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P-Cube Eyes Incumbents

Data services platform startup P-Cube Inc. is flirting with a number of network incumbent vendors in its hunt for carrier business.

So far, most of P-Cube’s success in the wireless market has been through an earlier partnership with UTStarcom Inc. (Nasdaq: UTSI), but the startup claims to be adding to its list of OEM allies (see UTStarcom Selects P-Cube).

“We have been working with quite a few vendors, but UTStarcom is the only company we have gone public with,” comments marketing VP Milind Gadekar. “We hope that at least one other vendor will go public soon. Our goal is to be agnostic to the vendor and work with them whenever we can. We are not trying to get into their space.”

P-Cube has developed what it calls a “Service Control Platform” (SCP), which can be used by service providers to monitor and control data traffic for various applications. In a wireless network, the SCP sits off to the side of the GPRS Gateway Support Node (GGSN) or the Packet Data Serving Node (PDSN) and aims to enable carriers to create, rate, and bill for new data services without needing to upgrade their transport infrastructures (see P-Cube Cranks Up Engine).

Gadekar claims that P-Cube’s SCP “provides a much more granular, robust, and permanent solution for content-based billing” than some incumbent vendor offerings. “In certain deployments the NEP [Network Equipment Provider]'s first preference is to push their own solution, but when that falls short we can support it.”

Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) was named as a possible P-Cube OEM partner in a posting on Unstrung’s sister site, Light Reading, after an article last week on Nortel’s GGSN win with T-Mobile International AG (see T-Mobile Bills With Nortel).

Such a partnership is strongly denied by Nortel. “We are not in collaboration,” declares a spokesman. “They had nothing to do with the TMO deal, for which we beat out Cisco -- they were the major competitor.”

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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