Light Reading
A startup led by ex-Sonus, Starent and AT&T execs claims it has the key to making mobile networks cheaper and more scalable

Affirmed Brings Smarts to Mobile Data Flows

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
11/12/2012
50%
50%

A startup led by the former CEO of Sonus Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS) is aiming to be a star of software-defined networking (SDN) for mobile voice, video and 4G communications.

Acton, Mass.-based Affirmed Networks Inc. is led by CEO Hassan Ahmed. Starting in 2010, he formed a team of ex-Starent Networks and Airvana Inc. (Nasdaq: AIRV) executives to try to create a product aimed at simplifying current network architectures whilst being smarter about the type of data being served up over the network. (See Ahmed Severs Ties With Sonus.)

"This is the new world," Ahmed tells Light Reading Mobile. "Data traffic is growing faster than Moore's Law, basically."

Ahmed says that Affirmed has been trying to stay under the radar for the last two and half years. The company, however, is now ready to come out and compete with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and many others with its AN3000 box and software platform, and Acuitas service management system.

Ahmed claims that his company's box will replace several in a traditional network as well as making mobile services cheaper and quicker to implement. "It's about having networks that are smart and can tell the difference between VoIP flows and video flows," he says.

In an SDN environment, the physical hardware is decoupled from the control plane and data flows can be managed via software. Ahmed argues that mobile operators can no longer "use individual boxes to solve individual problems" because that makes it difficult to scale the network to meet traffic demands.

Over time, this could mean changes to the way networks are managed, he claims. Currently operators can set up the Acuitas management console so that different teams can get standard views into their segments of the network. Eventually, Ahmed expects that teams will take a wider view of the data flows over more of the network.

"Five, six years from now, I think you'll see a lot of more of the kind of network management systems we're talking about and a lot higher level of services management," he claims. "It'll be cool to look back and say, 'Hey, we changed that'."

The AN3000 and the software have now been available to operators for a few months. "We're in a bunch of trials all around the world," Ahmed claims, without giving operator names. These include lab tests, field trials and some that have gone further. The CEO says that the company thinks that its key markets will be in Asia, Europe and the U.S.

The executive team behind Ahmed includes major figures from Airvana, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Arroyo Networks, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Sonus and several key figures from Starent. Ahmed points out that this gives the company expertise in networking equipment, video content and mobility. (See Cisco Snatches VOD Vendor Arroyo and Cisco to Buy Starent for $2.9B.)

LR Mobile couldn't also help but note that both Arroyo and Starent were bought by Cisco. Could a pattern be emerging for Affirmed here too, we wondered?

"Yeah, it's a bad pattern, not one to be repeated," the CEO said, laughing.

Affirmed is backed by Ahmed's recent employer, Charles River Ventures , as well as Lightspeed Venture Partners and Matrix Partners . The company also has strategic investments from T-Venture and Vodafone Ventures.

The company has raised A and B rounds, but has yet to reveal how much it has secured. However, Mass High Tech reported in June 2010 that Affirmed had raised an US$11 million round and could add more.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:49 PM
re: Affirmed Brings Smarts to Mobile Data Flows


A company to watch I think. Check out the executive list I linked to in the story.

Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
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
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
Roku Raises $25M, But for What?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/23/2014
1959 Newsreel: Make Phone Calls – From Cars!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/24/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed