Though the ASR 5000 is mostly just a rebranding of the ST40, the fact that it's available just weeks after the acquisition closed signals Cisco is serious, said analyst Peter Jarich of Current Analysis.
"They're doing something, and they're doing it quickly," Jarich said.
Cisco already provides some functions of the new platform on its 7600 series router, which has been a mainstay of its routing lineup for the edges of carrier networks. This puts Cisco in an interesting position because the ASR 5000 is not a traditional router but a specialized services platform, said Jarich. Cisco offers both approaches, he said. The array of major competitors to Cisco includes Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson. Carrier router archrival Juniper Networks may introduce similar capabilities, Jarich believes.
At the same time, it means Cisco is expanding its ASR line, which began with the ASR 1000 and 9000 edge routers, with a device that is not a classic router, Jarich said.
"The ASR family isn't so much about routing as it is (about) services," Jarich said.
Subscribers will probably start to see the benefits of technology like the ASR 5000 next year, following testing and implementation, Jarich believes. The rollout of 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) networks will give carriers a chance to kick off the next generation of offerings, he said.
"Ultimately, the trend is going to be more personalized services," Jarich said. That should mean more choices for users, including options that are more closely tuned to their individual needs. Better mechanisms for getting consumers to pay for those services in some form will help to make those new options flourish, he said.