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Arris Leaps Into CMTS Port Licensing

Jeff Baumgartner
10/28/2010

3:45 PM -- It looks as if Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) won't get to exploit this whole cable modem termination system (CMTS) port licensing concept all on its lonesome for very long. (See Cisco Pops Pay-As-You-Go CMTS Play.)

Derek Elder, SVP of product management and marketing at Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), touched base to clarify that his company has indeed implemented a similar pay-as-you-go licensing program as it introduces its new "XD-CAM" CMTS blades, which pack in 32 downstream channels. (See Arris Boosts CMTS Downstream Density .)

He says all Arris CMTS 16-channel CAMS (which stands for cable access modules in Arris lingo) that have ever shipped are upgradable to become 24-downstream or 32-downstream XD-CAMs "via a factory recalibration process." So that means MSO's won't have to replace the CAMs in order to beef them up with more downstream density.

Elder says new software licensing capabilities will ensure that all 16-channel CAMS in the field today can become "XD-CAM ready" by the end of the year. That feature will be included in Arris's 7.4 CMTS software release, due out in the first quarter of 2011.

As the licensing approach goes, he says customers can purchase an XD-CAM with 16 channels already provisioned, with an option to license additional channels in increments of eight -- so they can be expanded to 24 channels, or, if demand requires it, make the leap all the way to 32.

That same license approach will also apply to the already deployed 16-channel CAMs, which can be upgraded with software.

Elder says Arris could allow for the provisioning of additional channels in smaller blocks, but doesn't know if there will be much operator demand for capacity jumps that call for increments of less than eight channels at a time.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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