& cplSiteName &

Cisco’s Big Small-Cell Ambitions

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
3/5/2012
50%
50%

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) revealed that it will eventually round out its small-cell portfolio with the introduction of a Long Term Evolution (LTE)-capable base station in an interview with Light Reading Mobile at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week.

But for now, the equipment vendor is more focused on a hybrid approach to small cells that will see mobile data capacity supplemented by carrier-grade Wi-Fi networks and indoor cellular coverage boosted by 3G femtocells. (See Cisco: We're Doing Small Cells Too.)

Critical to Cisco's small-cell strategy are the Hotspot 2.0 upgrades and the Small Cell Gateway that the vendor unveiled in Barcelona last week. The Gateway is based on the ASR5000 Series Mobile Multimedia Core Router and sits in the carrier network to manage connections over small-cell and Wi-Fi connections. (See Cisco Works With AT&T Et Al on First Small Cell.)

Light Reading Mobile sat down for lunch last week with Murali Nemani, senior director of mobility solutions with worldwide service provider marketing at Cisco, who explained that -- 4G or not -- there simply wouldn't be enough bandwidth available to support voice and high-speed data over a licensed spectrum cellular connection.

"We think it is more suitable and sustainable to have Wi-Fi address the capacity needs," said Nemani. "Even if you have all the spectrum available you wanted … It is just not sustainable on its own."

Massive Video Growth
There are a couple of statistics that underlie why Cisco is going for a hybrid approach with small cells. The company expects that by 2015, 70 percent of all mobile traffic will be video. Meanwhile, "80 percent of all access to Internet traffic is going to be indoors," said Nemani.

These metrics favor Wi-Fi offload for data and cellular small cells for voice in home, enterprise and public spaces, according to Cisco. Nemani gives the example of the offload work that his company did with Verizon Wireless at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis this year as thousands of fans sent out photos and videos during the Super Bowl.

"It's not the download on smartphones in that situation, it's the upload," said Nemani. "What Verizon and Cisco did together there is basically integrated a carrier-grade Wi-Fi in the stadium."

3G/Wi-Fi Glue
Underpinning this hybrid approach is the Proxy Mobile IPv6 (PMIPv6) protocol used by Cisco across these systems. The protocol involves "carrying an IP address across networks," said Nemani. It allows the user to migrate between cellular and Wi-Fi connections while watching the same video but also maintain a connection while hoping between access points.

Portable Portfolio
Cisco's current small-cell portfolio includes a 3G residential femtocell. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has deployed so many of these devices, which it brands as a 3G MicroCell, that many believe that Cisco is now the biggest supplier of the indoor 3G base stations in the U.S. (See AT&T Claims to Be a Femtocell Big Spender.)

The femtocell will eventually be followed by an LTE small cell but Cisco is evidently not being rushed into delivering a 4G unit.

"Obviously, we're looking at demand," said Nemani. "It is on the horizon; it is something we’re evaluating with our customers."

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:40:43 PM
re: Cisco’s Big Small-Cell Ambitions


Cisco really didn't want to talk small cell competitors. "They validated our strategy," is all Murali Nemani would say about the Ericsson buy.


joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:40:42 PM
re: Cisco’s Big Small-Cell Ambitions


Typically European operators often seem to get wider LTE channels to play with WHEN they get them but regulators hardly seem to be rushing to open up 4G spectrum on the continent.


 


A transatlantic perspective.

Moonbase
50%
50%
Moonbase,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:40:42 PM
re: Cisco’s Big Small-Cell Ambitions


Seems to be a repeat of the strategy followed in the run up to the dotcom boom. Then it was an explosion in internet connections driving demand, now its people consuming video that will drive the demand. What Cisco fail to explain, is how, in these hard pressed economic times, people will pay for this mobile data, or why they would want to consume it in their home on a small screen smartphone? Surely it would be better on an a tablet, PC or television, and use the exisiting wifi enabled broadband connection (that they've had for the last 10 years)? Seems Murali also needs to be told that they break the RF spectrum into cells so they can reuse the spectrum again and again.


Putting all of the above together I'd suggest a number of the Cisco points are just marketing muddle to help them win the business, and why not? Until LTE takes off wifi is a cost effective alternative to 3G, but that doesn't mean its a long term solution: just a window that Cisco can exploit in the short term. I suspect Ericsson's buy is a defensive move to counter the immediate 3G data shortfall and operator asks.


A European perspective.


 


 


 


 


 

kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:40:39 PM
re: Cisco’s Big Small-Cell Ambitions


WiFi is more than just a 4G placeholder. It will be absolutely necessary especially in high density places like convention centers, hotels and especially stadiums. And yes, people will want to use mobile devices for video there. So you will need WiFi because there simply isn't enough cellular bandwidth to support 70,000 potential users.


Cisco already has a dedicated group working on stadiums and it's not a small business... thousands of stadiums worldwide, each with big demands. And pretty much greenfield since stadiums never really had good infrastructure. So there's one business to shoot for.

kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:40:39 PM
re: Cisco’s Big Small-Cell Ambitions


WiFi is more than just a 4G placeholder. It will be absolutely necessary especially in high density places like convention centers, hotels and especially stadiums. And yes, people will want to use mobile devices for video there. So you will need WiFi because there simply isn't enough cellular bandwidth to support 70,000 potential users.


Cisco already has a dedicated group working on stadiums and it's not a small business... thousands of stadiums worldwide, each with big demands. And pretty much greenfield since stadiums never really had good infrastructure. So there's one business to shoot for.

DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:40:38 PM
re: Cisco’s Big Small-Cell Ambitions


After spending the day at a convention with no Wi-Fi access, I totally agree.


 


ph

Michelle Donegan
50%
50%
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:40:36 PM
re: Cisco’s Big Small-Cell Ambitions


As Ericsson moves in on Cisco's Wi-Fi turf with the BelAir acquisition, it's worth pondering how far Cisco will go into Ericsson's 3GPP territory.


Cisco's talking about plans for LTE small cells now, but where will it get the cellular know-how?

joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:40:34 PM
re: Cisco’s Big Small-Cell Ambitions


Well they already are a major supplier of 3G basestations thanks to the Microcell. Said they had no interest in becoming a macro RAN player.

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 28, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit 101
Will Barkis, Senior Technology Analyst, Orange
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Introducing IoT World News

9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Re-usable Functions Next NFV Key

9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into re-usable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (2) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Optical Innovation 2016

9|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of the 2016 Huawei Optical Innovation forum.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Are You Ready for Huawei Connect 2016?

8|31|16   |     |   (0) comments


Join us for an exclusive sneak peak of Huawei Connect, an integrated conference for the global ICT ecosystem taking place in Shanghai.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/21/2016
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2016
Verizon CFO: Eat Our (Fixed) 5G Dust!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2016
WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.