Cisco Pushes Broadband Aggregation Up and Down

Cisco Systems has pushed up the high end and pushed down the low end of its broadband aggregation gear that lets service providers support DSL, cable modem and other high-speed access services.

Cisco has doubled the processing power in the NRP2 processor card for its 6400 broadband concentrator. With software efficiencies, the card can support 16,000 simultaneous customer sessions, eight times the number the NRP1 card supported. A fully loaded 6400 chassis can handle six of the cards, giving a single box the capacity for 96,000 customer sessions.

This lifts the 6400 into the league of competitive products from Redback, Nortel Networks, Cosine and Lucent, which support about 100,000 sessions, says Ron Westfall, an analyst with Current Analysis.

At the same time, Cisco is porting software to its venerable 7200 router that will enable it to terminate up to 4,000 customer broadband sessions. This addition of this Broadband-subscriber User Services (BUS) software is intended for enterprises and small ISPs that don't need the capacity of a 6400, Cisco says.

The NRP2 cards cost $US24,000 and will be available in November. The BUS software will come standard with 7200s with the release of Cisco IOS 12.1 in late November.

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