Cisco Roundup: Big Collaborations at MWC

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Cisco CSCO had a lot of announcements at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018, as it partnered with government and telecoms to digitize countries and build advanced and 5G capable networks.

Cisco Alliances and 5G

Cisco announced a number of alliances at MWC 2018.

It has signed a Joint Purpose Agreement with Telenor to accelerate digital transformation in Norway with the goal of building a smart city model based on IoT for public safety and customer connectivity in a highly secure environment. This will therefore also result in new revenue opportunities for the two.

Cisco also announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with TIM, the leading service provider in Italy that is somewhat broader than the one with Telenor. The goal here is to create next generation solutions and services targeted at the cybersecurity, IoT, Industry 4.0, Smart Cities and 5G segments. Their shared capabilities will be used in the digital transformation of companies, the public sector and services targeted at citizens. They will also be utilized to develop a partner ecosystem leveraging 5G. Cisco has also joined the TIM #WCAP start-up acceleration program to boost overall innovation in the region.

There was also an MOU with the government of Portugal to make use of opportunities thrown up by the digital economy, signed with the objectives of economic growth, education, innovation, competitiveness, social inclusion and quality of life. It will include digital skill improvement; digital technology adoption across public sector services, education, Industry 4.0, mobility; and cybersecurity.

As Saudi Arabia gears up for the first commercial launch of 5G services, the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has signed an agreement with Cisco to collaborate on the launch of 5G communication systems and networks.The partnership, through the development of new 5G network architecture, is expected to further Saudi Arabia`s 2030 Vision and National Transformation Plan.

Cisco signed an agreement with Vodafone that is related to network slicing/segment routing, or creating a software-defined virtual network within the physical network that can be made to always choose the route with the shortest end-to-end latency. One big advantage of this system is that it intuitively restores connectivity in under 50 milliseconds if an issue occurs by rerouting traffic automatically.

At the event, it also signed deals with two Indian companies:

Its agreement with Bharti Airtel, India's largest telecom,is intended to deepen their collaboration in the Self-Organizing Network (SON) by integrating it with other data sources and machine learning capabilities. This will enable dynamic adjustment of the network when there is an exponential increase in voice and data traffic. India's mobile data consumption reportedly surpassed usage of the U.S. and China in 2017.

Its collaboration with Reliance Jio, another telecom, is also an expansion of their earlier agreement that built an all-IP network using Cisco technologies. It is designed to bring multi-access edge computing to the Reliance network, enabling a superior video experience. The technology integrates the content delivery network (CDN) into the mobile LTE network with edge caches closer to users that can reduce latency and improve performance.

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast 2016-2021, video will comprise 82% of all IP network traffic by 2021. So with these technologies, Cisco is attempting to get right in the middle of things.

Cisco has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other technology stocks that carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and are therefore worth buying include Facebook FB , Pegasystems PEGA , Mellanox Technologies MLNX and Unisys Corp. UIS . The complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks is here .

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