Cisco Targets 4G Mobile Networks With ASR 5500

Nathan Eddy is a contributor to eWeek and TechWeekEurope, covering cloud and BYOD

Follow on: Google +

Cisco has unveiled the ASR 5500 appliance to help power the next generation of mobile networks

Cisco is aiming its ASR 5500 appliance at the next generation of mobile networks, which face a growing tidalwave of network traffic.

As businesses continue to adopt usage of next-generation applications and integrate bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies into their network infrastructure, the ASR 5500 is an elastic packet core solution that integrates signalling, data, in-line services, and policy and charging control within a single platform.

Elastic Architecture

The platform’s elastic mobile architecture allows applications to intelligently scale up or down to meet processing requirements, giving service providers the ability to adjust resources and adapt to multiple conditions and network usage patterns. To power next-generation 3G, 4G, 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and Wi-Fi mobile services, Cisco has deployed the ASR 5000 series with global service providers including Verizon Wireless.

“Change in the use of mobile networks is challenging network architects to build flexibility and elasticity into the mobile multimedia core in order to control its cost,” Michael Kennedy, principal analyst at ACG Research said in a press statement. “Our analysis of the Cisco ASR 5500 multimedia core solution compared to a leading competitor’s solution finds that TCO savings are up to 47 percent lower than the competitor. The savings are attributable to the Cisco ASR 5500’s scale and integrated functionality that requires up to 65 percent fewer installed units.”

The system boasts a virtualised design where functions based on software are not coupled to hardware, offers real-time integrated session-state intelligence (DPI) from Layers 1 to 7 for all traffic, includes support for both centralised and distributed architectures, and provides in-line services that integrate intelligence across all services, as well as holistic performance capabilities and full hardware and software redundancy, as well as high-availability software techniques.

Mobile Internet

“By 2016, more people will access the Internet from mobile devices than from desktops,” Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s mobile Internet technology group, said in a press statement.

“Through the leading technology and services of the ASR 5000 Series and its newest member, the ASR 5500, Cisco uniquely offers service providers the opportunity to not only keep up with surging demands from their customers in the ‘new normal,’ but also to enable their ability to grow profitability, to provide new differentiated services and to maximise the return on their existing investments so that they can thrive in the ever-evolving mobile landscape.”

According to the company’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast (2011 to 2016), there will be nearly 19 billion mobile and fixed connections to the Internet by 2016 – an eighteenfold increase from today.

By 2016, global mobile data traffic will reach 10.8 exabytes per month and 4G connections will account for 36 percent of global mobile data traffic. Tablets will account for more than 10 percent of global mobile data traffic, while 22 percent of global mobile data traffic will be offloaded to fixed networks.

How much do you know about smartphones? Take our quiz.