Cisco, India's Airtel Team Up for Smarter Mobile User Experiences

Indian telecom is building out Cisco’s Self-Optimizing Network to manage and support massive growth in data and voice traffic.


We’ve been using the customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX) buzzwords pretty regularly for a few years. Now perhaps it’s time to add one that’s more specific and even a little funny-sounding: MUX (our term), short for the mobile user experience.

Cisco Systems, not one to shy away from a trendy acronym, made an announcement Feb. 25 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that centers on MUX. As luck would have it, this also involves another relatively new acronym, SON, which stands for self-organizing network.

The huge San Jose, Calif.-based networking equipment and services company said it has partnered with Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecommunications services provider, to improve customer experience in taking their SON solutions to a new level.  

A self-organizing network is automated to make the planning, configuration, management, optimization and self-healing of mobile radio access networks simpler and faster. This is about the continued insertion and use of artificial intelligence and machine-learning techniques in all sorts of IT use cases.

SON systems, which don’t forget anything, are now enabling better optimization based on customer experience and predictive analytics, Cisco said. They are equipped to take proactive actions in near real time, using predictive machine learning and interworking of SON with NOC (network operations center) tools, project management analytics and customer experience analytics platforms.

In other words, they pretty much control all the traffic in a new-gen enterprise network. This is all about making customer-facing networks completely available with little or no downtime and ready for heavy customer demands at any hour of the day or night. Cisco and Airtel are working together to identify new use cases and enhancing SON capabilities of deployed platform, the company said.

We are now taking SON to the next level by integrating it with other data sources and machine-learning capabilities,” Bharti AirtelNetworks Director Abhay Savargaonkar said in a media advisory. “This is a path breaking step to put more intelligence in the network and enable us to enhance real-time experiences of our consumers.”

Airtel is building a completely automated network platform that self-monitors, adjusts and modifies without manual intervention. With Cisco, it designed an open, hyper-programmable architecture that consolidates its multi-vendor, multi-domain network into a unified system capable of scaling to meet the intense demands spanning in and outside its region, Airtel said.

Parts of the new network are expected to be operational later this year.

For more information, go here. MWC continues through this week in Barcelona, Spain.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...