Feature Story

Cisco at Mobile World Congress: What you need to know

From keynotes to 5G—the biggest news from the conference.

Among the whirlwind news at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona—including growing cell phone prices, live surgeries, and 5G madness— Cisco had big announcements of its own to share. MWC, the largest mobile conference in the world, brought together thousands of leading companies and innovators to showcase the current and future trends in mobile technology.

CEO Chuck Robbins hit the stage with Rakuten chairman, CEO, and founder Mickey Mikitani to discuss how 5G will look in the years to come. The much-hyped 5G is the next era in mobile technology, promising faster speeds and connections. In addition to Robbins, Cisco executives and experts also participated in six different sessions and keynotes.

Read ahead to get the recap on what Cisco announced at MWC:

Robbins on 5G

During his keynote, Robbins stated that the hype of 5G will actually be reflected in the reality of the technology. Using the Cisco Visual Networking Index, he stated that there will be more than 400 million 5G connections in the next three years—possibly even higher. He predicts that the impact of 5G will also hit a range of industries, everything from mining to self-driving cars.

Robbins and Mikitani were on the keynote stage together to emphasize the importance of jointly working with partners to create new enterprise capabilities.

Wi-Fi 6 can’t be ignored

While discussing the 5G rage, Robbins also stated that Wi-Fi 6 cannot be ignored.

“Wi-Fi 6 and 5G are meant to work together,” said Robbins, adding that wireless operators need to still pay attention to Wi-Fi amidst the hype of 5G.

The benefits of Wi-Fi 6 (or Wi-Fi: 802.11ax) include heightened reliability, capacity, bandwidth, and enhanced features. It can improve battery efficiency in smartphones and IoT devices, and can create seamless experiences through a dependable network connection. Read more about Wi-Fi 6’s capabilities here.

Etisalat UAE and Cisco

Etisalat UAE, the Emirates telecommunications company, is now working with Cisco to deploy the first segment routing technology in the region. Automation and software-defined networking (SDN) will be introduced to the Emirates Internet Exchange (EMIX) network. This will allow EMIX to enable software-defined intelligence, closed-loop automation, a self-healing network, and intent-based networking.

With this new tech, Etisalat UAE can swiftly meet changing customer behaviors and quickly introduce new, next-generation services.

Extending SDN offering

Cisco also announced that it will be working with Verizon to offer 5G services supported by Cisco’s software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN). This will make it easier to manage network traffic in these wide area networks across public and private networks.

This new offering will help enterprise customers transition easily to 5G.

To learn more about everything Cisco did at MWC, check out full updates here and watch Robbins’ interview with CNBC from Barcelona.


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