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Video Test Firm Draws $11.5M

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News Analysis
Light Reading
5/27/2004

Test system specialist Psytechnics Ltd. has landed itself a $11.5 million round of funding to help take its video service test software to market (see Psytechnics Bags $11.6M ).

The company, which has now raised $21.2 million, is better known for its VOIP test solutions (see Carriers Put VOIP to the Test and VOIP Testers Tested in ITU Battle). But now the startup is ready to launch its video service test products, and it says the demand from access network hardware vendors and OSS firms to integrate such capabilities is overwhelming. It's such potential for the video solution it has been developing over a number of years that attracted the latest cash injection, says marketing director Iain Wood.

The money will help fund the final development stages and marketing of the firm's video test, "and the anticipation among equipment and OSS vendors is that the market for video systems is going to be big," says Wood. "The carriers also have high hopes for video. They see it as a new business that's going to fall into their laps."

Psytechnics is not alone in spotting the potential for video test solutions, as service providers show increasing interest in delivering triple-play service bundles to their broadband subscribers (see Radcom Demos Video Tester, Rohde & Schwarz, IneoQuest Partner on VOD, Delta Launches VOIP Test Tools, and Spirent Unleashes Product Blitz).

Wood says Psytechnics' first video product, a passive testing solution that sends a signal from one end of a connection to the other and then measures any differences, should be ready for launch this summer. That will be followed a few months later by an active monitoring product. "That'll sit in the hardware, or as part of the OSS, and test the quality of the video stream as it passes through," he says. "It'll provide a real-time metric about the quality of the stream and identify the cause of any quality problems."

Wood says a video product has been in development for some years, though primarily for the broadcast market. Then, late last year, the company started developing a version for IP and wireless networks.

So which companies will incorporate this software into their products? Wood believes it's too early to tell, but hazards a guess: "I'd be surprised if Agilent wasn't one of the first to take it on." Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) ranks among the startup's main customers, along with Empirix Inc. and Radcom Inc. (Nasdaq: RDCM).

Psytechnics, which was spun out of BTexact Technologies in November 2000, will also use some of its new cash to open new offices in Japan and the U.S.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Editor, Boardwatch

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