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Gemalto Gives Cambium, WISPs Greater Flexibility

March 05, 2018

Cambium Networks (News - Alert) delivers fixed wireless broadband technology. The company sells its broad portfolio of solutions to wireless internet service providers. But that can be a tough sell when those WISPs are already using a competitor’s products. So Cambium has come up with an ingenious solution.

This innovative solution enables Cambium ePMP Elevate software to run on other suppliers’ subscriber modules. That way, WISPs can continue leveraging their legacy investments and upgrade to Cambium without installation truckrolls. And Cambium can more easily win new customers.

That’s a far more flexible model than Cambium and its WISP customers had in the past. But Cambium is working with Gemalto (News - Alert) to make it even better through a flexible licensing model.

Initially Cambium put the license for the software on the access point. So customers paid $25 for each access point running the software. The software could be installed remotely, so that made things easy. But it took some work for the WISPs to get the licenses onto their devices. And it just wasn’t all that flexible.

Here’s how it worked. Cambium uses NetSuite (News - Alert) as its ERP, so customers entered orders into NetSuite. That system passed it to Gemalto’s Sentinel EMS, which generated an entitlement ID. The WISP used the ID, and needed each AP’s MAC address, to set up licensing. The more APs, the more work that involved.

Because licenses were tied to individual APs, WISPs sometimes paid for more licenses than they needed. And the inflexible licensing approach didn’t enable WISPs to change licensing as subscribers came and went.

So while Cambium had a flexible deployment model, its licensing model was rather inflexible.

That led Cambium to install Sentinel RMS on access points, says global services VP Mike Glish. Adding RMS to its Sentinel EMS solution provides Cambium and its customers with much more flexibility.

That means Cambium customers don’t have to apply licenses to a particular AP. Instead, they apply them to a pool.

Here’s how it works with Sentinel RMS on the AP. The subscriber module requests a connection, and the AP grants it automatically. And the AP periodically and automatically checks the WISP’s licensing pool to assess the licensing situation.

The WISP needs to be fully licensed, of course. But if it doesn’t have enough licenses, they have grace period to take care of that. So business can keep moving.

This license pool model also means WISPs only pay for the number of subscribers paying them. (As opposed to paying for the full number of subscribers that an AP can support.) That has big implications for the bottom line.

“The concurrent licensing model and the use of a license key pool allows the operator to more simply just add new licenses to the pool,” says Glish.

Edited by Maurice Nagle