Cisco, Intel collaborate to build private 5G services

Cisco, Intel collaborate to build private 5G services

Cisco grows its private 5G portfolio with additional agreements with NTT, NEC, and Qualcomm.

Cisco and Intel have teamed up on private 5G for enterprise and IoT use cases.

During the Mobile World Conference (MWC) this week, Cisco also made other 5G announcements including its Meraki 5G cellular gateways for fixed-wireless access and linking up with NTT, NEC, and Qualcomm to offer 5G services.

Many enterprises are still kicking the tires on private 5G service, and many will continue to use 4G LTE for a long time, but 5G  is definitely drawing interest, according to Patrick Filkins, research manager, with the IoT and Telecom Network Infrastructure group at IDC.

“We expect that by 2026, roughly 80% to 90% of enterprises will have incorporated private 5G as part of their network. Some will benefit from the enhanced mobile-broadband aspect, but many will dig into the advanced features yet to come.”

Cisco and Intel said they would create reference architectures for 5G services that could be used for internet of things (IoT), manufacturing, supply chain, or smart sites. The companies said they would make the architectures available to managed service provider partners.

Cisco’s subscription-based private-5G managed service includes its mobile-core technology and its IoT portfolio, which includes Cisco IoT Control Centre and Cisco P5G Packet Core as well as IoT sensors and gateways. It also includes device-management software and monitoring tools, all available via a single portal, the company says.

Cisco uses system integrators, service providers, and channel partners  including JMA, Airspan, Dish Networks, and Logicalis to support the cloud-based service that can integrate with Wi-Fi networks, reduce up-front costs, and provide deployment when and where needed, Cisco says.

Cisco and Intel said they will work with 5G device and radio access network (RAN) manufacturers as well as enterprise application-software developers to offer validated and customised services. They will work together on edge AI frameworks based on Intel’s Xeon processors, Intel Smart Edge for multi-access edge computing, and RAN offerings, the companies stated.

They will also operate 5G innovation centre labs in California, Germany, and Japan where customers can test applications before putting them into production.

“We are focused on simplifying 5G for businesses, integrating IT and OT network and security operations, and streamlining management through a SaaS operating model," said Masum Mir, Cisco senior vice president, Provider Mobility, in a blog about the agreement

"Together with Intel, we will enable edge use cases for IoT that will help customers across all industries go fast so they can digitise faster and monetise more services.”

At MWC the companies said they demonstrated a robotics application that used Cisco Private 5G architecture, Intel Xeon processors, and Intel Smart Edge software to do anomaly detection on a production line.

New Meraki 5G gateways

In addition to the Intel work, Cisco rolled out two Cisco Meraki 5G cellular gateways for fixed wireless access, the MG21 with an internal antennae and the MG21E with an external antenna. T-Mobile said it will utilise the devices in its Mobile 5G and managed services.

According to Meraki, the MG cellular gateways converts cellular signals into Ethernet WANs, enabling high-speed cellular networks for enterprise use.  

Aimed at remote branches, the devices feature zero-touch provisioning, support 2Gbps download and 300 Mbps upload speeds and can be managed centrally via the Meraki dashboard.

Other Cisco 5G news at MWC:

  • Cisco and NTT said they would work together to jointly provide technology and managed services for private 5G installations. The companies said they will target  edge connectivity utilising NTT’s Managed Private 5G service, Intel hardware, and Cisco 5G technology to integrate private 5G into existing enterprise LAN, WAN, and cloud infrastructure. 
  • Cisco and NEC said they have expanded collaboration under their existing Global Systems Integrator Agreement (GSIA) to build scalable 5G xHaul transport networks, including capabilities for end-to-end automation and routed optical networking. The companies said work is under way to qualify NEC’s new Univerge RV 1200 radio with Cisco's Private 5G offering.
  • Cisco and Qualcomm said they were working to help simplify the automation, management, and orchestration of multi-vendor RAN systems to accelerate deployment of private 5G for enterprises.


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