Light Reading

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. 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        ADD A COMMENT
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
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 Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (5) comments


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

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (0) 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.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Director Opens Up on Women in Tech

6|25|15   |   3:25   |   (0) comments


Heather Kirksey, the director of the OPNFV, gets real about the gender disparity in open source and standards and discusses how we can change both the conversation and the gender dynamics.
LRTV Custom TV
Symantec's Service Provider Security Strategy

6|24|15   |   7:06   |   (0) comments


Didi Dayton explores Symantec's emerging enterprise security strategies for service providers. Highlights include 'killing the password,' self-defense, advanced analytics and adaptive response in a service provider architecture.
Between the CEOs
Debating Network Evolution With Cisco's Cedrik Neike

6|23|15   |   12:54   |   (2) comments


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.
LRTV Documentaries
Vodafone: What's Good for Moms Is Good for Business

6|23|15   |   3:04   |   (3) comments


Megan Doberneck, the general counsel for Vodafone Americas, discusses her company's progressive maternity policy, explains why promoting women in tech is good business and offers some some good advice for any women in the industry.
LRTV Interviews
NFV: Ready for Prime Time

6|23|15   |   05:09   |   (1) comment


At BTE 2015, Vip mobile CTO Dejan Kastelic talks about how NFV is ready for the real world and how Telekom Austria is introducing centralized resources for its group operations.
LRTV Documentaries
Tykes Talk Tech

6|22|15   |   02:30   |   (9) comments


What does optical fiber look like? When will 5G arrive? What's the WiFi password at Ikea? Light Reading sat down with three 8-year-olds to answer some of the communications industry's most burning questions...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners With TDC for World's First Early DOCSIS 3.1 Field Test

6|22|15   |   3:06   |   (0) comments


In a move to enhance user experience, Denmark's TDC aims to become an early adopter of DOCSIS 3.1. In partnership with Huawei, TDC recently ran the world's first field tests on its coax network that reached speeds nearing 1 Gbit/s.
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
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Staying Productive With My Office-in-a-Bag
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/25/2015
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
What's in Your Office-in-a-Bag?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/26/2015
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