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Comverse Buys Some WebRTC Smarts

Ray Le Maistre

Service provider IT giant Comverse has acquired Solaiemes, a Spanish WebRTC and rich communications services (RCS) gateway startup, for an undisclosed fee.

The move bolsters Comverse's existing portfolio of IMS-based unified communications applications (VoIP, messaging, chat, file-sharing) that it already offers as its Evolved Communication Suite. Comverse Inc. (Nasdaq: CNSI) notes that the combined products of the two companies are already in trials at several unidentified Tier 1 service providers.

Solaiemes is not a well-known name but it is a member of the Project Clearwater ecosystem, and its RCS API Gateway and WebRTC-Telco Gateway are both deployable with the open-source Clearwater IMS platform. (See Metaswitch Unveils Clearwater Core.)

Want to know more about WebRTC? Check out our dedicated WebRTC content channel here on Light Reading.

The acquisition propels Comverse into the growing group of vendors offering WebRTC capabilities to communications service providers (CSPs), including major equipment vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , plus the likes of BroadSoft Inc. , CommuniGate Systems (CGS) , Dialogic Corp. (Nasdaq: DLGC), Genband Inc. , Italtel SpA , Mavenir Systems Inc. , OpenCloud Ltd. and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL). (See Cisco Acquires WebRTC Smarts and Genband Entices Devs With WebRTC Kandy .)

That's important, because CSPs are desperately looking for ways in which to develop new revenue-generating services and to counter the threat of the OTT players. What's less clear is exactly what revenue-generating applications and services can be developed using WebRTC capabilities. (See WebRTC: A Double-Edged Sword for Telcos, What WebRTC Means for Telcos and WebRTC in the Wild.)

Comverse's pitch to CSPs is that it now has the capabilities to deliver an even broader range of services platforms and help CSPs charge and collect for the resulting services, using the vendor's billing and revenue assurance systems. (See Getting to Grips With Comverse.)

Comverse says the acquisition will not have a "material" impact on its revenues or profitability, so it seems Solaiemes, which was formed in 2007 and has been developing RCS capabilities since 2009, is still at an early stage of business development. According to Crunchbase, the company has raised only about $1 million from external investors.

As for Comverse, it can do with all the help it can get to develop new business with its CSP customers: In its most recently reported fiscal quarter, for the three months that ended April 30, Comverse reported revenues of $119.1 million, down 23.6% year-on-year, and a net loss of $16.1 million.

Comverse's share price closed Monday at $25.70.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Sabre
12/31/2014 | 2:54:44 AM
Re: Who else needs some WebRTC capabilities?
WebRTC is a $4.7 billion by 2018, with an estimated 2 billion individuals using the service by 2019 and most of these will be mobile.This is surely promising.
User Rank: Light Beer
12/30/2014 | 2:24:19 PM
Re: Who else needs some WebRTC capabilities?
The list of companies offering WebRTC services has grown considerably during 2014.  At Voxbone we have started the year looking at WebRTC and by mid-year had announced a beta program to offer a hosted WebRTC to SIP functionality on all our DIDs in 55 countries, establishing a WebRTC media delivery network over our global SIP network. Kelcor and PKE Consulting have compiled a report that covers over 200 companies now delivering different components, platforms or tools for WebRTC. 
User Rank: Blogger
8/6/2014 | 10:18:32 AM
Who else needs some WebRTC capabilities?
There's a rush to add WebRTC capabilities to various product portfolios.... but only so many companies that can be acquired to save the time of developing carrier-grade gateways from scvratch.

So - who else needs this? Should other major BSS players such as NetCracker, CSG, Redknee and AsiaInfo also be looking to blend RCS/SDP/WebRTC/IMS with revenue assurance? 
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