NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - The growth of bandwidth-hungry applications on social networking sites like Facebook (FB - Get Report) and enterprise applications from the likes of Oracle (ORCL - Get Report) could spell big bucks for networking behemoth Cisco (CSCO - Get Report).
The tech bellwether revamped its router technology for service providers on Tuesday, unveiling its new family of ASR 5500 products. Although hardly the sexiest corner of the tech sector, routers are big business for Cisco and rivals such as Ericsson (ERIC) and Nokia Siemens Networks at a time when more and more traffic is being pushed through networks.
|Cisco's eyeing a Facebook-fueled router boost.|
"For Cisco, this is a very critical play in terms of our growth, especially in the mobility sector," explained Murali Nemani, Cisco's director of service provider mobility, during an interview with
The tech giant, which recently saw its shares slump on weak fourth-quarter guidance, is touting the ASR 5500 as a key tool helping service providers wrestling with an explosion in Internet connections. Cisco predicts mobile Internet traffic will increase 18-fold by 2016.Nemani explained that the ASR 5500 offers 10 times the performance of its predecessor, the ASR 5000, in terms of throughput, Internet connections and app 'transactions' on a service provider's network. Last year Cisco confirmed that 20 of the world's top 25 service providers are using the ASR 5000. Orders for the router also increased 100% year-over-year during the networking giant's recent third quarter; although Cisco clearly sees an opportunity to grow revenue with the ASR 5500. Nemani uses the example of social networking phenomenon Facebook, which is home to so many network-hungry mobile applications. "We think