Cambium Networks is a leading global provider of wireless networking solutions, rapidly broadening to include sophisticated software to support network design, deployment, and operations.
To maximize the potential of a new business opportunity—the commercialization of a new radio spectrum for broadband connectivity—Cambium needed a closer, more ongoing relationship with their customers than traditional hardware sales could provide.
With Zuora’s help, Cambium launched a usage-based subscription service that provides radio spectrum access, cloud-based network management, and technical support that is paired with Cambium’s radio hardware.
Cambium’s subscription-based software for accessing the new wireless spectrum segment has helped to increase hardware sales and improve the customer experience with a pay-as-you-go usage model.
Cambium Networks, LTD, is a leading global provider of wireless connectivity. Operating in 180 countries, they often serve internet service providers in rural or less-developed geographies that don’t have the infrastructure or resources to build wired networks. The company has a strong foundation in radio technology, with a deep bench of high-quality products and engineering expertise. When a new spectrum, the Citizens Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) band, became available in the United States for internet use, Cambium saw an opportunity to combine its hardware and network management services into a new subscription offering.
CBRS was in demand among internet service providers who needed more capacity, as well as enterprises looking to build private networks. Cambium delivers its hardware and software package through a usage-based, subscription model. Pay-as-you-go provides flexibility and a higher level of service for the customer, and recurring revenue and a stickier customer relationship for Cambium.
But for a company used to selling hardware via distributors, a subscription model required a different kind of expertise. That’s where Zuora came in.
“In the past, we didn’t charge for cloud-based services, they were just considered part of the package when a customer purchased a radio,” explains Mike Glish, VP, Solutions, at Cambium Networks. “Zuora helped our company envision how to make software and services a desirable product in its own right.”
Zuora provided the subscription know-how and the essential invoicing and billing platform for Cambium to launch a new offering for CBRS access. The subscription product, cnMaestro and its companion Domain Proxy, is a service that works with Cambium’s radio hardware and third-party Spectrum Access Service (SAS) vendors to provide access to the CBRS spectrum. The service allows customers to manage their wireless network (monitoring, applying software updates, configuring, and more) seamlessly as the radios operate on the CBRS spectrum.
Zuora enables Cambium to collect usage data generated by customers’ radios to perform bill runs following the usage month, then do a payment run. Customers are charged directly via credit card or ACH. Zuora’s APIs and Hosted Payment Page made out-of-the-box integration with Cambium’s payment processor easy.
Since launch in April 2020, the monetization of the cnMaestro platform with CBRS software services has created a substantial new revenue stream—but it has also increased sales of hardware.
What’s next? In January 2021 Cambium Networks launched its second Zuora-enabled application – a subscription renewal quoting and ordering application for its XMS network management platform that is linked to the ERP system and distributor billing. This will be followed early next year by a company-wide subscription platform based on Zuora that will host all of Cambium’s recurring revenue products and services. Cambium is also looking into Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) products that may not require selling hardware at all. More and more, Cambium is in the service business, and business is only getting better.
“Orders for radios that utilize this spectrum have been so high that we have had a hard time delivering fast enough. We’ve also seen many new customers switch to our platform for the cloud management ease of use and frictionless payment” – Mike Glish, VP, Solutions, Cambium Networks
“Our subscription offering has potentiated hardware sales. So now our subscription revenue and our hardware revenue are going up.” – Mike Glish, VP, Solutions, Cambium Networks