& cplSiteName &

Alcatel Names Its 21CN Partners

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading

After a few weeks of hesitation, Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) has named three partners it is taking into the metro nodes of BT Group plc's (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) next-generation network, the 21CN (see BT's 21CN: Metro Partners Under Wraps and Alcatel Picked for BT's 21CN).

The companies are B-RAS vendor Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK), session border controller supplier Acme Packet, and media server vendor Convedia Corp.

While there are no great surprises in that grouping, the news will still be a significant boost for those companies, as BT's 21CN plans are being closely watched by other major carriers around the world. "There are no surprises. It's a solid list of partners to go with a good package of Alcatel products," says Graham Beniston, analyst at large at Heavy Reading.

Alcatel also added further detail to its direct engagement. In addition to its 7750 Service Router and 5620 Service Aware Manager, the vendor is also supplying its 7510 IP media gateway, says Basil Alwan, president of Alcatel's IP division. That product is already in use at a number of other carriers, including Belgacom (Euronext: BELG), China Telecommunications Corp. (NYSE: CHA), and Slovak Telecom.

Alwan says that Redback, which will supply its SmartEdge Service Gateway, is a long-standing partner, and that Alcatel has also "done work with Acme in the past," though he couldn't say how the relationship with Convedia came about. The combination of Alcatel and Redback technology has been deployed by at least one other major carrier recently (see Alcatel, Redback Score at BellSouth and Redback, Alcatel Close to Alliance).

Alwan says negotiations are still underway with BT about other issues, such as the level of integration and support each company will provide to the carrier, and whether the metro category vendors will provide any associated service creation and delivery platforms. BT also chose Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Siemens Communications Group as metro node suppliers.

Alwan says there are no plans to make any investments in either of its privately held partners, something that Fujitsu has done with at least one of its 21CN partners (see Fujitsu Invests in Meriton).

"Of course we need to ensure we can deliver to BT, but these are financially sound companies with good investors. Also, these sorts of business wins tend to attract other outside investments" that can help companies grow and meet their customers' demands, says Alwan.

So what of the partners? Redback is, naturally, chuffed about the deal, though, like every other 21CN supplier, isn't providing any financial details. Chief marketing officer Marco Wanders says that BT, an existing Redback customer, "is doing something unique in the industry. This is good visibility for every company that's selected."

He says the SmartEdge devices will "add subscriber intelligence" to the network, though it's not clear yet about the exact network design and how all the different elements will fit together. "This reflects a growing need for our gateways," adds Wanders, who cites recent contract wins at BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS), Atlas Interactive, and Arcor AG & Co. KG in Germany as significant deals (see Redback, ZTE Win India Contract , Arcor Picks Redback's Routers, and How Redback Won BellSouth).

Acme Packet, meanwhile, is one of the leading session border controller vendors that already claims multiple Tier 1 carrier customers, with the latest being Spain's Telefónica SA (see Telefónica Deploys Acme Packet SBCs and Acme Packet Claims Top Spot).

The company had not responded to calls as this article was published.

Alcatel has tried in the past at providing its own session border functionality, having acquired one of the sector's early players (see What Alcatel Did With Avarox). But it seems the company is destined to need a partner in this space until it develops a new in-house product or makes another M&A move, something that Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) has felt obliged to do recently (see Juniper to Acquire Kagoor).

As for Convedia, it also has found success with other major carriers, though this deal will firmly thrust it into the limelight (see Convedia Thrives on Asian Base, Convedia Bets on IP-Only Servers, and Convedia Claims Top Ranking). It names China Telecom, China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU), Telefónica, and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) (OTC: SGTJY) among its carrier customers, and is believed to have been deployed at AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T).

Convedia is also rumored to have been included by at least one other successful metro category supplier as part of its bids. The company hadn't returned calls for comment as this article was published.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
Wednesday, November 9, 1:00PM EST
MANO 101
Friday, November 11, 1:00PM EST
Open Source for NFV MANO
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
OneAccess NFV Solutions

10|26|16   |   5:30   |   (0) comments

Antoine Clerget, CTO of OneAccess, discusses how his company has expanded its product line from enterprise-class routers to include a universal virtualized CPE as well as a suite of VNFs to help telco customers evolve to an NFV future.
LRTV Custom TV
The Journey Toward Carrier-Grade WiFi

10|26|16   |   3:39   |   (0) comments

In this Light Reading interview, Dave Sperling, CTO at Smith Micro Software and active participant of the WBA's policy working group, discusses the need for carrier-grade WiFi. Technical and business challenges slowing the fulfillment of this goal are addressed, as well as management strategies that will enable communication service providers to optimize end user ...
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE BBWF Highlights

10|26|16   |     |   (0) comments

At BBWF 2016, ZTE showed a broad range of innovative technologies that are kick-starting an ultrafast broadband journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
Trump: Dump AT&T/TW & Comcast/NBC
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/24/2016
Google Fiber Hits Pause Button, Scales Back
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/26/2016
T-Mobile: AT&T & TW Means Ma Bell Not Focused on Mobile
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/24/2016
Sprint: Revenue up 3%, Capex Will Rise Again
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
'Oh, Were You Looking for This?' Click Here
'I was just playing some games...'
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.