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Optical/IP

Siemens Latest to Earn Policy Server Qualification

Siemens Networks is the latest vendor to earn CableLabs qualification status for a PacketCable Multimedia (PCMM) policy server. While Siemens is the last in a long list of players to earn this distinction --seventh to be precise -- it is the first PacketCable-qualified call management server (softswitch) supplier with major MSO traction to earn the distinction.

Siemens cleared the bar with its PCS-5000 Policy Control Server during Certification Wave #45 testing at CableLabs. Other suppliers of qualified PCMM policy servers are Juniper Networks, Telcordia, Tazz Networks, C-COR, Camiant, and CableMatrix.

More than a PCMM product, Siemens' PCS-5000 was developed as an access-agnostic policy control solution for mobile, fixed, and converged networks, capable of supporting both IMS and non-IMS applications. In IMS-speak, the PCS-5000 provides the policy decision function (PDF) for IP services.

Mobile giant Nokia is merging its carrier business into a JV with Siemens called Nokia Siemens Networks (see Cable Fallout from Nokia Siemens Deal). In the PacketCable softswitch market, Siemens counts Cablevision Systems and Shaw Communications as its marquee MSO customers. With cable operators increasingly fixated on fixed-mobile convergence, could Siemens with its CableLabs qualified CMS and policy server, and mega-mobile partner Nokia, become an attractive alternative to Cisco and Nortel for these and other MSOs? To counter-punch, might Cisco or Nortel move to acquire an existing PCMM policy server player, like Camiant or CableMatrix?

-- Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News
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