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Carrier WiFi

Cisco Strikes Gold With Carrier Wi-Fi Offload

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) made strides in Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Ruckus Wireless Inc. country after striking a carrier Wi-Fi deal with PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk. (Telkom) .

Cisco says it been tapped by PT Telkom to deploy 100,000 access points across Indonesia. The access points are being used to offload mobile data from the cellular network and offer better wireless broadband service in hotels, malls, schools and other venues.

"This will be the largest deployment of Wi-Fi access points by a single service provider in Asia," a Cisco spokesman claims. Although Light Reading Mobile should point out that Ruckus CEO Selina Lo told us recently that KDDI Corp. in Japan rolled out 120,000 APs in a year. [Ed note: What's 20,000 access points between friends, eh?]

Why this matters
Carrier Wi-Fi is big business for Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) (thanks to its recent BelAir Networks acquisition), Ruckus and others. Many of the big deals still to come will be outside the U.S., as Wi-Fi is a less expensive way of providing some degree of high-speed data service for many carriers. (See Ericsson Adds Wi-Fi With BelAir Buy .)

With its moves to manage both hot spots and small cells in a carrier network, Cisco has been getting more serious in the carrier Wi-Fi space throughout the year. Its planned US$1.2 billion acquisition of Meraki Networks Inc. -- while more enterprise focused in nature -- shows it is not afraid to spend money in order to boost its stake in the world of Wi-Fi.

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— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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