& cplSiteName &

Alcatel Names Its 21CN Partners

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
5/20/2005
50%
50%

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.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 28, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit 101
Will Barkis, Senior Technology Analyst, Orange
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
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 Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Optical Innovation 2016

9|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of the 2016 Huawei Optical Innovation forum.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Are You Ready for Huawei Connect 2016?

8|31|16   |     |   (0) comments


Join us for an exclusive sneak peak of Huawei Connect, an integrated conference for the global ICT ecosystem taking place in Shanghai.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: UXP's Gemini Waghmare

8|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments


F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


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.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
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
Infographics
Hot Topics
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/21/2016
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2016
Comcast Will Go Wireless in 2017
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/20/2016
Sprint CEO: We'll Lease Spectrum as Soon as Possible
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/20/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
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.
Animals with Phones
You Thought Your Customer Service Was Unreliable... Click Here
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.