SPIT Watch: iPad, IPO & M&A

Openet links itself to the iPad, AT&T, and an IPO; Empirix acquires; BroadSoft sets its IPO price range; and Nakina has a new friend

June 8, 2010

4 Min Read
SPIT Watch: iPad, IPO & M&A

Openet Telecom Ltd. has just turned up the heat in the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) sector with an engagement at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) that puts it at the heart of the US carrier's iPad operations.

Elsewhere, there's a welter of interesting financial and relationship developments, involving players such as BroadSoft Inc. and Empirix Inc. .

  • Irish mediation, charging, and policy control specialist Openet has made something of a coup by landing a deal to be the back-office smarts supporting AT&T's 3G iPad service. (See Bye, Bye Unlimited iPad Data Plan.)

    Openet has provided its Subscriber Initiated Provisioning and Service Pass solutions, which include its Balance Manager, Convergent Mediation, and Profile Manager products, to AT&T, which can use the systems to charge for its data services by time period or the volume of data used, capabilities that are now critical to the operator's mobile data strategy. (See Capping the Data Gusher, AT&T Intros Mobile Data Caps, Openet Unveils Profile Manager, and Openet Tackles Service Control.)

    The AT&T deal makes Openet an even hotter property in the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) sector, where it has been signing Tier 1 deals and was identified as a potential Cisco acquisition target, though Openet has denied it is engaged in any discussions with Chambers & Co. (See Mgmt World: HP, Openet Lead Vendor Charge, Openet: No M&A Talks Underway, and Rumor: Cisco Hunts for LTE Policy Control Smarts.)

    The company is one of the more high-profile specialists in key technology sectors, including policy control and subscriber data management (with its Profile Manager), and several of its rivals have recently been snapped up in strategic acquisitions. (See Tekelec Splashes $165M on SPIT Specialists.)

    Openet says it isn't looking to be bought, though -– it tells Light Reading it's preparing for an IPO, though there's no target date as yet for its stock market listing.

  • Speaking of stock market listings, Broadsoft has outlined IPO price range: It is offering 7.5 million shares at between $9 and $11. At the top end of the scale that would bring in $82.5 million, some way below the $103.5 million the company had targeted. (See Broadsoft Files for IPO.)

    According to a recent filing with the SEC, if the company lists at the mid-range price of $10, its net proceeds (after costs) will be about $44.7 million, while private shareholders will share the rest.

    The filing also shows that Broadsoft generated revenues of $17.8 million, and recorded a net loss of $2.6 million, during the first three months of 2010. In the same period a year earlier, it reported revenues of $13.7 million and lost $5.2 million, so its numbers are heading in the right direction.

  • Empirix Inc. has continued its quest to be a SPIT player of note in the wireless market with the acquisition of Italian mobile network probe and IP test tool specialist Mutina Technology Spa, AKA MuTech. (See Empirix Buys Mutina Technology.)

    Empirix has a long history in VoIP and IMS service assurance, but has recently been edging its way into mobile territory -– it recently enhanced its Hammer XMS platform to cover mobile packet core networks. (See Empirix Expands Its OSS.)

    Quite what MuTech brings to the table in terms of carrier engagements and sales is unclear: Empirix says the Italian company has customers that can't be identified and revenues that can't be specified. So it's a MuTech mystery.

    Financial terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed, though we heard the deal was worth millions of lira.

  • Multivendor element management system (EMS) specialist Nakina Systems Inc. continues to make influential friends in the network equipment sector, adding significant SPIT vendor Nokia Networks to its growing list of partners. (See Nakina Teams With NSN and Nakina Expands Program, Wins Deals.)

    This time, though, the relationship is very specific, as it centers around Nakina's Network Integrity product, which discovers discrepancies between operator inventory systems and the information gleaned in real time from a network. Nakina's tool has been integrated into NSN's Identity and Access Management solution to provide "additional functionality that includes secure access, single sign on and security configuration audits."

    Nakina CEO Jay Borden says such solutions are much needed by carriers, as the telecom sector still doesn't have the "breadth of standards that the IT world has, such as RADIUS [Remote Authentication Dial In User Service] for single sign-on."

    Other news from the SPIT worlds includes:

    • Telcordia Crashes Crowded Policy Party

    • Cloud Watch: HP to Cut 9,000

    • Vonage Picks Amdocs for BSS Upgrade

    • Convergys Enhances CRM Software

    • PLUS Picks Comverse

    • Astellia Touts Indonesia Win

    • UBIqube Teams for Brazil

    • Mentum Buys TEMS Planning Tools

    — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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