Starent Confirms Virgin Deal

Wireless router startup Starent Networks Corp. has confirmed speculation it is to supply PDSN (Packet Data Serving Node) infrastructure kit to U.S. carrier Virgin Mobile USA LLC (see Virgin Deploys Starent).

Flagged by Unstrung last month, the deal sees Starent deploy its ST16 Intelligent Mobile Gateway, a packet core network device that adds sophisticated service creation, billing, and IP traffic management capabilities to this strategic point in the network (see Starent Linked to Virgin Deal).

Operating as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), Virgin Mobile USA leases spectrum from Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON) and boasts the country’s fastest growing CDMA subscriber base.

Starent claims the deal gives Virgin an opportunity to take control of its own data and content offering. “It puts ownership of new services in Virgin’s hands and enables them to charge for it,” says Gennady Sirota, VP of product management and marketing. “It’s a multimillion-dollar deal.”

Data services platform startup NetSpira Networks SL has also grabbed a slice of the pie. Earlier this year the company announced a partnership with Starent to supply its “Enhanced Charging Solution” to the wireless router vendor. The kit aims to enable operators to create, rate, and bill for data services without needing to upgrade their transport infrastructures (see Starent, NetSpira Do Billing).

“The billing elements come from NetSpira,” says Sirota.

Today’s announcement is Starent’s seventh publicly announced deal (see Starent Wins at Verizon PR, Starent's Startup Double-Up, China Unicom Picks Starent, Starent Wins Vivo Deal, Rural Cellular Picks Starent, and Starent Wins at US Cellular).

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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