Light Reading
New company called Connectem has developed software that will take 4G packet core networks into the cloud

Ex-Stoke Startup Aims to Shake Up 4G Core

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
12/10/2012
50%
50%

A U.S.-based startup called Connectem Inc. has developed software for the simulation of 4G Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network elements that will enable operators to add data capacity quickly during peak traffic times.

Founded in February 2011 by a group of former Stoke Inc. employees, the company claims it can simulate the whole 4G packet core network and not just any one element, such as the packet gateway, serving gateway, Mobility Management Entity (MME) or Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF).

Not surprisingly, they're excited. "We don't lack ambition taking on the entire packet core," says Barry Hill, founder and executive VP of sales and marketing at Connectem. "This is an incredibly disruptive technology we're putting on the table."

The company's Virtual Core for Mobile (VCM) software is in trial with Australian carrier SingTel Optus Pty. Ltd. , which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore's Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) (OTC: SGTJY) and had 9.5 million mobile customers at the end of September 2012. Optus has checked out the VCM product in its lab and now it is testing the software with friendly users on its Macquarie Park campus network. (See Optus Tests Cloud-based Core Tech.)

Optus is interested in the flexible networking technology in the short term because it could be a tool for handling surges in data traffic at big events, such as sports matches or concerts. But longer term, the operator wants to evaluate whether such virtualization technology could be part of its future network strategy.

Connectem founder and CEO Nishi Kant explains that the company's software runs on IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)'s PureFlex System platform. Essentially, the packet core network elements are broken down and their functions are written into Connectem's software so that it can run on commercial hardware, thereby creating a more flexible way to build EPC networks, increase data capacity and process surges in signaling traffic.

He used Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) as an analogy to explain the VCM proposition: "What Amazon does from a digital shopping experience is very similar to what happens in a mobile data experience," Kant says. "There's an attach procedure, handover and they're moving data on your behalf."

An Internet company like Amazon has "distributed their connection management," he adds. And Connectem is aiming to adapt that kind of networking technology to meet the needs of mobile service providers.

Kant also notes that while there are elements of software-defined networking (SDN) in the VCM proposition, the startup did not want to be labeled as an "SDN company." (See SDN & the Commodity Question and Ericsson CTO: Let's Redefine SDN.)

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company, which has about 22 employees, did not reveal details about its financial arrangements, but said it had adequate funding from angel investors and recently attracted support from a "large public company."

Why this matters
This is an early example of the virtualization of complex mobile network elements designed to run on commercial hardware. If Connectem's proposition is successful, it could give the likes of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Nokia Networks something to worry about. And even if it isn't, this will mark the latest episode in the industry's series of efforts to bring IT networking techniques to the world of telecom networks.

For more



— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
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!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
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
Glimpsing the Self-Driving Car
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/12/2014
AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
Pics: LR's Women in Telecom Breakfast
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed