Cisco has launched a major play for service providers and mobile operators with the launch of its ‘5G Now’ portfolio of services and products.
Operators and traditional telecoms network equipment manufacturers such as Ericsson, Nokia and Huawei will use Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona to detail their latest advances in 5G, but Cisco is keen to get in on the action.
It claims its legacy in networks and cloud investments mean it can help customers unify various cloud architectures (public, private and hybrid) and services from different vendors.
Cisco’s traditional market has been networking, but it has expanded beyond this into the software, cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) sectors, and it is now eying up a greater share of the telecoms market.
Indeed, it is claimed that more than 20 operators are advancing their plans for 5G with Cisco.
“4G was about buying connectivity, and 5G is about buying experiences,” said Yvette Kanouff, senior head of Cisco’s Service Provider Business.
“5G creates a new environment for service creation, giving operators what they need to deliver next-level entertainment experiences. Only Cisco has the services, infrastructure and automation portfolio to support our global customers with their 5G initiatives.”
5G Now comprises three key components – services, infrastructure and automation.
This includes IP core services that expand the programmability of the network with real-time data, covering the data centre to the mobile mast.
It also includes 5G Packet Core and service Edge technologies and access technologies, including cable, fibre, Wi-Fi and licensed radio services such as virtualised radio access network (vRAN) architectures.
vRAN architectures are software alternatives to traditional hardware produced by and Cisco is pushing an ‘Open vRAN’ ecosystem which counts Intel and Red Hat among its members.
“Together with the ecosystem parties, we’re making leaps forward in developing a customer-centric ecosystem focused on accelerating innovation and enabling new business models to dramatically lower costs, add capacity and improve network performance,” added Kanouff.
What is 5G?
5G networks are the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, offering faster speeds and more reliable connections on smartphones and other devices than ever before.
Combining cutting-edge network technology and the very latest research, 5G should offer connections that are multitudes faster than current connections, with average download speeds of around 1GBps expected to soon be the norm.
The networks will help power a huge rise in the Internet of Things technology, providing the infrastructure needed to carry huge amounts of data, allowing for a smarter and more connected world.
With development well underway, 5G networks are expected to launch across the world by 2020, working alongside existing 3G and 4G technology to provide speedier connections that stay online no matter where you are.