November 26, 2007
Demand for deep packet inspection (DPI) capabilities is set to rocket in the next five years, with mobile operators set to be spending more on the traffic management technology than fixed-line carriers by 2011, according to a new Light Reading Insider report.
Simon Sherrington, author of Deep Packet Inspection: Vendors Tap Into New Markets, writes that mobile operators are "showing more interest in the technology" as they seek to "manage and monetize the traffic in their networks."
"Given the sheer volume of mobile subscribers worldwide, the mobile market is the real sleeping giant. As operators upgrade networks with EV-DO Rev. A, HSDPA, and HSUPA, the volume of data will increase dramatically," notes Sherrington. "The mobile market represents a major opportunity for DPI vendors," he adds. (See The Greening of DPI.)
As a result of increasing interest from the mobile sector, the market for DPI systems is set to grow by nearly 200 percent during the next four years to be worth more than $1 billion in 2011, according to the Light Reading Insider forecast.
While that's good news for the specialist DPI vendors such as Allot Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT), Bivio Networks Inc. , CloudShield Technologies Inc. , Ellacoya Networks Inc. , Procera Networks , and Sandvine Inc. , it also means they will face increasing competition from the major telecom infrastructure players that want to include DPI as part of a range of integrated packet-oriented technologies.
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is already a key player in the DPI market, having acquired P-Cube in 2004. The router giant now claims to have 400 service provider customers for its packet inspection equipment worldwide. (See Cisco Plucks P-Cube for $200M.)
Nokia Networks also offers DPI capabilities as part of its Flexi Intelligent Service Node (ISN) product, with NSN already claiming 86 mobile operator customers for its DPI technology. "Nokia Siemens has been active in the market for some time, but it has not been widely recognized as a DPI vendor because it has described its technology using the term 'service awareness,' " notes Sherrington in his report.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) subsidiary Redback Networks Inc. is about to bring its DPI offer to market as part of its SmartEdge family of edge routers. Redback's technology is currently in trials, according to the report.
The other main edge IP vendors, Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), currently rely on partners to deliver DPI capabilities, but AlcaLu has plans to develop its own packet inspection technology that will be integrated into its IP routing products. "We are going to do a lot with that technology," Basil Alwan, president of the vendor's IP business, told Light Reading. (See AlcaLu Identifies Deep Packet Potential.)
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading
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