Ericsson and Cisco partner to develop operator-class Wi-Fi

Credit: Vasin Lee /

Ericsson and Cisco are extending their strategic partnership to include a new Wi-Fi solution offering called Evolved Wi-Fi Networks (EWN) that combines Ericsson’s 3GPP access, core networks and applications with Cisco’s Wi-Fi portfolio.

Ericsson says EWN – the latest joint offering from the two companies since they formed a global business and technology partnership in November 2015 – will include pre-integrated and verified solutions and will offer a range of benefits, including:

Indoor small cells: Combining indoor Ericsson access networks with Cisco WLAN enables deployment in venues of both Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity.

Operator Wi-Fi: Allowing operators who have outdoor Ericsson access networks to use Cisco WLAN to offer access to their subscribers.

Traffic steering: Integrating Cisco WLAN with either Ericsson macro or indoor access networks enables operators to steer users between mobile and Wi-Fi access networks, ensuring the best end-user experience.

Core network integration: Integrating Cisco WLAN into Ericsson packet core using trusted configurations will allow operators to offer all their core network services over Wi-Fi for multimode devices.

Rima Qureshi, Ericsson’s Head of Region North America with responsibility for the strategic partnership with Cisco, says the partnership will create “the best end-to-end solutions and opportunities for our customers.”

Yvette Kanouff, SVP & GM of Cisco’s Service Provider Business Unit, noted that with Wi-Fi traffic predicted to grow to 50% of the total IP traffic by 2020, a top priority for service providers is to deliver the best possible connected experiences to their customers.

The design and deployment of solutions based on the new offering will be handled by Ericsson’s services organization, with full product support from Cisco.

Ericsson says its Cisco partnership has generated quite a lot of business, with over 250 active customer engagements now starting to turn into won deals. More than 60 deals, spread around the world, are in IP (routing and transport) and services. During the past year, the companies announced deals with 3 Italy, Vodafone Portugal, Aster Dominican Republic and Cable & Wireless in the Caribbean.

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