward. Don’t feel bad Open EPC, Number 3 still isn’t bad.

Three years is an eternity in the mobile market and the one thing for certain is that there is no certainty. The market is moving faster and in more directions than anyone could have imagined. We are moving from applications based on individual consumers to applications for both consumers and things. Usage is no longer predictable as users bring their own devices and developers are producing new applications faster than Usain Bolt.

If I look at my family and household, 5 years ago we had one PC in the house that connected to the Internet. Now each member of my family has at least three or more personal devices that connect to the Internet. In addition, our cars, our power/gas meters, our fire/burglar alarms, our Xbox/Wii. We have gone from 1 device to probably northward of 20 or more devices just in our house. Each device connects with different bandwidths, signaling requirements, and sessions. Within each device, there is likely to be multiple bearers requiring signaling for each bearer. The figure below is in a recent Heavy Reading paper that was recently published entitled “The Evolution of Signaling Challenge in 3G and 4G Networks.

With this “New Normal,” networks have to be elastic, flexible, intelligent, reliable, and cost effective.

The key to being cost effective is to have the flexibility to address the diverse nature of mobile traffic moving forward. Mobile networks are not just about throughput; they have to be flexible for signaling, density, and throughput. They also have to be flexible from an access perspective. One minute I may be on 3G then 4G then WiFi. Being able to cost effectively support a user on these multiple access networks with multiple devices is absolutely critical.

The newest addition to the ASR 5000 Series is the ASR 5500. This new platform couples massive performance and scale with the flexibility, virtualization, and intelligence expected with the ASR 5000 Series that redefine the economics of the packet core. The ASR 5500 has been developed to address the anticipated increase in performance requirements (across throughput, signaling, transactions, and density) that the next-generation of the mobile internet will bring. The ASR 5500 platform consists of new ultra high performance hardware, while leveraging the virtualized Star OS software architecture. The ASR 5500 addresses the New Normal – Elastic, Flexible, Virtual. The right resources when you need it – Instantaneously.

Finally, a recent study by ACG Research shows the ASR 5500 provides up to: 47% lower cumulative five-year TCO with 51% lower CapEx and 32% lower OpEx than other solutions.

The ASR 5500 Elastic architecture redefines the economics of the packet core and enables the “mobility your way” for end users. For more information, please visit <www.cisco.com/go/asr5500>

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