Newport Edges Towards Target
But the vendor knows it needs to up its game if it is to meet revenue expectations, shore up its sagging share price, and take advantage of its technology position.
No details were available about the scale of the deployment of Newport's 1460 product or the value of the deal with Kingston, which delivers voice and data services to homes and businesses in the English county of Yorkshire, where it is the only service provider in the city of Hull. It has more than 260,000 residential and business customers, including nearly 100,000 broadband customers, and has been a pioneer in triple-play and VOIP services. (See Kingston Selects Marconi Softswitch and Carrier Offers Convergence Twist.)
In a prepared statement, the carrier says it needed a session border controller "to secure and control its VoIP access and interconnect borders," and that Newport's box "has proven interworking with the Marconi softswitch we already have deployed."
Newport marketing manager Mike Wilkinson says this is Newport's fifth commercial deployment –- two in North America, two in Europe, and one in Asia/Pacific –- and that more announcements are on the way. (See VOIP Partners Uses Newport, Newtel Selects Newport SBCs, and Itegranet Uses Newport's SBC .)
He says there are a number of opportunities in the U.K. alone, where alternative carriers are building out their IP networks and launching IP services, and so will need to use session border control technology for their network interconnect points.
Yesterday's news, though, didn't help Newport's share price, which, at 39.5 pence on the London Stock Exchange, was almost unchanged, and which is trading at less than one third of the price it achieved in April this year. Wilkinson says Newport is gaining customer momentum, and has revenue expectations that should help send the stock in the right direction.
Those revenue expectations are modest for this year, but ramp up significantly for 2006, according to a report from Newport's broker, investment bank Evolution Securities. In a research note issued earlier this year, it said it expected sales totaling £3 million ($5.2 million) this year, but rising to £20 million ($34.4 million) in 2006.
In the first half of 2005, Newport generated revenues of £213,000 ($367,000). (See Newport Networks Reports H1.)
Evolution analysts believe the September launch announcement of a larger session border control product by one of the sector's major players, Acme Packet, shows that Newport -- with its high capacity, high throughput 1460 product -- had its vision right, but its "timing was slightly awry." (See Acme Packet Unveils New SBC.)
Now Newport needs to build a reputation as the supplier of high end session border technology before rivals such as Acme Packet, which is due to make its new product available in 2006, muscle in on Newport's target turf.
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading