Those sales are “literally in the ‘handful’ sort of stage right now,” not numerous enough to affect Cisco’s revenue forecasts, he added. (Cisco is predicting its third quarter, which ends in April, will see revenues climb 1 to 4 percent year-over-year, aided by an extra calendar week.)
The point is that the partnership presents “immediate opportunity,” as Robbins put it. Ericsson has estimated that opportunity will be worth at least $1 billion per year by 2018.
And he claims his company is fired up about it.
“Outside of Apple, we’ve never seen a partnership that has gotten so much energy and excitement inside the company,” Robbins said, referring to August’s announcement of joint development work to optimize Cisco networks for devices and applications that run Apple’s iOS.
Robbins said he and Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg are “going to be together quite a bit” at Mobile World Congress the week of Feb. 22.
The venue is fitting, as it will also serve as a coming-out party for the now combined Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent. Together, they form the largest wireless equipment vendor, and it’s assumed that the Ericsson-Cisco partnership is an attempt by both companies to combat the new Nokia.
So, we’re expecting both of these new giants of communications to make some big proclamations at MWC. Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri will talk to press and analysts on Sunday, Feb. 21, before the main conference opens. Ericsson’s Vestberg will hold his usual state-of-the-union address the following morning.