Cisco Next-Generation Hotspot Technology Delivers Seamless Mobile Experiences, Enables Operators to Support Continuing Explosion in Mobile Traffic, Devices and New Services
Cisco is introducing the industry’s first carrier-grade, end-to-end Wi-Fi infrastructure to deliver Next-Generation Hotspots (NGH). The company also announced that it is working with several leading global service providers, including BT, PCCW mobile, Portugal Telecom, Shaw Communications, Smart and True, to deliver innovative mobile services with a new generation of intelligent “small cell” solutions utilizing licensed and unlicensed radio technology.
Cisco, which is now embedding Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA)-approved NGH technology within its service provider Wi-Fi portfolio, recently became the first to deploy NGH technology to enable cellular-like roaming for Wi-Fi networks. The WBA’s NGH initiative is based on the Hotspot 2.0 specification established by the Wi-Fi Alliance and is designed to provide mobile users with a seamless Wi-Fi experience. Cisco has deployed over 12 million access points, the majority of which can now be upgraded to support NGH, giving the company the most experience delivering the widest range of Wi-Fi solutions, including in-flight Wi-Fi, retail hotspots, stadium and large venue coverage, and extensive data offload deployments.
Cisco’s new Small Cell Gateway, based on the industry-leading Cisco ASR 5000 Series Mobile Multimedia Core Router, will enable operators to manage subscriber and service information while integrating 2G/3G/4G LTE and femtocell (licensed) networks with Wi-Fi (unlicensed) networks, to deliver seamless experiences across multiple heterogeneous access networks.
“We are now entering the post-macrocell era, where small cells also will play a critical role in delivering the next-generation mobile Internet,” said John Chambers, Cisco chairman and CEO. “Existing mobile network infrastructures simply cannot sustain the growth we’re seeing on their own. Tomorrow’s mobile Internet must span multiple networks and deliver seamless and highly secure mobile experiences. This requires an architectural approach powered by a cloud-intelligent network of networks. Cisco and our service provider partners see tremendous opportunity as we together build out these networks and empower the mobile Internet generation.”
Cisco’s technology innovations, deployments and industry-first solutions in small cells are expected to help operators address capacity constraints from spectrum limitations; scale coverage effectively; deliver seamless experiences across heterogeneous access networks; save on capital and operational costs, and facilitate the continuing explosion in mobile traffic, devices and new services.
Mobile Traffic Growth
- According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2011 to 2016, worldwide mobile data traffic will increase 18-fold between 2011 and 2016. Due to physical limits and availability of licensed spectrum, existing cellular (macro radio) networks alone are incapable of sustaining the anticipated proliferation in mobile traffic and devices.
- Concurrently, Wi-Fi connectivity is becoming more ubiquitous through devices like smart phones, tablets, televisions and even automobiles. Furthermore, when users are accessing mobile devices, 80 percent of the time they are inside buildings (source: Cisco IBSG). Service providers continue to seek new ways to offload traditional cellular traffic, which would help ensure coverage and also alleviate capacity constraints due to the limited amount of available licensed spectrum.
Big Problem Solved with Small-Cell Solutions
- Cisco and several leading service providers are working together to augment their existing network infrastructures with intelligent small cell technology. Small cells combine both licensed radio (low-powered indoor/outdoor base stations with limited range) and unlicensed radio (carrier-grade Wi-Fi) technologies that act as part of an integrated network offering. Operators can now offer seamless user experiences across consumer and enterprise applications and mobile devices.
- Cisco’s Service Provider Wi-Fi solution is a carrier-grade, end-to-end platform that can scale to support exponential traffic growth and millions of users with a seamless mobile experience. Cisco’s Service Provider Wi-Fi solution is built on open standards and can be tailored to meet the coverage and capacity needs of global service providers.
- Cisco has been working with leading global service providers and mobile device and technology companies to establish standards-based NGH specifications, which will enable mobile providers to introduce new revenue-generating applications and services.