PacketFront Takes On AlcaLu, Cisco
David versus two Goliaths looks more like a masochist's charter.
But Swedish fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) systems vendor PacketFront AB is ready to rumble. It plans to use its new €26 million (US$41 million) cash injection to go head-to-head with Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) in the battle to win next-generation access equipment deals from European carriers. (See PacketFront Raises €26M.)
To date, PacketFront, which has 130 staff, has generated most of its business from European utility firms and municipalities that have invested in fiber access networks, though the company has also expanded into North America and won a couple of carrier deals. (See PacketFront Wins German FTTH Deal, PacketFront Lands Vienna Deal, PacketFront Buys DynamicCity, PacketFront Deployed in Sweden, EuroProfile: PacketFront, and PacketFront Does FTTH in Norway.)
As a result, PacketFront generated revenues of $53 million in 2006 and says it grew again in 2007 (though it won't provide updated sales numbers).
By early this year the company had shipped 400,000 FTTH ports, a "milestone" that, PacketFront believes, makes it the leading fiber access equipment supplier in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region. (See PacketFront Hits Milestone.)
The secret of its success has been its all-in-one integrated solution -- network hardware, management and service monitoring software, and customer premises equipment (CPE) -- that suits localized network rollouts, with its BECS provisioning software a key weapon in its technology arsenal. (See PacketFront Unveils FTTH CPE, PacketFront Monitors TV Streams, PacketFront Buys Into VOIP, PacketFront Unveils ASR 5000, and PacketFront Launches BECS 3.)
European FTTH market set to grow
Now, though, the vendor's new CEO, Niclas Sonesson, wants carrier customers as well as utilities and municipalities -- and this may just be the right time to go after that business. (See PacketFront Has New CEO.)
While few EMEA carriers have committed to any FTTH rollout plans so far (with France an exception), that's set to change in the coming years as operators react to the demands of bandwidth-hungry customers, according to research outfit Heavy Reading. (See Report: EMEA Set for FTTH Surge, Asia, Europe Dominate FTTH Elite, and TeliaSonera Commits to FTTx.)
But to have a chance of winning any meaningful business with telecom operators, PacketFont faces a number of challenges.
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