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Mavenir Joins Virtual SBC Party

Ray Le Maistre
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Fresh off its IPO, Mavenir has launched itself into the already highly competitive virtualized session border controller (SBC) sector as it adds to its arsenal of capabilities for 4G LTE mobile operators. (See: IPO Action: Mavenir, Numericable.)

The company, best known for its application servers for multimedia messaging and other IMS (IP multimedia subsystem) elements, is hoping to pick up a lot of business from existing and new mobile operator customers as service providers introduce voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) and rich communication services (RCS). (See: Mavenir Offers Virtual Mobile Core and Mavenir Tackles VoLTE.)

To enhance its chances, the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) specialist has developed a virtual SBC, which, it says, is "specifically designed for wireless applications," with the company citing the scalability and quality of service demands of a service such as VoLTE. "Our next generation SBC is built for wireless services and mobility, and is basically redefining Border Control," noted Mavenir's President and CEO Pardeep Kohli in the company's product announcement, though we're pretty sure he wasn't talking about this border control. (See: Mavenir Unveils NFV Session Border Controller.)

Mavenir Systems Inc. stresses that its SBC, which is commercially available and designed for deployment in either core network interconnect or access network points, is a software product that fits in with any network functions virtualization (NFV) strategies that its customers may have, as it can be hosted on standard IT servers housed in datacenters.

The product has already been in trials with operators in Europe and North America.

Mavenir is set to announce its third-quarter financials on December 4.

Why this matters
The mobile SPIT community is gearing up for a swathe of VoLTE and RCS launches by 4G service providers in 2014, and the vendors are all hoping to benefit from a surge in user uptake.

But there are doubts in the industry that user acceptance of VoLTE will take off next year, while there is increasing unease about the worthiness of RCS in a world already dominated by popular over-the-top (OTT) services from the Web services giants.

As a result, it's important for a companies such as Mavenir, which will be very reliant on the success of VoLTE and RCS for revenue growth in 2014 and beyond, to have as many relevant capabilities in their product arsenals as possible, and a virtualized SBC is one of them.

But while Mavenir claims it is redefining the SBC space, its announcement trails those from some of its major rivals, most particularly Sonus Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS), Metaswitch Networks , and Acme Packet, which is now part of Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL). Competition is going to be intense in the market for VoLTE-supporting systems in 2014, and Mavenir may need to grab a larger share of the market than the other specialists if its new investors are to be kept happy.

For more on VoLTE, RCS, and SBCs:

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Beer
12/6/2013 | 3:53:57 PM
Re: VoLTE wave starts here....
Phil, thanks for the link and glad I looked at it before replying.  I am concerned about the current COTS processing power, even when stripped down to duty specific.  That being said, I have been aware of the smaller installations of perimata but not the installation at Amazon or a portion of it.  I have been watching a new initiative by Intel in HPC and the improvements to the 5500 skeptically but the work Intel did with ATCA (we did a little) and the growth of some of the users of the Dialogic (been using since 1986) product mean the intra-system msg wait times are going to improve.  Certainly the EoL of many VoIP Softswitches are caused by the transition to ATCA.  Now the adjunct COTS application servers and improved physical links that HPC will bring to clustering may commoditize the area further.
User Rank: Moderator
12/2/2013 | 5:07:10 PM
Re: VoLTE wave starts here....
Good point -- They do have to announce stuff every quarter to keep investors interested. But now that they've ticked that box, what next? The other part of showing up -- the demos, test cases, lab trials and customer wins -- doesn't happen overnight.

User Rank: Blogger
12/2/2013 | 4:04:12 PM
Re: VoLTE wave starts here....
The timing is pretty right for Mavenir to do this, but to your point, there is a lot of competition that might be ahead of them. I wonder if the IPO might have played a role in the timing of this announcement--perhaps something Mavenir was ready to talk about, bu couldn't because of a quiet period?
User Rank: Blogger
12/2/2013 | 3:48:24 PM
VoLTE wave starts here....
I thought that Jan 2014 might see the big wave in VoLTE positioning but it looks like the lead-up to Mobile World Congress has already begun, as VoLTE has been a hotter topic than SDN for the past few days.

I don't expect this to die down much - MWC 2014 looks like it will be a VoLTE force...
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