Light Reading

Affirmed Brings Smarts to Mobile Data Flows

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

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
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.

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Wagner’s Ring
The Business Case for Open Source

11|30|15   |     |   (1) comment

Open source helps companies enhance infrastructure, undermine competitors' advantage and teach collaboration. But there are problems.
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
Hong Kong Moments
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/26/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Facebook in Africa: Beauty or Beast?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/27/2015
Cable Gives Thanks for Business Services
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 11/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.