Cisco announced the commercial availability of its Universal Small Cell (USC) 8000 Series at Mobile World Congress today (2 March 2015). The solution, which is designed for large enterprises and venues, is the result of a strategic collaboration between Cisco and SpiderCloud Wireless, and will be offered to Cisco's enterprise customers and channel partners.
The global agreement includes Cisco reselling SpiderCloud's entire small cell portfolio under the USC 8000 Series brand. In addition, SpiderCloud will develop custom small cell technology for Cisco. Vodafone will be the first service provider to deliver the mobile service to its enterprise customers.
The USC 8000 small cell solution was developed in response to customer demand for a more scalable and integrated approach to enterprise small cells. Enterprises know that mobile technology has the potential to transform business, by allowing them to work more flexibly, more responsibly and more productively. But to do that the service has to be universal, and has to work hand-in-hand with existing Wi-Fi networks.
Mobile usage is becoming an increasingly indoor activity -- especially in business and public spaces. Yet this is where mobile signals can struggle to penetrate, and where traditional in-building solutions like Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) are often not commercially viable.
The USC 8000 Series comprises several key advances that propel in-building mobile service from a niche fix to a mainstream business enabler, when delivered as part of the Cisco USC:
Fast, Cost-effective Installation That Scales to Any Enterprise Building:
The Cisco USC 8088 Controller provides real-time coordination and distributed SON capability for up to 100 LTE/3G access points, enough to effectively cover the largest buildings.
Integration with Deployed Wi-Fi Infrastructure:
The Cisco USC 8000 Series access points are available as standalone units or as plug-in modules for the Cisco Aironet 3600/3700 Wi-Fi access points -- the most popular enterprise Wi-Fi in the world.
Massive Scale and Flexibility in the Core Network:
Cisco's ASR 5500 Mobile Packet Core and Virtualized Packet Core provide massive scale and flexibility as well as a common platform for cellular and unlicensed mobile.
Whole Enterprise Optimisation with Wi-Fi Coordination and Monetisation:
Cisco Policy Suite coordinates both cellular and Wi-Fi traffic, to switch traffic according to network performance or user profile. It also provides a platform for analytics to provide operational insights or to monetize customer experiences.
Whole Network Optimisation with Hetnet SON:
Cisco Self Organizing Network (SON) automates and optimizes over two million macro cells around the world, from all of the major vendors. The USC 8000 Series integrates with Cisco SON, avoiding network fragmentation costs and consistent user experience inside and outside.
Matt Beal, Director of Innovation and Architecture, Vodafone Group, said: "Working with Cisco and SpiderCloud, we will be able to offer our enterprise customers a highly flexible small cell system that can be deployed rapidly and cost-effectively to enhance the quality of the mobile and Wi-Fi coverage our customers rely on to run their businesses."
Michael Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer, SpiderCloud Wireless, added: "This is a market changer. Our collaboration with Cisco will speed up small cell deployments to benefit large enterprise customers worldwide."
Scott Morrison, Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Small Cell Technology Group, commented: "This is what the small cell market has been waiting for, combining a compelling technology solution from Cisco and SpiderCloud, with the reach and expertise of Cisco's enterprise business. As the first service provider customer, Vodafone is pioneering this small cell solution across the world."