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Acme Packet Targets FMC

Session border controller vendor goes after wireless and fixed/mobile convergence opportunity

February 5, 2008

2 Min Read
Acme Packet Targets FMC

While looking to score big in the rapidly developing market for fixed/mobile convergence (FMC) solutions, Acme Packet Inc. (Nasdaq: APKT) today introduced its new family of Net-Net Multiservice Security Gateway (MSG) products. (See Infinera Obliterates Q4 Estimates.)

The MSG products will be offered in three form factors: as a standalone 3GPP UMA Security Gateway (SeGW) and a 3GPP I-WLAN Tunnel Terminating Gateway (TTG); as a solution that is tightly integrated with the company's session border controller (SBC) product; or as an ATCA blade.

What matters here is that Acme Packet is, for the first time, expanding its product set beyond SBCs to enable carriers with wireless and wireline assets to leverage a single SIP-based session management architecture across multiple networks.

IDC analyst Elisabeth Rainge says this new functionality will be key to Acme Packet's development as it moves beyond the SBC market. "This is a reminder that every SBC vendor had better be thinking of their next step, in terms of product," Rainge says.

Acme Packet, which holds more than 50 percent share of the SBC market, joins competitors AudioCodes Ltd. (Nasdaq: AUDC) and NextPoint Networks Inc. in targeting the FMC segment.

NextPoint, the merged entity combining SBC vendor NexTone with security gateway specialist Reef Point Networks, was formed with exactly this target market in mind. The merger and the introduction of the company's NextPoint Integrated Border Gateway (IBG) marked that company's entrance into the FMC fold. (See NextPoint Merges, NexTone, Reef Point Join, NexTone, Reef Point (Finally) Merging, and NexTone-Reef Point Merger (Still) Coming.)

If all these FMC devices are starting to sound the same to you, you're not alone. Acme Packet VP of marketing Seamus Hourihan offers this distinction: "At a high level, it's very similar. But if you look under the hood, it's very different in how it's implemented."

Hourihan points to a tighter level of integration in the Acme Packet MSG compared to the NextPoint product. "They implement it as a Reef Point blade and a NexTone blade," Hourihan says, which sounds logical, but includes connections that are not internal to the chassis. Hourihan claims that Acme also has "more comprehensive tunnel acceleration" than competing products.

It's not clear that such granular differences will ever matter. They certainly won't for a while, as Acme's product won't be availble until late this quarter or or early in the second quarter.

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

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