Not MWC: Cisco stacks new software for mobile networks

More software, more automation and more customer wins. That's the big takeaway from Cisco's outpouring of announcements related to mobile networks and 5G services this morning.

The networking giant's Cisco Annual Internet Report predicts that there will be 30 billion connected devices in three years. Half of those connected devices will be mobile and 1.5 billion of the mobile devices will be on 5G networks, Cisco said.

That onslaught of connected devices means network operators need to quickly accommodate more devices and traffic. To that end, Cisco is announcing:

More software: Cisco is debuting three new cloud services software stacks – mobility, residential and content delivery – to help network operators deploy a cloud-based mobile packet core (mobility); provide a broadband network gateway that centralizes the control plane in access networks (residential); and improve network congestion and quality of experience for video (content delivery).

New line cards and routers: The Cisco ASR 9000 router series gets new high-density 400 gigabit Ethernet line cards. Cisco is debuting the Network Convergence System (NCS) 5700 router, also with 400 GigE ports. Cisco also added new models to the Cisco NCS 540 router series to support fronthaul architectures for open virtual radio access networks (vRAN).

More network automation: Cisco said its new Crosswork Transport Network Controller will help simplify provisioning and provide better visibility for network and services inventory.

Some 5G customer wins: KDDI, NTT DoCoMo, PT Smartfren and Spark New Zealand are all using Cisco network software, hardware and other components to get them ready to provide 5G services.

Phil Harvey, US Bureau Chief, Light Reading

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