Enter the B-RAS (broadband remote access server). Arguably the most strategic product for broadband service providers today, the B-RAS devices could help cariers deploy, bill for, and manage tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of broadband data connections.
B-RASs may also be the missing link to those mysterious "triple play" services in which networks handle and charge for products like digital telephony, TV, radio, and video-on-demand.
This concept is explored in "B-RAS Bonanza," this month's Light Reading Insider, Light Reading's paid subscription research service. Included is a competitive analysis of offerings from the leading players, including the following:
- Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)
- CoSine Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: COSN)
- Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR)
- Network Equipment Technologies Inc. (net.com) (NYSE: NWK)
- Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT)
- Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK)
In the report, CoSine, Juniper, and net.com come out ahead of the pack, with specific advantages depending on which applications are being deployed.
But even though there are already strong products in the category, there's work to be done. An ideal B-RAS product should be able to manage residential and business DSL; migrate the DSLAM backhaul from ATM to Ethernet; replace the IP router core with an IP/MPLS/GMPLS optical core; and collocate B-RAS and DSLAM devices. While each of these features is available in some of the B-RAS boxes on the market, no single vendor appears to have wrapped up the whole package.
How well the present slew of vendors, and newcomers such as Laurel Networks Inc., meet these challenges will determine who wins what's shaping up to be a sizeable B-RAS bonanza.
— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
The current Light Reading Insider report, “B-RAS Bonanza,” is available here. A single-user license to the report is $400. An annual single-user subscription to the Insider, which includes access to the complete archives, the current report, and each of the monthly reports issued over the next 12 months, is available for $1,250 per year.