Nortel Resells Genband Gateways
As part of the agreement, Nortel will resell, distribute, and support the Genband G6 Universal Media Gateway and G2 Compact Media Gateway as part of an end-to-end VOIP migration solution that will also include the Nortel Communication Server (CS) 1500 and CS 2000 products.
Through the partnership, Nortel will target rural carriers that are looking to replace legacy Class 5 TDM switches with more cost-effective VOIP systems. The deal will allow Nortel to support VOIP migration from DCO (digital central office) and EWSD (German acronym for Electronic Digital Switching System) switches through interoperability with the Genband gateways.
Rob Scheible, Nortel's senior marketing manager for carrier VOIP and multimedia, says, "To a carrier that means they can move more of the network to IP without having to churn existing POTS infrastructure they have out there."
Noting that more than half of all lines in North America still run on legacy infrastructure, "there's a huge opportunity" in upgrading local class 5 switches, Scheible says. He estimates there are more than 3,000 legacy voice nodes that can be upgraded with the combined Nortel-Genband solution.
Heavy Reading analyst Joe McGarvey says the deal "gives Nortel an opportunity to go after some of the non-Nortel switches in the market. It gives them an advantage in competing for DCO and EWSD business."
Genband added DCO and EWSD capabilities to its gateways through its acquisition of the Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE) DCO business in October of last year. From that deal, Genband bought the right to rebuild the EWSD switching core and upgrade the rest of the voice network with its G6 Universal Access gateways. Genband has also added DCO and EWSD support to its G2 product, which is a compact and hardened gateway for deployment in remote locations. (See GenBand Buys Siemens Unit, Genband Intros Gateways, and NXTcomm Preview: VOIP equipment.)
Since that deal, Siemens has decided to discontinue its sale of EWSD components and parts, and will end support for EWSD products in January 2008. That will leave the market for upgrading EWSD systems wide open. (See Siemens Switches Away From EWSD.)
While the partnership gives Nortel a migration path for other vendor switches, Genband marketing VP Jody Bennett says the agreement helps his company expand its sales opportunities by diversifying its channel partners.
"The main thing this shows is Genband's strategy is to be 'Genband Inside,' working with companies like Nortel and Alcatel-Lucent" to provide end-to-end solutions, Bennett says.
Heavy Reading's McGarvey thinks that's a sound strategy, and believes the partnership is "a good move for Genband." The more partners the company has, he says, the more revenue opportunities Genband will see.
Nortel expects support for Genband's media gateways to begin in the fourth quarter for the CS 1500 and in 2008 for the CS 2000, with field trials long before that.
— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading