Cisco has been once again recognized for our 5G leadership by winning the Fierce Innovations Award for “Next Gen Deployment Wireless” for our “Reimagined 5G Network”.  The cited deployment is with Japan’s ground-breaking mobile provider, Rakuten Mobile.  Rakuten shares Cisco’s vision for a better 5G experience by discarding the status quo and reimagining what a mobile network should be for the 5G era.

It is well accepted that 5G is, and must be, different.  Whereas 4G was about better connectivity, 5G is about connected experiences for the consumer and for businesses. The 5G network must be a software-defined, intent-based network; meaning that it is designed and built to organically support new applications and services – rather than force-fit as we have had in earlier generations.

Cisco has created the industry’s first cloudified mobile network, fully virtualized from RAN-to-Core with end-to-end automation for network and services. Radio access supports 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi / Wi-Fi 6, and IoT access. This disruptive architecture enables the mobile operator to deliver a broad suite of services including consumer mobile, NB-IOT, rich media, and low-latency services including AR/VR. All services benefit from an innovative software-defined architecture enabling a differentiated user experience.

The Cisco 5G Network is built on three principles:

·      Software Defined Programmable Infrastructure
·      Zero Touch, End-to-End Automation and Assurance
·      Distributed and Common Carrier Grade Telco Cloud

By working together, the new Rakuten Mobile network went from concept to commercial use in a record 16 months.  Attributing to the software-defined nature of this network, it cost approximately 35% less than a “traditional” build and operations costs are equally low.  With all that, this is arguably one of the most resilient networks by design thanks to the cloudified, disaggregated design which includes multi-active redundancies.

This is the third industry award recognizing the Cisco 5G software-defined “Reimagined” network in 2019. The first two, given to Rakuten Mobile, were the Light reading Leading Lights awards for “Most Innovative Telco Cloud Strategy by an operator” and “Most Innovative Automation Strategy by an Operator”.  Cisco has been actively engaged with several operators around the globe working with them as they work to evolve to a software-defined 5G network.

This is just one more reason why Cisco is the most important 5G vendor.  Congratulations to everyone who made this a success.


Dan Kurschner

Marketing Manager, Product/Systems