Redback Targets 30% Market Share
That's right –- 30 (three zero) percent. That would make Redback the market's number two player, but it's quite a long way from the circa 7 percent market share Redback currently believes it commands.
Talking to Light Reading during the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, Antoun said the support of Redback's parent company, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), a new focus on developing products specifically for mobile operators, and increasing demand for Ethernet infrastructure could help Redback become a major player in an edge IP equipment market dominated by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) (still the clear market leader), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR). (See ERIC’s IP Ambitions.)
"Ericsson has stepped it up several notches, and we're starting to work closely together," he says, referring to the Swedish giant's decision to create a new Packet Networks division -- or Product Area (PA), as Ericsson is calling it –- with a pumped-up R&D budget of $300 million to develop IP products for fixed and wireless networks. (See Redback Goes on the Offensive and Redback's Role Expands.)
It's not like Redback and its new owner haven't already been collaborating -– Antoun says Redback signed 68 new deals jointly with Ericsson during 2007. (See Redback, Ericsson Tout Deals.)
Now the collaboration will get deeper as the new PA's development team tackles the IP demands of mobile operators, a market worth targeting right now as mobile data volumes start to ramp up as a result of growing 3G service use. "We're seeing the same trends in mobile now as we did in fixed [networks] a few years ago," says Redback's VP of marketing, Arpit Joshipura.
The idea, says Antoun, is to "have special teams working on mobile aspects –- [wireless] backhaul, backbone -– to develop special products," which makes Redback's strategy sound somewhat similar to that of Alcatel-Lucent.
In October 2007, AlcaLu announced a version of its end-to-end IP access/metro infrastructure developed specifically for mobile operators, with a new version of AlcaLu's very successful IP router, the 7750, among the portfolio. (See AlcaLu Targets Wireless Backhaul.)
Antoun has respect for what AlcaLu has achieved, and for the giant vendor's head of IP, Basil Alwan. "Basil's a good guy –- and one of the people I am going to take market share from," laughs Redback's CEO.
But he doesn't just have AlcaLu in his sights. "Cisco is especially susceptible" to competitive attack just now, reckons the Redback man.
And another way to attack those rivals is to pump up Redback's role in the growing carrier Ethernet equipment market. Antoun notes how AlcaLu, with its 7750, and Juniper, with its MX platform, have made significant strides in supporting the Ethernet needs of carriers, and Redback plans to follow suit with developments in the metro Ethernet market. (See Juniper Gains Ethernet Mojo and AlcaLu Tops $1B in IP Gear Sales.)
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading