Light Reading

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        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
CEO Chat With Bill Gates
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
Verizon Hums a Driving Tune
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/26/2015
Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 16, 2015
Wi-Fi First or Second?
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
Cats with Phones
Tastes Like Fish Click Here
Please hold while I lick the phone.