California dreaming on such a 5G day (OK, three days)

Well that was a really great conference.  Yes, Mobile World Congress – Americas 2018 has come and gone, and Cisco had a very positive impact during this past week.  I’m writing this blog to provide you with a recap of the event and activities where Cisco was a participant.

Oh, yes, and indeed it never rains in southern California (at least last week) – the weather was nice the entire week with blue skies and comfortable temps.


We led off this event with some major announcements:

  • T-Mobile and Cisco together announced the completion of commercial deployment for a 100% virtualized evolved packet core network supporting their 70 million customers.
    • Includes Cisco Ultra-M packet core for all control and user plane functions, including policy and vDRA
    • Cisco NFVI as the NFV foundation to support carrier-grade scaling and stability
    • This platform will enable T-Mobile to more easily deploy 5G connected experiences for their customers nationwide faster than ever before.
    • T-Mobile expects to launch 5G for customers in 2019 when smartphones become available, with nationwide coverage in 2020 and Cisco will be with them all the way.
    • More information regarding the industry leading virtualized packet core – Cisco Ultra
  • Introduced the 4th generation ASR 9000
    • 4x bandwidth slot increase compared to previous generation, up to 3.2Tbps from 800G
    • Reinforcing Cisco positioning in 5G networks as ASR 9000 powers mobile operators’ networks with rich Layer2/Layer3 VPN functions, multicast, timing capabilities and Segment Routing based slicing capabilities
  • Industry first end-to-end 5G NR Standalone (SA) live data call at 28 GHz using Cisco cloud packet core and PHAZR 5G NR Standalone
  • New members to the Open vRAN eco-system including ASOCS Network and Radisys – welcome.

All of these solution showcases have been recorded by Cisco TV and will soon be available as Video-on-Demand demos.  So stay tuned…

We also introduce three (3) new white papers on 5G cloud native packet core and innovations in self-optimizing networks (SON).


Making it a better experience by thinking out-of-the-box:

Cisco chose to “upscale” our customer’s experience with the use of a suite that included meeting rooms and solution showcases (live demos) rather than the noise and crowd of the exhibition floor.  This proved to be a good move as several of our guests and executives commented on the reduced stress and better quality conversations.

Figure 1: View entering Cisco suite.


We had over 80 meetings over the two and a half days at the event.  During these meetings we strengthened our relationships and shared Cisco’s vision and strategy for a 5G world and the solutions that can make it a profitable reality.  These meetings included both service providers and enterprises who look to Cisco as the unique market leader for the four critical components of 5G success – Cloud, Network, Security and Enterprise.

The solution showcases further emphasized this leadership by providing live demonstrations of what is possible today and included the following:

  • Open vRAN, multi-vendor, end-to-end solution that is pre-certified and fully deployable.
    • This is a 4G radio network with MEC for video caching and packet core user plane forwarding, and private cloud deployment of the centralized core functions
    • This solution included several Open vRAN eco-system partners – notably, Tech Mahindra, Altiostar, Intel, Redhat, Qwilt and of course, Cisco.
  • Industry first end-to-end 5G NR Standalone (SA) live data call at 28 GHz using PHAZR’s virtualized RAN and Cisco’s cloud native 5G Core.
  • Instantiation of the Cisco Ultra 5G Standalone packet core functions on Google Cloud Platform.
Figure 2: Cisco experts speaking at MWC-Americas.

Hearing from Cisco experts on key topics:

Cisco participated in seven different speaker sessions covering range of interesting topics.  All were well attended.

  • Jonathan Davidson on Automating the network: AI and ML
  • Kishen Mangat on Mobile IoT Deployments
  • Bob Everson – Fiercewireless Breakfast session on RAN Innovation (a great platform to discuss our Open vRAN momentum)
  • Sam Samuel on Blockchain for the Enterprise
  • Sam Samuel – Driving Data to the edge
  • Humberto La Roche on The Network
  • Sujata Ramamoorthy – Women 4 Technology



Sponsorships and activities:

Aside from several speaker sessions, meetings and showcasing “success-in-action”, Cisco was the MWC-Americas 2018 sponsor for 5G IoT – this is another Cisco strength as a unique partner able to bring leading edge IoT solutions for ANY ACCESS which is key in a 5G world.

Cisco also teamed with the GSMA to sponsor a dinner for invited customers and partners at the top of the Ritz-Carlton at Wolfgang Puck’s WP24 restaurant – it was a fun and delicious evening for all.

Figure 3: Our customers and executives enjoying dinner.


Speaking of food for the mind and the tummy, Cisco’s own Bob Everson, Global Director for 5G and Mobility Sales was the speaker at Fiercewireless’s breakfast symposium on RAN Innovation.  This is a natural topic for the founding member of the Open vRAN alliance.

So concludes our summaries of an event that exceeded even our lofty expectations.  Looking forward to out-doing ourselves at next year’s MWC-Americas, and in the meantime – See you all in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress in February 2019.


Dan Kurschner

Marketing Manager, Product/Systems