MWC 2014: Cisco boosts small cell portfolio

Cisco introduces multimode small cell for 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi; extends SON solution to small cells; and updates cell site router portfolio

MWC 2014: Cisco boosts small cell portfolio

Cisco announced new additions to its small cell portfolio at MWC 2014 following the integration of both the Ubiquisys and Intucell teams into the company in June 2013.

Cisco has added LTE capability into its Universal Small Cell portfolio. This includes an industry first – a multimode small cell that provides 3G, 4G and carrier-grade Wi-Fi in a single access point – the USC 7734.

The product is a result of requests from both service providers and enterprise customers to integrate robust and secure Wi-Fi with 3G and 4G licensed small cell technology to accommodate connectivity and coverage to a wide family of mobile devices.

The company has also deployed its SON solution for multi-vendor, multi-technology macro radio and extended that to small cells. Cisco Quantum SON is now fully integrated with its Universal Small Cell portfolio.

With SON built into every USC access point and delivered at the network layer through Quantum, Cisco SON provides resilient, automatic operation, with self-installation, self-optimisation, and self-healing, even in shared frequency indoor environments. The result is reduced opex and improved quality of experience, according to the company.

Cisco also introduced an update to its cell site router portfolio with the launch of the ASR 901 Secure Mobile Transport platform, which incorporates the enhanced backhaul capabilities required to deploy Enterprise small cells. In these deployments, mobile traffic will traverse from enterprise networks across public networks to the carrier’s network.

To enable the secure transport of user data in this environment, the ASR 901 has been enhanced with a very high performance IPSec acceleration engine. The ASR 901 has also been augmented to allow the network operator to create a flexible overlay architecture through support for Network Address and Port Translation (NAPT).

Cisco said its small cell strategy is driven by the specific business problems experienced by its enterprise and service provider customers. It said it has worked very closely with them to develop solutions that address these needs. The company acknowledged the close collaboration of customers such as Telefónica and Telstra.

'Telefónica has an advanced small cell strategy, and we value our partnership with Cisco that allows us to execute on this strategy,' said Carlos Loyola, marketing director, Telefónica Empresas.

'Cisco’s direction with multimode small cells will give us the flexibility we need to deploy the right technology in each of our target markets, and their focus on SON throughout the network architecture allows us to confidently build a Het-Net that dynamically reacts to real conditions so that our customers experience seamless mobility.'

Mike Wright, executive director, Networks, Telstra Operations, said: 'SON is becoming a valuable tool for operators like us to optimise the radio network. We have tested Cisco’s Mass Event Handling SON module (MEH) during the prestigious Melbourne Cup horse racing carnival where more than 330,000 people attended creating a very high network load. 

'We were impressed with the ability of Cisco’s SON to seamlessly interwork with our OSS making numerous dynamic adjustments to balance traffic across the coverage area to optimise the user experience. We look forward to expanding our activities with Cisco in the near future.'

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