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NGWC: How to activate AP count licenses and deactivate the evaluation license on Cisco 5760 Wireless LAN Controllers (WLC) and Cisco Catalyst 3850 Switches





In this document Cisco TAC engineer "Michael Combs" has explained about How to activate AP count licenses and deactivate the evaluation license on 3850 / 5760 WLC


Problem Subcategory

5700 Series Wireless LAN Controller (AIR-CT5760)


Problem Type



Cause / Problem Description

User recently purchased a 5760, and needs help with installing and/or activating the AP licenses.



Unlike the previous unified wireless LAN controllers, the 5760 and other converged access wireless infrastructure now use a right-to-use licensing structure. Further details and clarification of such can be found at the below URL for reference:


Q. What is right-to-use (RTU) licensing?

A. An RTU license scheme is an honor-based model for licensing. Licenses that follow this model are not tied to a unique device identifier (UDI), product ID, or serial number. For the purpose of this Q&A, the relevant licenses are access point count licenses. Access point count licenses are required on a Cisco wireless controller for access point connection and control.


To activate the AP licenses - in this case for a quantity of 250 - and deactivate the evaluation license, you will need to execute the following CLI commands on the 5760 in privileged EXEC mode:


  *   license right-to-use activate ap-count 250 slot 1 acceptEULA

  *   license right-to-use deactivate ap-count evaluation

  *   end


You can find additional information regarding these commands in the below linked section of the latest command reference guide for 3.3SE:


Common Questions

Q. How is RTU licensing enabled?

A. Access point count licenses can be enabled through the command-line interface (CLI) with acceptance of an RTU end-user license agreement (EULA).


The ordering process is the same as before. Customers place an order for a controller with an embedded access point count license or a separate access point count adder license. For the access point count adder license, they will receive an e-license or paper license after payment. There is no license PAK or SWIFT, avoiding the need to access the portal or additional external license tools.


Q. What are the benefits with RTU licensing?

A. An RTU license scheme simplifies enabling access point adder licenses in the field by eliminating the need for an additional step or additional tools and access to for PAKs during installation of adder licenses or transfer of licenses from one controller to another during the RMA process.


Q. Which wireless controller products will have RTU licensing and when?

A. This document is applicable to the RTU access point count licensing on the Cisco Catalyst 3850 and Cisco 5760 WLC. The Cisco 5760 WLC and the Cisco Catalyst 3850 will support RTU-based access point count licensing.


The Cisco Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controllers and Cisco 8500 Series Wireless Controllers also use RTU licensing. Wireless Access Point Right To Use (RTU) Licensing for Cisco 8500 and Flex7500 Wireless LAN Controllers


Other wireless controller platforms such as the Cisco 5508 Wireless Controller, Cisco Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2), and Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controller will continue to use the node-locked licensing model, in which the access point count licenses are tied to the hardware.


RTU License Summary output via CLI


RTU License Summary output via Cisco Prime Infrastructure


license right-to-use

To configure right-to-use access point adder licenses on the controller, use the license right-to-use command in privileged EXEC mode.


license right-to-use { activate | deactivate } ap-count { count | slot slot-number | acceptEULA | evaluation}


More Information

Consolidated Platform Command Reference, Cisco IOS XE Release 3.3SE (Cisco WLC 5700 Series)

Wireless Access Point Right-to-Use Licensing on Cisco 5760 Wireless LAN Controllers and Cisco Catalyst 3850 Switches


Hi Vinay,


In WLC 5520, can we see the detail history of add / delete operation of the ap_count license? The licensing is RTU license.


Thank you

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