Two weeks ago, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) forecast a tremendous increase in the amount of mobile data as the world embraces what Chief Executive Officer John Chambers calls the “Internet of Things.”

On Tuesday, Cisco launched a series of software products called Quantum and new routers that it believes will help global services providers better manage the data explosion while also enabling them to launch new services that can capitalize on the data.

The announcements came just days ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Spain. It’s considered the premier mobile network event of the year.

Computerworld calls Cisco’s move “focused” and “ambitious” with an emphasis on emerging “small-cell” wireless technology.

“Data in motion presents a major monetization opportunity for service providers. As this data traverses access, core and cloud networks, the close orchestration between intelligent infrastructure and software enables our customers to optimize network resources through granular visibility at all levels,” said Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president and general manager of the Service Provider Mobility Group for Cisco. ”Cisco is unique in offering architectural solutions that capitalize on data in motion, and we are aggressively pursuing all aspects of our mobile strategy to be service providers’ vendor of choice as they work to take advantage of the immense opportunities for their consumers and their business in the Internet of Everything.”

One analyst who likes the move is Yankee Group analyst Ken Rehbehn.

“This is a natural next step,” Rehbehn told Computerworld. “It gives the operators a choice. It gives Cisco an opportunity to leverage something that they are very strong at, which is excellent Wi-Fi capabilities for network operators.”

Cisco describes the Quantum line as “intelligent software,” which integrates technology that the company has spent $1.5 billion in acquiring.

Quantum “enables greater network programmability, a key building block for the delivering of new network services,” Cisco says.

Offerings include:

  • Cisco Quantum Network Abstraction Suite which “provides a real-time network abstraction layer for network data collection, aggregation and orchestration to augment available information in all network decision processes.”
  • Cisco Quantum Policy Suite which “offers a next-generation policy management solution that enables service providers to scale, control, monetize and personalize any service on any type of network through a flexible, interactive architecture that supports application-centric policy capabilities.”
  • Cisco Quantum Analytics Suite which “provides business and network analytics capabilities that enable both historical and real-time predictive policy decisions. It includes dashboards for data visualization and programmable interfaces to create system alerts in conjunction with policy.”
  • Cisco Quantum Wide Area Network (WAN) Orchestration Suite which “provides network management tools to simplify capacity and traffic management, increase network efficiency, and reduce operational costs for service providers, particularly in IP/MPLS (Internet Protocol/Multiprotocol Label Switching) environments.”

Cisco says Vodafone Netherlands is already utilizing Quantum.

On the hardware side, Cisco announced a series of so-called “small-cell” licensed radio technology routers. The small-cell development enables wireless providers to offload data from cellular networks – but not to Wi-Fi.

As Compuerworld explains it, small cells utilize ”a carrier’s own licensed spectrum, reusing in a small area the frequencies that already travel from cell towers across a whole neighborhood.”

The new routers, according to Cisco:

  • Cisco 3G Small Cell Module for Cisco Aironet Access Points is Wi-Fi compatible and integrates licensed and unlicensed small cells with a plug-in 3G radio for ease of deployment.
  • Cisco 3G Small Cell expands Cisco’s proven solution for enterprises with an unsurpassed channel to market for premises-based deployments.
  • Cisco ASR 901S is designed to enable wide-scale deployment of outdoor small cells by extending carrier-class small-cell routing to the outdoor installation pole to break the backhaul bottleneck.

[CISCO ARCHIVE: Check out more than a decade of Cisco stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]