Juniper Networks is attempting to insinuate itself deeper into the mobile video delivery business with the acquisition of Ankeena Networks.

Ankeena developed a system that takes online content and delivers it in a “television-like” format. Ankeena explains that its system “combines media storage optimization, multi-tier caching and rate-based delivery mechanisms to deliver a large number of concurrent media streams at different data rates with an extremely high aggregate bandwidth.”

The two companies entered a partnership last October in which Juniper agreed to help Ankeena develop its networks.

At the same time, Juniper announced its Project Falcon, a program aimed at developing products to help wireless network operators to optimize their networks. Subsequently, Juniper released its own version of Ankeena’s Media Flow, a product designed to help mobile operators reduce transit traffic and costs while providing a TV-like viewing experience for rich media content.

Juniper did not put a price on the deal, but Dow Jones Venture Wire quotes one of Ankeena’s venture capital investors who pegged the value at just under $100 million.

Ankeena will become part of Juniper’s Junos Ready Software (JRS) group, which is headed by Juniper executive vice president and JRS general manager Manoj Leelanivas, who announced the deal in a blog entry on Juniper’s site today.

Ankeena CEO Rajan Raghavan will stay on as vice president and general manager of the newly created Content and Media Business Unit (CMBU), while Prabakar Sundarrajan, Ankeena’s CTO, will become chief strategy officer of CMBU.

“The time is now for networking companies to offer solutions that help service providers prioritize and deliver media solutions,” Leelanivas wrote. “Online video viewership has increased significantly over the past year, with Nielsen reporting 138 million unique viewers in the U.S. alone, which represents a 16 percent increase from the same period the previous year.

“The growth in total streams is even greater, increasing 26 percent year-over-year to a total of 11.2 billion streams,” he continued. “In addition, Coda Research Consultancy forecasts that U.S. mobile handset data traffic will reach 327 petabytes a month in 2010. Mobile video will account for the lion share of that traffic.”

More Broadband Direct 4/09/10:
•  CED Blog: Smart Grid and broadband
•  Study: Cable, IPTV operators still investing in VOD servers
•  Juniper buys mobile video partner Ankeena
•  Microsoft's Silverlight takes aim at set-top boxes
•  FCC, Verizon quarrel over spectrum plans
•  FCC plans to move forward with broadband plan soon
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