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Cisco, Intucell make their MWC debut eyeing a bigger mobile role

Stephen Lawson | Feb. 27, 2013
Cisco Systems' acquisition of network optimization vendor Intucell closed just three days before the start of this week's Mobile World Congress, great timing for a deal that is likely to play a big role in Cisco's mobile future.

"We adjusted the policy on the fly to accelerate the bandwidth on specific applications which are more bandwidth sensitive and prioritized such applications," Wellingstein said. The company's technology is in use on several large networks around the world, he said.

This ability to tune the network on the fly will help carriers change their RANs over time from traditional networks dominated by big macro cells on towers and roofs to a complicated mix of macro cells, small cells and Wi-Fi access points, Wellingstein said.

That transformation may present Cisco's best opportunity to become a much bigger player in cellular. One barrier to the company making further inroads into cellular RANs is coordination with macro cells, because small cells can interfere with macros when they use the same frequencies in the same area.

Some observers have questioned whether Cisco can make its RAN gear coordinate with current macro cells. Intucell is also Cisco's answer to that problem, said Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's service provider mobility group. Intucell's software is already coordinating with macro cells in commercial networks, he said.



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