Light Reading
Cisco may not be in the 4G macro RAN but it's investment in Altiostar is edging it closer than ever before.

Altiostar: Cisco's Backdoor RAN?

Dan Jones
3/20/2014
50%
50%

Despite having dived into all things mobile with gusto over the last couple of decades, Cisco has always shied away from getting into the large-scale radio access network (RAN) business proper.

Oh sure, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has everything from WiFi to core network systems to small cells to self-optimizing network technology. But it has never gone directly up against an Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) or a Nokia Networks with macro basestations on a big ol' cell site.

"If I can ever figure out how to make money in radios, we'll be there," CEO John Chambers said at a roundtable at Mobile World Congress this year, noting that Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's mobility business group, would be the one to figure it out.

So it's at least worth noting that Ahuja is sitting on the board of Altiostar Networks, the company that Cisco has just confirmed it has invested in. (See Cisco Invests in 4G LTE Startup Altiostar.)

Of course, with multiple trends towards smaller standalone radios, smarter distributed antennas, and IP across the network, the tidy stratification of macro cell sites, microcells, and small cells might also start to blur in the future too. Even with what we know of its architecture, Altiostar could certainly be a nudge in that direction. (See Altiostar Networks: Hola, LTE!)

So, I have to wonder, is an investment in Altiostar simply a smart investment in an ex-Starent team that Cisco already knows can do great things? Or will it become something more? It could be Cisco's Backdoor RAN, if you will.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
3/20/2014 | 9:46:10 PM
Re: Long-term plans
Similar deal with Ubiquisys.
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
3/20/2014 | 9:34:11 PM
Long-term plans
I feel like Cisco has a similar investment in SDN app layer company Embrane, where there is a hint that it isn't just wise investing, but one-step in Cisco long-term plan to get into a different market segment. Maybe this is the new Cisco--doesn't buy companies, just invests with the option to buy and integrate later.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Jonestown
Alpental buy gets Google some radio talent now and helps it hedge bets on a 5G future.
Big data analytics for carriers, self-optimizing networks, business small cells and a little app that could save you big money are among the contenders for the best mobile product of 2014 at Leading Lights.
EE and Sprint's Spark duke it out for the most forward-looking 4G offering of 2014.
The pink sneaker tide rises at T-Mobile.
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Orange Tunisia Discusses Multi-Band Antenna With EasyRET Solution

7|4|14   |   2:45   |   (0) comments


As new site acquisition becomes more difficult, Orange Tunisia has requested multi-band antenna to support UMTS and LTE innovation. Some things considered include reducing the cost of antenna maintenance and having high reliability antenna and EasyRET solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Telefonica Spain Considers Antenna Selection for LTE Network Deployment

7|4|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Tony Conlan, Global CTO of RAN, Telefonica, shares his opinion on antennas in LTE network deployment: Tower space is the premier requirement on antennas; reliability is important to reduce OPEX; and EasyRET solution will be helpful for antenna maintenance.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
dtac Thailand: Multi-band Antenna & Capacity Solution for a Better MBB Experience

7|3|14   |   3:45   |   (0) comments


With the development of LTE, tower space and load are limited for new antenna, but users' capacity requirements are growing fast. To provide a better MBB experience, Panya Vechbanyongratana from dtac Thailand shared his experiences and antenna requirements.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Panel: Network of the Future

7|2|14   |   1:00:57   |   (0) comments


Full-length video of the ATIS Panel Discussion: 'How Far Away Is the Network of the Future & What Does It Look Like?' from the Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago.
LRTV Custom TV
Redknee Supports BH Telecom With Redknee Unified

7|2|14   |   6.14   |   (0) comments


Lucas Skoczkowski, CEO of Redknee, and Amir Orucevic, Director BH Mobile, discuss how the benefits of the Redknee Unified suite of products provide BH Telecom with innovation and leadership in the market, with the flexibility to launch services faster to the market, provide new and compelling promotions and pricing models, and combine services in order to drive ...
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
Infographics
Allot's latest MobileTrends Charging Report shows that value-based pricing plans are up from 35% in 2011 to 85% in 2014.
Hot Topics
Microsoft to Axe 12,500 Ex-Nokia Employees
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/17/2014
GM: 10 Car Models on Road With AT&T's LTE
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/18/2014
Have IBM & Apple Partnered Their Way to Cloud Leadership?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/18/2014
Will Telecom's 'Open' Be Natural or Organic?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/15/2014
Analytics, Security Key to Apple, IBM Tie-Up
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed