A unified platform for enabling network services will be crucial to supporting the internet of things

By 2021 there will be more than 3.3 billion mobile connected internet of things (IoT) devices. This is going to have a big impact on the way we live: connected cars will mean safer and more efficient driving; smart devices in the home will offer us lifestyles of greater comfort, tailored to our own tastes; and smart cities will use technology to optimise the way things like traffic, utilities and street lighting are managed.

These new IoT services will raised new requirements on the network related to control and data usage, latency and power consumption. Moreover, in order to deliver the highest value to the applications and thus generate new revenues, network information exposure through open APIs and end-to-end security are becoming table stakes for the network. Success in IoT markets implies greater efficiency, control and flexibility that are provided by new 5G capabilities such as support of new access (e.g. NB-IOT, network slicing and service-based architecture .

A unified approach for a complex world

At Cisco, we are investing to develop technology that can meet future challenges. We have relased a 5G platform based on the idea of unified services enablement. It’s about implementing technology that works together to enables the network to operate as a single entity – one that’s secured, automated, flexible and ultra-reliable.

At the heart of our 5G approach is the Cisco Ultra Services Platform, a cloud-native mobile packet core and policy suite. Related to IOT specifically, Cisco Ultra Services supports key features to support the CIOT Serving Gateway Node (CSGN) terminating the IOT specific access technology (i.e. NB-IoT) as well as a Service Capability Exposure Function (eSCEF) allowing to connect to IOT application and expose network related information through an open API. These are building blocks for the evolution towards IOT and 5G.

Comprehensive security

A 5G world creates new opportunities, but it also means that security becomes even more important.

At Cisco, we understand that when everything is connected, your system has more potential entry points for threats. That’s why our unified enablement platform includes Cisco 5G Security architecture, which offers excellent visibility and threat intelligence, including for third party apps and services. It’s an orchestrated security suite that helps service providers keep their content, data and systems safe.

Delivering new IoT services with Altice Portugal

Altice Portugal and Cisco, in collaboration with Janz, developed a proof of concept of Water Telemetry to explore Cisco’s Ultra IoT capabilities to launch new IoT services . This system, which consists of the Cisco Ultra Services Platform, a fully virtualized, 5G-ready mobile services core that enables the availability of the new mobile network protocols targeted to IoT, namely NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT). It  also includes the eSCEF module which exposes network capabilities and resources to vertical applications and IoT Platforms with integrated API management.

“Altice Portugal is moving to the next level with IoT to digitize and transform their business,” said Laurent Degré, Managing Director, Global Service Provider, Cisco EMEAR. “We are excited about the possibilities ahead for this innovative, joint proof on concept, to help them deliver secure, integrated IoT solutions across a wide range of vertical markets, spanning different classes of service. This is key in driving new revenue generating services and preparing for the upcoming 5G deployment”

As our work with Altice Portugal shows, Cisco technology can help service providers develop the next generation of mobile services. Services that can be created and launched quickly, ensure the highest value from the network to the applications, and can be flexibly deployed. Investing in building these capabilities will be crucial for service providers who want to succeed in a 5G future.

Find out how our next generation technology can lay the foundations for success in a 5G world.

Read more about Unified Services Enablement



Eric Hamel

Senior Systems Architect

Service Provider IoT solutions