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CTIA 2010: HD, Enterprise Drive Acme Packet

LAS VEGAS -- International CTIA WIRELESS 2010 -- Unlike the lucky man who downloaded the 10 billionth Apple iTunes song a month ago, the company that is the landmark 1,000th to deploy an Acme Packet Inc. (Nasdaq: APKT) session boarder controller won't be getting famous for the feat.

Lucky number 1,000 was an enterprise, deploying SBC technology as part of its security system. Kevin Mitchell, Acme Packet's director of solutions marketing, was able to identify Paetec Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: PAET) as the service provider involved.

"We're finding enterprises are proving very difficult to announce as customers," Mitchell says. "The SBC is part of their security infrastructure, and they don't want to discuss it publicly."

That's especially true for companies in the financial services and insurance industry segments, says Mitchell. Both groups are proving to be early adopters of enterprise SBCs.

AcmePacket prepared for the onslaught of enterprise interest in SBCs by acquiring Covergence. (See Acme Edges Into the Enterprise.) According to Infonetics Research Inc. , the enterprise SBC market is expected to grow at a 49 percent rate during the next three years, as more companies deploy all-IP networks and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking. AcmePacket is now preparing for a growth in interest in high-definition voice by adding coder/decoders onto its Net-Net 9200 platform, Mitchell says. The idea, he points out, is to enable islands of HD voice to be bridged, even if they are using different HD voice codecs, and to prevent HD-to-standard-def connections from automatically dropping to the lowest common denominator of quality.

Built into the system is the ability to manage codecs, to elevate an HD connection to the top of the list of potential connections, and to insure HD voice is delivered whenever possible, according to Mitchell.

The growing popularity of telepresence and the use of IP phones in audioconferencing is boosting HD voice popularity, he asserts.

"HD voice is a way for service providers to differentiate their VoIP offering versus over-the-top providers. OTT providers can't control the bandwidth available or prioritize voice over other services. "

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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