Mobile World Congress (MWC) continues to set records for attendance with 101,000 people through the doors according to GSMA. At our Cisco booth we hosted over 450 meetings with Service Providers, and as usual the discussions were frank and insightful.


The “smorgasbord” of topics covered with our customers ranged from the immediate business challenge to profitability from OpEx growth and service erosion to OTT, to the future and how to grab a slice of IoT pie, plus evolve networks to a post 2020 “5G” era. These discussions are always food for thought, especially with so many diverse SPs in such a short period of time. So after digesting all this on the flights home, here is what’s in my doggy bag of takeaways to start getting my teeth into:

  • NFV needs to be phased: although Virtualisation is now common practice for new network functions, we need to show SPs a phased evolution of their networks. A hybrid environment is inevitable, as Physical nodes continue to take the lion share of bandwidth, and existing assets need to be sweated for several years to come. Yet the value of Virtual functions for better agility and TCO can still be realised.
  • 5G is not just about the Radio: instead an architectural evolution to support a vast range of service requirements, which will be access agnostic.
  • IoT is about platforms not networks: networks need to be optimised for IoT, but the real value is in connecting to eco-systems. Therefore we need platforms for SPs enabling the Mobile network as a service (NaaS), plus exposing network intelligence.
  • Wi-Fi is set for a 3rd phase of monetisation: from access to offload to now as a platform for connected cities.

These topics, dear to the heart of our SP customers are shaping the networks we are creating. As we continue to enhance our solutions I’m looking forward to providing the latest updates at the upcoming Small Cell Asia and MWC Shanghai events.

So I’ll get stuck into my MWC16 home-work building even better networks for Mobile Service Providers, and let others wonder is Virtual Reality is now reality.


“Virtual Reality becomes reality?: Hugo Gernsback wearing his TV Glasses in 1963, and VR at MWC16”


Andrew Mackay

Head of Mobile Solutions

Asia-Pacific Region