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Genband Prophecy: Aztek's End Comes in 2012

Phil Harvey
News Analysis
Phil Harvey
4/3/2012
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Genband Inc. announced it has acquired Aztek Networks, a switch maker specializing in hardware that allows for a smoother transition from legacy to IP networks. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In certain applications, Aztek's switches help 9-1-1 calls make their way from a carrier's landline customers to emergency service workers even during network outages. The key for Genband is that this switch series will help it provide the kind of rock-solid emergency services support that folks are used to on traditional phone network, even while the infrastructure is being upgraded to IP-based gear which uses less space and allows operators to consolidate switching offices.

Aztek has been around more than two decades and, most recently, it took on Verizon as a strategic investor, a rarity for an equipment company of any size or sort.

Why this matters
From 2006 to 2009, Genband became that ravenous kid at school who finished his lunch first and spent the rest of the hour rounding up its neighbors' bread crusts and apple cores. The company bought legacy switching assets from Nokia Siemens, Siemens, and Tekelec. In 2010, it bought Nortel's Carrier VoIP and Application Switching business. In 2011, it bought Cedar Point Communications to nudge its way into the cable market for VoIP softswitches. Genband announced this year it will also target enterprises moving from legacy TDM to IP-based communications systems.

The Aztek purchase is just another piece of Genband gear that fits into its broad portfolio of IP-centric switches, media gateways, session border controllers and applications servers. The idea is to give it one more thing it can sell carriers (and enterprises) when it steps up against competitors, which include Metaswitch Networks , Acme Packet Inc. (Nasdaq: APKT), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and BroadSoft Inc.

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— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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