Struggling Cisco rejiggers cBR-8 licensing model

Cisco sign (flikr)
Cisco is billing the new licensing scheme as a tool cable operator clients can use to better compete with fiber-rich networks. (Cisco Systems)

Struggling technology giant Cisco Systems Inc. is using the CES convention in Las Vegas this week to introduce a new licensing program for its cBR-8 converged cable access platform.

Dubbed “Infinite Broadband Unlocked” (IBU), the licensing model is aimed at simplifying license acquisition and management for cable operators expanding DOCSIS 3.1-powered broadband services. 

The program does this by not requiring cable operators to buy large numbers of new bandwidth licenses for services groups every time they want to expand DOCSIS 3.1 services. Instead, operators can buy just one license based on the amount of bandwidth consumption they experience. 

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"This is just a reflection of DOCSIS 3.1 being measured in MHz, not QAM channels. All vendors will likely follow suit," tweeted Jeff Heynen, consulting director and senior research analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence. 

“IBU helps cable operators be more competitive and gain subscriber market share,” said Sean Welch, VP and GM of cable access for Cisco’s Service Provider Business, in a statement. “We have listened carefully to our customers, and with this new offer we have specifically focused on making DOCSIS licensing simple and aligned with their business objectives.”

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Cisco is billing the new licensing scheme as a tool cable operator clients can use to better compete with fiber-rich networks. 

The model is available to both new and existing cBR-8 customers. 

Cisco remains the top router and switching vendor, but is also working to goose sales, following yet another quarter of reduced revenue (fiscal 2018 first-quarter revenue was down 2% to $12.1 billion).

Cisco is also trying to make the shift to software due to demand from large service provider customers such as AT&T, CenturyLink and Verizon. Each of these service providers are in various stages of migrating towards a software-based network construct.