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Cisco targets enterprise small cells as research shows VAS may be required

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Cisco has launched a small cell enterprise deployment programme as new research shows that providing traditional coverage and capacity solutions alone are no longer the only keys to wide scale enterprise deployments of small cell technology.

Cisco Small Cell Enterprise Select includes training and bundles that incorporate value-added services and incentives to make it attractive for enterprises.

The programme is built on Cisco’s small cell solutions portfolio – in the past couple of years the company has made no secret of its ambitions to be a force in the small cell market.

It aims to build on Cisco partners’ existing relationships with their enterprise customers. The vendor will be certifying its channel partners so that they can sell and deploy in-building 3G/LTE services in collaboration with a mobile operator.

Ed Chang, VP of the Small Cell Technology Group at Cisco: “We’re approaching the small cell market in a new and unique way that will keep costs down while allowing deployments to scale, creating the environment needed for enterprise small cells to cross the adoption curve chasm. Cisco and our partners have the radio frequency expertise, enterprise relationships, and the self-organising network technology mobile operators need to quickly and easily deploy small cells indoors.”

Cisco’s programme launches as research from analyst firm Maravedis-Rethink reveals that the majority of tier one mobile network operators think that increased capacity and coverage are not sufficient reasons to drive enterprise small cell deployment.

Most think additional benefits and services such as security and authentication benefits and location and presence-based services coupled with targeted marketing and advertising are needed.

These opinions chime with the views of the enterprises questioned in the research. However, enterprises in the retail and banking sectors said that the ability to connect mobile subscriber data to their existing big-data analytics systems was a most important objective.

Caroline Gabriel, who led the research at Rethink commented: “There is a definite and significant value-added opportunity here for operators who can react first and fastest to understand the key drivers within their target enterprise customers and offer small cell solutions that can underpin presence-based marketing and big data analytics.

“It is largely untapped territory and is ripe for exploitation. What’s more, small cells have some significant advantages over other potential solutions – such as Wi-Fi and beacon technology – as they are able to pick up information from the SIM card which adds greater security in areas such as authentication.”