Cisco launches 5G Now, looks to spur vRAN adoption

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Cisco has launched a suite of 5G products for operators and is spearheading a new initiative to boost adoption of virtualised RAN (vRAN).

The 5G Now product line will provide operators with a range of hardware solutions and associated services.

The portfolio includes key features of a 5G network including the IP and packet core, as well as an access solution combining cable, fibre, Wi-Fi and radio solutions.

It also offers the ability to manage workloads between different clouds and offer client services such as the enterprise focused Cisco Spark and IoT solution Cisco Jasper through the network, as well as featuring built-in security.

In addition, Cisco offers consulting services to help customers to develop bespoke solutions.

Yvette Kanouff, GM of Cisco’s Service Provider Business, said: “4G was about buying connectivity, and 5G is about buying experiences. 5G creates a new environment for service creation, giving operators what they need to deliver next-level entertainment experiences.

“Only Cisco has the services, infrastructure and automation portfolio to support our global customers with their 5G initiatives.”  

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Cisco also announced it was hoping to spur adoption of open vRAN through the creation of a new ecosystem of vendors, which will aim to bring together viable solutions for vRAN to support a range of use cases.

Confirmed vendor participants include Altiostar, Aricent, Intel, Mavenir, Phazr, Red Hat and Tech Mahindra. The companies will run testing, validation, proofs of concept and roadmaps for vRAN solutions.

Kanouff said: “We believe it is an ideal time to align and collaborate on these issues to deliver innovative solutions ready for commercial deployment.

“Together with the ecosystem parties, we’re making leaps forward in developing a customer-centric ecosystem focused on accelerating innovation and enabling new business models to dramatically lower costs, add capacity and improve network performance.”