Cisco touts simplicity and flexibility of its -as-a-service private 5G platform

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Valriya Zankovych)

Cisco has revealed more details about its private 5G platform at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, promising to simplify rollout and management for end users and allow them to maximise existing investments in Wi-Fi.

A private 5G network is one that provides dedicated access to a specific customer, using either licensed, unlicensed, or shared spectrum, with no resources shared by any third party.

By pursuing this route, customers can define the scale, pace of rollout, and technology used, while guaranteeing a certain level of performance for their applications.

Cisco private 5G

Private 5G can be built with or without an operator partner, with traditional networking equipment firms partnering with IT giants to create hardware and services for enterprises wanting to accelerate their digital transformation and benefit from the Internet of Things (IoT).

Cisco Private 5G is built on the firm’s existing mobile core technology and IoT portfolio, which includes sensors and gateways, device management software, as well as monitoring tools and dashboards and is delivered ‘as-a-service’.

This reduces risks involved with deployment by eliminating major up-front costs and makes it simpler to scale up as and when needed. But this model also means that IT teams don’t need to spend time learning, designing, and operating a complex private network environment. Everything can be managed from a simplified management portal.

As you might expect from a company with such a strong heritage in local networking, Cisco says its private platform will integrate Ethernet and Wi-Fi, including Wi-Fi 6/6E, as it sees 5G as a complementary technology. On top of this, Cisco is also integrating Open RAN technology and is staging pilots with Airspan and JMA to learn more.

The company also wants to work with service providers, positioning the platform as an easy way to offer private networking services to customers without the need to invest time and money in development. Providers can even use their own branding.

“Cisco has an unbiased wireless strategy for the future of hybrid work. 5G must work with Wi-Fi and existing IT environments to make digital transformation easy,” said Jonathan Davidson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Mass-Scale Infrastructure Group, Cisco. 

“Businesses continuing their digitization strategies using IoT, analytics, and automation will create significant competitive advantages in value, sustainability, efficiency, and agility. Working together with our global partners to enable those outcomes with Cisco Private 5G is our unique value proposition to the enterprise.”

According to one study, More than half of CIOs (51%) surveyed in a new report say they plan to deploy a private 5G network within the next two years, while 24% have already done so.

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.