SAN FRANCISCO -- Calix today announced the latest leap forward for its AXOS Software-Defined Access, adding a Subscriber Management Module that combines access and edge functions, bringing intelligence closer to the customer and eliminating the need for broadband network gateways.
The announcement is just the latest in a series from Calix, and company executives are making it clear at a media and analyst gathering here that this is the new norm: With the AXOS Software-Defined Access platform in place, Calix can develop new functions much more rapidly -- its recent 10G EPON System for Cable being a prime example, as it was developed in 120 days.
"In reality, we will introduce more products this year than in our 17-year history," Geoff Burke, senior director of corporate marketing, told the analysts. "We are now a software and services company, and that is a fundamental change as a company and as a culture."
The AXOS Subscriber Management Module is the second step toward combining the functions that were divided between the edge and access networks into a simpler, more intelligent approach, following the introduction of the AXOS Routing Protocol Module (RPm) earlier this year, which eliminated the aggregation router. One key advantage to service providers of this process is combining residential and business services onto one fiber infrastructure, according to Frank Miller, VP of access at CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) and a speaker here at the Calix event.
"We can use one network to deliver two services," which greatly improves economics by using a simpler, scalable and automated approach, he said. The policy control the AXOS SMm delivers lets CenturyLink deliver the customer-specific quality of service and committed information rate that businesses require, Miller added. It's an approach that fits well into his company's plans to let customers, especially enterprises, take control of their own services through portals and automated processes.
In addition to eliminating the cost and time required to deploy a monolithic BNG for next-gen services, the AXOS SMm delivers streamlined service activation and integrates key functions of an edge router including subscriber authentication, authorization and accounting (AAA), IP address management and policy charging and enforcement.
This approach gives network operators an opportunity to centralize their policy management, but it doesn't force them to take that step, said Shane Eleniak, Calix vice president of systems products. "We offer them this as one approach."
That centralization of subscriber management functions was cited by another Calix customer, Cedar Falls Utilities, in the press release announcing the SMm. Rob Houihan, Cedar Falls Utilities' CTO, said his company previously hosted those functions on multiple network elements and needed multiple employees and departments engaged in the service activation process as a result. Using the AXOS SMm has improved its provisioning QoS and policy management, "enabling subscriber self-service and a much more streamlined process for our operations team" that means fewer errors.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading
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