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MWC: Cisco incorporates Starent tech into NGN architecture

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) has taken Starent Network’s flagship mobile core gateway and repackaged at as the ASR 5000 for the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but it’s doing more than just swapping labels. Cisco has incorporated its Unified Reporting System platform into the former Starent ST40, allowing the mobile data core to easily share a wealth of subscriber and network information with an operator’s other system. And Cisco promised that the reporting upgrade will only be the first of several overhauls to Starent’s core with the goal of fully integrating it into the IP vendor’s next-generation network architecture.

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“We’re taking all of the Starent assets and combing them with all of Cisco’s assets, making it a case of 1+1=3 ,” said Kittur Nagesh, director of service provider marketing at Cisco. Nagesh said the introduction of the 5000 into the ASR line gives Cisco a robust mobile data component to its IP NGN framework, one that scales not just for the capacity needs of the data plane but for the signaling needs control plane—a critical requirement for any high mobility network.

Cisco bought Starent for $2.9 billion last year, using its core architecture to both augment and replace elements of its own packet data service network (PDSN) and gateway GPRS support node (GGSN) products as well as the foundation for its future 4G core architecture. Starent is supplying elements of the evolved packet core for Verizon Wireless’ (NYSE:VZ, NYSE:VOD) long-term evolution rollout this year.

Cisco today also released the mobile data component of its Visual Networking Index, which tracks and projects data service and usage trends, ahead of the Congress. The Index project that mobile data traffic will double every year between 2009 and 2014, resulting in a 39-times increase in total bandwidth consumed in five years. In addition, the Index found that high-bandwidth services will be the primary driver: 66% of mobile traffic in 2014 will be video.

The data reflects trends the industry is already witnessing. On Monday, Allot Communications (NASDAQ:ALLT), releasing data it compiled from its deep packet inspection (DPI) policy management servers deployed globally, found that YouTube already accounts for 10% of all mobile data traffic today, and video streaming has exceeded mobile browsing as the biggest consumer of mobile network capacity, accounting for 29% of all traffic.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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