Light Reading

Cisco: Multimode Small Cells Coming Early 2014

Sarah Thomas
7/22/2013
50%
50%

Cisco Systems Inc. may be a relatively new player in the small cell space, but it's already plotting commercial multimode small cell launches for early next year.

The networking giant plans to trial multimode small cells -- tiny base stations that pack in 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi -- with more than one service provider at the end of this year, and they will go live in early 2014, Partho Mishra, VP and GM of Cisco's small cell technology group, confirmed to Light Reading in a telepresence briefing at Cisco's Rosemont, Ill., office.

Cisco's big push into small cells didn't come until this year when it acquired self-optimizing network (SON) provider Intucell in January and LTE small cell vendor Ubiquisys in April. Mishra said that with these two companies under its belt, multimode small cells will be relatively easy to build. (See Cisco to Buy AT&T's Favorite SON Startup and Cisco Buying Ubiquisys for $310M.) "The 3G and Wi-Fi pieces are mature," Mishra said. "The work we are doing is on LTE on the access side and core network infrastructure side. It's all available today with our packet core, so we can reuse that."

As the company moves to multimode, it's still focusing on areas where network congestion is most acute, such as indoor venues. Mishra said that Cisco will use Intucell's SON technology to tackle the non-trivial issue of dynamically selecting which network to use and avoiding interference when a mobile device latches on to a multimode small cell. (See Multimode Small Cells Get Stalled in Labs.)



The company hasn't said which service providers it is working with, but AT&T Inc. is a good bet as it's supplied AT&T with 3G femtocells since 2009. Plus, AT&T has said it will have multimode small cells on the market in 2014. Verizon Wireless has also been rumored to be a potential customer for Cisco. (See 3G, 4G & Wi-Fi: AT&T Plans Small Cell Threesome and Cisco: A Verizon 4G Small Cell Provider?)

Cisco plans to continue to grow its small cell strategy organically, but it's not opposed to making more acquisitions in the name of progress. Mishra said the company does a good job of integrating acquired technology into existing product lines, and it plans to continue to do this with small cells to address gaps in key "transport and service" areas. "In the areas of small cells, we've done five acquisitions in the past year and spent close to $2 billion," he said. "We're not shy about making an investment to make the market happen."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Cableco44
50%
50%
Cableco44,
User Rank: Light Bulb
7/23/2013 | 11:08:53 PM
re: Cisco: Multimode Small Cells Coming Early 2014
I wonder about this today when AT&T relies heavily on WayPort for it's Wi-Fi product of HotSpots. Last I configured WayPort was 1998-2000. I do not really recall the brand of Wi-Fi modem it was using and wonder if the Intucell covers the EMS/NMS functions for WayPort.
briley85
50%
50%
briley85,
User Rank: Light Beer
7/23/2013 | 2:20:07 PM
re: Cisco: Multimode Small Cells Coming Early 2014
Agreed. The Ubi acquisition advanced both their LTE and multi-standard access point position significantly forward.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
7/23/2013 | 1:49:17 PM
re: Cisco: Multimode Small Cells Coming Early 2014
Thanks for the clarification. That was Cisco's response to "do you have an LTE small cell?" but it's skirting around it. The Ubiquisys acquisition should position it well to build an LTE small cell though.
briley85
50%
50%
briley85,
User Rank: Light Beer
7/23/2013 | 1:00:13 PM
re: Cisco: Multimode Small Cells Coming Early 2014
Sarah, the ASR5k is the hardware platform that hosts the Small Cell Gateway software. To my knowledge, Cisco has not released an LTE small cell... yet. Also, the ASR5k is the same hardware platform that AT&T has deployed for it's EPC.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
7/22/2013 | 7:55:18 PM
re: Cisco: Multimode Small Cells Coming Early 2014
Cisco does offer an LTE compatible small cell, the Cisco ASR 5000 Series Small Cell Gateway. It is based on the Cisco ASR 5000 hardware and it is in Korea Telecom today. More details here: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/sol...
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
7/22/2013 | 7:34:29 PM
re: Cisco: Multimode Small Cells Coming Early 2014
AT&T certainly makes sense for Cisco's first deployment given their partnership on AT&T's 3G microcell and Intucell's inroads with the carrier. Verizon says it's not thinking about multimode small cells yet at all.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat Demo

7|2|15   |   10:53   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Nicolas Lemieux demonstrates how Red Hat is driving innovation through open source communities.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat's Approach to OpenStack Adoption

7|2|15   |   5:17   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Radhesh Balakrishnan outlines his company's open source strategy for both enterprises and telcos.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Goes Mobile With vEPC

7|2|15   |   1:12   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown discusses results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade that shows a clear commitment by mobile operators to move quickly to virtual EPC deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Business Sense of SDN

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Results of a Brocade-sponsored survey show that CSPs have a clear sense of SDN use cases but are wrestling with the business case. Sterling Perrin of Heavy Reading looks behind the numbers.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

7|2|15   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Forget the usual ten-year cycle for new technologies – NFV will be a core part of CSP networks in five years, based on results of a Brocade-sponsored survey, says Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Gains Traction With CSPs

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro of Heavy Reading analyzes results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade showing that CSPs are getting serious about making the transition to the New IP era.
LRTV Custom TV
It's (Real) Time for Analytics

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges looks at how CSPs say they plan to use analytics to deploy new services in real time as part of The New IP, based on results of a survey sponsored by Brocade.
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (8) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (1) comment


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
What's a Gigabit Good For?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/1/2015
Colt to Jettison Ailing IT Business
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/30/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones