By 2023, 34 percent of all mobile connections will be IoT connections, up from 13 percent in 2018 (Cisco Annual Internet Report, 2019). As the leading cellular connectivity management platform, Control Center reflects this accelerating IoT trend day to day in our device counts. Since we acquired Jasper and its software platform Control Center in 2016, the platform has grown 800 percent. We have more than 160M cellular devices connected, including 60M connected cars. Our monthly growth is up to 4M new devices and accelerating. Our customers choose us over and over because we help them tackle one of their most pressing business problems – managing cellular IoT connectivity at scale. As we sit on the cusp of 5G’s explosive growth, Cisco only sees this challenge becoming more urgent for service providers.
Today Cisco is excited to announce the platform’s next round of market-leading innovations and a new brand – Cisco Jasper Control Center is now Cisco IoT Control Center. Our enhanced platform integrates with Cisco’s comprehensive IoT portfolio. This combination empowers service providers to build a robust IoT services business both today and as 5G evolves. We’re proud that IoT analyst and tech evangelist James Brehm recently stated, “Cisco IoT Control Center is the leading connectivity management platform, helping service providers on multiple fronts.”
Let’s take a sneak peek at the new innovations, starting with data.
Machine learning automates IoT management
IoT generates vast amounts of data per day – quantities that surpass any human’s ability to process. IoT businesses are trying to become proactive – they need to know customer problems exist well before the customer calls with complaints. Cisco has observed that when devices proliferate, service provider support problems worsen exponentially.
But there is an antidote – by applying machine learning to connectivity data, you can find needles in the haystack and identify problems before they impact customers. Cisco IoT Control Center’s new proactive IoT functionality helps in two ways. First it identifies abnormal behavior that often indicates security issues or malfunctioning equipment, and second it reduces connectivity costs by automatically adjusting rate plans. Through these capabilities, service providers can proactively alert customers to potential problems and empower users to address them right in Control Center before they have a negative impact.
Astus, which specializes in adaptive telemetry and fleet management, was a beta customer of this innovation through one of our service provider partners. Alberto Mouron, Director of Information Technologies & Operations at Astus was delighted by the results. “Cisco IoT Control Center’s proactive IoT capabilities allow us, among other functionalities, to optimize our data plans and achieve significant cost savings of up to 20 percent!” Meanwhile, service providers enjoy lowered support costs and avoid unpredictable customer credits, which are an industry-wide pain point when customers call with bill shock.
Simplifying SIM portability between operators
A second challenge to address is SIM portability. Today, when service providers transfer SIM management to other carriers, they must manage multiple costly integrations. The process is difficult and error prone and will only intensify as global supply chains become the norm. Cisco IoT Control Center now provides eSIM as a service, enabling a true, turnkey SIM portability solution that delivers on the original vision of eSIM: fast, reliable, cost-effective SIM handoffs between service providers.
Smoothing the evolution to 5G
5G is revolutionary because it can support a diverse range of use cases, from simple to complex, at very high device densities – it’s a clear choice for powering IoT. However, service providers need to focus on more than preparing networks upgrades to ensure 5G’s success. The third challenge service providers must tackle is turning 5G possibilities into concrete examples and bringing high-value use cases to market at scale.
Cisco is partnering with both key service providers and their customers to incubate and codify common 5G use cases that will drive industry value. Our work with Dutch service provider KPN and machine builder ExRobotics, for example, explores using autonomously guided robots to perform jobs that are too dangerous for humans in fields like oil & gas. ExRobotics, is building robots that will be able to do much more sophisticated tasks when the ultra-low latency of 5G becomes widely available. KPN and Cisco are working to help translate this use case into clear protocol for implementing robot-aided safety checks in dangerous industries.
Maurice Janssen Duijghuijsen, Vice President of Sales, IoT & Data Driven Solutions, pledges, “KPN and Cisco are committed to providing strategic thought leadership to help customers leverage cellular IoT and drive their digital transformation forward.”
By 2023, 5G will make up more than 10 percent of global mobile connections, with even higher concentrations in key markets like North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific (Cisco Annual Internet Report, 2019). Control Center is committed to bringing the same scale to 5G and now supports 5G Non-standalone (NSA), with 5G Standalone (SA) readiness by the end of 2020. Service providers can trial 5G capabilities and tailor service offerings to meet specific performance needs today, such as private 5G. They can evolve to latency-sensitive use cases as slicing is rolled out.
For years, service providers have relied on Control Center to manage their cellular networks, and now thanks to Cisco’s innovations, the future is even brighter. Service providers can continue to depend on Cisco IoT Control Center as their launchpad for achieving cellular IoT at scale today and as 5G evolves.
If you’d like to learn more, please visit our website on Control Center.