Niche Player: Cisco
The San Jose, Calif.-based networking behemoth is focused on telco cloud, mobile core, SDN transport and automation with its 5G business. Cisco’s Virtualized Packet Core receives major CSPs interest, and it supported T-Mobile’s industry-first 5G SA network by supplying UPF, SMF and PCF. Cisco ranks in the middle of the pack on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for both vision and execution.
Strengths: Cisco is a forerunner in Internet Protocol (IP) technology, which is an advantage because EPC/5G core is an all-IP network technology, Gartner said. Cisco has established a strong ecosystem in Open vRAN, which includes all the major players, as well as interest from CSPs.
Weaknesses: Cisco’s RAN portfolio does not include macrocell/microcell base stations and cannot fulfill CSPs’ requirements there. Gartner said Cisco is still seen by some CSPs as principally an enterprise player.