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VoIP Systems

Cricket Goes on IP Shopping Spree

Acme Packet Inc. (Nasdaq: APKT) and Genband Inc. announced equipment deals with Leap Wireless International Inc. (Nasdaq: LEAP) subsidiary Cricket Communications Inc. yesterday, feeding the wireless carrier's plans to scale up its IP network.

Cricket, which operates a wireless network based on an all-IP core, is deploying Genband's G9 converged media gateway and C3 signaling controller for TDM-to-IP and IP-to-IP connectivity within its network. Cricket also announced it is using Net-Net 4000 and 9000 session border controllers (SBCs) from Acme Packet for interconnection with other carriers. (See Cricket Deploys Genband and Cricket Picks Acme Packet.)

For both vendors, the announcement is an extension of a continued relationship with Cricket. The carrier has been deploying the Genband 8000 media gateway, a holdover from the Santera acquisition, since 2005. Meanwhile, Cricket has deployed Acme Packet products since 2006.

The wireless carrier is increasing capacity with newer, higher-capacity versions of each vendor's products. In Genband's case, it's moving from the older Santera box to the new G9. As for Acme, Cricket has begun deploying the SBC vendor's chassis-based 9000 product in addition to its 4000 edition, which is a smaller box, 1 rack unit high.

Both were the result of direct sales for companies that have sizeable revenues from channel sales. Approximately two thirds of all Genband sales are through partners, while more than half of Acme Packet sales come from distribution partners.

For Genband, the product win highlights increased customer takeup of the G9, which was announced last year. The G9 has also been named as the default media trunking solution for Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) in its carrier deployments. (See AlcaLu, Genband Cozy Up.)

Acme Packet's win, meanwhile, points to increased adoption in mobile carriers, as the company looks beyond a mature wireline customer base. (See Acme Packet Targets FMC.)

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

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