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Juniper Unveils ‘Wireless Router’

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LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
2/19/2002

Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) is using the yacht-laden 3GSM World Congress in Cannes as backdrop for the unveiling of its first joint development with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERICY).

The end-product was at one stage being billed as a “wireless router” by the two companies. Now it’s been given a longer, if more down-to-earth, moniker: GPRS (general packet radio service) gateway service node, or GGSN.

Calling it a wireless router was a ruse to confuse the competition, according to Christopher Komatas, product marketing manager for Juniper’s mobile division. “It’s a simplistic way of describing a GGSN,” he says. “There’s nothing wireless about it, other than its application in a GPRS network.”

Komatas says the GGSN will play a key role in helping service providers migrate to all-IP mobile networks. It connects data sent over the mobile core network to the Internet and corporate intranets. Initially, it can be used to help route email to users’ handsets, but in the long term it could also support audio and video streaming.

Carriers are looking to snazzy, new, handset data applications to give themselves a kick in the ARPU (average revenue generated per user). Carriers will make up declines in voice revenue from data downloads, so the theory goes, although this is yet to be proved – at least in Europe or the U.S. First-generation WAP (wireless application protocol) applications failed to set the world alight.

Juniper is working with Ericsson to proselytize mobile IP, through the snappily named Ericsson Juniper Mobile IP joint venture, supplying hardware when the telecom equipment vendor builds out so-called “2.5G” and “3G” networks for operators (the G stands for generation). The GPRS gateway supports GPRS (2.5G) as well as UMTS (universal mobile telecommunications system, 3G) networks, according to Juniper.

Support for present and future versions of IP is a key aspect of the GGSN, according to Juniper’s Komatas. “All future mobile applications are being adapted to use IP,” he says.

GGSN supports Ipv4 and the much talked about IPv6. This version of the Internet protocol has been around for ages but has failed to gain widespread acceptance in fixed networks. However, its global addressing system is now seen as important for mobile networks – possibly supporting smoother roaming among international networks, better multimedia support, and the ability to use voice-over-IP technology for phone calls.

“Most carriers know they need to move to IPv6,” says Komatas. Support for the protocol is actually mandated under release five of standards coming out of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a group of the leading standards authorities in the wireless field. Networks built to those guidelines could be years away, as Juniper admits. Nevertheless, asserts Komatas, carriers will start experimenting with IPv6 next year.

However, carriers are likely to experiment with IPv6, GPRS, UMTS, and other new-fangled network technology in their major markets – that is, in big cities. There are still going to be large patches of older technology infrastructure in less profitable areas. It’s worth noting that companies such as AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless, and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) are all launching intermediate network technologies in parts of the U.S. or on a market-by-market basis. So, just as users can still find themselves roaming on analog networks, it is likely that all the benefits of IPv6 networks will not be felt for a long time.

Enterprises are expected to be among the major customers for wireless data applications. Juniper reckons that it will help carriers snare the corporate clients through GGSN’s support of Layers 2 and 3 mobile VPNs and IPsec, along with the ability to separate enterprise traffic from consumer downloads. With the direct connection between mobile devices and corporate intranets over IP rendering some form of mobile security very necessary for corporate clients, wireless VPNs are becoming a hot topic in the industry.

On the hardware side, the GGSN is based around Juniper’s M series of routers; Komatas expects the M20 and M40e to be the most common platforms. It’s bundled with software that handles control signaling and packet forwarding.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is working on software that supports IPv6 mobile network data. Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) claimed in 2000 to have created the first end-to-end GPRS network that supported IPv6.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung
http://www.unstrung.com

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Guglielmo
Guglielmo
12/4/2012 | 10:11:58 PM
re: Juniper Unveils ‘Wireless Router’
Juniper offers the J20 GGSN [ http://www.juniper.net/news/fe... ], but Unisphere also plans to offer an ERX-based GGSN [
http://www.imakenews.com/shalo... ].

Once the companies combine, which of these products survives? And where does that leave Ericsson and Siemens?
Guglielmo
Guglielmo
12/4/2012 | 10:11:26 PM
re: Juniper Unveils ‘Wireless Router’
I suppose it's not suprising Unstrung isn't asking this question, given their biggest advertiser. :-)
Guglielmo
Guglielmo
12/4/2012 | 10:11:25 PM
re: Juniper Unveils ‘Wireless Router’
Glad to hear the watchdogs of the press are on the case!
joset01
joset01
12/4/2012 | 10:11:25 PM
re: Juniper Unveils ‘Wireless Router’
patience, grasshopper, patience... :-)

[email protected]
joset01
joset01
12/4/2012 | 10:10:47 PM
re: Juniper Unveils ‘Wireless Router’
Okay, neither Juniper or Unisphere are revealing anything about new roadmaps till the deal closes. Apparently, the Juniper/Ericsson JV is "business as usual."

No doubt there's more to be said on this topic, so I'll be keeping my ear to the ground.

[email protected]
photon_tim
photon_tim
12/4/2012 | 10:10:35 PM
re: Juniper Unveils ‘Wireless Router’
The Juniper/Ericsson/Unisphere/Siemens sales guys told us that they will have both to accomodate their mobile channel partners.

The J20 is available exclusively through Ericsson (Based on the M20 hardware).

An the "ERX-GGSN" is available through Siemens. Based on the ERX hardware and "SMS" software.

WFF
Guglielmo
Guglielmo
12/4/2012 | 10:10:30 PM
re: Juniper Unveils ‘Wireless Router’
Forgive me for doubting the "Juniper / Ericsson / Unisphere / Siemens sales guys" (All at once? Must have been some sales call!), but I don't believe Juniper can afford to adequately support both platforms. One of these GGSN platforms will emerge as the winner, the other (and the customers who choose it) as the loser.

Juniper just adds to the pain by postponing an inevitable decision.
Guglielmo
Guglielmo
12/4/2012 | 10:10:29 PM
re: Juniper Unveils ‘Wireless Router’
Dan Jones wrote: "neither Juniper or Unisphere are revealing anything about new roadmaps till the deal closes."

I believe they are constrained from taking a decision until the deal closes, because of Hart-Scott-Rodino regulations. Always an unnerving time for customers choosing between overlapping products, like when Lucent had acquired both Livingston and Ascend dial access products.

Both cannot survive. Will the product you depend on make it?

Expect GGSN competitors like Cisco, Nokia, and Megisto/Tahoe/Watercove to rush into the resulting gap.
Guglielmo
Guglielmo
12/4/2012 | 9:55:09 PM
re: Juniper Unveils ‘Wireless Router’
Hi, Dan Jones!

So the Juniper/Unisphere deal is closed now, so Juniper can't stall answering any longer.

Which GGSN will survive? I'm sure Siemens customers want to know.
ITmonger
ITmonger
12/4/2012 | 9:55:06 PM
re: Juniper Unveils ‘Wireless Router’
I'm sure this is variable and relative, but for a company that has sold their SMS platform to a carrier and uses a royalty per message sent as part of the compensation, is there an industry standard percentage for such pricing schemes that one could use as a starting point for a guesstimate?

Thanks
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