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Closing the Small Cell Loop

Folks,

We are in the midst of exciting times. As the small cell industry gathers here in London for the annual Small Cells World Summit, I’m delighted to welcome the world-class team from Ubiquisys into Cisco.  At the same time, we’re announcing the formation of a new Small Cell Wireless Backhaul Ecosystem with the top vendors in the industry.

Let me start with an introduction, since this is my first SP 360 blog.  I’m the VP/GM of the new Cisco Small Cell Technology Group.  Cisco has been investing in both internal engineering development and external acquisitions in small cell technology for several years now, and this moment marks a milestone in our long-term strategic plan.

We have the industry leading carrier-grade SP Wi-Fi solution, and one of the largest residential femto deployments with over 1 million devices deployed by AT&T.  We’ve learned a great deal over the years about how to rapidly deploy licensed and unlicensed small cells with zero touch provisioning, keeping costs low and customer satisfaction high.

We’ve been partnering with Ubiquisys for quite some time because we see them as industry leaders and in fact one of the founders of the small cell industry.  Now that we have their expertise in-house, we’re able to rapidly roll out an expanding portfolio of licensed small cells to meet the widening array of deployment needs.  This also means that we are adding decentralized SON capability to our centralized SON proficiency gained through the recent Intucell acquisition.

In February we announced the ASR 901S, a small cell backhaul router that brings hardened network intelligence into some of the more challenging environments where small cells are being deployed.  Today we are announcing Read More »

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My Global Small Cell Experiences

Traveling has been a large part of my career at Cisco. Over the last few years I have had the opportunity to travel to customer meetings around the world, discussing their innovation and use cases for Cisco Small Cell Solutions.  What’s interesting is when I spoke with operators in Europe, the prime drivers for WIFI has been connecting cities and stadiums for special events….the summer Olympics was a great example.,   While in the US, I have met with operators about connected stadiums, retail malls, museums and more.   The most interesting story was a visit to the Middle East. We were in Dubai, and seeing some of the examples of where they wanted to take Cisco SP Wi-Fi Solution was fascinating. There was one location in particular that I dubbed “Candy Land”, because it had a retail venue, it had an amusement park, it had a stadium, it had a race track — all in one location on an island. This operator was going to talk to the owner of the island about how they could provide SP Wi-Fi for all of those venues. I was talking to another operator in the Middle East, and one of the things they were looking to provide SP Wi-Fi for was The Hajj. There are millions of people that go to Mecca yearly, and they just need connectivity, for a lot of different reasons; I found that absolutely fascinating. Each part of the globe has unique use cases to each of their country’s cultures and people, but they all want to be part of the wireless world. Read More »

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The Mobile Paradox

Today’s world is characterized by what I call the “mobile explosion”—an environment defined by mobile cloud becoming a platform for delivering everything. It is a world of heterogeneous networks, licensed macro small cell networks, and unlicensed small cell networks (Wi-Fi for example), all seamlessly combined. In this world, however, I believe we are facing a mobile paradox: on the one hand, there is a staggering demand for data from our smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices; on the other hand, the telecommunications industry is grappling with business and monetization challenges around profitability, how to build up these networks fast enough, and competition from over-the-top (OTT) operators.  But, operators are struggling with building the business case and understanding how to make Wi-Fi pay.

The much quoted Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) predicts that global mobile data traffic will increase 13-fold from 2012 to 2017, reaching 11.2 exabytes per month. In parallel, the use of unlicensed small cell networks (Wi-Fi) for Internet access is exploding as more mobile devices are Wi-Fi-enabled, the number of public hotspots expands, and user acceptance grows. Until recently, most technologists and mobile industry executives viewed Wi-Fi as the “poor cousin” to licensed mobile communications.  And they most certainly never saw any role for Wi-Fi in mobile networks or their business. The explosion of mobile data traffic has changed all of that. Most mobile operators now realize that offloading data traffic to Wi-Fi can, and must, play a significant role in helping them avoid clogged networks and unhappy customers.

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In the “Business Models and Monetization Video” in Big Thinkers in Small Cells, my colleagues and I discuss revenue opportunities and challenges mobile operators face today with small cells, both licensed and unlicensed. Mobile operators Read More »

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Adaptive Radio Modules for the 3600 Series AP: Best of Interop 2013 Finalist

We’ve been really busy but also very thrilled about the work we’re doing to future-proofing the network, and it seems we’re not alone. One of our latest innovations, adaptive radio modules for the AP3600, has been selected by UBM as a Best of Interop finalist for the Wireless award category!

Best of Interop Finalist

It’s an honor to be recognized for our innovation and technological advancements in wireless, and we wanted to share a bit more about our submission with you.

What are the Adaptive Radio Modules?

The Adaptive Radio Modules a family of solutions in a modular form factor that allows customers to adapt their wireless network to their current and future needs. The Adaptive Radio Modules provide a dedicated third radio that can be field upgraded on the 3600 Access Point.

Cisco offers three adaptive radio modules for the 3600 Access Point:

Read More »

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Introduction of Big Thinkers in Small Cells

Over the past five years, the adoption of small cells has increased dramatically. At Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year the Small Cell Forum announced that we have now crossed the threshold where there are more small cells deployed than macro cells in the world. Clearly, small cells are playing, and will continue to play a critical role in the global mobile infrastructure.

Over the last 18 months Cisco has doubled-down on its investments in small cells, from dramatic growth and scaling of our Service Provider Wi-Fi solution to our recently announced intent to acquire licensed small cell leader Ubiquisys.  With this opportunity, Cisco has a responsibility to address the challenges we face in small cell deployments. How do we help mobile and cable operators around the world address the issue of cost effective coverage and capacity using small cells?  How do we work with the small cell ecosystem, including mobile partners and thought leaders in this industry, to create successful, and profitable, deployments of small cells by operators around the world? How do we work with enterprise organizations to deploy small cells? Read More »

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