Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cisco recalibrates infrastructure play around small cells

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Cisco has announced at MWC 2012 two new enhancements to its mobile infrastructure portfolio. The availability of its Hotspot 2.0 Wi-Fi compliant access points for service providers and small-cell (Wi-Fi/femtocell) gateway functionality on its ASR5000 platform. In reaction, Daryl Schoolar, principal analyst at Ovum has the following comment:

“This platform supports Cisco’s 2G, 3G, and LTE mobile packet core networks. In addition, and possibly most important, Cisco announced real commercial customers for these solutions. At a show often noted for its roadmap and network vision announcements, one with real customers attached always stands out. But, the real significance of these announcements goes beyond just the “solutions” Cisco announced.

“In many camps, Cisco has been undervalued as a mobile infrastructure provider. Much of this blame falls in two areas. First, Cisco does not sell a macro base station, the traditional cornerstone of the wireless infrastructure market. Secondly, Cisco has done a poor job marketing itself as a mobile infrastructure provider.

“Today’s announcements are part of a bigger effort on Cisco’s part to change its market perception, with Cisco using its small cell announcement as a stage to recalibrate itself in the mobile infrastructure space. The vendor now has a much richer story to tell with greater mobile operator focus on small cells and carrier Wi-Fi solutions - two areas Cisco is strong in – and other assets such as backhaul and mobile packet core.”

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