IP portends the power of partnership
Partnerships, strategic alliances, joint ventures, M&As (Mergers
and Acquisitions). Call them what you want, but they are dominating
the IP world. The rising complexities in the development and
management of sophisticated VoIP, IPTV and data networks,
not to mention the integration of them into existing single-
or dual-application networks, is mandating companies in the
IP space to partner with others that provide crucial complementary,
Evidence is everywhere. ABI Research points to Cisco System
Inc.'s acquisition of Scientific-Atlanta, Motorola Inc. assimilation
of Kreatel, Tandberg's purchase of SkyStream, and other playersincluding
HP, IBM, Nortel and Lucentthat may be looking to acquire
or partner with IPTV specialists.
"As the technology has become more mainstream and IPTV subscriber
numbers have increased, established equipment vendors have
begun to enter the fray, often by acquiring the pioneering
start-ups that once controlled the industry," says Michael
Arden, ABI's principal analyst for broadband and multimedia
Some other companies ripe for mergers or outright acquisitions?
Orca Interactive, Kasenna, Bitband, Optibase, 2Wire and Entone,
The result of all this? A smaller number of vendors providing
all-encompassing IP network solutions, including video infrastructure,
With the biggest merger of recent times just announcedAT&T's
future fusion with BellSouth and Cingular Wirelessand
a host of smaller alliances within the IP vendor community
(some of them noted in this week's issue)the parade
of partnerships, alliances, ventures and M&As marches on,
and the route is likely to be a long one.
Amino partners with Trimedia
IPTV set-top maker Amino
Communications will partner with Trimedia Broadcast
Ltd to provide an end-to-end system for corporate IPTV. The
combination of Amino's AmiNET set-top boxes and Trimedia's
Captive Audience Network (CAN) is designed to deliver highly
targeted advertising or informational services to different
audiences, including corporate cable networks, the companies
Netopia gateways get optimized
A broadband gateway from Netopia
Inc. has been tested and verified for compatibility
Media's Slingbox, a "place-shifting" device that enables
consumers to watch home TV anytime, anywhere, through virtually
any Internet-connected device.
mPhase and Best Data on
same IPTV track
Technologies and Best
Data Products Inc. will collaborate in the marketing
and selling of their respective IPTV gear to service providers.
The two companies will test and certify a pre-configured
and optimized solution for telecommunications operators for
advanced IPTV service using Best Data's carrier-class DSL
modems and the mPhaseTV+System.
Why the teamwork? Combining mPhase's open middleware with
Best Data's modems gives both companies a better chance of
surviving in the competitive IPTV space.
AT&T, BellSouth get the
urge to merge
The proposed blockbuster merger of BellSouth
Inc. for a stunning price, reportedly valued at $67
billion, is hard evidence of the new partnerships, alliances
and acquisitions dominating the broadband and telecommunications
The merger will not only create significant value for the
new company, but streamline the ownership and operations of
Cingular Wireless, which is jointly owned by AT&T and BellSouth.
The new company, it was announced, will combine the three
companies into a single fully integrated wireless and wireline
IP network offering with greater financial, technical, research
and development, network and marketing resources.
An ominous inclusion in the merger announcement for the cable
industry? "Consumers seeking a real alternative to cable monopolies
should see faster and more economical deployment of next-generation
IP television networks and similar services as a result of
AT&T's groundbreaking entry into IPTV," the companies claimed.
The merger is expected to close within 12 months, pending
shareholder and regulatory approvals.
Avaya and Samsung team
Samsung Electronics have formed a strategic alliance
to jointly develop and market IP communications solutions
to businesses around the globe.
The pair will co-develop and market IP-based products for
the video, voice and data converged market, with Samsung initially
marketing and re-selling Avaya's contact center and IP telephony
solutions in Korea. The longer term strategy for the alliance?
Co-develop technologies that will drive Avaya's current IP-based
mobility and convergence products.
Verso SIPs on VoIP
Inc. is launching a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based
VoIP gateway that will include an integrated IP router, the
SIP, destined to become a key element of the CableLabs PacketCable
2.0 specification, is a signaling protocol used to create,
manage and terminate sessions in an IP-based network. Verso's
new gateway model, NetPerformer, is designed to provide IP
and TDM connectivity for both carrier and enterprise markets,
the company added.
Vodavi and Alanysis prefer
Technology Inc. and Alanysis
have agreed on a preferred vendor arrangement that
provides a pre-deployment VoIP network assessment program
to determine the readiness of IP telephony networks.
Alanysis will conduct the VoIP network assessments remotely,
and can be performed on a single-site LAN or WAN or Internet
installations up to dozens of sites in size, the companies
BroadSoft and Vonair join
Inc. will develop, market and distribute a VoIP client
management solution together, they announced. The collaboration,
dubbed Netria, will focus on resolving client management challenges
such as integration, deployment and management of SIP-based
customer premises equipment (CPE).
"This joint venture enables us to address the complex integration
and scalability challenges in the growing VoIP market," says
Michael Tessler, president and CEO of BroadSoft.
Cox, Juniper get some backbone
is expanding its network as part of the MSO's national backbone
upgrade, and will use Juniper
Networks' T-series core routing platforms to increase
scalability and performance, the companies announced.
The two companies have done business before, as Cox has already
deployed Juniper's M-and T-series routing platforms to support
the MSO's multiple applications including peering, CMTS aggregation,
high-speed Internet and video in its metro core networks.
The plan is for Cox to leverage Juniper's M and T-series
MPLS and point-multipoint capabilities for a seamless, nationwide
network that can deliver the triple play services of video,
voice and data and mission-critical applications.
Why the upgrade? Cox is responding to the rapidly increasing
demand for advanced video and VoIP, and with 6.6 million subscribers
and more than 1 million triple play customers, the company
acknowledges that an upgrade of its national backbone network
"Cox's backbone is a key asset for the company and all potential
IP services going forward, and Juniper will provide all of
the core and edge routers in the backbone. The consistent
feature set and performance across all elements of the network
allows the focus to be on delivering new advanced services,
and not trying to work out interoperability between vendors,"
says Randy Kinsey, director of IP engineering for Cox Communications.