Light Reading
General Bandwidth is moving office, shortening its name, acquiring Syndeo, and adding new products

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
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
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Microgenesis on Huawei's Switches

9|19|14   |   3:57   |   (0) comments


Microgenesis is a solutions and system integrator company in the Philippines whose areas of expertise include data centers, networking and security products. In this video, Executive Director Jeffrey Choa talks to us about his customers needs and they benefit from using Huawei switches.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (1) comment


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Photos: Qualcomm Takes Over San Francisco
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/19/2014
NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
Pics: LR's Women in Telecom Breakfast
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/16/2014
North KC Says Free Gigabit for All
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed