Cisco targets mobile operators with '5G Now'

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 18 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 5G Now

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.

 MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2018 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone. 

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.