The Mobile World Congress (MWC); its that time of the year when hundreds of thousands of people congregate in Barcelona to showcase or see the best products that the mobile industry has to offer. Connected cars, connected toothbrushes, connected vending machine ( Cisco + SAP solution), connected cities, and the list of connected devices goes on and on; Internet of Everything was front and center. About 85,000 people attended this year’s event. Although this was my second visit to MWC, admittedly I was as awestruck as my first one.
Cisco published the Cisco VNI data and introduced the Evolved Services Platform (ESP), leading up to MWC. Based on the VNI data, its no small wonder that there’s tremendous value created in a mobile operator’s network, but the billion-dollar question is how can operators, as opposed to OTTs, extract that value? We believe that the Cisco ESP can address that by providing a unified virtualization and orchestration software platform that is open, extensible, and elastic. It creates, automates and provisions services and network resources in real time for applications running across multiple domains such as cloud, video, mobility, and fixed networks. It not only helps tighten up the CAPEX and the OPEX, but also provides an open platform for service creation that ensures the right type of experience for subscribers regardless of how or where they connect to the network (Fixed, Mobile, Wi-Fi). Its not just talk, rather we are walking the talk.
We hear from our customers time and again that they are challenged by the threat of OTT, coverage and capacity issues, difficulty to monetize network investments, and higher CAPEX and OPEX. Our goal going into MWC was not only to showcase our best work, but also to understand our customer’s pain-points and support their business outcomes. Undoubtedly, this tenet was reflected pretty well on our demos, all of which were well received by our customers. Here are our demos:
Demo #1 titled Transform user experiences with Heterogeneous Access was focused on HS 2.0/Passpoint, CMX, Universal Small Cells, SCB, HNB/HeNB-GW, SON, and SP Wi-Fi/EPC integration, and SaMOG. It showed the monetization of contextual user engagement and consistent service delivery across Small Cells/Wi-Fi/3G/LTE networks. Further, it also brought to the fore the various opportunities in the enterprise market that the SPs could potentially unlock with their small cell assets.
Demo #2 titled Capture New Markets with Elastic Mobile Networks was focused on Cisco Quantum Virtualized Packet Core (QvPC), EPS, Quantum Service Bus (QSB), Quantum Policy Suite (QPS), and Cisco Prime/NCS/Cloud Service Orchestration. It showed how operators can right size their network resources by bringing network virtualization and cloud technologies to bear for cost efficiency and to target complementary, price-sensitive markets such as M2M, MVNO, and Private LTE for Enterprises.
Tech Tour Demo #2 – Providing an immersive experience to our customers
Demo #3 titled Monetize and Optimize Experience-Aware Networks. It showed how mobile operators can leverage their existing network investments with the help of SON to optimize the end user experience and enable new business models using the Quantum Policy Suite to monetize the gold mine of data trapped in the network.
These demos were complemented by the demos that deep dove into SON, Quantum Policy Suite (QPS), Quantum Virtualized Packet Core (QvPC), which gave our customers a street-level view of our best in class products. The live demo showing the Fira’s Cisco HS2.0 and the analytics was quite an attention grabber. Our demo on Cisco’s Open Network Environment (ONE) for Mobility resonated very well with the customers who were interested in seeing the alignment between Cisco’s EPN, NFV, SDN, Orchestration, and Cisco NCS solutions that enables new levels of programming and flexibility. Hats off! to the Cisco NOC folks who kept the Wi-Fi infrastructure humming despite the traffic surges.
Heat map of where Wi-Fi is being used at MWC. About 39% of the connections are from Apple devices
Cisco ONE for Mobility – Connective tissue that brings Cisco Mobility solutions together
While most of our competitor’s solutions failed to support a potential customer’s demo at MWC around a virtualized mobile network infrastructure, Cisco’s QvPC came through and saved the day. This just goes to show the readiness of our product portfolio.
At the end of the day, we must realize that MWC is not about bleeding edge technologies, rather it’s about how they help solve consumer pain-points or shape business outcomes. We went into MWC with this on our minds and came out with a sense of immense pride and satisfaction.
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