Cisco is expanding its presence in the telecommunications market with three new offerings: a small cell, a carrier-grade outdoor router, and an analytics platform that enables providers to improve network performance by reacting to consumption trends in real-time. The solutions will be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress set to be held in Barcelona next week.
A small cell is a radio node that is used by carriers to effectively extend mobile coverage to crowded, bandwidth-intensive hotspots such as restaurants and shopping malls. The Cisco variation is a 3G module that plugs into the company’s Aironet Wi-FI Access Points and supports both licensed and unlicensed cells.
The module will be on display alongside the ASR 901S, a new backhaul router meant for large-scale public networks.
“We’ve moved past the stage where small cells can be either licensed or unlicensed; operators need both sets of technologies, “said Peter Jarich, vice president of consumer and infrastructure at Current Analysis. At the same time, we’ve moved past the stage where architecture (small cell versus macro cell) trumps the need for service intelligence backed by a solid focus on software. Cisco has proved that it understands these dynamics.”
The solid focus on software Jarich speaks of is manifested in the form of Cisco Quantum, a software framework that empowers carriers to tap in to their big data in order to streamline operations. The platform relies on real-time traffic changes in order to find the shortest reroute paths, increase data speeds, and make it easier for troubleshooting teams to resolve technical problems.
Quantum is based on the self-optimized networking technology that Cisco obtained through the acquisition of Intucell three weeks ago. It paid $475 million for the SDN firm.