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Cisco says jury still out on femtocells

29 мая 2008

Cisco has said that the future of the femtocell market remains unclear and that it is not sure whether the technology has the potential to sell as a mass market consumer device.

"The jury is still out on whether femtocells are a niche, medium or huge play… There's not a lot of people out there saying it's a done deal," Jon Hindle, director of service provider marketing at Cisco, told Total Telecom late last week.

Despite the fact that Cisco made a strategic investment in femtocell developer ip.access in January, Hindle said the technology is still very much in its formative stages, and that Cisco is keen to observe how the sector develops, rather than adopt a more hands-on approach. 

"Femtocells could represent a way into the consumer market, so it's something we're watching," he said.

"We're not slamming femtocells, just making observations… The nice thing about it is that it's IP, meaning you can deliver multiple services on a single device," he added.

Hindle's comments were made ahead of the launch on Wednesday of Cisco's newest enterprise mobility solution based around a combination of the vendor's Mobility Services Engine (MSE), and a suite of software applications which can support a range of services across both wired and wireless networks.

"The MSE sits between the network and the application and glues the two together," explained Hindle.

He said that there is a vast amount of information an application needs from the network in order to support advanced services, and that Cisco's MSE retrieves that information and processes it so that it can be used by those applications.

Among other things, Cisco's new platform is also able to detect when a mobile device roams onto the enterprise's network and off again – meaning for example that voice calls made initially from within a company's firewall are not cut off when the device roams outside the network.

Furthermore, Hindle explained that Cisco's latest range of IP-based mobility solutions is aimed at enabling a wide range of devices to be used on a company's network.

"The MSE hides the complexity of the network from the device, allowing any network application to run on it, all with a single point of management," he said.

Hindle commented that functionality like this is becoming increasingly important as tech-savvy employees increasingly bring in gadgets and devices from home, and plug them into their corporate networks.

"What we're seeing and our customers are seeing is the consumerisation of their IT networks.
People are more tech savvy and want to bring devices in from home and plug them into the network," he said.

"It's a problem if you can't control [it], but it's an opportunity if you can – you're going to save a lot of money if half your employees are buying and bringing in their own equipment," Hindle said.

Источник: Total Telecom

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