Light Reading

Genband on the Run

Phil Harvey
News Analysis
Phil Harvey
3/6/2006
50%
50%

Media gateway vendor General Bandwidth Inc. is on the move again. The company has lately caught some momentum in the media gateway market and it's also literally moving.

After five years in Austin, General Bandwidth is shortening its name to Genband and taking its new moniker to some new digs in Plano, Texas, in the building where DSC Communications Corp. once lived before it was taken out by Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA). The firm is also rebranding itself, revealing its new partners, releasing new products, and even talking about mergers and acquisitions.

On the surface, those changes seem minor, compared to what the company's been through since the telecom recession. (See Alcatel Reins In General Bandwidth.) But the larger point is that Genband's new group of managers, led by Charlie Vogt, of Taqua (now Tekelec ) fame, is dead set on remaking yet another once-ailing company into something larger than a single-point product vendor. (See General Bandwidth Drafts New CEO.)

In that vein, Genband announced today it is rolling out two new products -- and both new devices are the fruits of the company's very quiet acquisition of Menlo Park, Calif. gateway maker Syndeo Corp.

Syndeo's backers spent more than $100 million building its products, but Genband won't say how much it paid for the company. The company has said, however, that the buy gives it an expanded presence in the cable market, where it counts Vidéotron Telecom Ltd. and RCN Corp. as customers.

The first new product is the C2 Signaling Controller, a device for connecting SIP networks to legacy SS7 networks and databases. The other new box is the S4 Applications Server, a device that gives operators a way to provide Class 5 services (call-forwarding, call waiting, caller ID, etc.) to residential and small business VOIP customers.

These two devices are now being sold separately, and in combination with the G6 -- Genband's flagship gateway that allows packet-based voice calls to traverse legacy, circuit-based networks -- as part of an IMS strategy that Genband's partners are pitching to carriers worldwide. (See HR Ranks General Bandwidth First.)

Genband has also added to its partner roster, which now includes Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. , in addition to earlier investors such as Alcatel and Siemens. (See Siemens Gets Closer to Gen Band.) With the three partners, Genband is simultaneously chasing business in wireline networks, cable networks, and wireless networks, where it has just started pitching itself as one of many vendors that can help operators backhaul wireless traffic via pseudowire emulation.

But it's in the new telco and cable access networks where some analysts see Genband's immediate opportunity. In the telco space, specifically, new fiber-fed networks require a way to handle lots of voice subscribers, without necessarily scrapping all the installed digital loop carriers and Class 5 switches serving those lines now.

"We might see the addressable FTTP market move from greenfield to brownfield or overlay," says Matt Davis, an analyst at IDC . "If that happens, companies like Genband will have a pretty good opportunity." (See General Bandwidth Wins FTTH Deal and General Bandwidth VOIPs FTTP.)

Genband already counts AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) as its customers. (See General Bandwidth Inks Alcatel Deal and SBC Picks Alcatel for FTTP.) And in the cable space, a similar pitch is made. Genband says it can provide the boxes to transition calls to and from the PSTN and the company can enable Class 5 services over cable-fed VOIP connections.

With its new products and partners, Genband is better able to take on competitors like Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), Alcatel, Nuera Communications Inc. , Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), to name a few.

But what's the company's next move?

The recent addition of a new CFO (Jan Gaulding, former CFO at Sevin Rosen Funds ), as well as the product expansion, could lead one to believe Genband is looking for an exit, however casually. CEO Vogt told Light Reading the company will pursue "M&A where and when it makes sense," but he wouldn't be any more specific.

An analyst who did not want to be named said Genband would be a good fit inside an already established provider of next-generation access networks -– like Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA) or Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT).

Vogt, again, wouldn't comment on that. But he does note that Genband had $20 million in sales last year and he expects the company to turn a profit by the third quarter of this year. What's more, he sees growth being slow and steady, since he says carriers will take "at least a decade" to migrate their legacy networks to IMS-capable networks.

If Genband can keep pace and show some growth, why not go public?

"With… 100% growth expectations in 2006, we believe that our growing portfolio of product and solutions will form the foundation of a company that the public markets are looking for," Vogt writes in an email response to Light Reading.

Not exactly a denial, was it?

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:03:36 AM
re: Genband on the Run
Anyone think these guys will still be a standalone company in '07?
trzwuip
50%
50%
trzwuip,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:03:29 AM
re: Genband on the Run
These guys will likely not be standalone if Charlie can flip this P.O.S if at all possible. Caution: Look at what Tekelec is going to do to Taqua (shut it down as L.R. reported)! Good Luck!
GPON
50%
50%
GPON,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:03:24 AM
re: Genband on the Run
trzwuip,

I am guessing from your flippant response that you know very little about GenBand. While Charlie's "MO" is to ready companies for acquisition, that is not always a bad thing.

GenBand is a quality company that has outstanding product. Just ask any of GB's customers. Taqua is not even comparable to GB. I commend Charlie for being able to sell a company that had no real revenue and questionable intellectual property.
tagger
50%
50%
tagger,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:49:10 AM
re: Genband on the Run
I also agree that Genband is a great company that it has developed a very good product. But,, I can only hope that they don't sell out. Instead, I hope they go public. It is my understanding that the stock options granted the original employees, engineers and sales forces.. (you know.. the ones that worked round the clock.. lived on airplanes for the early years of the company) will be worthless if there is a sale. Only way to benefit from options promised by the company will be for the company to go public. This is thanks to the company policy changes of the last 4 years. Wish they couldnGÇÖt go back on their word and original employment contracts once they make promises to employees, but unfortunately, they are free to change those types of commitments without regard to what was originally promised to the employees. So I maybe way off base here, but I think there are a boatload of us that wish them all the success in the world and hope they go public.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat Demo

7|2|15   |   10:53   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Nicolas Lemieux demonstrates how Red Hat is driving innovation through open source communities.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat's Approach to OpenStack Adoption

7|2|15   |   5:17   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Radhesh Balakrishnan outlines his company's open source strategy for both enterprises and telcos.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Goes Mobile With vEPC

7|2|15   |   1:12   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown discusses results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade that shows a clear commitment by mobile operators to move quickly to virtual EPC deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Business Sense of SDN

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Results of a Brocade-sponsored survey show that CSPs have a clear sense of SDN use cases but are wrestling with the business case. Sterling Perrin of Heavy Reading looks behind the numbers.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

7|2|15   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Forget the usual ten-year cycle for new technologies – NFV will be a core part of CSP networks in five years, based on results of a Brocade-sponsored survey, says Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Gains Traction With CSPs

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro of Heavy Reading analyzes results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade showing that CSPs are getting serious about making the transition to the New IP era.
LRTV Custom TV
It's (Real) Time for Analytics

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges looks at how CSPs say they plan to use analytics to deploy new services in real time as part of The New IP, based on results of a survey sponsored by Brocade.
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (8) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (2) comments


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
What's a Gigabit Good For?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/1/2015
Colt to Jettison Ailing IT Business
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/30/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones