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Genband Eyes Cable IMS Play

Michael Harris
LR Cable News Analysis
Michael Harris
8/31/2006

Understanding the terminal condition of a standalone VoIP gateway vendor, Genband is working furiously to transform itself into a broader IP communications player. Indeed, the Plano, TX-based company now touts itself as "a leading provider of IMS-based telecommunications applications and infrastructure products enabling converged IP multimedia services."

That sizzling new slogan comes on the heels of Genband's purchase of BayPackets and its M5 Multimedia Applications Server. LightReading offers full details on the deal (See Genband Splashes Out for BayPackets). With the BayPackets deal coming soon after Genband's recent buyout of Syndeo Corp. (see here), Genband argues that it's ready to take on the big dogs in the telco, wireless and cable market. It's a nice story on paper.

Looking specifically at cable, Genband has gained some MSO traction for its G6 Universal Gateway product. But, the Syndeo acquisition was a blue-light special at best. Even though the firm had major cable operator investors, Syndeo gained virtually zero MSO traction for its softswitch. Instead, Cisco, Nortel, Siemens and Cedar Point dominate the cable VOIP softswitch market today.

Those companies, though, focus on PacketCable NCS (MGCP-based) solutions. Eying an alternative point of differentiation in the cable market, Genband is pitching SIP and IMS (and thus PacketCable Release 2) through its Syndeo and Bay Packets combo.

So, what's on the Genband cable VoIP pu-pu platter?. Beyond its G6 gateway, Genband offers its C2 Signaling Gateway Controller, which also includes media gateway controller functionality. Then there is the S4 Telephony Applications Server, the Syndeo PacketCable NCS softswitch and SIP server. And now with BayPackets, Genband has the M5, an IMS application server and service delivery platform.

Interestingly, Lucent is a BayPackets reseller and Alcatel is a reseller of Genband's G6. With Lucent and Alcatel merging, Genband could stand front and center in the combined giant's carrier IP offering, including cable.

- Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News

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